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Difference between HDMI switches and HDMI splitters

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Are you tired of now and then swappingcables? Did you just bought a new game console and not have a spot to plug it in? Or do you wish to run the same signal on multiple Televisions? If yes, then you need to buy either an HDMI switchfor 4K-8K display or an HDMI splitter.

Both the HDMI switches and HDMI splitters are inexpensive means to keep your current gear useful and relevant. But the question is which one is which?

You don’t need to find the answer; we’ll differentiate them in detail here in this post.

HDMI SWITCHES

An HDMI switch is an electronic accessory that provides the ability to connect multiple HDMI devices through a single TV set. When the inbuilt ports are lesser in number than the HDMI devices, the best HDMI switch is an apt solution to this problem. This means you don’t have to unplug a device to plug-in the other one. An HDMI switch is labeled as 3×1, which means 3 input sources, 1 output.

Each device of the source is connected to numbered input on the HDMI switch. The source device can then be selected by a button located on the unit or by remote control, and then the routed out single HDMI output on the switch is then connected to the display.

The HDMI switch can transmit a signal beyond 20 meters. It is more efficient but if the source device failed to provide sufficient power (below 3V, normal cable supply is 5V) then the switch may refuse to function because they cannot transmit signal too far also.

The HDMI switches are available in a large number of sizes. Its top-selling size category is 4:1. A 4×1 HDMI switch allows you to connect 4 HDMI devices to a single TV screen.

The most commonly used HDMI switch is 4:1. The use of such a switch is that it connects multiple devices such as (blu-ray, media player, a cable, or a gaming system) to a single HDMI port located on the Display monitor. Many of the First Gen television had only one or two HDMI ports. Now today almost all of the video devices output their audio and video through the HDMI, and most of the time you don’t have enough HDMI ports on your HDTV. All of the modern-day switches support the specifications of HDMI version 1:4.

The uses of switches also have some limitations and cautions. Today, most of the HDMI switches supports auto-switching. The switch senses a particular device that is turned on and auto-switches that device. Unfortunately, many output devices continue to deliver signals even when turned OFF, which can confuse a switch. Switches may not work properly with signal converters such as HDMI – VGA, or VGA – video components.

Capabilities of the HDMI switch

  • All major audio formats are supported on it.
  • It has 3D support.
  • Have Long-distance support.

HDMI SPLITTERS

An HDMI switch and splitter are familiar in look but they are completely different in use. An HDMI splitter splits the signals from a single source to multiple displays. The output signal would exactly be the original one. Each HDMI splitter has an integrated signal amplifier to make the distant transmissions possible. It is an alternative to the HDMI switch. It is popular in selling as it provides you the freedom to run one HDMI device over multiple displays.

The HDMI splitter divides the signal input into multiple output signals.

It is the best device for those individuals who don’t want to have more than a single HDMI device.

Choosing an HDMI splitter.

The most important factors that are very important to be known while choosing an HDMI splitter are:

  • Refresh Rate
  • Color Depth
  • Resolution
  1. Refresh rate:

The refresh rate of the display plays a very important role in how fast the video is coming from the source. The rate on the display would be the rate transmitted by the source. If a 60 Hz device is transmitting through a 120Hz HDMI cable, only 60Hz would be transmitted. If the splitter is not capable of delivering high frequencies from source to display, the quality of the image may not be smooth enough.

  1. Color Depth:

The other important factor is the color depth. It determines that the splitter that should be used is the number of colors that the display device is efficient in producing. If the HDMI splitter failed to match the display’s color depth, results may be mismatched or dull colors. To get the best color depth, The HDMI splitter must be of high quality.

  1. Resolution:

The output source can’t always match the resolution capabilities of the display device.  A high-quality displayport cable should be used so the display device can receive the best resolutions.

If the splitter and cable fail to transmit a sufficient amount of data, the quality of the signal becomes lower and only the option of resolution is left. The design of most HDMI splitters makes it possible to send a high-quality signal to every output, display device. A device capable of 720p would display only 720p even though the signal is 1080p.

Characteristics of HDMI splitters

  • These can divide a signal via multiple outputs on HDMI/DVI displays.
  • No loss of signal between the display and the original output source.
  • The display devices can use the signal concurrently.
  • These have 480p, 720p and 1080p resolutions.
  • Simple design and installation
  • Hardware and cable are covered to prevent damage.

The HDMI splitters are available in two different types in the market. One is installed with the use of a network cable and the other through the HDMI cable.

The HDMI splitter would be the best choice if you want to send signals over long distances.

KEY DIFFERENCES B/W HDMI SWITCHES AND SPLITTERS

DIFFERENCE IN FUNCTIONS

An HDMI splitter accepts one source and displays it on more than one TV screen.

An HDMI switch accepts more than one source and casts it to one device or TV screen through cable output.

DIFFERENCE IN LABELLING

The HDMI splitter would be labelled as 1:3 which means one source input and 3 outputs.

The HDMI switch would be labelled as 3:1 which means three source inputs and one output.

Which one would be best?

If you want to cast one device over multiple screens at the same time, then you should go for the HDMI splitters. On the other hand, the HDMI switches would be the best suited, if you want to combine inputs of two different sources on a single television screen. So, if you are tired of swapping HDMI cable, and don’t want to shell out cash to buy a new screen, then an HDMI switch can prove to be very helpful to you.

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