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Amazon Basics 4K HDMI Extractor Review

Rate this HDMI Extractor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 13.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 68 47.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 53 36.8%

  • Total voters
    144

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Amazon Basics 4K HDMI extractor. Member kindly purchased and drop shipped it to me. It normally costs $22.89 but was on sale for just $5!!!
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor 4k Review.jpg

The case is the standard metal one for these kinds of adapters. Power is provided with a supplied USB-A to barrel (9 volt) connector. I powered it using the hub in my computer monitor. As you see a nice switch forces the digital output to be either stereo or 5.1.

Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor 4k back panel Review.jpg


Pass-through HDMI connector is naturally provided as well as Toslink, Coax and analog stereo 3.5mm outputs.

Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Analog Measurements
I started testing by feeding it HDMI and capturing analog output:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Measurements.png


Not very pretty but hard to expect anything more remotely close to this price point. Output is low by desktop DAC standards but should be enough to drive most amplifiers.

I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamic range being nearly 16 bits:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Dynamic Range Measurements.png


I could tell there was jitter from the dashboard and our dedicated test shows that and then some:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Jitter Measurements.png


Linearity indicates some kind of truncation to 16 bits:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Linearity Measurements.png


IMD test shows high noise+distortion:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor IMD Measurements.png


Paradoxically, multitone response is quite respectable:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Multitone Measurements.png


That is like due to lower output level used in Multitone test.

Frequency response is good:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Frequency Response Measurements.png


Filtering of out of band, not so good:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Filter Measurements.png


Which causes problems for our wideband noise and distortion test:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor THD vs Frequency Measurements.png


Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Digital Performance:
I hooked up to the coax output and got this dashboard:
Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor Coax Measurements.png


146 dB is the ideal performance of 24 bit PCM data and we are getting that. This means that the device transparently passes the digital data from HDMI to Coax with no funny conversion to 16 bits and such. This means you can hook up your own high-performance DAC and get proper analog output.

Conclusions
It is incredible how cheap electronic devices can get despite their complexities. Here we not only have an HDMI extractor but a DAC as well. To have this full functionality ship for total of $22 is incredible. No, the DAC is nothing to write home about but for everyday use it should be fine. And if you need better, you can get yourself a $100 DAC and be good to go. Inversely, you can think of this as $22 to add HDMI input to any DAC with Toslink/Coax input!

I am going to put the Amazon Basics HDMI Extractor on my recommended list. It is an incredible bargain.

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xaviescacs

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In these days where English is the standard for tech components, it's conspicuous to see every label in French and Spanish too. Even "DC" is translated to "CC"!
Inversely, you can think of this as $13 to add HDMI input to any DAC with Toslink/Coax input!
This is a good point!

Great review!
 

JSmith

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146 dB is the ideal performance of 24 bit PCM data and we are getting that. This means that the device transparently passes the digital data from HDMI to Coax with no funny conversion to 16 bits and such. This means you can hook up your own high-performance DAC and get proper analog output.
This is excellent... it's always a bit of a gamble with a HDMI extractor without having this data, so great to know one can use this to extract stereo HDMI audio to optical without issue.

Cheers for the testing Boss. :cool:


JSmith
 

tktran303

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I've had one of these devices for about 5 years. They're called HDMI De-embedders; basically for extracting the digital audio bit-stream. And the digital part is 100% transparent. They come in all sorts of prices from usually $30 to $50 but with some audiophoolery they can be in the hundreds- avoid!

Great for getting sound out of your Home theatre projector, Apple TV, Set top box, Console or anything that has HDMI output into something that is NOT a TV (has sound only)

Thank you Amir for the review to confirm...
 
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MarcosCh

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Oh I was not expecting this one, thanks Amir!
I use this to plug a fire stick. Works as expected for audio. Amazon music unlimited spits everything at 192/24, and after Amir's review I guess I can say "cleanly".
I paid 20 euros for it, today they have it as a black Friday deal at amazon.de, on sale at 36eur from an original 50 euros price :facepalm:. I guess better wait black Friday is over...
 

JoachimStrobel

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I had one of these too. Good to read that they work in the digital domain de-embedding stuff. I have another one that de-embeds audio from a 4K stream into an 2k hdmi stream for compatibility with hdmi 1.4 and/or HD screens.
I would love to read a bit more about the technology as it seems like a huge smokescreen to me. I guess these devices de-embed LPCM only. I guess the DAC does other streams, but only to 5.1 as per dhcp ruled. And no Atmos, no even the 7.1 base. How is de-embedding depending on the original frame rate? Oppo made a huge argument, saying the lower the hdmi resolution gets, the better the sound as the audio signal is chopped into frames, and the frame length depends on the resolution. That is because hdmi needs a Videostream to transport Audio. If you still have the device, try feeding 480 ( the lowest hdmi goes), 720, 1080 and 2k at 50/60/120 hz with 422 or 444 colorsapling and see what happens.
It is interesting that for example NAD in the T778 does not do any extraction for their second hdmi port but rather shuts down the port if the signal is above 2k ( again, to comply with hdcp rules).
 
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JSmith

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I wonder if this could be used with an RPi HDMI output to get 6 channels of audio output.
These devices are basic, so they don't downmix 5.1 to 2.0 or 7.1 to 5.1 for example.

It will do DD or DTS 5.1 only I believe in the situation you describe via the optical output, not higher res lossless multichannel formats... however if that is not an issue and you ensure the output of the RPI is limited to "lossy" 5.1 then you can do that.


JSmith
 

PeteL

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Indeed a DAC like that have no value, you should not pay any more than 5$ in no cases, it's not any better than the 3.5 jack on any cheap laptop or TV or phone, just a commodity not geared to audiophiles. But for me the real question is, if HDMI to SPDIF conversion is that cheap, how come almost all decent DAC manufacturers are so refractory in including HDMI inputs? Who wants extra ugly black boxes and extra cable and wasting precious spdif inputs of your DAC to do that?
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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If you need more than two Channels. You can use the Essence Evolve II-4K. @amirm can you make a review from this HDMI DAC?
I got a sample but could not get it to work. It has some compatibility issues or mine was broken.
 

keiron99

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I have one of these for extracting audio from my Firestick, since Amazon don't do digital outputs on their streaming sticks/players these days. I plug the stick into this box, and the HDMI pass through connects to my old plasma TV. Meanwhile the digital out goes to my DAC/amp. Modern TV's have ARC and all sorts of connections but for those of us with old tellies, this is a godsend.

Thanks @amirm for confirming it is doing a good job!
 

KxDx

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Indeed a DAC like that have no value, you should not pay any more than 5$ in no cases, it's not any better than the 3.5 jack on any cheap laptop or TV or phone, just a commodity not geared to audiophiles. But for me the real question is, if HDMI to SPDIF conversion is that cheap, how come almost all decent DAC manufacturers are so refractory in including HDMI inputs? Who wants extra ugly black boxes and extra cable and wasting precious spdif inputs of your DAC to do that?
Amazon can afford to pay the HDMI licensing fee.
 

Rafaille

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Thanks for the review Amir!
Is this HDCP compliant? There is no mention of it on the amazon page.
 

JSmith

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Amazon can afford to pay the HDMI licensing fee.
It's not like it's a lot though... $5K a year for under 10000 units plus $1 per unit. Over a run of 1000 devices, we're talking $6 for example.

This Amazon Basic product is just a rebadged unit really that are sold all over the internet. There are similar units that have ARC and eARC as well, which I don't think this Amazon one has.


JSmith
 

Talisman

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Since finding a cheap cd player with digital outputs seems to have become impossible, I had in unsuspecting times used a mini dvd player and used the HDMI port as digital audio output and with this extractor I sent everything to my dac. Happy to find that it was a solution with guaranteed audio quality.
IMG_20221125_113019.jpg
IMG_20221125_113129.jpg
 

tktran303

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This is excellent... it's always a bit of a gamble with a HDMI extractor without having this data, so great to know one can use this to extract stereo HDMI audio to optical without issue.

Cheers for the testing Boss. :cool:


JSmith

It’s not a gamble really because if a HDMI device has audio, then it is required to ( mandatory ) to have a 2 channel PCM (uncompressed stereo) for backwards compatibility.

All other formats are optional. So HDMI can transfer up to 24/192 to 8 channels of uncompressed audio, as well as compressed audio stream, such as Dolby Digital and DTS and all the other multichannel formats like DTS HD Master Audio or even 8 channels of quad DSD.
It is a digital dataset after all; and the format is flagged by a signal bit in the data-stream.

It’s up to the receiving end (AVR, pre-processor, software etc) to decode the stream.

The main limitation is the S/PDIF whether it be coaxial cable or toslink it can only carry 2 channels of uncompressed audio or compressed 5.1 surround sound like Dolby 5.1 or DTS); it cannot support lossless surround formats that require greater bandwidth.

There is no transcoding or decoding in the audiostream from HDMI to SPDIF; hence it’s bit perfect.
 
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voodooless

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If you need more than two Channels. You can use the Essence Evolve II-4K.
If the measurements of the 2-channel version are anything to go by, this thing should not be worth its money.
 
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