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Sick of Wires
Are you sick of wires ruining the sleek look of your home theater? I am, which is why I've tried pretty much every kind of wireless video transmission system that has come along - short of the super high end installation types, that is. All I want is a simple way to send a video picture from my Blu-ray player (or Satellite receiver, etc.) to my HDTV. I don't want to spend hours getting it to work and certainly don't want to be spending all my time keeping it working either. Oh - it has to do 1080p high-definition because otherwise what's the point? Any ideas out there?
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So okay I found one that looks like it's worth trying out. The GefenTV Wireless HDMI is a mouthful but it says everything that you need to know: that it works wirelessly and that it uses HDMI to transmit both video and audio from a transmitter to a receiver (or even multiple receivers if you're willing to pay for the additional receiver). It's designed for high-speed, high-definition transmissions so that means if it works you're watching up to 1080p video (with 24 frames a second power for watching films more correctly) accompanied by the same audio signal from the source player as if it was connected directly using an HDMI cable. Let's see how complicated this puppy is to get working.
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Both the transmitter and receiver stand vertically in a small base. I put the transmitter over by my amplifier and connect it's HDMI input to the amp's output so I can switch between the Blu-ray player and the Satellite HD receiver. I plug it in for power and then do the same to the receiver which I put next to my Samsung rear-projection HDTV. I plug an HDMI cable from the receiver's output to the Samsung's 2nd HDMI input and turn on both the transmitter and receiver. Since I'm not worrying about audio, it might be good to know that the GefenTV can transmit 5.1 multichannel sound, but it doesn't matter since I'm taking audio directly from the amplifier through my speakers.
Both units are glowing green for power and I toggle them to the Unicast mode for one transmitter and one receiver. I then turn everything on in the order noted by Gefen: first the video source (Blu-ray player in this case with Ghostbusters running on it), then the Samsung HDTV. About 20 seconds after the transmitter/receiver starts blinking, the picture pops up on the TV. It looks good.
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So I sit back and watch Ghostbusters for a while and nothing seems out of the ordinary. The picture looks as good as I'd expect it to if it had been hard wired instead of wireless. Now since Gefen is using wireless 802.11n I can understand why the video is able to handle HD. But I wonder about interference so I turn everything off and take the transmitter to the bedroom and hook it up directly to the Blu-ray player there (with Ghostbusters again being the BD disc playing). I turn everything back on go and back to the living room to find Ghostbusters playing again, and looking the same as it did a couple of minutes ago. Remember this is with a good 60+ feet of distance between the transmitter and receiver.
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Wireless HD Done Right
I'm pretty impressed by the GefenTV, especially by how it keeps its cool amidst all of the electronic "chatter" going on in my place. If it can keep the HD signal moving smoothly amidst my two wireless networks, cell phones and myriad of other RF sources, I would expect others will have the same consistent image as I did. Of course the price isn't cheap. I didn't expect it to be but short of that criteria it passes all the other requirements. The GefenTV Wireless HDMI is easy to set up and use and able to provide a consistent video signal through the airwaves. If you're looking to go the wireless route - make that wireless high-definition route - a serious look at the GefenTV is in order.
[Note: I just heard that Gefen will soon offer a 60GHz model with improved HDMI capabilities - being that this one was HDMI vs. 1.2 and the new one will be 1.3. No doubt it will be worth seeing - but all I can think of now is that maybe I can snag the model I returned for a low, low price...]
GefenTV Does Wireless HD Right
*Please note - the author received 'sent review unit to try out and then returned' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.