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Peerless-AV PeerAir Wireless HD Multimedia System Review

/ Sep 25th, 2013 No Comments

The PeerAir Wireless HD Multimedia System provides a solution for home theatre enthusiasts and small businesses alike. The small black boxes allow for easy transmission and multiplication of a single HD signal via HDMI to multiple displays. This makes it perfect for cloning a home theatre signal from the living room and wirelessly transmitting it into the kitchen, or for a small eatery to display menus at multiple angles or at opposing ends of the room, completely eliminating the need to run long cables and repeaters through the walls. The PeerAir has good number of intelligent features that make it versatile in almost any home theatre setup.

Features

  • Stream Full HD 1080p and 3D content wirelessly up to 100ft (30m)
  • HDMI pass-through feature allows hard-wired connection to a second HDTV
  • Connects up to 2 HDMI devices such as Blu-ray player, set-top box, gaming console, etc.
  • Expandable to connect additional HDMI devices wirelessly to one HDTV with additional Transmitter(s)
  • USB Gaming/PC Port wirelessly connects computer to gaming controller, keyboard or mouse
  • Zero latency (<1ms) enables instant gaming response
  • Support 5.1 digital audio
  • IR functionality allows remote control of AV devices when stored out of sight
  • Transmitter and Receiver can be placed on tabletop or mounted to a wall
Streaming games is simple and retains high image quality.

Streaming games is simple and retains high image quality.

Setup is incredibly simple. A supplied HDMI cable and power cords are the only assembly required. The transmitter box is plugged into the wall with the power adapter and wired to the source with the HDMI cable, be it a Blu-Ray player, video game console or computer. An output HDMI cable can be added to make the transmitter a passthrough rather than a dedicated transmission. The box can transmit and pass through at once, making it easy to display the same image in two rooms simultaneously. The receiver only requires an HDMI cable to output the signal and a plug to provide power. The pairing between the two happens automatically. The system searches through the various radio channels to pair transmitter with receiver. It took between ten and twenty seconds, and provides a much more elegant solution than setting channels through switches or buried menu settings.

The initial test began with the transmitter and receiver just a few inches apart. The first test yielded the claimed zero latency. Scrolling through console menus and playing a game felt no different than wiring the console directly. Even with a high frame rate and a 1080p signal, the image was devoid of any skipping or compression artifacts.

The second test scenario placed the receiver on the same wall, but one floor below. There was no drop in picture quality or frame rate, despite a distance of 30-40 feet and the ceiling between.

Compact boxes, without any unnecessary ports.

Compact boxes, without any unnecessary ports.

A third test placed focused more at the extreme, as rooms were at complete opposite ends of the house and on different floors. From about 70 feet from one box to another, with five walls between, a ceiling and a tile floor, the box still managed to pick up a connection quickly with a stable frame rate. There was some slight pixelation and compression artifacts, but the picture remained stable and completely watchable so long as nothing more came between the receiver box and the signal origin. Even a casual walk through was enough to cause extreme screen tearing and plenty of artifacting, the image recovered as soon as the obstructions were cleared. Even as the image began to break, an increase in latency was still unseen. As an extreme case pushing the system beyond its claimed range and with less-than-adequate antenna tweaking, the PeerAir still performed admirably.

The Good

The PeerAir Wireless HD Multimedia System provides an elegant solution to transmitting HD content from one room to another without having to run wires through walls or stream content from a home theatre PC. The transmitter offers dual inputs and a passthrough port, and transmits between 4.9 and 5.9 GHz, keeping it from interference from most phone and Wi-Fi networks. Even beyond the claimed distance with multiple obstructions, signal was completely watchable. The boxes are compact and can be easily hidden behind or beneath most television sets, or can be mounted to a wall with supplied hardware. A provided USB port on the receiver can be used to connect controllers, keyboards or other peripherals to a transmitting computer. The various small features add much more to what was already a great package.

The Bad

The remote range was fairly low and needed direct line of sight with the box, which made it impossible to tuck the transmitting box away behind a television or cabinet. This would also hinder transmission, but if a given setup was not impacted by hiding the box and cables, the option would have been there. The list price is $303, which is fair considering all the functions and how well it operates. Still, it is in the same price range as a secondary game console, a small HTPC, or three Roku streaming boxes.

Overall

The PeerAir Wireless HD Multimedia System does everything it claims and does it well. Small touches like the added USB port on the receiver and dual inputs on the transmitter make it perfect for a multitude of home applications. Gamers can enjoy their PC games in 1080p on a large living room TV, or console controllers could be brought downstairs and played without unplugging and moving the console itself. The main concern for most wireless solutions is the added latency. Without any from the PeerAir, the price is all the more acceptable. It is a fantastic piece of technology.

 

Chance Asue

Chance Asue

Associate Editor & Multimedia Specialist at Gaming Illustrated
Chance Asue is a self-taught computer builder and hardware junkie. His favorite game franchises include Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. He is Gaming Illustrated's Multimedia Specialist and reviews the latest hardware tech.
Chance Asue

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PEERLESS-AV PEERAIR WIRELESS HD MULTIMEDIA SYSTEM REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall90%

FUNCTION9.5

Does everything that it claims to do and does it all incredibly well. It can be upgraded with more receivers and strategic antenna placement can extend streaming range.

VALUE9

It is an elegant, technologically-advanced solution, and it is priced accordingly. Performance and the range of uses justify every penny.

DESIGN8.5

Standard gloss black plastic and minimal buttons. Bright LED blinking lights can annoy, considering the boxes have to be visible for optimal signal. IR remote is a bit of a letdown.