Monoprice 8k HDMI Cables, Switches, 4k Displays Announced
It’s CES 2023, and there are no shortages of new products coming to the market. While there are many flashy new toys, Monoprice, the low-price leader in high-quality consumer electronics, has released some practical new products that every AV enthusiast/gamer/nerd should consider adding to their setup. On the plate are new 8k HDMI cables, switches, splitters, a CNC router, and even some 4k displays. So let’s take a look!
Monoprice 8K Certified SlimRun Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cables
Starting us off are some 8K Certified SlimRun ultra high-speed HDMI cables from Monoprice. With 4K120 becoming more mainstream with consoles and PCs (plus a few devices), more AV enthusiasts need to upgrade their cables. Unless you are lucky and have all your gear co-located in the same area, you might need some long-run cables, which can add up.
Monoprice offers four lengths (from 24′ to 65′) that will not break the bank ($99-140). All four cables are in-wall rated, support 4K120/8K60, Dynamic HDR and are the full 48Gbps bandwidth. On top of that, all four 8K cables are Active Optical Cables (AOC), so you do not lose performance over longer lengths, and they don’t need external power.
The 8K cables will ship in Q1 2023.
8K HDMI Switches
If you are looking for an HDMI switch for your devices, don’t fret, Monoprice has you covered. Offered in five different products, you are sure to find something to fit your needs. All share the same DNA, with HDMI 2.1 and HDCP 2.3 compliance, 40-48Gbps bandwidth, support for 4K120/8K60, and Dynamic HDR. All are available in 2023. Unfortunately, there is no eARC or ARC support.
First, we have the Blackbird 8K 60 2×1 HDMI switch. Offered in 2×1 ($39.99), the device allows switching between two HDMI sources into a single HDMI display. This feature is great for outdoor displays, security cameras, home theater (duh), and video conferencing. You can use the device without external power, but Monoprice recommends using the Micro USB port to power the device, ensuring proper display on all screens.
Next up is the Blackbird 8K60 2×1 Switch ($149.99) with audio extraction. Not only do you get the same features of the 2×1 switch, this one adds audio extraction. This device is useful if you have a next-gen console and panel, but an older AV receiver without ARC or newer fancy connection options. The audio output allows for analog or digital optical output and provides 7.1CH PCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS Master Audio.
If you want to split one source into two displays (and need audio extraction), the Blackbird 8K60 1×2 HDMI splitter with audio extraction ($149) is your device. Marketed as a prosumer device, the Blackbird splitter is suitable for video conferencing, multimedia presentations, and gaming applications. If you need more than two displays, don’t fret, the Blackbird 8K60 1×4 HDMI splitter with audio extraction ($329) has you covered. The Blackbird 1X4 will give you the same features as the 1X2, but allow up to four displays!
Lastly, if you want to mix content from two HDMI inputs to two HDMI outputs, the Blackbird 8K60 2×2 HDMI Matrix with audio extraction ($179) is the device for you! With flexibility in mind, the Blackbird 2×2 can is as a switcher or splitter, making it ideal for video conferencing, multimedia displays, or gaming applications. The only downside to the last two units is that they offer 40Gbps throughput, but in most cases that won’t matter.
CNC Router Kit
Ok, so let’s call out the elephant in the room. A CNC router is not an AV gadget, but it’s a gadget. And as a nerd, maker, and all-around tech-lover, a low-cost ($299), high-quality, CNC router is cool to me. Offering a 3-axis, it will engrave or mill wood, plastic, acrylic, PCB/PVC, and aluminum/brass! That’s a ton of versatility for $299.
And while compact sized, the Monoprice CNC router has a substantial engraving area of 11.8 x 7.1 x 1.6″! Add a 7000/9000 RPM spindle motor (that’s good) and 0.25N.m of torque (also good), the Monoprice CNC router is the perfect addition for a hobbyist or entry-level maker who wants to dip their toes into CNC.
CrystalPro 4K USB-C Monitors
While Monoprice had a TON of stuff at CES (this could be a very long article), I want to end with productivity. Monoprice is offering two new 4K monitors. The first one is the 27″ CrystalPro 4K IPS 65W USB-C monitor ($349), available in Spring 2023. The monitor is 4k60, with 400 nits brightness, and a response rate of 7ms. Not bad for $350! Yes, this is a productivity monitor, but it has such great specs it could be used in a medium-tier gaming setup with no issues.
The second monitor, the Monoprice 40in Wide IPS CrystalPro is also a USB-C monitor that features 3440 x 1440 resolution with 144Hz refresh. No, it is not 4K, but it’s 40″ wide. I have 1440P resolution monitors on my work desktop, and they are plenty bright and sharp. And like the 27″ variant, this monitor would be at home in a mid-tier gaming rig.
And the best part of both is that they are USB-C. I am glad to see more monitors and peripherals moving toward the new USB-C standard. This move allows for more configurations and allows your computer’s USB-C ports to charge your laptop and extend your display. Plus it cuts down on cable clutter. My desktop units are also USB-C and it allows me to have fewer cables snaking across my desk. Big win there!
CES 2023 is here and we are excited to see a lot of the new stuff. While the offerings from Monoprice don’t have the pizzazz of a folding OLED, they are important. These are high-quality items, reasonably priced, that will get the job done. That is quality-of-life stuff for me there! Call me silly if I am getting excited about Monoprice’s certified 8k high-speed HDMI cables, or large format monitors that don’t break the bank. I will take practicality any day of the week.