Oppo HM-31 review: Oppo HM-31

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Switches between as many as three HDMI devices; stylish design for a switcher; RS-232 port and IR-in for custom installers.

The Bad Fewer inputs than other switchers; expensive considering the per-input price; credit-card-style remote.

The Bottom Line The Oppo HM-31 offers some nice upgrades for custom home installs, but competing models offer more inputs for less money.

7.0 Overall

HDMI connectivity is quickly becoming a must-have connection type for all types of gadgets. But while the list of gadgets with an HDMI output is growing, the number of HDMI inputs on HDTVs and receivers is limited--you'll need to spend a lot of money before you see more than three inputs on either. That's where HDMI switchers come into play, allowing you to add more HDMI-enabled gadgets to your home theater setup without paying the big premium on your HDTV or AV receiver. The Oppo HM-31 offers switching for three inputs and is priced about average at $99.

The Oppo HM-31 is the best-looking HDMI switcher we've tested. The top of the switcher is black brushed metal, and the front and sides have a glossy black look. There are three LED lights to indicate which source is selected, plus an additional LED to indicate power. To the right is a Select button, so you can toggle through the inputs if the remote goes missing. It's tough to make something as utilitarian as an HDMI switcher look good, but Oppo pulls it off. The included remote is a weakness, as it has the slim, credit-card-style design, although we appreciate the separate buttons for each input. We definitely prefer full-size remotes, such as the one provided by the Monoprice 5x1 HDMI switcher.

Oppo HM-31
The Oppo has only three HDMI inputs, but the RS-232 port (far left) makes it useful for custom home installations.

With only three HDMI inputs, the HM-31 was the least endowed switcher we tested. The three inputs and one output will allow you to switch between three connected devices. As mentioned above, there are discrete remote codes for each input, which make it easier to program with a

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