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Christopher

SI: Sony Wireless Link Is In Da House

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I have been in search of a device(s) that would allow me to stream HD content wirelessly from one room to another, as I have only one HD Dish receiver and 3 HDTVs sitting in different rooms. I have lost all my hope for Sony USA to bring the Locationfree wireless device, something like this one (LF-W1HD) introduced early last year in Japan.
lf-w1hd

LF-W1HD looked promising but it was still not all HD streamer solution, as the receiver was still outputting in SD.
Anyways, Sony recently joined the WHDI headed by AMIMON. A key ingredient of WHDI technology is a revolutionary video-modem that operates in the 5GHz unlicensed band to enable robust wireless delivery of uncompressed HD video (including 1080p). WHDI allows secure, encrypted HD video delivery through multiple rooms and other potential signal obstructions, such as people and furniture, while maintaining superb quality and robustness with less than one-millisecond latency.
Forth came their first product - Bravia Wireless Link DMX-WL1 that consists of a Transmitter and a Receiver. Interestingly enough it was not branded under Locationfree trade mark (I noticed a number of similarities in technology and specs) but under Bravia enabled DMeX devices (though the Wireless Link does not need to be connected at all by the propriety DMeX connection). Another interesting fact is that this device is only available in the US, while in Europe and Asia it has been directly integrated in the TV sets themselves. For example, the beautiful slim model KDL-40ZX1 has the receiver integrated inside and only comes with the wireless transmitter. The US model KLV-40ZX1 was stripped of that feature and asks the buyer to pick up the DMX-WL1 as an accessory to expand its features and capabilities. In Europe we noticed two models - EX and ZX series that have a wireless media receiver bundled.

Back to my original post now, the DMX-WL1 comes as a bundle of a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter (aka DMX-WL1T) allows you to connect up to 5 HD sources (4 HDMI and 1 Component), has S/PDIF Output, and 3 IR blaster terminals, supplied by a bunch of dual IR blaster cables, HDMI cable, stands and mounting brackets. The receiver (aka DMX-WL1R) can be mounted on the back of the compatible Bravia TV or on a wall, or if you wish sit on its on or vertically. Also included is a hybrid remote control (IR/RF).
As usual Sony’s hardware looked great and slick (some of their products deserve to be in a techy beauty contest) and it was nice to notice a Made in Japan sticker on both units.

First Impressions:

The initial set up was not that bad, though for some reason it prompted to activate the remote control for further use. The remote itself can handle multiple commands for various devices that you may connect to the transmitter (from Play, FF to Rec controls). I have experienced a few pairing issues as I was testing the wireless link with 4 different Sony TVs (KDX-46Q005, TAV-L1, XEL-1 and KLV-30XBR900), they are all in different rooms and therefore in different environments. I was able to fix the pairing glitch by disconnecting the power from the transmitter. I have also noticed that the sound would disappear every now and then for like 2 seconds. I hope Sony engineers would look into that glitch as it can be pretty annoying. Lip syncing was not an issue at all.

I was pleasantly surprised to experience a very nice picture quality. The units support 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i formats. If the receiver and transmitter are located within its permissible range (up to 65 feet), the transmission of HD works flawlessly; picture degradation occurs if the units have significant obstacles. The Link Level LEDs on the transmitter are the indicators of the quality of the wireless signal between the receiver and the transmitter units (when all 3 are lit, it means the you are good).

The system has four 5.2GHz band channels and you can select your preferred wireless channel from ch 36, 40, 44 or 48 manually in case you are using Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 a/n network.

I intend to use it with my PS3 so I could be in the same room with my family, while they enjoy using the Qualia 005 TV, I will be streaming content from PS3 to Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV - sort of a portable solution to playing games and not having to drag PS3 to another room. Real time transmission for a true gaming experience proved to be right, I was amazed to see no lag or delay at all as I used the wireless PS3 controller and it was kind of weird to have your PS3 not directly connected to the TV. Some of you may think why on earth do you want to play on an 11 inch TV and my answer to you is the experience and picture quality of OLED TV is mind blowing and one has to physically see and experience it to fully understand what I mean. Games look so good and life-like I can only imagine how awesome it would be to have a 3-D 55 inch OLED TV sometime in 2015. And here is an idea for Sony (and they can buy it from me if they wish), those video glasses you showcased at CES, make them wirelessly connect to your future AV devices for a real true entertainment. You just put them on and submerge yourself to virtual reality fun.

I will be testing this more in the coming days, so stay tuned for an update within this article.
Check out the unboxing of the Sony DMX-WL1 below.

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Transmitter Connected to the PS3

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LED Indicators

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Receiver Connected to XEL-1

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