number of companies introducing HDMI switches during the year has increased significantly.
There has also been several products that provide a way to split HDMI sources
to multiple displays. HDMI can be a little tricky since the signal requires active
electronics to repeat the TMDS signaling. Accell Corporation has once again come
through to meet the demands of A/V users by introducing their new UltraAV
4x2 HDMI Switch. This product combines the best of both worlds with a 4 input
HDMI switch and a 2 output HDMI splitter in a single product. Accell's UltraAV
4x2 HDMI Switch features Smart-Switch technology that automatically switches
to the active HDMI source. The switch is designed to carry both multi-channel
audio and high-definition (HD) digital video in resolutions of up to 1080p and
is fully compatible with HDCP devices and compliant to the HDMI 1.2a specification.
The HDMI switch is also designed to work with personal computers and DVI enabled
devices when using an optional DVI adapter or HDMI to DVI cable.
UltraAV 4x2 HDMI Switch includes a built-in Signal Repeater and a
Signal Booster that enables the use of an HDMI cable from a video source
to the switch in lengths of up to 82 feet (25 meters). In our experience longer
cables have to be tested with the equipment being used. Often times one component
may work fine while another encounters dropouts. The 4x2 HMDI Switch is lightweight
and is compact in size measuring approximately 8" W x 5" L x 1.5"
Each of the HDMI inputs has an indicator on the front panel to show
the selected input source. The output indicators provide status on the displays
connected to the 4x2 HDMI Switch. The On/Off indicator provides power status of
the unit. A manual input selector is used to manually select the input as an alternative
to using the remote. The IR sensor located near the center of the unit receives
commands from the small remote provided with the switch. Though the remote works
well, we programmed the IR commands into our universal controller (RTI T4) to
simplify the system. This allowed us to select the input based on the system settings.
The Accell UltraAV 4x2 HDMI Switch features 24K gold-plated
HDMI connectors and contacts for a solid, corrosion resistant connection.
Included with the UltraAV switch is an IR Extender with a 5-foot cord. This allows
the unit to be placed in a location where clear line of sight to the remote control
is not required. The self-adhesive IR target can be placed in a location easily
accessible to the remote's IR beam. The small IR remote worked well and had excellent
range. The 4x2 HDMI Switch lacks an RS232 interface for direct control. The universal
power adapter accepts 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz and provides 5VDC at 2 amps.
We ran a series of tests using a Dish Network Vip622 DVR
and a Sony PlayStation 3 as HDMI sources. The output of the UltraAV 4x2
HDMI Switch fed our Mitsubishi HC5000 projector and a Mitsubishi LT-52133 LCD
flat panel. Video quality was excellent with both displays and we never experienced
any dropouts in the picture during our review period. The 1080i we used from the
Dish set top box and HDMI capable DVD player produced consistently good video.
The 1080p video sourced from the Sony PS3 looked as good as a direct connection
from the player to the display.
The Accell UltraAV 4x2 HDMI Switch is a powerful product that can not
only select from up to 4 sources, but can also provide high definition video (or
standard definition) to two different displays. If you need this type of product
you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that it retails for less than $200
with a street price around $150. That is an unheard of price for such a product.
The best part is it can be integrated into a more complex system with automated
control using the IR input. Accell has brought together two great functions into
a single product while keeping the price affordable. The performance offered with
the UltraAV 4x2 HDMI Switch is nothing short of amazing for the price and
comes as a recommended product.