The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Wireless HDMI from Gefen: GTV-WirelessHD device

Greetings:  You know how that song goes:

“I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it…”

Well, folks that’s how I’m feeling so far about the lossless, wireless HDMI solution from Gefen.  I’ve tested it, so far, in my main theater, with the different projectors that end up in there for viewing, for a full week now.  It works.  True, the distance is only about 16 feet (official range is 30 feet, I believe).  This system is not infra-red, so line of sight isn’t required, but I can tell you that if two people stand directly between the sender and receiver, that’s enough to cause some noise to appear.

I certainly won’t hold that against the product, though, as most buyers will have their projectors up high! So few should have anything blocking the signal.

I’ll give you my full “end user” type review in a few days.  So far, though, this looks like my dream come true, I, like a whole lot of home theater people, ran wiring before the modern age of HDMI.

I ran very high quality component video in my large theater, which is fine, but I want to use HDMI.  When my wiring was done back about 7 years ago, I was clever enough to put in two runs of shielded CAT-5, knowing that CAT-5 based extenders were already hitting the market.

Unfortunately with a necessary cable run of just over 100 feet (big room, high ceiling), for each cable, I have a serious problem.  I’ve tried 5 different CAT-5 extenders from 3 different companies, and not one could deliver reliable 1080p – not even close enough to consider watching a commercial, let alone a movie.  (4 of the five could, however handle 1080i or 720p reliably.)  This wasn’t much of an issue until we all started buying Blu-ray, and now have a 1080p source. In other words, I really didn’t have a problem until I bought my PS3′s right after they hit the market.

Many other folks out there with older theaters don’t even have CAT-5, just their old Component video (or worse).

AND NO ONE wants to have to “open up all their walls” a second time, in a finished theater.  One full home theater installation, is usually enough for most folks.

So wireless – lossless HDMI makes a ton of sense for 10′s of thousands of projector owners (at least).  And, that’s nevermind other applications.

I’ll create a review that will post next week, after the WirelessHDMI receiver is placed up high next to my JVC RS20 – a full 24 feet from the sender by the rest of my gear.

That said, based on the first week – as the guy who fell off the top of the empire state building was heard yelling, all the way down:

“so far, so good…so far, so good, so far….”

That’s it.

Happy Holidays!   -art

News And Comments

  • John

    All I’ll say is conduit.

  • Mark Pitchford

    4″ conduit (or PVC) is much cheaper, and, it’s more reliable. It’ll always be there as will monoprice, bluejeans cable, or their successors.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Mark,

      Yes a nice thought for those who haven’t run their wiring yet, and also for those who had the option of running conduit. In the case of my great room, conduit wasn’t a viable option. Not only was the run just over 100 feet, but due to having to effectively “leave the room” to get to limited crawlspace, etc, there ended up being 7 separate points on the run with an angle of 90 degrees or less. No one (three different installing companies) felt additional cables could be guaranteed to be addible, without going to a conduit that was two thick to be practical. Actually one company said fine, but wanted to install to breaks in the conduit, with hidden access to “help” if cables snagged. When wired back in ’93 I put in the two cat-5, 2 component cables an analog computer, an S-video (I have no idea why I bothered with S-video, it was cheap), wiring for rear speakers, lighting control wiring for a crestron that I’ve never added (four banks of lights), and so on. It’s avery busy group of cables, neatly wrapped and was already well over 2 inches diameter. when run.

      But, of course, for people who haven’t run wire yet, HDMI wireless (when a bit less expensive will be a huge option for many.

      Most people have power on most walls, and in many rooms, also in the ceiling (basements, dining rooms, rooms with recessed lighting that’s not low voltage).

      To get power, therefore to a ceiling or rear wall mounted projector is usually very straight forward and rarely more than a 10 or 15 foot run, through typically one, maybe two surfaces (two to bring power to a ceiling that doesn’t have it, for a ceiling mount job. one for virtually everyone rear shelf mounting.

      Thus, it saves the trouble of opening up a lot more wall, etc. As we see more high quality, powered rear speakers, that are wireless, that will also cut down on the size of a wiring job for people. For those not doing the work themselves (and that definitely includes me), a couple thousand dollars installation bill can likely be reduced to hundreds of dollars with wireless hdmi and wireless rear speakers.

      Likely, within two years you’ll see lots of LCDTVs/Plasmas with wireless HDMI or offer it as an option. But it’s far more valuable for projector folks because many of us have to go from front of room to rear, or ceiling, and not just from a receiver to a an LCTV 6 or 8 feet away. -art

  • Diet Butcher

    Thanks for the heads up Art!

    Did you get the EXT-WHDMI http://www.gefen.com/kvm/productother.jsp?prod_id=4318

    Or the GTV-WHDMI
    http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5990

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      The GTV-WHDMI. I’m writing it up now, will post late this evening. It’s an “end user” review, as I deal primarily with my experiences, and must admit I haven’t tried a lot of different options, but I have used it successfully with all 5 projectors I’ve tried. 4 of them from a range of about 15 feet, and my RS20 up high with a line of sight distance of about 24 feet. -art

  • Thue Thuesen, DK:

    Leaves me a bit puzzled – you manage to pass 720p signals through 100 feet- but 1080/24p carries less data thaen 720/60p so maybe a repeater with more robust output than PS3

  • Mark Pitchford

    Hi Art. It’s hard for me to remember that a lot of people don’t do everything themselves. And for those that are going to run conduit, the curves can be negated by running a mason line in the tube with your wires. When you need to add a wire, you tie it to the end of the mason line along with a second run of mason line and pull them through. Then, there’s a mason ine in there the next time you need to pull another wire.

    I can appreciate the simplicity of this solution. But it would just never suit me to have the potential for lost data. I ran a wired network throughout my house after it was built just because I wanted the reliability and data rates offered by direct wiring. Aren’t you worried about quality loss from a few dropped frames?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Ahh Mark,

      I’ll tell you, I will worry about the loss of quality from a few dropped frames – if and when this wireless HDMI rig actually drops frames. I’d say I’ve now logged close to 100 hours with it, since I first hooked it up, and am still waiting to see my first dropped frame. As I said, it can be a little slow to lock on when a signal starts up, or if the signal changes, say from 1080p to 480i, or even from 1080p to 1080i, but once it grabs the source it seems extremely solid. (and better than the original 20 meter HDMI cables I had back in those days).

      As to mason lines, etc. yep, that, conduit, etc. but, the point here is not everyone has that option. For whatever reason – the house came with component video run in the theater (and a 15 year old CRT that doesn’t work, and no conduit, etc., or just a bad decision, previously, the purpose for reviewing the Wireless HDMI was because there are plenty of people that no longer have an easy way to upgrade their cabling.

      BTW, one of my noted concerns was bandwidth for 3D, etc. Well, fresh back from CES, I had some interesting discussions including with the HDMI folks at Monster.
      Let’s just say this, apparently the magic number for 3D with 24bit, are cables rated 13.8 Ghz. Of course bandwidth will increase significantly as you jump to 10, 12, or 16 bit Deep Color.

      That all said, the spec on the Gefen wireless HDMI is 60 Gigahertz – higher than, for example, than any of Monster’s most premium cables.

      So, I withdraw my concern – as long as gefen can allow any firmware needed (and they do have RS-232 support, it should be good for many years, before obsolete.
      That is good news for me, because I’ll be running deep color (and 3D as soon as possible in my theater. -a

  • Martin Andersen

    Hi Art,

    Just wondering which HDMI extenders you have tested–as I have also dealt with some of the same issues using my ~50ft Cat6 run.

    I tested a total of three pairs of sender & receiver units, and found the low-end ones to be extremely varying in performance. Having a switch in-between also made matters much worse.

    However, the one product which solved it for me (so far, at least) was Octava’s HDMICAT product. I am running 1080p60 reliably over a run of 50ft (15 meters).

    So far none of the wireless HDMI solutions I’ve looked at have offered the bandwidth necessary to run a 60Hz 1080p signal wirelessly. (Belkin has had a >$1000 unit in the pipeline for a long time which also didn’t support this)

    As you probably are well aware of, anything in-between the baluns and the source and sink can interfere with the signal.

    I spent an impressive amount of time trying to pin down a problem which turned out to be related to a cheap (~$60) TrueMatrix switch from MonoPrice where it introduced white flashes everything between 15m to an hour, and also made switching resolutions a true nightmare, 1080i for the most part worked ok, though, but not 1080p.

    Since the issue only showed up in conjunction with the HDMI extender (not when hooked up directly), I immediately blamed the HDMI extender. :)

    I’ve not yet been able to test a replacement Octava switch to see if that eliminates the issue, though. *knocks wood*.

    –Martin

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