It's been a long journey, but it looks like companies are finally reaching the "wireless HD" destination. The latest solution comes from Gefen, which has rolled out a wireless extender that can deliver uncompressed 1080p video (and multichannel audio) from a maximum distance of 30 feet. The GefenTV Wireless for HDMI 60Ghz device allows you to hook up an HDMI-based video source to the "sender" unit, which can be placed someone else in the room to reduce clutter around your HDTV. However, you will have to find room for the receiver unit, which connects to the TV via HDMI. By using the 60GHz spectrum, the device avoids interference with cordless phones and other electronics that use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies.
But there are some big caveats. The system works best if the sender unit is in open, unobstructed space, so you can't hide it and the HD source away in a closet 30 feet away and expect it to work. You also only get a single HDMI input, so you can't hook both your cable set-top box and your Blu-ray player up to the sender unit at the same time. That limitation is especially noticeable given the price: $999.
It's hard to see that many people willing to drop a grand to hook up just a single source for wireless HD transmission, and more TV manufacturers are planning to cut out middlemen like Gefen and introduce their own solutions. Vizio, for example, will be releasing the XVT Pro Wireless HDMI Adapter this year, which not only operates over the same 60GHz spectrum but also includes four HDMI inputs. (Then again, Vizio hasn't announced any pricing details for the adapter yet.) And you can spend $2,000 and get the LG 47LH85, a 47-inch LED HDTV that includes a wireless Media Box that transmits 1080p HD from up to four sources without requiring a separate receiver unit hooked into the set. To compete against those solutions, Gefen has to start adding many more features to their wireless HD devices to stay competitive.