It’s been almost two years since we reviewed the Nyrius ARIES Home+, a streaming device consisting of a receiver and transmitter that could send 1080p/3D video and high definition surround sound over 100 unobstructed feet wirelessly. The Home+ and its zero-latency signal didn’t disappoint. In fact, it continued to see use well after the review concluded. But it may be time to retire the Home+ for a new model, the recently launched ARIES Pro. The ARIES Pro is ultimately more of a redesign than a reinvention of the hardware, but it still delivers the same exceptional video and audio quality that made the Home+ so impressive.
As previously mentioned, the core of Nyrius’ streaming solutions consists of a transmitter and receiver. The ARIES Pro is no different. Both units are included in the box, as well as an HDMI cable, AC power adapter, USB power cable, and an L-shaped HDMI adapter for alternate positioning of the transmitter. Both units are also quite small, each able to fit in the palm of a hand.
The receiver is a rectangular box built of plastic. Two buttons on its top face allow you to put the unit in standby mode or to display resolution and signal strength information on a connected screen. A small LED light below them alerts you if you have a signal at all (solid white) or if it’s still searching for one (blinking white). The sides of the receiver are vented – it can get hot with use – and the rear house the power and HDMI ports. The base has rubberized feet; but if you’d rather let it hang than stand, mounting holes are present here, as well.
The ARIES Pro’s receiver is practically identical to the Home lineup’s. The most substantial difference between the two exists with their transmitters. Rather than being a tower-like device, powered by its own AC adapter, the Pro’s transmitter is more akin to a large thumb drive. Measuring under four inches in length and an inch and half across, it’s a fraction of the size of the previous model. It connects directly to the device you want to stream from, too, and is powered by a USB cable off its side. The design makes it quite a bit more portable than the Home+, allowing for less cables strewn about and more freedom of use. Laptop mobility, drone cameras, and camcorders come to mind.
Setup of the ARIES Pro couldn’t be any easier. It’s largely a plug-and-play affair. As soon as the receiver and transmitter are connected and powered on, the former begins searching for a signal. The final step is to simply select the correct input source on your display. It takes all but a minute to get up and running, at least for the most part.
Streaming from a computer requires a few extra steps. Windows immediately detected the new display, a television in another room, as soon as everything was up and running. But it didn’t immediately mirror my desktop as I wanted it to. That’s because Windows defaults to extending displays rather than duplicating them. The solution is a few clicks away in Windows’ Display settings. Additionally, the receiver had trouble maintaining a signal if my monitor was connected to the computer prior to plugging in the transmitter. The stream would drop constantly or fail to connect outright. Everything was flawless if I unplugged my monitor before setting up the Aries Pro and reattaching it afterward.
Once those issues were solved, it was time to test the ARIES Pro. Its first gauntlet was to stream from a computer to the living room’s television 21 feet away. Several walls stood between the transmitter and receiver. I loaded up the CW app and spent an evening catching up on episodes of The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. The quality of the stream was perfect. The picture was sharp, free of visible artifacts. Likewise, audio was crystal clear. Any degradation, if present, was imperceptible.
Gaming with the ARIES Pro was similarly impressive. For those tests, I plugged the transmitter into a PlayStation 4 downstairs. Now the signal had to traverse both walls and floor. Loading up Horizon Zero Dawn, the stream appeared as if I was playing the game natively. It was flawless in presentation. Furthermore, I could detect no additional input lag. The only real worry was whether the Dual Shock 4 would be able transmit through the floor. Mine didn’t have too far to go, but depending on your own setup, that may be a concern.
The ability to change displays without having to lug the PlayStation 4 around the house was frankly downright cool. All I had to do was plug in the transmitter and, gamepad signal strength willing, I could keep playing wherever I wanted to. The ARIES Pro is also a great solution for freeing up entertainment center space and/or removing the clutter of cables.
The ARIES Pro is a simple and impressive in-house streaming solution. But at $250, it’s not cheap. It’s priced the same as the Home+, so choosing between the two comes down to whether you want the mobility of use and cleaner setup of the Pro versus the ability of the Home+ to connect two HDMI sources to its transmitter. Regardless, Nyrius’ streaming products work beautifully. If you want the freedom of placement for your entertainment devices without the hassle of carting them around the house, Nyrius may have what you’re looking for.
Disclosure: A unit was provided for review.