J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch Review

A good switch for the average home theater user, but not great for enthusiasts

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2.9

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch

Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

What We Like

  • Affordable

  • Four inputs

  • Appealing design

What We Don't Like

  • 4k only at 30Hz

  • Volume bug

  • Not HDCP 2.2 compliant

The J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch is a reasonable value with four inputs and 4K support, but without HDCP 2.2 support and the ability to push a 60Hz refresh rate it’s outclassed by its competitors.

2.9

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch

Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

The J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch offers users a respectable 4K experience, with a 30Hz refresh rate and a preview mode for all connected inputs. With rear ports and a soft black aluminum body, it looks at home on any console or desk. While the switcher performs as expected, there are some significant caveats, lacking 4k/60Hz support and HDCP 2.2 compatibility. In 2019, most 4K content is encoded in HDCP 2.2 in order to curb piracy, which means the J-Tech digital may only be able to stream your favorite 4K shows and films in 1080p. This may not be a total dealbreaker, since older 4K content is often encoded with HDCP 1.4, but there are other equally-affordable HDMI switches that offer HDCP 2.2 compliance.

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch
Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

Design: Functional but unimpressive

The J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch packs four input ports, an AC adapter, and comes with a remote. The AC adapter is a smart choice, ensuring the switcher doesn’t draw power from another connected device, a known issue particularly affecting the Playstation 4. There are also LED indicators to let the user know which inputs are active, and whether auto switching is enabled. 

Its maximum output is at 4K resolution with a 30Hz refresh rate—enough for cinema, but that refresh rate is a bit low for gaming.

The switch itself is encased in a metal box that’s fairly slim and sleek at a profile of about .75 inches (20mm). It has two long gummy bars on the bottom to act as supports so it won’t slide around your tables. The HDMI ports are opposite their LED indicators, which allow you to hide the cables in the back of your setup. On the other hand, we’re not very fond of how big and obnoxious the branding is on the top of the chassis, which gives it a bit of a cheap look. 

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch
Lifewire / Emily Ramirez 

Setup Process: Exactly as expected

To set up the J-Tech Digital HDMI switch, we plugged a PC, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch into the input ports, and then ran an output cable to a BenQ HT3550 4k projector. The auto-switch feature did the rest of the work and the J-Tech digital booted to our PC, which we plugged into the first HDMI port. It was a very standard setup process for an HDMI switch.

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch
Lifewire / Emily Ramirez

Features: Some unfortunate omissions

This switch comes with four HDMI inputs and one output. Its maximum output is at 4K resolution with a 30Hz refresh rate—enough for cinema, but that refresh rate is a bit low for gaming. On the plus side, the switch supports Dolby encoding, so theater audio sounds spectacular, and it does include a picture-in-picture mode which lets you see a video preview of another input. 

Some of our 4K content didn’t play in 4K because the J-Tech Digital switch lacks HDCP 2.2 compliance.

Unfortunately, the switcher doesn’t have a dedicated audio output or HDMI audio splitter, so those interested in sending audio to speakers need to buy their own or reroute it from elsewhere in the setup. Our projector had some spare ports, so we were able to re-route the audio from our projector through its optical S/PDIF port, but some of our 4K content didn’t play in 4K because the J-Tech Digital switch lacks HDCP 2.2 compliance.

The included remote has buttons for each input and a button for auto-switch. There’s also a re-scan button in case the auto-scan doesn’t work the first time. To select an input, press the select button, then your input, then press enter. It’s a lot of steps to switch inputs compared to other HDMI switches where swapping inputs is a one-button affair. 

Streaming Performance: Mostly average

The J-Tech digital performs as well as expected. The auto-switch function on the J-Tech takes about nine seconds to complete. The PIP mode is fantastic and helps to select the input we want. The output quality of the image and sound is also great, with true colors and accurate audio, but the refresh rate is capped at 30Hz for 4k. One odd quirk we found is that when we press select, and then press input two on the remote, it turned the volume up on our BenQ HT3550, a minor but annoying bug.

Price: Cheap for a reason

The J-Tech Digital HDMI switch goes for about $35, which is an okay value for its features. We think that it should have included HDCP 2.2 compliance and support for 4K/60Hz, but in return the J-Tech switch provides PIP and decent performance for a four input HDMI switch.

J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch vs. Zettaguard Upgraded 4K 60Hz 4x1 HDMI Switcher

The J-Tech Digital 4K HDMI Switch’s fiercest rival is the Zettaguard Upgraded 4K 60Hz 4x1 HDMI Switcher. For about five more dollars, the Zettaguard switch offers all the features of the J-Tech model, including PIP, but it includes HDCP 2.2 compatibility and a better refresh rate for 4k video. Both switchers take an average of nine seconds to swap inputs (though the J-Tech should really be penalized for each swap necessitating three button presses). For the modest price increase, we think the Zettaguard is clearly superior.

Final Verdict

Falls short of the competition.

The J-Tech Digital HDMI Switch feels a bit outdated when viewed through the prism of competing models, lacking some of the core functionality we expect from a modern HDMI switcher. If it cost significantly less it may be a decent value proposition, but given the tiny gap in price between it and superior options, it’s hard to recommend.

Specs

  • Product Name J-Tech Digital 4x1 HDMI Switch
  • Product Brand J-Tech Digital
  • MPN JTECH-4KPIP0401
  • Price $35.00
  • Release Date October 2013
  • Product Dimensions 6 x 4 x 2 in.
  • Warranty One Year
  • Screen Resolution 3840 x 2160 at 30Hz
  • Ports 4 HDMI In, 1 HDMI Out
  • Formats Supported HDCP 1.4 Compliant (not support HDCP 2.2). DIGITAL AUDIO Support: Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio
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