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After Hours

Geek Gifts 2011: ASUS WiCast EW2000 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver

This is another one of those too-rare occasions where a device operates exactly as advertised. The WiCast EW2000 is almost as simple to use as a HDMI cable. Mark Kaelin reviews this wireless video device.

When it comes to technology gadgets these days, wireless is where it is at. But one area where wireless has been slow to catch on is video. With the ASUS WiCast EW2000 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver that slow adoption is going to be a thing of the past.

Specifications

  • Video: Up to 1080p at 60Hz, <1 ms latency
  • Audio: Up to 8 channels
  • Wireless HDMI Technology: WHDI
  • Transmission Distance: Up to 10 meters (line of sight)
  • Operation Frequency: 5.15 ~ 5.85 GHz
  • Data Rate: 3Gbps
  • Power Supply:
    • Transmitter: DC 5V, 2A adapter, or USB power
    • Receiver: DC 5V, 2A adapter
  • Interface:
    • Transmitter: 1 x HDMI input
    • Receiver: 1 x HDMI output
  • Dimensions:
    • Transmitter: 103mm(L) x 68mm(W) x 28.65mm(H)
    • Receiver: 105mm(L) x 25mm(W) x 125mm(H)
  • Cost: $179 when I purchased it, but it has been as low as $99 on Amazon
  • Additional information

What I like

I admit it, when I first ordered the WiCast EW2000 I was skeptical that it would actually be able to transmit 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound audio from my notebook PC to my LCD television that rivaled a typical HDMI connection. But after only five minutes using the device my skepticism was gone.

This is another one of those too-rare occasions where a device operates exactly as advertised. The WiCast EW2000 is almost as simple to use as an HDMI cable. In many ways, it is an HDMI cable, only with a wireless section connecting the two ends.

There were no frames lost, no pixilation, and no audio interruptions during testing. If you are happy with an HDMI cable connection, then you will be happy with the connection provided by the ASUS WiCast EW2000 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver.

What I don't like

There is very little not to like about the WiCast EW2000, but there is one minor annoyance: Each time you establish the connection, there is a delay as the transmitter and receiver get their protocols in sync. It can take anywhere from a few seconds to nearly 30 seconds. It always made the connection for me, but the few times it took 30 seconds had me wondering if it was going to make it.

Geek bottom line

The idea of connecting your HDMI-capable devices to your HDMI-capable display wirelessly with a device that just works is pretty much the definition of geeky nirvana. And with the cost of the device dropping to such reasonable levels, the ASUS WiCast EW2000 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver is a great gift for the media geek on your shopping list.

One additional note: Many of the new high-end notebooks are shipping with built-in WHDI transmitters already installed. This is a fast growing technology that will be commonplace in just a few years.

Geek Gift Score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ****
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: ****
  • Overall: *****

For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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