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Today's Show:
One issue many of us come across when setting up our home theaters is that the TV would look great in a particular spot in the room that is not necessarily the best spot for the source equipment. The dilemma is how do you get the video to the TV or projector. Gefen has you covered in this case. Their new wireless HDMI adapter will transmit HDMI audio and video up to 30 feet using Ultra-Wideband technology. But that is going to come at a cost. For that capability Gefen is selling the WDHDMI for $999. Still for some of you that cost is less than the cost of ripping up walls and running physical cables.

Gefen Wireless HDMI Adapter (EXT-WHDMI MSRP $999)

Features:
  • Real-time, visually lossless HD video compression
  • Two HDMI inputs and one Component Video / Analog Audio input
  • Support for Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound (No Dolby True HD or DTS MA support)
  • Fully HDMI and HDCP compliant
  • Supports HDMI 1.3 Lip Sync features for source devices
  • 2-ch Audio and PCM @ 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz supported as well as multichannel compressed 5.1 audio
  • IR Blaster and IR Receiver jacks
  • Input Selector Switch
  • Up to 30 feet line-of-sight wireless operation with 65 Mbps throughput
  • Frequency band range: 3.1 - 4.8 GHz
  • Resolutions: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p@24Hz, 25Hz, and 30Hz
Setup:
There are two devices the transmitter and receiver that measure 6" W x 2" H x 4" D. Connect the receiver to the TV/Projector/HDMI switching Receiver and power. You do the same with the transmitter. The transmitter allows you to connect two HDMI devices and one component device. The inputs need to be selected manually. There is a nice feature that if your source devices are not in the line of sight for your IR remote you can buy an optional IR Repeater that will relay the commands back to your source equipment. Once the transmitter and receiver were connected we applied power and were watching wirelessly transmitted HD via HDMI in seconds. There was no configuration. It was simply plug and play.

Performance:
We tested the device with the WD HD Media Player because it was small and easy to move around the house. The first test was 15 feet with a clean line of sight to the transmitter. The picture looked identical to a wired connection. There were no dropouts or other visual artifacts detected on the screen. The resolution setting was set to automatic. The WHDMI supports up to 1080p 24, 25, and 30 fps. It will not do 1080p 60. Next up was using the same source but moving it to a distance of 25 feet and behind one wall. This did not work. Gefen states that going through a wall will reduce the distance that the device will work. The longest distance we could achieve in the house without going through a wall is 20 feet. The device had no problems in this scenario. Gefen also states that people walking between the transmitter and receiver may interrupt performance. We saw this when we were at 20 feet. At 15 feet we did not experience any interference when walking between the transmitter and receiver. They recommend placing the transmitter as high as you can to avoid interference.

Next up was to connect the new Oppo Blu Ray player (more on the Oppo in a future Podcast) and try it out. Again we selected auto on the resolution which resulted in a 1080i signal being sent to the TV. The picture looked good and the sound was clear, albeit Dolby Digital instead or Dolby True HD. We watched the Dolby Demo Disc and were bummed that the device does not support Dolby True HD but it is clearly stated that the Wirless HDMI adapter only supports 5.1 audio. We toggled between both inputs with no issues. It would be nice if there was a remote for the input switch however.

Conclusion:
The Gefen Wireless Adapter is simple way to connect your HDMI source equipment with your TV or projector. The product does exactly what Gefen says it does. At $999 it is not for everyone but for some it will save the headache of ripping up walls to run HDMI cable.




Posted by The HT Guys, March 24, 2009 12:24 AM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.