If your TV has only one HDMI port, but you want to use several HDMI devices (such as PS3, Apple TV, Roku, DVD Player,etc.) on your TV. The best way is to get an HDMI device to expand your HDMI ports on the TV. Do not try to unplug the HDMI cable to change the input device, which will damage your HDMI port.
On amazon, we will find two kinds of HDMI extended equipment: HDMI Switcher and HDMI Splitter, which one is right?
Firstly, let’s take a look at the difference between the HDMI switcher and HDMI splitter.
HDMI Switcher is used to connecting multiple HDMI devices to your TV with only one HDMI port, only one device can be entered at a time, we can switch the HDMI source via a button on HDMI switcher or IR remote.
HDMI Splitter normally has one HDMI input and 2 or more HDMI output ports. If you want to display one HDMI source on 2 or more televisions/monitors at the same time, you will need an HDMI Splitter.
So if you need more HDMI ports on your TV, one HDMI switcher is the right choice.
Which HDMI Switcher is suitable for me? Just pay attention to 3 aspects.
HDMI Input Ports
If you have 3 or more devices, then you will consider 3 in 1 out of 4 in 1 out HDMI switcher. However, if you have only two devices, you can buy a 2 in 1 out switcher. In general, the more HDMI ports on the switcher, the more expensive and stability will be worse.
Now the mainstream HDMI version is v1.4, HDMI v1.4 can support up to 4K30Hz, 3D 24Hz, 1080P full HD, 720 HD, and below resolution video output. If your TV is 1080P resolution, just find an HDMI v1.4 switch.
If your TV is 4K TV, or plan to get a 4K TV, it’s better to consider an HDMI v2.0 switcher. HDMI v2.0 supports up to 4K 60Hz, 4K 30Hz, 1080P, full 3D, and below video output, while supporting HDR and HDCP 2.2. There is essentially no compatibility issue for most HDMI devices.
HDMI 2.0 is more expensive than HDMI 1.4. If the product description has no HDMI 2.0, 4K 60Hz can also explain its HDMI 2.0 version.
HDMI Audio Extractor
Some HDMI Switch also supports audio extractor. If you want to split audio from HDMI source and output via soundbar or amplifier, you can use one HDMI switcher with Audio output. General, it contains SPDIF Optical Toslink, Digital Coaxial, 3.5mm AUX, and RCA L/R audio output and supported formats including Dolby Digital, DTS, AC3 DSD, Dolby True-HD, DTS-HD, and 2CH PCM stereo audio.