I wanted to use my current satellite DVR and send the HDTV signal to my exercise room using no wires. There are several wireless technology products that send your HD signal to another TV in your home, but I often read feedback that the signal quality was spotty and unrealiable on some of these devices. Some customers even said they got so frustrated that they sent the wireless HDTV sender back. Wireless versus Wired; which is better when it comes to cost, picture quality, and ease of use? I did a little research on wireless HDTV and here are some of my thoughts.
First off you have to do some math. Most satellite companies (Dish and DirecTV) will charge you at least a $100 for an additional DVR. Along with the cost of the receiver hardware you will most likely have to pay an additional $5 a month on top of the receiver cost (bummer). The only way around this is to be a new customer, so if your contract is done then you could always switch your satellite to another company and get all your equipment free. Unfortunately, I did not have the option to do this, and I didn’t really want to mess with switching satellite providers. Most wireless HDTV senders cost between $100 and $200. So you have to figure your break even point is about 2 years if you decide to go with the wireless HDTV equipment. If you plan to move or quit your satellite service than it is probably not worth buying a wireless HDTV sender.
The second thing to consider is how far you are going to transmit your HD signal. Most wireless HDTV equipment will work within a 100 feet. This distance will suffice for most households. The question is how good will the wireless equipment work? From reading the feedback on many wireless HDTV products many users say it works fine at close distances and within line of site, but as soon as you push the 100 feet limit or have to pass the signal through several walls (or outside) that the reception becomes spotty. This really bothered me because I didn’t want to spend200 to find out the signal is unreliable.
My exercise room is only about 40 feet away from my main satellite DVR, and I have french doors (glass) to where I could point the remote directly at the DVR. This got me thinking about buying a 50 foot HDMI cable and then connecting it only when I workout. Here is what I decided to buy to make the hookup and take down easy – as I didn’t want to drill through walls and try and hide the HDMI cable.
- Cost $30 – Bought one 50ft HDMI cable
- Cost $5 – Bought two female-female HDMI connectors
- Cost $10 – Bought two 3ft HDMI cables to connect to DVR and workout HDTV
I connected one of the short HDMI cables to the back of my satellite receiver. I used HDMI because it carries both picture and sound. I used the component outputs to connect to my main HDTV which gives just as good of picture as HDMI (read more about HDMI vs Component Cables). I connected the other short HDMI cable to my exercise room HDTV. I connected the female-to-female HDMI connector to each end of the 50 foot HDMI cable. Whenever I make the connection between my DVR and exercise room HDTV, I connect from the female-to-female connectors. This way I am not connecting and disconnecting the 50 foot HDMI cable which is the most expensive cable. If the shorter HDMI cable connectors break (which may happen over time), then it is much cheaper to replace!
The picture is awesome! This is because I have a wired connection which is always more realisable than a wireless HDTV connection. The sound is also 5.1 digital as HDMI carries sound with picture. This option is much cheaper than the wireless HD equipment and cheaper than buying another HD satellite receiver. The only downside is I have to layout the 50 foot HDMI cord and wrap it back up after I am done exercising, but it only takes a minute. And besides, I am exercising so I don’t mind the little extra work!