DVDO and their line of products are remarkably popular among end users as well as professionals. In one easy step you can future proof your existing AVR, while adding a few other great features. DVDO’s Quick6 is an up-to-the-minute HDMI switchbox featuring a variety of HDMI connection options and supporting both 4K and MHL signals. As mentioned, it’s a useful future-proofing improvement for an existing home theatre system – especially if your AV receiver is out of date. Can the DVDO Quick6 give your AV amplifier an entirely fresh identity?
The Quick6 is small but flawlessly designed, with the kind of build quality that is expected from DVDO. The matte black metal appearance has six LEDs (one for each connected HDMI input) in the middle, an IR receiver on the far left and an on/off switch on the far right. There is also a button that allows you to physically cycle through all the connected HDMI devices. The Quick6 uses a undersized brick-style 12V power supply that is coupled to a socket on the rear panel.
The rear has six HDMI inputs which inputs 1 and 6 support Mobile High-definition Link (MHL). HDMI inputs 2 to 5 can handle 3D and anything up to a 300MHz 4K Ultra HD signal. The Quick6 doesn’t really require two HDMI inputs that support MHL, one would have been enough, but input 6 is slightly balanced to allow for MHL devices like the Roku Streaming Stick to be connected. There are also two HDMI outputs, with the main output supporting an Audio Return Channel (ARC). Also, you get coaxial and optical digital outputs, a USB port (for firmware updates), an update firmware button and a RS-232 serial connector, which should keep the custom installers content.
The Quick6 HDMI switch works with existing AVRs and adds the latest video capabilities to your home theater system including InstaPort S technology which performs the HDCP authorization routine as soon as any device is connected. When a user selects that device, the Quick6 outputs the content immediately, without having to wait for HDCP authentication. The Quick6 also includes InstaPrevue technology, which allows the user with an easy way to view and select inputs.
The main purpose of the Quick6 is to operate as a central HDMI hub and prolong the life of your current AVR. In most applications, the AVR is used not only as the audio amplifier as well as the central video switch. Since the audio has to match the video signal, merging all units through the AVR is the simplest approach. While many AVRs frequently have a long life-span and will last to allow basic audio functions, since video standards and features change swiftly there is a propensity for your AVR to suddenly find itself obsolete.
By adding Quick6 to an existing system, the AVR can still be used as an audio processor and Quick6 becomes the primary HDMI switch and control center in the system. The Quick6 can be connected to your display by way of HDMI and to your AVR by way of HDMI or S/PDIF, the latter is for much older AVRs with no HDMI. With either connection, the AVR is then left on that input at all times and all switching is completed with Quick6. If the Quick6 correlation to the AVR is from the Aux HDMI output, you must choose AVR via HDMI in the output setup menu. If the Quick6 connection to the AVR is from the optical or coax S/PDIF output, then choose AVR via S/PDIF in the output setup menu.
When Quick6 is placed into AVR via HDMI mode, the audio capabilities of the AVR (EDID) are scanned and joined with the most excellent video abilities of the TV (EDID) and the arrangement is reported back to all the inputs. Therefore, the inputs will send the most favorable audio (routed to the AVR) and the finest probable video (routed to the TV). When the AVR is disengaged or powered off, only the audio capability of the TV is broadcasted back to the inputs and the TV audio is un-muted. If your setup is similar, you can opt to watch a program just with your TV’s audio or with complete surround sound from your AVR.
When Quick6 is put into AVR via S/PDIF mode, the video potentials of your TV (EDID) are scanned and merged with a pre-stored capacity list of a standard AVR related through S/PDIF and the combination is reported back to all the inputs. This is necessary since capabilities can’t be read through S/PDIF. This allows a full TV resolution of up to 4K while delivering the full audio capabilities possible over S/PDIF. In this mode, Quick6 also mutes the audio going to the TV to prevent formats unknown to the TV from causing unwanted noise. Since there is no way to detect if the AVR is on or off through S/PDIF, if you want to use the TV speakers, the output mode must be switched back to Mirror or AVR via HDMI manually.
In the Mirroring pattern, Quick6 allows two units to split a single setup, so this mode would generally be used to feed both a TV and a projector in the same room. In Mirror mode, the two outputs allow the equal audio and video signal. If they have dissimilar capabilities, the utmost common resolution and audio capacity is reported to the inputs. For example, if the main output is 1080p, PCM stereo and the AUX output is 720p, 5.1-channel capable, then 720p PCM stereo will be reported to all inputs. Although there are two outputs, the on-screen display (OSD) is only shown on the main output and the main output supports ARC.
Audio Return Channel (ARC) is a current HDMI feature which provides an AVR to receive audio from a TV connected through HDMI. Consequently, the same HDMI cable that is transmitting the video from the AVR to the TV can also send audio from over-the-air broadcasts to the AVR. Many TVs can be put into Automatic ARC mode so that when they sense that an audio receiver competent of receiving ARC is associated, they routinely consult with the receiver to institute an ARC channel. The Quick6 supports ARC and the devoted button on the remote control toggles among enabling and disabling the ARC mode. In general, the TV is left in ARC-on and CEC enabled mode and when you want to use ARC, plainly switch the audio receiver to S/PDIF input and press the ARC button on the Quick6 remote.
The suppleness of the Quick6 is outstanding and by just including it in your system you can instantly add MHL, ARC and 3D or 4K passthrough to your elder AVR. The addition of InstaPort S is also a distinct benefit as there is no incessant wait for a range of devices to complete the HDMI handshaking – as an alternative, changing inputs is almost immediate. The InstaPrevue feature is pleasant to have but you could just as effortlessly change inputs using the dedicated buttons on the remote, so it’s unsettled how much you would actually use it. We were able to test the Quick6 with 1080p/50/24, 1080i/50 and 3D signals but regrettably we’re not in a current position to see how it performs with 4K content.
In testing we found that the Quick6 had no troubles with all the formats that we threw at it and in general the presentation was outstanding, rapid and robust. Multiple sources could be accessed with ease and video could be sent to a multiple displays or to a single display, with the audio being sent to an AVR, either via HDMI or S/PDIF. We also had no problems with ARC, CEC or the InstaPrevue feature. The InstaPort S worked tremendously well, eradicating needless handshaking and as soon as we turned on a device, the Quick6 would default to it – all very slick and simple. We checked that the Quick6 was passing the video signal untouched and, as expected, it was. In truth we could find no problems with the Quick6 at all and for someone with an aging audio system it really does offer the perfect solution.