How Can I Create a Stealth Setup for Playing Discs on 2 Wall-Mounted TVs?

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Q I am planning to buy two TVs, a 65-inch LG OLED and a 49-inch Samsung LCD, both of which will be wall-mounted. I also want the option to play Blu-ray discs and DVDs with both TVs. My initial plan was to buy disc players and hide them behind the wall-mounted sets, but I can’t find a player with a vertical orientation. My goal is to see nothing but the TV on the wall. The one option I’m contemplating at this point is sticking a PlayStation 3 Super Slim game console behind the TV. Do you have any other suggestions? —Steve Knot, via email

A do have another suggestion. While you can still probably find a now-discontinued PS3 Super Slim online, when configured vertically, the Sony game console’s 2.5-inch depth will cause your TV to jut out prominently from the wall — perhaps not the elegant installation plan you had in mind. And since the Sony PS3 Super Slim needs to be plugged in, you will also have to deal with concealing a second power cord. Lastly, reports I’ve read of Sony’s slim console state that it has a somewhat cheesy pull-out disc tray as opposed to a slot-loading drive, a limitation that will likely further reduce the elegance of your installation.

A far better option would be use a Wireless HDMI kit like IOGear’s GW3DHDKIT, a model that Sound & Vision reviewed in 2012 and one that remains current in the company’s product line. The IOGear kit relies on WHDI 5GHz, a protocol that offers the advantages of long-distance and an ability to transmit signals between walls and doors without loss. The GW3DHDKIT consists of a transmitter unit that you plug your player into, along with a compact receiver unit that plugs into an HDMI input on your TV. But the most important feature for your purposes is a USB power option that lets the receiver unit draw power from a USB port on the TV, as opposed to running a cord to an AC wall socket. The GW3DHDKIT also provides HDMI loop-through to connect to an AV receiver for audio, and it can send remote codes over the wireless link, letting you control your Blu-ray player by pointing the remote at the TV’s screen.

Unfortunately, Wireless HDMI kits like the IoGear can only send wireless signals to one TV at a time. However, the price for the GW3DHDKIT has dropped substantially since we initially reviewed It — from $349 to $200 through various online retailers — so buying two units will now put a less significant dent in your wallet. Another option: IoGear sells a pricier pro version, the GWHDMS52MB, that supports transmission to up to four wireless receivers. MSRP is $700, though you can find it online for less.

Tip's picture

In your reply to Steve Knot's question concerning how he can create a stealth setup playing discs at the same time on two wall-mounted TVs, you mentioned buying two units of IOGear’s GW3DHDKIT. I believe you meant he should buy one unit. Two GW3DHDKIT units are not needed for his application. In addition, two units will interfere with each other (IOGear states so on its website and I have tried it myself.) I am using a GW3DHDKIT (1msec delay) for two TVs that are within hearing distance of each other, and an IOGear GWMHDKIT22 (200msec delay) transmitter connected to the output of the GW3DHDKIT transmitter with two GWMHDKIT22 receivers for TVs that are not within hearing difference.
Best Regards,
Tip Johnson