If you’ve ever had an HDTV, a gaming console or a Blu-Ray player, you may have heard about HDMI. At first, it seems like one of many connection ways for TV sets or home theatres. But HDMI is more than a regular port on the back of your TV – this is the best, most efficient way to send video or audio signal from one appliance to the other without any losses. One of many interesting brands in this field is DotStone. The company offers quite a few HDMI products, some of which we’ve already written about. And for this review we have one more device – DotStone HDMI Audio Extractor/Splitter.
This product looks a lot like another DotStone HDMI splitter from the same company but is quite different in terms of functionality. Splitters are usually used for multiple devices – the signal gets split in two streams which go to various appliances. But this device, as we can see in its name, is focused more on other characteristics, more specifically, audio. There is only one HDMI output, which means that you can connect only one appliance to it. Normally, it’s a TV set or a PC. On the other end of this audio extractor there is an input HDMI port which can host anything from laptops to consoles or DVD players.
Obviously, audio is the first thing that we should talk about. This product does a fantastic job at delivering high definition sound. Saying that it extracts audio signal losslessly isn’t enough. HDMI Audio splitter was made to extract digital audio embedded in HDMI source and output it via optical SPDIF (up to 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS) or 2CH RCA L/R stereo audio out. The splitter is able to send the audio signal from DVD players or TV boxes to amplifiers, AV receivers or soundbars. This is actually a perfect device for home theatre owners, especially if your soundbar system doesn’t have an HDMI input. By connecting a TV to the HDMI output and sound amplifiers to optical fibre, coaxial or regular 3.5 port, you create a perfect, all-surrounding atmosphere which would even remind someone of real movie theatres. This small device allows you to stream an HD movie from, for instance, your laptop, onto a big screen with accompanying banging sound from your speakers or soundbars.
There are three different audio mode switch settings:
- HDMI port mode – when video and audio signal converted from the HDMI output. The output audio format depends on the TV EDID signal;
- 2CH mode – when digital 2CH PCM stereo sound is extracted from the HDMI output and converted into 2CH analog stereo through its RCA style L/R analog output and SPDIF output at the same time;
- 1CH mode – this only works when the audio source is 5.1CH. The source device sends Dolby Digital sound.
The SPDIF optical audio output is universal – it supports all audio formats up to 5.1CH Dolby Digital 5.1CH / AC3 & DTS 5.1CH audio. However, the optical audio output isn’t the best at “higher” formats, like Dolby Digital Plus (used by Roku and Chromecast) or HD audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, PCM5.1 and beyond).
Despite being focused mainly on audio extraction and conversion, this device, as any other HDMI product, does a great job at transmitting high-quality and lossless video signal. It supports various formats including 1080P (Full HD), 720P, 480P, 3D or 36-bit deep colour with sync sound. It may not be the best product in this category because it doesn’t support 4K but it’s still great at other aspects, especially audio. At least, there are no problems with video streaming from any appliances.
Lastly, we’d like mention some additional, maybe, a bit less important features. The audio splitter provides maximum safety to all connected devices as it’s certified by FCC, CE and ROHS. Also, if there are any issues, you can always rely on the 18-month warranty – a very customer-friendly offer.
So, people, who want to create fantastic audio presence in their homes, might want to consider this HDMI Audio Extractor/Splitter. It’s compact and very functional – excellent choice for home theatre owners.
The device is available on Amazon. Click the link to find out more information about it or buy it.