Video Sender wireless communication solution
Note: TechnoFILE's Test unit was provided by
Heres a nifty way to get your satellite signal to a second
TV in your home without buying a second receiver.
Its the Video Sender Wireless Communication Solution, a $120
or so unit that takes any audio and/or video signal and sends it up to 300 feet
to a remote location.
Available from a variety of brands, it does this using basically
the same 2.4 gigahertz technology of todays higher end cordless phones,
and in a quick weekend test at our place it worked beautifully.
The last time we tried such a gadget aimed at getting TV signals
from point A to point B it was a horrible experience, with a unit that forced
you to string a little wire through the house and that put so much snow and
other distortion onto the destination screen that it wasnt worthwhile.
That was then, clearly, and this is now. Other than some
interference when someone walked in front of the receiver unit, its performance
was first rate.
We used it to send the signal from our satellite receiver, which
is downstairs in the home theater, to the little 13 inch TV in our bedroom.
Since the Video Sender only outputs composite video and stereo audio via RCA
jacks, and the bedroom TV only has a cable input, this meant a little bit of
messing around, but nothing major. All we did was hook a VCR up to the TV and
then plug the Video Senders receiving unit into the VCRs
audio/video input jacks and then run the signal via cable from the VCR to the
TV and then just left the TV on channel 3. In short, it was just like
hooking up a VCR to a TV under normal circumstances.
At the source end, all it took was to run patch cords from the
satellite receiver to the sending unit, which perched happily right next to it
on our equipment stand.
The units are small (about five inches square and about an inch
thick) so its easy to find space for them; you just perch it near the
component you want it to interface with, patch it in, plug in the included AC
adapter, and repeat the process at the other end. Then flip both units on and
The receiving unit even comes with a little Infrared remote
control transmitter that lets you use your downstairs remote
upstairs. Our satellite receiver uses radio instead of IR, so we couldnt
try that part but we have no reason to think it wont work (weve
tried this type of trick before with good success). As far as the radio remote
we use is concerned, it wasnt an issue because it basically uses the same
technology as the remote sender itself to send commands through the floors to
the satellite receiver.
Audio and video quality in our test was just fine, though our low
end mainstream receiving TV wasnt the best of tests (but our
reference unit would have been worse, since it would have been about three feet
from the transmitter and that would have defeated the purpose).
And since the Video Sender uses RCA jacks, which other than on our
bedroom TV are pretty well universal, you can transmit signals other than
satellite TV. You can send the picture and sound from a VCR, digital or analog
cable box, CD player (without picture, of course), or even a DVD player. You
could even use it for a kind of Mickey Mouse video conferencing if you hook up
a camcorder and use it to shoot you live. That way, you could handle an
overflow crowd at your lecture, by transmitting the action to another TV fairly
The sender lets you choose from four channels to not only help
reduce interference, but to let you use more than one system
The only real drawback to the unit comes when watching TV:
whoevers watching on the remote television has to watch the same program
thats playing downstairs on the source unit. This didnt
cause a problem for us, since we only had the unit for a bit more than a
weekend, but over time I think it would be a minor annoyance, since not
everyone goes to bed at the same time every night and this lack of channel
flexibility prevents two people from watching two different programs.
This isnt a criticism of the video sender; its the
nature of the beast. The same problem would happen if you were to put a
splitter on the output of a satellite receiver and run it to multiple
TVs. The only way to get channel changing capability on both TVs is
to have a separate satellite tuner for each one.
Still, for the price its a problem with which we could live.
Sure, you could almost buy a second satellite receiver for the price of this
sender, but then you have to head to the roof (at our home, anyway) to string a
second cable (you have to buy the second cable, too, of course) and then bring
it into the house to hook into the second receiver.
Besides, it would cost us substantially more: if were to get
a second receiver, were determined that it be an HDTV one, to best
exploit the capabilities of our reference big screen, and you wont find
one of them for the price of this video sender.
Still, we bought my father a satellite system a couple of years
ago, one that uses the radio frequency type of remote control, and had this
unit been available back then it would have saved us a lot of hassle. You see,
he lives alone and so there wouldnt be the same problem with having to
watch the same channel on both TVs: theres only him and, remarkable
as my dad is, he cant be in two places at once.
So you never know; this type of Video Sender may just be the best
compromise around, depending on your needs.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think