Atlona AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI Converter - Product Review

Atlona AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI Converter - Box Contents
Atlona AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI Converter - Box Contents. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The Atlona AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI Converter allows the connection of a Desktop or Laptop PC or MAC to an HDTV, HD Monitor, or video projector. The software provided enables a USB port to output the PC's video monitor signal. By connecting a USB cable, as well as an audio cable to the AT-HDPIX box, and then connecting an HDMI cable from the box to an HDMI-equipped HDTV, HD-monitor, or Video projector, you can view your Desktop or Laptop on a "big" screen.

After reading this review, also check out my Atlona AT-HDPIX Photo Profile.

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Pros

  • Adds HDMI output to a Desktop or Laptop PC or MAC.
  • Compatible with any TV or video projector that has an HDMI input.
  • Combines video and audio output from PC or MAC to HDMI.
  • Easy setup with provided software - No external power source required.
  • Allows display of content stored on your hard drive or streamed from the internet.

Cons

  • Output Resolution limited to 1600x1200 (UXGA) or 1280x720 (720p video).
  • No HDMI cable provided (USB and Audio cable provided).
  • Encountered memory and driver conflicts when trying to play DVDs from PC.
  • Pricey.

Description

  • Compatible with any HDTV, HD-Monitor, or Video Projector with HDMI input.
  • Resolutions to 1600x1200 (UXGA) or 720p (video), 32 bit True color depth compatible.
  • Up to 6 AT-HDPiX units can be used with one PC and up to 4 AT-HDPiX units can be used with one Mac.
  • Computer screen can be Mirrored or Extended. Standard and wide-screen aspect ratios can be accommodated.
  • Audio accommodated through 3.5mm (1/8-inch) stereo jack.
  • Combines separate USB video and sound card audio output into HDMI for simplified connection to HDTVs.
  • Software provided - Easy Installation. No additional external power supply required.
  • Includes software, USB, audio cables, and AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI converter box.
  • PC Requirements: CD-ROM Drive, Win 2000 SP4/XP SP2/Vista SP1, 1 USB 2.0 port, 512mb Ram, P4 processor, 30mb free disc space.
  • MAC Requirements: OS X 10.4.1, 1 USB 2.0 port, 512mb of Ram, 17MB of free disk space.

Atlona AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI Converter - Product Review

Setting up the Atlona AT-HDPIX with a PC/MAC and HDTV is very easy. First install the provided software, connect the AT-HDPIX USB to HDMI converter box to your Laptop using the provided USB cable, and then connect an HDMI cable from the box to your HDTV. Turn your TV on, click on the newly installed Atlona software icon on your PC/MAC menu, and select whether you want to mirror your PC/MAC display image or extend the image. I found that the mirror function worked best. The pull-up menu also allows other adjustments, such as resolution and color depth.

Using either a Toshiba Satellite U205-S5044 Laptop PC, or Sony VAIO VGC-RA826G Desktop PC I found that both the HDMI handshake and signal integrity was not an issue with the HDTV used ( Westinghouse LVM-37w3 1080p LCD Monitor)

However, one problem I did encounter is that despite the 2GB RAM and 128MB video RAM available on my Toshiba Laptop and 2GB RAM and 256MB video RAM on my Sony desktop, I still did not have enough memory capacity to play a DVD and display the image on the HDMI connected HDTV at the same time.

I could however, display all of my other laptop functions and content, including photos and videos stored on my Laptop hard drive or directly streamed from online sources, such as You Tube and Hulu.

Provided your Laptop or Desktop has enough memory to run a large screen HDMI-equipped HDTV, The Atlona AT-HDPIX to HDMI Converter provides an easy way to integrate stored content on a PC/MAC or internet-streamed content into your home theater system. However, when playing a DVD using your PC or MAC's DVD drive, you may encounter memory and/or driver issues.

As the line separating the PC and Home Theater narrows, you will see more convergence products, such the Atlona AT-HDPIX make their mark.

For another, more detailed, look at the Atlona AT-HDPIX, also check out my Photo Profile.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.