Good HDMI Switch

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Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:15 am

Does anyone have experience with a good HDMI switch? I have been told to hang our TV on the wall and hide all electronics in a cabinet so that my wife doesn't have to see them, so I would like to only have to run one HDMI cable to the TV and since it will be in a cabinet, something that I can use an IR blaster to control would be great.

I was thinking of something like this, but it seems to be hit or miss for working. The biggest complaint is that the audio doesn't always work when switching inputs. Thank you for any advice.

On edit:
One of this two look like they might work even better, as I could run a cable from the switch to the Amplifier/Receiver for the audio, instead of having to run a cable back from the TV.

Option 2
Option 3
apkellogg
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:49 am

Welcome to the wild west of HDMI. The main issue is getting HDCP support correct between devices and the switch is another device in the chain that can just make things go bad by being there. It isn't necessarily the switch manufacture (though it still could be) as some displays or content devices just want a direct path between each other. I'd do a general search for HDCP plus every content device to see what errors/problems they have displayed to get an idea of any potential problems before buying.

I'd opt for one with CEC support. It can perform the basic input switching when it detects a signal and thus reduce the need to manually use a remote. Other uses include changing AV inputs on the TV, volume control and general media playback controllers (start/stop/eject etc.). Much like the HDCP issue noted above, CEC support varies by manufacturer and not all functionality is present depending on make/model/firmware of the device. Ideally a switch would have an RS-232 port on a switch with the ability to inject CEC commands to all inputs and outputs for maximum control with a PC.

As for me personally, I've had some good luck with Startech switches though many other people find them to be hit or miss. In a more professional environment and likely out of your price range, I've used Kramer units with success.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:13 pm

Depending on how many devices need to be switched and where, you might have better luck using an HDMI-enabled receiver as the HDMI switch. It is already an HDCP licensed device and will usually have fewer issues with source switching compared to a set-top switch.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:36 am

I used 1 of these every day (no remote though):
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2
I have their older 3x1 with remote too, but don't currently have it setup. It worked fine when I used it, even got the Harmony to recognize it.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:46 am

Want to thank everyone for the responses. As to using the surround sound receiver as the HDMI switch, not enough inputs. My goal is to have as few wires running to the TV as possible, so trying to keep it to one HDMI cable and the power cord.

Ended up using Option 1. Now I just have to wait until I can do the project to see how it works.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:56 am

apkellogg wrote:Want to thank everyone for the responses. As to using the surround sound receiver as the HDMI switch, not enough inputs.

Well you missed the obvious excuse to upgrade your receiver :wink:
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:00 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Well you missed the obvious excuse to upgrade your receiver :wink:

It was a thought, but didn't think I could justify it. :)
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:43 am

I have been using This Kinivo unit for about six months and it hasn't had any issues so far. Though the description doesn't say it explicitly, it's HDCP compliant. It also has a useful(and potentially annoying) automatic switching function that switches input to whichever device you turn on.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:31 pm

David wrote:I have been using This Kinivo unit for about six months and it hasn't had any issues so far. Though the description doesn't say it explicitly, it's HDCP compliant. It also has a useful(and potentially annoying) automatic switching function that switches input to whichever device you turn on.
I have the same switch, but for some reason it has a problem with the living room PC. It switches between the PS3, XBox 360, Wii U, and Chromecast just fine, but does absolutely nothing when the PC is being used.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:30 am

Dizik wrote:... but does absolutely nothing when the PC is being used.

Welcome to the world of HTPC's.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:50 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Dizik wrote:... but does absolutely nothing when the PC is being used.

Welcome to the world of HTPC's.

Well, that makes me feel better about my plan to do an HTPC someday... :-?
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:44 am

apkellogg wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Dizik wrote:... but does absolutely nothing when the PC is being used.

Welcome to the world of HTPC's.

Well, that makes me feel better about my plan to do an HTPC someday... :-?

You can make it work. It is one of those things that simple things don't just work like you'd think it would, at at least don't work as well as most STB's without fiddling. For that reason, I gave up on my CableCard equipped Media Center w/ extender and went to the crappy DVR because it always worked. I got tired of fiddling.
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:56 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:You can make it work. It is one of those things that simple things don't just work like you'd think it would, at at least don't work as well as most STB's without fiddling. For that reason, I gave up on my CableCard equipped Media Center w/ extender and went to the crappy DVR because it always worked. I got tired of fiddling.
Was it the Media Center that didn't work or the extender? My though was to just use the Media Center functionality of Windows + cable card. Do you have any experience with buying/using your own DVR with cablecard instead of renting the cable company's?
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Re: Good HDMI Switch

Postposted on Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:13 am

apkellogg wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:You can make it work. It is one of those things that simple things don't just work like you'd think it would, at at least don't work as well as most STB's without fiddling. For that reason, I gave up on my CableCard equipped Media Center w/ extender and went to the crappy DVR because it always worked. I got tired of fiddling.
Was it the Media Center that didn't work or the extender? My though was to just use the Media Center functionality of Windows + cable card. Do you have any experience with buying/using your own DVR with cablecard instead of renting the cable company's?

The Extender part worked great. It's the direct-attach computer that had issues. EDID not passing right, having to restart the computer for audio to work. The power usage was much higher for a full computer versus STB and I couldn't ever get the come-out-of-standby-to-record part to work.
Now that I think about it, the biggest reason why we went back was the on-demand. The Brighthouse on-demand is pretty comprehensive so we just took to watching stuff off of there rather than scheduling it to records. Plus all the kids shows. Oh and I could schedule things to record from online the Cable website, and I was too much fiddlying to have Remote Potato work.
So long story short, other than on-demand, everything else can be worked around, but I've moved on from the computer tweaker I used to be to just wanting things to work.
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