Getting the best picture out of your HD content with the myriad amounts of HD hardware can sometimes be a bit of a chore. If you’re more of an AV/tech enthusiast, you’ve also likely got another issue to deal with – cords. While many things have gone wireless these days, helping clear up cord clutter, there are still some things that require a good ‘ol cable. And when you’re dealing with multiple pieces of AV equipment, that means the number of cables can become burdensome rather quickly. But for HDMI users out there, Kinivo has a solution in their wireless HDMI extender.
Why go wireless? Well, the paragraph above pretty much spells out why it’s beneficial. But besides reducing the cable count alone, sometimes you just want to position your HDMI source device and display further than your typical HDMI cable allows, don’t want to splurge on a pricey HDMI cable or just don’t want to deal with running a lengthy cable.
Question is, is $140 to go cord-free worth it?
If you walked into a friend’s house who happened to have a Kinivo wireless HDMI extender setup and in plane view, chances are you would simply pass it off as another cable modem or router, because that’s exactly what it looks like. It’s relatively small, black and unassuming. Simply put, it’s not a conversation starter and in stead, something you’re more likely going to want to ignore.
Taking a trip ’round back one will find the few amount of input/output options which include an area for an AC power adapter, an HDMI cable and… that’s it. Really, it’s simple.
Kinivo says their wireless HDMI extender is good for up to ~40 feet indoors and up to ~60 feet in open spaces. The bulk of our testing was done in the ~5′ range though we did play around with some layouts that pushed that distance to ~20′ and through one wall. As we ran through 1080p video and gaming we looked to see if you could spot any visual degradation from the move to wireless. Good news: we didn’t. Regardless if it was 5′ or 10-15′ away and through one (thin) wall, picture quality was not affected.
After countless hours the wireless HDMI extender has given us a slightly less cluttered way to enjoy HD video content. That said, it wasn’t completely perfect.
During the first week we had the Kinivo, we had an issue where it dropped the connection between the two boxes and refused to connect. Powering both on and off as well as disconnecting the HDMI cables to both boxes and plugging them back in didn’t remedy the problem. Mind you, when this disconnect happened the two boxes were only 5`apart. After 20 minutes we walked away and decided to pick up where we left off later. And, a few hours later we came back, turned everything on and it worked fine. Over the last several weeks we haven’t seen the disconnection problem rear its ugly head again so we’re going to chalk it up to freak occurrence, aligned planets and/or sun spots causing a ripple in the time/space continuum.
Going wireless, worth the price of admission
If you have a growing number of cables in your AV cabinet or you just want to distance some of your AV gear from your display for presentation purposes, going the wireless route is definitely worth a look. In the technology’s early days there were some issues with artifacting and poor quality. Thankfully, such things have been fixed in recent years, meaning there’s really no reason you shouldn’t approach it with an open mind. For $140 we think what Kinivo is offering is a legitimately good product that despite one small issue initially, is an overall recommended buy from us.
All that said, inexpensive HDMI cables can be had these days. You can just as easily run a lengthy HDMI cable for half the cost (or less) of Kinivo’s setup here. Question is, is the convenience worth it to you?