Having a computer dedicated to your entertainment center is fine, but what if you don’t want to dedicate a computer just to that? That’s how I had things set up for a long time. I used the computer less and less after we got a new cable box that included a DVR. With HULU, I contemplated setting it all back up, but then I came across a device that promised to save me all the trouble.
The device pictured above is a USB PC to TV audio and video adapter from a company called Warpia and it’s designed to transmit the audio and video signal from your computer to a receiving unit attached to your PC.
Setting It All Up
The setup for this device really couldn’t have been much easier. Following some simple instructions, I installed the software from the included CD and then plugged in the USB PC adapter. After looking over the settings, I plugged in the A/V base adapter and hooked it up to the HDMI cable I borrowed from my DVD player (will connect via VGA, too). After a couple seconds, everything on my laptop screen was being displayed on my 42 inch TV as well. Check out the video of everything in action:
The refresh rate for video was pretty good, but could be a little better. Other than that, HD video came across as true HD and looked really good. All my applications refreshed seamlessly and I had a very clear picture.
Features and Flaws
One of the things I liked about this was that it’s treated as an additional display, so I can tell Windows to either Duplicate the display or Extend it. When I extend it, I get to keep my normal laptop screen just on my laptop, and a second desktop for the TV. A great example of how that’s beneficial presented itself the other night. I purchased a movie online for direct download and watched it on the TV over my wireless A/V connection. At the same time, I was able to tweet, read and respond to email, etc. from my original desktop. Pretty cool.
The SWP100A also comes with mounting screw slots on the bottom of the TV adapter and that end’s USB stick can plug in horizontally or vertically in case you want to wall mount it and keep it as flush as possible.
The only real concern this device presented was the heat it generated. The USB adapter can get pretty warm and the TV adapter gets downright hot. I’d have loved to see an on/off switch on the TV end of the setup. Not only would this help with the heat problem, but it would be a lot easier than having to unplug it and plug it back in every time I want to use it.
At $179.99, it’s not my cheapest device, but it’s cheaper than setting up another computer just for the TV and a lot, I mean a LOT easier. I went from sealed box to completed and in use in about 5-7 minutes. If you can handle the price, it’s a decent solution to get your audio and video from PC to TV in a snap.