CES 2009: Trend — No Wires

Another trend at CES this year is that wireless connections for HDMI were everywhere. They were all different, and everyone had a reason why their solution was best, but the bottom line is that it solves a major HDTV problem; what to do with the wires. Some of the manufacturers, including LG, unveiled sets with the wireless interface built in; just connect your signal sources to a set top box anywhere in the room, and the sound and images will be sent to the TV without wires.

I happen to think that this is a great idea. I’ve always railed against the problems of wiring a flat screen that you’ve hung on the wall. You can run plastic wire channels down the walls and around the room, but it still shows. Drilling holes in the wall and snaking wires is messy at best, likely to be frustrating, and there’s a strong chance that you’ll end up having to call in one or more professionals to fix your goofs.

But best of all, the wireless connection solves one of my favorite rant problems, and that is the placement of your entertainment hardware. Back in the early days of stereo, you had nothing to watch while you listened to the high fidelity sound, so you put your stack of amps, preamps, receivers, and other hardware with blinking lights up front and center where they could be admired. But the right place for your entertainment equipment these days is in the back of the room, where you’re sitting, so that you can reach it to insert a DVD or whatever. All I want in the front of the room is the HDTV. (And maybe the home theater sound system speakers, but I prefer them to be as unobtrusive as possible.)

A wireless connection to the HDTV makes this not just possible, but easy. And it saves a ton of time and money on installation, because it eliminates the most problematic wiring tasks. So whether you get it built into your next TV, or you buy one of the many aftermarket products that provides similar benefits, it is definitely a feature worth considering.