Cablevision is addressing the current buzz over seamlessly bringing Web content to the living-room TV with "PC to TV Media Relay," a new service that will allow its digital cable customers to take whatever information or images appear on their PC screen and display it on a special dedicated channel on their TV set. The cable operator plans to begin testing the service by June.
According to Cablevision, the relay service won't rely on wireless or wired home networking technologies to bring the PC-based content to the TV. Instead, it will use its broadband network to securely relay the content from the PC back to the headend, and then send it back down to the TV through the digital set-top box. The only installation the relay service will require is a simple one-time software download to the PC.
The dedicated relay channel will only be available to that subscriber's home, and can display a range of content including:
* Â· Personal stored media such as photos, home videos and music;
* Â· Internet content including streaming video sites and audio such as Internet radio;
* Â· Some productivity applications including email, documents and spreadsheets;
* Â· And other desktop applications such as widgets.
"With our PC to TV Media Relay service, we are putting an end to the need for families to huddle around their laptops or PCs to watch content together," said Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge in a statement. "This new service will make it easy for our television customers to take broadband services including Internet video, as well as family photos or anything else displayed on a computer screen and move it to the television with the click of the mouse."
Cablevision says the technology that enables TV to PC Media Relay may also be extended to other consumer devices including handheld devices running applications and connected to in-home wireless networks. It is also developing a similar service for Apple Mac computers.
Cablevision isn't disclosing details of what exact technology it is using the relay service. But the operator has used technology from ActiveVideo Networks, which has a system for bringing Web content to a TV through the existing cable infrastructure, to deliver interactive content including a mosaic channel of NBC Universal programming it is currently running during the 2010 Winter Olympics.