HDMI cables have become the standard for all home entertainment systems. However, HDMI is a fairly recent development in home entertainment. It is not uncommon to have a large, flat-screen plasma TV that only has one HDMI port. But with all the different HDMI media source possibilities, including Blu-ray players, DVD players, Apple TV, Roku and satellite connections, you will need several HDMI ports. Rather than dropping thousands of dollars on a new TV just to get more HDMI ports, an HDMI switcher will expand the number of ports and automatically switch between the media sources.
The HDMI hubs function much like a power strip, except for HDMI cables. You simply connect the media sources to the HDMI box with an HDMI cable, and then connect the box to the TV or projector. The optimum sound and visual quality on either side of the HDMI switch box is up to 25 feet. After all the media sources are connected to the TV, the switch box with detect any changes in the power and adjust the display accordingly. For example, if you are playing XBOX and turn on your DVD player, the HDMI switching selector will automatically change the display on the TV and show the movie. However, some media sources do not completely power down and are constantly running. The HDMI switcher does not recognize the power changes when this is the case. Most media sources have factory settings that can be changed to make the automatic switch compatible.
Because most of the HDMI switchers have very similar feature sets and construction, it can be difficult to determine which one is going to work best for you. After testing and reviewing a large variety of different HDMI hubs, we compiled a list of the best features offered to compare best HDMI splitter hubs.
Most of the HDMI switchers are compatible with all types of HDMI cables, including high-speed and even the latest 1.4 versions. However, some of the HDMI hubs do not have infrared (IR) receivers and do not come with remotes. These switchers aren't compatible with universal remotes. Some HDMI switchers don't come with a power supply; they use the HDMI cable for power. However, when using some high-powered devices, like certain Blu-ray players, these switchers did not work as well. We suggest purchasing an HDMI hub with both a power supply and a remote. Some of the most full-featured HDMI switchers are the Monoprice, Cmple and Masscool models.
Ease of Use
In this section we review how simple it is to set up and use each HDMI switch box. We look at how simple it is to switch between the different media sources. We also review the construction and aesthetics of each different device.
Help & Support
We review all the different customer service options offered by the manufacturers. We test each support option including email, chats and telephone support. We also evaluate the manufacturer’s warranty. When purchasing an HDMI switcher, it is important to have avenues of customer support to help with installation and other issues.