TV One 1T-HDMI-841

The TV One 1T-HDMI-841 was supplied by professional AV equipment specialist, AV Tool. The TV One products are listed as AV Tool’s professional grade kit, and the minute you pick the unit up you can feel why. Even though the Belkin box is constructed from metal, the TV One unit is in a completely different league!

It’s a strange thing, build quality – it’s hard to define, yet we all seem to be able to recognise it instantly, and there’s no doubt that the build quality of this HDMI switcher is top notch. The TV One box is solid, heavy and generally feels like it could survive a thermonuclear blast – although I’d rather not put that to the test.

The TV One is slightly larger than the Belkin at 220 x 71 x 28mm (WxDxH), with the entire body constructed from metal – there’s no plastic fascia here. There are three versions of this switcher – a two port, a four port and an eight port, and it’s the four port version that I have. Like the Belkin, the TV One has green LEDs for each of the inputs and a power LED. There’s also an IR receiver and an input select button, but unlike the Belkin, the input select button doubles as a power switch. The unit can also be powered on and off via the supplied infrared remote.

At the rear are five HDMI ports – four input ports for your source devices and one output for your TV. Also at the rear is a handy IR extender port, the 5v power socket and an RS232 serial port. It’s the latter that highlights the professional aspirations of the TV One box, since this switcher can have its firmware upgraded via the serial port. Unfortunately, like the Belkin, this switcher is not HDMI 1.3 compatible, and AV Tool has informed me that there will be no firmware update to add 1.3 functionality either.

The TV One switcher can handle 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p signals. There was no mention of 720i in the manual, as was seen in the Belkin documentation, but since I have never seen anything that outputs a 720i signal, I don’t think that this will be anything to worry about.

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