HDMI expansion made easy: Multiple devices on one HDMI port without reconnection
Many people know the problem: Their own LED TV is now getting on in years and who would have thought at the time of purchase that they would eventually have so many devices under there? BluRay player, Playstation, X-BOX, Apple TV, SAT receiver. All these devices are nowadays connected to the TV via HDMI. You could say, what was the SCART port in the analog world, is now the HDMI port. And once again, there are far too few of them on a TV!
Expand HDMI - Multiple devices on one port
Problem: Too few HDMI ports - Too many devices
Especially older TVs are often equipped with very few - sometimes even only one - HDMI port. This often leads to problems in practice today. Because who wants to crawl behind the TV every time and reconnect devices? Nobody! But it doesn't always have to be a new TV. In order to be able to extend HDMI, often already a favorable HDMI switch is sufficient, with whose assistance several devices can be connected at the same time to a HDMI port!
Attention: Do not confuse HDMI switches with HDMI splitters. The latter generate several images from one output signal (e.g. several monitors on one HDMI output)! In our case, however, it is the other way around to play back several signal-providing devices alternately via one output!
In the following we explain briefly how this works:
Extend HDMI with a switch
To extend your HDMI connections, you need a HDMI switch. At the beginning you should ask yourself the question: By how many HDMI ports should be expanded? HDMI switches are practical, but they can't do magic. If you want to expand your TV by ten HDMI ports, you should rather think about a new TV. However, smaller expansions are easily feasible with HDMI. In practice, the ratio 3:1 has proven itself, i.e. three devices are connected to one HDMI port.
The HDMI switch hangs between the TV and the devices that are to be connected to it. The signal can be switched between the devices via the switch's remote control and on the switch itself.
For smooth operation, the HDMI Switch should meet at least the following criteria:
Transmission rate of at least 2.25 Gbps for problem-free Full HD resolution
Manual and automatic switching function
explicit FullHD support!
The point switching function is important: Since there are already enough remote controls in the household, you should make sure when choosing the HDMI switch that it works as far as possible without remote control in everyday life. Switches that automatically detect the last active signal, for example, have proven themselves.
Example: The SAT receiver sends a picture to the TV via the HDMI switch. If the BluRay player - also connected to the distributor - is switched on, the switch automatically switches to the latter. When the BluRay player is switched off, the picture automatically goes back to the receiver. Such "intelligent" switches increase the comfort substantially and are to be recommended opposite cheap switches in the everyday life!
Overview: Which devices work with HDMI extension?
Most HDMI devices work with HDMI switches. Still, there are some limitations you should be aware of. Devices that require high-speed HDMI with a transfer rate of 10.2 Gbps (e.g. 3D BluRay players, 4K content) tend not to be suitable for HDMI switches, or exceptionally powerful studio devices are needed here. For home use, devices with high-speed HDMI specification should rather be connected directly to the TV!
Question: Can I expand my TV with 2 switches for HDMI?
Answer: In principle yes. If you have a TV with 2 HDMI inputs, you can connect e.g. 2 HDMI switches to it, which in turn provide e.g. a total of 6 HDMI connections. With such configurations, one loses however also already times fast the overview.
Question: Does the HDMI switch need additional power?
Answer: It depends. Most HDMI switches do not need a separate power supply, but work with the 5V voltage that is delivered via the cable of the HDMI devices. In some cases switches need more power, here pay attention to the product description!
Question: Is it possible to connect several devices to different screens, e.g. to switch between X-Box and Playstation or TV and beamer?
Answer: Yes, this is possible. However, you do not need an HDMI switch for this, but an HDMI matrix, in which inputs and outputs can be combined as desired.
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