Radiient Select-4 Features, Setup, and Remotes
HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) equipped audio/video devices are gaining popularity and like them or not they are quickly becoming the industry standard now and for the foreseeable future. Manufacturers of A/V receivers, pre-amps, fixed pixel display devices, front projectors, DVD players, cable boxes, satellite receivers and other devices are quickly adopting and implementing the HDMI connection on their products.
Terminating your system with HDMI connections is a very effective and neat solution for high-resolution audio/video signal transfer and system level switching. What happens when you run out of HDMI inputs or have a receiver or pre-amp that you really love that doesn't have HDMI inputs? Another common problem is many HDMI sources will not transfer high-resolution audio/video signals long distances without introducing signal degradation.
Radiient Technologies, a manufacturer located in the Silicon Valley of California has recently introduced a cost effective solution for those that have HDMI deficiencies in their systems. Radiient Technologies teams of engineers are comprised of industry veterans from many well know manufacturers such as: Silicon Image, DVDO, Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Alpha Smart and other others. The Radiient team has authored more than thirty US patents in the consumer electronics field.
Features and Build Quality
The Radiient Select-4 is a high-performance HDMI switching center. The Select-4's sleek, compact, elegant design is a feature-rich and well-constructed device which is made in the USA. The front faceplate of the Select-4 incorporates a power button, manual input select button, four LED input indicators that change color from blue to orange when on an active input, and a green power indicator LED. The top of the switcher has a molded depression in the plastic chassis for convenient storage of the supplied remote control. The back of the Select-4 features four well-spaced HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, + 6volt DV power input and an RS-232 port for advanced control with systems like Creston. The bottom of the switcher has four square rubberized feet to prevent movement when many cables are connected to the switcher.
HDMI Quick Facts
HDMI is an industry-supported uncompressed digital audio/video interface. HDMI supports standard, enhanced and high definition video. The HDMI interface also supports eight-channel 192kHz uncompressed audio. The current HDMI standard version implemented in current manufactured products is version 1.2.The HDMI standard version 1.3 was released on 22 June 2006 and is expected to make its way into products by the end of the year. The new version will support HD-DVD, Blue-ray DVD, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD. HDMI version 1.3 will also have broader color space with a wider color gamut The new version is said to have enough bandwidth headroom for future software developments and will incorporate automatic lip sync timing compensation. As of this writing there is not a single source or display device that is HDMI 1.3 compliant. The Radiient Select-4 is currently HDMI version 1.2 compliant, but the manufacturer claims HDMI 1.3 compatibility. Obviously we have no way to test the Select-4 with HDMI 1.3 because there are no products on the market that incorporate the new HDMI standard.HDCP
HDPC (High bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a form of digital anti piracy protection developed by the Intel Corporation. High definition digital video content must be restricted to standard DVD quality 480p on all non-HDCP compliant video outputs. Each HDCP compliant devices has a set of 40 keys called KSV (Key Selection Vector). During the authentication process each device exchanges KSV's then encryption is preformed by a stream cipher. If a device is compromised, non-HDCP compliant it's KSV's are revoked. During the authentication process, if the device is found to have a revoked KSV, the HD data will not be sent resulting in an HDCP error.
The Radiient Select-4 ships from the factory with two credit card sized non-backlit remote controls.
The installer's remote features a Power On/Off button, four Input
select buttons labeled 1 - 4, Manual Input select button up and down,
Auto Input search button On/Off, display On/Off, and a secondary On/Off
button. The user remote is simplistic; offering only On/Off and input
select buttons. All buttons are "membrane-style"
and seemed to be durable and easy to operate.
The I/R remote's buttons are easily identified and are nicely arranged. The buttons are spaced far enough apart to prevent double pushes and the remote fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. The remotes have an effective range of about 40ft when pointed directly at the Select-4 and had perfect operation when used this way.
Radiient Technologies included two of their optional two-meter HDMI cables for evaluating the Select-4. The two-meter cable is available for $34.99 including shipping. Radiient Technologies also offers a 0.5 meter and 5 meter cable. The cable construction and build quality is pretty decent considering the price. Flexibility and molded plastic HDMI shell are what you would expect at this price point. The cables fit tightly into the Select-4 HDMI inputs and output and required a moderate amount of effort to pull out.
We wanted to evaluate the Select-4 in various configurations to verify its performance and flexibility. Using the Radiient 2 meter cables, we connected one cable to the HDMI output of our Toshiba SD-K860 DVD player and terminated it to input 1 on the Select-4. We used the Direct TV H-10 satellite receiver as our second source and terminated the second HDMI cable to input 2. We connected a 50-foot HDMI cable from the Select-4 HDMI output and terminated it to our Panasonic PT-44LCX-65 HDTV. This installation configuration would simulate the need for HDMI switching from multiple sources directly to a display device. We set both sources to output 720p through the Select-4 and began our evaluation.