New modular accessories bring wireless HDMI, built-in DVD to Sony Bravia TVs

Sony is adding three more Bravia Link accessories to its product line.

Sony Wireless Link Module (DMX-WL1)
Sony's Wireless Link Module (DMX-WL1) Sony

The Bravia Internet Link is getting some siblings. Sony is adding three new accessories to its product line: the Wireless Link Module (DMX-WL1), the DVD Link Module (DMX-DVD), and the Input Link Module (DMX-SW1). Like the Internet Link, the new "Link" accessories are also designed as modular add-ons to specific current and recent Sony Bravia flat-panel LCD TVs. By snapping onto the TVs backside, they should still allow for a reasonably thin profile.

The $150 Input Link Module adds four HDMI inputs to compatible Bravias, while the $200 DVD Link Module adds a "built-in" upconverting DVD player to the mix. But it's the $800 Wireless Link Module that's the highlight of the new line. The two-part system includes a wireless video transmitter and a receiver (the latter of which snaps onto the back of the TV). Put the transmitter near your equipment rack, plug in up to five HD sources (four HDMI inputs, one component), and they're wirelessly transmitted to the TV for distances up to 65 feet (according to Sony). Video sources are limited to 1080i resolution, however, and it's unclear if there's any compression or lag (the latter is a big frustration for gamers). The Wireless Link Module is scheduled to hit in October, while the other two are already available.

Are any of these worth buying? The Wireless Link Module is certainly the most compelling, and the one we're most interested in testing. But it's just one of several wireless HDMI solutions due--finally--to hit the market in the next few months. Indeed, a better substitute for the Input Link Module would be a generic HDMI switch--they're available for as little as $50. Ditto for a DVD player. And while the Sony modules offer the advantage of tight integration with the host TV (fewer wires and less "stuff" around the TV is always appreciated, especially for those flat-panels in the bedroom or kitchen), we can't help but continue to be somewhat annoyed at Sony's continued focus on proprietary accessories: Digital Media Port modules that work only with Sony audio products; the company's Sony-only S-AIR wireless audio units; and Memory Stick flash media, just to name a few recent examples.

What do you think: do these modular Sony Link accessories make you more likely to purchase a Bravia TV? Or do you prefer non-proprietary AV accessories that work with all brands? Share your comments below.

 

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