The Difference Between HDMI Splitter and HDMI SwitcherNovember 20, 2015 • By huberyling
There are many different HDMI accessories, and keeping them straight can be difficult. The two most common are HDMI switchers, the subject of our reviews, and HDMI splitters. So, what’s the difference between them? Switchers take multiple inputs and narrow them down to (usually) one display. HDMI Splitters take one input and split the data signal to more than one display. When you have several devices you want to connect to your TV, you need a switcher. When you want to display your content on more than one screen, you need a splitter.
What Is HDMI Splitter
HDMI Splitter also known as HDMI Splitter Extender or HDMI Distribution Amplifier, enables you to display the same image and audio from one HDMI source to multiple HDMI LCDs or TVs. The demand for HDMI Video Splitter units has been steadily on the rise as most of the Hi-definition devices like blue ray disc players, DVD players, audio Video HD camcorders, video gaming consoles, play stations, X-box come with HDMI interface.
A HDMI Splitter will split the signal from a single source device to facilitate simultaneous connection to multiple displays. The output signal will be an exact clone of the original. Also, each HDMI Splitter features an integrated signal amplifier to ensure the longest transmission distance possible. It is also important to note that since HDMI transmits via a pure digital signal path, there will absolutely no loss of quality.
A HDMI Splitter will also negotiate the connection much like the source device would if it was connected directly. This means it will use EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) to ensure the correct resolution is automatically selected. The HDMI Splitters that we have available will also offer a secure HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) connection. This is important as it makes these units compatible with a wide variety of consumer level devices available today. Some examples of compatible devices include Blu-ray Players, HD TV’s, Gaming Consoles and Foxtel etc.
Different splitters let you use different numbers of displays. You can usually tell in the name how many displays are supported, for example a 1 x 2 HDMI splitter has 1 input and 2 outputs.
What is HDMI Switcher
The HDMI Switcher is a small box which use the HDMI port on a television and role as the “in”. It can provide you the space to plug other two to five components in and allow you to “switch” between them. While a splitter is taking one line come from your television and splits that into two for you to connect other components. And all the components connected lead back to the same port eventually. That is to say, the splitter is works just like the old coaxial splitters. The two devices work in exactly different way.
HDMI switches allow you to connect multiple sources to a single display. It used to be that a home theater system consisted of one 24-32 inch TV with built in speakers and a VHS player. Many things have changed since then and now home theaters have more wires and gizmos than an average electronics store. That can cause problems when you’re trying to get everything to connect together. With DVD players, Blu-Ray players, multiple game consoles, media servers, and satellite receivers there often aren’t enough ports on your TV to connect everything, especially if you have an older model HDTV.
With an HDMI switch you can connect all of your sources to the switch and have one cable that connects the switch to your display. You can then switch between the different sources by pressing a button or using a remote. Some HDMI switches even have an auto switch feature, where the switch automatically switches to the device that is powered on.
HDMI switches are also numbered so you know how many devices are supported, for instance a 4 x 1 HDMI switch has 4 inputs and 1 output.
What is Best for You
Depending on your situation, you may benefit more from one than the other. A switch is usually preferable if you are trying to hook up more than one gaming system, because the odds are you will not be using these at the same time. Splitters are usually used when you have more than one TV you would like to send a component to (like using one Blu-ray for two televisions). To prevent overload on your television, most retailers will recommend a switch.
We hope this article has helped to identify the differences between these devices. If you have any further questions, please feel free to Contact Us and we will provide all the information that you require to make the correct purchase.