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What is Wireless HDMI and should you use it?



  Home entertainment center without cable or cable
Keith Muratori / Shutterstock

Wireless HDMI products have been around for almost a decade, but they have not gained much popularity. But how does Wireless HDMI work and should you buy wireless HDMI products for the home?

Wireless HDMI is an alternative to HDMI cables

HDMI cables have been the standard medium for HD video transmission for over a decade. However, HDMI cables have some obvious disadvantages. A few unruly HDMI cables can turn your entertainment center into a rat's nest, and you can confine your cable box or game console to a single room.

You probably already guessed this, but Wireless HDMI is a wireless high-speed definition video solution that can solve some of the problems associated with HDMI cables. You can clean up your entertainment center, broadcast a single video source to TVs throughout your home, or mirror the display from your phone or computer to your TV.

There are many wireless HDMI products on the market which are all pretty easy to set up. You connect a transmitter to the HDMI port of a video source and a receiver to the HDMI port of a TV, and that's all that goes with it.

CONNECTION: The best wireless HDMI products for a good figure Media Center and multi-room video

It's like Bluetooth, but for video

Unlike screen-glare applications like Apple AirPlay Wireless HDMI does not require a Wi-Fi connection. The transmitter you connect to your video source emits a microwave frequency, and the receiver connected to your display decodes that frequency in HD video. Think of it as Bluetooth, but for video.

Some (but not all) Wireless HDMI products have built-in IR transmitters. These transmitters allow you to use TV remote controls to remotely control devices. These IR transmitters are required for many wireless HDMI settings. Running from one room to another to switch TV channels would be a game of nerves.

Like any form of wireless transmission, Wireless HDMI is prone to obstructions. Most wireless HDMI products use the 5 GHz microwave frequency, which can be overloaded by wireless and cellular signals. Fortunately, most new Wireless HDMI products use dynamic frequency selection to automatically match the least busy frequency in your home.

  Braided HDMI cables connected to the back of a TV set
Alexander_Evgenyevich / Shutterstock

But when it comes to wireless HDMI latency is an inevitable form of disability. A video signal must be encoded, transmitted, received and decoded before being displayed. Therefore, most wireless HDMI products have some delay.

The selection of Wireless HDMI products is usually the best indicator of their latency. Products like the J-Tech Digital HDbitT, which has a range of 660 feet, have a delay of a few milliseconds. For products such as the Nyrius ARIES NPCS549, which has a range of 30 feet, the latency of a few microseconds is undetectable.

Meanwhile, you've probably realized that wireless HDMI solutions are not suitable for transmitting Xbox games. However, they can be used to remove the HDMI cables from your entertainment center.

Why is wireless HDMI not the global standard?

If Wireless HDMI is so cool, why has not it replaced HDMI cables? ? Well, there are no standards for wireless HDMI, and none of the expensive wireless HDMI products available on the market are compatible with each other. Manufacturers could team up and promote Wireless HDMI as the new standard for home video, but frankly, they have little incentive to develop a technology that could be replaced by super-fast data transfer formats like USB-C.

At the moment, WHDI is the leading wireless HDMI option. It works at a frequency of 5 GHz and supports 1080p and 3D video. Unfortunately, WHDI does not support 4K and it is prone to interference from routers and cell phones. A decade ago, the global introduction of WHDI was pushed ahead, and companies like Sharp and Philips were actually installing WHDI receivers into some TVs. However, these WHDI TVs were not very successful, and the format was relegated to the niche status.

Some other wireless HDMI formats have fallen by the wayside, including WiGig, which supports 4K video, and WirelessHD, which had decent data speeds. However, there are no new products that support these wireless formats and they will eventually be forgotten.

Wireless HDMI is a niche product

Although wireless HDMI can be extremely useful to some people, this is not the case for much potential for broad acceptance or practical application. There are many problems with wireless HDMI. If you do not try to clean up your entertainment center or send a cable signal to your basement, you have no reason to adopt the format.

What the biggest problem with Wireless HDMI? The price tag. Most wireless HDMI kits cost about $ 200 and contain only a single transmitter and a single receiver. You'll need to drop more than $ 1,000 to build a decent army of wireless HDMI products, and since they do not support 4K, you may lose some video quality. Most wireless HDMI products can only communicate with one transmitter or one receiver at a time. Transferring a single video source to multiple TVs is simply too expensive and too difficult.

  Man pointing a TV remote to a smart TV set
Dmitiri Ma / Shutterstock

Latency is another problem. TV viewers do not have to worry about a few milliseconds of delay, but the added latency of a wireless HDMI setup can make video games unplayable. There are some latency-free wireless HDMI products for gamers, but they have a range of about 30 feet (30 feet) and are therefore only suitable for tidying up your entertainment center.

Of course there are some situations where wireless works HDMI makes sense. Instead of paying the cable company to put a $ 200 set-top box in each room, you can buy a few wireless HDMI sets to send a single cable box throughout the house. These wireless HDMI devices should last a long time, and you can use them for various applications in the future.

Wireless HDMI is also a great way to clean up your entertainment center. If you do not want to buy anything worth $ 1,000, you can always connect a transmitter to an HDMI switch and effectively remove most HDMI cables from your entertainment center. With Wireless HDMI, home projectors can also be made much more comfortable because you do not have to hang cables on the ceiling.


Is Wireless HDMI becoming the worldwide standard for video transmission? Fat chance. However, it could replace HDMI cables in your home if you find a good use for it.

Sources: ActionTec, Wikipedia


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