Hardware Review DVDO Air Wireless HD Connection System Review

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Todd Erwin, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer

    Apr 16, 2008
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    Orange County, CA
    Real Name:
    Todd Erwin
    Wireless HDMI adapters may have come a long way since they were first introduced, but many still have some inherent glitches or limitations. The DVDO Air claims to have solved most of those limitations, and with a $399.99 MSRP, it very well should. Home Theater Forum received a unit to review, and we put it through its paces.


    DVDO Air Wireless HD Connection System

    The DVDO Air consists of two black tubes, almost resembling boom microphones. The shorter piece is the receiver, and the longer piece is the transmitter. Also included in the box were two AC adapters (one for the receiver, one for the transmitter), two 1.5 meter High-Speed HDMI cables, as well a both a TV Top Mount and a Wall Mount for the receiver.
    Installation is fairly simple. Connect an HDMI cable from the DVDO Air receiver to the HDMI input on your TV, and a second HDMI cable between your A/V receiver’s HDMI output and the DVDO Air’s transmitter. Plug the AC adapters into the transmitter and receiver, and then into an AC outlet. Turn on your TV and A/V receiver, and then you should have an almost instantaneous, wireless connection that supports up to 1080p and 3D Blu-ray at distances of up to 10 meters (within a direct line of sight).
    In my initial test setup, I placed the receiver on top of my TV using the included TV Top Mount, and the transmitter on top of my A/V receiver, which sits under the TV on an open shelf. Everything worked according to the instructions. Picture was clear, with no noticeable lag in signal, likely benefitting from the 6-channel , 60GHz wireless band.
    Next, I simulated a situation where all of the A/V components were stored in a nearby closet by disconnecting the DVDO Air transmitter from my A/V receiver and connecting it to a spare Blu-ray player (Panasonic BD60), and placing the BD60 and transmitter outside on my front porch, which is adjacent to where my TV is located. As soon as the transmitter and receiver became linked, I closed the front door, and, surprisingly, did not lose my video signal. However, moving the BD60 and transmitter to the adjacent dining room, in which the signal would need to pass through a wall and down a small hallway, was not successful. But that was half-way expected, so there was no real surprise there.
    I’ve tried the Actiontec MyWirelesss Multi-Room HDMI kit, and had disastrous results, with unacceptable lag times, and occasionally just refusing to synch. I had none of these issues with the DVDO Air, but I did find something that apparently was overlooked by the designers. On the motherboard of both the transmitter and receiver, just behind the front grill, are two green LED’s, one solid and one blinking. The blinking green LED was, for me, a distraction whenever I looked at my TV, drawing my eyes away from the display. I called DVDO tech support, and was asked to leave a voice mail description of my problem. For me, this is usually not a good sign, especially these days, not entirely expecting a return phone call at all, or at the very least, possibly a week later. Surprisingly, I received a return call in less than an hour. The technician I spoke with indicated that these were additional link lights, and suggested I move the receiver from on top of the TV to behind. I reminded him that the installation manual highly recommends maintaining a direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, and by placing the receiver behind the TV, I could very likely lose my signal. When I asked if those lights could somehow be turned off, I was told that, unfortunately, they are part of the hardware. A few of my fellow installers and HTF members suggested placing black electrical tape over where the LEDs were located, but, seriously, didn’t anyone at DVDO realize that a blinking light would be distracting?
    The blinking LED issue not withstanding, I must say that the DVDO Air is, perhaps, the first wireless HDMI solution that actually works, and works consistently.

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