Saturday, May 28, 2011

Monoprice 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch

To accomplish the 1 Astro B·yond 3 TV mission, the most basic stuff I need is a 1x2 HDMI splitter, to at least split the HDMI out (of Astro Byond decoder) into 2, one to connect to the TV, the other is to the projector. I think a little ahead, I have a media player and coming soon Unifi IPTV (I wish Astro IPTV could offer the service here!!), so total of 3 input sources to 2 output displays. I do think I might end up with a third TV in my bedroom, but the likelihood is kinda low for this moment.

So, I need a 1x2 splitter as basis, or 3x2 switch (or 3x3 for future proof) if within the budget. I begun my online shopping and I needed to make my order asap to have a pretty lady to bring back from US (to save shipping cost) and finally I decided on this switch...






It has a power button cum input source toggle button for each output. It uses numeric label for input sources (1 to 4) and label the 2 outputs as A and B (Active A and Active B), quite a thoughtful one to avoid confusion to the consumers.

All the connections are hosted at the rear...


A power connector on the left, 4 HDMI inputs follow by 1st output Output A that is capable of splitting the digital audio through a digital coaxial for AVR connection. The 2nd output Output B does not have the digital audio out though. This enables users to use Output A for projector with AVR and Output B for simple TV connection. Since I am using only HDMI cable for audio and video, it doesn't really matter which output to use for my projector.

4 good things about the design:
  • The connectors are clearly and precisely labeled to ease non-techie.
  • All connectors are distantly placed to allow sufficient clearance between cables.
  • All HDMI connectors are gold plated.
  • A reset button to avoid power cycle when the unit goes haywire.

This switch is also equipped with a remote controller...


That allows me to conveniently and lazily stick my butt onto the sofa the whole day watching Astro channels and switch to media player for some movies w/o moving my butt at all! :)

One thing worth mentioning here, is most of the switches only allow one input source to be displayed to all displays, whereas a matrix switch allows you to output different input sources to different output displays. For instance, this 4x2 matrix switch allows you to select Input 1 to be displayed on Output A and Input 2 to be on Output B simultaneously. If it's a normal 4x2 switch, you would only be able to watch Input 1 on Output A and B, no Input 2 simultaneously.

One last thing but is also the most important element, the power adapter...


Yoohoo! It's a universal power adapter that support UK power rating! This is always my worry when buying gadgets from US online store. I did check with Monoprice online support before my purchase...


My 2 questions were what is the HDMI specification the product complies with and does the product come with UK power adapter (which is Malaysia's power spec too). So now I just need to get a multi-region adapter instead of buying a local power adapter. Excellent service from Melissa B and Steve B!

I recommend Monoprice if you are looking for some advance AV tools 'cause Monoprice also ship to Malaysia (I did not try that though). Check out the photos on my previous post and compare the price of this product below. I believe most likely you would get better quality product at lower price inclusive of shipping cost. The only concern is on warranty, I guess it should be good with a 30 days return policy. Perhaps my next visit would be a HDMI extender for broadcasting HD contents to my bedroom (if local price is killing) ;)

One thing to share here is if you're paying using Paypal...


Don't panic when you see "payment required" after your Paypal payment. Click on the order number...


There you go. So check back the Order page one hour after their business hour (in UTC-8 Pacific Time).


With all the tools ready for action, I shall have enough time setting it up and host a beer session with my gang for Champions League Final - MU vs. Barcelona in 4 hours time! ^.^V

p/s: Check out my old post on the yellow HDMI cables if you're curious about the cables. I will get back here later with some test results on the switch as well.