Quick Review of YS-189 HDMI Switcher

Since I have quite a few devices with HDMI, and I got tired of getting behind the TV to plug or unplug the device, and sometimes I may want to cycle through them for testing, I bought an HDMI switch from Dealextreme for about $11. The device, called YS-189, features 1 HDMI output and 3 HDMI inputs so that you can connect 3 devices to one HDMI port of your TV. There’s also a 5V power jack, which is normally not needed, or so they say, and a small remote control (battery included!) with three buttons to switch between the inputs. First I’ll show a few pictures of the device, and talk about my experience connecting 3 Android mini PCs.

Here’s the package with the black box and the remote.

HDMI_Switch_YS-189

At the back there are more details about the device including specification and “user’s manual”.

HDMI Switch User's Manual, Specifications and Description (Click to Enlarge)
HDMI Switch User’s Manual, Specifications and Description (Click to Enlarge)

Now a picture of the device with HDMI ports and power jack, as well as 3 buttons remote. The IR sensor is just to the side on the left of the 3 selection buttons.
HDMI_Switch_Remote

When I bought it, I intended to connect the mini PCs directly into the box without HDMI cables, but the HDMI ports are to close from each other to do that for most mini PCs. CX-01 is just small enough to be connected directly, but most other devices are just too large to be connected in parallel, so for Hi802 and MK908, I just used the (too) short HDMI cables provided.

At first, I connected CX-01 to HDMI IN-1, MK908 to IN-2, and Hi802 to IN-3, but in some cases CX-01 would not be detected, or the screen would just become black regularly for a few seconds, and connecting a power supply did not help. So I shuffled all that with MK908 on 1, Hi802 on 2, and CX-01 on 3, and it’s working fine.

I’ve also checked the remote control range, and it can only work within 3 meters, which can be a problem if you plan to use it from your sofa.

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I have a Hi-Fi Yamaha Receiver with multiple HDMI-ins and one HDMI-out that I hoped to (also)utilize as a HDMI-switch.
Unfortunately this has one very annoying caveat: when one of the inputs is a Windows PC with a multi-monitor configuration set up, when you switch on the receiver away from that PC, it behaves as if the monitor was physically unplugged, forgets about the multi-monitor configuration, sets a different monitor (that is “still plugged in”) as the primary one, repositions all the windows, etc, it all just becomes a huge mess.
So it’s something to consider with these switches. If devices on ports that are currently inactive see the situation as “no monitor attached”, this could cause a lot of software-side disruption and inconveniences.

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