Do you sit in front of your TV while simultaneously surfing the Web? Ever see a video online that you want to share with everyone and/or just see on the big screen? This Wireless Laptop to HDTV kit from EZAirWireless is your savior. We recently reviewed this product in detail and tell you whether to pick one of these up.
EZAirWireless in conjunction with Wisair (who makes the wireless USB chip that it's based on) have created the EZView which consists of a USB adapter that plugs into your laptop/computer and the A/V adapter dock that plugs into your TV or projector via either an HDMI cable (preferred) or VGA and audio cables.
It took me about 20 minutes to set things up – unpacking, plugging stuff in, installing drivers & software (MS Windows XP/Vista). There are 2 applications that you need to install, not counting the drivers, but once they're installed you're good to go. Plug the little adapter into your laptop and it should automatically sync up with its partner hooked into your TV. They should both light up with green lights which also flash when there's activity. The laptop adapter is made with a swivel so you can make it point up regardless of the orientation of your USB ports.
Once I had everything plugged in, it was time to see what I could display. There are 2 modes that you can choose – mirror mode (you see everything on your laptop on your TV) or extend mode where your TV acts as an additional, adjunct monitor. Mirror mode isn't bad, but I didn't like that it automatically resized my laptop's resolution (to x720). I preferred extended mode, so that way I could continue doing stuff on my laptop in other windows while the video played on the TV.
I was pleased that the audio worked so well (via HDMI). I didn't really need to change a thing except to up the volume a bit on the TV set; it wasn't controllable via my laptop.
I tested it out by visiting a number of video websites including the usual suspects, Youtube, Hulu and even CBS. These are all Flash-based sites and I was pleased to see that the video seemed to look better on my HDTVs than on my laptop. I also visited Youtube's HTML5 beta site and videos there worked quite nicely as well.
The range on the EZView is rated at 20 ft (line of sight), but honestly if you're sitting that far away from your TV, you must have an enormous screen! I tested at about 10ft away and it worked great. For grins, I tried putting some walls and doors in between the dock and my laptop, and those killed the sync off pretty quickly.
I had a few minor issues and wish list items:
- Sometimes the audio and video got out of sync, but worked itself out again eventually (usually in seconds)
- The transceivers get really hot very quickly, but they are transferring a lot of data. One nice feature is that on the receiver attached to the tv goes into power saving mode when it's no t receiving a signal.
- I also found in my testing that it knocked the sound out on my laptop, and I had to reboot in order to bring it back.
- In mirror mode, it would be really nice to dictate which window was displayed on the TV.
Overall, the EZView is a handy gadget for those of you who want to get your Internet media splashed up on the big screen. The EZView goes for anywhere from $125 to $145 depending on the brand it's sold under; It may also be called something else. For example, a search for “wireless laptop usb hdtv” on Amazon pulls up 3 different vendors, but the product has a distinctive look and is hard to miss.
(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)