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What is Wireless HDMI?

What is Wireless HDMI

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Wireless HDMI devices can be used for many different purposes, people may use it to connect their devices without having to deal with messy cables. But does it suit everyone? Before deciding whether to buy a wireless HDMI transmitter, it’s essential to understand what wireless HDMI is.

What is Wireless HDMI? Five things you have to know.

Wireless HDMI is a technology that allows you to stream video wirelessly from any device with an HDMI input (such as Blu-rays, HDTVs, game consoles, etc.) to another device with an HDMI output (such as a television, projector, monitor) without having to use a traditional HDMI cord. Then you can extend an HDMI cable from one source to another without running wires through walls or rooms. Simply state Wireless HDMI is an Alternative to HDMI Cables.

HDMI cable

Why Should I Buy a Wireless HDMI Product?

There are many reasons why you might want to purchase a wireless HDMI device.

Wireless HDMI products are designed to work with your existing HDMI-enabled devices; Wireless HDMI products allow you to connect your TV, Blu-ray player, or other devices without worrying about running around with an extension cord.

With wireless HDMI, you can place the receiver anywhere in your house and still be able to view content from the source device. Wireless HDMI devices also provide a better range than wired solutions, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space in your living room. You can place the receiver anywhere in your house and still be able to view content from the source device.

Wireless HDMI is an alternative to HDMI cables, Wireless HDMI products are the best way to eliminate the clutter of wires and cables. No need to run cables through walls, ceilings, and floors. This can save you money on installation costs and time spent running wires around your house.

How Wireless HDMI Works?

A wireless HDMI kit consists of a wireless sender and a wireless receiver. The wireless sender connects to the source device via an HDMI cable, and the wireless receiver connects to the display via the other HDMI cable. After powering on, the sender and receiver will connect automatically, and the video from the source device will stream to display wirelessly.

For more information about how to set wireless HDMI devices, please refer to the blog of “how-to-use-wireless-HDMI-device“.

What is Wireless HDMI

Misconceptions About Wireless HDMI

It’s not Bluetooth

Bluetooth® is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, such as personal computers (PCs), printers, digital cameras, cellular phones, audio headsets, video game consoles, etc. Bluetooth provides an interface between these devices using radio frequency (RF) communications in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. Bluetooth is for small data exchanging, not for video applications. Bluetooth® technology provides a low-cost way of connecting these devices without the need for wires.

No Need to Connect your Home Network

Some users may confuse the wireless HDMI devices with other screen mirroring applications like AirPlay, or DLNA, which requires connecting your home network before screen sharing. While wireless HDMI doesn’t require connecting to your home network because both the transmitter and receiver have a built-in wireless module,  the transmitter and receiver will connect automatically without connecting to the outside network.

It’s No Industry Standard

As you may know, High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. The HDMI has evolved from the HDMI1.0 version in 2002 to the HDMI2.1 version in 2017.

Is the Wireless HDMI extender follow the same standards? Wireless HDMI also supports different HDMI versions, but unlike the HDMI version which with a very clear definition of resolution, bitrate, and video quality,

You will find the different wireless HDMI products from different manufacturers are entirely different even though they support the same HDMI version. That’s because wireless HDMI is a complicated product, many different factors determine the wireless HDMI’s actual effect, such as wireless standard, uncompressed video or compressed video, latency, and communication protocol adopted.

For example, for the same 1080P wireless HDMI ( HDMI1.3 or HDMI 1.4), some products operate at 2.4GHz, some works at 5GHz, and some works at 60GHz, all of those products are not compatible with each other, and the actual effect is in a big difference.

The good news is the situation may improve soon. On January 18th, 2018, the Wi-fi Alliance announced that they had approved the final version for UPnP AV Media Servers 1.0. This standard describes how UPnP AV Ser­vers communicate with media players, televisions, set-top boxes, and other digital media systems. Since the specification includes both wired and wireless technologies, wireless HDMI may eventually become the global home network protocol.

Key Features You Have to Know about the Wireless HDMI

Uncompressed Video VS Compressed Video

Uncompressed video is digital video that has never been compressed before, which means the video quality of wireless HDMI which adopted uncompressed is the same as the original.

Video compression is the process of video encoding by reducing bits of the original video to store or transmit. H.264 and H.265 is the most commonly used compression standard, since the video is compressed, the video quality of wireless HDMI with video compression technology is with vision loss.

Latency

The latency is the amount of time between the video captured from the video source and the video displayed on the TV. For wireless HDMI, the video signal has to be encoded, transmitted, received, decoded, and displayed, each steps takes time. Latency is the biggest problem for wireless HDMI products. The latency includes:

  • Latency for video encode
  • Latency for wireless transmission
  • Latency for video decode
  • Latency for the video displayed on the TV

Uncompressed video is digital video that has never been compressed before, which skips the compression step, so the uncompressed video also means zero latency

Video compression takes time, which causes latency. Typically, by adopting H.264 or H.265 compression standard, the latency will be around 100ms-150ms for wireless HDMI products.

Wireless Standards

Different Wireless HDMI devices may use different wireless technology, such as 802.11.b/g/n 2.4G WiFi, 802.11 ac 5G WiFi, 60G or Wigig, 4G or 5G Cellular standard.

Uncompressed videos require huge data transfer capacity, which requires a very wide bandwidth to enable high throughput rates,  such as WiGig. WiGig is an industry-standard wireless technology designed to provide high-speed and short-range data transfers from one device to a display device, sometimes called 60 GHz Wi-Fi.

Compared with the vast data of un-compression videos, compressed videos before streaming make them capable to transmit over network bandwidth, 2.4G or 5G Wi-Fi is enough for streaming compressed video.

Video Resolution and Refresh Rate

Video resolution refers to the number of pixels per inch (PPI) in each frame.

Resolution determines the amount of details in your videos or how realistic and crisp they appear.

It’s measured by the number of px (pixels) included in the standard 16:9 screen resolution, which is the most common screen resolution used for televisions and computers.

Higher numbers of pixels indicate a higher resolution, and lower numbers of pixels mean a lower resolution. For the standard resolution of 720p (720 x 480) and 1080p (1080 x 720), the naming conventions are based on the total number of pixels running vertically across the screen. For 2K, 4K, or 8K videos, the resolution name is given by the number of pixels running horizontally across the screen.

What is Video Resolution, Pixel and Aspect Ratio

For wireless HDMI product, there are three resolutions you have to know before purchasing.

  • Video in resolution of TX
  • Video out the resolution of RX
  • The streaming resolution from TX to RX

The streaming resolution from TX to RX, which is the most important resolution of the wireless HDMI extender, which determine the real video quality of the wireless HDMI extender.

Most of the wireless HDMI extenders in the market are 1080P resolution, few models can reach 4K30 resolution. ViewPlay WLM3434 is the first 4K60 wireless HDMI extender product on the market.

Transmission Distance

The transmission distance is determined by wireless Standard, RF power, and antenna sensitivity.

If it adopts 60G wigig technology, the distance is around 10 meters and no penetration ability.

For other wireless technology such as 2.4G or 5.8G, the distance is from tens of meters to several kilometers.

Back Control Function

Besides the video transmission function, the wireless HDMI extender also supports a back control function:

IR back control or IR extended function

ViewPlay wireless HDMI extender support 38KHz to 56KHz wide frequency. For example, If you’re using a Sony TV remote, for instance, you should be using a 38KHz receiver. Other remotes won’t pick up its signals. 38KHz is the most common frequency adopted by remote control, and 56KHz is the second most common frequency.

USB KVM function

With USB KVM function, it’s easy for the user to control the video device remotely by mouse, or keyboard from the receiver.

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