HDMI connectivity has become increasingly popular as more and more devices use the interface. If you own more than two HDMI-capable gadgets, you may find yourself in dire need of additional inputs, as most HDTVs and AV receivers do not satisfy the growing demand for such ports--and those that do are quite expensive.
If you find yourself in this situation, look no further than an HDMI switcher. This device will add additional HDMI ports to your HDTV, usually ranging from three to five, so you can integrate more HDMI-enabled gadgets into your setup. Here, we'll review the IOGear GHDMIAS4 4-Port HDMI switcher, which is one of the more expensive switchers we've reviewe,d with its $190 list price.
The IOGear's small design is built for discreetness, as you'll probably overlook it in your AV rack. Unlike most of the switchers we've tested, it lacks LEDs on the front that indicate which source is connected. This will appeal to those who prefer a perfectly dark home theater room, but it could make occasional troubleshooting a little more difficult.
The switcher feels sturdy, but with all four ports occupied, you may need to anchor the device down--the pull of four cables can cause it to tilt upward. A single button rests on the front of the switcher used for manually cycling through each input.
For discrete input selection, IOGear includes a remote control--also freeing up the option to program your personal universal remote to operate the device.
The remote itself is a little disappointing. It has a thin credit card-style design, which is a pain to use--we always prefer full-style remotes like the one included with the Monoprice 5x1 HDMI switcher.