Cablevision trying out PC-to-TV relay service

Customers to be able to send computer content to TV channel

NEW YORK -- Cablevision Systems will during the second quarter begin a trial of a new service that will allow digital cable customers to instantly relay any content on their computer screen to a dedicated channel on their TV set without any additional equipment or advanced configurations.

The service, dubbed PC to TV Media Relay, will use the cable company's advanced fiber-rich network to allow users to access online video, photos, downloaded or streaming music, e-mail and other content on their PCs and make them visible on their TV screen. A Mac version is also in development.

Cablevision, which previously made an industrywide splash with its network DVR service that TV networks and Hollywood studios opposed, sees the innovation as one that could be applied across the industry and to additional devices and change consumers' interaction with content on the computer and TV set.

"We are putting an end to the need for families to huddle around their laptops or PCs to watch content together," COO Tom Rutledge said. "This new service will make it easy for our television customers to take broadband services, including Internet video, as well as family photos or anything else displayed on a computer screen and move it to the television with the click of the mouse."

Cablevision subscribers will get to transfer to their TV screen anything they can display on their PC, whether stored on the computer or a drive or accessible on the Web.

The service works without the need for cables or changes to input settings on the TV. Instead, it simply uses a one-time software download to the computer.

According to Cablevision, the technology may also be extended to other consumer devices in the home, including handheld devices running applications and connected to in-home wireless networks.