As amazing as all our streaming technology has become, getting rock-solid wireless video without some kind of server in between still isn’t easy. The various solutions for this all seem to include some significant compromises. Until now.
Nyrius, an electronics supplier I’d never heard of before, reached out to us with a review unit for a wireless HDMI system. The Aries Pro uses a point-to-point transmitter and receiver, as opposed to some kind of streaming software or a server-side system like Steam In-Home Streaming or Chromecast. And amazingly, it works. It works quite well: resolution is locked into 1080p at 60 frames per second, and on most content it’s almost impossible to tell you’re working with a wireless setup at all. Is it enough to justify a hefty $250 price tag? That will probably depend on the user. But the technology, and its simple application, is impressive.
Not Much to It
The Aries Pro has two basic components: the small, HDMI transmitter, which looks like more or less any “HDMI stick,” and the receiver, which is a chunkier box about the size of the Roku with a full-sized HDMI port. The former is powered by a simple USB-to-MiniUSB cable (a bit outdated, but it works), while the latter needs a dedicated outlet on your power supply. It looks surprisingly simple: The only odd thing about the design is the half-inch feet. These are presumably for the sake of allowing airflow beneath the receiver, which can get quite hot.
Setup couldn’t be easier. Plug the dongle into the video source, plug the receiver into a TV or monitor, make sure they both have power, and click the “Sync” button on both. Bam, you’ve got wireless video. The only other control option is a power button on the receiver.
Inside the box is an L-adapter for the transmitter (since the transmitter is quite chunky and might not fit into every HDMI port), the power cables, and a short HDMI cable for the receiver. The whole thing looks and feels rather cheap—the “Full HD” sticker on the receiver kept peeling off under the heat, and those silicone feet are held on with simple stickers that I could twist off with minimal force.
I Got No Strings
I tested the Aries Pro with my PS4 and Switch game consoles and a laptop, connecting to my television and gaming monitor. All of them worked surprisingly well. I’ve tried similar systems before and run into major issues with the connection, picture quality, and latency. None were present here.
That’s quite an accomplishment in a self-contained system. In single-player sessions of Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PS4, I was able to make the same precision shots I was used to with a direct connection, with perhaps a tiny bit of “fuzz” or grain in the most visually intense moments of the game. That’s no great test for a wireless system, though. I switched over to, um, my Switch for a more strenuous experiment: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This hyper-fast 2D fighting game requires split-second reactions, and any major lag in the image would have impacted my performance. It didn’t. I was able to compete online as well as I ever do. I was impressed.
I tested both the game consoles in my office with a maximum distance of about 20 feet between the receiver and the transmitter, no major obstructions in between. I tried setting them both up in my living room and transmitting to my office, but the Bluetooth wireless controllers pooped out before the wireless video system did. Time to go for something with some more relaxed input. I switched to a standard laptop with an HDMI port, and set it up about fifty feet away with two walls in between.
Going the Distance
With a wireless mouse and keyboard, I was able to use the remote computer with no problems after about twenty seconds of initial wireless connection. Testing the video and audio syncing gave mixed results, with standard 1080p videos playing fine. The player choked on YouTube’s 60 fps video, something that didn’t happen with the 60 fps game streams from the consoles. But even so, it was watchable, and I didn’t see any major lag in the keyboard or mouse inputs. Very nice.
I would have appreciated a system that could boost resolution a bit, taking advantage of my 4K TV or 2K monitor, perhaps at lower framerates. But that’s beyond the scope of the spec sheet. In short, the Aries Pro does what it says.
A Pricey Proposition
The Aries Pro, rated for 100 feet of wireless performance, is $250. The $200 Aries Prime is identical but rated for only 30 feet.
That’s a lot of money for wireless performance with a single HDMI connection. For the sake of comparison, Monoprice will sell you a 100-foot HDMI cable that you can run through your attic or along your running boards for just $70.
But if you really need the wireless connection and price is no object, the Aries Pro will get the job done. It’s simple, effective, and amazingly fast. I’d prefer the fit and finish to be a little better on such an expensive piece of equipment, but you can’t argue with the results.
Here’s What We Like
- Rock-solid wireless signal
- Simple setup
- Excellent range
And What We Don't
- Cheap build