Who Needs Those A/V Cables?
Home theater used to mean lots of A/V (audio-video) cables put into place by professionals who charged a lot for their time as well as those cables. Now that big TVs and front projectors and streaming devices proliferate, who needs cables? But lost in this rush for everyone to become their own home theater professional is that sometimes a cable is the only answer, for example let’s say you have a front projector sitting on a table in the living room (because you don’t want the hassle of overhead mounting), but your HT setup (amplifier, Blu-ray player, etc.) is at the other end where the screen is. The simplest way to get a video cable from that end over to the projector is to use a video cable (HDMI). Which means running it across the floor where someone could trip over when it’s dark and the projector is in use. Or what about having one streaming device, let’s say an Apple TV that’s wired to a TV in the dining room. But you also have a TV out on the patio in the backyard so does that mean getting another Apple TV? See — short of moving the Apple TV from one place to the other, including the cables that will now need connecting, you’d have to consider running an A/V cable from it to that other TV. More cables, no! The solution is to be able to wirelessly transmit video and audio from that home theater to the projector, or from that Apple TV to whatever TV you’d want. And with minimal effort on your end that can be done quick. Therefore you’re going to be using DVDO’s Air 2K Wireless Extender Kit.
Just What Is Air 2K
The Air 2K is going to handle this with a high efficiency because it’s made by A/V professionals, not cheap-o’s looking to make a fast buck by promising what they can’t deliver. To start, the best way to transmit a video/audio signal is going to be using a wireless transmission. Sure that’s in the same neighborhood as your home network, but it doesn’t touch it because it’s a different waveband. The Air 2K is also self contained so as long as you can power it with electricity, it doesn’t care if your home network goes out..
So there’s a sender and a receiver (probably better “professional” names but who cares) and they both look remarkably the same and are about the size of a thickish paper book (aprox). As seems reasonable, the sender will be where the video source is and the receiver by the TV. In the case of the sender, power comes from a USB port that is found on TVs, etc. There’s also an HDMI input for taking a HDMI cable that is outputting from the video source. Got that? Good. The receiver meanwhile is setup up in a similar fashion, with the exception that its HDMI port is an output so you connect a HDMI cable to it and then that goes into the TV, etc. Notice there’s no talk of doing some kind of “pairing” work or having to flip certain toggles or switches on either — they’re created expecting to find the other there and so will work right away.
What They Do and How They Do It
Now before we turn them on, a quick note that the Air 2K is designed to handle Full HD, which is to say 1080p high-definition (there’s a 4K version but that’s not this). So the video going in to be wirelessly transmitted can be up to 1080p. Also to note, although it’s far from the importance it once was, 3D is also transmitted so those with a 3D TV (or projector that can play same) are not left out. Meanwhile audio is not to be ignored either because the Air 2K will transmit both 5.1 and 7.1 (being 5.1 Channel up to 192kHz and 7.1 PCM/up to 192 kHz & DTS-HD Master Audio up to 96 kHz).
So the HDMI cable plugged into the Apple TV is removed and a new HDMI cable already connected to the sender is plugged in (power also is connected). The receiver’s HDMI output cable is plugged into the TV which is more than 50 feet away on the patio and there’s a line-of-sight between the two and no blocking walls. The sender is powered on and the TV’s input set to its HDMI connection. We turn on the Apple TV and walk the distance over to the backyard TV and yep there’s the Apple TV splash screen on the TV. And yes we can initiate moving around and picking Netflix and pulling up The Umbrella Factory and then going to that great shot (spoiler) of the Moon being destroyed. Looks good as far as color and contrast and for sure the sound is there in stereo. But more importantly there isn’t any “lag” where what’s being seen isn’t syncing with the audio. DVDO says the Air 2K could handle up to 100 feet, so we guess the 60 was no big deal.
It's Not Just TVs
Now the receiver is removed from the TV and connected to the front projector. The sender is removed from the Apple TV and connected to the A/V amplifier at the other end of the room, and the cable connecting amplifier to projector that has been running across the floor is removed. The distance between the two is aprox. 24 feet and playing through the Blu-ray player shows a splendid image on the 100 foot screen — the wireless transmission is obviously fine. And when trying a video game (Playstation 4) there's no lag time to muck things up -- just keep people from standing right in front of the transmitter all the time because the human body can muck things up.
The Air 2K Wireless Transmission Kit comes with a configuration tool to allow for software updates and has a signal strength indicator to provide direction for the best placement of the units for their connecting to each other. Further details can be found at https://dvdo.com/collections/wireless-hdmi/products/2k-wireless-hdmi-adapter