Nyrius Aries Prime Review

Stream Content to Your TV with This Wireless HDMI Media Streamer

Nyrius Aries Prime HDMI Transmitter and Reciever
The Nyrius Aries Prime lets you stream video and games from your computer or tablet to your television. Nyrius

I love consuming all sorts of computer media and entertainment on my television. Maybe it’s because my lack of self-control means that I ended up with a TV that has a laughably large 84-inch screen (insert jokes about overcompensating here). Perhaps it’s because I like to dawdle in the comfort of my couch — which reclines in three separate spots for maximum lazing and procrastination — right in front of the television.

Regardless, I’ve always had my laptop parked next to my television for years, so I’m just the length of an HDMI cord away from using it as a second display for watching videos or even playing games from my computer. Then again, this setup does have a bit of a drawback when it comes to mobility.

Given how I’m essentially limited by the length of my HDMI cable, I basically have to put my PC media enjoyment on the big screen on hold anytime I have to take my laptop more than five or so feet away. First World problems, I know.

Still, it’s a problem, nonetheless, which makes potential streaming options attractive for yours truly. One I tried recently is the Nyrius Aries Prime Wireless HDMI Transmitter and Receiver. When talking about the Aries Prime, it’s important to distinguish it from other popular streaming options such as Google’s Chromecast dongle, for example.

Unlike the Chromecast, which requires connecting to a WiFi network like your home Internet router in order to work, the Aries Prime does its magic sans any third-party wireless network. Instead, it provides both a wireless transmitter for your media source as well as a receiver than directly connects to your TV.

Basically, as long as the source of your media has an HDMI out port, you’ll be able to stream content to your TV with the Aries Prime. This includes newer laptops and desktops, for example. You can even stream media from an iPad, provided you have an HDMI adapter cable that connects to the tablet’s port.

Setup is pretty easy thanks to the transmitter and receiver already being paired right out of the box. All you need to do is connect the transmitter to your laptop or other source’s HDMI-out port, connect the receiver to an HDMI-in slot of your TV and, voila, you’re in business. Do note that both require a power source in order to work.

The receiver comes with an AC adapter which you’ll need to plug into an outlet. The transmitter, on the other hand, is powered by USB. The downside is that it takes up one of your laptop’s USB ports, which is a bummer if your computer doesn’t have a lot of them and you have a bazillion USB gadgets already hooked up like a mouse, several hard drives and an Elgato Game Capture HD like I do.

Otherwise, you can use a USB wall outlet or even a portable USB battery, especially when using a smartphone or tablet instead of a computer to stream from. Also, make sure that your transmitter is completely connected if you decide to use the L-shaped HDMI dongle that comes in the package (it’s the one that makes the transmitter stand up). Otherwise, your signal won’t transmit properly.

Once setup is done, the Aries Prime works really well. Picture quality is excellent for the high-definition content I streamed from my laptop. There also was no noticeable lag, making it a viable option for streaming PC games to the TV.

For folks who prefer to stick the receiver on a wall, the package also comes with doohickeys for mounting. Keep in mind that the Aries Prime is a lot more costly than the Chromecast. If you’re primarily interested in solid HDMI streamer and don’t mind the price, however, the Nyrius Aries Prime is a great option.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Jason Hidalgo is About.com’s portable electronics expert. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. For more reviews of nontraditional gadgets like car scan tools and charging pots, check out the Other Devices and Accessories hub