The great thing about modern electronics is that they all connect to one another. Unfortunately, that’s also the bad thing about modern electronics, at least if you have to worry about cord control and limited inputs. This is particularly true with the latest round of game consoles and HDTVs/3DTVs, which have more horsepower than we’ve ever seen but require a separate connection for each individual component. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could transmit more things wirelessly? Like, say, your video signal, so your consoles could be hidden across the room and out of plain sight?
Now you can.
Vizio may be best known for bring flat-panel and HDTVs to the masses, but the company’s latest technology is even more impressive for its technical achievement alone. The Vizio XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video and Audio Kit transmits any HD signal — including full 1080p video — wirelessly across a room with up to 30 feet between the signal source and the TV itself. That’s awesome. Even more awesome? It flawlessly transmits a full 3D signal that same distance. And it does so on a 60 GHz interference-free frequency so WiFi devices won’t degrade the signal’s quality. Folks, that’s the definition of “innovation.”
Vizio solves so many problems with the XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video & Audio Kit that it’s almost not fair they charge less than $200 for it. The obvious problem it solves is unsightly cords dangling underneath the TV. Vizio’s kit is comprised of a six-inch-long receiver that plugs into the TV and can be wall-mounted, a transmitter with four HDMI inputs that can be placed anywhere within line-of-sight of the receiver, a remote control to select which of the four HDMI ports you want to feed to the TV, and two three-foot HDMI cables. Once setup, all you see underneath the TV is the receiver, which is really quite small. The other electronics — and their respective cords — can be stuck in a cabinet across the room and basically forgotten, eliminating clutter in a big way.
The second problem that the Vizio XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video and Audio Kit solves is reconciling the number of HDMI devices in your house with the number of HDMI inputs you actually have on your HDTV or 3DTV. Generally only one or two HDMI ports is easily accessible on the back of a set. Unfortunately, when you account for the Xbox 360, PS3, set-top satellite box and computer, you’ve likely maxed or exceeded the number of ports on the HDTV. With this handy little piece of hardware, though, you only really need one HDMI port, because the transmitter can handle up to four HDMI connections at once.
The third problem solved is one of power. As in, often you don’t have enough power outlets behind the TV to accommodate all those high-definition components ad the TV, so you have to bust out the fire-marshal-hates-you power strip. With the XWH200 Wireless HD Video & Audio Kit, you can plug in the TV and receiver on one end of the room while using outlets across the room for your consoles, Blu-ray players and other set-top boxes.
Ironically, Vizio’s new XWH200 Kit also introduces a potential problem for anyone with a surround-sound setup. By default, most HDMI-enabled devices like to transmit the audio and video signals via the same HDMI cord. If you’re running audio through the TV’s speakers, you’re golden. If, however, you have a 7.1 receiver, you won’t hear all the audio unless you adjust your console or set-top box to transmit the audio signal separately (and thus via separate cords). Also, the Vizio kit technically only supports 5.1 audio, which isn’t going to work for the highest-tech home-entertainment enthusiasts. In our testing we didn’t encounter any audio issues, because the PS3 is configured for our D-BOX setup to push audio through component cables and video through HDMI. Since we’d already split the audio and video signals, the XWH200 didn’t pose any issues. But our situation is unique, so you may find some obstacles in your own environment.
We tested the XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video and Audio Kitwith several fast-paced first-person shooters, a 3D-enabled game, four Blu-ray movies and two Blu-ray 3Ds. In each case, Vizio’s hardware transmitted the video signal flawlessly. Truth be told, had I not setup the equipment beforehand, I wouldn’t have known there was a difference in transmission medium. I expected some sort of lag or latency, maybe even an occasional loss of signal, but none of it happened. Amazing.
I’m not often wowed by technology, but this little kit from Vizio has officially bowled me over. I’d never seen wirelessly transmitted video, and to see the XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video & Audio Kit absolutely devour even a 3D signal was impressive. No matter what your room layout is like, this kit will make your organizational and cord-control issues vanish. The only potential snafu, again, could come for surround-sound enthusiasts, but we didn’t encounter any problems in our unique setup. If you’re looking for a way to literally clean-up your HD video act, or if you’re just looking for creative solutions to properly setup your viewing space, the Vizio XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video & Audio Kit should be the first product on your list.
Click the following link to check the pricing on Amazon: Vizio XWH200 Universal Wireless HD Video and Audio Kit.
Score: 9 — Transmitting HD video wirelessly is awesome enough, but the support of 3D signals is remarkable. The only potential hiccup is 5.1 audio, which wasn’t an issue in our unique case but may be for you depending on your configuration.