HDMI Switcher Review: Octava HDMX42 4×2 Matrix Switcher
Full HDMI 1.3 Compliant
This is a big one in my book. Many of the switchers I have looked at do not fully support HDMI 1.3, including the current Gefen 4×2 that I own. Many in fact, are only “compatible” not compliant.
There’s a big difference. An HDMI 1.3 compatible only box typically only supports HDMI 1.2 features (no deep color…), but is smart enough to tell an HDMI 1.3 device that, and, essentially instruct an hdmi 1.3 source to send it’s data using HDMI 1.2. Not so the Octava HDMX42. It claims full HDMI 1.3 compliance, including CEC, Deep Color, and the newest audio formats such as True-HD Dolby, and DTS-HD. In other words, this Octava box seems about as current and compatible as one can get.
Digital Audio Output
This is an important feature if you are not using an AV receiver for your switching of the video and audio. (If you are using a newer AV receiver with HDMI switching built in, you likely wouldn’t need an HDMI switcher.) Without the digital audio output (Toslink – fibre-optic), one would have to run separate digital audio from each source, to multiple digital audio inputs on an AV receiver. With the digital audio output included on this Octava switcher, this becomes a non-issue. More in the Performance section.
The HDMX42 uses a small, credit card type remote to control source switching, output switching, and some configuration. Because the remote is infra-red, it is easy to replace the remote with a programmable remote purchased to control all your devices. Alternately, you can use the remote, and additionally, there is a jack for an IR extension in the event that the unit cannot be placed where it can directly receive an IR signal from the remote control.
The Octava matrix switcher will automatically lock onto a live HDMI source. If you have two sources hooked up, for example, and both are on, and you have #1 selected, when you shut off source 1, the switcher will automatically switch to source #2. There are more capabilities depending on the number of powered up or down sources you have. If you power down all your HDMI sources, the Octava switcher will switch to standby mode, but will power back up automatically as soon as it senses a live source.
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