Home Theater: Go Wireless

Do you wish for a 5.1 surround sound home theater system in a room that does not allow for in-wall wiring? To help you overcome slab concrete floors and cinderblock walls, a wireless home theater solution can be high quality and elegant, without the visible mess of wires. No matter what your room obstacles may be, here are three AV wireless solutions that will make it possible to have a complete 5.1 surround sound home theater system:

1. Wireless High Definition Video

To transmit HD video content from a source device, such as your Blu-ray player, to an HDTV wirelessly, you will need a transmission box that sends a wireless signal to a receiving box connected to your HDTV. One solution we have used with success and reliability is the IOGEAR Wireless HD Kit that sends full 1080p HD 60Hz video and digital audio to your HDTV. You may place your HDTV anywhere that best serves the room layout décor.

2. Wireless Surround Sound Speakers

For a wireless surround sound speaker system, the iCast by Soundcast offers an excellent solution to deliver the analog signal to your surround speakers. The iCast system requires an iCast receiver, an iCast transmitter, and a small two-channel amp with stereo line level inputs to drive your surround sound speaker pair.

For your left, center, and right speakers, I highly recommend using floor standing speakers directly wired to your AV receiver. For your center channel, locate it on top of an open cabinet, just below your on-wall HDTV, and house all of your source devices (Blu-ray player, Apple TV, etc.) on the lower remaining shelves. On the sides of your AV cabinet, place your floor standing left and right speaker pair.

For iCast and the small two channel amp to work for your surround sound speakers, be sure to have an electrical AC outlet on your back wall where your speaker pair will be located.

3. Wireless Subwoofer

For a wireless subwoofer solution, Velodyne offers an excellent product called the Velodyne WiConnect system. The WiConnect allows any subwoofer to receive the analog audio input signal from your AV receiver wirelessly. This system has four selectable channels that will not interfere with other Wi-Fi devices in your home and a transmission range of 50 feet.

Additional Recommendations

Please keep in mind, this approach assumes you will have a cabinet just below your HDTV to store your AV gear and the center channel speaker will sit on the top shelf of your cabinet. I highly recommend going with a pair of front left and right floor standing speakers. As a general rule, a pair of floor standing speakers in their own enclosure will provide superior sound reproduction and a better sound stage than in-ceiling speakers for the same price point.

If given the choice of wired or wireless speakers, by all means use a wired speaker cable from your front of room amplifier to your rear surround sound speakers. However, do not let a slab concrete floor, no attic, and perhaps even cinderblock walls stop you from having a full 1080p HDTV picture with 5.1 theater surround sound for your home.

Looking for more wireless tips or help to implement a solution in the San Francisco Bay Area? Immersive Experiences offers custom home theater design and installation services. Please call us at 650.321.7833 for a free consultation.