While you can use the Crestron HD-MD8x1 on its own, it's
best with a full Crestron system
and many do-it-yourselfer don't like
any product that they can't, well... do themselves. Respectfully, I have
yet to meet the end consumer who has successfully programed his or her
own Crestron, although I am sure they are out there, but Crestron is as
good as the person programming it. The brand sometimes gets beaten up
because poor programmers don't design the best systems. That's not fully
fair as the hardware is pretty much rock solid but the gear often gets
the blame for poor programming.
At $1,800, the look of this
component is anything but audio jewelry. For the end user not looking to
put the Crestron HD-MD8x1 in an equipment rack, they shouldn't expect
industrial design that looks like a Classé preamp. In fact it looks more
like a Carver amp from 1988 than a modern piece of AV equipment.
Installed in an equipment rack like my Middle Atlantic AXS rack
look is no issue. Sitting out next to a Krell, Classé or Mark Levinson
AV preamp - this switcher looks pretty pedestrian.Conclusion
is no question the Crestron HD-MD8x1 is an expensive HDMI switcher.
It's one of the most expensive that I have found to date; however it
performs its simple tasks better than any HDMI switcher I have tested to
date and for that it is a pure luxury in my system. Having inputs hop
from DirecTV to AppleTV to Blu-ray and back with ease is worth the high
asking price. Crestron didn't make HDMI the pain in the ass that format
is. What Crestron did was provide a meaningful solution that anyone can
use to get rock-solid HDMI switching in any mid to high-end home theater
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