Wireless HDMI has been on the cards now for so long, we'd given up expecting it to ever arrive. There have been plenty of problems with it over the years -- not least in the UK a regulatory issue that would have made selling devices using the technology illegal. But it seems that all of a sudden, the legalities and other problems have been solved and Panasonic's latest TV, the Viera Z1, has arrived to prove the point.
The 46-inch Panasonic Viera TX-P46Z1 costs a fairly staggering £4,200, so it's immediately beyond the reach of most people. Indeed, at this price, you could have bought yourself one of the excellent 60-inch Pioneer Kuro TVs. You're paying for the very latest in technology -- and the only 1080p TV that does its 'Full HD' thing wirelessly. The Sony Bravia ZX1 can only manage 1080i over its wireless link.
The idea of such wireless functionality is that you can bolt the TV to your wall without needing to worry about HDMI cables and the like. It also means that the back of your TV won't look like there's been an explosion in a cable factory. You can put your Blu-ray player, games console and other AV junk somewhere out of the way, and connect them up to the media receiver. All you need to do is make sure the wireless transmitter can get its signal to the TV and you're good to go.
We ran some unscientific tests, and we're pleased to see the wireless signal isn't easy to disrupt. The wireless signals operate around the 50GHz range, so they aren't easily disrupted by other transmitting equipment and the signals bounce well off walls to ensure maximum signal strength.
This TV is certainly interesting, and we'll be putting it through its paces to see if it lives up to our expectations. We're going to be paying particular attention to the quality of the wireless picture and comparing it to a directly connected device over HDMI. Keep an eye on the TV reviews channel for our findings.