HP, AutumnWave Put HDTV Content on PC

Content traditionally dedicated and segregated to computers or to TV sets is increasingly trading places, as well as being repurposed to other venues such as video iPod-like devices from Apple and Microsoft, PDAs, and cell phones. Hewlett-Packard is currently marketing a product called MediaSmart that looks like a standard 37-inch LCD set, but includes a multimedia hub with wireless connectivity for streaming HD/SD video content from PC to TV screen.

When connected to a Windows PC, the TV monitor becomes a still picture or video playback device. HP said the unit is compatible with Windows Media Connect, and the Universal Plug and Play standard will search for media servers on a home network and allow browsing for movies, music and photos using a remote control.

The DTV set plays HD Windows Media content and MP3 music devices. It includes a digital audio outport and two external speakers. The 6-inch deep 720p unit includes HDMI, S-Video and component video ports, and a built-in tuner.

Another firm, AutumnWave, has a new product called OnAir GT that is now at some Wal-Mart outlets and could be in other big box stores by late fall. OnAir HDTV GT plugs into a computer using a standard USB 2.0 port to retrieve terrestrial HD broadcasts. The device can be attached to a digital cable system, as well, to record HD/SD content to a PC hard drive.

According to an article in Forbes, the new product is being marketed as a space-saving mobile device for college dorms, work cubicles, and other traditionally confined spaces.