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12/10/2010
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Snapstick Streams Mobile Content To TVs

Linux-based software enables any Web content displayed on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet to be pushed to a television over Wi-Fi.

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With a literal snap of the wrist, users will soon have a new way to view any Internet content they find from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop onto a TV.

Redwood City, Calif.-based startup Snapstick this week demoed the new service, which it said requires no keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or remote control.

"Snapstick's SplitMedia technology directs the TV to get the content you've selected on your phone or laptop directly from the Web through Wi-Fi connected software, leaving your phone free for other tasks,'' according to the company's website. The software is based on the Linux OS, according to the website GigaOm.

The company's software provides two functions: streaming Web content to the mobile device and pushing the content to the TV, and then communicating with the device, which acts as a controller, over a Wi-Fi network, according to CNET, which received a demo from the company. The Snapstick software can be controlled from any Web site or from an iPhone app that makes the process easier, CNET said. When the iPhone is firmly flicked -- or snapped -- the accelerometer prompts the software to start streaming the Web content, CNET said.

The company touts the service as, unlike other products, having the ability to deliver "the full Web onto your television," including video sites like Hulu, Fox, MTV, and the major networks, which have so far blocked their content from Google TV and other set-top boxes with web browsers, only allowing access from certain content owners.

Video streaming has become particularly hot in recent months. Motorola last week announced a new product to let consumers stream video to mobile devices in their homes. In November, Orb Networks launched Orb TV, a $99 video streaming device, and D-Link unveiled Boxee Box, a device that streams movies and Internet shows when connected to a TV set. Also last month, Hulu released its premium online video service for Sony Brava televisions.

The Snapstick service is not yet for sale, and the company is hoping to license the software to set-top box manufacturers, CNET said. It could also potentially be embedded within existing devices like Blu-ray players or TVs. Those interested in being considered to beta test the service can sign up at Snapstick's Web site.

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