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Review: Belkin ScreenCast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter

If you’re anything like me, you’re mighty disturbed by the rat’s nest of cables snaking behind your flatscreen TV, connecting it to the various components that comprise your media system: your DVD/Bluray player, your media players, your AV receiver and various game consoles. They’re really a pain, ruining the look of your home theater, and made you wish for a better solution. There should be one, right?

What if there was a device that reduced this spaghetti tangle to just one single HDMI cable, and took that crazy jumble of cords and cables away and out of sight?

Well, we have just the device: presenting the Belkin Screencast AV 4 Wireless AV-to HDTV Adapter.

Belkin doesn’t really have its wide array of products available here, confining their output to iPod, iPad and iPhone accessories, mostly. Hopefully, this is the first salvo of the expansion of the wide Belkin catalogue for release in the Philippines.

The Screencast AV is a contraption composed of two small consoles, one to attach everything you own (well, four HDMI AV inputs anyway), and another smaller one that wirelessly accepts all those inputs and connects to your TV via a single HDMI cable. It looks complicated and daunting at first, but is actually simple once you get the hang of it.

In essence, you connect your four devices to this first console, the Transmitter, via their HDMI cables, and then attach individual wired IR sensors to each of them. These IR sensors are all interconnected, and attach to the first console by one plug. You can set aside your devices in a media cabinet or drawer, out of sight from your TV if you like. It doesn’t matter where they really are (but don’t set them aside too far; you’ll need to access them anyway, putting game discs and movies and the like), but the point is, you don’t have to have them attached directly to your TV set. Both of the consoles are individually powered by wall warts, so no worry about power needs.

The second console, the Receiver, the one that attaches to your TV via a single HDMI cable, is the magic box. It receives input from your various devices wirelessly in high-quality picture and sound: full HD 1080p resolution and 5.1 channels of surround sound, even transmits 3D video if you’ve got it, from anywhere up to 100 feet away. From any of four devices (just four—if you got more, you’re out of luck). There is even an option to mount the Receiver to the wall near your TV, to further reduce the mess.

All you need do is use Belkin’s supplied simple remote control called the IR Blaster to select your input, and then you use that device’s remote by pointing it at the TV—even if the device is in a cabinet behind you. All the TV knows is you’re just using one of its HDMI ports, and all the work is done by the Screencast AV.

There is no lag, practically no latency at all in the Screencast AV’s response, and it’s as if the devices were still there right beside your TV, with no discernible loss of signal. (At first, I was a bit worried about the Playstation 3, since it uses a Bluetooth connection for the controller and the remote, but it apparently had adequate coverage anyway so no real worries there.) I liked the fact that that spaghetti tangle of wires and cables is finally gone.

You can get the Belkin Screencast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter online for US$249, or from Digital Hub, Digital Walker or Beyond The Box branches and other tech distributors real soon.



Adel Gabot is a freelance writer, editor, teacher and Palanca award-winning fictionist. In his spare time he loves Macs, his iPad and iPhone, old Sean Connery 007 movies, Stephen King books, his Kindle Paperwhite, his Nexus 7, his video games, Green Tea ice cream, Aeropressed coffee and a good Merlot. His favorite noodles: Ma Mon Luk mami.

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