This is going to be one of the simplest reviews I’ll ever do — and it’s even more astounding because of the level of the technology being put into effect. You’d think that wireless transmitting high-definition video (with multichannel audio) wouldn’t be a cake-walk, and usually you’d be right. Especially if you’re going to include 3D video streams in the mix. But with the Galaxy Wireless HD Solution WDHI Stick, no sweat. That’s because the wireless technology — called Wireless Home Digital Interface [WHDI]– works with any device that has a HDMI video output you can find, does its thing over the 5 Ghz band and is built with low-latency (less than one millisecond) and low power consumption. And while the Stick/transmitter is not the “official” one you get in the package (so I can try this out earlier than others), there’s no difference other than the color and the color of the LEDs (more on that later).
Now all that sounds good, but seeing it work is better. I’ve already opened the package — coming by way of DHL from Israel — and placed the component parts next to my Mac and PC desktops that are in my corner “office” n the living room — that’s about 30+ feet away from the rack that holds my home theater components. I never bothered trying to hook up the computers so as to use the front projection system because it always seemed too much of a hassle. So we’ll see if the Stick changes that. I remove the WHDI Stick’s protective cap and plug it into an open HDMI socket on my switching box (I use the same monitors with both computers, just not at the same time).
Now here comes the rub that makes the Galaxy Wireless HD Solution WDHI Stick well suited for use with computers/laptops — the Stick has to get power from a USB socket. So finding an empty USB socket, I take care of that cabling. I then insert a Blu-ray movie (Coraline, for the curious), and let the film auto-start.
I place the receiver in the included stand so it’s upright and connect a HDMI from its output to one of my amplifier’s free HDMI inputs. I plug the receiver’s power brick in and watch the receiver light up as it seeks out the Stick on its own wireless network. Once both the video and network lights on the receiver have lit up (as they have also done on the Stick), I turn on my projector and amp and switch to the HDMI input the receiver is now connected to.
Funny thing — the lights on the Stick are supposed to be green, but they’re actually blue (maybe that’s because the Stick I’m using isn’t the “official” colored model). Not that it matters as all that is important is that the Stick and receiver are working in sync (if I had had to, I could push a sync button on the transmitter to reconfirm their “handshaking” with each other).
So now I’m seeing Coraline on the projection screen and the image looks good to me — colors vibrant and the image sharp and free of any “gunk.” And the sound is as spot-on as it would be if a cable was involved.
Okay, time for two more tests. I don’t have the most recent AppleTV and so I can’t do the video streaming to it that you can with an iOS device. But I DO have a HDMI output cable for my iPad, so seated in front of the TV in the bedroom, I insert the cable into the iPad and its other end into the Stick’s input. Meanwhile I install the receiver into a free HDMI input on the TV. Distance here is about 12 feet plus. I now have a mirroring of what I’m doing on the iPad appearing on the TV. Very cool. And with no latency speed issues either, it just works. Also you probably noticed by now, as I did, that there wasn’t any software or app or drivers involved in using it with the iPad. This is also true when using it with a computer or laptop. But I did have to have my laptop seated next to me so I could use its USB socket to power the Stick. The whole business would have been a lot easier if I was using the laptop instead.
However, using the Stick with my PlayStation 3 shouldn’t be a problem since it has USB. So I disconnect the HDMI cable from the game console and plug the Stick into the HDMI socket and a USB socket for power. I select one of my stored games from the hard drive, sit down with the controller and “force” myself to blow things up. To be fair, I also tried Call of Duty — but that’s where I tend to be the one being blown up. Regardless, the games played normally — which is to say that there wasn’t any lag between what I told the game to do and it enacting that command.
I guess I should mention that the credit card-sized remote interacts with the receiver to let you “add” a device (which is to say select another Stick), rename devices in use and modify other settings. If you only have the one Stick, it will not get much use.
Oh and while all this testing was going on, the microwave got used, the refrigerator kicked in a few times, my wireless home network was active and the cell phone signal repeater I installed a year ago continued sending cellular signals throughout my place. Any interference being caused sure didn’t get seen my me.
Bottom line: If the purpose of wirelessly transmitting video from one place to another is to provide a convenience, having a device like the Galaxy Wireless HD Solution WDHI Stick is only going to further that desire. While it’s best suited for a computer/laptop since it needs a USB socket for powering the Stick transmitter, it can also be used with a game console, satellite receiver or any other video source that has access to a USB socket as well as HDMI. With a price range of around $200, the WHDI wireless technology makes for an easy and simple setup that lets you spend your time watching streaming video, not babying it.
- Transits Full HD 1080p resolution
- Auto setup
- Accessories for HDMI cables included
- Receiver operates best vertically
- Small remote easily lost
- Stick (transmitter) requires USB power supply
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.