Sony DMX-WL1 Wireless HDMI Link vs. Gefen EXT-WHDMI
Wireless HDMI could be the perfect fit for your custom Home Theater installation. Or it could be a serious compromise compared to hard wiring your HDMI cable. The latest wireless HDMI solutions, including Sony’s DMX-WL1 and the Gefen EXT-WHDMI, are pricey and not quite the panacea many would hope.
HDMI has gone a long way to divide the A/V industry. Sure, it’s nice to put audio and video through one cable and we can live with upgrading the spec every now and then, as long as it’s keeping up with in A/V bandwidth requirements and not to keep pace with some hell-spawned copy protection compliance. You’re not alone if that HDCP stuff creeps you out a little bit.
Wireless HDMI solutions have only been around a very short time. They seem like the perfect solution if you’re looking for a clean wall mounted flat panel setup and want to proudly exlaim:
“Look ma, no wires!”
Sadly, it looks as if they still have some work to do before wireless HDMI is worth the asking price for the average consumer. The folks at CNET have recently had a chance to review two similar competing devices in the wireless HDMI market: Sony’s DMX-WL1 Bravia Wireless Link and Gefen’s EXT-WHDMI.
Sony DMX-WL1 Bravia Wireless Link vs. Gefen EXT-WHDMI
Sony wins for longest name. That title sure is a mouthful! The device has enough names for two products. But Sony wants to carry the Bravia brand through to various peripheral devices. Both company’s devices consist of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is hooked up to any HDMI source and it’ll stream wirelessly to the receiver which is hooked up to the back of your HDTV.
The range is limited. Sony claims a 60 foot wireless range while its competitor (Gefen) gives its product a range of only 30 feet. Sony uses 5GHz wireless transmission developed by Amimon and not UWB (ultra-wideband) which is what the Gefen uses.
Another crucial difference between Bravia Wireless Link and Gefen’s EXT-WHDMI is that Sony claims up to a 1080i video resolution. Gefen states its HDMI wireless device can do up to 1080P/24. In this respect they’re probably dead even. Currently only a minority of sources and displays can even do 1080P/24.
According to CNET’s review it looks as both the Sony and Gefen solutions will provide excellent 1080i picture quality provided you get a good strong signal between the transmitter and the receiver. At worst you may experience break-up in your image and dropped video. If your wireless run is questionable or liable to have to compete with anything from wireless traffic to thick walls, you might want to ensure you have a good return policy before springing $800 bucks.
Overall when both wireless solutions were installed with a good signal they both produced very good 1080i video.
Both the Sony DMX-WL1 and Gefen EXT-WHDMI are priced about the same - $799.
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