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AV Quick Takes: Monoprice Blackbird 8K HDMI Hardware

by May 04, 2023
Monoprice 8K HDMI Gear

Monoprice 8K HDMI Gear

Is your AV rack ready for the 8K revolution? Monoprice has announced five new HDMI hardware products — HDMI splitters, switches, and matrix solutions — all capable of handling 8K video and/or 4K 120Hz content from the latest gaming consoles and other high-res video sources that may become relevant in the foreseeable future. The new products are part of the brand’s low-price, high-performance Blackbird line of prosumer AV products. Monoprice says these new 8K hardware solutions are designed for both home AV enthusiasts and business enterprise customers. 

Monoprice tells us that all of the new Blackbird 8K solutions support 8K 60Hz video along with 4K video up to 120Hz, with HDR passthrough supporting HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG, making them “perfect for maximizing resolution and frame rate requirements of the latest TVs and commercial displays.” Advanced EDID management allows the user to manually set video resolution to match the capabilities of the connected display or projector. (EDID, or Extended Display Identification, is an industry standard for AV source and display devices which automatically communicates manufacturer specification and data between devices.) Competitive gamers will appreciate other cutting-edge HDMI features such as VRR (Variable Refresh Rates), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and FVA (Fast-as-Possible V-active). Audio features include passthrough for multi-channel LPCM, plus the popular Dolby and DTS audio formats.

Our Blackbird line of prosumer AV solutions has long been a go-to source for home entertainment enthusiasts and integrators looking to create powerful and vastly capable AV systems. With gaming, pro sports, and streaming content services embracing 8K, the industry will continue growing its support for the format, with new content and TVs soon flooding the market. With these new Blackbird 8K-capable hardware solutions, we’re driving down the cost of building out ultra-immersive 8K home entertainment and commercial AV systems, making it affordable to be an early adopter.

— Rob Fleck, business unit manager, Monoprice

The products fall into three categories: switches, splitters, and matrix devices. A switch allows the user to connect two or more HDMI sources to one display. A splitter allows the user to distribute one HDMI source to two or more displays. A matrix combines the capabilities of a switch and a splitter.


Monoprice Blackbird switch

The Blackbird 8K60 2x1 HDMI Switch ($39.99) connects two sources to one display, with support for 8K/60Hz and 4:4:4 12-bit sampling.

The Blackbird 8K60 2x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extraction ($149.99) is identical but adds the ability to extract the audio from the HDMI stream and output the signal via an optical Toslink (digital) or 3.5mm stereo aux (analog) connection. This allows the use of an older AV receiver or soundbar with a more advanced display without sacrificing video quality. 


Monoprice Blackbird splitter

The Blackbird 8K60 1x2 HDMI Splitter with Audio Extraction ($149.99) connects one HDMI source (up to 8K/60Hz with 4:2:0 sampling) to two HDMI displays. The HDMI audio signal can be sent to both displays, and is also extracted and routed to the Toslink and 3.5mm aux outputs.

The Blackbird 8K60 1x4 HDMI Splitter with Audio Extraction ($329.99) is the same as above but can distribute one HDMI source to up to four HDMI displays.


Monoprice Blackbird Matrix rear

The Blackbird 8K60 2x2 HDMI Matrix ($179.99) works as both an HDMI switch and an HDMI splitter with two HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. It can send a signal from one input to two displays at the same time, and it can switch between sources when connected to one or two displays. It also features audio extraction, so HDMI audio can be sent to audio gear connected via Toslink or the 3.5mm aux output.

All of the Blackbird 8K AV solutions include infrared remote controls, and all are available now at monoprice.com.


About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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