The Orei UHD 501 HDMI Switcher is the largest HDMI switcher we tested and features five HDMI ports on the rear, as well as an RS-232 serial port for connecting some computers. However, this switcher couldn’t connect with our 4K Blu-ray player, nor to our test smartphone via an MHL cable. If you’re looking for a 4K-enabled switcher, we suggest you buy our top pick, the J-Tech Digital JTD4KSP0301 switcher.
The Orei UHD switcher features five HDMI ports, all located on the back of the device. This makes it easy to organize your cables, and the heavy-duty metal construction of the box is nicer than many of the plastic switchers we reviewed. However, this device doesn’t have auto-switching capabilities, which means you have to manually select the desired port every time. Of all the devices we tested it also took the longest to switch between sources – almost four seconds.
Because of its compatibility shortcomings when it came to our Blu-ray player and MHL cable, we scored it an F in our compatibility test. Orei advertises that this device supports HDMI versions 1.4 and 2.0, as well as HDCP 1.4 and 2.2. However, in our real-world testing, we found that other, cheaper switchers were able to connect to the Blu-ray player and get great signal, while this device couldn’t. This also meant we couldn’t verify Orei’s claim that this switcher can support resolutions up to 4K, but we weren’t able to test that because our 4K Blu-ray player couldn’t play through any of the HDMI ports on the Orei switcher.
The Orei HDMI switcher is the heaviest model we tested at 15.1 ounces. Its long, metal body also made it the largest. Its included DC 5V port, which attaches to the rear of the device, will require a spot on your power strip. On the front is a manual port selection button that you can use if you lose the remote.
Orei offers a one-year warranty and email customer support. There is also a searchable FAQs section on the company’s website.
The Orei UHD 501 switcher is solidly built and features five HDMI ports. But if you’re looking for fuss-free 4K support, you’re better off saving some money and purchasing our top pick, the J-Tech Digital JTD4KSP0301. Not only did the Orei UHD switcher not work with our 4K Blu-ray player, but it costs more, weighs more and takes longer to rotate between sources.