Blu-Ray Player Gets Wi-Fi Direct. Who Needs a Media Streamer?

Mari Silbey —  November 23, 2010 — 8 Comments

LG BD 690 BD690 Wi-Fi Direct blu-ray player

Call me a Wi-Fi Direct junkie, but I’m watching closely as new devices get certified under the point-to-point wireless spec. This past week, the first Blu-Ray player showed up on the certification list. The LG BD690 isn’t shipping yet, but the possible implications of embedding a Blu-Ray player (or an Internet TV box…) with Wi-Fi Direct are tantalizing. Who needs a dedicated media streamer if you can connect to your TV through a box you already have from any Wi-Fi device? Reminder: only one gadget has to be certified for Wi-Fi Direct in order to enable direct connections with other Wi-Fi devices. That should make it easy to ramp up the standard quickly.

Presumably the new LG Blu-Ray player will have some sort of software built in to facilitate streaming from your computer, tablet, or phone. If that’s the case, it will have a great platform to challenge the WD TV Live line. Easy in-home streaming is one thing I miss with my beloved Roku, and a feature I hope the Roku folks will add soon. ESPN3 is streaming some early Duke basketball games I can’t get anywhere else. How I’d love it if Wi-Fi Direct could help me see those games on my big screen.

P.S. I’m assuming the LG BD690 (LG BD 690?) is a successor to the LG BD 390, which Dave named one of the “boxes of the year” last December.

8 responses to Blu-Ray Player Gets Wi-Fi Direct. Who Needs a Media Streamer?

  1. They’ve got lots of #90s. This year the best players are harder to choose as nearly all of them have online services and quick(er) startup times.

  2. I think I’m missing the point here. Haven’t we had Wifi access in devices for a long time? My flat screen TV has had DLNA and Wifi for 2 years. The issue is that the GUI to browse DLNA content is terrible and slow as hell.

  3. Mari – Duke on the big screen via ESPN3 via Xbox is really, really nice.

  4. Joe, WiFi Direct is a new protocol to facilitate device-to-device ad hoc connections. Think of it more like Bluetooth, but using 802.11 standards. Meaning you don’t need a network or you can bypass the network. So if your buddy comes over with an Android phone, he can stream to your WiFi Direct Blu-ray player without ever joining your access point. Or you may link some sort of new 802.11 accessories to that WiFi Direct device. Of course, it’s this lack of clarity and required technical explanation that will possibly sink the initiative.

    Here’s Wikipedia’s entry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Direct

  5. so, i have a tv and i have an ipad. i want the movie that’s playing on my ipad to be sent to my tv without any wires. is that the kind of think you’re talking about?

    so, i’m trying to put this LG product into perspective.
    LG blu-ray player wirelessly sends playing movie to HD tv. i would think, just how apple tv and ipad have “airplay” technology, both my tv and blu-ray will need similar technology to be able to communicate to each other.

  6. Evan, the wireless protocol (802.11 in this case) is distinct from the software on either side that communicates. I still really like Mari’s earlier Bluetooth analogy – think sort range peer-to-peer WiFi connections. And as Mari said, as long as one device has WiFi Direct, any other (existing) WiFi-capable device can connect to it. Some of the likely use cases hardware has yet to be developed.

  7. ok… sorry for my ignorance. i literally just bought a blu-ray player that has wifi built into it for christmas. this dvd player will be upstairs away from router downstairs, so if my tv has built in wifi as well then the blue-ray player could stream the dvd to my tv? if, of course, at least one of the products, either the tv or the blu-ray player had the streaming technology then the other product, preferably the tv, would accept it?

  8. Thanks Dave.
    So this is just like adhoc – you would still need DLNA or something? This isn’t a streaming techology that could replace HDMI I take it.

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