If you are like most people now a days you probably have some sort of home theatre set up in your living room to hand all of your boxes and consoles. If your television is limited in the number of HDMI ports it has on the back or if you have an A/V receiver that does not support an HDMI in you could be in search of a solution to your problems but unsure of where to look.
The Monoprice HDMI switch aims to solve those kind of problems by adding up to 4 more HDMI ports for you to use along with having the capability to strip the audio from the incoming signal and output in in different formats. with output formats in the form of Toslink Digitial Optical, Digital Coaxial and 2 Channel L/R Stereo this switch is sure to give a solution to your problem.
Inside the box you will find a user manual, a remote control (batteries included) for switching between HDMI ports along with audio type selection, an A/C adapter and the HDMI switch itself. The switch itself is made from a sturdy metal housing with 6 LED indicators on the front that are until you get used to them, VERY bright. To the right of the LEDs is a select button allowing you to bypass using the remote and select the port directly on the unit itself.
One complaint we have is that the first HDMI input port is located on the front of the unit and can ruin the cleanliness of your careful install. Because of this issue we recommend starting with the second port and only using the first if you run out on the rear of the unit. Although unsightly it is understandable that this was done to reduce the overall size of the unit.
The rear of the unit contains the A/C plug for power, the digital Toslink port, a coaxial cable port and the Stereo speaker port. To the right of those is the HDMI output port meant for connection to your television followed by the remaining 3 HDMI input ports.
Overall this Switch does a terrific job of splitting out the audio and sending it to our Panasonic A/V unit that is without HDMI in. It allows us to use the 5.1 surround sound system with anything we plug into the television and at the same time providing more HDMI ports than the Samsung TV came with in the first place.
There is a delay of about 5 seconds after you switch channels with the switch before the new signal starts feeding through but this feels negligible for such an elegant solution to such problems.
There is no degrading of visual or audio quality that is noticeable at the time of this writing either.
If you are having similar problems outlined in this review than this switch which retails for $43.64 from Monoprice is an easy solution to a not so seemingly easy problem. Not only that but it is one of the only solutions out there for splitting audio to Toslink while playing the role of a hub.
The Bright LEDs are one of this units biggest downfalls. Although you will get used to them after a day or two guests will almost certainly comment on the intensity of them. A solution to cover them could easily be made but is not provided with the unit. A simple dimmer switch would have made all the difference but since this is only a cosmetic issue it doesn’t stop us from recommending this HDMI switch from Monoprice as one of the best solutions to your audio splitting or HDMI adding needs.