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Invisible Monster Cables Still Cost $600

by June 16, 2008
This box must be bigger than it looks for all those inputs...

This box must be bigger than it looks for all those inputs...

Monster Cable announced that they will be releasing a wireless HDMI solution for the home theater enthusiast that wants everything… except wires.

The Monster Digital Express HD System involves two boxes, a transmitter and receiver, which utilize a UWB (ultra-wideband) signal to carry HDMI information and more. The UWB technology was developed by Monster partner Sigma Designs. Other manufacturers have experimented with UWB including Westinghouse and Philips. There is no data yet on exactly what bandwidth the Monster solution will support as of yet (presumably 1.65Gbps) though reportedly it works up to 30 feet away.

Knowing manufacturers as we do, that probably translates to about 10-15 usable feet in actual practice. The Monster Digital Express HD is scheduled to go on sale in October (which means we'll get a chance to see it at CEDIA).

One of the advantages of the $600 wireless HDMI solution is that it upscales any incoming signal to 1080p. Sigma Designs is, of course, handling the upconversion rather than outsource it to Anchor Bay or Faroudja.

If you have a run longer than 30 feet, the Monster Digital Express HD supports a coaxial solution which can be run reportedly 330 feet or more between the two boxes. Monster states that you can use your "existing" wiring for this. It is unclear what neighborhood specifically they are referencing for these "existing" coax runs.

The transmitter has two HDMI and component inputs, a composite/S-video input with audio, and single coax and TOSLink digital audio inputs. The receiver has HDMI and optical outputs. This really expands the functionality of the solution as it is more of a combination upconverter/scaler/switcher/wireless HDMI device. The box is controlled via IR which will make integrating it into an existing universal remote system a snap. Sigma Designs promises that you'll be able to stream 1080p wirelessly with no loss of resolution. If their upconversion protocols score well and the box correctly handles high definition audio, this may be one Monster device that is actually priced right.

amagiri posts on June 16, 2008 20:40
So this is the challenge for Monster: How do we increase our cable sales?

Answer: Tell everyone it is a wireless solution. Not only do you sell them the box, but you also force people to buy another cable for the connection.

Whereas, before you simply connected the reciever to the video monitor/projector with a single cable. You now get to connect the receiver to wireless box A with a cable, and then purchase a second cable to connect the video monitor/projector to wireless box B. Shear marketing genius!
Wayde Robson posts on June 16, 2008 15:55
Love the headline, Tom.

Invisible Monster Cable Still cost $600!
chuck10553 posts on June 16, 2008 13:55
GlocksRock, post: 423837
I think I will reserve my comments about Monster products for fear of being banned from the site.

i will agree with you there!
GlocksRock posts on June 16, 2008 13:23
I think I will reserve my comments about Monster products for fear of being banned from the site.
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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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