Denon Marantz 3-in, 1-out 8k HDMI Switcher
HDMI 2.1 rollout has been a disaster. You can blame the pandemic, you can blame the AKM fire. It doesn’t matter. Multiple receivers have been rolled out with faulty or partially functioning HDMI 2.1 boards and manufacturers have been struggling to catch up. Denon and Marantz released their fix recently, a 1-in, 1-out HDMI 2.,1 box that could be used with affected receivers. They also announced a physical upgrade path for their flagship receiver/processor. But Denon and Marantz have now followed that up with a new announcement – a 3-in, 1-out 8k HDMI switcher. Let’s take a look.
Marantz / Denon 3-in, 1-out 8k HDMI Switcher
When Sound United (parent company of Denon and Marantz) announced their HDMI 2.1 fix, we wondered why they didn’t include a couple more HDMI 2.1 inputs. Sure, the receivers they were “fixing” only had a single HDMI 2.1 input, but that was always lackluster. Adding a couple more would have been a nice touch.
Well, now we know why.
The Denon (AVS-3) and Marantz (VS3003) switchers can can be used in lieu of the SPK618 adapter. It can connect up to three 8k/60Hz and 4k/120Hz sources to compatible receivers. Which are the compatible ones? All the ones that were “fixed” earlier. This includes:
The important thing to note is that the flagship receiver from Denon (AVR-X8500HA) and processor from Marantz (AV8805A) will already have to have gone through the upgrade path. If you’ve bought them new recently, they are probably upgraded (look for the ‘A’ on the end of the model number, that will tell you it is upgraded). If it isn’t, you’ll have to get it upgraded first.
Other than three HDMI 2.1 inputs and 1 output, the 8k switchers have a small form factor, an IR remote, and are HDMI CEC compatible. This means you can use another remote to control them either through IR or through HDMI CEC (we recommend the former). If you are using your receiver’s remote, you can control it directly from there without using CEC or its dedicated remote.
The Denon and Marantz 3-in, 1-out 8k HDMI switcher has a brushed aluminum front panel and detachable wall mount brackets. There is an input on the back for IR repeater so that you can control it directly from an integrated system. The Denon AVS-3 and Marantz VS3003 3-in, 1-out HDMI 8k switchers will be available in October 2021 for $199.00.
It’s hard to love or hate this new offering from Sound United. We sort of think this should have been an option from the beginning (and we suppose it still is). We also wish it had more compatibility (it really only works with the “broken” HDMI 2.1 receivers). A quick Internet search taught us that a 2-in, 1-out HDMI switch with similar specs costs around $50. They are missing the third input but, more importantly, won’t work with the Denon and Marantz offerings. So, while $200 seems a bit steep, it really is the only option.