Belkin Pure AV RemoteTV AV55000
The Short Form
|belkin.com / 800-223-5546 / $500 / transmitter and receiver, 4.375 x 8 x 7.5 in. each|
|•Component-video link for better picture •5-GHz band less prone to interference|
|•No progressive-scan or high-def component video •No digital audio|
|•Wireless delivery of video and audio •Source controllable from remote room •inputs/outputs composite/S-video and component video; stereo audio; IR relay|
An alternative is to use a wireless audio/video extender that transmits A/V signals through the air from a source component to a secondary TV while transmitting remote-control commands from the distant room back to the source. Here's where Belkin's AV55000 offers some twists. It's among the first to let you send component-video signals rather than lower-quality composite- or S-video (though not progressive-scan or high-definition signals). It's also among the first to operate in the relatively interference-free 5-GHz range.
SETUP AND OPERATION The package contains transmitter and receiver modules, power adapters for each, two sets of composite-video/stereo-audio cables, and a stick-on infrared (IR) emitter cable. I used my own component-video cables to connect a DVD player to the transmitter in the living room and the receiver module to the TV in the bedroom. The supplied stereo RCA cables were fine for the corresponding analog audio connections. (The AV55000 won't pass digital audio.)
I plugged the stingy 3-foot wire on the IR emitter into the transmitter and attached the sticky emitter near the IR sensor on my DVD player so I could control it from the bedroom. Setup complete, I started up the Superbit DVD of The Fifth Element. Green LEDs on both the transmitter and receiver indicated that the system was good to go.
PERFORMANCE The picture looked superb. There were no dropped frames, and the soundtrack played without glitches. I successfully tested the AV55000 at three locations measuring up to 100 feet apart. Belkin claims a maximum range of 350 feet, but only when the transmitter and receiver are in a direct line of sight.
When I pointed the DVD player's remote at the receiver module in the bedroom, it picked up my commands and dutifully sent them back to the player. I also successfully controlled a Sony VCR, a ReplayTV video recorder, a Motorola cable box, and an ADS Tech Media-Link receiver in the same way. But the system was incompatible with my Scientific-Atlanta (SA) Explorer 8300HD cable box, a glitch Belkin says has been fixed.
BOTTOM LINE The AV55000 is a breeze to set up and could pay for itself compared with the cost of leasing multiple cable boxes. Best of all, it works so well that your family and friends will be looking for the hidden wires.