Dump the HDMI cable with IOGear’s SharePro Mini [Review]

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IOGear SharePro Mini
The SharePro Mini can really cut down on the clutter around your TV.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

IOGear has a simple, wireless replacement for HDMI cables. The SharePro Mini creates its own little Wi-Fi network to stream video between a small transmitter and receiver, connecting your MacBook and TV without a wire. There are some limitations, of course.

We’re been testing this gadget for weeks. Tune in to see if it’s something you need for your living room, or for your next presentation.

IOGear SharePro Mini Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver Kit review

The SharePro Mini’s transmitter and receiver live up to the “mini” part of the name. Each is just 3.1 inches by 1.5 in. by 0.6 in. and a mere 1.1 ounces. They are practically identical black plastic boxes; when setting them up, be sure to look for the green lettering indicating which is the TX and which the RX.

Creating a wireless network with these just requires plugging them in and supplying power. Slot one into your DVD player and the other into a TV, wait a few moments, and the two devices are communicating.

Or put this wireless video streamer in your travel kit to be ready to give presentations without being tied to the projector. IOGear suggests sending movies from your MacBook to your home TV.

IOGear SharePro Mini in TV
Plug the SharePro Mini into your TV, get it USB power, and you’re ready to stream video from your MacBook or iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

This accessory requires an HDMI port on the sending and receiving device so you’ll need an adapter for your MacBook or iPad. IOGear makes a separate version specifically for USB-C devices. We’ve requested a review unit for it.

Power comes in from a micro-USB port on each SharePro Mini unit. However, when we tested this device with a USB-C adapter and an iPad Pro, the transmitter got all the current it needed through the HDMI port. Plugging in the USB cable wasn’t necessary. But that didn’t happen with every device we tested. The receiver always had to be connected to the USB-A port on the back of any TV we tried.

IOGear includes the two USB cables needed for power, and plenty more. In the box are a pair of 7.8-inch HDMI cables in case there’s not room for the transmitter or receiver where you want to plug it in. The company also generously threw in a pair of L-shaped HDMI connectors for the same reason.

IOGear SharePro Mini cables
Two sets of HDMI adapter cables like this one come with the SharePro Mini.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

IOGear SharePro Mini performance

The SharePro Mini seems like such an obvious improvement over HDMI cables that there have to be drawbacks or cables would already be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, there are.

Most notably, this wireless video streamer tops out at 1080p and 50Hz/60Hz. That’s a decent resolution, but it’s not 2K, much less 4K. Before you decide whether this is a deal breaker, consider what you’ll be using this accessory for. Standard DVDs are lower resolution that this. Cheaper Netflix accounts stream video at this resolution or lower.

Also, there’s a short delay while the transmitter and receiver start communicating. They are doing so over a private 802.11ac network, and getting the two talking to each other takes a few seconds, even under ideal conditions. On rare occasions the two just can’t do it — possibly because of Wi-Fi interference — and need to be turned off and then on again to make them keep at it.

Also, the connection drops every now and then. It doesn’t happen very often, but this rare instability might keep you from using this wireless connection to make a presentation to your board of directors.

To be clear, the SharePro Mini makes its own private Wi-Fi network. It doesn’t require you to supply an access point.

IOGear says its gadget has a range of 40 feet. We had no problems in a big living room, but started running into issues at about 30 ft. We were transmitting through the TV, which seems to cut down the range.

In real-world use, SharePro Mini had no problems streaming a dozen or so movies and TV shows from an iPad Pro to an HD TV over a couple of weeks of testing.

Video and audio are always in sync. Image quality is good, within the stated 1080p limitation.

IOGear SharePro Mini transmitter
The SharePro Mini transmitter sure beats an HDMI cable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

IOGear SharePro Mini Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver Kit review final thoughts

Cables are ugly. Plus, you can trip over them and fling your MacBook onto the floor. The SharePro Mini is a much preferable arrangement to stretching an HDMI cable across the room.

It comes with a few hassles, though. The delay in getting the transmitter and receiver communicating is the most notable one, along with the rare times the connection will drop. That didn’t interfere with our enjoyment of the product, though.

Pricing

IOGear’s suggested price for the SharePro Mini $119.95. It’s available from Amazon or from IOGear itself.

Buy from: Amazon — $114.99

There is a wide range of wireless video transmitters available. These range from $50 to $500. IOGear’s offering is cheaper than most of these, though it surely doesn’t rival the capabilities of the pricier options.

IOgear provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.