Brite-View BV-2500 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver KitsManufacturer: Zinwell
List Price: $316.99
brite-View Air HD Review
A few weeks ago water damage in Braden’s home forced him to remove the ceiling in his family room. He took advantage of this “opportunity” to run some new cables to allow for the installation of a front projector. Of course, one of the necessary cables in that endeavor was HDMI. But not everyone wants to rip out their ceiling to run HDMI.
Even with the ceiling torn out, it was a challenge to get the cables run through all the joists and studs. Making sure they made it from the right location at the source to the correct location for the projector was quite an ordeal. A wireless solution would have been easier for sure. We have been talking about the promise of wireless HD for a while, but it hasn’t quite materialized yet.
Looking around, however, you may come across the brite-View Air HD. The first thing you’ll notice is that prices are dropping. It has an MSRP of $399 US, but it is on sale right now for only $279.99. The last wireless HD solution we tried, the Gefen Wireless HDMI Adapter, was selling for $999 at the time. We had decent success with the Gefen unit, but our hopes were high for the brite-View.
Setting up the Air HD is trivial. You plug your source equipment into the transmitter, plug your display device in the receiver, and you’re done. The two units find each other automatically, link up and work with minimal intervention. You can transmit IR over the same link using the included IR sensor plugged into the receiver and IR blasters plugged into the transmitter.
According to the brite-View website, the unit supports:
We tested using Blu-ray, HD-DVD and HDTV. With a good signal, the video quality was perfect. We couldn’t tell the difference between the HDMI cable and the Air HD. That said, we couldn’t get a good signal at 65 feet. At that distance, even with Line of Sight, there was some noise in the picture and some strange audio artifacts.
At first, the picture was pretty rough even at 50 feet, but the Air HD allows you to switch channels in case other equipment in your home is causing interference. After switching the channel we were able to get perfect transmission at around 50 feet with Line of Sight and 27ish feet without. In addition, IR commands were transferred instantly. There was no perceptible delay with button presses.
At $999 a wireless HDMI unit would need to blow you away to make it worth it, but at $279, it enters the realm of possibility for many more of us. A 50 foot HDMI cable will set you back about $15, to upgrade to an in-wall rated cable will cost closer to $30. At that point it really depends on how much wall damage and repair work you have to do to exceed the total $279 cost.
Keep in mind that the Air HD only supports up to 24 frames per second in 1080p. That means it won’t allow you to run 1080p/60 from a Blu-ray disc and won’t support the 120 fps you’d need to get 3D. If your primary use for the projector is TV, since the ATSC spec only goes up to 1080i/60 and 1080p/30, you won’t miss a thing. If you want support for the latest and greatest Blu-ray has to offer, you may want to go with a fixed cable solution, even if it’s a bit more expensive and less convenient.
There are so many more uses for the Air HD than just front projectors. It’ll work really well for backyard and outdoor theaters. You could use it to stream TV to a room in the house that doesn’t have Coax, like a bathroom, workshop or garage. If you have a TV that’s constantly moving based on what’s happening at home, you’d only ever need to plug it into the wall to get great quality HDTV on it.
At $279 we’ll leave it up to your imagination to decide the best use for it, but in our tests it worked really well. We didn’t get it to live up exactly to the full advertised specs, but when the signal was solid, the audio and video were solid and it was a cinch to get setup.
Posted by The HT Guys, May 27, 2010 11:11 PM
About The HT GuysThe 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.