Oppo HM-31 review:

Oppo HM-31

Features Video Capabilities
HDMI inputs Three Passes 1080p/60 Yes
Long cable run Intermittent Passes 1080p/24 Yes
Discrete input remote codes Yes Audio capabilities
Average switch time 4.4 seconds Passes multichannel LPCM Yes
Average switch time (with receiver) 4.6 seconds Passes Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master in bitstream format Yes

In our tests, The Oppo performed as advertised. The HM-31 is one of the few switchers with an HDMI 1.3-certified port, although we found that the HDMI version didn't have a real impact on performance in our tests. Like all the other switchers, we had no problem passing 1080p/24 video along with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks in bitstream format. The speed of switches was pretty quick at 4.4 seconds, which is just a tad slower than the fastest switches we tested. We tested the HM-31 with a 65-foot HDMI cable and were not able to reliably get a signal--it would work for a period of time, but always wound up crapping out.

A caveat to all HDMI switchers--and products with HDMI ports in general--is that we've found frustrating compatibility issues in a variety of scenarios. An HDMI switcher may work perfectly well in one setup, then not work in another because of a different combination of home theater components. (Indeed, the problems often lay with the components themselves--cable boxes are somewhat notorious--rather than the switchers.) Because of this, we recommend buying a switcher from a retailer with a solid return policy, as it's impossible to know if it will work flawlessly in your setup ahead of time.

In all, the Oppo HM-31 probably won't be your first choice for an HDMI switcher. With only three HDMI inputs and a $100 price tag, you can get a much better bang for your buck with the $50 Monoprice 5x1 HDMI switcher. On the other hand, the Oppo HM-31 has a couple of features that will appeal to custom installers, such as the RS-232 port and the IR-in--which will give it in the edge if that's a priority for you.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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