Posted by:on September 6th, 2016
Monoprice 3×1 Mini HDMI Switch – MPSW03
$19.99 from Monoprice
Hard to believe that an HDMI switch incorporates HDMI technology, as advertised on the box, but it does. That would be like an LED light incorporating Light emitting diode technology… Snarky comments aside, this Monoprice 3×1 Mini HDMI Switch is pretty good for the cost. It works as advertised. You can switch between 3 inputs by pressing the button on the front of the small box, or via the mini remote control. If you only have one input active (source turned on) it will automatically route the active signal. There does not appear to be any noticeable signal degradation.
The packaging on this is a step up from a lot of Monoprice products. It’s almost book-like in form and has a magnet inside the flap to hold it closed. Which is weird, because you’re not likely to be getting it in and out of the box a lot. It comes with a remote that is about 3 times the size of an old school Apple remote. You can skip to an input directly by pressing the number or cycle through them back and forth via arrows. The same remote is used for their 5×1 switch, so it has five numbers to choose from, with 2 being inactive on this switch.
This switch does not come with a power adapter, and it did not require it when switching between an Xbox 360 and an Xbox One. However, the signal from a Haupage PVR was not strong enough to pass through the switch without adding additional power to the switch. The input registered as a source, but would not output to a TV. If you haven’t bought the optional DC power supply, powering up another device attached to the HDMI switch seems to provide enough juice to pass the signal through. It’s probably not a good long term solution, but it will make do in a pinch. If you actually need a power supply, you’re on your own. Monoprice doesn’t provide a link to purchase one, so if you think you might need one, this could be a deal breaker unless you want to spend the extra time trying got track one down from an alternate source. The Monoprice customer service reply to an inquiry was an unapologetic “Try your local electronics store.”
Assuming you don’t need the power source, as most people probably won’t, the biggest downside to this switch is the LED operation lights. There’s a bright red LED that comes on when the switch is plugged in or has an active input. There’s also a bright blue LED that comes on to indicate the switch is sending an output, plus one LED for each of the inputs that turns on when that source is selected. The end result is 3 very bright LED’s on the face of the switch when your TV source is set to that port. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but they are really bright, and very distracting. It’s a common complaint in the customer reviews. You’ll want to position the switch in a way that you can’t see the LED lights, but that could block the IR signal of the remote. It would be helpful if the switch had mounting holes for attaching to a wall, but it doesn’t.
Inputs and optional power supply connection are on the back, and the output is on the left side.
Resolution Formats Supported (as shown in operating instructions) include 1080i, 1080p, 720p, 480i, 3D, plus a bunch of other ones you don’t really need. I mean seriously, what are you doing here? The rugged metal black box is 4½” by 2¼” by 1″ tall.
Despite the annoyingly bright LED status lights and lack of included power supply, the Monoprice 3×1 switch is a really good deal at that price point. The product technically comes with a 90 day warranty, but Monoprice is really good about accepting returns.
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