October 20, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
Here’s an interesting product I somehow missed at last month’s CEDIA expo. It’s the KanexPro CubeUp. The name really tells you nothing, which is odd because the CubeUp really does a lot.
First, it’s a 4 X 1 HDMI switcher (four HDMI inputs, one HDMI output) that lets you plug in multiple HDMI sources to a display device via only one HDMI input. This way you’re using the Kanex unit to do your source switching rather than your projector or TV. This of course makes installation much easier, particularly if you’re using a projector, because you only have to run one HDMI cable up the wall and across the ceiling instead of four. Most decent home theater receivers do this too, but this switcher goes a step further.
The really interesting things about the CubeUp (it’s not cube shaped by the way) are it’s processing tricks. In addition to being a switcher (there are tons of these on the market from companies like Griffin, IOgear and Accell), the Kanex is a 2D to 3D video converter. It will take standard 2D content from your Blu-ray player, game console, DVR, etc. and convert it to a 3D source for display on your 3D projector or TV.
The company says that the user can adjust 3D picture attributes such as depth and scaling via the CubeUp’s remote. In addition, the CubeUp will upscale the source resolution from 480p p to 1080p.
There’s also a pass-through mode that sends the video signal straight to the display if you don’t want the CubeUp to do any monkey business.
And being a 3D converter, it supports HDMI version 1.4a.
I see this fitting in much better with projector-based theaters than with flat panel TVs because many 3D TVs sold now already have a 2D to 3D feature. Few, if any, projectors do though.
Remember, this isn’t turning a non-3D TV or projector into a 3D one. It’s converting the source. There was a product called 3D Now shown at the CEDIA expo that did the other trick, but the results were very difficult to judge in that setting. If you missed it, you can read about it here.
How does it perform? I have no idea, but the company offered to send me one to try out, so stay tuned to for more.
Below is a snapshot of the product’s spec:
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.