PROS / The HDMI switch has all the best features and accessories including remotes and power adapters.
CONS / The auto-switch option does not always work.
VERDICT / We recommend this HDMI switcher for its complete feature set and great customer service.
Monoprice is one of the most dependable and affordable HDMI manufacturers on the market. You can count on their products to work consistently and reliably. And this HDMI switcher is no exception. The HDMI switch we reviewed is a 3-port auto-switch with built-in equalization. The auto-switch will change between inputs as they power up. For example, when you’re watching TV and turn on your Blu-ray player, the HDMI switcher will automatically change to the player. The equalization will help the range of the product increase. The Monoprice HDMI switcher is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner because of its top-notch features and specifications. And the customer support options are terrific.
The Monoprice HDMI hub works like a power strip, except with HDMI cables. You won’t have to plug in the switcher box; it will draw the power it needs from the TV or other source. And while the number of ports varies on the different HDMI switchers available, we looked at devices with three ports. This will allow you to have three HDMI devices plugged into your TV or projector.
There is no standard for how many HDMI ports your TV will have. Some come with one, others have four. It's totally dependent on the manufacturer and model. For some people, one or two ports will be enough and there will be no need to have more than one HDMI port. However, for those who have a variety of different media players and devices, an HDMI switcher is a fantastic way to de-clutter your entertainment system and make navigation between the devices seamless.
Many products, such as the Play Station 3, Wii, Roku, and Blu-ray and DVD players, can utilize an HDMI connection for optimized sound and image quality. HDMI has become the standard connection, not only because of the quality, but because it simplifies the process and cuts down on the amount of wires necessary to have your own home entertainment system.
The Monoprice HDMI switcher is automatic and will recognize when you turn on one of the devices connected to the port. The display will automatically switch to the recently activated device. Because some DVD and Blu-ray players actually operate on a sort of sleep mode, you might need to change some of the settings on your DVD player. However, most of the products work perfectly with the switcher and you’ll notice almost immediately how simple it is to navigate through the different media players. There's also a remote included with purchase that only has a few simple buttons to move between ports. Most of the time you won’t need the remote, but just in case you do, it is small and simple to use.
Most HDMI hubs, including all the products we reviewed, have equalization to compensate for sound quality. Equalization provides a larger range and improves the quality lost through the switcher. When we heard the sound and saw the picture quality through an HDMI switcher, the sound and image quality was as high as if it were plugged directly into the TV.
HDMI cables are quickly becoming the standard for all audio-visual equipment. The sound quality is phenomenal and the visual display is top-notch. There are constant advances in the HDMI cables, and the most advanced is high-speed version 1.4. The quality increases and the cables become more affordable. The Monoprice HDMI switcher is compatible with all the latest HDMI cables but does not support Ethernet capabilities or the audio return channel. We didn't find the lack of these two features to be particularly bothersome. Also, these two features are not extremely common with HDMI cable users, but they are present.
The high-speed HDMI cables can handle essentially any sound format. Dolby Digital and DTS are phasing out and the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are becoming more popular. The HDMI switchers can use all of those sound settings and more. Nearly any sound and video quality and content you could have without the HDMI switch, you can have with it.
The Monoprice HDMI switch box is solidly built. The case is all metal and appears to be able to withstand a drop or accident, if necessary. It is also compatible with universal remotes, which will make the navigation even easier.
This HDMI hub is truly a plug-and-play device. Plug the device into your TV or projector, and then connect the HDMI cables from your media devices to the switch. There are no firmware updates or complicated settings. Everything is as simple as using a power strip. The power used by the HDMI switch switcher is negligible. Each channel, or port, has a little LED light that will turn on when it's in use. If there is a problem with one of the media sources going into sleep mode and not allowing the auto switch to work, the LED display will tell you which device it is.
If you need more or fewer ports, Monoprice has a large variety of products to select from. There are two ports and up to five port HDMI switcher boxes. If you have an older AV receiver without multiple HDMI ports, you can use the Monoprice HDMI switch to increase the amount of ports for your AV receivers.
Ease of Use
To use the Monoprice HDMI switcher, simply connect the media sources to the HDMI switch box and connect the switcher to the TV or projector. The Monoprice HDMI switch is totally compatible with all different types of sources including Blu-ray players, DVD players, Roku, Apple TV and satellite boxes. Unlike some other HDMI switchers, the Monoprice HDMI switch needs to be plugged into a power source with a simple AV power adapter at all times. Other similar devices run solely off the power from the HDMI cable. However, some media devices, like Blu-ray players, require a large amount of power. The Monoprice HDMI switch runs more smoothly because it is always connected to a power source.
Help & Support
The manufacturer of this HDMI switcher provides a selection of outstanding customer service features. We especially loved the chat support available on the website. There are detailed user manuals, sections of frequently asked questions and telephone support lines. We sent emails to the customer service addresses and received almost immediate responses. Each encounter we had with the manufacturer was positive and helpful. The HDMI switcher has a limited warranty for one year.
The Monoprice HDMI switcher is reliable and full-featured. This switcher is easy to install and the sound and visual quality is superb. The customer service offered is fantastic and the warranty is extremely helpful.