Bell Canada recently started marketing their wireless TV service offering. What is Bell Fibe’s Wireless TV really about and what should you think about when planning your home systems?
What’s really wireless about Bell’s TV service?
If you are a Bell Fibe subscriber, you can opt for their wireless set top box. You still have a physical connection between the “box” and the TV via HDMI cable but the benefit is that you can now move your TV around the house as long as you have power near by. You will need to connect your TV and Bell box to power but other than that, the Bell Fibe box will connect to your home service as long as you are within wireless range.
Is Wireless HD good?
From our experience, wireless HD video works…with lots of limits.
For a short distance, the video works really well but it depends on the quality of your home wireless network(s). Lots of other users surfing and watching Youtube and Netflix will compete with overall wireless reliability, not to mention nearby cordless phones, cell phones, etc. Bell’s wireless signal is private but it does use the same wireless technology as your wifi devices which means it can be interfered with. It will try to find an available “channel” but if you live in a dense area of town (Condo, Apartment, etc) you will absolutely experience problems.
We have found some wireless video transmitters to be very reliable. Based on recent installations, we have had very good results with Epson’s wireless HDMI extenders for their projectors. Epson’s Home Cinema 5020UBe is amazing. They allow us to mount a high quality 1080p with 3D projector 20-30′ away from the transmitter. These have proved to be highly reliable.
We believe Bell’s biggest challenge is sending wireless beyond 15′ of your main hard wired PVR (which must be present for the wireless units to work). Beyond that distance, you will likely experience problems (we are early in our testing so expect some more data in the coming months). We look forward to testing these out and helping our clients enjoy their AV systems. Congrats to Bell for making the leap forward. Time will tell how the wireless solutions will work out.
What’s the downside?
The issue from an installation standpoint is that we still need to make room for the wireless box which is relatively thick. We were hoping to see a slimmer unit that could be hidden behind the TV but unfortunately at 16.5cm (or 6.5″) it could benefit from a similar diet to our new TVs. When we’ve grown accustomed to 1-2″ thin TVs, having it stick out from the wall at 8″ really won’t work.
Another downside is overall HD quality. On smaller TVs, the HD quality issues won’t be noticeable but don’t expect this to be like watching a BluRay on your 65″ plasma. The video is highly compressed and you will see the difference. We still believe this to be a great solution for gyms, home offices, guest bedrooms or outdoor patios.
For your home cinema or family room systems, stick to what works. Use a hard wired receivers. It will save you the aggravation.
For more information, please comment on this post or call us anytime.