ZyXEL Aerobeam WHD6215 4-Port WiHD Home Theater Wireless HDMI KitManufacturer: ZYXEL
List Price: $299.99
Street Price: $99.99
ZyXEL AeroBeam Wireless HD Video Kit
Through the years we’ve had the opportunity to check out several wireless audio, video and wireless HDMI systems. This week we’re adding one more option to your list of choices for wireless HDMI. If you’ve always wanted to use a front projector for huge home theater, but never wanted to cut up the ceiling to run cables, you’ll want to listen to this review. It’s the ZyXEL AeroBeam Wireless HD Video Kit (WHD6215).
List price: $289, current online price: $218
Setting up the AeroBeam is just as easy as any other wireless HD video system. You plug your source equipment into the transmitter, plug your display device in the receiver, and you’re done. The two units find each other automatically, link up and work with minimal intervention.
According to the ZyXEL website, the unit supports:
The manufacturer recommends a maximum of 30 feet between the receiver and transmitter and also recommends direct line of sight between the two. This makes it a bit less flexible than other units we’ve tested. We’ve had units that could go 50 feet and almost 30 feet through walls. The AeroBeam won’t do that. We got a reliable connection at 26 feet line of sight and were unable to get it to work perfectly from room to room. In that regard, in work exactly as advertised.
The AeroBeam doesn’t tunnel IR signals. This adds another challenge from an installation point of view. You need to make sure the systems you’re controlling, TV Box, Blu-ray player, Receiver, etc., are visible to your universal remote, or you’ll have to find another way to transmit the IR signals to them. Since the AreoBeam needs line of sight, this isn’t really an additional wrinkle, but it is a difference between this unit and others we’ve tested.
But where the AeroBeam really shines is video quality. It is stellar. Other units we’ve looked at have been good, in fact, we’ve even made the statement that we couldn’t tell the difference between an actual cable and the wireless version. That was mostly true, specifically from a pixelation, loss of signal perspective. But when we swapped the AeroBeam in for an existing Wireless HD solution in our lab, we were blown away. The picture was sharper, the colors were more vivid. Overall it the picture quality was significantly improved.
We tested using HDTV, Blu-ray and an Xbox360. With a good signal, the video quality was great. We even tried 3D and it worked as expected. Video games played without a hitch. No matter what we threw at it from a video perspective, it handled the task with ease. It even switched between video formats (standard def to high def, DVD to HD) without missing a beat. Other units have to resync, this one keeps the connection without a drop at all.
The $218 price point is right inline with many other wireless HDMI units on the market. If you need a solution that will go 50 or 60 feet, or allow you to hide you devices in a closet somewhere, the AreoBeam isn’t the right choice for you. But if you want to run a front projector or mount a flat panel TV, and want the best possible video you can get from a wireless HDMI solution, the AeroBeam is the best we’ve seen. Not as flexible, but it makes up for it in video quality. And it will do 3D, so you’ve got that going for you.
Posted by The HT Guys, September 15, 2011 9:21 PM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.