Philips Wireless HD Net Connect (SWW1890) Review
Wireless HDMI is here! Don’t be too surprised, remember we live in the future now. The Philips Wireless HD Net Connect (SWW1890) transmits full HD 1080p video, with digital sound, from a transmitter to a receiver. The HD Net Connect can be set up in a matter of minutes and it even comes with everything you need to mount the receiver to a wall or the back of your TV. Clean up your living room and go wireless!
What’s in the Box
-Mini-USB Cable (18 inches)
-A/C Adapter (5 feet)
-HDMI Cable (5 feet)
-Mounting Hardware (2 Screws, 2 Anchors, 2 Strips of Adhesive Tape)
-Instruction Booklet and Quickstart GuideSetup
Upon opening the Wireless Net Connect box you’ll be greeted with a lot of parts, but don’t fret! Setup looks overwhelming, but it’s quick and easy. There are a bunch of extra parts intended for mounting the HDMI receiver, including brackets, screws, and velcro. The setup is as follows: plug the HDMI receiver into the wall with the AC adapter, and run an HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV. Plug the HDMI Transmitter into your HDMI device, whether it be laptop, computer, game system, set top box, etc. Plug the mini USB into the transmitter and the other end into an open USB port. The mini-USB cord isn’t too long so hopefully the USB port is close by. That’s pretty much it! Tune to the right input on your TV and it should look exactly the same as if you plugged your device straight into the TV with HDMI. The quick start guide and instruction manual are very helpful and easy to understand.Design
The HDMI receiver is no bigger than a standard router and it only has two buttons: info and power. You never have to turn the receiver on or off, as this will happen automatically. The info button will display signal strength and the content resolution on the TV. The HDMI transmitter is a dongle that’s a little longer than a fun-sized candy bar. On the side of the transmitter is a mini-USB port, which is how the transmitter is powered. The transmitter will get warm from use. Both the transmitter and the receiver have status LED lights that can be used for troubleshooting.Features
The Philips Wireless HD Net is basically the same as using an HDMI cable. There’s virtually no lag; a latency of less than 1ms. It uses a WHDI signal that is safety certified and compliant with FCC regulations. It can send wireless content from most any HDMI devices, granted that there’s a USB close by for power. This includes laptops, netbooks, desktop computers, set-top boxes (like Boxee Box) and even game systems. It works with all HDMI-equipped TVs and Projectors. It supports full 1080p video with 60 frames per second and digital audio up to 6Mbps including AC3 and DTS. The transmission distance between the transmitting dongle and the receiver is 23 feet.
We couldn’t tell a difference between using the Philips Wireless HD Net and a regular HDMI cable when connecting our laptop to the TV. There was no lag with gameplay and we got to enjoy it in full quality. Our HD 1080p videos streamed flawlessly with digital surround DTS audio. What more could we ask for? The setup was painless. The router-sized receiver didn’t bother us because it looks nice. It’s also light, so the adhesive velcro works well for mounting it behind the TV. Our only gripe was the size of the transmitting dongle. It’s bigger than a regular flash drive and it’s chunky enough that it blocked the closest USB port on our laptop. The included mini-USB cable is short and barely made it to the other side of the laptop for the next available USB slot. Luckily these cables are easy to find. It’s unfortunate that it requires USB power, but it’s a fair price to pay. We had no problem setting up HDMI screen sharing (or extending our desktop) on our Windows 7 laptop, though this may differ based on the device you are using. Just seconds after plugging in the HDMI dongle to our laptop, we had a mirrored image on the TV. We love when there’s no software installation required. The Philips Wireless HD Net also played nicely with our MacBook Pro, we just needed to use a Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. OS X Extends the screen by default, rather than mirroring it. We had just as good results by hooking it up on our Boxee Box. Video began streaming instantly to our TV. Unfortunately, the dongle was a bit too thick to fit on our new generation XBox 360. With an HDMI adapter (male to female), we’re sure it would work no problem. While the HD Net is not supposed to work through walls, it still does to an extent. We moved our laptop into another room, about 15 feet away, with the door closed, and it streamed no problem. There were not even any jitters.Conclusion
The Philips Wireless HD Net Connect (SWW1890) may be just the solution you have been looking for to avoid complex or messy wiring situations. It’s also a nice method of sharing a desktop computer that isn’t near the TV. Perhaps you want to enjoy your little netbook on a large screen with the luxury of using it from the couch, you can! There are a lot of possibilities and we are thrilled with how easy it is to set up and get working. After a few seconds you can be enjoying an unlimited amount of media and games on the big screen with virtually zero lag. The only real criteria is that you are within the 23 foot range with minimal obstruction and that the HDMI device has a nearby USB port to power the transmitting dongle. The Philips Wireless HD Net Connect (SWW1890) costs $249.99 from Amazonand is currently available. It’s a hefty price to pay, but it’s one of the first wireless HDMI solutions that really works well.
The Good: Easy Set Up, Works Well, No Lag, Looks Nice, Mounting Materials Included, No Wireless Degradation or Interference, No Software Required for Mac or PC (if you have a working HDMI port), Worked Through Walls
The Bad: Pricey, HDMI Transmitting Dongle is Chunky and Requires USB Power Too, Wireless Is Not Supposed to Work Through Walls