Belkin FlyWire: Wireless HDTV, with one weakness

No one likes the cables and wires that result from A/V gear, but nowhere is it worse than on your TV. That flat panel was supposed to be sleek, elegant, a modern wonder — at least it was until you hooked up your DVD player, cable box, and Apple TV to it, each bringing its own HDMI cable to hang off the back of your set like a parasite. It doesn't have to be this way. Belkin's FlyWire brings HD video to your set, and it does it without wires.

How does that work? Simple: you hook up all your video sources (both standard- and high-def) to the transmitter, which is roughly the size of a DVD player circa 2002. Then you connect the (much smaller) receiver to your TV, which connects to the set via a single HDMI cable. The receiver is so small that you can easily mount it to the back of your set, keeping it out of sight and your set looking sleek. Even better, the proprietary wireless tech (5GHz, if you're curious) doesn't compress the signal at all, so there should be no latency.

Great idea, cool breakthrough, though the FlyWire has one weakness that videophiles will immediately recognize. Hit the Continue link to find out what it is.

Here's the only problem: a lot of TVs will let you save picture settings that you've customized for specific inputs, so you can tweak your picture so it looks perfect for the DVD player you've got hooked up to Input 1, but the settings are different for your cable box that you've got on Input 2. By having all your video stuff come through one HDMI connection, you'll have to use the same settings for all sources, or just change them manually. For most people the wireless magic would outweigh this minor inconvenience, but picture tweakers might want to pass.

In any case, you'll have some time to think about it… the FlyWire won't be available until October for the somewhat outlandish cost of $1,000. A scaled-down $700 version for just a single room is planned for next year.

Via Belkin