Belkin ScreenCast AV4

If a tangle of TV wires bothers you more than a radio shock jock spouting obscenities, then this HD wireless transmitter and receiver package comes with our recommendation.


8.4
CNET Rating
4.0
User Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


What is it?

If you fall into either of the following two categories, Belkin thinks it has the product for you: someone who hates clutter as much as a Today Tonight viewer hates shonky builders; or someone thinking of wall mounting a brand-spanking-new TV, but who has been put off by the prospect of a mess of wires.

With the new Belkin ScreenCast AV4, the only wires you need to connect to your television are the power cable, an HDMI cord linking it to the ScreenCast receiver and, possibly, an antenna cable. All of the equipment that you'd normally hook straight up to the TV, such as your Blu-ray player, cable television box or game console, are connected to one of the ScreenCast AV4 transmitter's four HDMI inputs. The transmitter and receiver communicate on the 5GHz band via a proprietary wireless format.

Does it work?

Yes, yes it does. We're still scratching our heads as to how it all comes together — let's just assume for now that it's black magic.

According to Belkin, the transmitter and the receiver can live up to 30m apart. We managed considerably less than that in our office, around 15m on a good day — although one could reasonably assume that our CBD office has considerably more radio interface than the average household.

With the transmitter and receiver comfortably within their range, picture quality was for 2D and 3D 1080p content, as far as our eyes could tell, identical to over a wired HDMI connection. Place the two units towards the limits of their range and picture quality remains pin sharp, but is marred by missing chunks of pixels. We were able to play racing and shooting titles without a hint of lag.

Setting the ScreenCast AV4 up is a cinch, as the transmitter and receiver are paired up in the factory. Once all of the appropriate cables are connected, and you switch your ScreenCast AV4 and TV on for the first time, you may be prompted to jump through some set-up tasks, such as naming your inputs, but they have no bearing on the performance of the system, and can quite easily be skipped. The remote for the ScreenCast AV4 is a simple affair, with an OK/Menu button flanked by up and down buttons, which, outside of the menu system, simply cycles through the available inputs.

If the devices you connect to the transmitter are hidden away in a cabinet or in another room altogether, you'll need to utilise the set of infrared transmitters included, and place them pointing towards your devices' IR ports. Getting this set-up right can be quite fiddly, as the weight of the IR transmitter cable often overwhelms the transmitter itself. If the alignment is even slightly out of whack, remote control clicks can take several attempts before they register. Devices with Bluetooth controllers, such as a PS3 or an Xbox 360, will need to be within range, but they don't require any extra mucking about.

Caveats

On the first unit we tried, after about a week of use, the remote control became unreliable. If we were in the set-up menus, it operated perfectly, but, once an input had been selected, none of the buttons responded to our repeated jabs. This may have been a minor inconvenience, as the system features an input selection button on the rear of the receiver, but we were unable to dismiss the on-screen menus without a working remote.

Conclusion

With a list price of just AU$299, the ScreenCast AV4 is recommended to anyone with a wall-mounted TV set-up, or just looking to de-clutter.

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Johnnos70
8
Rating
 

"Easy to setup, and it works brilliantly"

Johnnos70 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:picture quality is excellent

The Bad:the battery in the remote was flat (and the remote is pretty cheap)

I've had no problems with my unit, with the exception of a flat battery in the remote when I first unpacked it.

I can't say I've tried it for gaming, but I'm pretty impressed with the picture quality (using it for a 40 inch LED TV in bedroom).

leastpage
1
Rating
 

"Just doesn't work"

leastpage posted a review   
Australia

The Good:None that I've found

The Bad:Everything- doesn't work as advertised

This product straight up does not deliver on promise. Have gone through several replacement units with Belkin before giving up. Main problem seems to be the included remote, which is a dinky little cheap piece of plastic that can't consistently produce an IR signal. First unit couldn't get past set up screen because remote wouldn't work. Replacement remote provided by Belkin also failed to work. Whole new replacement unit provided by Belkin and remote only works incredibly intermittently, and sometimes can't even receive the "OK" button to clear the AV4's ridiculous and unnecessary messages from the screen. Signal strength is good? GREAT! Now get the F off the screen so I can see what I'm doing with the connected source.

Also, as some have mentioned, really doesn't cut it for gaming as lag is very noticeable, even with transmitter and receiver less than 4 feet apart.

Jayrod
1
Rating
 

"Works great... for 3 months."

Jayrod posted a review   
United States

The Good:Clean mounted tv over fireplace

The Bad:only lasted 3 months before completly breaking. And Customer service is a joke.

This product worked great for 3 Months. Then the transmitter shut off and would not turn back on. Called Customer service and sat on hold for 15 mins just for them to ask if it was plugged in and to reset it. When it still would not turn on, they said I would have to call customer service between the hours of 8-5 (which are the hours I am at work) to process a return. They then informed me that I would have to pay to ship the broken product back to them! I have never been treated so bad as a customer. I am now black balling Belkin from any of my future products and would STRONGLY ADVICE YOU TO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. I am now not able to watch TV as the cable box is located across the room. AVOID making the same $250 mistake I made.

TColby
6
Rating
 

"Good, but there is lag..."

TColby posted a review   
United States

The Good:Supports resolutions up to 1920x1080, multiple inputs

The Bad:Resolutions higher than 1400x900 seem to lag a bit

I have this product, and I can say it's..er good.

It's not something you can use for any decent gaming though.

Mr. Fung is not correct about the lag. There is noticeable screen lag for resolutions higher than 1920x1080. You can tell this by just moving the mouse. There is a delay that is definitely perceivable.

If you are content playing games in 1440x900, this will work.

There are some issues with some resolutions sometimes giving weird boxy artifacts as well at times. This doesn't happen too often, but it can be a nuisance.

It's a bit pricey for all it's issues, but overall it is a decent product. If not for the screen lag at higher resolutions, I would give it an 8.

If not for the artifacts (doesn't happen all THAT often, but does happen), I would give a 9.

If they found a way to do all this and have 1080p at 120hz then I could give a 10.

If you are looking for something to use for gaming, this isn't it. But for other purposes such as movies, standard PC desktop stuff, or anything else that doesn't rely on twitch input it is certainly good.

 

thegoodnameswereused posted a comment   
Australia

Sounds like this would be great for ceiling mounted HD and 3D projectors rather than a 20M HDMI Cable - which costs about $200 for a decent one anyway.

 

Potable Water posted a comment   
Australia

Does anyone else think this is incredibly dumb? You still need the same amount of cables, it just moves the mess of cables to another location. And you can't really move these devices to another room, because (like a ps3 or fox box) you'll need it near a tv screen. Worse still, you add another device and remote control to the growing amount of devices in our living room.

 

StuartM3 posted a comment   

I wonder if you could buy additional receivers so you could have multiple TV's showing the one source (multiroom)??

 

PeterP1 posted a reply   

Not possible - otherwise you could act as a mini-broadcasting station for your next door neighbors.

The way it works is that you can have multiple transmitters for one receiver - in case you have many HDMI devices to connect. Not the other way around.




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User Reviews / Comments  Belkin ScreenCast AV4

  • Johnnos70

    Johnnos70

    Rating8

    "I've had no problems with my unit, with the exception of a flat battery in the remote when I first unpacked it.

    I can't say I've tried it for gaming, but I'm pretty impressed with the ..."

  • leastpage

    leastpage

    Rating1

    "This product straight up does not deliver on promise. Have gone through several replacement units with Belkin before giving up. Main problem seems to be the included remote, which is a dinky little..."

  • Jayrod

    Jayrod

    Rating1

    "This product worked great for 3 Months. Then the transmitter shut off and would not turn back on. Called Customer service and sat on hold for 15 mins just for them to ask if it was plugged in and t..."

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