Pros / The external IR sensor gives you plenty of freedom in where to place the HDMI switcher.
Cons / This switcher draws its power from the HDMI ports of connected devices.
Verdict / The Sewell SW-28818 is a basic HDMI switcher that can handle 1080p content, but not much else.
The Sewell SW-28818 alleviates HDMI port congestion by giving you three more ports for all of your HD devices. All you need is an HDMI cable to plug the SW-28818 into your TV. This isn't the best HDMI switcher on the market, but it can pass a 1080p signal and comes with an external infrared (IR) sensor. It doesn't support 3D video, and it relies on power provided by HDMI ports, which can be problematic.
When you run out of HDMI ports on your TV, you have two options: get an HDMI switcher or unplug a device every time you need to change inputs. The SW-28818 gives you three more HDMI ports for your TV. This is more necessary than ever because there are so many content sources to connect to your TV. Between Blu-ray players, video game consoles, Roku boxes and Chromecast-like streaming sticks, there just aren't enough HDMI ports on most TVs.
The Sewell HDMI switcher has a major flaw. It's designed to draw power from the devices attached to it via HDMI. HDMI ports aren't designed to transfer power, so the SW-28818 doesn't get very much power from individual ports. This can cause unpredictable performance in the switch. It would be much better to have a dedicated power supply that plugs into a wall outlet.
With the included IR sensor, you have some freedom in where you put the Sewell SW-28818. You don't have to leave the whole device in plain sight. Instead, you can hide it and leave only the external IR sensor in the open. This keeps your home theater setup looking clean and allows the SW-28818's remote to communicate effectively.
Sewell offers a one-year warranty on this HDMI switcher. That's standard for the industry and should give you enough time to notice any manufacturing defects. If you need to contact Sewell, you have many options, including live chat on its website. If that's not your preferred method, you can try email or phone. FAQs are also available online.
The Sewell SW-28818 isn't the best HDMI switcher you can get right now, but it works well enough in most situations. It can't handle 4K content, but it can pass a 1080p signal just fine. The lack of an external power supply is a flaw, but the inclusion of an external IR sensor is definitely a boon. Though the Sewell expands your HDMI ports by three, there are better options on the market.