Feb 28, 2017
As we like to say, mobile accessories make the device; a smartphone is just a smartphone, but when paired with the right tool, it extends to something truly magical.
One major turn-off is the presence of unnecessary wire. More specifically, for all the good the HDMI standard has brought, those wires still get on my nerves. And I am also “tied” to something.
We recently got a chance to try out the Aries Pro Wireless HDMI system from Nyrius, which looks to make the wired HDMI experience a bit more of an option versus necessity.
Now that Chromebooks have (or are on the way to obtaining) access to the Play Store, the value of this piece is a mobile accessory jumped a bit.
But what exactly does it to? The two-piece solution allows one to wirelessly tether a source device to an output unit — like a projector or television.
The review package unveils the setup: a receiver portion, an HDMI plug-in transmitter and a few smaller accessories: a right-angle adapter and HDMI cable. For devices that have full HDMI (Type A) inputs, this device is ready to go in plug and play fashion.
Setup is fairly intuitive; the transmitter is plugged into an HDMI slot on the host device, and the receiver connects in the same way with the help of the HDMI cable. Simple as that, really, and you have the potential for screen mirroring.
And it works.
We first tried it with the Acer R11 Chromebook, a unit that has Google Play access, touchscreen and full HDMI out. After a few perfunctory adjustments in the device settings, I had the unit mirrored on a Sony TV quite easily.
Just for kicks, we wanted to see how it would work with a properly equipped Android tablet. Thankfully, we had an RCA tablet, an ultra-affordable unit that has mini-HDMI output. Using a suitable adapter, we plugged in the transmitter (which was also tethered to a USB power). It worked just as well with as the Chromebook, even if the tethering made it a bit awkward.
And the practical uses were fairly far-reaching. Playing games was a biggie, and the right games with a bluetooth controller support made for an interesting solution: with the tablet or Chromebook beside me, I was able to play games on the screen with very little lag, creating a decent console-ish experience.
Similarly, it works well with consumer projectors that have HDMI functionality. In every situation, sound pipes through in step with visuals through the designated audio output device.
There are a few pauses here. One, the necessity for the plugin to be powered, as hinted at above; the setup isn’t the most mobile
Also, when it comes to playing games, it works best with bluetooth controllers, for obvious reasons. With that setup, one could leave the source device all connected up and to the side — but in range of the controller — so that the player can keep eyes on the larger screen.
All in all, it’s a great accessory, just about portable, if a bit of an investment (at $250). In the right hands, it’s invaluable.