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DVDO Air3C and Air3C-Pro: Wireless HDMI made simple and stable

The funny thing about wireless HDMI solutions is that you don’t really think you need them, until you do. Perhaps you move to a new home and discover that there’s no way to elegantly run wires between your electronics and TV, or maybe you score a fancy new projector only to realize that running a long HDMI cable is going to involve all sorts of headaches you hadn’t anticipated. Suddenly, wireless HDMI promises to be your savior.

So you set about doing a little research and find out that wireless HDMI devices aren’t all that easy to come by, and that those you do come across are often made by brands you haven’t heard of — not exactly encouraging considering how crucial this component has suddenly become.

We’re right there with you. Most of the wireless HDMI tech we’ve tried came baked right into a projector, or was based off of Intel’s Wi-Di technology, which is really useful only for laptops and PC’s, and not widely supported by TVs. So when DVDO offered us a chance to check out its Air3C and Air3C-Pro devices, we gladly agreed. We were familiar with DVDO’s name having visited with the company at trade shows, and they seemed pretty confident in their new technology.

In the end, we wound up glad we pulled these devices in. Over the course of several months now we’ve used the Air3C-Pro in a number of evaluations involving over 7 TVs, three A/V receivers and five Blu-ray players. Having put the devices through their paces (and then some) we’ve come out pleased at how reliable and stable they are.

The Air3C (available for $140 at Amazon) and Air3C-Pro ($238 at Amazon) are essentially the same device, however the Pro model offers custom installers some software-based tricks that allow them to use several systems in a single home, and program them to work exactly the way they want. For most consumers, the standard Air3C will be the way to go.

The Air3C works on the 60GHz band, which means your signal won’t get fouled up by interference in your home — even your dreaded microwave (which wreaks havoc on all kinds of wireless devices such as cordless phone and Wi-Fi routers). The signal is extremely low latency, which makes it ideal for gaming, and it carries the full bandwidth of an HDMI 1.4a signal, which means uncompressed 1080p HD video and HD 7.1 audio from Dolby and DTS.

The catch is, you’ll need line of sight for the Air3C to work properly. Don’t expect to bury the transmitter in a closet or put it in another room through walls and expect it to work. However, if you simply need to get a signal from point A to point B within the same room, DVDO’s solution is likely your best bet.