LAS VEGAS -- Soon you may be able to play a game on your tablet while wirelessly streaming a movie from the same device to your home theater system. Today at CES, Texas Instruments showcased its OMAP 4400 series CPU's support for wireless display technology and ability to display different content on the tablet than on the screen to which it's streaming.
For years, Windows notebook users have been able to send video wirelessly to TVs via technologies like Intel's WiDi and WHDI. However, Android users have been left out in the cold. That could be changing very soon as TI showed today that its current generation of TI OMAP 4400 series, which are already in millions of devices, are capable of streaming content via the wireless display protocol.
In one demonstration, a TI representative showed us a TI reference tablet with an OMAP 4400 series processor that was capable of playing Angry Birds on its own screen while sending a full HD movie to a TV via wireless. Though end users cannot do this today, TI told us that existing tablets and phones with OMAP could perform this function with the right software and the right receiver on the other end.
If you're streaming HD video, TI told us, you actually won't eat up too many system resources, because video is offloaded onto OMAP' 4400 series' secondary, low-power media cores. The primary CPU cores are free to focus all their might on your other app, whether it's your email client or a game of Riptide. So you can play your game while you also watching TV on the big screen, definitely a boon for those with short attention spans.
Gaming and Dual-Screen Apps
In another demo, a second TI representative showed how, with the help of some enabling software from Screenovate, OMAP-powered devices can lower their latency enough to play high-speed games. When playing games, low-latency is key because if you have to wait even a second between the time you tap the screen and the time your avatar moves, the experience is untennable.
Using Screenovate's Wireless Display Plus technology -- a software layer that's invisible to the user – developers can also empower their apps to display one type of content on the local screen and another on the TV. As an example, TI showed us a version of Replica Island where the game played on the TV but the tablet itself showed only the controls so that it became, in effect, a controller. Screenovate technology isn't necessary if you want to display two different apps on the two screens, only if you want low-latency or a single app that displays different content on each screen.