Q-Wave are yet another company desperate for you to “cut the cord” and step into the magical wireless kingdom. Unlike TruLink, who we looked at here, Q-Waves offers a laptop-to-big screen service that utilises W-USB.
The beauty of all these devices, Q-Waves included, is that you are free from format-based restrictions. Anything that plays back on your laptop will play back on your widescreen TV in full HD.
Set up was relatively quick and simple, but it’s not quite plug and play as there’s an installation DVD lying in the box. It’s also not Mac compatible (grumble grumble in this day and age etc) so fire up your favourite virtualisation engine before attempting to connect.
Other than that it’s simply a matter of pairing the USB dongle from your laptop to the reciever and you are good to go. Skype calls, Youtube videos, iPlayer content all become available to you. Of course my TV already does all these things (and as a general trend, more and more internet TVs will slowly bring all this functionality to even entry level handsets, making this technology obsolete) but I can see how useful this relatively simple setup would be to a normal person.
Image quality when you are up close to the reciever is pretty good. The Q-Waves excels as an “in the room” system but struggles if you take your laptop on a stroll. Big fancy HD files won’t tolerate a trip to the garden or the study and playback quality deteriorates. If your laptop has an HDMI and you have access to a long HDMI cable, you’d probably be better off using that. Unlike the TruLink Wireless HDMI kit for example, you can’t connect an HDMI source directly, which limits your options. With the TruLink, I was able to plug in an AV reciever, connect the TV and walk away – it seemed a little more hassle free.
However, not every laptop has an HDMI out and not every user is comfortable with a cable reaching out across the living room. If you watch a lot of video on your laptop and want a simple solution to beaming it to the big screen then Q-Waves could be for you.