Wireless AV Transmitters and Receivers

Terk LF-30S A/V Transmitter
Terk LF-30S A/V Transmitter.


It's not unusual for people to be blocked in some way—sometimes architecturally, but sometimes because of their status as a renter who cannot modify their apartment—from running the cables required to spread cable television throughout their home. 

Although a wired solution isn't in the cards, a wireless one might be, in the form of a wireless A/V transmitter. On a small scale, it works the same way as a TV antenna, only instead of a local broadcast station sending a signal out to anyone who has an antenna, the television at the location of your cable box will be the sender of the signal for the receiver somewhere else to decode.

How It Works

Wireless A/V units connect a television at the cable box to a special transmitter, which is paired with a receiver connected to a television in a different part of your home. The signal travels through the open air and is decoded by the receiver—so even though you won't run cables, you still cannot allow significant architectural features (like fireplaces or metal-clad walls) to impair the signal.

The signal between the transmitter and the receiver is a two-way street, so you can use a remote control on the receiver to change the channel at the transmitter.

Generally, the devices pair on their own, like portable telephones, instead of requiring Wi-Fi bandwidth.


Wireless transmitters and receivers sometimes struggle with high-definition programming. Most AV receivers are built for 20th-century technology. Most are not outfitted with digital connections yet at the consumer level. For example, models like Terk's LF-30S present a low-cost AV transmitter-and-receiver solution. It works well but it is not a fit for digital TV transmission.


One major reason that wireless transmitters haven't kept up with high-def programming is that most people use other solutions given the ubiquity of broadband Internet. Devices like a Roku or an Apple TV, which rely on Wi-Fi, stream a wealth of content to televisions regardless of the availability of wiring. In addition, home entertainment servers, like Plex, push content that you already own. 

Some content providers, like DirectTV, even offer wireless devices already configured to work with the service, so you don't even need to purchase your own transmitters.

Was this page helpful?