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Cables To Go TrueLink WirelessHD Kit Preview

Cables To Go TrueLink WirelessHD Kit

Cables To Go TrueLink WirelessHD Kit


  • Product Name: WirelessHD Kit
  • Manufacturer: Cables To Go
  • Review Date: May 09, 2010 17:00
  • MSRP: $499.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • WirelessHD® 1.0 certified
  • Meets Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) protocol
  • Compatible with other WiHD-enabled consumer electronics bearing the WiHD® logo
  • HDMI 1.3 compatible
  • FCC and CE approvals
  • 36 antenna array provides a strong wireless signal
  • Data transfer rates up to 4 Gbps
  • Supports true uncompressed 1080p @ 60 GHz resolution
  • Supports 7.1 channel surround sound
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 3.0lbs

Cables To Go is a company you may have seen around. They show up in many computer and big box stores with reasonably priced cabling and switching solutions. What you might not know is that they are the same people that put out the Impact Acoustics line of cables. Long time Audioholics readers will recognize Impact Acoustics as a company that has provided quality cabling with esoteric-ish aesthetics at very reasonable prices. We've long recommended their products as we've felt they've had a great cost-to-performance ratio. Now, they've released a new product - the TrueLink WirelessHD Kit.

As you are probably aware, the only term more "buzzy" than 3-D is probably "wireless." We see constant "wireless" products hitting the market - everything from subwoofers to rear speakers. One thing they often don't mention, however, is that the "wireless" only refers to a connection to your other home theater gear, not from a power source. Not so long ago, upconversion of any kind was pretty much unheard of. If you had sources with component, S-video, and composite video outputs, you had to run all three cable types to your display (unless you bought a top-of-the-line receiver). Then came HDMI and not only could we get high definition video over a single (instead of three like component) cable, we could also get audio. But that wasn't enough for people. Now they want that connectivity without a wire. Thus we have the advent of wireless HDMI. We'd bet there isn't a cable manufacturer out there that isn't at least thinking about inventing or licensing some sort of wireless HDMI technology. Cables To Go has adopted the WirelessHD standard with their new TrueLink kit. What is WirelessHD? Well, according to their website it's:

The WirelessHD wireless digital interface is the first and only global specification to combine uncompressed high-definition video, multi-channel audio, intelligent format and control data, and Hollywood approved standard content protection techniques. The WirelessHD specification has been architected and optimized for wireless display connectivity, achieving in its first generation implementation high-speed rates up to 4 Gbps at ten meters for the consumer electronics, personal computing and portable device products.

We don't often like consortiums. They generally lead to outcomes like the debacle that is the HDMI cable and spec. But in this case, we like what they are doing. The general idea is that it is a group of CE manufacturers (namely Broadcom, Intel, LG, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, LTD, SiBEAM, Sony and Toshiba) are defining and implementing a global standard for wireless HDMI transmission. That's quite a comprehensive list of companies and, as long as they focus on making the standard as universal and user friendly as possible, we are all for it.

The WirelessHD standard uses a 60GHz transmission frequency that can transmit 4 Gbps at 10 meters with a theoretical maximum at 25 Gbps. This is why you'll see this fist generation of WirelessHD products rated at 33 feet (10 meters) like the TrueLink WirelessHD Kit from Cables To Go. At this distance, you can get not only true 1080p video but also 7.1 audio. The TrueLink WirelessHD Kit is HDMI 1.3 compatible. While this doesn't preclude it from being 3-D capable, it will depend on how much data is required and the strength of your connection. You, of course, won't get some of the advanced functions of HDMI 1.4 including Audio Return Channel and Ethernet connectivity.


The TrueLink WirelessHD kit is plug and play with no setup or software required. There are power buttons on both the transmitter and the receiver so that if you decide to conserve power you can. We're not sure this will do much to reduce your carbon footprint, but whatever. There is an auto power function that automatically turns off the attached component when the transmitter is turned off. On each device there is a single HDMI connection. While we wish there would be more, it seems to be common amongst first generation devices. In the box you get not only the receiver and transmitter but also a pair of 1.2 meter HDMI cables, a remote, and a wall bracket for the receiver. While the obvious choice is to mount the receiver behind a wall mounted display, the directions on the Cables to Go website - oddly enough - suggest otherwise:

Although performance characteristics may exceed stated distance limitations depending upon the environment, we recommend, that per best practices, the transmitter and receiver should face each other within the same room, be located within 33 feet of each other, be placed at the same level (i.e. the transmitter should not be placed higher than the receiver), and be located in open spaces (i.e. not in a cabinet or enclosed shelf).

This is obviously legalese for, "Don't blame us if it doesn't work in your particular installation." The fact is that any wireless solution is going to be heavily dependent on placement and environmental factors. If you think you'll be able to place all your gear in your basement and still get reception in your bedroom (even if the direct path is within 10 meters), you're probably going to be disappointed. Barriers, sources of interference, and more all might reduce the usable effectiveness of these sorts of devices. Just make sure you buy from a business with a good return (i.e. no restocking fee) policy if you suspect you might run into a problem. This also means that in a more optimal installation you could exceed the 10 meter distance. It all depends on your setup.


The most ridiculous part of wireless HDMI solutions ends up being the price. While $500 may give some sticker shock, it is actually pretty competitive in this market for this type of solution. The fact is you could hire someone to run a wire for far less. This doesn't even begin to address the fact that you still have to run at least a power cable. And if you are doing that, how much harder is it to run an HDMI cable? Well, there are some applications where such a device is preferred and the fact is that you have a lot of flexibility with these sorts of solutions. If you are on the market for one, make sure you give the Cables to Go TrueLink WirelessHD Kit a look.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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