1) The HDMI cable certainly snugs well and locks behind the unit. My initial device was an HDMI based video file streamer. It locked on the signal and was working fine. The 2nd connection was going to be the PS3 but the provided cable would not fit in the back of PS3 due to the thumbscrew on the HDMI cable. The PS3 (original) has a lip right above its HDMI connector which prevented the HDMI cable to be inserted correctly. I am also testing a 50 ft HDMI cable which will be eventually used for the projector, it inserted that for testing and it worked worked fine. Good thing I ordered some extras from monoprice, afterall. I'll be testing the 50' cable extensively at a later point. It passed the initial connecivity test.
2) The blue indicator lights in front of the panel are bright. Good thing the device will be installed on the 2nd shelf of the audio rack so it won't be in direct sight when watching a movie - otherwise, I'd have to put tape or something to soften the LED light brightness.
3) The flat egg shaped remote was responsive but feels pretty light. I'll probably use a different remote. Hopefully, the Harmony remote will work with this unit.
edit: 1 (5:50pm Mar 10 2011)
I made a simple connection, taking an HDMI output from a PS3, going into the switcher's input 1, then taking the output1 from the switcher to the LCD TV. To get digital audio, I also connected a high quality COAX cable from the switcher to the preamp/processor. So far, I am not able to get any digital output from the unit - it seems to only output a 2channel audio that my preamp/processor matrixes it into a psudo surround sound - I have yet to hear genuine Dolby Digital or DTS output from this unit. I have posted a message on gefen's forum - will call tech support in the AM. So far, this $400 device has not impressed me.
edit 2 (12:30am Mar 11 2011)
After further experimenting for several hours and not being able to derive an audio signal that renders dolby digital / DTS sound over the coax connector, I've unplugged the unit and awaiting to chat with tech support at Gefen. Meanwhile, I've been researching another VERY promising product - the DVDO's Edge. For a few dollars more, it does so much more and I can combine the Edge with an inexpensive HDMI splitter and it would do everything (and more) that I was expecting from the gefen device.
edit 3 (11:15am March 12 2011)
Spoke with tech rep from gefen. He stated that due to EDID, since the switcher output is going to the TV, and it is being recognized as a 2ch audio device, the same is being sent over to the COAX connector. This does not meet my needs then. I was hoping the coax would just pass the digital signal that contains DD/DTS data, rather than downmixing it based on the switcher's HDMI connection.
Oh well...the device goes back to amazon !!
as a sidebar, to me, if this limitation was clearly specified/listed in the documentation, I would have thought twice about buying it. I just happen to stumble upon it as I researched the issue at hand. For those who have non-HDMI based receivers, there are other devices available that will meet your need.
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