For those of us with the luxury of two or more HD Ready displays (screen and projector), connectivity can be perplexing. No home cinema receiver, set-top box or disc player has more than one HDMI output, so you're forced to use component video for one of the displays, or cable-swap.

However, Gefen's 2x4 HDMI switcher/splitter provides a timely solution, combining a 2-port HDMI 1.2 input-switcher with a four-port HDMI 1.2 distribution amplifier.

The latter, which is the rarer and more useful facility, allows up to four HDMI displays to be simultaneously driven: no more cable-swapping! That's some achievement, as HDCP signals require 'handshaking' between the source and the display.

Highs

* The handset that accompanies the unit is the simplest I've seen - just two buttons, to switch between the sources.

* The unit supports 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p - with soundtracks intact. Dolby Digital, DTS and multichannel PCM all passed with no problem.

* It's well-made, and is supplied with two HDMI cables.

Lows

* It's not HDMI v1.3, and the distribution amplifier bandwidth of 1.65GHz may limit future HDMI applications.

* There's no RS232 control for system integrators.

* An IR 'extender' to control the unit when out of sight, will cost you extra