The front fascia of the AV-5831 is very minimalist and sleek. There’s no LCD display to clutter things up and add cost, just four buttons – one for power and one for each of the three inputs. Each button glows green when active. Of course you wouldn’t want to have to get up off your sofa and press any of these buttons, so it’s good that you get an infrared remote control in the box.
The remote is one of those slim-line credit card affairs. I’m generally not a fan of this type of remote, but considering that there are only four buttons on it, it would seem a little self defeating to make it any bigger. The range of the remote seems to be pretty good and you can even bounce the signal off your living room wall if you wish.
So, how does the AV-5831 work? In a word – brilliantly. This really is one of those products that does one thing, but does it really well. I could detect absolutely no image quality degradation between watching a signal that was passed through the AV-5831 and one that was connected to the TV directly. Even back to back comparisons watching my Sky HD box through the AV-5831 and directly through an HDMI input left me struggling to see any difference in quality.
Both analogue and digital sound switching worked as seamlessly as the video too, making this an ideal companion for anyone who wants multiple AV sources connected to their TV, but doesn’t want an external audio solution.
Ultimately though, the AV-5831 has made life in my living room far easier – despite the fact that I rarely have time to be in there. Being able to switch between my multiple component video sources without the need to swap cables around saves me a lot of time and frustration.
At £74.95 including VAT, the AV-5831 doesn’t look cheap considering its single function. However, if you really need that single function, as I do, then the price doesn’t seem at all unreasonable.
You can never have too many AV inputs, but all too often you find yourself with too few. The AV-5831 solves this problem, very well indeed. If you’re tired of switching cables every time you want to watch a DVD, play your Xbox 360 or switch on your Sky box, get one of these, it will be money well spent.