Or at least, that’s the promise its new streaming products makes. At the launch of its new wireless streaming solutions, I got a little hands-on time with Belkin’s new home AV solutions.
Belkin’s claim is the ScreenCast products work on a proprietary wireless signal operating in the 5GHz band; this (according to Belkin) should mean that they don’t interfere with or suffer interference from other wireless sources.
Belkin demonstrated streaming the Blu-ray version of Spider-Man 3 as a test subject, and while I couldn’t say it was flawless — every once in a while there were very small digital artefacts, almost old-style analogue snow-like in appearance — for a wireless streaming solution they were pretty impressive; I’d need to give it a full scale real world test to be sure.
The basic screencast product is designed for Intel Wireless Display compatible laptops; plug its HDMI connection into a display and connect your laptop up for large screen browsing. One of the more ambitious claims that Belkin made yesterday was that its Screencast range should be suitable for gaming without lag. Given when I was testing the competing McTivia streamer I was never able to get truly lag-free gaming happening, that’s a bold claim.
The $299.95 ScreenCast AV 4 connects, as the name suggests, up to four HDMI-compliant AV devices, which you can then store elsewhere and transmit to your TV. Belkin’s claim here is a range of 30 metres; while that’s not likely to be the case in all but the largest of homes (and some commercial installations, I guess) it’ll be interesting to see how well it deals with the various sources of WiFi pollution that inhabit the average home. The ScreenCast AV 4 comes with an IR dongle to give it remote control mirroring capability, but it’s not Bluetooth compatible, so those with a Playstation 3 will have to investigate other solutions.
The company also showed off its ScreenLink products; these are single $89.95 and four port $129.95 products that are slightly less enticing in that they’re basically just dual-band wireless bridges under a slightly fancy marketing name.