DVDO Air3C Pro Wireless HDMI Transmitter, Receiver 2

DVDO AIR3C Pro – Effective range, Beam Steering and Configuring, Warranty, Conclusions

DVDO Air3C Pro - Operating Range

The DVDO Air3C Pro is really a same  room device.  You might stretch it to an adjacent room if close enough.  DVDO specs the range as 10 meters – roughly 39 feet.

I was able to set up the transmitter in my theater, and the receiver (and a projector, in the adjacent office, with line of site between the transmitter and receiver.  I put the distance between them at just over 33 feet.

At 33 feet with line of site, no problem.  Just to make sure I was working the DVDO as hard as possible, I was feeding it  Blu-ray 3D 1080p material.  No problem, unless:

I closed the door.  I’ve got solid wood doors separating the two rooms.  Soon as a door blocks the line of site, the picture freezes.

Also, if I stand very close to the receiver, between the two DVDO’s, at that range, interfere with the signal.  I can however walk about the theater, it’s only when very close to the transmitter or receiver at that range.  The reason that works is that the Pro can reflect the signal off or surfaces such as walls and ceiling, and that it “reroutes” the signal as needed.  But, if one is standing a foot from the receiver, that’s just too close for those capabilities to help out.

The thing about 60Ghz as explained by DVDO is that at that frequency bouncing off of surfaces is easier than passing through them.  For that reason, you normally position them so that you are defecting the signal off of the ceiling, although walls will do.

The thin design allows the DVDO units to be easily placed behind a wall mounted LCDTV, or tucked away anywhere convenient around a projector.

The finer perf of angled front is the radiation direction, so that the signal if the unit is flat on a table bounces up at a 45 degree angle.  Or, if mounted vertically again, it can bounce off the ceiling at a 45 degree angle.

This range is pretty typical for wireless HDMI.   The only one we’ve reviewed so far, with significantly greater range also cost a good deal more, and used a different wireless technology.

Click Image to Enlarge

DVDO Air3C PRO Beam Steering, and Professional Features

In my conversation with DVDO, they briefly explained Beam Steering.  The short version is that the Pro unit utilizes what is called phased array beam forming, which seems to continuously scan the room looking for the best way to get the signal from transmitter to the receiver.  I take it that the transmitter electronically alters the signal’s dispersion patterns to the one that works best for a strong signal.

In other words, the DVDO Air3C Pro is smart!

The configuration software shows the signal strength, allows for multiple units to be paired, and the method of pairing.  Once the professional has maximized the installation for a solid connection with no issues, the installer can also “lock down” the setup, so that the user can’t screw it up accidentally.  As mentioned elsewhere in this review, we’re a 100% Mac and iOS facility, not a single PC here to try out this software.   Perhaps DVDO will soon create a Mac version, or even an app for iOS and Android devices.

 

 

 

Click Image to Enlarge

Warranty

DVDO’s $299 (US) Air3C Pro provides 1 year of parts and labor warranty in the United States.  2 Years parts and labor are provided in the EU.  I do not have EU pricing.

For the right folks and room situation, this can be a great solution.

Conclusion

Since wireless HDMI is still a rarity in LCDTVs and projectors, outboard solutions like DVDO’s Air series allow anyone to go wireless HDMI.   The big advantage of wireless HDMI is, of course, for those that don’t want to run long wires across the floor, and don’t want the huge expensive of running the wiring through the walls, a wireless solution make sense.  I’m about to install a projector and motorized screen in my living room.  It’s about 25 feet line of site into the adjacent room where I will have the equipment, so the Air3C Pro should nicely do the job.  My alternative is almost a 50 foot run through the ceiling and  a wall, and that translates into extremely expensive high quality HDMI cabling as my alternative, not to mention all the extra labor.

The technology works.  I effectively used wireless hdmi in my last home, about six-seven years ago.  You just need to decide if it makes sense for you.

The Air3C Pro doesn’t add any obvious lag to the signal, and although I did not run an input lag test, DVDO specifically stresses low latency, and they note for the consumer Air3 we reviewed previously, that it’s minimal input lag is ideal for serious gaming.

Bottom Line:  $299, the current street price, is $100 more than the non-pro versions.  It is the most sophisticated of the DVDO units.  Unlike the pure consumer Air3, the Pro does not support MHL, which is unfortunate, but likely only to affect a very small percentage of the folks interested in a product like this.

The system, I repeat, works on the 60 Ghz band, far above Wifi, so less prone to interference or causing interference.  At that frequency, the signal reflects off of some hard surfaces rather than passing through, and that allows for the intelligent beam

As long as the distance between your sources and your display aren’t beyond the 30-40 feet safe range, the Air3 Pro should be a great solution for you.   If you do need longer distances there are other products, usually in the 5 Ghz band (where Wifi plays), and at more expensive price.

I would have liked to see a second, or even a third HDMI input on the transceiver, that would have provided a combined solution for those who otherwise will need an HDMI switcher.  We’ll be looking at DVDO’s Quick6 or Quick6r switcher shortly, as a great companion piece, or as a stand alone.

 

 

Click Image to Enlarge

News and Comments