Gefen has long catered to the AV professional, but recently they’ve also included more general consumer-oriented products into the fold. Wireless HDMI has been familiar territory for them and the Wireless for HDMI Extender LR is yet another option for casual home theater lovers, minus a number of compromises for the privilege.
Very low-key is the first thing that comes to mind for how Gefen styled the receiver/sender set. What you get are two glossy black boxes with discrete dimensions of 5.83″x0.8″x3.8″ (WHD) horizontally, and each unit can be set on its side for vertical orientation with the included stands. To their credit, Gefen really nailed down the absolute essence of “no-nonsense” here.
Two blue status lights occupy the front which simply indicate video and device linking, while an IR sensor is featured on the receiver. The rear sports an HDMI port and AC input, with the sender featuring an IR emitter port and the receiver having a mini-USB port for factory servicing. Also included in the box are two AC adapters, HDMI cables, and IR remote with emitter (up to 8 multiple and optional senders can be synced for active switching).
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 convenience.
Under reasonable conditions the performance of the GTV-WHD-1080P is very good, and managed to deliver a stable HD-like picture at a fairly close range of 15ft. As a convenient and neat home theater setup, most casual viewers shouldn’t encounter issues. Surround sound is also accounted for including DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, and generic 7.1 LPCM audio.
In terms of video quality, most people couldn’t tell the feed was coming in wirelessly. 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. When the kit is in the same room only minor imperfections such as pixelation are visible, but you’d need to squint to really tell the difference.
Transmitting through walls and greater distances (usually at 25ft or more), however showed false contouring and more artifacts that was noticeable and disruptive to the naked eye. Things got unusably choppy beyond 45ft with severe lag, audio dropouts, and intermittent loss of communication altogether.
To be fair, the most of abnormalities from the GTV-WHD-1080P has to do with its delivery and the utilization of WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface) technology, because transmissions are fed across a now-common 5GHz channel. Unlike WirelessHD (WiHD) which is limited to indirect line of sight and walls, the range of WHDI is wide and works without the devices being in the same room (technically up to 100ft). The immediate tradeoff of broader cord-free AV connectivity comes with compressed data and band jumping interference from cordless landline phones to 802.11g/n/ac networks, making the setup more susceptible to interruptions; especially in Wi-Fi or radio band congested areas.
Compared to our experience with the DVDO Air and Gefen’s other Wireless Extender, the Wireless for HDMI Extender LR is almost the exact opposite. You get the convenience but it also comes at the expensive of overall picture quality depending on how ambitious the installation is. It’s also hard to ignore that a kit like is pretty niche and rather pricey with an MSRP of $399.00, and that’s quite a bit of dough just to clean up some loose wires (fortunately this unit is almost half the asking price on Amazon and B&H). For those who desperately want a discreet home theater centerpiece and don’t mind facing down some technical hiccups Gefen might have a viable solution, although the experience will be at the mercy of RF bandwidth..
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