Review (October 2007) - Octava
By Kevin Nakano
HDMI switchers have become a much needed accessory with the number of HDMI sources currently available. Set-top boxes, HD-DVD, Blu-ray and even some of the newer DVD players all include HDMI interfaces. If you happen to have a limited number of HDMI inputs on your display, you will soon find the need for an external HDMI switcher. Unfortunately, few of these switchers offer the ability to control the digital audio separately using toslink or coaxial interfaces. If your display takes advantage of the digital audio sent through the HDMI interface then there is no need for a separate cable. However, projector owners like us need to switch digital sources separately in our system. Lucky for us, a company called Octava offers a new 4 x 1 HDMI Switch with Optical Toslink Routing designed to solve the issue of video (HDMI) switching along with the corresponding digital audio. In addition to video switchers, Octava also carries a full line of distribution amplifiers, extenders and cables to support the needs of today's A/V systems.
The Octava HDMI switch is designed to support HDMI version 1.3 along with a full 6.75 Gbps of data bandwidth. In addition, full 1080p with Deep Color is supported along with 480i/p, 720i/p and 1080i/p. The Smart SCAN algorithm is designed to intelligently select the correct input based on the active input signal. The unit is small measuring only 11.5" (W) x 3.5" (D) x 1.5" (H).
Our system needed to route the audio and video sources from a Samsung SIR-T165 set-top box, Dish Network ViP622 HD receiver, Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player, and an OPPO Digital OPDV971H DVD player. All four components also had their corresponding digital interfaces going through the switcher. The video output from the switcher went through a long 20-meter Vizionware Hi-Wirez HDMI cable, eventually making it to our Mitsubishi HC5000 projector. Digital audio was sent to our Parasound AVC-2500u processor for multi-channel decoding.
While this remote is completely functional for the user, I prefer an all-in-one controller for our A/V system. We soon programmed all of the IR commands into our RTI T4 controller. Since there is no option for RS232 control on this unit, we installed an IR repeater mounted directly on the chassis. With this configuration we could control our entire system with a single button push. The Octava HDMI switcher performed flawlessly with our components.
- Kevin Nakano
Mitsubishi HC5000 Full 1080p High-Definition LCD Projector
|Review - At a Glance|
Octava - 4-Port HDMI Switcher with Toslink
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