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HTC Media Link HD demonstrated: a good AirPlay competitor at last? (hands-on)

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Gallery Photo: HTC Media Link HD hands-on
Gallery Photo: HTC Media Link HD hands-on

At an event in Seattle today, HTC did a live demonstration of its Media Link HD accessory, an HDMI-equipped dongle that connects to your television and works with Sense 4-equipped devices in a pretty cool way: you swipe three fingers towards the top of your phone's screen to "fling" it to the television. Setup is simpler than your average DLNA connection — the Media Link creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that appropriately-equipped HTC handsets know how to see. From connection to completion, setup took roughly a minute or less.

Perhaps the most compelling thing about the Media Link HD — besides the ease of setup — is the fact that it supports dual-screen mode, which means you can send a movie to a big screen while continuing to use your phone as you normally would. The actual box is quite small, perhaps two-thirds the size of a pack of cigarettes, and uses a USB connection (as found on most newer TVs) for power. Other than that, you've got the HDMI port, a single button to perform a factory reset, and that's it — we'd dare say it's simple enough for most of the population to connect.

There's no availability date for the Media Link HD yet, but our initial impression is that it's enough of an improvement over HTC's original Media Link to make a dent — as long as it's marketed correctly and the price is right.