Pros / This HDMI switcher can pass 4K content at 30 frames per second.
Cons / It doesn't have an external IR sensor.
Verdict / The Etekcity 4K x 2K HDMI switcher is a good option for most people, but it isn't ideal if you use long HDMI cables in your home theater setup.
Etekcity's 4K x 2K HDMI switcher is unusual. This switcher can pass 4K content at 30 frames per second, which is impressive for a product in this price range. Normally, you need to spend $100 or more to get an HDMI switcher that can handle any 4K content. Thanks to a host of other features and its 4K capability, the Etekcity 4K x 2K HDMI switcher earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award. It isn't the very best HDMI switcher you can get, but it comes close.
With four front-facing LEDs, you will always know which ports are active on the switcher. This is important because many HDMI splitters place the LEDs on the top of the device, which makes them hard to see when you're sitting on the couch.
The Etekcity switcher uses auto switching to quickly change video sources for you. It does this by detecting which connected devices turn on. When you power up your PlayStation 4, the switcher automatically jumps to the PlayStation 4's input. Auto switching is very useful when it works well, but sometimes it doesn't and can be frustrating. If more than one connected device is powered on, it can confuse the HDMI switcher.
When auto switching doesn't work, you can control the Etekcity switcher via the included remote. With this, you can manually choose which video source you want to view. Unfortunately, the Etekcity switcher doesn't come with an external IR sensor. This means you have to leave the switcher in plain view so that the remote can properly communicate. An external IR sensor would allow you to hide the switcher and only leave the IR sensor accessible.
This HDMI switcher doesn't have any sort of equalizer, so you'll want to keep your HDMI cables short. With long HDMI cables, the data signal can begin to deteriorate and you need an equalizer to normalize it.
In order to get the most vibrant video on your TV, you need to know about color – deep color, specifically. Deep color support means that the HDMI switch has enough bandwidth to pass along millions or even billions of colors in the video signal. In the case of the Etekcity HDMI switcher, you get 48-bit deep color support, which is outstanding. This gives your TV access to billions of colors, and you get a vibrant image.
The Etekcity switcher is the only product on our lineup that fully supports HDMI 1.4 and its attendant features. This means that if your source and TV are up to it, you get access to higher resolutions, higher frames per second, 3D video and more bandwidth, among other things.
When your TV only has one or two HDMI ports, you can quickly run out of real estate. The Etekcity HDMI switcher gives you four additional HDMI ports, and it only takes up one port on your TV. This means you net three more ports, which is good because with gaming consoles, DVD players, Blu-ray players and DVRs, it's easy to use those ports up.
You need to use the included power supply in order for the Etekcity switcher to work properly. This means that, yes, you have yet another device to plug into your power strip. Some manufacturers claim that their switchers don't need their own power supply, but those products tend to not work well on the limited power supplied by just HDMI ports.
Help & Support
Make sure to buy the Etekcity 4K x 2K HDMI switcher from a retailer that has a strong return policy. There's no guarantee that the Etekcity switcher, or any switcher for that matter, will work with your home theater setup. If it doesn't work for you, then you'll want as little hassle as possible during the return process.
Should the Etekcity switcher stop functioning after you purchase it, don't worry too much – it's covered by a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. You can contact Etekcity's support team through live chat, email or phone. There are also some FAQs you can browse if you have any questions.
The Etekcity 4K x 2K switcher isn't the very best HDMI switcher you can get, but it's near the top of the pile. This is the only product on our lineup that can pass a 4K video signal, so it's a good option if you need access to 4K content. The lack of an external IR sensor is disappointing, and you don't have any built-in equalization here. Still, the Etekcity switcher is a great option for most people.