AirTies: Hands on

Let’s face it: streaming video technology tends to be a bit crap. The problem is, manufacturers make bold claims such as a line-of-sight range of 50 metres. And then when you bring it home, you get two metres and a kick in the face (metaphorical).  We met the nice people at AirTies, who then promised us a streaming video range of 50m LOS. Uh-oh.

AirTies

And everything turned out okay. The range held up in our real-world conditions, and we were streaming. Proving the device isn’t useless, let’s talk about the features.

The wireless inside the system works in either 2.4 or 5 GHz – 802.1 1b/g/n. The company seemed particularly excited by the 5 GHz band. It allows high-speed 300 Mbps transfers, which means the three HD streams can travel across the device without losing any quality.

It also means that the already crowded 2.4 GHz network will not interfere with your streaming operations. It also means that you’re not at risk from microwave interference.

And even if you do choose to operate on a slower speed, AirTies has a unique software that detects interfering channels and cycles through alternatives until it finds the least crowded network. Due to 2ms buffer on video content, the routers can do this without interrupting the streaming content. From our tests, that’s entirely true.

Setup is simple. The Air 4420 routers (of which you get two in the Wireless Kit) have a one-touch network set-up. Plug one into your existing route, the other into your DLNA-compatible device, and push a button on each. That’s it. The routers will then talk to each other and create a secure WPA connection. There’s a web-interface to access this later, but you’ll probably never need to.

If you have trouble with the device’s range, and always buying more and create a mesh network, extending the range by another 50m LOS.

There’s even a USB port for plugging in a USB stick or external hard drive. Any files on the USB device can then be accessed remotely over network. Every AirTies box can have a different USB device, and it does the same for USB printers, too.  A DLNA streamer with a built-in Media Server? Sweet.

All-in-all, it’s a great offering. For £89.99, you can get your DLNA TV connected, hook up your console to the internet at speeds of 300Mbps and create your own media server (or two). Oh, and we got it working through 10M and two quite thick walls.