Q-Waves wireless USB review

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.

Q-Waves

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.

Q-Waves wireless HD magic

The issue of wireless HD content is a contentious one. Companies always state great performance, while end-users (and our commenters) often disagree entirely. However, with some of that good ol’ British resilience, Q-Waves are a UK-based company willing to take up the challenge with the Q-waves Quicklink HD.

Q-Waves

The Quicklink HD is a simple plug and play USB device that enables streaming of HD content from a PC, laptop or netbook to an HDTV, taking HD content to the biggest screen in your home.

It uses Ultra Wideband wireless USB technology, which works independently from wi-fi, to make it easy to set-up and not hog your home network’s bandwidth.

If this technology sounds familiar, it probably is. The Q-Wave Quicklink is basically a UK name for Warpia’s Stream HD. Don’t worry, it’s still a brand new product, it’s just got a different name for from the UK disitrbutor.

In our previous experiences with wirelessUSB, we were a little disappointed with the range. Marmitek certainly gained no fans for claiming 30m line-of-sight, but not even managing 4.5m through partition walls.

Luckily, Q-Waves are keen to be up-front about the device: according to the company, Quicklink HD has been “designed for the perfect ‘in-room’ experience”. If you want to go any further, you buy at your own risk.

It definitely limits the usability of the product, but it’s great that the company has not stated extremely optimal conditions as the norm.

Once set up, there are two screen sharing modes to choose from. Users can either pick Mirror mode, which shares whatever is on the computer’s screen with a HDTV, or Extend mode, which provides a multi-screen experience. Essentially, it means that a user can still use the computer for work and boring stuff, while streaming entirely different HD content onto a TV.

The Q-WAVES Quicklink HD is available from select high street and
online retailers, including Amazon, Maplin and Play.com for around £129.99 – not too shabby, really.