Cable and satellite set-top boxes have come a long way in recent years. Most come with built-in DVR services and display 1080P HD to on our hi-def TV’s. What hasn’t changed is the need to run cable from the outlet in the wall to the cable box and the need to run HDMI cables to the TV its self. Wireless HDMI transmitter receiver kits allow you to stream your HDMI cable signal wirelessly so you are no longer tied to the cable outlet in the wall for your TV placement.
So who are these for?
The products listed below allow you to stream 1080P HD video and audio signals wirelessly from your source (set-top box, blu-ray DVD, etc.) to an HD display (HD TV, projector, monitor) up to 100 feet away. There are few different reasons why you would want to do this do this:
- If you want to watch HD cable tv in a room that doesn’t have a cable outlet. Streaming HDMI wireless kits allow you to accomplish that by streaming a 1080P signal through walls and floors without the hassle of running or snaking cable and HDMI, drilling holes, etc.
- You want to hang your TV on the wall away from a cable outlet. Say you’ve reconfigured a room and your cable outlet is now in the dining area. A wireless HDMI kit allows you to transmit the signal from your new dining area to the TV hanging on the wall on the other side of the room.
- You want to cut cable costs. The cable companies charge anywhere from $10 – $18 a month per cable box. Say you have three or four cable boxes throughout the house, those costs can add up. Using a wireless kit you can stream the source in your living room to a TV in a den or bedroom eliminating the need for the extra box.
- You want to take your HD signal outside to a projector. Most of these products can transmit up to 100 feet through windows and doors making it possible to stream your signal outdoors.
- Stream multiple HD sources. Connect your Apple TV, Roku, or Blu-ray player to a TV in a different room. Most of these kits have multiple inputs allowing you to stream cable PLUS another HD sources.
So how do they work?
Without getting too technical there are several wireless streaming standards that wireless kit’s leverage. In my research I found that the most popular and widely used method is WHDI. It provides the best-uncompressed video quality and its range and signal strength is superior.
Portable Hi-fi review sums it up by saying:
“What WHDI gives customers is the convenience and the flexibility. 5GHz spectrum regulations are naturally superior for wireless transmission. The range under this WHDI wireless protocol is beyond 100 feet. Signal can easily penetrate brick walls. You can easily setup a whole wireless entertainment system without any worrying about the location of devices, whether it is for the source or the playback .
Any Wireless HDMI device with this protocol comes with near zero and neglectable latency, namely less than 1ms. WHDI also features feedback controls channel, so you can control the source device through its own remote or gaming paddle. These make it a perfect partner for a gaming console and any circumstance requiring harmony of separate screens.”
Are they easy to set-up?
Set up is extremely easy. I recently purchased the wireless HDMI transmitter
from Iogear and it is as simple as connecting the transmitter unit to my cable box and in my case Apple TV.
Then I connected the receiver to my HD TV mounted on the wall. I turned on the cable box and transmitter and within seconds my cable’s signal was being displayed on the TV.
Watch the Iogear Wireless Kit in action.
In conclusion, all of the featured products work well and have very similar technologies. The most common differentiating factor I found, and what you’ll want to keep in mind, relates to how many sources you are able to input into the transmitter for streaming.
For instance, if you only need to stream your cable signal you aren’t worried about how many inputs the transmitter has. But if you want to connect your cable, DVD player, and media player you’ll need more inputs.