By Claire Reilly
SYDNEY, NSW: Inspire Technology has today announced the release of the McTiVia, a new wireless network device that claims to be the first of its kind to “wirelessly send and display any content from your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices to your TV”. The device is available exclusively to Harvey Norman.
Wireless wonder: the new McTiVia.
Connecting to a television through a standard HDMI cable, the device wirelessly connects to up to eight home PCs (using MirrorOp remote desktop software) allowing users to control their PC through the television and stream video and audio content remotely.
Now users can stream content such as YouTube videos, movies, iTunes playlists, catch-up TV and photo slideshows from any computer in the house, without disconnecting or moving their computer.
The McTiVia also connects to Blackberry, Android and Apple devices, letting users view content from their PC or Mac on their smartphone or tablet device. Third party apps also allow the screen on a BlackBerry or Android device to be displayed on the television. However, iPhone and iPad screen capture requires a jailbroken device.
By accessing the internet through an external computer, the network device can be used to watch catch-up TV on Australian sites such as ABC iView. In addition, McTiVia is partnering with VPN Secure to allow users to stream content from any website in the world – including American film and television providers Netflix and Hulu, as well as BBC iView from the UK.
The McTiVia is being distributed in Australia by Inspire Technology, with former Topfield marketing expert Robert Bonanno in the role of marketing director. According to Bonanno, the McTiVia is perfect for turning any television into an ultra-connected internet and content portal.
“Other companies are striving to make a Smart TV, but really the World Wide Web is as smart as it’s ever going to be,” said Bonanno.
Beyond the obvious desire to have customers walk into a retailer and “ask for a McTiVia,” Bonanno hopes to pitch the product to customers who want to get more out of their traditional television experience.
“It’s for customers who just bought an expensive 3D TV but want Smart TV features, and for customers who want to connect their PC to a TV. They could go out and get an HDMI cable that offers one connection, or they could invest in the McTiVia and connect to eight different devices,” he said.
In terms of the investment that the McTiVia represents, it is available exclusively from Harvey Norman for RRP $299. The product comes with a free 30 day trial access to VPN Secure, and the Inspire Technology Fly Mouse Remote with QWERTY keyboard will also be available soon, for approximately RRP $99.
Bonanno expects that exclusivity with Harvey Norman will last until “the end of July,” and Inspire Technology is currently in talks with other retailers to build on the leverage of the product and expand distribution.
One of these retailers is Officeworks, which Bonanno expects will be able to meet the demands of the office market. While the product is ultimately geared towards home users, Bonanno agreed that the McTivia is ideal for office users who want to connect many PCs to the one hub, ready for presentations and content viewing.
Bonanno was positive about the opportunities that the product represents, both with net-savvy users who want to be constantly connected with online content, and with those who simply want the ability to access their PC from the comfort of the couch.
With the McTiVia, you can use your TV like a PC to view content and access the internet.