OPPO Digital HM-31 HDMI Switcher

by | Feb 11, 2008 | Component Reviews | 0 comments

OPPO Digital HM-31 HDMI Switcher
SRP: $99



Three HDMI Inputs, One HDMI Output
HDMI 1.3 Compliant
RS-232 and IR Inputs for Control by Other
Built-In Signal Equalizer for Use with Long
Powered by 5 Volt Wall Wart (included)
Remote Control Included
Dimensions: 1.1″ H x 7.5 W x 4.3” D
Weight: .6 lb.


Oppo Digital has been turning the universal disc-player market upside down with their award-winning yet inexpensive players. Now that HDMI has become the No. 1 digital AV connector in the home theater field, consumers are finding themselves with more and more component sources which demand HDMI inputs on their AV preamp-receiver, video processor/scaler or HDTV video display. Many units only have two inputs and even those with four are often not enough when one has different sources such as set-top box, DVR, DVD player, Blu-ray player, media server, video scaler, etc.  An HDMI switcher is the solution, and Oppo now offers one.

In & Out
The HM-31 has three HDMI inputs and one output – all v. 1.3 compliant. It is powered by an included small wall-wart and comes with a remote control. There is no on/off switch, as it is always powered up. There is a one of the popular new bright blue LED indicators to show which input is selected, and the power indication is red.  On the right front of the unit is the input selector button.

On the rear there is the 5v input jack, an RS-232 jack allowing for computer control or control by other components, plus the three HDMI inputs and the one HDMI output jack. The three inputs are prioritized so when the device connected to a particular input is turned on and switcher automatically selects that port.  My experience with other HDMI switchers is that this feature doesn’t always work, so you can fall back on the included tiny remote control, which has only four buttons – the selector button again plus buttons 1, 2 & 3 for the three HDMI inputs. It always works. There is also an external Infrared input port.

For cables I used Accell UltraAV.Pro HDMI v. 1.3 which work with all HD resolutions up to 1440p. Although I’ve found that any intermittent problems with displays were usually due to the switcher rather than the HDMI cables, the first cable that was provided by Oppo with their first player did prove faulty; so try different cables if you have a problem. The HDMI connection system is fraught with problems, including getting a firm and secure fit in the jack without any locking mechanism. The slightest movement, including the weight of the heavy cable, can loosen a connection, so be on the lookout for that. Accell also has a tiny handy 2-to-1 HDMI Switch in case the three switcher inputs plus whatever other inputs you have on your final component still aren’t enough.


Wrap Up
You can hide the HM-31 behind your display or other equipment, you can mount it on the wall, or you can display it on a shelf with your other components. Some HDMI switchers I have tried have not always quickly produced a picture on the screen after switching to a particular input.  Some go thru quite a song and dance of flickering and cutting out before a solid picture results. (Some of this could be internal to my Samsung display too.) And some have been intermittent in the connection, with the image flashing on and off. I had none of these problems with the Oppo switcher on any of the inputs.  It now successfully expands the two HDMI inputs on my Samsung display to the three I require for my standard DVD, Blu-ray player, and any other DVD player, processor or recorder I might be reviewing. Oppo sells the switcher directly online as they do their disc players.

– John Sunier  

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