Monday, September 22, 2008

AITech ProA/V Media Extender Review

The product is defined by the manufacturer as a “2.4 Ghz wireless audio/video transmitter and receiver”. It is made to transmit wirelessly an audio/video source to any audio/video receiver or TV. For instance, you should be able to transfer video from a PC to a TV, from a TV to another TV, or an audio source to a home stereo system.

Let me tell you right away, it does not work! The 2.4 GHz operating frequency is an insurmountable problem.

Quickly, what is in the box?
- a transmitter
- a receiver
- 2 A/V cables, one of them has an IR extender for remote control
- 2 power adapters

Both the transmitter and the receiver have a 4 channel selector ranged from 2.414 GHz to 2.468 GHz.
AITech ProA/V Media Extender
Installation is really easy. I connected the video output of my laptop (S-video adapter) on one side and a TV video input on the other side.

Immediately I noticed a poor image quality (color, resolution), a lot of interference, and a barely audible sound. The distance between the T and R was only 10 ft! Repositioning the transmitter and receiver or selecting a different channel did absolutely nothing to improve the reception quality. I never got a steady image (not even to mention that the audio went from inaudible to squeaky) even when the transmitter and receiver were 2 ft apart! So much for a 100ft clear transmission inside a house ( sorry “most homes” as the brochure puts it!).

I did not go further, knowing the product was trouble and that I could not possibly and honestly sell it to my customers.

I contacted Aitech to return the items. They told me they could not take them back since the order was more than 30 days old ( I should have tested them at delivery). I asked them if they had any suggestion to fix the problem and here was the answer:
“The range may be being limited by the materials used in the construction of the walls between the transmitter and receiver. Other objects inside the home can also affect the range. Try to keep the signal path free of metal objects, and you might find that rotating the transmitter and receiver slightly may help. You might also try moving the receiver as far as possible away from the TV.
There may have been also a cordless phone at your customer's location. Even when not on a phone call, cordless phones can send signals back and forth between the phone and the base at a regular interval. Cordless phones, wireless computer network, even at a house next door, can interfere with the ProAIV Media Extender. Unfortunately, the 2.4 GHz frequencies are heavily used by many different devices these days.”

"Unfortunately", you got that right!

Unless you live in a cave or do not have any 2.4 Ghz equipment, there is simply no way to avoid the interference problem, which the manufacturer is totally aware of in their “FCC Radio Frequency Interference Statement” (manual page 13).

Product is a big disappointment, tech support as well!

My advice: stay away from this product*, but I am sure you have figured this out by now…

* stay also away from the AITech Pro PC/TV Wireless Scan Converter that bears the same issues….


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