August 18, 2009
| by Tom LeBlanc
I was in the middle of catching up with “Lost” — much like my colleague Arlen Schweiger — when I got an Iogear Wireless Audio/Video Kit to review. So it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The kit is designed to let people wirelessly connect their PC (fully compatible with Windows XP and Vista) to their TV, for streaming of audio and video content up to 720p HD.
Long story short: It was easy to set up, ABC.com’s “Lost” episodes and Netflix’s “watch instantly” content looked great while my iTunes library sounded good through my NAD receiver and Energy speakers.
Setting up took me an hour, but about 30 minutes of it was spent fiddling with my TV to make it recognize a new input. The Iogear part of the installation was as simple as plugging in a wireless VGA receiver, wireless audio receiver and a wireless USB transmitter. It came with a 6-foot VGA cable, VGA adapter, USB cables, software and everything else I needed.
I installed the software on my laptop in about five minutes. The hardware connections took about 20 minutes (I subtracted the time I wasted). There are clear instructions for choosing screen resolution and several choices for connecting audio.
The satisfaction of seeing my laptop desktop on my TV screen came pretty quickly. My first move was to watch a couple of TV clips on Hulu and was pleased with the performance. Then my wife and I watched our short, self-edited wedding video, which we had only previously watched on a computer screen. That was cool. We also perused some photos.
The wireless aspect is great. Being able to view local computer content on a TV is nothing new, but it usually requires connecting a laptop to a TV. Once set up, the Iogear solution makes it easier to impulsively decide to watch a YouTube video or check out some photos because it’s as simple as popping the wireless transmitter into the computer’s USB port.
We can expect more of these types of wireless audio/video adaptors to hit the market with the holiday shopping season approaching and the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
My only complaint about the Iogear product is that, in my experience, I had to keep the wireless adaptor in a pretty clear line of sight with the adaptor connected to the TV. The directions aren’t misleading in any way — it’s just that I was hoping there would be more wiggle room there. I have no idea if that’s the case with other wireless adaptors.
If the $349.95 price tag doesn’t put you off, the Iogear Wireless A/V Kit is worth checking out. It’s convenient and the 720p video content is better than what you’d most likely expect.