Hands On: IOGEAR Wireless 5 X 2 Matrix Switch
For when the only way is the wireless way
October 21, 2013 by Grant Clauser

With everything plugged in, I powered up my home theater system and selected the HDMI input that the IOGEAR receiver was connected to. Right away I saw the content from the upstairs Verizon DVR. Pressing the source button on the IOGEAR receiver brought me to the Roku and Blu-ray player, also from upstairs.  With the IOGEAR remote you can also press the arrow buttons to switch sources. The display connected to the receiver and the display connected to the transmitter can be viewing two different sources.

The picture and surround sound came through perfectly. Since I’m cheap and only have one DVR in the house, I was able to watch my recorded episodes of The Walking Dead in my basement theater, rather than on the living room TV, using the IOGEAR system.

IOGEAR states that the range is about 100 feet, inclusive of walls. In house I only had it reaching about 20 feet, through a hardwood floor and Sheetrock ceiling.

Another neat trick the system offers is the ability to use multiple transmitters. Say you have an Apple TV in one room and a Blu-ray player in another. You can put transmitters in both those rooms to feed the receiver in another room. You can have multiple transmitters, but only one receiver may be running at a given time.

While the system also transmits IR control commands—so you can use the remote from another room, I found that system a little buggy. Sometimes the remote was able to control the upstairs components, and sometimes not. That may be more an issue of how I placed the IR blasters than the device performance itself. In any case, I found it just as easy to use my iPhone apps to control my upstairs components, so the IR blasters weren’t really necessary anyway. You can change the IR system’s frequency to match your remote.

If wireless connectivity is something you want, the question to ask yourself is whether you need a 5-input switcher or a single input wireless system. That will all depend on how your components are currently connected. If you have all your components connected to an AV receiver that has two HDMI outputs, then you can just connect the transmitter to one of those HDMI outputs and use your AV receiver to do the source switching (assuming you can use an app or other solution to switch your AV receiver’s sources remotely).

The system worked as promised. Both audio and video came through as if I had physical wires attached. Pressing the info button on my A/V receiver verified that I was getting full resolution, and the Dolby Digital audio sounded perfect. If you need a wireless answer to your hookup problems, this one works.

IOGEAR Wireless 5x2 HD Matrix

Also check out:
See Also:
Sunbrite TV Now with System
Samsung Launches Sonos-like Wireless Music System
Wireless Audio System Basics
What You Need to Know About Wireless Networks
Review: Control4 Wireless Music Bridge

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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