Posted on April 8, 2014 By Art Feierman
The DVDO Air3 – a wireless HDMI device using the WiHD standard consists of a transmitter and receiver using RF technology. Pleasantly, it works as we expected. The Air3 has been here for a couple of months and change. I’m just a bit late in writing things up for you. Projector reviews take first priority, much to the chagrin of the various manufacturers of accessories we occasionally review. This is a 60Ghz frequency range product, far from the frequencies used for Wifi.
I am a fan of wireless HDMI. I’m primarily focused in the lossless variety for use for home theater. There are two primary systems in competition that are lossless, this one being WiHD. (Another is WHDI.) We’ve reviewed devices from each, over the last 3-5 years. Ultimately, the Air3 works as advertised. It’s a simple device. You plug an HDMI source into the transmitter and retrieve it from the receiver, plugged into your display. We’ll discuss the hardware, what’s in the box, 3D, usable range, MHL and more.
The DVDO Air3 comes well packed with just about everything you can think of for placing these two Air3 pieces – the transmitter and receiver, where then need to go.
The box itself is rather large. Inside there’s a short manual, but at least it’s of large size, not those typical 2×2 inch folds out into large page, tiny type manuals that show up with so many products these days.
Open the box and everything is tightly packed in. You can see in the image above, the two DVDO pieces, both partially tucked under the styrofoam like material. Remove that layer and there’s a whole lot of additional goodies in the box. You can see them all laid out in one of the images below. We’ll take a closer look shortly.
Ultimately there’s a transmitter that you place by your sources and a receiver to plug into your display, into an HDMI input.
The hardware supports HDMI 1.4, including support CEC for controlling HDMI devices. That might allow a projector’s remote (if it supports HDMI-link – CEC), to also control a compatible Blu-ray player or other devices, perhaps even an AV receiver.
With HDMI 1.4 support that means that the Air3 also can support Blu-ray 3D (as well as other 3D standards). Officially the Air3 supports up to 1080p/60. But that includes frame packing used by Blu-ray 3D.
DVDO did a good job of providing for a variety of installation situations. The big “ice scraper” looking pieces are for wall or ceiling mounting the transmitter and or the receiver. When you don’t need the whole piece, each can have the excess removed. They both have two screw holes for mounting.
The DVDO transmitter and the receiver also have screw holes passing through them for mounting. The adhesive material will let you stick the pieces directly to perhaps the back of an LCD display, or a projector, or a receiver… Two HDMI cables are included. They are relatively short – after all, the devices should be right next to your sources and right next to the display device. Four screws are provided (hard to see in the picture) – in a mini-zip lock below the left side of the stickies.
I like that both power supplies look different and have different connectors. That helps prevent the disaster of using the wrong power supply with the transmitter or receiver.
Above are the backs of the transmitter (first image) and the receiver. Note that there is a single HDMI input connector, the Air3 isn’t designed to be a switch box. That means that since you almost certainly have more than one HDMI source, you’ll be using an AV receiver that has multiple HDMI inputs, or a separate HDMI switch box between your sources and the DVDO.
Let’s look from the left side, starting with the transmitter.
There’s a small Control button which when pressed for 2-3 seconds has it seek out a receiver. Holding for more than 5 seconds does a factory reset. Right below the button is a small indicator light that says Link, which will indicate when the transmitter is talking successfully with a receiver.
Next comes the HDMI input, and then a small service port. Finally the jack for the DC power cable.
The Receiver, also has the same Control button and Link light, but this time, the Receiver’s Control button when pressed looks for the transmitter.
Next comes the HDMI output for your display, and that leaves only the connector for the DC power supply. Note that it uses the same connector type that’s used for the service port on the transmitter, and is in the same location. Saves manufacturing costs I trust.
That leaves only the magic of the airwaves, as the transmitter pushes your HDMI sources to the receiver.
Missing are digital audio connectors (TOSLINK). It might have been nice to have them on both ends, or at least on the transmitter end. That said, if you don’t need a separate switch box for multiple HDMI sources, you probably also don’t need a digital audio solution.
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