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Cablevision says it has a shortcut between the PC and TV

February 23, 2010 |  9:01 pm

Cablevision Systems Corp., the New York cable operator with more than 3 million subscribers, is unveiling a service that will let its customers seamlessly move content from their computers to their television in real time.

Rutledge “We are putting an end to the need for families to huddle around their laptops or PCs to watch content together.  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," said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer. 

Cablevision is expected to test the service in the second quarter of this year.

Although the name, PC to TV Media Relay, is a little awkward, Cablevision says the service isn't. No additional equipment will be needed to shift content from the computer to the TV. All one will need is the cable company's "advanced fiber-rich network."

While that sounds like a cereal, what it really means is that subscribers will need to have both the company's digital cable and broadband service. Cablevision is not saying whether, down the road, customers who get their cable from Cablevision and their broadband from elsewhere would also be able to use its Relay service.

The way it works is that customers will send content from their computers to a dedicated channel on their television that only they will see. In other words, no worries about your neighbors also seeing that special home video you put on your computer. Cablevision says its Relay system eliminates the need to change the TV's input settings, as is usually the case with many in-home networking devices.

This may be a first for a cable operator, but this type of feature has been standard fare for consumers who have Internet-connected game consoles, Apple TV set-top boxes or TiVos plugged into the living room television.

 -- Joe Flint

Photo: Cablevision's Tom Rutledge. Credit: Cablevision.