CablestoGo continue their lifelong vendetta against Cables with their latest addition to the war on cable tangle. The TruLink Wireless USB to HDMI kit has a mission statement as clear and easy to understand as its name. All you have to do is pop the USB transmitter in to your PC or Mac and attach the HDMI receiver to your screen of choice and the Wireless USB to HDMI kit will make sure they play nice with each other.
It’s not quite the one button simplicity of Apple’s new-ish Airplay standard but has many advantages. For one Airplay doesn’t yet work from desktops for reasons beyond me (I know you can buy software to enable it but this seems ridiculous). For another, whilst many newer AV receivers are set top boxes back Airplay, many more don’t. Everything has HDMI (well not everything but you get my drift).
The TrueLink Wireless USB to HDMI kit can beam wireless audio and video from about 30 feet line of sight (unless you have a giant living room filled with rocks you will probably be ok with it). You can also wall mount it with the adaptors provided. Sadly the you can only beam videos over in 720p but the upside of this is smooth and reliable picture quality.
The TrueLink Wireless USB to HDMI adaptor is out now from Amazon and CabletoGo for £269.98
Also out now from CablesToGo is a new twist on an old classic. Not your grandfather’s cable, the new swivel connection cables have a unique 270 degree connector that enables you to position them in weird and wonderful ways and bend them to your will. The cables also feature detents every 90 degrees to preserve signal integrity.
The swivel cables are available from Amazon and CablestoGO in a VGA, USB and HDMI flavours, with prices starting from £8.
I’m guessing the guys at CablesToGo spend a lot of their time just staring at people’s home cinema setups, frustrated at all the inefficiencies. After watching a seemingly innocent and everyday set of actions in front of a TV I’m guessing the leap up in a fit, exclaim “there must be a better way!” and hurry off to their lab where they spend most of their time, tirelessly slaving away to make your living room entertainment a little less messy.
What problem has their laser-guided eye landed on this time. Well if you’re a bit of an AV enthusiast and have recently invested in a new home theatre system you will find that as much as you love it, it is likely to only have 1 fibre optic Toslink input. This will cause a problem as you want to be able to hook up your PC, Sky, DVD player and game console to your system. *drumroll* Until now!
CablesToGo has launched The TruLink 3 Play Video Digital Audio Selector which can connect up to three Toslink digital audio inputs, three stereo analogue audio pairs and 3 component video signals to a single component video output. Like countless other Cables2Go products we’ve looked at in the past, the selector is compact, very simple to install and operate and includes a wireless IR remote control for convenience and control. In keeping with Cables2Go tradition, the unit is a sleek black box, and sort of makes you want to see a Cables2Go guy’s living room and marvel at the neat array of black boxes quietly making everything better.
The CablesToGo Component 3-1 Video Digital Audio Selector is available immediately through retailers including Amazon from £49.99
We’ve been playing with TruLink products for sometime now and they have a solid history of producing reliable little widgets that help your gadgets play nicely with each other. They remind me of and old Demetri Martin joke about they way to fortune isn’t necessarily being an amazing inventor but being a guy who makes screws and being around an amazing inventor. That way every time some says “I think I’m going to build a bridge” you can stand right beside them and say “You’ll probably need some screws.”
The problem with HDMI is that it is relatively new. As a result, many flat-panel TVs only have a few HDMI inputs (which at the time probably seemed excessive), but gaming consoles, receivers and DVRs all output in HDMI. So noting the proliferation of HDMI equipped boxes all vying for space in your TV or AV receiver (even phones pack HDMI ports nowadays) Trulink have introduced the TruLink 4-Port HDMI Selector Switch by CablesToGo.
Like most TruLink products we’ve looked at, the 4-Port HDMI Selector Switch has a wonderful “does what it says on the tin” quality to it and provide additional high definition digital inputs for your DVD players, Blu-ray players, HD-DVD players, gaming consoles, Sky box and cameras. The device is also compatible with most HDMI 3D devices allowing you to switch between 3D devices on your 3D display. And nice sleek black box with big shiny select/power button on the front, the 4-Port HDMI Selector Switch fits in nicely with most home theatre systems. Three of the ports are, as you would expect, housed around the back of the device, with port 4 located at the front – which is handy when you think about various devices that you might want to plug into the box – cameras, camcorders, mobile phones or tablets. There’s also a super simple remote control that lets you easily power on and toggle between inputs.
The CablesToGo TRULink 4-Port HDMI Selector Switch is available immediately through retailers including Amazon from £86.50,
I don’t think I’ve come across another company that loves making special little boxes that output HDMI signals quite as much as TruLink. From the obvious like Wireless HDMI boxes, to much more specialist devices such as the HDMI splitter, they do an impressive job of getting high-definition pictures onto your flatscreen. They’ve been back to the lab and come up with another bespoke HDMI box – this time to bring more of your aging boxes into the HDMI age.
Like most TruLink boxes, the converter is a plug and play device and does not require any software to run. Getting the device up and running is pretty idiot proof as you have to just plug in the required cables, which are so divergent I *dare* you to put the VGA cable in the wrong slot.
The box upconverts SD signals into glorious HD (within limits obviously), so if you have an older PC you’d been planning on converting into a dedicated media box running a sabnzb+sickbeard+plex set up (and really you should, it’s *amazing*) then the box should add a touch of HD snazz to your rig. Or if you have an older console with and the right cable set up to output to VGA (easy to find via a quick rummage on gumtree or your local second hand electronic knick-knack store) then you can pop it into the box, fire it up and experience glorious HD.
As it’s a simple hook up with no fiddling (bar inserting the cables obviously) you should be good to go in less than a minute. Simple as. If you have boxes with non HDMI outputs that you’d like to view in HD then get this box.
The CablesToGo TRULink VGA to HDMI converter is available immediately through retailers including Amazon from £69.85.
How do you extend high-definition TV signals over long distances without comprising image quality? That’s easy; simply purchase a Trulink HDMI over Cat5e Extender. Seemingly providing the answer to the challenge of sending HD TV signals where regular HDMI wiring struggles to perform efficiently and produce high-quality images, Telford-based Cables to Go has produced the HDMI over Cat5e Extender.
Encased in a stylish, durable and compact outer case, the Cat5e Extender is a cost-effective way to improve the quality of a picture without having to negotiate issues surrounding ‘dodgy’ signals, which are a regular burden of a wireless device.
Providing a robust solution that can extend HDMI signal up to 60 metres, the Trulink Extender would prove to be particularly beneficial to places where video equipment is typically located in one room, such as offices, classrooms, and retail stores, but where the source is hidden and positioned safely and securely.
Of course providing a higher quality of TV images is not the Trulink HDMI over Cat5e Extender’s only enhancing qualities, as the quality of gaming, home theatre, digital signage and video production is also augmented.
Talking about the reliability and convenience of the Trulink HDMI over Cat5e Extender, Justin Hulls, the UK sales director for Cables to Go said:
“This product is ideally suited to anyone who wants to extend their HDMI signal up to a 60m distance and provide a high quality picture for home or office, home theatre and gaming and video production. It overcomes many of the limitations of competitor solutions for a fraction of the price.”
Although you don’t get improved image quality and signal dilemmas eradicated at no cost, as Cables to Go Trulink HDMI over Cat5e Extender costs approximately £124.99.
Like most people reading this, I have shiny flat screen TV and nothing detracts from its futuristic chic more than the mess of cables and wires dangling from the back. I can wirelessly stream HD content from YouTube or my local network or hard drives, which feels like I’m living in the future. But one peek behind the set and the tangled mess of wires instantly reminds me of a Korg MS20 or an old-fashioned phone switchboard. CablesToGo want to drag me kicking and screaming into the future with the TruLink 1-Port 60GHz WirelessHD Kit.
Simplicity is the watch word with the Wireless HD Kit and when the loan unit arrived at LG Towers we were surprised at how little there was to the device. It’s pretty much just two black boxes (like miniature bricks almost) with an on/off switch and an HDMI slot at the back. The remote control has an on/off button and a “Wireless” button. I’m not going to go as far as to say it’s idiot proof technology. But it’s pretty close.
The TruLink 1-Port 60 GHz WirelessHD Kit enables high definition wireless transmission between your television and your HDMI components. You can have full HD 1080p signal from your computer, Blu-ray player, yada yada yada to your HDMI-enabled television. As I’ve said, it’s almost the living embodiment of plug-and-play and requires no software, no drivers and no setup.
But we’ve all been burned by promises of technological marvels before. Does it work? Well yes after a fashion. Similar to the TruLink Wireless VGA kit we tested last week (they really hate cables over at TruLink it seems) picture quality is clear and stutter free if you don’t go crazy with the limits. It’s fun seeing how far back you can take your laptop before the signal starts to cut out and for most people the distance is reasonable – you can stash all your hi-tech bumpf in one corner of the room and let your lovely flat screen shine in all its glory on the other side.
Alternatively, you can also dig a massive tunnel through your walls and snake cable through – but I lack the bravery to try and this seems like a slightly more elegant solution.
I have … oooh six different set-top boxes under my TV, all claiming to pipe my content from my computer to my TV. And my TV has DLNA built in so counts as a seventh. “Why so many Shem?” you may very well ask, like pretty much anyone else who has entered my house. Well I have a lot of files on my network of hard drives, avis, mkvs, isos and the like … and well nothing plays them *all* back. Sure everything will play nicely with avis and some even play mkvs but throw a subtitle file in and they freak out. ISO file? Forget it? So my never ending quest continues.
The one clear option is to shell out on an actual PC of some kind and stick it under my TV. And I’ve looked longingly at a Mac Mini many, many times. However, Mac Minis aren’t cheap. And even HTPCs in general are a fair outlay.
TruLink sent a tempting alternative to my house – a Wireless USB to VGA kit (don’t worry I have to send it back!). Basically a pair of dongles for your laptop and a display – a projector, big-ass monitor or TV. Set up involves plugging the dongle into my MacBook, realising OSX was unsupported, crying a little and then fishing out an old Compaq laptop where things are up and running in no time.
The advertised range of 30 feet was technically correct – but for rock solid playback I’d get a little closer. You should basically be fine in your average living room. The picture quality is reasonably sharp and I beamed a couple of hi-res photos, videos and powerpoint presentations over that worked absolutely fine.
One major kick in the teeth is that the system doesn’t transmit audio. That should surprise no-one as it’s in the name – USB to VGA makes it pretty clear that it’s a video only product. Still you can’t help but sigh and think what could have been. Or buy the TruLink Wireless HDMI kit which has video and audio magic (review coming soon).
There’s a pretty good chance if you’re reading this, you’ve utilised the magic of HDMI in your living room. If you want video and audio goodness, wrapped up in the same cable then HDMI is the secret sauce. And pretty much everything in my living room has that output slot at the back – it’s pretty much the USB port of the living room (although … there are quite a lot of USB ports in my living room these days). Oh and by the way … the shiny gold £100 leads they try to sell you in the store – ignore them and get the cheapest Amazon Basics or Tesco (other retailers are available) leads that you can get your hands on.
But cable tangle can ruin a beautiful living room set up. And with flatscreen TV’s getting cheaper and thinner (and seriously you can get a 40” flatscreen for about £300 is you really want) you don’t want to cables dangling everywhere – especially if you’ve gone through all the trouble (and it is a lot of trouble) of wall mounting your TV.
Flying into to save the day is the TruLink 1-Port 60 GHz WirelessHD Kit, a plug and play solution that automagically enables high definition wireless transmission between your television and HDMI inputs – most likely your AV receiver. TruLink claim that no software, drivers or setup is involved and we’ll have a unit to test early next year. If what they say is true (and why would you name your company that if it wasn’t) then it sounds like an excellent component to beam uncompressed audio and video to your home entertainment set up. We have no technical details on quality, distance or if ARC and 3D support works with the TruLink WirelessHD Kit, but as soon as we know, we’ll tell you. Or if you are feeling adventurous run to cables to go and check it out.