Iogear Guwavkit Wireless Audio/Video Kit SRP: $350

by | May 23, 2009 | Component Reviews | 0 comments

Iogear Guwavkit Wireless
Audio/Video Kit

SRP: $350


 

 


23 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618
866-946-4327 (toll-free)
800-876-9375 (order line)
949-453-8782 (voice)
949-453-8785 (fax)
https://www.iogear.com/product/GUWAVKIT/


Basic Description

Wirelessly connect your laptop/computer’s audio and video to your TV and stereo.  Supported video: up to 1600 x 1200 or 1680 x 1050.  Rated for up to a 30 foot distance.  Not designed to work with a CRT display (or MacIntosh computer).

Package contents: wireless video receiver (VGA or DVI-A analog video), wireless audio receiver (analog stereo), wireless USB transmitter, USB 2.0 to mini-B cable (for setup of audio receiver), USB 2.0 extension cable (to help relocate the transmitter for better reception), 6′ VGA cable, VGA to DVI-A adapter, 3.5 mini to mini cable (for audio) and 3.5 mini to RCA cable (for alternate audio), fastener (to attach receiver to back of TV), two power adapters, user manual and installation CD.

Computer Requirements: Microsoft Windows XP (SP2) or Vista (32- or 64-bit) with USB 2.0 port, 1.6 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM.  These are minimum requirements for an online video in a “window.”  To have a 480p video in a “window” you’ll need a 1.8 GHz processor, to do 720p in a “window” you need a 2.8 GHz processor and to do 720p HD “full screen” you need a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo—all with 1 GB RAM. One year warranty.

Associated Equipment

Dell Studio 1537 Laptop w/ Windows Vista 64-bit, Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and USB 2.0 output, Samsung PN42A450 Plasma Television.

Setup

It is extremely important to read the instructions before installing this product, otherwise you will have difficulty right from the beginning.  You should make sure to keep the transmitters and receivers close to each other to ease in setup.  In case you get into trouble there is a 24/7 tech support line as well as a FAQ available online.  Luckily, the manual is well organized and full of troubleshooting tips, so you probably won’t need to go searching/calling for answers.

There are two plug-in transformers in labeled bags, but once they are out of the bag there is no indication which one is for audio and which for video.  Luckily, the manual shows that the larger one goes to the video receiver and the small one connects to the audio receiver.

The next step is the software installation.  Everything went smoothly and I inserted the USB device into the computer.  I connected the video receiver next and it worked pretty much right away.  The default mode is an extended desktop which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  I would assume most people would want to “mirror” what is being displayed on the primary computer.  There are several adjustments that can be made including: resolution, display mode, color quality and rotation.  It automatically set the resolution for the TV and I didn’t alter it as it appeared to be correct and looked fine.  I went straight to the setting screen and changed it to “mirror” my primary display.

The audio receiver needs to connect to the computer first and then it can be moved over to the stereo system or connect to the TV like the video receiver.  There are two icons at the bottom for controlling the connection as well as turning it off.  I played with some of the advanced settings and they worked as expected.

The troubleshooting section is comprehensive, so if you have any issues this is a good place to start.  Some of the troubles with not getting audio or video are as simple as unplugging the receiver(s) and plugging them back in.  When I initially had a problem with the audio I needed to change an audio setting in the computer (detailed in the manual); then everything worked.

Video and Sound

As far as displaying the desktop there were never any issues whatsoever.  I was able to go on the Internet and look at web pages, stills, video, etc.  There is a slight delay between the primary monitor and the secondary that is easily noticeable when you start an application.  I would assume that for mirroring functions this would never be a big concern.

I loaded .xvid and .avi files that I had on my laptop and a flash drive for playback on the plasma display.  In “windowed” and “full screen” mode I got a perfect picture when I had the laptop within 10′ from the receivers.  With Hitch on DVD in “full screen” I believe my laptop may have been too slow and the image jerked along consistently.  The biggest issue I had involved distance from the receivers.  Past 10′ away audio went out.  At 22′ I got jerky/slow video.  At 30′ video went out completely.  With the video I could move closer and the image would resume.  With the audio I needed to reset the receiver in order to get it working.  When the image was working properly it looked excellent and audio sounded fine.

Conclusion

The magazine editor was unable to make use of the IOGEAR as it is not compatible with a Mac.  If this kit was more universal and worked with standard audio/video components then I believe interest for it would be much more widespread.  Also, if the range were improved (even at a higher cost) I could see many consumers opting for this unit versus busting out walls and hard-running wires to get audio and video from one room to the next.

In its present form I see its greatest use for someone downloading video to their computer (in the same room) and, without having to run wires, have the image and sound go to their television/monitor and stereo.  For those who have a media extender or HTPC it will not be as useful.  With a laptop you can have full control from your seat and then just set the laptop down when you are ready to watch something.  In my living room I could see sitting with the laptop and web surfing or working on video reviews via the IOGEAR.  As this product resides in a niche market, it is up to the consumer to decide if they fit within this niche.

Brian Bloom
big_brian_b@hotmail.com

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