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CES: Beamed from the phone to the TV screen

January 9, 2010 |  7:59 am

PacketVideo logo"Pico" projectors, tiny but gloriously high-resolution projectors based on a Texas Instruments DLP chipset, are shifting from novelty status in 2009 to wider availability this year. According to the RegHardware blog, TI showed off 12 mobile phones, cameras and other devices with pico projectors at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. 

That's a great solution if there's no TV at the ready. But if there is, wouldn't it be better to beam your photos or videos to the screen? PacketVideo unveiled a way to do that at the show, offering a free app that lets Wi-Fi-enabled Android phones stream audio, video or images to a TV screen. 

The app is a mobile version of PV's TwonkyMedia server software, which lets people move content around a home network to devices that comply with DLNA or UPnP standards. That includes virtually all new connected TVs, game consoles, media adapters, computers and networked storage devices. Once you've logged your Android phone onto a home network (or any other LAN), the TwonkyMedia app makes the media on the phone available to other DLNA or UPnP devices on that network.

Let's say you're at a friend's house and want to show the pictures taken with your cellphone camera at a recent concert. After connecting to the house Wi-Fi network, you turn on the PlayStation 3 in the living room and call up the console's menu on the TV. You find the listing for your phone, scroll through the thumbnail images and start displaying the ones from the show -- simple as that. 

Granted, a pico projector will work anywhere, and the PV software is limited to home networks with compliant hardware. The latter is growing rapidly, though, as consumer electronics manufacturers embrace DLNA and the notion of connected homes. One sign of that growth: PV announced Friday that 2 million copies of its TwonkyMedia server software have been shipped with an assortment of digital devices from the likes of Cisco, Philips, Hewlett-Packard and Western Digital.

-- Jon Healey

Healey writes editorials for The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division. Follow him on Twitter: @jcahealey