An HDTV needs to be “fed” a lot of content; hence the need for a variety of video sources being connected to it. But most HDTVs don’t give you more than 2 or 3 HDMI inputs, and switching from one to the other with the TV remote often means memorizing which input is for which. So what’s the solution? DVDO’s Quick6 x 2 4K Ultra HD HDMI switcher.
The Quick6 has 6 HDMI inputs, with 2 HDMI outputs. Process that for a second — attaching a cable/satellite box, Blu-ray player, “Smart TV” box and AVR (to take advantage of the second HDMI output) is no big deal. There are also optical and coaxial digital audio outputs as well as serial and IR remote control capabilities. Two of the inputs are MHL compatible so select tablets/smartphones can be connected: DVDO has pretty much thought it through and made sure a connection can be made, no matter what. And obviously it’s also 3D compatible. But being able to handle a 4K UHD signal isn’t; this could have been left out and still you’d have a really capable switcher. So it’s future-proof, or at least until something else comes to surpass 4K for home viewing for the consumer (doubtful).
The menu setup for the Quick6 is not complex: pull up the menu with the remote and customize input names, turn on/off ARC (Audio Return Channel) or move the position of the InstaPrevue window (more on that later) is straightforward. A nice feature is that one of the MHL-enabled ports can be disabled so that plain-jane mobile devices can be connected for charging.
The interface for the Quick6 is all visual — the front panel can be ignored unless you want to 1)manually switch between inputs rather than use the remote or 2)feel the need to see if the connections are active (HDMI/Amber, Active input/Green). The remote can activate PIP (picture-in-picture) as well as bring up the InstaPrevue window for a visual indication of what is connected and can be selected:. The window displays all active HDMI inputs in their own picture-in-picture windows. The user selects the input to switch to by using the left/right arrow keys. Pressing ENTER switches to the selected input. Pressing InstaPrevue again or EXIT exits the InstaPrevue system.
An impressive feature that doesn’t call attention to itself is how the Quick6 handles HDCP authorization: normally this occurs when the input is switched to and causes a momentary slowdown that we all have learned to accept as “normal.” But since the Quick6 authorizes any device when it is first connected, the video should appear on the screen faster. To see if this was true, I connected the two BD players on hand directly to the Sony TV and then switched from one to another a few times and took note of the few seconds that it took for each input to authorize. I then disconnected the two players and reconnected them to the Quick6 and repeated the procedure to find that the authorization time was now nil.
My setup for the Quick6 was basic but not that far off what many might do — I’ve no rack so it sat on the floor since the sound bar occupied all the free space of the cabinet the TV was on. I had an Oppo and Sony Blu-ray player connected along with the HDMI output from a LG Smart sound bar, along with a Sony AVR and a U-Verse box for broadcast. One HDMI output went to the Sony HDTV, with the second dedicated to sound since my AVR doesn’t support 3D (this required telling the Quick6 what I was doing since the setting would now send the audio through HDMI #2 and the dedicate video through #1. But again the Quick6 has thought ahead — because when I turned the AVR off, it automatically routed the sound back through the TV speakers.
I spent the afternoon watching movies and television shows, and listening to music CDs. All of the switching happened without incident — there wasn’t any momentary loss of video or audio going from one device to the other. And having a “visual” window to show me what I could switch to — rather than a “name” — made things easier to do and infinitely quicker.
Bottom line: DVDO’s Quick 6 6 x 2 4K Ultra HD HDMI switcher is efficient and many times more effective than any number of other switchers on the market. Because of what you get, the $399.00 retail is well worth paying.
300MHz HDMI inputs, ARC and CEC compatible
Remote does not illuminate
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.