Vision TC2-HDMIP HDMI over Powerline Review
It does what it says on the tin and does it well!
What is the Vision TC2-HDMIP?Powerline adapters, in case you weren’t aware, are probably one of this reviewer’s favourite products. If someone had said a few years ago that you could plug a couple of cheap plastic adapters into the wall and have a fast and stable data connection between them, you would have probably grabbed the pitch forks and started shouts of burn them! Yet they are now commonplace and can be obtained extremely cheaply too. There are a multitude of different adapters available offering easy ways of getting the whole house connected to the network, either via wireless or cable connections, with prices starting at just £25.
Given the rapid development seen in the Powerline Adapter world in the last couple of years it’s no surprise that manufacturers have started to exploit the technology for other uses. One such product that is doing that, and the subject of this review, is the TC2-HDMIP by Vision. As you may be able to work out from the model name this is an HDMI over powerline device. Priced at £223 it can transmit a HDMI signal including audio, plus an IR signal, over the powerline. Using 500Mbps powerline technology and H.264 compression this aims to provide a solid signal at the highest possible quality. Read on to see how it fares in our tests…
SpecificationThe Vision TC2-HDMIP includes two white plastic units, one acting as the receiver and the other the transmitter. While these use the powerline they don’t plug directly into the socket like a conventional powerline adapter does, instead they connect via kettle type power leads to the mains socket. The units can be wall mounted if required and are fairly unobtrusive measuring just 182 x 97 x 32mm. The package includes everything you need to get set up such as 2 x 1.5mtr long HDMI cables, 2 x 1.2mtr long power leads, 2mtr long IR emitter and receiver cables and a remote control.
The HDMI is version 1.3 (meaning no 3D) with HDCP and can support a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 60i along with 24P. The audio is PCM only. The powerline part of the units uses Qualcomm Powerline 500Mbps technology which based on our previous reviews of 500Mbps powerline adapter units should mean the units are capable of around 80-100Mbps with a maximum range of 200 metres.
Is it easy to install?Powerline adapters are the very definition of ‘plug and play’ and we hoped that the Vision TC2-HDMIP would be very close to that scenario in that regard. Thankfully, we weren’t disappointed at all as the installation is very simple and quick. You simply plug the transmitter in, connect the HDMI cable to your PC, Sky HD box or Blu-ray player, for example, connect the IR cable, then in another room plug the receiver in near a TV, connect the HDMI cable and IR cable and wait a few seconds for the green LINK LED to appear to indicate it’s all working.
Performance and TestingPowerline Adapters are open to huge variances in performance due to many factors such as your house wiring, other equipment plugged in (Microwaves seem to be a particular offender) and distances between adapters. Unlike with conventional powerline adapters where we can carry out our usual testing regime to measure the speeds, here with this HDMI over powerline device that was not possible.
Instead for testing we fed the receiver box a variety of signals both via a PC and a Blu-ray player. These were 1080P 1920 x 1080 resolution at a variety of frames per second (FPS) and output signals (Hz) and for the audio a variety of stereo and surround sound formats. For the video side of things, it performed excellently with the transmitter supplying our TV with the same signal the receiver had been given. The specifications claim it supports 24 and 60Hz, but it also works fine with 50Hz. All the video files we tested worked perfectly and there was no freezing or any other issues. It played as if the TV was being fed directly rather than over the powerline, no difference was noticeable. There's no capability for Ultra HD/4K, unfortunately, given the fact the HDMI version is 1.3, only, where you would need a minimum of version 1.4.
- Very easy to install
- Works perfectly
- HDMI at 1080P 24, 50 and 60Hz
- Sends video, audio and IR over powerline
- Only Stereo PCM audio
- No 4K
Vision TC2-HDMIP HDMI over Powerline Review
Is the Vision TC2-HDMIP worth buying?
At £223 this isn’t a cheap piece of kit by any means, but is probably more aimed at the professional installer. For those who have and are familiar with Powerline adapters it is in a different class price wise, but then it’s not a simple powerline adapter. With an easy and quick setup, you can effortlessly start watching a 1080P Full HD signal at 24, 50 and 60Hz on your TV, being fed from a PC or Blu-ray player for example in a completely different room. It’s almost magic. The only slight negative we could find is the lack of support for 5.1 and higher surround sound formats as well as Ultra HD video being a no-go.
What are the alternatives?
There isn’t a huge amount of competition with HDMI over Powerline devices right now. One that springs to mind is the AEI Digisender which does pretty much the same job but costs a chunk more at £299 and looks a fairly large piece of kit too. There is also the Marmitek HDTV Anywhere at £260 and it appears by the specification and looks to be a completely identical product just in a black casing. There are, of course, cheaper alternatives to sending a HDMI signal around the house such as HDMI over Ethernet, but if you are looking for a professional and hassle free way of sending HDMI from one room to the next using the powerlines, then you can’t go wrong with Visions’ TC2-HDMIP.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £223.00
Ease of Use10
Value for Money9
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