Here Comes 4K
The way that people watch content — meaning television programs and movies — has changed greatly over the years. First you had to go to a movie theater or sit in front of the television to watch a show. And not when you wanted to watch it but when it was being made available and that was out of your control. So when videocassette recorders appeared, hoo-ha said the TV fans (plus movies then came out on cassettes as well). This was followed up by the DVD, which was followed up by Blu-ray and now 4K — in other words, a physical disc you had to play on a special disc player connected to the TV. But then along came streaming to change everything because the content could be accessed through the Internet and the ability to see what you wanted to see when you wanted to see it increased massively. And without the need for having tons of discs lying around.
Streaming showed that wireless transmission of content was a real thing, so why not extend that philosophy to being able to watch something on a TV that wasn’t directly connected to that streamer box (i.e., an Apple TV or Roku, etc.)? The problems were threefold: first there needed to be some kind of technology that the average consumer could use to do that streaming; second there needed to be the ability of that technology to handle the latest iteration of high-definition (4K); thirdly, it had to be affordable enough to make it worthwhile to get. All of this falls squarely on DVDO’s 4K capable Air 4K Uncompressed Wireless HDMI.
Here Comes 4K Wirelessly
The Air 4K streams 4K video from a video source to a video player, or to simplify it’s going from a cable box/satellite receiver, streamer box, etc. to a TV or monitor able to accept the signal. Of course audio has to be part of this all, and here we’re talking about Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA (and yes even 3D). But really what we need to talk about is what it is and what it does and how well it does it.
To start the Air 4K consists of two components: there is a transmitter which connected via HDMI to the video source. The example we’re using is an Apple TV 4K, but we’re also connected to a Dish Network satellite receiver via a 4K capable switching box. This bit of simplicity allows us to switch from the source to either be playing from the Apple TV or from the Dish receiver (which only does 1080i HD natively). So using the Apple TV means we can access 4K from Apple TV+ shows and Disney+ shows when we’re not interested in watching broadcast TV shows. And because of the configuration of the switcher, the output video/audio signal can either go to our kitchens’ TV which is next to the Apple TV and switcher and so the switcher goes via HDMI directly, or be transmitted wirelessly (streaming) to the much bigger TV in the living room.
Here Comes The Set Up for 4K Wirelessly
So let’s go into how we get that video signal to the living room. We start by plugging a HDMI cable out from the switcher’s output and into the Air 4K transmitter. While not directly line of sight, there are a few obstructions between where the transmitter is (next to the switcher) and where the receiver is located. It’s a distance of about 20+ feet and yes people will be walking between the transmitter and receiver if you aimed a direct line between the two. The receiver is on the cabinet next to the living room’s TV, with a HDMI cable going from it’s output into the TV’s input.
Now for the cool stuff. Both transmitter/receiver need to be plugged into a wall outlet for power (via a USB input), but there’s no buttons or tabs or apps needed to get them to “see” each other. Because they just do. There’s a small LED that glows from slow to fast to solid for each when they’re synced. You don’t have to resync because the two will always seek out the other automatically. So let’s say you decide not to leave the transmitter/receiver plugged in for power all the time or there’s an outage, doesn’t matter and all will be fine once they start back up again. So now it’s time to see how well it works and if the auto beaming tech that is supposed to keep the two devices “locked” into each other are up to snuff.
Watching 4K Wirelessly
The answer is that it works great — no problem or glitches or any crap in the image and if you didn’t know that the video/audio was coming in wirelessly you’d not assume that anything different was going on. It‘s worth noting that because this uses 60 Ghz even video games can be played across the either, and that also aids in avoiding interference from other wireless devices/network. It’s also worth noting that if you walk across the invisible “line” of the transmission most likely there could be a glitch, but it depends on how long you block the signal (also there does seem to be a bit of a buffer working that can help).
The Air 4K Uncompressed Wireless HDMI comes with all that’s needed and is quite easy to set up and use — we even tried “shooting” the signal out into the backyard which was over 60 feet clear line-of-sight and it worked fine. So for situations where needing a 4K video signal at the TV must be separated from the video source — well here you go. And if you go to the DVDO website, there’s support in a configuration tool for upgrades, signal strength indicators and advanced settings. For more details go to https://dvdo.com/collections/wireless-hdmi/products/4k- pro-wireless-hdmi-adapter