Flawed: XtremeMac HDMI switch

My Philips LCD TV features 3 HDMI inputs but the number of HDMI devices on my home entertainment system is increasing steadily. There just aren’t enough HDMI inputs on the TV.

The more expensive solution would be to buy a new A/V receiver that sports multiple HDMI inputs like the Sony STR-DA4400ES. The much less expensive solution would be to buy one of the few HDCP-capable HDMI-switches around. Because I already own an Apple TV and after reading this positive review on AppleInsider, I decided to go for the XtremeMac 4-port HDMI switcher. The switch has the same dimensions as Apple TV and looks similar to it, even though the build quality is no match for Apple TV.

The spec claims the switch is capable of transmitting HDMI signals up to 1080p and a bitrate of 1.35 Gbps and to be compatible to all HDMI/HDCP compliant devices, including Apple TV. While it’s true that it’s fully compatible to the Apple TV HDMI signal, the XtremeMac HDMI switch doesn’t work with my

  • Denon DVD player DVD-1740
  • Toshiba DVD Player (don’t remember exact model, already sold)
  • Dream Multimedia Dreambox DM800 DVB-C HD digital cable tuner
  • Microsoft XBox 360

I tried all HDMI resolution settings to no avail. The HDMI switch is not capable of correctly transmitting the HDMI data from these devices. It only works with my KAON KSC S-660 HD cable tuner and Apple TV. The only reason I can think of is that the XtremeMac switcher is incapable of switching HDMI 1.1 signals. Both, the DVD player and the Dreambox have a HDMI 1.1 output.

Every device works brilliant when I connect them directly to my Philips LCD’s HDMI inputs.

I wouldn’t recommend buying this HDMI switcher to anyone, unless you know exactly that all your HDMI devices have a HDMI 1.3 output. The product doesn’t work as advertised.