Marmitek's Gigaview 820 looks like a serious contender even before it's plugged in. The transmitter and receiver units are nearly as large as the iTrio units, but have a pleasing, sweeping design and a glossy black finish.
Rather thoughtfully, the units come with rawl plugs and a mounting plate should you wish to wall-mount them near or behind kit.
Because the transmitter has two HDMI inputs plus one loopthrough HDMI output you can have the same video and audio running in two rooms on two displays. Without it you would need to use a separate switching device to feed both your main viewing screen and the video sender.
In addition to this improved HDMI connectivity, there is also a mini jack for a supplied IR repeater, a USB connection for firmware updates and a simple remote control to select HDMI inputs.
Once powered up, the Gigaview 820 takes longer than its rivals to locate and lock to its stablemate receiver. However, once connected, both hi-def and SD transmissions stream without judder.
A standard IR blaster extension connects to the transmitter and there's an optional IR collector that plugs into the receiver, which is helpful should you wish to place the unit out of sight.
Our second challenge, which involved streaming 1080p from a Blu-ray player in another room, really saw the Gigaview 820 come into its own. Not only was a Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstream delivered to our waiting AV receiver, when we switched the Blu-ray player from a bitstream output to multi-channel PCM this too was transmitted effortlessly – all without any low-level background noise.
The Gigaview 820 is one of the only systems we have seen that is able to transmit and deliver multichannel PCM.
The system's video performance is equally praiseworthy. The transmitter streamed our 1080p test material without stutters, judders or slipped frames.