on May 9, 2013
I am taking the time to write an in depth review of this product, the Netgear PTV3000 Push2TV Wireless Display Adapter.
I ordered this unit from Amazon and just received it yesterday.
The first thing that you need to know about this device is that it does indeed work. There are however a few things that you need to know in order to get it up and running and also to optimize its performance once that has happened.
I have my PTV3000 plugged into my Sony Bravia HDTV via an HDMI cable in the back along with a USB cable plugged into the back of the TV as its power source. No need to take up another outlet so it is best to use a spare USB jack on your TV if you have one available.
After you have plugged the PTV3000 unit in to your TV the next step is to open the Intel WiDi software program on your PC or Laptop computer. I am using a Sony Vaio Laptop to run the Intel WiDi software.
Once you have opened the WiDi software you can enable the software to scan for the PTV3000. If it finds it then simply click on "connect" and wait a few moments and see if it establishes a connection with the PTV3000.
When I first tried this I was not able to establish a connection to my PTV3000 unit after trying to get it to connect via the Intel WiDi software about 20 times.
Here is what I would recommend that everyone who buys the PTV3000 do FIRST!!
Update/download the latest firmware for the PTV3000 via the Netgear web site. The instructions for doing this are included in the brief manual that comes with the PTV3000. After you have done that I would suggest that you also update the driver/software for the Intel WiDi program on whatever PC or laptop you will be using to send content to your TV. The Sony laptop that I recently bought had an older version of the Intel WiDi software on it and after I downloaded the update for the software, which was 265MB by the way, I was able to connect to the PTV3000 via my Laptop with no problems.
Now, here is something that Netgear does not mention in the user manual. The PTV3000 works best when you have your source, laptop, PC etc..., as close to the PTV3000 as possible. I would suggest keeping your source no more than 20 feet away from the PTV3000 for best results. The second tip that I can share with you is to stand the PTV3000 end on end like a book sitting on a shelf so that the top of the unit faces the direction of your laptop/source. After much trial and error I determined that the antenna inside the PTV3000 is located on the top of the PTV3000 so by standing it end on end and pointing it towards your source you will get a much stronger signal as opposed to setting the PTV3000 flat.
One thing you will notice is that if you walk between your source and the PTV3000 that the audio will sputter and cut out briefly. This ties in with my theory that the PTV3000 likes to have a direct line of sight to your source in order to deliver the best picture with no buffering or glitches.
I had originally placed my laptop about 10 feet away from the PTV300 and after I discovered that the antenna was located in the top of the PTV3000 and stood it up end on end and pointed it towards my laptop I was actually able to have my laptop about 24 feet away and it worked perfectly.
Most of the stuff that I have shared was nowhere to be found in the manual. I learned from trial and error and hopefully this review will help those of you so that you can save some time and follow my advice so that you can be up and running in no time.
Overall the picture and sound quality that the PTV3000 delivers is excellent. The night before I received the PTV3000 I hooked up my laptop to my TV via an HDMI cable and I can honestly say that the picture and sound quality that I was able to get using the PTV3000 was the same as if I was using an HDMI cable.
If you follow my advice I feel confident that you will be pleased with the Netgear PTV3000.
on February 1, 2014
*I apologize for the length of this review, yet due to my own experience, I believe a little more detail was necessary. At first, I was ready to low rate this product too, so I wonder if possibly some of the lower ratings are not deserved. Thank You*
*I specifically bought this for use with my Kindle Fire HDX and nothing else, so I cannot review, with regards to, how well it works with any other tablet, notebook, or phone. This review is solely based on my experience using it with a Kindle HDX alone.*
The LED TV's we have are not "smart," which is how I prefer them, and so was unable to take advantage of the 'Second Screen' function on my Kindle HDX. However, I was really curious about being able to mirror to the TV, and Amazon's info page about mirroring led me to this, as an alternative. Additionally, there are people in the family who are hard-of-hearing, and currently, many of the Amazon Prime movies played through our smart Bluray player do not have Closed Captioning available.
So what does that have to do with a Kindle HDX and the PTV3000? Well, as I had no desire to go deaf trying to watch a movie with the sound so loud it shakes the paint from the walls, something else was needed. Pretty much everything I watched on the Kindle directly had CC available, so an idea surged past the dense layers of my skull, which was a feat in itself. I could just mirror the Kindle and have CC at the touch of a button when needed.
The box arrived and I happily opened it up to see the tiny PTV3000 staring back at me. After I got done running and yelling "It is Possessed!" I opened it up and saw this very small and very thin little black box along with a USB cable and the instructions. Going against my guy instincts about hooking everything up and asking why it does not work first, I read them and went about it slowly.
Hooking it up was easy. USB cable into the TV for power and an HDMI cable which you have to buy separate. It says to update the firmware, which I did, yet the instructions can be a little unclear (at least to me) and I was sure this "stupid thing was a waste of money and didn't work." Make sure you have your Kindle HDX with you, because you need it to do the update. Because I see quite a few lesser reviews, I am including the process explained as simply as possible to help anyone who may have had a similar issue. Your Kindle will need to be connected to your home WiFi network to do this.
Step 1. On your Kindle, open silk and go to the Netgear website listed in step 1 on the second page of the PTV3000 instruction booklet. This is the page you want to be on: [...]
Step 2. In the search field type "ptv3000" and it will bring up a list with all different versions.
Step 3. The version at the top is normally the newest, click on it and it will start downloading to your Kindle. When it is done downloading you can go to step 4 below. (I know some people say you need a laptop to do the download, but I did it all from my Kindle HDX.)
Step 4. Press and hold the button on the PTV3000 for 7 seconds (I think the little light on it flashes, sorry I cannot clearly remember).
Step 5. On your Kindle, go to "Settings then down to "Wireless" and you will see a Push2TV network available. Connect to it.
Step 6. Get back to the home page on your Kindle and open the Silk Browser again.
Step 7. In the address bar type the address shown on page 2 of the little instruction book for the PTV3000. Cannot find the booklet, but looks something like //18.104.22.168
Step 8. Upload the firmware and install it.
This is where I believe the instruction book pretty much stops. The TV shows ready to connect and "this stupid PTV little box was not connecting...piece of junk, does not work, sending it back. I connected it just like it said to the WiFi Push2TV network and nothing." Before hurling the adorable, but now upsetting me, box at the wall, I took a breath, stepped back and thought about what I did wrong. Nope, followed all the instructions, and nothing...screen saying ready to connect staring back at me and no Push2TV WIFI network connecting...and nothing.
I decided to do a search on the web for answers, and since the computer was upstairs, and I had the Kindle with me, I would just use it. So, I RE-CONNECTED to my home Wi-Fi network and then proceeded to let out a long sigh and shook my head murmuring "you idiot" to myself. I was trying to mirror the Kindle by connecting to the Push2TV WIFI network and that is JUST used to update the firmware. The Push2TV WIFI network is you connecting the Kindle and the PTV3000 box and is ONLY used to update the firmware NOT to mirror. Yes, the instructions were kind of meh regarding this possiblity, but it was not the product not working.
Step 9. If you have not done so, reconnect your Kindle to your home WiFi network.
Step 10. Look back at the TV which should have the PTV3000 screen saying "Ready To Connect" and give it a smile. If you don't see that screen, make sure your PTV is plugged into an outlet, or the USB connection on your TV or A/V receiver, and that the HDMI cable is connected and your screen is switched to the right input
Step 11. On your Kindle HDX, go to Settings>Display & Sounds>Display Mirroring.
Step 12. Let it search and when PTV3000 shows up, just click on it and let it connect. TV screen will show connecting and, once connected, your Kindle will be mirrored onto your TV.
Step 13. When you are done mirroring, make sure to go back into your Kindle settings and hit "Stop Mirroring."
All that being said, how does it work?
I have had this for about two months now and have used it on multiple TV's and even through an A/V Receiver. It is used 3-4 times a week with an average of 2 hours each time. The longest continuous use was a 6 hour Game of Thrones marathon. It has worked and performed beautifully every time. The TV's I have are 720p and 1080p and the picture looks perfect, just as good as anything incoming from the cablebox HD or SD and just as good as it does on the Kindle screen. The sound is also sent through the PTV3000 to the TV and/or receiver...yay HDMI and no different from the sound on cable. In fact, I use this on a TV in one room specifically because there is no cable box and mirroring the Kindle is how it gets cable (android app our cable company offers) and movies from Amazon Prime.
When you first start a movie, there may be some slight pixelation, but I have never had it last more than a few seconds and then the picture clears up instantly.
Due to the 3 star average on this item, I went back and forth for a long time on whether to purchase it. I wrote this review to, hopefully, help others who may have similar feelings, may have returned it and now see they might have done what I did initially. This is not a $10 product that people may see some meh reviews, and still go ahead and order because the money risk is low, this is a little bit bigger investment.
For me, this PTV3000 has been one of the best purchases I have made on Amazon. It opened new possibilities for my Kindle and saves me money on renting another cable box. I love this product and I really do feel it deserves much higher average ratings than it has received. At the very least, anyone who was directed to this for their Kindle HDX because it is certified for it.
If you really want to mirror your Kindle HDX and have been on the fence due to the reviews, please try it. I do highly recommend it and I am still amazed to this day at how gorgeous the picture remains using this little box. And by the way, it does put the CC on the TV with Prime.
on December 5, 2012
Background: I purchase this device in early November and have used it almost a month already. Setup is pretty straight forward in that you just plug the hdmi into the TV input and power connector thru an open usb port on the TV or wall plug using supplied adapter. This review is in regards to the WIDI function of the device. I do not have a Miracast smartphone so I can't test that part of the device's claim. My laptop is a Lenovo Ideapad Y580 that comes with a 3rd gen i7 intel processor and hd 4000 graphics built in. It also has a mobile Geforce 660m graphics card but WIDI is built to use intel graphics instead. Before using this device, I updated the intel widi software to the 3.5 version on my laptop. There is no firmware update for the netgear ptv3000.
Preformance: I have the PTV3000 plug into a usb port on my tv to power this device. The upside of this is that it powers on and off when the tv is on or off. The downside is that it takes time to boot so you would need to wait about a minute before it is ready. If it is plug in to the wall outlet, than it will always be on so no boot up necessary but it will be wasting electricity when not in use. When the device is ready, you start up intel WIDI software and it will or should detect the PTV3000. I then select the device and it will connect in about 10 to 20 second. The distance between the PTV3000 which is located behind the wall mounted TV is about 7 to 10 ft depending if i have the tv on the coffee table or the sofa arm rest. As far as the performance goes, there is a very short lag between the laptop vs. the tv screen. I would say less than a quarter of a second lag. I have a friend who has WIDI on an older laptop using a 2nd gen i5 with hd 3000 graphic and his lag is very bad. Intel has improved WIDI with version 3.5 down to 60 ms if using a 3rd gen. intel chip with hd 4000. My friends 2nd gen chip lag did improve with the 3.5 update and the lag from his laptop went from 1 sec difference to 3/4 second difference between tv and laptop. Intel have said that lag time is around 260 ms for 2nd gen chips. There are times when my connection for WIDI gets cut off and I would have to reconnect. This happens on average once every session. Once i reconnect again, usually I don't have any disconnect problems anymore afterwards and this is when I am watching a movie. Occasionally, artifacts will pop up and go just as quick. There are times when the picture freezes but don't disconnect and then "catches up" and work fine the rest of the time. It does get annoying when this happens and you do get the feeling that this is beta hardware where it doesn't work perfectly all the time when it should.
The current ideal setup for WIDI now is to use a 3rd Generation intel chip with HD 4000 Graphics. Intel has said that with WIDI 3.5 and intel HD 4000 graphics, you would get 60ms latency vs. 260ms for 2nd Gen intel hd 3000 graphics. It is a big difference. No you won't be able to enjoy fast games with widi but slow pace games like monopoly, chess, etc would be fine with widi. I watch movies with this setup and it works well most of the time. It seems to run better with windows 7 too. Windows 8 still has some issues for some people.
on January 12, 2013
Good news: It works flawlessly with Windows 8 and I will tell you how. It gets 5 stars for what is supposed to do (WiDi and Miracast).
Bad news: It doesn't work with Windows 8 out of the box and for that sole reason Netgear should face big financial penalty. It says no where on front of the box that it is not Windows 8 compatible (yet), nor it says when it is going to be. A lot of buyers would be fooled straight away and waste their money unless they know how to make it work.
OK here is the setup for WiDi on Windows 8. BTW it is strongly recommended to have 3rd gen Intel CPU (Ivy Bridge) due to WiDi 3.5 optimization. But even with that configuration there is a close to half a second lag, I think they claim it's 30mil but it feels more than that.
1) If your laptop came with WiDi installed, like new Sony VAIOs, here is what you need to do:
a) Grab new drivers/software from Intel's website for ProSet Wireless (you will see two, but pick bigger sized file), HD4000 Graphics and WiDi 3.5.4 or newer software (don't use OEM updating software like VAIO Care because it most likely doesn't have the recent versions rolled out yet).
b) Install them in any order you want. Restart after every installation.
c) Here is the catch: You laptop probably didn't come with WiDi widget installed so you would need to download it from Intel's website as well. On Intel's website it will say it's Windows 7 only but you need it to connect successfully via "add device" in control panel. Install the stupid widget and restart the computer.
d) EDIT: Official firmware 2.1.5 now available @ support.netgear.com/product/PTV3000 If you are still looking for beta firmware newest one is 2.2.6 (I am still using 2.2.4) You can google it it's quite easy, there is a productforum google group there with download links.
e) Hold side button on your PTV3000 for 7 seconds, it will restart and get into firmware update mode. Go to your laptop and in wireless networks find push2tv. Connect to it, fire up your internet browser, punch in 22.214.171.124 and you will get firmware update interface. Pretty self explanatory stuff. Once done PTV3000 will reset itself.
f) Go to your Control Panel > Devices and Printers > Add device. PTV3000 will show up as television set, click connect and you would be prompted to enter the code that shows up on your TV set.
g) G is for good to go :) Connect to your adapter via WiDi 3.5.4 software and that's it
h) Known issues with 2.2.4: If you do Display extension you will get strange noise lines, you can fix that by fiddling with resolution of second screen (your TV) change it from 1080p to 720p and back to 1080p and lines will be gone. My advice: Do not use your TV as screen extension, just duplicate the screen. Do not use WiDi widget to send applications to your TV cause this acts same as screen extension.
2)If you laptop didn't come with WiDi preinstalled (let's you did clean install):
a) Installation order of following is VERY IMPORTANT! So read carefully. Grab them all from Intel's website.
b) ProSet Wireless (you will see two, but pick bigger sized file)
c) HD4000 Graphics driver
d) WiDi 3.5.4
e) WiDi Widget
f) Install them in order above and reset after every completed installation.
g) Now refer to d) section on previous list and follow steps all the way through
a) Miracast should work if you followed above procedures
b) After 2.2.4 firmware update there is no need to hold side button for 2 seconds to switch between WiDi mode to Miracast mode. It's all on the same screen now.
c) You Miracast performance and availability to connect will vary from phone to phone
d) You need Android 4.2 no matter what
e) If you can't connect maybe you want to switch back to beta firmwares like 2.2.2 or 2.1.5
4) Wait for official firmware update on Netgear ([...]), it's coming soon
EDIT: NO NEED TO WAIT Official firmware 2.1.5 is available for download @ support.netgear.com/product/PTV3000
on November 14, 2013
Other than a poor, poor experience with firmware update instructions, this device works flawlessly with my new miracast capable Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. The set up for this small device is easy (HDMI out to HDMI in on TV and USB out to USB in on tv) and once it boots up (which you can see on your tv screen when you are tuned to the correct HDMI on your tv) then you use the Kindle Fire's Settings, Display and Sounds, Display Mirroring which causes it to search for the Push2TV and when it displays on the Kindle Fire, touch on it to cause it to connect to the Push2TV device. Then when you touch Home you will see the Kindle Fire's screen mirrored on the tv.
I put the device to the ultimate test by streaming a movie from Amazon's cloud to my Kindle Fire HDX with mirroring to the tv. Amazingly there is no latency in the mirroring...the picture and sound are perfectly synced and the picture is great! Other tests of displaying photos, playing music, playing Youtube videos provides a similar result. I am very pleased!
BUT, the firmware update which I performed a day later was not a good experience due to the poor instructions provided by Netgear. I ultimately called Netgear tech support and they quickly led me through the process for a successful firmware update which didn't change the performance of the Pust2TV device as far as I could tell (although some graphics were added to the tv screen that you see prior to connecting to your Kindle Fire).
Updated instructions for installing the firmware update on the Pust2TV device:
1. On a laptop (will not work doing this with the Kindle Fire HDX), go to the Netgear support site for downloads and find PTV3000. You will find the latest update is 2.4.26
2. Download it to the laptop and unzip it if necessary (you will later browse to find this downloaded file).
3. With the Pust2TV device fully hooked up (HDMI out to HDMI in on tv and USB out to USB in on tv) and booted up (takes a bit of time for this process before showing up on your tv which is tuned to the HDMI in on your tv, you are ready to proceed to the next step.
4. On the laptop, go to the wireless connections and look for Push2TV and have your laptop connect to it.
5. Go to the Push2TV device and press the button on the right hand side for 7 seconds to enter firmware update mode.
6. Once connected on the laptop, go to the browser and in the URL type 126.96.36.199 and click enter.
7. This takes you to a Netgear website for Settings. The second item down is Firmware Update. Next to a blank file is a browse button. Click on that and browse on your laptop to the downloaded file. Click on Open and the file will appear in the dialog box.
8. Click on Upload and you can watch the progress until the firmware update is complete. It returns the Push2TV device to normal mirror ready condition.
9. Now you pick up your Kindle Fire and go to Settings, Display and Sound, Display Mirroring...your HDX searches for Push2TV and when it appears on the HDX screen touch it to connect the HDX and the Push2TV.
10. Now you can return to your Home screen and the tv screen will mirror your Kindle Fire HDX screen.
on November 18, 2012
The package said I could display wirelessly from my WiDi laptop to my HDTV, movies, photos, websites, etc. The price was reasonable so I decided to give it a try for the convenience of not having to stretch out an HDMI cable from my laptop to my TV.
I downloaded and installed the latest version of the Intel WiDi software to make sure I had the most current support available. Setup on the PTV3000 was quite simple. Altough there is not an included HDMI cable, there is a plug in adapter and a USB cable. The adapter can be powered with the included adapter or a USB port such as on the back of the TV. Plugged in the adapter as described, set the TV input to match, started the WiDi software on my laptop and it found the adapter much like you are logging onto a wireless network for the first time. The connection happened seamlessly, although I had to open my Intel Graphics control panel to select between the available display options.
I selected and started the adapter to send the display to my TV and after a short delay the TV displayed what was on my laptop screen. The TV indicated it was receiving a 1080P input and the image displayed appeared to verify that. The color and contrast were a little off but that could be adjusted at the TV.
The first thing that I didn't like was the latency between the laptop and the TV - seems to be about a half second. That doesn't seem like alot of time, however milliseconds are noticeable. When trying to point with my mouse using the TV screen I found the pointer went way past the target and I had to fool around and zero in before I could click. This was very annoying just trying to navigate my desktop let alone a complex web page, it's almost useless for that. I tried streaming a HD movie from my WiFi connection. This works well when displayed on my laptop or laptop to TV via HDMI cable but really bad through the PTV3000. The latency makes it unusable with the audio out of sync, and the video being real jerky. Although the image quality was real good between the jerks, the other issues make it real bad.
My laptop is set up within 8ft of the PTV3000, and shows the max no of bars on signal strength so I don't think that signal strength is the problem.
Went to the NetGear Push2TV site for some support and found there is none, other than a download for the setup manual. That was the final criteria for me in determining that this device is really not good. It's going back as soon as I can pack it up and get in the car.
If you decide to try it because of the claimed features, or attractive price, you'd be wise to make your purchase at a retailer that has a liberal return policy, you may find like me that you'll be using that return policy real soon.
on January 27, 2014
I read a lot of the reviews on this product before buying. I opened the box, did NOT read the directions, did NOT update the software, hooked it up, and my Kindle 8.9 HDX recognized it right away. I selected mirroring and started a movie. The TV, a 4 year old Toshiba LCD started playing the movie immediately. Of course you do need to hook up the HDMI cable (I had one already). I didn't notice any lag or any other problems. I was approx 8 feet away from the device because that's where I sit when I watch the TV. I don't know if there's a distance limitation. It works and it seems pretty simple to me. It sure beats standing up by the TV with the old HDMI cable connection on the Kindle HD. For me, the 8.9 HDX is perfect for viewing movies when it's just me. BUT this device makes it nice because my granddaughter can sit in Pappaw's lap and we can pick a movie and watch it from the comfort of the recliner. If you buy an HDX, this device is a necessity.