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Octava HDMX42 Matrix Switcher - Review Summary

Posted on May 31, 2009 by Art Feierman
A bottom line summary of the Optoma Pico projector's pros and cons and capabilities.

Octava HDMX42 : Bottom Line

Pricing wise, the HDMX42 seems very well priced. There are some much less expensive switchers, but finding a 4x2 with the Toslink digital audio is not easy. Octava also has less expensive 4x2's with less capability. Some big name commercial switchers command far higher prices. The support person at Octava (again, who really seemed to know his stuff), tells me all of those features supported by HDMI 1.3, do work with the HDMX42 switcher

It's really hard to get excited about switchers, but in this case, I'm impressed. I've finally found a reasonably affordable switcher that should work for many home theater enthusiasts who require switching between 3 or 4 sources, and need the Toslink digital audio output, to feed an AV receiver. This switcher is pretty much perfect for my own application, although many would only need a 4x1 (or 3x1) for their own setups. My need to have two projectors wired up at the same time is what inspired me to review this particular switcher.

It performs as advertised, it seems reasonably priced for such a product, and, best of all, it is fully HDMI 1.3 compliant, while many, if not most competitive switchers out there are still HDMI 1.2. I do believe I'll be keeping this one. Now, hopefully, Octava will come up with a great deal for me, and I can retire my current switching, consisting of a Gefen 2x2 (with digital audio out), plus a 4x1. This HDMX42 does everything that pair accomplishes, and then some. The Gefen combination is only HDMI 1.2 compliant, so that too is an important step up for me, especially when we start seeing some Deep Color content, and the new audio formats, on future Blu-ray DVDs.

Octava HDMX42: Pros

Click to Enlarge. So close.

  • Works as advertised, can output any of four sources to either output
  • It can send one source to one output and another source to the second output
  • The two outputs can be strapped together so they show the same source material
  • (The two possible uses mentioned above are why this unit is called a matrix switcher, not just a regular switcher.)
  • Plenty of spacing between connectors
  • Good small remote, with good range
  • LED lights can be turned off (thankfully)
  • Can auto sense a source (or you can switch manually
  • Good warranty - one year parts and labor
Click Image to Enlarge

Octava HDMX42: Cons

  • The only way to have the optical digital output always match the source, is by pairing the outputs together, preventing the second output from sending a different source to the second display device
  • Very basic box, silver, no frills, might have been nicer looking in black
  • Would be nice, when you have the LED lights turned off, that if you change settings, the LED lights would automatically turn back off in a few seconds.

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