Crest Electronics Wireless TV Link
- Wireless content streaming, Relatively inexpensive, Change channels at either location
- Fiddly setup, Restricted to watching one channel at both locations, Need two remotes
If you are aware of the limitations, especially not being able to watch different channels at different locations, but still want the ability to watch cable TV at multiple locations, the Crest Wireless TV Link provides a simple way to do so.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
If you have a cable TV connection at home, then no doubt you've experienced the frustration that limits you to watching it on only the television that is hooked up to the cable set top (decoder) box. This means that even if you have multiple televisions, you can only watch cable TV on one of them - unless of course, you are willing to fork out substantially more for extra set top boxes.
The Wireless TV Link from Crest attempts to address this problem by allowing you to stream cable TV to other locations and succeeds in doing so - to a degree. Included in the Crest package are two small silver units, one that acts as a transmitter and one that acts as a receiver. The system works by hooking up the transmitter to your cable TV box, and then connecting the receiver to the television you want to watch it on. The signal is then essentially streamed wirelessly from the box to your TV.
To hook up the units, you have the choice of standard composite connections or an S-Video cable for better video quality. Both the transmitter and receiver need to be plugged into an power source, so you'll have to have a spare one handy. It is important to note that while we used it for Cable TV, the Wireless TV Link can be used with any device that has a composite or S-Video output. Our home entertainment setup is quite complicated as it is, and in order to use these units, we had to purchase three RCA adapters (you can get them for around $5.00) to allow for multiple connections.
We also experienced a few problems setting the units up, and it did involve a fair few trips up and down flights of stairs. Although it should be simple, the supplied manual wasn't exactly overflowing with information, and the setup required a fair bit of tweaking. We recommend you set this up with the help of someone else as at least this will preserve your energy, if not your sanity.
To test these units, we placed one television downstairs (with the cable connection) and one upstairs. On the whole the reception was clear, but at times we did experience a slight crackling of interference. The sound quality wasn't the best either, and we had to turn our TV volume quite high in order to properly hear. Still, this isn't a digital connection so we can't be too critical. Crest promises a range of around 100m and it does deliver.
Perhaps the main limitation of this device is that you are restricted to watching just the one channel at both locations. For example, if you are watching Channel 1 on the first television, Channel 1 will also be streamed to the second television. You cannot watch different channels on different televisions at once which is rather disappointing.
One aspect of the package we did appreciate was the ability to change channels at both locations. This involves placing a small IR sensor in front of the source box which allows you to change the channel using the remote at either location. Setting this up is really fiddly, as you'll need to align the sensor exactly. Even then, we found it requires two or three good presses to make the control work. To make good use of this feature though, you'll need two remotes - we used one Universal Remote and one for the Set top Box - otherwise you'll be walking from one location to other all the time just to get the remote.
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