(originally published in March of 2003)
Gone are the days of bunny ears, the two antennas to adjust the picture on your television, well not entirely. X10, known for its wireless camera, enters the console market with the Video Sender. The object here is to transmit the video signal from one tv to another without long extension cables.
The package contains two standard Audio Video cables, a short standard cable cord, a video sender and receiver, as well as a AC adapter for each. Setup is almost as simple as setting up one of your game consoles. The smaller unit is the sender, here you plug-in your audio video cables. The larger unit is the video receiver, this contains a coaxial as well as the audio video hook ups. Both devices have their own ac outlets. Just make sure to check the mA rating matches up with the each ac adapter, 200 mA on the sender, and 400 mA on the receiver. The ac will fit either one just make sure it matches to prevent risk of frying your unit or it just not working properly.
Plug your audio video cables to the sender from your Xbox or desired media device. And attach the receiver to your television via coaxial or AV. We first tried setting all this up with the coaxial connection on the receiver and the audio video jack attached to the sender. This gave a bit of fuzz in the picture quality even with the television in the same room. On the other hand the AV setup looked great, with the audio video to the sender and receiver, no coaxial. The only problems that came into play were distance and other high end wireless devices such as wireless phones. The frequency from the phone gives bad reception to visual feed from the sender to the t.v.
The tweaking of the ears…
The trick in setting everything up properly has to do with something most people had to deal with before the days of cable t.v., but its not so bad. Set the channel on both devices to be the same A, B, C, or D. Rotate your antenna flat side out facing each other. Now you may get a little bit of exercise at this point, unless you can see the television this is transmitting to from the room your sender is in. Just match them up until your picture looks good. Connection looked great in close proximity, but seemed to have more trouble at longer distances.
If planning on picking up the Video Sender for gaming a wireless controller will be needed. We put the Logitech and the MadCatz Lynx to the test. The Logitech seemed to get more interference of the two, allowing uncontrollable continual forward or sideways motion to whatever is on screen. Not seeing this all the time it seems to be in spurts. The MadCatz on the other side worked quite a bit better but was not flawless. Any uncontrollable situations seemed to be a lot shorter and less of an interruption to the game play. If X10 wants to make this work in the console market they need to get together with one of these companies making wireless controllers, or just put one out themselves that is more compatible.
Whatever device being setup to the Sender, whether it be a CD changer that didn’t make it into the entertainment center, DVD player, or other media device; the Sender does a great job visually and audibly. But for now seems to be more for the desperate gamer that can’t get use the t.v. their console is setup to and doesn’t mind a bit of interference from a wireless controller or phone. Another situation would be having this preset to a DVD player or DVD playable console and watching a movie in another room, while a game is played on the main t.v. Retail is less than half the price of two of the three next generation consoles, making it cheaper than buying two of each game system.
- not ready for console gaming with today’s wireless controllers
- visual presentation is dependent on how many wireless devices are in use.
- lack of S-Video support
+ great for watching a movie in another room
+ addition iterations of this product could be amazing.
(Rating was 4/5)
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