Something in the Air: Wireless HDMI from Gefen, IOGear, and Vizio Page 3
IOGear Wireless 3D Digital Kit ($349, iogear.com)
IOGear’s solution includes a sender with two HDMI inputs, selectable via its supplied remote’s Source key, or via an equivalent button on the sender’s top. The link also incorporates several clever features unique to IOGear’s design.
First, the sender includes a loop-through HDMI output, permitting you to daisy-chain your HDMI signal to a display local to the source component(s), even as you’re using the receiver to feed the same signal to a distant set — and this remains “live” even when the wireless system is off, or unlinked. Brilliant!
Second, there’s an IR output port on the sender that accepts a supplied, three-blinker stick-on IR repeater; the IR “eye” is on the front of the IOGear receiver. Together, these will relay remote codes from any compatible remote (and with three selectable IR bands, this should cover nearly all of them) over the wireless link. This dramatically enhances utility in a remote-area or even remote-room setup, even with source components (like most HD cable box/DVRs), that do not include CEC remote-over-HDMI protocol. Third (and likely to be most beloved of installers and decorators), the receiver has a mini-USB power jack, which means that power can be supplied from any USB port – many recent TVs have one or two – obviating the need for that unsightly wall-wart and its attendant dangling cables. And finally, IOGear’s link includes simple but useful on-screen icons denoting link status, strength, and the selected HDMI input.
Performance-wise, the IOGear system aced the line-of-sight test to the limits of my room and hallway geometry, or about 45 feet. Even more impressive, it played just fine, glitch and drop-out-free, with the studio door (a conventional wood interior door) shut tight – the only one of our three units that could do so. What’s more, it even worked broadcasting through a window and an exterior wall to an upstairs bedroom, although in this case the link was fragile and subject to blocking and dropping out.