HDMI is a new type of connection that has become the standard in high definition. It is a single cable that is capable of transmitting audio and video. It provides for higher resolution output on your devices, and will enable you to truly experience high definition programming. A HDMI cable should be considered a requirement when it comes to true high definition. With the increase in high definition devices, many people have started requiring advanced capabilities. Some people need to transmit a single HDMI signal to multiple displays, while others need to share a single display between several high definition sources. These two very different needs has created two often confused devices – HDMI splitters and HDMI switches.
The Definition of These Two Devices
Even the most seasoned and well trained video engineers confuse these two similar terms with entirely different uses. Below are concise definitions of these two devices:
- HDMI Splitter – This device is used when a single HDMI source, such as a computer or Blu-ray player, needs to be shared among multiple displays. The source will connected to the splitter, which will then be connected to all relevant displays. There are not many consumer users for this technology, as it is typically used when coordinating corporate events, shows and seminars. However, if you do require the need to share one source among multiple displays, you need a splitter.
- HDMI Switch – A switch is used to share one display with multiple HDMI sources. The need for HDMI switches has increased dramatically as the number of high definition devices has grown. Many people find themselves needing to share a single HDTV with a Blu-ray player, gaming console and laptop. If this describes your situation, you will need to a buy HDMI switch. You will then be able to easily switch between your various sources.
When to Split, When to Switch
To put it simply, a switch will allow you to change between several HDMI inputs that are connected to a single display. Conversely, a splitter will allow a single HDMI source to be shared by multiple displays. The exact time and reason that these devices will be used will vary quite dramatically. However, by following this basic guideline you can avoid purchasing the wrong piece of equipment.
Even though they share similar names, if they are confused, you will end up frustrated and needing to purchase another device. Take time to double check that you are purchasing a splitter or a switch to avoid future frustrations.