|Radiient Select-4 HDMI Switcher/Repeater|
|Home Theater Video Processors & Switchers Video Switchers|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Tuesday, 01 August 2006|
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I tested the Select-4 in my living room system, which features my 50-inch HD plasma from Vizio. For source material, I took advantage of several different components, starting with my Adelphia HD digital cable box. The Adelphia box has a DVI output, which I connected to the Select-4 via a single DVI-to-HDMI cable from Monster Cable. Next up was my long-standing reference DVD player, the Denon 3910, which has a dedicated HDMI output. I connected the Denon 3910 to the Select-4’s second HDMI input via Monster Cable. Lastly, I connected my new Toshiba HD DVD player to the Select-4’s third HDMI input via Monster Cable. I also ran the HDMI out of the Select-4 into my Denon 4806 receiver to test the switcher’s audio capabilities. However, the bulk of the review was spent with it running directly into my Vizio plasma.
I started my review off with some high-definition source material via my Adelphia digital cable box. Starting with HBO HD’s presentation of “Batman Begins” (Warner Home Video), I was unable to detect any image abnormalities from having the Select-4 in my system, compared to not having it in my system. Black levels were inky yet defined, while the white levels showed little to no signs of blooming. I could detect no signs of added noise or pixilation and I found the color rendering and saturation to be unfazed. Next, I cued up the HD presentation of “Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith” (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) with the same results. I switched my cable box between 480p, 720p and 1080i-resolution settings and could not detect any image degradation (apart from the lower resolutions of the signals themselves) through the Select-4. Likewise, the Select-4 had no problem locking onto and passing through my cable box’s digital signal as I rapidly changed them on the fly.
Next, I threw on the director’s cut of “Crimson Tide” (Buena Vista Home Entertainment) and set my Denon 3910 to 720p and prepared to enjoy the show. Just as with the HD content, the Select-4 didn’t add or subtract anything from the film itself. The steely hues of the sub’s interior were rendered faithfully with excellent detail and sharpness, as if the Denon were connected directly to my Vizio.
Lastly, I cued up the HD DVD release of the Tom Cruise epic “The Last Samurai” (Warner Home Video). For those of you who have not yet experienced HD DVD, you’re in for a real treat. Happily, the Select-4 was able to maintain all of the HD DVD’s stunning picture quality with zero signs of degradation. Even during the film’s climatic battle between the village samurai and the Japanese military, the Select-4 was able to track the action and convey it without incident.
To comment on a product such as the Select-4 is a bit difficult, as you shouldn’t be able to tell that it’s in your system at all. It should be transparent. A video switcher should do nothing more than allow for the consumer to switch between sources and if, for whatever reason, you can sense that there is something amiss, then the switcher itself has failed. I’m happy to report that the Select-4 isn’t one of these products. It is, without a doubt, transparent and seamless in its operation, be it video or audio.