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
|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.