This post has been updated to include additional first-hand information about the HDMI models. NOTE: The information below relates to the Nyrius models available in the U.S. Models available in other locations may differ in price or features.
With wireless being the norm for so many of our electronic devices today, it’s pretty surprising to me that the standard way to connect a cable box to your TV is still with physical cables. And the surprise turns into annoyance when I want to put a TV in a room where I don’t have a cable outlet. I had this situation when I bought my current house. I wanted to put a TV in my living room but there was no outlet there and neither option for putting one in—running the wires along the ceiling and floorboards inside the house or running them over the roof on the outside—was desirable.
Note: I’m using the term “cable” to mean any provider of TV services, including satellite and telecom companies.
Fortunately, after doing some research, I found the Nyrius 6-Channel Wireless Audio/Video Transmitter & Receiver System, which sends the cable signal wirelessly from the cable box in my bedroom to my living room TV. Since then, I’ve upgraded my system from the GS3200 model, which doesn’t carry HD signals and only has one input, to the Aries Home+ model, which does support HD and has two inputs.
The value of the second input is that you can use these same devices to transmit signals wirelessly from other types of audio and video equipment as well, e.g. DVD/Blu-ray players, streaming media devices, music systems, gaming consoles, etc. I have my transmitter set up with the cable box as one input and a Roku streaming player as the other.
Note: These systems can also be useful even if you have them in the same room as your TV, but connecting devices with a cable won’t work for some reason.
Nyrius Wireless A/V Systems
These are some of the models available. To see the full list of products, visit the Nyrius website.
- ARIES Matrix Wireless HDMI & Component Video 6-Input Digital Transmitter & Receiver for HD 1080p Video Streaming (List Price $219.97). This model has six inputs—four HDMI and two RCA composite (red/white/yellow ports) to let you stream signals from multiple devices to your TV. It also has a loop-through feature, which lets you connect it to one TV with an HDMI cable and to another TV wirelessly so you can use the same devices on both sets. (Note that if you’re using it with a cable box, both sets will have to play the same channel). And there’s a remote control that lets you switch between the inputs without having to unplug anything.
- ARIES Home+ Wireless HDMI 2-Input Transmitter & Receiver for Streaming HD 1080p 3D Video (List Price $209.99). This is the model I have with the two HDMI inputs. It also has the loop-back feature (so I can use my cable box and my Roku on both TVs) and a remote to switch between the inputs.
- ARIES Home Wireless HDMI Digital Transmitter & Receiver for HD 1080p Video Streaming (List Price $199.99). This is similar to the Home+ model except it only has a single input and it doesn’t have the loop-through feature. So if you wanted to connect your cable box to two TVs, you’d need to connect the box’s HDMI out port to the wireless transmitter to send the signal to the TV in a different room and use one of the other connection cables (HDMI, coaxial, RCA composite, etc.) to connect to the TV near the cable outlet.
- NY-GS3200 5.8GHz 6-Channel Wireless Audio/Video Transmitter & Receiver System (List Price $79.99). This model has a single input and uses composite cables (red/white/yellow plugs) to connect to your A/V device. It has six channels so if you have multiple devices transmitting wireless signals, you can change the channel to avoid interference. You can also get additional receivers to connect to additional TVs.
- NY-GS10 5.8GHz 4-Channel Wireless Audio/Video Transmitter & Receiver System (List Price $59.99). This model is similar to the GS3200 except it only has four channels instead of six, which may be fine for you if you don’t have a lot of wireless devices in your home.
The IR Extender
One of the questions that comes up a lot with these types of systems is how do you control A/V devices from another room change (e.g. change the channel on your cable box)? That’s where the IR extender comes in.
The IR extender is a thin cable that plugs into the Nyrius transmitter and has one or more small blocks on it. You position the block close to and in front of the device’s infrared light (hence “IR”). Then when you point the device’s own remote at the Nyrius receiver unit, which is connected to the IR extender, you can operate the device just as if you were pointing the remote at it directly.
My Two Cents
When I got my first system, I immediately fell in love with it. I had no problems with the signal, even going through multiple walls and doors and the picture was really clear and stable. At one point, when I switched from Comcast to Verizon FIOS, I moved the box to my basement, which also has an outlet, and sent the signal from there—also without problems. The only time there was any issue was when someone was walking across the line the signal was traveling and the picture would break up a little. But since that person was usually me, it wasn’t really a problem since I wasn’t watching the TV while I was walking.
Normally, I would have been perfectly happy with my original system because I really couldn’t care less about high-definition video. (I often wonder how I ended up writing about it so much!) But I wanted to try out the HDMI version so I could report back on it as well. To be honest, I have had a couple of issues with it that I never had with the non-HD version. The main one is that it will be working perfectly fine for quite a while—nice clear signal with very little lag—but sometimes my TV will lose the signal and it can take a while to get it back. I usually end up having to unplug both the transmitter and receiver to get them to pair again (similar to having to reboot a wireless router when you’re having connection issues).
I’m not sure what’s causing the interruption in the signal. The non-HD system has antennas on both the transmitter and receiver that you can reposition until you find the clearest picture and sound, but the HD version doesn’t have anything like that to adjust on it. Also, with the non-HD model, you can manually change the channel it uses if you’re finding interference from other devices (although I’ve never had to do so), whereas with the HD version the system cycles through the channels itself until it lands on one it likes.
I don’t know if those differences explain why I sometimes lose the HD signal or if it’s something about HD signals themselves being harder to stay connected or if there’s something wrong with my particular units—or if some other factor altogether is causing the problem. I’m about to set up another cable box in the basement (I switched back to Comcast but only activated my bedroom outlet at first) so I’m going to try putting the transmitter down there again and see if that makes any difference.
The other difference is that I found the IR extender worked a lot better with the non-HD version. However, that’s actually become a non-issue for me because there’s an Xfinity mobile app that I can use as a remote so there’s no need to use the extender at all. I don’t know if other TV providers provide the same type of app or not, but if you get any of these units, you might want to check it out.
So I can definitely recommend the non-HDMI model wholeheartedly. As for the Home+ model, it may not be perfect but I still use it a lot and and most of the time it works great. If you read the reviews at Nyrius, you’ll see the majority of people have no problems at all, but a few have reported the same issues I mentioned. So I think it’s very specific to each person’s particular setup and there’s no real way to know if it will work well for you unless you try it.
Ready to Buy?
Setting up the Nyrius systems is super easy. You just plug the device you want to watch into the transmitter with the appropriate cables and plug the receiver into your TV with the same.
As I mentioned earlier, the non-HDMI models have antennas that you adjust so they’re pointing towards each other and little switches so you can select a different channel if you’re experiencing signal interference.
With the HDMI models, there’s a pairing button on both units. First you press the button on the transmitter and then you press the one on the receiver to start the pairing process. Then turn on your TV and select the HDMI input the receiver is plugged into. You’ll see some icons and text on the screen showing that the system is cycling through the different channels until the units are paired.
Tip: You should place the transmitter on something high like a stand or table. At one point I had mine on the floor in my bedroom and then I would put my full laundry basket down and forget that it was in the line of the signal. The support area of the Nyrius website also has other tips for improving the quality of the signal if you’re having problems.
And if you want to use the IR extender, you plug it into the transmitter and set the block in front of the infrared light on the device you want to control. The blocks have a little plastic tab on the bottom that you can peel off to expose a light adhesive so it will stay in place once you’ve got it properly positioned.