Today I’ve got a unique but also quite useful product to review for you, the HIS Multi-View + Sound Adapter from HIS. What’s a Multi-View + Sound Adapter you ask? To put it simply, it’s a little box that has a USB power cable on one end and a female HDMI port on the other. Still confused? Ok… It allows you to hook up extra monitors or TVs to your PC or Laptop when you have no extra or available VGA ports, sounds pretty awesome right?
The front of the box tells you everything you need to know about the product, so let’s end the review right here…Just kidding. You get a frontal shot of the adapter itself, which is quite a bit smaller than the image on the box I might add. And in the bottom right hand corner they give you the general gist of what this Adapter does; allows you to hook up multiple extra monitors via USB. (only one per adapter though)
Moving to the back of the box they give you all the details you need to be able to competently use the Multi-View + Sound Adapter.
- Max Resolution of 2048×1152
- Supports BOTH USB 3.0 and 2.0
- Supports Operating Systems in both 32bit and 64bit flavors
As well as the Minimum System Requirements, which are actually readable.. Sorry about the glare. It looks like I took that picture on Tatooine, damn those two suns!!
Ripping into the box we find, ANOTHER BOX!!! Hidden inside the second box we eventually find the goodies. Included inside the box are the USB 3.0 Power Cable, HIS Driver CD, Quick Installation Guide, and the Adapter itself.
Taking a closer look at the cable, it’s roughly 12″ long and has a male USB 3.0 end as well as a dedicated power end. That does mean that this cable cannot be replaced with any other bargain brand USB 3.0 Cable for power. The second picture gives you a better look at both of the plugs.
The Adapter itself is quite small and “portable” just as HIS stated on the box. Here you can see the Female HDMI port that requires an HDMI to HDMI or HDMI to DVI cable to run to a monitor or television of your choice. And now the female counterpart to that dedicated power plug.
This is usually the part where I tell you all about the included software. Well, there’s not really much to tell. Once the HIS drivers are installed they simply integrate themself into the built in Windows programs. Simply put, adjusting the sound and video settings of this adapter are exactly the same as if you were changing those same settings with your default monitor or speakers.
So how does it perform? Admirably. Running the adapter in USB 2.0 Mode and using an HDMI cable out to my LG 60″ 1080P Plasma resulted in a very good picture. The sound carry over was also very good. Playing through an hour or so of Crysis (in DX10), which was chosen for it’s lush and vibrant jungles. I found that the picture reproduction was very acceptable and that the hit on my PC’s performance was almost nil, floating right around 60FPS while bird watching, err I mean, shooting aliens. Watching the Blu Ray version of The Town (which is HDCP) also achieved the same results. Good, vibrant colors with a picture that wasn’t quite as sharp as a dedicated HDMI port on a video card. When it came to the audio is was just as positive. When available the adapter transmitted over a 5.1 Audio stream, when not it simply stuck to 2.1. Note the notes above. The HIS Multi-View + Sound Adapter has full support for DX10 and DX11 video games as well as the playback of HDCP protected content like commercial bought Blu Ray movies. Thank you HIS for including features that should be market standards for these type of adapters.
Sound carryover is an important part of what sets this adapter apart from the competition, duh. That’s kind of why they included the word “sound” in the title on the front of the box. With the audio coming straight through the USB Cable and passing through the HDMI, I found that the audio reproduction was handled quite well. Obviously a pass through audio source like this isn’t going to faithfully reproduce a Blu Ray soundtrack quite like Dolby Digital HD or DTS HD. But with the functions that HIS built into it, the HIS Multi-View + Sound Adapter will give you good, clean, serviceable audio (in 5.1 where available).
Overall this adapter does everything that HIS states it will do. The Drivers are simple and easy to install, the adapter is compact and lightweight which makes it very portable, both the audio and visual quality were satisfactory running at 1920x1080p for the video feed. The Adapter includes playback of DirectX 11 titles, as well as HDCP movies which saves us all a lot of headaches if you want to do like I did, and use the adapter for getting picture out to your living room television for movie playback or playing DX11 titles.
The biggest gripe I have with the Adapter is the fact that it doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, so it’s not really plug and play compatible if you don’t already have the necessary cable. The flip side to this is that it keeps the price at $79.99 USD. Though not the cheapest adapter, it’s got the most well rounded set of features for any adapter in this price range or anything even remotely near it.
A quick explanation of the award system. We have the main award category with three awards; Bronze (Good Overall Product), Silver (Great Overall Product), and Gold (Excellent/Near Perfect Overall Product) as the highest. Then we have two different Sub-Categories, Internal Hardware Awards for performance; Yellow (Low-End Performer), Orange (Mid-Range Performer), and Red (High-End Performer) as the highest. The third and final Sub-Category is for both Internal Hardware and External Peripherals; Black (Enthusiast/Gamer Qualities), Blue (Exceptional Build and Design), Green (Terrific Dollar To Performance Ratio)
- Lightweight and Portable
- Simple and Easy to use
- The functionality is everything you could hope for
- No HDMI Cable Included
- Picture is not 100% Perfect when using USB 2.0
If you would like to purchase one of these nifty little adapters for yourself or that special someone click here.
Please note that this score reflects my opinion while running this adapter in USB 2.0 Mode. When I have a USB 3.0 Compatible motherboard (hopefully soon) I will revisit this review and post my thoughts and comments, as well as an updated score if needed when the product is being used in its’ full capacity via USB 3.0. Thank you.