HDMI Switch vs HDMI Splitter – What are the Differences?

HDMI cables are difficult to get a hold of for many people. These cables need to be swapped when you are using them to connect different devices. HDMI connectors are used to connect consoles to Televisions, monitors to CPUs, for sharing the same signal between multiple displays, and many more.

HDMI splitters and HDMI switches are used to make your Televisions more useful. However, choosing the right one out of them for your personal usage can be a big headache.

Don’t worry though, as, in this article, we’ll provide you with well-explained differences between HDMI switch and HDMI splitter.

HDMI Switch

With the help of a single HDMI switch, you can swiftly run multiple HDMI-enabled devices with the help of a single TV. This switch comes in handy when we only have one HDMI port on our TV, but various different devices need to be connected to the TV. HDMI switch avoids the need for you manually unplugging and then replugging the HDMI cables back again and again.

HDMI switches of varying sizes are available online, and you can easily choose an affordable one based on your personal needs.

HDMI Splitter

HDMI splitter is basically an alternative to HDMI switch. These splitters can help you run the display of one HDMI device on multiple devices. This can save you a lot of money if you don’t need to get more subscriptions to the same entertainment service.

There are basically two different types of HDMI splitters. One type of splitter is connected with your TV by using a network cable, and the other type is connected via HDMI cable.

HDMI splitter with a network cable is a perfect combination if you want to share the HDMI signal over long distances. There are also different configurations of HDMI splitters available which you can choose from depending on your personal needs.

Differences Between HDMI Splitters and HDMI Switches

Some of the main differences between HDMI splitters and HDMI switches are explained below.

They Function Differently

With the help of an HDMI switch, you can connect various signal sources to one TV for better versatility.

An HDMI splitter, on the other hand, takes the signal from one signal source and casts it on multiple TV screens.

Difference In Labeling

When an HDMI splitter is labeled as 1:3, it means the source is one, and output will be divided into 3 devices.

However, with an HDMI switch, the 3:1 ratio means there are three input devices and only one device for output.

Before buying any of these two, make sure that their maximum supported resolution matches the resolution of your devices. This will help you avoid any inconveniences later on.

Working Of HDMI Splitters

HDMI splitters are technologically very simple. It is designed to take HDMI signal from one device, and send it across multiple devices through its HDMI outputs. Both active and passive HDMI splitters need you to connect the wires of both the source and outputs with the splitter.

Passive HDMI splitters are great for short distances as no extra power is needed to transfer the signal. But for long distances, Active HDMI splitters are needed, as extra power is required to transfer the signal over long distances.

Passive HDMI splitters work in a simple way, as each HDMI wire has 19 pairs of wires in it attached to all the 19 pins on the HDMI connector. Every wire is utilized to send audio and video data from one device to the other. HDMI cables are used to send and receive other types of data, like remote control and other connected devices as well.

Splitter sublimates the wires to send the same HDMI signal in multiple connected devices even when the number of available HDMI ports is less.

On the other hand, if you have to send data over long distances, you’ll have to use an Active HDMI splitter. The splitters have transistors to add more power to the HDMI signal. This helps the signal stay strong enough to travel long distances. This technique also minimizes and the interference caused during signal transmission.

Working Of HDMI Switches

HDMI switches are used in cases in which you have multiple devices that you need to be connected with a single TV. An HDMI switch provides the extra input ports needed to connect multiple devices to the same TV. With the help of an HDMI switch, you can use the signal from one TV and can spread it across multiple devices.

There are many different types of HDMI switches available in the market, but the only difference is in the number of available connectors which can be used to connect multiple devices. Using an HDMI switch is really easy. You just have to plug it into the right ports, and everything will work smoothly.

You’ll need an input HDMI port from the source TV, and a power outlet to connect the switch. After plugging the switch into a power outlet, you’ll have to connect the connectors to the corresponding devices. Some HDMI switches come with pre-labeled HDMI connectors for different types of devices.

You should also connect the input HDMI connector to your TV. After all the connector thing is done, you’ll have to spend some time configuring the connection, and you’ll be good to go.

Using HDMI Splitter Vs Using HDMI Switch

Depending on your personal needs, you might want to use an HDMI splitter or an HDMI switch. Usually, the decision depends on the number of devices you want to be connected to. You should also consider other factors like resolution, price, and quality of the product when choosing between these two.

Here’s how you can determine whether you want to use an HDMI splitter or an HDMI switch.

Using An HDMI Splitter

When you only have a few devices that need to be interconnected, or you want to transmit the signal over long distances, you’ll usually want an HDMI splitter for the task. Once all of the output devices are connected and set up, you can conveniently change the HDMI signal source. It can therefore be easily used to send one HDMI signal to multiple Televisions. You can basically watch the movie playing on one TV on several other TVs with the help of an HDMI splitter.

Active HDMI splitters, as we already mentioned above, and great to be used when you have to send signals over long distances.

Using An HDMI Switch

When you have many devices to which you need to be connected with one TV, using an HDMI switch is your best choice. For example, different devices like DVD players, consoles, soundbars, and others can be seamlessly connected to one TV when you’re using an HDMI switch. This proves to be very beneficial when you have a limited number of HDMI ports on your TV, but many devices which you want to connect with it without any inconvenience or interference.

Most of the HDMI switches can be used with modern devices, meaning that you won’t be required to change your HDMI switch whenever a new device is introduced.

After the initial setup, your HDMI switch should work seamlessly no matter how many devices you unplug and re-plug into the connection. This is why many people use these switches. 

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