Orei UHD 401ARC – An Awesome HDMI Switch – Full Review
Hdmi switch. Now this product provides a lot of really nice features which ill explain in a minute. But before i do, i always like to start a review clip off with a brief unboxing of a product just to show you all the components that are included with the kit and then ill. Give you an overview of the product and listed specifications ill. Take a closer look at the unit itself and explain all the connections youll need to make to use it with your own equipment. Ill actually come back and do a demonstration here to show you just how simple a product is to use and then finally ill give you a few things to keep in mind if youre, comparing the o ray, switch against other hdmi switches, you may be considering so Lets get started with the unboxing. Now the box is really small, but i promise you everything you need to get started is included with the kit. So when you pop open the box, youll find the four input one output, hdmi switch youll also find a really nice infrared remote control, and this is really handy if youre setting this up in a media center and your chair or your couch, is pretty far away From your monitor, you can actually use this remote control to select which input is being sent to your monitor from the comfort of your couch. You can also use the button on the top of it if youre using it on your desk.
They also include a dc power supply, its a usb supply 800 milliampere hours, youll plug this end into any standard wall outlet. The other end has a micro usb connection on it, which plugs into the back of the switch and thats all the power youll need to operate the unit. They also include a full instruction manual with specifications, connection, diagrams warranty, information and everything else. You need to know about the switch now. The switch itself has got a lot of really nice features built in and o rays really thought this one through. So the product name really tells you most of what you need to know about the product, so its the o ray uhd ultra high definition. The product can support full 4k at 60 frames, a second which is ultra high definition, content on both the inputs and the output, so thats handy because, if youre using modern media equipment, you want to get the highest resolution possible. It also means you wont, have to worry about upgrading the switch down the road if youve got older equipment and you decide to upgrade that equipment. It fully supports 4k ultra high definition. The 401 refers to 4 input 1 output. So i like the fact that i can connect up four different media devices to it with a single output. To my monitor, just makes it really convenient and then the arc portion of it stands for audio return channel. Now, if youre not sure what that is, audio return channel is a feature thats built into the latest versions of hdmi, and it essentially allows you to send audio from your tv back down an hdmi cable to a sound bar, and this product supports that.
So if you have one of the modern tvs that has an arc connector on the back, an hdmi, connector and youve got a newer, sound bar that uses arc. This switch will actually handle passing that audio from your monitor back down to your sound bar and ill show you that, as part of the demonstration, the other thing thats nice is its fully hdmi 2.0 compliant, which means all the modern equipment will work just fine with It the hdmi 2.1 standard came out, but thats really for like 8k monitors and going forward. Those are a little bit off. Maybe you own one of those – maybe you dont, but the 4k today is pretty much the standard, but the big difference between this and some of the other switches on the market that advertise themselves as 4k is theyre 4k at 30 frames a second. This is 4k at full. 60 frames. A second a couple. Other cool features about the unit ill point this out in a closer closer look. Is that o rays really thought through the design of this? Because a lot of the switches that ive tested in the past – and i actually use this on my desk and i use it in my media center – a lot of the switches ive tested in the past have a couple of connections on the back and then theyll Have one or two inputs or outputs on the side, and it just makes it really clunky to connect it, because if its sitting on your media center now youve got hdmi cables popping out the side, its just really a clumsy way to do it.
So all your connections on the back make it really easy for those cables to fall off the back of your media center, and i love the fact that theyve added one hdmi connection up front, because when im using this on, my desk ive got maybe my computer. My laptop, maybe something else, maybe a roku player in my office connected up those are my three inputs, but every now and then im coming back with a laptop or a phone or something else, thatll output through hdmi. It makes it really convenient to have that. Hdmi connection on the front, because i can sit it down on my desk and i can plug it in. I dont have to worry about like dragging the switch out and the cables, and everything else just makes it super easy another cool feature about it. Is they built in the micro usb connection for power? A lot of switches on the market have a proprietary connection, so theyll sell you a power supply or should say include a power supply that comes with it. Thats got a proprietary connector here, typically a barrel connector, and that seems okay until you have problems with the power supply down the road and now youve got a switch where youve got to go, find a power supply and good luck with that trying to match up The barrel connector the voltage and all the rest of it. The fact that they designed this to handle a standard, usb connection means that you know heaven forbid.
This goes bad later. On these i can find very easily the other. Really nice thing is most of the modern monitors have a usb a connection on the back of it, so you dont even need to use this power supply because it draws so little current that you can use a short usba on the back. Your monitor to micro usb to this and completely eliminate this, which means youre no longer searching for an extra outlet behind your tv. You can connect it right up to the monitor and the same thing for your computer monitors as well. So those features are nice. A lot of these that are sold on the market today, dont come with a remote control. Now youll use this in typically one of two places: youll have it on your desk: switching between different computers or different input, devices or youll use it in a media center. Where its set up on top of a table someplace or a cabinet and youre switching between maybe a dvd player, a game console some other technology, maybe a streaming player and having the remote control means. I can use this in both places. I dont have to worry about getting up from my couch every time i want to switch between my tivo box and my roku player. I can actually use the remote control allows me to switch between those very simply, and i like the fact that im not actually stepping through them, i can directly select which input i want sent to that monitor.
Some of the remotes – and i know this is a small point – have a button that you hit and what itll do is actually strobe through the different inputs and that works okay. But i love the fact that i can go directly to an input now, if you stay tuned next im going to take a much closer look at the unit and explain all the connections and then ill come back and actually do a demonstration here to show you How to use the product the four input, one output, hdmi switch features a high impact plastic case, which makes it very light and very durable. It also has a bit of a brushed finish on the top, which gives it a very high end. Look on the top of the switch youll notice, a selection button right here when you tap that itll actually step through the four inputs. Then cycle back to input number one and you can use that to make your selection on the front of the switch youll find a full sized hdmi port and thats input number one and that can connect to any media device. As your first selection youll find four indicators right here that are leds as you step through those inputs, the current input will be lit up with an led behind it on the right. Youll find a power indicator. When you add power to the unit through the power supply being plugged into the wall and the micro usb connection being plugged in the back, the unit starts an internal power and self test to make sure everything is working when it passes that test itll light up That led letting you know its ready to use on the bottom of the unit.
Youll find four rubber feet and thats nice to keep it in place when you set it on top of a counter, its not going to actually skid across that surface on the rear unit, youll find four more full size, hdmi connections and the power port. This is the output hdmi connection, thatll connect up to your monitor, and these are your other inputs, input number ones on the front. Thats input number two number three and number four and again these are standard, hdmi connections. You can use a regular cable between this and whatever media device or computer youd like to connect up to the switch and thats pretty much it now ill. Show you just how easy it is to use the uhd 401 arc with your own equipment at home and for this demonstration. Ive set up two media players right over here to simulate two inputs: one is displaying an image of a computer, the other one is looping. A video with audio attached. I have a tv setup right over here. This has arc compatibility on the back and ive got a sound bar setup. Thats arc compatible as well. Now ive got the switch in front of me. The first set of connections ill make are my input devices, so ive got two hdmi cables connected to those ill connect. The unit thats playing the video to input number two and the other one thats got a static image of a computer on input.
Number three now connect up the tv to the hdmi output port right here and ill connect up my sound bar to input number four, which is the arc plug ill plug that in there so ive got all my connections made now ill. Add power ive plugged the power supply in a ready micro, usb connection here and ill plug that right into the back now, when the switch first comes on its doing an internal power on self test, make sure everythings working internally and it always starts up on input. Number one: now we know that the streaming video is uninput number two, so let me switch it to number two itll take a second for the adjustment to happen inside the switch to give you the best possible resolution and there you go, and you can hear the Audio is coming through the sound bar and the only connection ive got. Is this one hdmi cable right here through the switch, so one of the advantages of the switch is that it actually passes the audio signal through the switch along with the video content as well. Now let me switch template number three and youll see that ive got the static image of the computer and im just simulating hooking the computer up to the input on the back on the hdmi connection. Now you have four different connections. You can use one on the front two three and four on the back, but if youre using a sound bar youll plug that into input number four, which is the arc port on the switch.
So you have to give up one if youre using a sound bar. But i think in general they give you plenty of connections on the switch to do everything you need and you can switch it between those inputs using the button on the top or the included remote control. It just makes it really easy to control your media content, and it really is just that simple to get it working. I hope you found that closer, look and demonstration helpful. Now, here are a few things to keep in mind when comparing the o ray uhd 401 arc, hdmi switch to others. You may be considering the first thing, and probably most important thing is the resolution that any switch can support. This product fully supports 4k 60 frames. A second ultra high definition, media content on both the input and the output. It also supports 4k hdr content, which is the latest and greatest standard. Other switches that mention 4k may only support 4k at 30 frames a second and they may not support hdr content at all and thats really important, because even if youre using older equipment today that doesnt require a 4k switch, you know youre going to upgrade that equipment Down the road – or you may add, a new piece of media gear that generates hdr content and having an older switch that doesnt support. The latest standards means youre going to get a reduced resolution on your monitor and not be able to play the hdr content so buying a switch that does adhere to those newer standards means you wont, have to worry about upgrading the switch down the road, as you Upgrade your media gear, so this one at 4k, 60 frames.
A second with hdr support, is really the latest standards on the market. Another two features that are really important about this are the standards for hdmi. This is hdmi 2.0 compliant and its also hdcp 2.2 compliant, which means youll never have to worry about copy protection issues with some of the new media gear that uses that. Another thing i like about the switch is the power supply and ive mentioned this before, and i know it seems like a small thing, but it uses a standard usb power supply with a standard micro, usb connection, other switches on the market that include power supplies may Have a proprietary power supply with a unique connector on the end of it, and even though theyll work? Okay, when you open up the box and plug them in over time, if that power supply fails, youre gon na have a really hard time finding a replacement power supply for that switch and without the power supply you cant actually use the switch. So knowing ive got a usb supply here with a standard connector on the end means i can use a standard wall charger and a usb a to micro, usb cable to actually power. This switch down the road not have to worry about trying to find that unique power supply matter of fact. In my two setups in both my office and in my media center, i dont even use the power supply because in my office i have computers with available usb a ports on them and ill use.
A usba to micro, usb cable to power. The switch and in my media center, my large screen tvs, have usba connections on them as well that are available and ill plug the same cable in there and power the switch off one of my monitors, so it makes it really easy to power the switch another Thing i like about it again. This seems like a small point. Until you start hooking, it up is the fact that theyve really thought about cable dressings on this. So all the cables in the back come out flat here, theres, no cable connections on the side. A lot of other switches on the market have hdmi connections or power connections on the side, and until you start connecting up the cables, you dont realize that plugging in hdmi, cable in the side and having it bow out like this means its not going to look That great sitting on top of your media center, this one all the cables are on the back. They go right out the back and drop off the back of the cabinet. I love the fact that theyve got one up front as well, because intermediate center, if my sons having friends over and theyve, got portable game systems they can plug right in here i can plug my laptop in there. It just makes it really easy to have one in the front that i can use as an input and select that to do whatever i need to.
With that front connection, i also like the fact that theres, a remote control included some of the switches that are on the market today are really marketed as desktop switches and theres a switch on the top to switch between those inputs. But if youre going to use it in your media center its nice to know you have the remote control, because that allows you to control it from your couch not have to get up every time you want to switch the input. So you get that included in the kit, you can use the switch or you can use the remote control. Another really nice thing thats important to consider is the fact that its a company, you can trust its, not some off brand company. The price is reasonable. So when i look at that balancing act between price and brand responsibility, always a company thats been around a long time. Theyve got a lot of products in the market. Theyve got a customer service center thats second to none. So if you have issues or questions later on, they can definitely help you with it and it has a really strong warranty. So when i look at that that branding versus price, this is right in the sweet spot of having a really good price and a really good brand that stands behind their product, so all those things being equal. I think this switch really stands up well against others. On the market, for all the reasons ive mentioned up to this point, so i hope youve enjoyed this clip.
If you have any questions at all about this or other things weve covered in the channel, please drop those in the comments below and ill get back to. You as quickly as i can, i also have a link for this down below if you want to go check it out on amazon, just to check through the specifications and see if its the right switch for you and thats pretty much it for today.