PROS / Detailed user manuals are posted on the manufacturer’s website.
CONS / The customer support options offered by the manufacturer are dismal.
VERDICT / We recommend this HDMI switcher for its comprehensive accessory sets.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Octava HDMI switcher is a reliable and simple-to-use product. The design is solid and aesthetically pleasing and the functionality is fantastic. This switcher serves as a power-strip, but for HDMI cables. If your TV or projector does not have enough HDMI ports to support all your media sources, use the Octava HDMI switch to expand the amount of available ports. The switcher will automatically recognize when you have turned one device on or off and will change the display on the TV accordingly. However, the customer service options available are not extensive and not very helpful.
HDMI cables are now the standard for audio-visual home entertainment. Because the cables are a somewhat recent development, many TVs and projectors did not incorporate multiple HDMI ports. Now that you can connect your DVD player, Blu-Ray player, Roku, Apple TV and video game consoles through the HDMI ports, you’re sure to need multiple ports.
The Octava HDMI switcher is a plug-and-play device. Simply connect your media sources to the HDMI hub via an HDMI cable, and then connect it to the TV. No external power source is necessary; the switcher will draw on power from the TV or projector. However, if the media source is taking too much power and you need to plug in the HDMI switcher, the Octava HDMI hub comes with a power cable.
Most HDMI switchers, including the Octava HDMI switch, are automatic. When the media sources are connected and you power one on, or off, the switcher will automatically adjust. For example, if you are playing XBOX and turn on the DVD player, the switcher will automatically change the display on the screen. However, if this feature is not working, it is most likely not an issue with the HDMI selector. Sometimes the media sources do not power down, instead they are constantly running in the background. When you turn these sleeping devices on, it’s called a “Phantom Start” and the HDMI switcher does not recognize these starts. Try adjusting the settings on your media sources. Apple TV is usually constantly turned on and the HDMI selectors often have problems adjusting.
When the automatic switching does not work, you can use the Octava remote. It is small, compact and clearly labeled. You’ll understand immediately how it works. The Octava HDMI switcher is also totally compatible with universal remotes.
The Octava HDMI switch is extremely easy to use. Each port is clearly labeled and the remote is totally intuitive. Setting up a universal remote is also very simple. If you do run into any issues or problems, we suggest you read the detailed user manual.
The manufacturer provides a downloadable user manual, an email address and a telephone number for customer support. When we sent an email asking a few questions about the HDMI switcher, we never received a response. The telephone support line is open during regular business hours. When we called the number listed, we had to leave a message, but we never received a response. Due to lack of available options and limited hours, the support features are relatively limited. The Octava HDMI selector is covered under a limited one-year warranty.
The Octava HDMI switcher is simple to use and very useful. You’ll be able to automatically switch between the different media sources. However, the customer service options are very limited.