AR's Powerlink Offers Wireless HDMI Alternative

By John Laposky On Nov 17 2008 - 8:00am




Audiovox is offering a $400 plug-and-play system in a box that sends 1080p video and audio signals from a component to a display over a home's power lines, eliminating the need for a direct HDMI connection between the two.

The Acoustic Research-brand HDP100 HD Powerlink system "is designed as a single-room solution," Dan Crupi, Audiovox's senior product manager, told TWICE.

The system features an HD-PLC transmitter that attaches to a set-top box, DVD or Blu-ray player via HDMI cable and plugs into a power outlet, and a receiver that connects to a TV via HDMI cable and plugs into another outlet. A/V signals are sent over power lines with data rates up to 200Mbps, enough bandwidth to support a 1080p signal.

"AR's HD Powerlink system is perfect for people who want a great picture but also want to cut down on cable clutter and avoid long and potentially very expensive HDMI cable runs," said Crupi. "The system is easy to set up and you won't need to hire a professional installer to snake wires through your walls."

Included with the system is a table stand for the transmitter module, which can also be placed horizontally in an equipment rack; a wall-mounting kit and table stand for the receiver module; one 3-foot HDMI cable; an IR remote-control extender kit; and a "quick start" guide.

The transmitter has an LED that pulses when the system is in ready mode. The receiver and transmitter modules are "pre-linked" at the factory to simplify user setup.

Each module is about the size of a paperback book and is finished in a matte and black-gloss finish. The receiver can also be mounted on the wall behind most flat-panel TVs, Crupi said.

The system is optimized for installations where the TV and A/V components are in the same room.

It's available now for a suggested $399 at various retailers, including Ultimate Electronics and Datavision stores, and online at www.homedepot.com.

The system sets a new low price point for systems on the market that eliminate direct HDMI connections.

At this year's CEDIA Expo in September, Monster showed an analogous transmitter/receiver system that has since been dubbed Monster Wireless HD. Monster claimed the system will allow room-to-room HD streaming up to 330 feet over a home's existing coaxial cables. It is slated for a June 2009 release at an approximate price of $999.

On the market now, Belkin's Flywire, one of the first wireless HDMI solutions to hit stores, supports 1080i, has multiple inputs, including three HDMI ports as well as an S-Video input, and has a range of up to 100 feet. It debuted at a suggested $1,499.

Gefen has on the market two wireless HDMI extender solutions, one using ultrawideband and one standard 802.11, that also top out at 1080i capability, though they allow for multiple components. They retail for around $800.

Sony currently offers its Bravia link wireless solution for around $800, but it only works with select Bravia displays.

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