There's something to be said about streaming content from your PC on the TV. The question is how do you get that content from the PC - and now tablets and phones - to your TV. The latest option from Philips is the Soundbar CSS5123, an Android-powered surround sound speaker that lets you stream content from any DLNA-enabled device.
The soundbar is a single speaker, with companion wireless subwoofer, that provides virtual surround sound for a room. This is designed to replace the need for a 5.1 system, meaning five speakers plus a subwoofer, placed around the room to provide a single front, two side speakers and a rear speaker.
Philips built the CSS5123 as a slim speaker that's a good width to sit under a flat panel HDTV. The soundbar uses Android programming to connect wirelessly with devices such as an Android tablet or phone, and even a PC running Windows or Apple operating systems. Android streaming is possible for any DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance)-enabled device with the Philips app SimplyShare and Wi-Fi functionality.
SimplyShare is an Android app provided by Philips to connect Philips devices to the home network or other devices and share content. Each compatible device, such as the soundbar, comes with an activation code that unlocks the device to connect. In this case SimplyShare installed on an Android tablet or PC will use the unlock code to connect with the soundbar and stream content to the TV.
While it's a speaker, consumers aren't limited to streaming audio through the soundbar. Video content such as movies, television shows and videos are streamed through the CSS5123 to be viewed on TV. This is due to an integrated smart media player. Users can also hook up a portable hard drive or plug in a USB drive to play media files. The CSS5123 is compatible with TVs, Blu-ray disc and DVD players, gaming consoles and MP3 players.
The Philips CSS5123 [PDF] will be available in April for US$349.99.