PureLink HD-150 1:5 HDMI Distribution Amplifier, HS-42A 4:2 HDMI Selector, HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Extension Cable Manufacturer's Comment
Thanks to Tom for a thorough job of testing our PureLink HD connectivity products. We regret he had audio problems with the switcher. Naturally, we tested it thoroughly before sending it to him, as we do before sending anything we make out the door. The last thing a manufacturer wants to do is send a reviewer a defective sample to test. As Tom acknowledged, he missed the set-up protocol the first time through, leading to his set-up issues. When done properly the first time, PureLink products work right out of the box. Our manual points this out, but we agree with Tom that we could do a better job of warning end users that not following the directions can lead to trouble. We will fix that.
As Tom pointed out, compatibility issues still plague HDMI installations. However, we have a lot of HS-42A's in the field now and they all output the Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack from the S/PDIF output so that it can be routed to the digital audio input of the receiver or preamp. We sometimes have to update our firmware to make it work with a brand we did not have on hand to test at the factory. We find that firmware updates solve the problems and are working to figure out what happened in Tom's system that was incompatible with our audio output.
One thing Tom did not mention is that because HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs have so much storage space, the compression is much lower than a standard DVD. Instead of 12:1 (Dolby Digital) and 4:1 (DTS), as with DVD, these are now compressed at 2:1 on the new discs. This is perceived as a huge increase in dynamic range when compared to the DVD. While not "lossless," as will be the case with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, it's still better than anything else in terms of audio content.
We have heard from a lot of consumers who complain that their new HD DVD or Blu-ray player does not seem capable of decoding the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. Recently, some reviewers have found that the players don't have enough processing power to do the job, and there are no receivers or preamps in the pipeline that can do the decoding internally. Apparently, audio equipment manufacturers have been waiting for v1.3 of the HDMI chip to arrive so they can begin to "enable" their players to process this content. Whatever the reason, its apparent to us that the audio issue is not resolved yet, that it is an evolving part of this category, and that consumers should be realistic about what they are buying and what it does.
PureLink's line of products is merely intended to extend the inputs and outputs, providing a way to connect multiple 1080p sources to multiple 1080p displays, at spec, and at distance, with high reliability and performance. We were pleased to see that Tom agrees that our products do so "superbly".
Sales and Marketing Director, PureLink