Massachusetts-based ZeeVee is the latest company trying to solve the PC to TV problem. The ZvBox offers an interesting way of getting Internet TV, or other content originating from a computer, to be displayed on any number of HDTV’s around the home. To achieve this, the device first connects to a PC using its VGA port (combined with USB for digital sound) and at the other end plugs into a home’s regular cable wiring, effectively turning whatever is displayed on the PC into a local high-definition TV channel. That way any HDTV in the house can access the “Zv” channel using its existing in-built digital tuner.
In terms of what’s transmitted from the PC, users are given the choice of two User Interfaces. They can either browse and view content in regular PC mode, mirroring exactly what they would normally see on the computer’s screen, or alternatively, the ZvBox offers a “widescreen guide” called Zviewer, which is optimized for a “10-foot” viewing experience and provides navigation and shortcuts to online video sites such as Hulu, along with locally stored content.
The ZvBox also comes bundled with a remote called — wait for it — the ZvRemote, to control media playback, with an integrated touchpad that acts as the PC’s mouse. The ZvRemote can operate up to 150 feet away from where the PC resides, which could prove to be a limitation.
All in all, ZeeVee’s solution is a welcome entrant into the PC to TV space, and presuming your house is already wired for cable, and you want to get Internet TV and other PC content onto a number of HDTVs, then you may be willing to swallow the $499 price tag. Having said that, there are already a number of similar and cheaper offerings, albeit ones that use WiFi or a regular wired home network, such as Sling Media’s SlingCatcher or the PC-on-TV Player from D-Link (see our PC to TV CES roundup).