Pros / The external IR sensor gives you greater control over where to put this switcher.
Cons / The top-facing LEDs can be difficult to see when you're sitting on your couch.
Verdict / The Masscool HS-MA105 is a good option for most people, but it isn't the very best HDMI switcher on the market.
The Masscool HS-MA105 HDMI switcher allows you to expand your available HDMI ports by three. It automatically changes the input as you turn other devices on and off. The HDMI switcher also comes with a remote and external infrared (IR) receiver. This is a good product, but it's not the very best HDMI switcher you can get.
As you turn on some media sources, like Blu-ray players, and others off, the HDMI selector automatically changes the display on the TV or projector. However, some devices, like Apple TV, do not power down completely when you turn them off. This leaves the input of the switcher active, so it does not recognize that you turned the device off.
The Masscool HDMI splitter comes with a remote and is compatible with most universal remotes. You can also change the settings on your media sources to help the HDMI hub recognize the power change. The HDMI selector has an external power source, which is good because that means it always has enough power to function properly.
The HS-MA105's IR receiver is external and looks like a small computer mouse. This extra bit of hardware is very useful. Essentially, it allows you to hide the HDMI switcher itself, yet still be able to use the remote. With a greater degree of flexibility in where you put the switcher, you don't have to worry about all of those HDMI cables being an eyesore.
To use the HDMI switcher, you connect all of your media sources to the HDMI hub. Next, connect the HDMI selector to the TV or other display. You can use whatever kind of HDMI cable you already have. The input LEDs are located on the top side of the HS-MA105. This is not ideal, because they can be difficult to see when you're sitting on your couch.
This HDMI switcher is covered by a limited one-year manufacturer's warranty. Should you need to make use of that warranty, you can contact Masscool's support team via phone or email. Unfortunately, there isn't a live chat option on its website.
The Masscool HS-MA105 is a reliable HDMI switcher that is simple to use. The construction is solid and every option is clearly labeled. Unlike some similar devices, this model comes with an external IR sensor and an external power source, though it lacks some aspects of the very best HDMI switchers.