Many of us have more than one television. Many of us also have cable boxes, game consoles, PCs, etc. that we’ve connected to one of our televisions. But what if you’d like to watch content from those consoles, cable boxes, etc. on one of your other televisions without uprooting all of your hardware? Kinivo offers a wireless HDMI extender that will come to your rescue.
Out of the box, the Kinivo transmitter and receiver are pretty compact – about the size of two decks of playing cards on top of one another. Also included in the box are two AC adapters, an HDMI cable, an IR blaster, and a small remote control.
The units are covered in a protective plastic film as is pretty common with electronics, however on both the transmitter and receiver, removing the protective film caused the decorative panel on the side to come off. I’m not sure if this is by design or a result of faulty adhesive but both panels popped back on easily enough, and have stayed on since. The decorative plates don’t seem to have any impact on the performance of the device, so this is more of an observation than anything. The instructions don’t mention the remote control at all, so I excluded it from testing and it does not factor into the final score. I also found it hard to get the IR blaster positioned just right to work properly, so it might be best to stream video, or a channel you don’t intend to change frequently.
Those minor foibles aside, setup was quick and easy. Simply plug your source into the transmitter, your monitor into the receiver, plug in both boxes, and turn them on. The Kinivo streams HD signal very well with minimal interference. I first hooked up the cable box in my basement and streamed to my tv on the first floor. The receiver took a few seconds to connect, and then I got a smooth HD stream. There was the occasional hiccup, but these were short and infrequent. One minor complaint is that both the receiver and transmitter run hot. Even after only about twenty or thirty minutes of use, both boxes were quite warm. You probably won’t want to put these too deep in your entertainment center, particularly during extended viewing.
I was feeling saucy, so I figured I’d try streaming from my XBox 360 – again, in the basement – up to the first floor. Kinivo streamed the audio and video like a champ. As with the cable box, there were occasional drops in signal. Because of this, I’d definitely recommend turn-based strategy or puzzle games rather than First Person Shooters or Real Time Strategy. The screen suddenly going black during your turn is far less crippling than losing a kill-streak in a FPS or missing a rush of troops in an RTS. The real weak point in my setup was the XBox controller. It too would disconnect periodically but that’s of no fault to Kinivo. I was honestly impressed that the 360 controller worked from one floor away in the first place! Your setup is almost certainly different and you might have better luck (and less walls in the way), so just know that you can stream games on a different floor than your console and give it a try!
Finally, I streamed from my PC to my HDTV, roughly five feet away. In this, the Kinivo really shines. Across the same room there was no interference, no dropped signal, and I was able to play whatever I choose without issue. First person shooters ran perfectly, turn-based games were still obviously great, and even Windows looked and responded as it should. It stands to reason that the closer the transmitter and receiver are to each other and the less walls between them, the better the signal will be. The Kinivo is perfect for eliminating wires between your components, and is at its best when it doesn’t have to contend with a lot of “stuff” in the way.
To recap, Kinivo has made a solid wireless HDMI extender that streams HD signal very well. There are occasional drops in signal when you’re streaming between floors, but the quick and easy setup is definitely preferable to uprooting your cable box or gaming system from your entertainment center. Kinivo works flawlessly when the transmitter and receiver are in the same room. If you don’t mind the occasional dropped signal, you can also stream from one room to the next, and depending on your layout, can even stream between floors. The boxes do run a bit warm, and the IR blaster was a bit tricky to setup, but I have no problem recommending the Kinivo Wireless HDMI extender. I’d give this product a rating of four out of five stars.
The Kinivo WHD110 can be purchased on Kinivo’s website.
High-Res image credits: Cerebral Overload