There is no shortage of good HDMI switches available in the market, and the Kinivo 550BN HDMI Switch is just one of them. The purpose of reviewing this particular switch is to look at something that is built with the power user in mind as it does deliver a lot of great specs for those who are looking for the best possible experience. With that said, the switch does offer a lot of great specs.
You are getting 5 inputs all supporting 4K up to 60Hz, as well as a small and compact look that makes this HDMI switch one of the best. You don’t have to worry about plugging your HDMI cables and not having this work because that does not happen with this switch, at all.
A Busy Design
Compared to some of the other HDMI switches that I have reviewed in the past, the Kinivo 550BN is one of the busier in terms of designs. For starters, the switch itself is small, which means that everything is tightly put together, which is not that bad but still stands out for some.
For starters, you are getting 5 HDMI input ports and an AC adapter along with a remote. The box is kept small, and for that, one of the HDMI ports is on the right side, while the output is on the left side. This was done intentionally to keep the size small but sadly, this does not do any favor for the cable management as it only becomes difficult.
The box is made out of thick plastic while the sides are coated with metal. The bottom has rubber feet that prevent any slippage, and the top is glossy black.
This is by no means a looker, but in terms of feature set, it does deliver, and if you are looking for something on the smaller side, this one fits the bill.
Setting Up Process
Honestly, a lot of the time, we are going to judge an HDMI switch by looking at how easy it is to set up. After all, the looks are something that you are eventually going to get over, so whatever is left is going to be the setting up process. With the Kinivo 550BN HDMI switch, the process is not that difficult.
To set it up, you simply have to connect the HDMI inputs, along with the output and the included AC adapter, the switch automatically sets itself to the HDMI input that is active. Sadly, there is no way to make things look tidy since the AC adapter and the HDMI output cable are always going to be sticking out of the side, making the switch look bigger than it needs to be.
This could have easily been remedied if the company just opted for a wide enclosure to house everything on the back. Thankfully, the setting up process makes it still a viable option for a lot of people, and for those who don’t mind the cables sticking out, this one works.
Great Feature Set
While the switch is oddly bad at managing cables, when you are talking about features, it does not hold back. You are getting 5 inputs, all capable of going as high as 60hz at 4K, but sadly, you are not getting a built-in HDMI splitter, so that is a separate purchase if you want to reroute your audio.
With that, I tested the switch with all the HDMI devices plugged in at the same time to test the fidelity and whether it caves in or not, and not once did it give me any error that made me rethink. The switch supports Dolby Digital Encoding, HDCP, HDR, 3D video, along with an 18Gbps connection. You also have a 2-year warranty, so if you do need peace of mind, this is where it is at.
How is the Streaming Performance
Normally when you are looking at affordable HDMI switches, you often come to realize that the streaming performance takes a hit or some other discrepancies fall into place. However, that is not the case here.
As far as the steaming performance is concerned, the switching speed is around 9 seconds, which is something we have seen before, too. The switch itself is simple and easy to use with no features that make it look like a waste of money. The wonderfully seamless support of this switch will make you keep coming back to it as far as the overall usage is concerned.
Normally when you are looking at affordable switches, there are a lot of features that are just overlooked or there are not included, at all. This is no longer the case here as the Kinivo 550BN HDMI Switch delivers great performance across the board and if you are looking for something good, this is the one that you should be investing in.
If you are looking for the best HDMI switch that does not have any unnecessary frills, then getting your hands on the Kinivo 550BN HDMI Switch is the right way to go on about it. It works well, and the best part about this switch is that it gets the job done in almost every single way.
The great thing is that you are getting 5 inputs with this switch, as well as support for 4K at 60Hz, and a two-year warranty. All of this in a small and compact package.
There are a few downsides, though. For starters, you are not getting a picture-in-picture mode, and two inputs are located on either side of the switch, which makes the cable managing process a bit difficult.
Overall, if you are interested in getting something that is good. Buying the Kinivo 550BN HDMI Switch is the way to go and you will not be let down by how good it performs.