Nyrius WS54: Wireless HD for the Whole House

As more and more devices become wireless, it seems that it should be easier to connect together all the TVs in the house without the mess of cables. Truth is that it’s not as simple as it seems. The new Nyrius WS54 (MSRP: $170) makes it about as simple as it can be. Plus, it works in a challenging situation where many other systems have failed.

Okay, I’ll admit this: I still have cable in my home. There are some shows that I can only get on cable, and for simplicity, it still can’t be beat. However, I refuse to pay up for an additional receiver to watch TV in other rooms in my house. And therein lies the problem: how do I get the signal from the cable box in my home theater to other TVs throughout the house? Add to that issue the fact that my home is multiple levels and built out of solid reinforced concrete. So far, I’ve tried two other systems to get an HD signal to a TV set up in my kitchen/breakfast nook. Neither one came close to getting the signal there.

The Nyrius WS54 claims to transmit a 1080p 3D signal up to 60 feet through walls, ceilings and floors with zero latency, connecting on both ends via HDMI. It comes with one HDMI cable plus an IR extender. It can also be daisy-chained with other WS54 units to loop-through signals so you can stream to additional HDTVs throughout the house.

You can use a variety of sources for the input to the transmitter. It can be connected to a variety of sources: cable box, Apple TV, Roku, Blu-ray players, etc. It automatically adjusts the resolution. The transmitter box has a power adapter input, an HDMI input, and an HDMI output to loop-through to your wired TV. The receiver box has a power input and the HDMI output to your second TV. Both boxes have an input for the IR extender as well. A small LED is located on the top of both boxes to indicate connection and pairing status. Both boxes have a small button on the front to initiate pairing, although they come already paired together upon initial power-up.

Setting up the WS54 took just a minute or two, and an informative screen is displayed on the receiving TV to let you know if the units are paired or searching for a signal, and offers troubleshooting advice. As I mentioned, my particular situation is rather difficult for any of these types of wireless systems, and the WS54 wasn’t completely successful at first. When I initially set it up with the transmitter and receiver precisely where I would have prefered, it proved to be too far with too many floors and walls for the receiver to pair successfully. Moving the transmitter so that there was one less wall for it to go through solved the problem. I had a good clean signal, HD at that, along with sound and a working IR-controlled remote. I will be reviewing the Nyrius ARIES Pro next week to see if it will reach all the way without having to sacrifice optimal placement of the transmitter or receiver.

To further test its usefulness, I also used it to connect my laptop to the TV. I measured the distance between transmitter and receiver to be around 45 feet with very good line-of-sight. Sure, I could connect a laptop directly to the TV via HDMI cables, but being able to sit across the room and control the laptop has its advantages.

The Nyrius WS54 is a good, but not perfect solution for wireless connectivity. In many situations, it will be ideal and would work flawlessly. For truly problematic setups, it is challenged. If you know you’re in one of those challenging situations, give the WS54 a shot—but only if you’re sure you can return it if the distances or obstacles are too great. I’ll let you know if the Nyrius ARIES Pro is a better fit for my particular situation. Unless I’m the only one still using a cable box, it might be the same situation as yours.