TechnologyTell

HDJuiceBox — An Easy Solution for Your HDMI Distribution Needs

Sections: Distributed video, Streaming, Video

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Locating your A/V head-end away from your television or projector in the past has often meant running cable from point to point.  You hope that you run what you need and hope that the signals will make it there in usable condition.  While it usually works, there are many times where running cables just isn’t possible.

Enter the HDJuiceBox.

This little gadget allows you to use the existing power lines in your home, office, or business to transmit a variety of HD sources to anywhere you choose.  Simply connect your source devices up to the transmitter, and send the AV signals to up to four receivers.  The PHDL-6985H transmitter has provisions for three HDMI devices (with one HDMI output) as well as three IR blaster outputs.  Your legacy equipment can also be connected via the composite/s-video A/V input or the component (YPbPr) A/V input.  The PHDL-6986H receiver has one HDMI output along with two IR sensors.  Again, there are provisions for legacy equipment via composite and component connections.  IR control is possible through an integrated back channel, allowing you to control the devices at the transmitter via the receiver.  It is unclear whether HDMI sources are downconverted to the composite/component connections, or vice/versa.  An added bonus is that the HDJuicebox can also serve as a power line ethernet bridge via the ethernet connection on each box.

The system is considered a streaming appliance, as all sources are compressed to H.264.  The system also has a proprietary quality of service management system to ensure optimal video streaming.  Resolution support includes 1920 x 1080 @60i/50i/23.98p/24p; 1280×720 @ 59.94p/60p/50p; 720×576 @ 50p/50i; and 720×480 @ 59.94p/60p/59.94i.

While the HDJuicebox is great for one room, it really shines as a whole-home distribution system.  With each transmitter being able to support up to four receivers, you can easily expand your home system without additional wiring.  I can think of several applications, from a basement bar with multiple TVs, to a living room/office/bedroom setup for a small family.  The system costs will likely be offset by the savings from only needing a single source device — whether that is a cable or satellite set top box, or a Blu-ray player.

While the HDJuicebox is currently not for sale in the US, the company is currently seeking resellers on this side of the pond.  When it does hit our shores, tentative pricing puts a Starter Kit (likely one transmitter and one receiver) somewhere between $550 and $650 — but of course, that is very subject to change.

When the HDJuicebox does come to the US, it will should make a very attractive option for solving some unique A/V problems — if it all works as advertised.

Until we get a North American URL, keep your peepers on JustHDMI.co.uk for additional info.

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