The SurroundSound Anywhere 220 loses all that spaghetti

Whilst you might be sitting at home enjoying some stunning surround sound from your home theatre system, you might also be nursing a bruise or two from tripping over your rear speaker wiring. Then again, if you’re thinking of going out to get a new surround sound system and the wireless option is just too rich for your budget, Marmitek might just have the answer you’ve been waiting for..

Marmitek-Wireless-Surround-Sound

The SurroundSound 220 is a wireless solution for non wireless speakers that seems just too simple for words. Just connect the speaker output wires from your surround sound amp to the 220 digital audio transmitter and the rear speakers to the supplied audio receiver and you’re all set to go.

The audio transmitter will automatically copy the volume level of your amplifier so you can still use your TV remote and there is a separate volume control on the transmitter and receiver so you can easily adjust the balance between front and rear speakers.

The sound data is digitally transmitted uncompressed, so you’ll be getting audio that’s significantly better than CD quality.

The only things you’ll be missing then are the miles of wires you no longer need. Genius.

The SurroundSound Anywhere 220 is available for £109.95, a pretty good price to pay for a wireless surround solution.

Marmitek GigaView820: A view from a wireless HDMI bridge

Did you ever watch those 70’s TV shows set in the future? Wires were distinctively absent from the predictions. Why? Because wires aren’t cool, and shouldn’t exist in idyllic future scenarios. Marmitek agrees, and has decided to conquer the problem of HDMI cables with its GigaView820 technology.

Marmitek-GigaView

The GigaView820 package comes in two distinct parts – the transmitter and receiver. The receiver tucks neatly away behind the TV, while the transmitter connects to two HD sources. Once hooked up, all possible digital resolutions can be wireless transferred over the 5.1 – 5.6GHz frequency, including 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p @ 60fps (Full HD).

Repsonse times are clocked at under 1ms, so the technology will have absolutely no problems with computer games. It also fulfils 100% of the HDCP standard, meaning devices using High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection, which only transmit a digital signal to devices that also support HDCP, are fully compatible with the GigaView820.

Strangely for a wireless device, the GigaView line has a history of actually living up to its wireless promises. Marmitek claims a line-of-sight distance of 30 metres without compression. Reviews for the earlier model (the 800), which promised a 20m range, indicate that 10m in a real-world (read: walled) environment certainly has no problem. If the new GigaView820 stretches that range to 15m, which it should, you’re looking at a very fine wireless HDMI solution.

Aside from adding to the range, the new model includes a switch on both the transmitter and the receiver, letting you use the remote control to change between the two inputs on the transmitter, or the receiver and a cabled HDMI-source on the television.

Marmitek have also managed to bring down the cost of the unit, launching at around £349 – two pounds cheaper than the old model currently retails for.

Audiophiles will also be pleased, as AC3 and DTS surround streams are fully supported – with a maximum bitrate of 6Mbps. Unfortunately for small children, however, there is no 3D support as yet.

The lack of 3D puts a real dampener on what is otherwise an excellent device. It means that the GigaView solution isn’t entirely future-proof – a sure-fire disappointment for 70’s sci-fi fans. On the plus side, if you hate cables and don’t care about 3D (most of the world), the 820 may be the perfect device for you.