Short Reviews: Monoprice HDMI Switch and Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

I got a few things from Monoprice and I thought I’d share some important facts about them.

Review: Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

I got this Bluetooth audio transmitter (Monoprice product ID 9722) to see if it performs better than this. It is the exact same thing except smaller, recharges using micro USB instead of a barrel jack (I prefer micro USB), and is much cheaper (got it on sale).

Review: 5-to-1 Powered Mini HDMI Switch

I got a 5-to-1 powered mini HDMI switch (Monoprice product ID 8203) to replace the one I talked about here. The new switch is extremely solid, all metal, it works like a charm (no signalling issues, except the Mac Mini won’t work with it, but I am blaming the Mac Mini for this one since it also doesn’t like my HDMI-to-DVI adapter). The auto switching feature is OK. The IR remote works as well. The LEDs are viewable only directly from the front (bad or lack of light pipe usage suspected). The size isn’t the smallest on the market but I like it none-the-less.

The switch is actually implemented as two 3-to-1 switches cascaded together, using two Silicon Image Sil9185 chips. The microcontroller is a STM8S003.

The circuit itself is slightly disappointing. The 5V bus is protected from short circuits by a self-resetting fuse, and reverse voltage by a diode, but there does not seem to be protection against over-voltage. If you use an adapter over 6.5V, the switch will be damaged, but I think the HDMI devices will still be safe. The LEDs are 3mm through-hole LEDs pointing up, and there isn’t any light-pipes or dividers, which explains why the light can only be viewed directly from the front.

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