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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Gefen EXT-WHDMI system, overview

Gefen EXT-WHDMI transmitter

Gefen EXT-WHDMI receiver

Gefen EXT-WHDMI transmitter, back panel

Gefen EXT-WHDMI receiver, back panel

Gefen EXT-WHDMI, included HDMI cables

Gefen EXT-WHDMI, overview 2

The Gefen EXT-WHDMI consists of two similar-looking boxes, one slightly larger than the other, each about the size of a stack of five or so Blu-ray Discs. The larger of the two boxes is the transmitter, which has a single stubby antenna jutting from its rear; the smaller is the receiver, with two such antennas.
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Each compact, metal box is quite solidly built, as befits a company like Gefen that produces gear intended mainly for professional use. They're rounded on the edges and incorporate mirror-finished front panels with a few LED indicators and, in the case of the transmitter, a single button to select between input sources.
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The front panel of the receiver is sparse, with just three LEDs to indicate power, a link back to the transmitter and the presence of transmitted video. According to Gefen, the link should work from 30 feet away, and we had no problems within that range during our testing.
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Around back of the transmitter are the two HDMI ports, the component-video port, an analog-audio input and a provision for an IR blaster (not included). On the plus side, the system does support HDMI CEC, to transmit remote commands over HDMI between compatible devices.
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An HDMI output and an analog-audio output, plus a port for an IR blaster, comprise the receiver's back panel. Stereo audio on the transmitter can't be piped into the HDMI output on the receiver; you'll need to connect the audio output separately. But the provision of an analog-audio connection allows you to connect both component-video and legacy DVI devices that require a separate audio connection.
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Two HDMI cables are included in the box, but IR blasters go missing. Both the transmitter and receiver have IR blaster and receiver jacks, but for some reason the company didn't include the blasters themselves.
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Overall the video quality of the EXT-WHDMI was very good, although not quite as good overall as the Sony DMX-WL1. All of the pop and detail of 1080i and 1080p video was in evidence, and the advantage of being able to transmit 1080p/24, with its inherently smoother and more film-like motion compared with 1080i (when seen on compatible displays), should be a boon for videophiles. Speaking of smoothness in moving video: the Gefen appeared to maintain the source's frame rate without introducing any of the stutter or dropped frames we experienced on the Acoustic Research HDP100.
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