I have … oooh six different set-top boxes under my TV, all claiming to pipe my content from my computer to my TV. And my TV has DLNA built in so counts as a seventh. “Why so many Shem?” you may very well ask, like pretty much anyone else who has entered my house. Well I have a lot of files on my network of hard drives, avis, mkvs, isos and the like … and well nothing plays them *all* back. Sure everything will play nicely with avis and some even play mkvs but throw a subtitle file in and they freak out. ISO file? Forget it? So my never ending quest continues.
The one clear option is to shell out on an actual PC of some kind and stick it under my TV. And I’ve looked longingly at a Mac Mini many, many times. However, Mac Minis aren’t cheap. And even HTPCs in general are a fair outlay.
TruLink sent a tempting alternative to my house – a Wireless USB to VGA kit (don’t worry I have to send it back!). Basically a pair of dongles for your laptop and a display – a projector, big-ass monitor or TV. Set up involves plugging the dongle into my MacBook, realising OSX was unsupported, crying a little and then fishing out an old Compaq laptop where things are up and running in no time.
The advertised range of 30 feet was technically correct – but for rock solid playback I’d get a little closer. You should basically be fine in your average living room. The picture quality is reasonably sharp and I beamed a couple of hi-res photos, videos and powerpoint presentations over that worked absolutely fine.
One major kick in the teeth is that the system doesn’t transmit audio. That should surprise no-one as it’s in the name – USB to VGA makes it pretty clear that it’s a video only product. Still you can’t help but sigh and think what could have been. Or buy the TruLink Wireless HDMI kit which has video and audio magic (review coming soon).
Apparently they do an integrated audio kit. So there.