The Lindy HDMI Switch solves a problem that many of us face over the next few years. It took a long time for manufacturers to give us enough SCART sockets on the back of TV sets, but now, with the advent for High Definition, there is a new socket in town... HDMI.
People seem to be flocking to the stores lately, picking up large LCD and plasma screens to view their DVD's and digital TV on. When they realise just how bad standard definition sources look, it is not long before they are wanting SKY HD or perhaps an upscaling DVD player. Add the forthcoming PS3 into the equation, and to get the best from your set-up you suddenly need three HDMI sockets. With most screens coming with one HDMI socket, at the most two, this is a problem.
One option is to purchase an AV amplifier or receiver which has HDMI switching, but this is an expensive move. The minimum you are really looking at spending is £500 which may get you one extra input. For those who are already happy with their sound set-up or do not want to spend that sort of cash, the only other option is a switch.
Gone are the days of those clunky push-button SCART switches, with the Lindy UK offering of a remote control HDMI switch. This neat little box of tricks offers a very smart solution, with three HDMI inputs and one output (which goes to your screen). The box is an all-metal affair, not particularly pretty to look at, but the understated design looks nice and techy. The rear of the units has the power supply input and HDMI sockets. The front sports the IR receiver (for the remote control), some status lights, input button, and an image enhancer button. The remote control supplied is very small and flat, with a power button and number buttons for selecting the desired input…
Set-up is very easy, just plug in your sources, connect the HDMI output into your screen, switch on and you are good to go. For our tests we used a Lindy's Premium Gold HDMI cables, which are very reasonably priced. It is important to remember when buying any switch to budget for an extra cable. Once everything was powered on it was nice to see that there was absolutely no degradation in quality at all. Switching between inputs was faultless, with the remote being very responsive and the LED status lights on the front showing the selected input. The image enhancement circuitry made no noticeable difference to the clarity of the picture in our tests, but I really think this will come into play if you are using long HDMI runs of ten meters of more.
Picture quality from out Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player was exceptional, the clarity was pin-sharp and colours remained unchanged with the switch in place. We also tested a Panasonic DMR-EX85, which is a hard disk drive recorder, with an upscaling DVD player. Again the picture quality was brilliant, though we did need to disconnect the SCART cable to obtain a stable picture. This is not a problem though, as the whole idea of this new technology is to ditch your old SCART connections in favour of the much superior HDMI.
A quick note about the Lindy Premium Gold HDMI cable which was very impressive. The build quality was spot on, and the 24K gold plated connectors ensure the highest possible signal transfer. We compared this cable to the standard one supplied with the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and the picture certainly seemed more vibrant. Keep an eye out on Geekanoids for a full review of this cable very soon.
The Lindy HDMI Switch supports HDTV resolutions up to 1080P and is fully HDCP compliant, so you should not run into any problems in the future. You also get a generous two year warranty. For £119 it offers great value for money, with some switches on the market costing a lot more. It may be a budget price, but it certainly delivers great performance, with that all important transparency to your home cinema set-up.
Product: Lindy Premium Gold HDMI Cable (2m)