At $275, Is This the Cheapest Universal Wireless HDMI Monitoring System Ever?
We've touched upon a few wireless high-definition video solutions before. You may be familiar with Teradek's Cube and Bolt units, as well as the Switronix Recon. In the wireless HDMI corner, the Paralinx Arrow provides 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p60 at 300 feet line-of-sight for under $900 -- clocking in well under the three aforementioned SDI options. However, if $900 is too steep for your chordless monitoring budget, there may still be an option for you. The Nyrius ARIES Pro provides some of the key functions of the Arrow, mainly the wireless HDMI part, for $250 or less. Furthermore, when hooked up to USB charging cells and a SmallHD unit, you're suddenly talking a very affordable HD wireless monitoring solution.
Not too long ago, Ryan Walters shared an awesome post centered around the Nyrius, its desirable wireless HDMI capabilities, and its very aggressive price point. In their set-up, Ryan and his 1st AC Jerry Turner adapted mini USB DC converter regulator cables to P-Tap, but experienced problems "tricking" the Nyrius receiver into accepting the power from that cable:
Unfortunately, as of this writing, the regulator cable I linked to above can't actually sustain 3A at 5V. They get close enough to power the transmitter just fine, but the receiver knows better. If you try to power the receiver with the same solution, it will work for about 30 seconds before shutting off -- if you can even trick it into powering up in the first place.
So, for now, that means the receiver has to be powered via the included AC adapter. Which really isn't that big of a deal, as the monitor has to be plugged in anyway. So, for now, I don't have a completely wireless solution...
Since Ryan's post, filmmaker Joe Simon seems to have cracked the receiver power problem. His solution? Juice the Nyrius receiver with an inexpensive USB power brick from Enercell.
Apparently this method not only solves the power problem, but flat-out costs less as well -- instead of trying to adapt anything, simple USB cables do the trick, no extra gear or wiring required. Between the Nyrius unit, which goes for $250 (and was until recently going for even less on Best Buy) and an Enercell 6000 mAh power bank (as specified by Joe in the Instagram comments), which is going for around $25 on eBay, that's cheap wireless video. Assuming you already have a small, portably powered monitor such as a SmallHD (and USB cables), this system comes to less than $275. Obviously, tricking it out and getting it comfortable and mountable may require a few more bells, whistles, and toys, but the fact that a functional set-up for wireless video can run this cheap is simply amazing. Kudos to Joe Simon for his DIY innovation, and Ryan Walters for his post as well.
Though many internet posters (including Mr. Simon himself) claim the ARIES Pro to be almost technically identical to the Arrow, I have a bit of a hard time believing the $250 Nyrius is truly equivalent in performance to the $900-ish Paralinx. The Paralinx does apparently have five antennas in its receiver versus the Nyrius's four, after all. With that said, several posters actually report using the Paralinx and Nyrius offerings together, mixing and matching transmitters/receivers as they will apparently "talk to each other." Users are also reporting solid signals from both sets of units up to 300 feet line-of-sight or so.
Users of either the Paranlinx or Nyrius system (or both), feel free to chime in below and let us know of your own experiences!