|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 found the Select-4 to be a very well-rounded product. However, no product is perfect and, while I may not be able to fault the Select-4’s performance, I did have a few issues with its design.
First, there is the issue of the Select-4’s weight. While easy to place in my rack and move at will, I found its featherweight status made it a little prone to tipping off my rack when connected to several components via Monster’s somewhat hefty interconnects. Rack-mounting and/or placing it further forward on your rack will most likely eliminate tipping from happening, but it can and will happen if you’re careless. Realistically, the unit should be a more traditional size, as it would require a custom rack shelf and faceplate if it were to go into a highly-designed rack system. (NOTE: Radiient has added one pound of internal ballast weight to the switcher to solve tipping issues for the first mass production run of the unit.)
Lastly, I liked Radiient’s choice to include two remotes. However, their construction made me worry a bit about damage. They are very small and very thin and, if you’re like me and have a tendency to press a little harder on the buttons than you should, I could see some minor damage on the horizon. They aren’t your grandmother’s clickers, but if don’t treat them as such, you should be fine. Also, in regard to the remotes, I found I had to point them directly at the Select-4 for them to work, which could become tricky at times due to my room alignment. (NOTE: Radiient has upgraded the infrared subsystem and performed a re-write of their own IR digital signal processing software to improve the remote's range, with very little directionality.)
With technology changing every time the wind blows, it can be hard to keep up. Luckily, there are companies out there like Radiient that are committed to the consumer and the ongoing quest to stay ahead of the curve by providing real solutions to real problems. For the time being, HDMI seems to be where the market is going and it looks like it could be in it for the long haul, which is good for those of you who were waiting out the storm. However, for those of you already vested in “old” technology, it’s nice to know that products like the Select-4 will allow you to get a little more out of your investment before having to pony up the dough once again at your local electronics retailer. The Select-4 is a wonderful product in that it delivers on its promises and simply works. Sure, it’s not as sexy as, say, a new receiver or surround sound controller, but at the heart of what matters, it’s marriage material.
In the end, the Select-4 is the solution to a problem you may have or will likely have soon. Simply put: how are you going to switch the digital video input from your HD receiver, HD DVD, Blu-ray, Xbox 360 and/or Playstation 3, or even a D-VHS deck? Today’s less expensive receivers seem like a good solution, but not all are created equally in terms of effectively switching HDMI inputs, as we are finding out as these new HD sources and source devices hit the market. With lots of content-protected, digitally-connected sources vying to make it into our systems, and with format changes looming even for HDMI, the Radiient Select-4 is a well-priced, effective solution that gets the job done and gets it done right. Consider it for your system with my enthusiastic endorsement.