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Nyrius ARIES Home+ Review: zero lag, wireless HDMI?
Considering how far technology has come in last decade or so, it is getting harder and harder to find a truly innovative product, with most new devices refined iterations of existing technologies, all in the quest to find perfect, issue-free, solutions. Over the past few years, Nyrius has been hard at work to offer a flawless experience when it comes to Wireless HDMI technology, and with their latest device, the Nyrius ARIES Home+ (NAVS502), the company claims to have done so. Do they really stand true to their bold claims of zero latency and providing a plug and play interface? That’s what we find out in the Nyrius ARIES Home+ review!
In the box you’ll find several components, including the Digital Wireless HD Transmitter, which is made entirely of plastic. The Digital Wireless HD Transmitter also comes with a stand if you choose to prop it up, and features only one indicator light for when it is active. Overall, this device does a great job of staying hidden, and it’s a pleasant change to see a device like this without multiple flashing lights on when in use. At the bottom are some holes for ventilation, and on the back are the ports for the IR remote extender, HDMI input, and two sources for HDMI output.
Also available is an external IR remote extender, which plugs into the back of the HD transmitter, and sits in front of the video source. The way this works is when a button is pressed on a remote pointing at the wireless transmitter, it sends the signal to the external IR remote extender, and then that forwards the signal to the DVR, in my case, or any other source. This will also work for wireless game controllers, which I was able to test while using the PS4.
The next piece in the puzzle is the digital wireless HD receiver, with a built-in IR remote extender. The receiver is much smaller than the transmitter, with the front housing the IR receiver with the power and source button, and status light found up top. On the back is the power input, and a port for the HDMI output.
Apart from all of these components, also included in the box are a few power adapters, a 5 foot HDMI cable, a remote control to switch inputs and power, 4 screws and screw anchors, along with some legal documentation and warranty information.
With all its components, it’s obvious that the NAVS502 features a transmitter and receiver setup. Basically, the transmitter connects to the video source, which can be anything from DVD players, a DVR, a computer, and even a gaming console. The receiver plugs in to the output, usually a television or monitor. With everything plugged in correctly, it only takes a few seconds for everything to work, which means that it is truly plug and play, one of the key features claimed by the company.
With one claim out of the way, it’s now time to test out its zero latency promise, which is certainly the more important of the two features. In general, latency is a time delay between the cause and the effect of some observed change in a system, and when it comes to the world of technology, users will know of it as “lag.” Lag makes a bigger difference in some areas than others, but as any gamer can attest to, no lag is the ideal condition that every gamer will hope for, with the extra unnecessary second making the difference in missing that note on Guitar Hero, or even losing your life – in the game of course – while playing first person shooters.
While watching TV with a transmitter lag won’t make any significant difference, the good news is that this device works perfectly with TV viewing. I was able to use my DVR, change the channel, and basically have complete control of the input, with no delay in sight. This was while running 720p video from the DVR, but the experience was identical even while watching 1080p videos on the PlayStation 4.
The video quality was great, and I didn’t notice any interference that I normally would with some other devices. Sound quality was good too, without any noticeable loss in fidelity, all while wirelessly streaming 1080p video. The range is said to be up to a 100 feet, and while not exactly measured, going to a point which should be considerably close to the limit, everything still looked and worked very well. The overall experience with watching videos and TV certainly exceeded my expectations.
Unfortunately, it is a completely different story when it comes to gaming. The set up is the same as it is with a DVR, and the wireless controller sends the signal through the IR receiver. When it comes to the performance, it ranges from close to perfect to incredibly frustrating, sometimes in the span of a few seconds. There were times where it got bad enough to make me want to stop, until it suddenly started to work fine again. Granted, there were more good times than bad, but it did happen often enough to make it noteworthy. Relocating the receiver to be closer to the transmitter didn’t make much of a difference, so this issue isn’t related to range.
If you are planning to buy this product exclusively for gaming, it can actually be quite a good experience, as long you are prepared for some infrequent, but extremely frustrating moments. If you manage to look beyond these inconsistencies, the general experience is actually very comparable to what you’d get while playing games online. It definitely isn’t zero latency, but comes close, at least when it works.
After using this box for a while, a few other issues did creep up, but none were deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination. For starters, for some unknown reason, the box loses connection, with the only way to bring it back up being to simply disconnect and reconnect it, and happens maybe once or twice a day. Secondly, the receiver and transmitter do get a bit hot sometimes, and while there hasn’t been any blatant overheating issues associated with it, this is just something to keep in mind. Finally, the IR extenders are a bit short, which isn’t really an issue, but resulted in my not being able to tuck away the transmitter, as the extenders needed to be in front of the DVR.
So there you have it – a closer look at the Nyrius ARIES Home+! It does have some weird bugs, but nothing in the technology field is completely flawless just yet. Further, the firmware is upgradable, and some of these issues can certainly be fixed by future software updates. All in all, if you have a need for wireless HDMI, this is going to be your best bet.
Interested in buying? The Nyrius ARIES Home+ (NAVS502) can be picked up from Amazon for $249.99.