Bigstream streaming accessory

You have mobile entertainment devices in the form of iPods, iPhones, and iPads. You also have a very large and very stationary entertainment device in the form of your television. Increasingly, companies are trying to find ways for the two of them to interact. Personal Communications Devices hopes that when you consider such interactions, you'll look at its $99 wireless streaming product.

Bigstream comprises two major components--a large transmitter dongle that afixes to your iPod, iPhone, or iPad's dock connector port and a remote receiver that plugs into your TV via a composite video/analog audio connection. Charge the dongle (a charge lasts just more than two hours), switch on the receiver, choose from among three channels to transmit on, select a compatible application on your iOS device or iPod, and video and/or audio streams to your connected TV.

When I heard about the Bigstream, the first thought that naturally came to mind was: In some cases, the answer was: After all, my ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ) already supports streaming without a dongle, it uses a high-definition HDMI connection instead of a lower-quality standard definition cable, and in addition to streaming content from my iOS devices, it can access some Internet content.

But the Bigstream offers some advantages over the Apple TV. The first is that it may be a better travel companion. An Apple TV requires that both the iOS device and Apple TV share the same Wi-Fi connection. If you don't have such a connection, you're out of luck. Secondly, although the quality of composite video is no great shakes, that connector is commonly found. If you have an old TV or projector that doesn't support HDMI, the Bigstream is an option. It also supports a broader range of devices. You can connect a current iPod nano and stream slideshows. With a third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation iPod nano, you can stream videos as well as photos. And it can stream content coming over a 3G connection.