IOGEAR 3 ports in, 1 port out - True 4K HDMI Switch - Full Review

Manufacturer & Model
IOGear True 4K HDMI Switch
MSRP
$59.95
Link
https://www.iogear.com/product/GHSW8431
Highlights
Connect and switch between 3 HDMI® sources on 1 HDMI display
True 4K resolutions to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz (4:4:4)
High bandwidth of up to 18Gbps with zero latency
HDCP 2.2 compliant
Cascade up to 3 levels (27 source ports)
Distributes uncompressed audio formats
Flexible control via push-button or IR remote control (supplied)
Summary
The 3-In to 1-Out HDMI 4K Switch can add extra inputs to any display. Even if your TV has three or more HDMI inputs it is sometimes more convenient to run one HDMI Cable through a wall, keeping the switching near the sources rather than run three separate, bulky HDMI cables. The switch has some smarts when it comes to switching active/non-active inputs. The IR remote sensor and the IR remote itself add great utility and convenience.
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The Review
I was recently given the opportunity to review the new(ish) 3-In, 1-Out HDMI True 4K Switch from IOGear.

HDMI has been both a blessing and a curse for many of us! An easy one wire connection, but initially very glitchy! Add in the heavy cable, and the fragility of the connection to the equation, and many were left wondering what the heck the engineers/developers were thinking. Fast forward to present day and the convenience and the inherent signal quality of both audio and video using the one cable one source HDMI solution is great!

Way back in those early days of HDMI I tried many schemes to get HDMI from Point A to Point B (with whole house distribution in mind), usually with rather limited success. Using HDMI devices of the day like 6x4 matrixes, switches, splitters and extenders (baluns) I tried to send HMDI signals throughout the house using CAT 5/6. I can only report that most of my schemes/equipment choices/plans did not work well. Coupled with the rapid change of the HDMI specs, and with the ever-changing video and multi-channel audio landscape, I decided to limit distribution of HDMI using the built-in switches of my receivers and processors while keeping the sources local to a system.

I have recently had the opportunity to use some newer HDMI 4K extender baluns when helping out an acquaintance with an install, and they worked fine across a distance of 40 or so feet. This success piqued my interest in such devices again. What if, I thought, I could RELIABLY use an HDMI Over CAT 6 Extender Balun from rack to a projector instead of that big ol’ HDMI cable? Hmmm…. I see a project for another day unfolding!

So, given my past experiences with notoriously twitchy HDMI switching and handling devices tried in the past, I was happy to have the opportunity to review the newer technology IOGear 3-In, 1-Out True 4K HDMI Switch.



Delivery Day
The switch arrived in a small 7”x10”x4.5” box that contained the even smaller 5”x5”x1.75” product box.

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The switch was tucked into the box, inside a foam baggie along with the remote control, IR Sensor and a power cable (but no power supply…), Quickstart Guide, Warranty information, and a IOGear Line Catalog.

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First Impressions
The switch itself measures 1”x2.75”x3.25” and has a nice textured black painted finish with all metal, clam-shell construction.

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One long side contains HDMI Ports 1 and 2 and the IR sensor input while the opposite side contains HDMI Port 3, HDMI Output (to display) and the power port. Above each HDMI port there is a Phillips head screw that can be used to add a HDMI “Locking” mechanism if needed.

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The top of the box presents all labeling, four LEDs (active ports and power on), and a single push-button switch used to manually select the HDMI input port.

The bottom of the box has the obligatory FCC label nestled in between four tiny rubber feet.

Curiosity got the best of me and I dis-assembled the device to have a peek inside. The layout, of the surprisingly loaded wall-to-wall surface mount PCB, appeared very neat and well laid out. No jumpers or patches were visible to the eye.


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All-in-all the small device seemed robust, sturdy, and cleanly built.

The Supplied IR Remote is plastic with a dimpled membrane (switches where the dimples reside) style face. For the most part, this type of remote works well enough but has a cheap feel. The face contains four input selector buttons instead of the expected three, an indication the remote is likely shared with an available four port model elsewhere in the IOGear line. In addition to the individual port selectors there is also an “Up/Down” switch that sequentially moves up or down through the three inputs when pressed. There are two additional buttons in the upper right corner of the remote labeled “On” and “Off” that seem to do absolutely nothing when pressed.

The remote, typical of this type of remote, uses a 2025 Lithium “coin” style battery.



Set-Up and Testing
Set-up and operation are fairly straight forward. Plug your display into HDMI Out and your sources into HDMI 1, 2, 3. If using the supplied Remote IR Sensor, simply plug that in and place it in clear line of sight of your seating position. Lastly, plug in the USB power cable if needed. If USB power is not handy nearby you can use any wall wart that has a USB output. I used an older iPad P/S and it worked fine. If one of your sources supplies the required 5V over HDMI, the switch will work fine without the out-board power supply.

Four separate display systems were used for testing while switching at three video sources.


Displays Used:
  1. Direct to a JVC DLA-RS600U 4K eShift Projector
    • 1a. To the same projector using an input on a Marantz AV7703 Pre/Pro
  2. Direct to a Samsung 55” 4K display
  3. Direct to a Samsung 58” 1080P Plasma display
  4. Direct to the single HDMI input of an old Panasonic 42” 720P display.

Sources Used:
  1. OPPO UDP203 Universal Disk Player 4K UHD and 1080P Blu-Ray
  2. Apple TV 4K
  3. MacBook Pro (2020) Over HDMI
  4. Apple TV Gen 4 (1080P)

Test Station 1 (and 1a) – Display: JVC DLA-RS600U Projector – 4K eShift Projector
Test Station #2 - Samsung 4K 55” flat panel


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With both of the 4K displays the switch reliably switched across all three input sources using Manual Switching. The switch would automatically change to the first activated (powered on) device/input. As the other two devices were powered on, the switch would allow manual switching to the newly powered on device. However, when the Apple TV 4K was powered on and selected it would lock the switch to that input and neither the remote selector, nor the manual selector on the box would change the input UNTIL the Apple TV 4K was turned off. Once the Apple TV 4K was off, both the Manual and IR selectors worked to move between the other two active inputs as needed. If the active/selected input source was powered down, the switch would automatically move to the next active source.

When an Apple TV Gen 4 was connected in place of the Apple TV 4K, all switching, either manual or IR Remote, worked just fine and did not lock the switch.

I popped a 4K UHD disk into the OPPO and the switch passed all 4K and audio information without a problem. The Blu-ray version of the same movie was also passed through the switch with no problems.

Both displays and the switch handled just about any resolution the MacBook Pro threw at them without issue.

Picture and resolution were reported as 4K by the display when 4K was present, and HDR content seemed to be accurately transferred through the switch. Other resolutions tested were 1080P and 480P, each working fine. Any audio format supplied to the switch seemed to be transferred through the switch without issue.


Test Station 3 – Direct to Samsung 1080P Plasma TV
Test Station 4 – Panasonic 720P Plasma TV

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Sources Used:

  1. OPPO UDP203 Universal Disk Player 4K UHD and 1080P Blu-Ray
  2. Apple TV 4th Gen (1080P)
  3. LG Blu-Ray Player (1080P)
The switch performed well with these “legacy” displays, with the only exceptions being more or less expected and not the fault of the switch but of the display used.

The idea behind even trying the Panasonic 720P Plasma display was to see if anything would be displayed on this device from the “TV Stone Age.” The Panasonic is 720P resolution and has exactly ONE HDMI input, version 1.1.

When using the OPPO UDP-203 with a 4K UHD disk the Samsung 1080P Plasma TV displayed a warning message from the OPPO indicating that 4K content would not be played at 4K. The OPPO then proceeded to downscale the 4K disk I had inserted to 1080P and started playing. TV, player, and switch all seemed happy enough with this arrangement. Using the Panasonic 720P Display the OPPO more or less just gave up and nothing was displayed.

The switch worked fine on either display whenever the source device was smart enough to downscale to 1080P for the Samsung or 720P for the Panasonic. Devices, such as the Apple MacBook Pro, the Apple TV, and the OPPO (at least in the case of the Samsung 1080P display), automatically rescaled the resolution to work with the display.


Summary and Final Thoughts
The IOGear True 4K HDMI switch works very well for the purpose it is intended. It handily passed any signal fed it to a compatible display. As long as the display could actually utilize the resolution handed to it, everything was fine. When it couldn’t, a black screen was displayed. This, of course, is a limitation of the display used, and not the switch.

The three input LEDs display some additional information when an input is selected.
Rapidly blinking = No Signal Detected​
Slow Blinking = Performing Handshake​
Solid LED = Connection Made​

The fourth LED was a power ready LED and always on when power was present.

I had no problems with the switch after I understood that when changing things around it is necessary shut everything down, including the display, and power the switch down by removing power (if using) and all HDMI inputs before reconfiguring and powering back up.

The specs claim that the maximum compatable HDMI cable length certified is 10’. However, one of the HDMI input (source) cables used was 15’ and the output HDMI cable to the projector (Test Station #1 and 1a) is a 35’ Blue Jeans Cable HDMI Series One, and the switch never exhibited any issues when connected using these longer cables. Of course, “Your Results May Vary.”

This device is a good sign, at least to me, that the reliability of outboard HDMI gear has finally caught up with the HDMI promise made so long ago.

If you have need for this type of device, it is very well priced at $60 and appears to be robust and reliable.

IOGear doesn’t stop with just this switch, making a full line of neat distribution and switching solutions for many different applications. From computers, to home AV, to professional video productions, there are many interesting devices/solutions/answers available to address a wide range of problems!

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Specifications: IOGear True 4K HDMI Switch MPN: GHSSW8431
  • Connectors
    • Video Input HDMI 2.0
    • Video Output HDMI 2.0
  • Video Resolution MAX 4096 x 2160 @60Hz (4:4:4)
  • HDCP 2.2 Compliant
  • Audio Output 7.1 LPCM, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio digital audio
  • LEDS 1 - Power On, 3 – Active Port ID (one per port)
  • Video Streaming 18Gbps
  • Switches Power Requirement 5V/500mA
    • Auto Switching to next active node (upon power off of active input)
  • Case Metal
  • Cable Distance Max 10 feet Input and Output
  • Environment
    • Operating Temp 32˚ ~ 104˚ (0 - 40˚C)
    • Storage -4˚F ~ 140˚F (-20 – 60˚C)
    • Humidity 0-80%
  • Dimensions 3.06”H x .96”D x 3.11”D
  • Weight .33 lb
  • In the Package
    • GHSSW8431 3-Port True 4K HDMI Switch
    • Remote Control
    • IR Extension Cable
    • USB to Micro USB Power Cable
    • User Guide
    • Warranty Information Card
 
Last edited:

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
6,832
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
Denon X8500H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Interesting device... the price point is killer! Hard to beat for $60. As you say, reliability is a necessity. Nothing is more annoying than components in a chain that don't do their job!
 

Tom L.

Reviewer
Staff member
Supporter
Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
225
Location
Lewisville Texas
Hi Todd,

Back "in the day" I experienced so many issues with HDMI distribution devices. So much so that I essentially just gave up on them. Recent interactions with other HDMI devices and this little switch have strongly intimated to me that the situation has changed for the better with more the modern equipment! I paid a whole lot more 12 years ago for crap that did not work reliably and was pleasantly surprised at this $60 device appeared solid and reliable!
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
6,832
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
Denon X8500H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Tom... does this pass through a full HDMI 2.1 signal? I see HDMI 2.2 in the specs... typo?
 
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