Every once in a while I hear from readers who share a common problem: they would like to place their A/V components on one side of their rooms while positioning their HDTVs or HD projectors on another—and without stringing signal cables all the way across the room in order to do so. Where once this might have seemed like one of those “you can’t get there from here” dilemmas, now there’s a simple, easy-to-use solution in the form of IOGEAR’s new AVIOR-Series Wireless HD Kit.
What’s In the Box?
The AVIOR-Series Wireless HD Kit consists of the following elements:
- A wall-mountable, roughly paperback book-sized Wireless HD Transmitter, which comes with a clip-on tabletop stand.
- A similarly sized, wall-mountable Wireless HD Receiver that is also provided with a tabletop stand.
- A pair of wall-wart-type power adapters for the transmitter and receiver.
- A component-to-VGA adapter cable.
- An IR Blast cable.
- A remote control.
- An installation guide and other documentation.
There are actually a number of different real-world applications where IOGEAR’s Wireless HD Kit could be a good fit, and we’ll discuss some of them in a moment. For now, however, let’s begin by noting that the kit is primarily designed to work in scenarios where users would connect their A/V source components to the transmitter module, and then use the transmitter to send wireless A/V signals (at up to 1080p resolution levels) to the receiver module, which would be connected to a TV or projector that could be located up to 100 feet away from the transmitter. One important point to grasp is that, in this scenario, the transmitter not only provides wireless data transmission capabilities, but also functions as a versatile source component switcher or selector.
To this end, the transmitter is set up with IR Blast capabilities (and a matching IR Blast cable fitted with three IR repeaters). Using IR blast, homeowners could place their A/V source components out of sight (in a cabinet or the like), and route IR control signals from their source component remote controls through the IOGEAR transmitter module (which essentially acts as an IR repeater).
The transmitter and receiver are set up so that they can use two possible WiFi channels for communications: "WiFi Channel 1" (WiFi channel 38, 5.19 GHz) or "WiFi Channel 2" (WiFi channel 46, 5.23 GHz). Alternatively, the kit also makes provisions for the transmitter and receiver to be plugged into hard-wired LAN connections via RJ-45 jacks. The receiver module also includes a USB port for possible future firmware updates.
How versatile is the system? Well, the transmitter module provides a plethora of inputs, including: two HDMI inputs, one VGA/component video input, one composite video input, and two stereo analog audio inputs (one via a pair of RCA jacks, the other via a 3.5mm mini-jack). Conceivably, this mean you might connect a Blu-ray/universal player to the transmitter via HDMI, connect a PC/media server via the VGA/PC-type analog audio inputs, and an old-school legacy VCR via the composite video/RCA analog audio inputs. Then, you would use the IOGEAR remote control to choose which source component you want to use at any given moment. It’s a neat solution, no?
The receiver, in turn, provides a similar though not identical set of outputs (outputs geared to address real-world TV/projector requirements): one HDMI, one component (YPbPr) video output, one composite video output, and two stereo analog audio outputs (RCA jacks, and a 3.5mm mini-jack).
A number of application scenarios can be supported by the IOGEAR kit, two of which I’ll mention here (though there are many, many more to consider).
One possibility might be to connect A/V source components to an AVR or A/V controller (as in a conventional home theater system), but then to use the IOGEAR kit to provide Wireless HD connections to a remote TV or projector.
Another possibility might be to have a conventional hardwired home theater system in one space, but to use the IOGEAR kit to provide wireless HD connections to one or more adjoining zones. According to IOGEAR, one Wireless HD Transmitter module can broadcast to as many as four Wireless HD Receiver modules (sold separately), which makes this a useful solution for some multi-zone applications.
How Well Does It Work?
At this stage I’ve only had an opportunity to conduct rudimentary tests, and results have thus far been positive. The IOGEAR manual provides blessedly straightforward, step-by-step setup instructions that I’ve outlined below, along with practical hints I picked up while doing my initial product tests.
- Start out with components turned off. (Hint: This point is really essential, so remember to power down before you start).
- Connect your A/V source components to the Wireless HD Transmitter.
- Connect the IR Blast cable to the Wireless HD Transmitter and to your A/V source components, you want to use the IR Blast function. (Hint: the IOGEAR installation guide makes this step sound mandatory, but it’s really .).
- Connect your TV or projector to the Wireless HD Receiver.
- Power up the Wireless HD Transmitter and Receiver. (Very Important Hint: it appears that, under some circumstances, the kit can be sensitive to the in which the Transmitter and Receiver are powered up. IOGEAR technical support advises that, when in doubt, you should .).
- Power up the TV or projector.
- Wait for the various Power/Link LEDs on the Transmitter and Receiver to stop blinking. When the blinking stops and the Power/Link LEDs stay on, the Transmitter and Receiver are “paired” and ready for use. Once this happens, you’ll see an IOGEAR startup screen on your display screen.
- Using the IOGEAR remote control, select the Transmitter input and Receiver output you wish to use. (Very Important Hint: IOGEAR allows you to set the Transmitter’s audio and video inputs so it pays to verify that your inputs are set up properly.).
- Finally, turn on the source component(s) and play A/V material as you wish.
For our initial tests I ran the HDMI outputs of our reference Oppo BDP-83 SE Blu-ray player through the IOGEAR Wireless HD Kit, which in turn was connected to a JVC HDTV.
Setup ran almost flawlessly, though I did encounter one very minor snag that was quickly resolved by IOGEAR’s excellent Technical Support team (hence my hint, above, regarding powering up the Transmitter module powering up the Receiver module).
In a matter of minutes, I was sending wireless HD video and audio from the Oppo via the kit to the display. The result: I could discern no quality differences at all between the IOGEAR’s wireless HD connections and the direct, hard-wired HDMI cable connections I normally use, which is exactly the result I was hoping to achieve.
While I’ve not yet had the opportunity to test all of its operating modes, IOGEAR’s Wireless HD Kit has thus far proven to be easy to set up and has performed exactly as advertized, offering a useful, high-performance solution for homeowners who desire wireless HD connections between their source components and TVs or projectors.
The kit’s price may at first seem a bit steep, but the convenience and ease of use it provides may prove priceless—especially for users who dislike the otherwise complicated A/V wiring schemes their systems might require.
IOGEAR AVIOR-Series Wireless HD Kit
Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA/Component video, 1 x Composite video, 2 x Analog Audio (via stereo RCA jacks and 3.5mm mini-jack).
Outputs: 1 x HDMI, 1 x Component video, 1 x Composite video, 2 x Analog Audio (via Stereo RCA jacks and a 3.5mm mini-jack)
--HDMI: Up to 1080p60Hz
--Component: up to 1080i60Hz
--VGA: Up to 1920x [email protected]
--Composite: up to 480p
Digital Audio (pass through):
--16-bit 2-Channel, liner PC (44.1kHz & 48kHz)
Communications Channels: LAN, "WiFi Channel 1" (WiFi channel 38, 5.19 GHz) or "WiFi Channel " (WiFi channel 46, 5.23 GHz)
Remote control functions: Power on/standby, Info (display system connectivity settings), Receiver Video Output Select (HDMI, Component, or AV), Transmitter Video Input Select (HDMI1, HDMI2, PC, AV), Transmitter Audio Input Select (HDMI1, HDMI2, PC, AV), and Communications Channel Select (LAN, WiFi Ch1, WiFi Ch2).
Warranty: 1 year, parts and labor