The Q-Waves Quicklink box is bit of a one-trick pony. However, there’s often a lot to be said for products tailored to a specific need. The Q-Waves Quicklink HD’s selling point is its ability to play HD content stored on a PC or laptop over a Wi-Fi connection using wireless USB. It plugs in to the HDMI connection on your HDTV.
The wireless USB dongle supports 480Kbps data transfers, sufficient to carry either a 720p or 1080p video stream. It’s limited in the distance over which this feat can be accomplished, though. Q-Waves recommends a distance of no more than 10ft between the laptop or PC and the screen to which the wireless USB signal is being sent. You also need a line of sight connection. At one point we got an error suggesting the wireless USB dongle was not connected.
The packaging suggests BBC iPlayer and the SkyPlayer catch-up TV services, exactly the sort of items we think will appeal to most users. However, anything that can be played on your laptop, locally stored video and photos as well as YouTube content, can be pushed to a larger screen for more convenient viewing.
With the Quicklink adapter plugged in to the PC, installation was complete. The right-angled adapter can twist through 90 degrees at a time to accommodate whichever orientation your USB port may have. A second USB adapter plugs in to the Quicklink box. An HDMI connection runs from the Quicklink HD box to the TV.
Less impressively, we had some wireless interference issues, which made controlling the wireless mouse we were using while typing up this review tricky.
Even so, the Q-Waves Quicklink HD does what it purports to: mirroring the content of your laptop or PC screen, enabling you to watch whatever you wish in big-screen comfort.
Both our tests files, a 25MB HD 1080p professionally-shot wildlife film demo and a home-recorded 30 second clip captured at 30fps and 1920x720p, played fine at an across-the-room distance of under 3m and meant we could finally watch YouTube on the big TV and enjoy Gloomy Bear at full resolution.
We got juddery, erratic playback beyond 4m, though, so we suggest potential buyers stick to what the Q-Waves is intended for: watching whatever’s on your laptop in the comfort of a much larger screen.
There are limitations to what it can do, but we can certainly envisage circumstances, such as holidays, when pushing what’s on your PC or the web to a larger, more family-friendly screen is just what’s required. We also like the screen-mirroring concept – which frees it from having to support specific apps – and the use of wireless USB. It’s very expensive, though.