Name: AirTies 4420-TV
Type: Wireless networking/ media streaming kit
Specifications: Click here for full specs
Price: £89.99 from Amazon
A powerline alternative, the AirTies 4420-TV is perfect those with Internet connected TVs experiencing Wi-Fi woes.
Though everything from Freeview boxes to televisions now house online, networked components, very few offer Wi-Fi connections, and those that do regularly suffer from weak signal connections. As a result, trying to stream online video content from catch-up TV services or networked media can be a real stutter-filled chore. While you could feasibly run an extra long Ethernet cable from your router to the web-connected device in question, with so many items requiring consistent web connectivity your house would quickly begin to look like a spider’s web of wiring.
The AirTies 4420-TV, built with internet connected TVs specifically in mind, offers a solution. Comprised of two discrete black boxes, two short, separate Ethernet cables are connected to the rear of both, with one then attached to your internet router and the other to the port on your television. A simple press of each unit’s Airtouch buttons sees both boxes paired, and you’re quickly boosting the connectivity capabilities of your TV over the 802.11n standard.
Thanks to the ability to use the AirTies within the less congested 5GHz spectrum, we found far less interference affected our web TV streaming playback. Just like the recently reviewed BT Home Hub 3 router, the AirTies too also dynamically searches the Wi-Fi spectrum for sources of interference, and changes channel according to what will give you the most consistent connection.
However using the 5GHz band does bring with it its own problems. The 2.4GHz spectrum may be crowded with other Wi-Fi devices, but it also has better range due to the lower frequency’s ability to pass through solid objects easier. Use the 5GHz setting and you wouldn’t want too many walls between the two AirTies boxes. Thankfully, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz options can easily be switched between, meaning you can decide what works best for your set-up.
Each AirTies box also features a USB 2.0 port. Plug a USB hard drive in and you have the potential to use the AirTies boxes as networked media hubs. With UPnP/DLNA support, you can easily share music, video and photo files across the network.
Affordable and a breeze to set up, the AirTies kit will keep your living room free of unsightly wires, while also ensuring your iPlayer playback is stutter free. It’d be great to have a little more help when it comes to tweaking some of the more advanced settings, but its hard to argue with the ability to create consistently accessible networked storage at the this price.
By Gerald Lynch | May 18th, 2011