WiDi 3.5 Update Brings USB Streaming, Windows 8 Support and More

Intel’s Wireless Display technology started out as a fairly basic feature, but as competitors — such as Apple’s AirPlay and the WiFi Alliance’s upcoming Miracast standard — started raising a ruckus, Intel started stepping up its game. As detailed by AnandTech, recent WiDi improvements brought support for full 1080p and 3D video streaming, protected Blu-ray disc playback and 5.1-channel audio, but the new WiDi 3.5 update adds even more functionality to the wireless display technology.

One of the biggest complaints about WiDi is its frequently laggy nature; with WiDi 3.5, Intel promises 60ms response time for Ivy Bridge PCs and 250ms response time for Sandy Bridge PCs, assuming you’re using at least a second-generation WiDi receiver.

Speaking of WiDi receivers, the new update allows receivers to include USB ports, which in turn allows you to use your wireless USB input peripherals — think keyboards and mice — with the technology. Windows 8 and touchscreen device support are also new additions.

Now, back to Miracast; maybe the WiFi Alliance standard isn’t such a competitor after all. This morning, the organization announced the launch of the new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast certification program, and Intel’s WiDi was sitting pretty near the top of the list, joined by various products from Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek, Realtek and Railink. Nvidia has publicly backed Miracast, as well.

The Miracast specification differs from Intel’s WiDi backbone, however. AnandTech warns that WiDi devices will be able to wireless stream video to Miracast-certified monitors and televisions — no WiDi receiver required — but some of WiDi’s additional features may not work.

Manufacturers already have the WiDi 3.5 update in their hands and it should start popping up in October.

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