Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 review: Gigabyte SkyVision WS100

The receiver is a small, squarish unit that measures 3.7 inches by 3.2 inches by 1.3 inches. It has one HDMI port and one Micro-USB port. You do need a short HDMI cable (included in the package) to connect the receiver to an HDMI port on the TV. After that, connect the receiver to the power using a standard USB power adapter (also included), and one end of the connection is ready.

The transmitter is about the size of a large thumbdrive; on one end is a male HDMI port. On the side, it also has a Micro-USB power port. There's a standard Micro-USB cable included that you can use to power the adapter using a USB port on the playback device. If the playback device doesn't have a USB port, you can use a standard USB power adapter, such as one for a tablet or smartphone, to power the transmitter. Now you just need to connect the broadcaster to the playback device's HDMI port, and within a few seconds the playback device and the big-screen TV are connected, just like when you use a long HDMI cable. Another benefit is that now you can move the playback device around, as long as it's within the supported range, which even went behind walls in my testing.

That said, there's not much to setting up the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100, other than plugging in the adapters into the HDMI port of the respective devices and the power. Similarly, the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 comes with a small manual and a CD that contains the text of the full manual.

In my trials, it worked with virtually all HDMI playback devices and HDMI-enabled TVs and LCDs. The receiver can support multiple transmitters, and you can add more by using the home and two navigation buttons on its front. Since the kit doesn't come with a remote, you do need to use these buttons again when switching from one source to another. Still, though, it's an easy way to add more wireless playback devices to the TV.

The Gigabyte SkyVision WS100's transmitter requires a separate power source, since HDMI ports generally don't provide power. Other than that, it works with any HDMI-ready devices.
The Gigabyte SkyVision WS100's transmitter requires a separate power source, since HDMI ports generally don't provide power. Other than that, it works with any HDMI-ready devices. Dong Ngo/CNET

Performance
The Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 worked exactly as expected in my testing. I tried it with a 40-inch Samsung LCD TV and a few playback devices, including a laptop, a desktop, and a WD TV media player. Each time I moved the transmitter from one device to another, it took just a few seconds for the TV to display the content of the connected device.

Despite the 10-meter (about 30 feet) range listed in the specs, in my testing, I was able go farther than 100 feet from the TV and the signal between the receiver and the transmitter was still reported as strong. Basically, you don't really need to worry about the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 in terms of range at all.

The same can be said for picture and sound quality. I tried playing back movies at 1080p with high-def DTS sound and wasn't able to detect the difference when the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 was used and when an actual HDMI cable was used to connect the TV and the playback device. Game performance was good, too, without any lag at all.

My only concern was that the transmitter got a little hot after an extended amount of use. However, it never became alarmingly hot and cooled down immediately when I took it out of the HDMI port. Overall, the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 offers excellent performance.

Conclusion
With great range and excellent sound and video quality, the Gigabyte SkyVision WS100 is a great alternative to a long HDMI cable, and gives you the much-needed flexibility for a crowded home entertainment system.

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Gigabyte SkyVision WS100

Part Number: WS100
MSRP: $149.00 Low Price: $199.99 See all prices
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.