Gefen has long catered to the AV professional, but recently they’ve also included more general consumer-oriented products into the fold. The company is following up from previous, and more expensive efforts with their 60 GHz Wireless Extender for HDMI, which serves its purpose as a discreet solution for cleaner home theater layouts.
What you get are two small white boxes with a subtle slope top and dimensions of 3.4″x1.2″x2.8″ (WHD) to match. It serves the purpose as a straightforward wireless HD transmitter, but because of its boxy shape, it can’t be mounted on the wall on top of a TV. A single status light sits on top to indicate activity. Around back, both the receiver and sender sport an HDMI port and AC input, while a micro-USB port is on side for factory servicing. Included in the box are two AC adapters and HDMI cables to get you powered up and going.
Like other wireless HDMI packages, one advantage is the ease in setup. Just plug everything into the proper source and you’re good to go. The process is fairly basic, but the receiver only works for the display and the sender is for the Blu-ray player/console/computer. Fortunately each transmitter is labeled (albeit very discreetly as R or S) for easy reference.
In terms of performance, the Extender was excellent and delivered a stable and true HD picture. Using a 59” Samsung PND800 plasma TV as a reference display along with a HP ENVY 15 laptop and a PlayStation 3 for testing, we watched Life of Pi, and played games like Battlefield 4 and Gran Turismo 6. As with the similar DVDO Air, which was used for comparing the picture quality, Gefen’s WiHD wireless option was just as flawless and clean like an HDMI cable in most cases. There were no signs of lag or intermittent drops of clarity whether the image was 2D or stereoscopic 3D, even with people walking through the direct stream, pixelation and false contouring were not an issue.
And like with the DVDO, surround sound is accounted for including DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, and generic 7.1 LPCM audio.
Unless we deliberately interfered with the signal such as covering up one of the entire units the feed was solid throughout. We did experience a random occurrence of the receiver losing synchronization with the sender. Unlike the WHD-1080P, where the picture gradually degrades, the WHD-60G simply goes right to black. Fortunately this only happened once during our test and was easily corrected in a few seconds with the pairing button.
Since its conception, WirelessHD (current version 1.1) has operated under an separate and unlicensed 60 GHz channel, which equals uncluttered and lossless HD transmissions even in the busiest and interference-heavy hotspots. Compared to WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) though, the range is pretty constrained and only works in the same room, usually only up to 40 feet. The method may be a one-trick pony, but its a good trick nonetheless.
Gefen covers their bases with the 60 GHz Wireless Extender for HDMI and its other WHDI-enabled alternative, the GTV-WHD-1080P. Each model has its own advantages and caveats to seriously consider. Based on appeal alone I’d go with the WHD-60G simply because it ‘can’ handle a true high-definition picture for even the most demanding home theater builds. To be honest though, you’d really have to be an AV enthusiast to appreciate it, because this kit will run you $449 MSRP; and even if you manage to find it cheaper on Amazon or B&H you’re still going to spend a lot of money here. This is a great home theater component, if the asking price doesn’t turn you away first.
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