At CES 2008, we got out first promises of wireless HD technology. At CES 2009 and again in 2010, more wireless HD prototypes were shown, but it was clear that the pieces were still in the concept phase and not likely to be hitting store shelves any time soon. Today, the technology itself still needs finessing; many require a line of sight between the transmitter and receiver and most use some sort of compression that adversely affects video quality. We were beginning to think that wireless HD would never come around.
Enter the Wireless HD Kit from IOGEAR. This piece not only promises a wireless range of up to 100 feet that requires no line of sight, but touts full 1080P/60 Hz video resolution. Armed with a wide range of inputs and capable of supporting multiple receivers, the Wireless HD Kit may just be the first truly useful wireless high definition system out there. We gave IOGEAR’s kit a spin, tested its various functions and pondered the possibilities.
Out of the Box
The IOGEAER Wireless HD Kit comes tightly packaged in a very small box. Inside, we found a very slim receiver and an identically sized transmitter, two power adapters, a business card sized remote control, two stands, an IR blaster, component to VGA cable and an instruction manual. Each of the receivers is gloss black and, when set in their stands, look just like a wireless internet router without any antennae. The display is blacked out with just a few backlit indicators that glow blue when the unit is powered up.
IOGEAR’s Wireless HD Kit is able to accept several different input types. The transmitter will accept two HDMI, one component video, one composite video, analog audio from either stereo RCA connectors or a 1/8” headphone jack. With so many options, you could conceivably connect a High Def DVR, Blu-Ray or DVD player, VCR and computer all at once.
The Wireless HD Kit transmitter will beam a signal up to four receivers within approximately 100 feet via 802.11 n wireless signal (similar to an internet router). Using the provided remote control, you can switch amongst different inputs to view any device that is connected to the transmitter. To control that device, an IR blaster is provided with each receiver that relays your device’s remote control signal to wherever the equipment is located.
The Wireless HD Kit is capable of handling up 1080p video at 60hz and up to 5.1 digital audio which, to the best of our knowledge, is the most advanced wireless audio/video technology available at the moment. To keep up to date, IOGEAR has installed a USB connection to enable firmware updates. They’ve also added a LAN connection that allows a transmitter and receiver to be connected via Ethernet cable. This would come in handy for those with installations that have equipment placed outside of the transmitter’s 100 ft. range.