Belkin today announced the pricing and planned availability for its FlyWire wireless HDMI accessory. The unit will eventually be available in two separate versions: a $1,500 multi-room unit set to hit in October, and a stepdown $700 model dubbed the R1, which is intended for single-room installations.
TheFlyWire wireless HDMI kit garnered a nomination for the Best of CES Awards back in January, where it successfully demonstrated the ability to wirelessly transmit uncompressed high-definition video and audio. (See a CNET TV video of the FlyWire in action after the break.)That would allow consumers to have their AV sources--cable/satellite box, game console, Blu-ray/DVD players, and the like--feed into the FlyWire transmitter, which then wirelessly streams the resulting audio and video to the FlyWire receiver connected to a wall-mounted flatscreen TV (or a projector on the ceiling), whether it's on the other side of the room or even (with the $1,000 FlyWire) in a different room altogether.
The initial, pricier FlyWire transmitter will be able to toggle between 6 separate AV sources. It includes 3 HDMI inputs (one with analog audio inputs for compatibility with DVI sources); 2 component inputs (also with corresponding stereo analog audio inputs); and one standard-def video input (using either composite or S-video). In addition to the included remote (for choosing a source), the $1,000 FlyWire will support IR receiver and IR blaster attachments, so you can use your existing remotes (or a universal remote) by pointing it at the TV screen, and then have those commands passed on to the source device attached to the FlyWire receiver, even if they're in another room or a secluded closet. (The $700 FlyWire R1 lacks those more advanced remote options.)
We've seen FlyWire prototypes both at January's CES and at a closed-door media preview in New York last spring, and the product definitely shows potential. But the burden is now on Belkin to hit that October release window. A similar wireless HDMI product from Philips--debuted a full year earlier--has yet to see the light of day. Meanwhile, competitors ranging from Monster Cable to Sony have their own wireless HDMI offerings on deck.