A new use for the remote control: beaming shows to your TV

Sony is making use of NFC and WiFi to bridge the gap between smartphone and TV

If you thought your TV remote control was just for switching channels, think again. Sony has a new system that uses the remote control as a transfer device between a smartphone and television.

The system, which makes use of NFC (near-field communications), was launched Monday at CES in Las Vegas and is featured in Sony's Xperia Z cell phone and several Bravia TVs that were also announced the same day.

The technology means video and TV shows can be transferred to the TV without leaving the couch.

TVs with the feature include the flagship Bravia X900A, which includes a display capable of four times the resolution of today's high-def TV. The "4K" television will go on sale in the spring in the U.S. in two screen sizes: 65-inch and 55-inch, Sony said. A price for the TV set wasn't announced.

"You're watching a video and you want to share it with family and friends," said Phil Molyneux, president of Sony Electronics, during a news conference at CES. "You do this," he said bringing the phone together with a remote control, "and the video appears on the big screen."

The feature is one use of NFC that Sony has built into a number of its products.

It shows a portable speaker, an home audio soundbar, and a pair of headphones that could play music when a phone was touched against them. Whatever music was playing in the phone would automatically be transferred to the audio products.

A final product, the personal content station, is being offered as a home storage system for smartphone data, such as photos. Touching the phone to the device automatically transferred pictures and video from the phone.

Near-field communication is a low power wireless technology that typical works over a distance of a few centimeters. Because it only works over a short range, security isn't usually included and that vastly simplifies data transfer between compatible products. Unlike Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, devices don't have to be set-up in advance to work with each other.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CESconsumer electronicsAndroidsmartphonesTVssony

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?