Difference Between HDMI Switch and Splitters

junio 25, 2022 4 lectura mínima

Big Difference Between HDMI Switch and Splitter: Crazy Facts

People are wrongly mixing up the HDMI Splitter and Switch. They are as different as salt is from spices–both add unique flavors to the experience.

HDMI switch removes the pain of bending down and swapping the cables to create room for your source device. It helps you to take fun nuggets on screen from Roku, Blu-ray players, PS4 and Xbox by just pressing a single button.

On the flip side, a splitter duplicates the screen into other monitors, TVs, and projectors.

If you have any confusion about whether you need a splitter or switch, hold on. I'll explain when should you not use HDMI Splitter and when to use HDMI switcher.

I assure you that you’ll go out crystal clear.


What Is HDMI Switch?

An HDMI switch is a problem-solving gadget invented to minimize our efforts connecting several HDMI devices to a single television set. 

When there are only 1-3 inbuilt ports on your Television, and you find it tough to connect to other HDMI devices, the HDMI switch comes to rescue you. It completely ends the need for unplugging one device to use another. 

With an HDMI Switcher, your MacBook, Blu-ray media player, and Xbox can stay connected with the TV all the time (your entertainment on go). It also makes your devices, such as Roku stay close to power and WiFi sources. 

You just have to press a single button with your thumb to get a display of whatever device you are preferring. The switch minimizes the time you spend behind the TV, swapping the cables. With an HDMI Switch, you only need 5 seconds  to get your display–from an external source – ready.

Besides easing down the daily operations of handling multiple displays, the HDMI switcher also extends the life of the HDMI port, for you won't be handling the HDMI port time and again. You just have to make sure that you’ve got the most suitable device.  And that the switcher has sufficient spaces to meet all your display needs. 

So, when it comes to calculating input/ output ports necessary it wouldn't be wrong to say that sky is the limit. Before we move on, learn the trick for confirming the number of inputs and outputs on a package–without opening it.


What Does 1 x 3 Mean? Is It the Same As 3 x 1?

Splitters and switchers carry a number with their name, alluding to a number of Input and Output ports embedded. Two numbers separated by “X” gives a clear understanding of the formation and capacity of a switcher. 

When you see 1 × 3  on the box, it means the switcher has 3 inputs and 1 output. Similarly, if a box is displaying 3 × 1, it portrays that the switcher is carrying 3 inputs and 1 output. 

Is it still confusing? Let's break it down into bits and pieces. 

Suppose you want to connect a TV box and a PS4 and a Blue-ray player to one display screen, you can do this without trouble with a 3 ×1 (3 inputs 1 output) HDMI switcher.

Indeed, HDMI switches are handy, but they can corrupt the quality of the image and destroy your experience.



How Does an HDMI Switch Affect the Quality?

Let's unveil the two most common reasons first. 

1 - You have purchased a cheap HDMI switcher that is retarding signal transfer 

2 - The HDMI cable you are using isn’t up-to-date and untrustworthy

To avoid wastage of money and time, you must have premium HDMI cables.


However, the Quality of display also depends upon the compatibility between your cable, switch, and TV. 

It’s important that the switch you’re selecting matches the resolution and HDMI version of your latest gadget. Many low-cost switches are HDMI 1.4, which is finer for 1080p but unsuitable for most 4k resolutions. The little extra you pay to add HDMI 2.0 to run your gears is worth spending. Even if none of your devices is 4k, they will definitely be in next year, hopefully. 

So, you can’t remain aloof from the crazy innovations happening in Tech industry, leading to advance different types of HDMI cables.

Although HDMI 2.0 is backward compatible, an HDMI switch can never be “upgraded” to 2.0.

If you want a better understanding about HDMI 1.4 Vs 2.0, and why 2.0 is a game changer you can looker here. There Major Difference Between HDMI 1.4 and 2.0

HDMI Switcher will be useless if you want the same source displayed on multiple devices simultaneously. For this, you should use an HDMI spiller. 


HDMI Splitter  

An HDMI splitter allows you to screen the same video in 2 different rooms.  It is thus a device that duplicates the HDMI signal into various outputs. 

To understand it with a simple example, have a look at the following illustration. 

Let's say you have a Roku and want to duplicate the screen on other monitors or TV. To do this, you will need a splitter to take the output signal from Roku and split it into two different audio-video streams.

But do you know most splitters turn out to be a complete mess?   Many fails because of HDCP–which prevents illegal content stealing, giving you the dark black screen with a notice. 

HDCP Error
HDCP Error


Which One Is the Best?

If you duplicate video into multiple screens, then it is a no-brainer that an HDMI splitter can only do the job. On the other hand, HDMI switches are perfect for merging inputs from 2 distinct systems on a single television set.

Difference between HDMI Switch and Splitter
Difference between HDMI Switch and Splitter


Differences Between HDMI Splitter and Switch: Concluding Remarks

Splitter and switch enjoy their reputation with respect to the unique functions they perform. Both devices have a thrilling character based on the problem they solve. However, when it comes to usage HDMI switcher seems popular in domestic usage.

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