Something in the Air: Wireless HDMI from Gefen, IOGear, and Vizio Page 4

Vizio XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video & Audio Kit ($230, vizio.com)

The Vizio XWH200 kit is undisputedly the slickest-looking of our three: both sender and receiver are slim, triangular blocks resembling nothing so much as oversized, jet-black rolls of Toblerone chocolates. With four HDMI inputs, Vizio’s is also the most adaptable of our candidates to a multi-source system without another HDMI-switching component.

Hookup is no more demanding than connecting the HDMI cables and power supplies (Vizio’s are nicely space-saving, narrow-profile wall adapters), at which point the sender and receiver auto-handshake and link up, assuming adequate signal. (The same was true of all three systems.)

Vizio includes a card-style remote with a four-way rocker labeled 1-4 (for direct access to the sender’s four inputs), plus a Power/Standby switch. You can also cycle through the inputs via a button subtly let into the sender’s top surface. Additionally — and uniquely in this group — Vizio’s system can select between two transmitters, by holding down its Input button, and subsequently toggling via a third key on the remote marked WiHD Source. (Just how this feature might prove useful is a bit puzzling, as the Vizio is unlikely to work inter-room.)

Within my room the Vizio wireless link was solid as long as a line-of-sight, or at least first-reflection path between sender and receiver remained unobstructed, with video remaining clean and free of glitches. When I stood stationary between sender and receiver, however, the picture would occasionally drop out and return, or, if I stood just so, drop out long-term. Conclusion: so as long as nobody parks his La-Z-Boy directly in the link path, I’d expect it to work fine.

Moving the Vizio sender down the hall to beyond the 30-foot mark (but still in direct line-of-sight) made no discernible change to things – and, a bit unexpectedly, neither did closing my studio door. However, with the door closed, when I stood in the signal path the picture quickly vanished and my TV reported “No Signal,” and continued to do so until a few seconds after I stepped out of the beam.

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