Those stuck in this frustrating situation might be happy with their TVs and don’t exactly want to upgrade to one with more HDMI ports. Especially considering TVs with more ports are usually more expensive higher-end models. You can’t just add an HDMI port on your TV, though, or can you? The simple (and affordable) solution to this problem is to buy an HDMI switch.
With that in mind, we’ve put together the best HDMI switch guide to help you out!
What is an HDMI switch?
An HDMI switch is a device that allows for multiple outputs to connect to a single input. This would make it possible for multiple devices to be connected to a TV simultaneously. This eradicates the need to plug and unplug HDMI cables behind your screen constantly.
While all outputs can be connected to a single input, they obviously can’t be displayed all at once. Unfortunately, the TV still sees this as a single port, so switching to each HDMI port requires an extra step through the included switch.
There are three common methods used by switches to change which HDMI device is displayed: manual, remote or automatic. The manual method will rely on an actual switch or button. Other units come with a remote. Meanwhile, the automatic switches depend on priority. If you set your PlayStation 4 at a higher priority than your cable box, the switch will automatically connect to the console when turned on. Once the PlayStation is shut down, the Switch will revert to whatever is prioritized next.
The method used depends on your HDMI switch. Higher-end switches will have more options and features. Switches don’t just differ in how they switch the signal; there are also different models with varying amounts of ports. Some switches even allow for 2 outputs, for the dual-display fans among you.
Don’t confuse it with a splitter
Customers often make the mistake of confusing a switch with a splitter. The difference here is that while a switch allows multiple outputs to enter a single input, the splitter does the opposite. In summary, a splitter would be helpful for those who want to play the content from one device on multiple screens or projections. It’s pretty much a multiplier.
The best HDMI switches
Now that you have figured out what an HDMI switch is and realize you need one, it’s time to start shopping. Do a quick search online and you will realize there is an endless list of options out there. This is why we have curated a list of our favorite HDMI switches in the market. Let’s see which one meets your needs!
1. Fosmon 2-Port Switch
The Fosmon 2-Port Switch is simple, multi-functional, and costs very little. All it takes to operate this switch is one button, which selects one of the two HDMI ports available. Of course, this only adds one more port than you had before, so it might not be ideal for your needs if you are trying to hook up many devices to your TV at once.
2. Gana HDMI Switch
The Gana HDMI Switch is another affordable option. It’s nothing fancy, but it does its job well and happens to expand its input count to 3. Operating it is as simple as pressing a single button. If you care about 4K resolution and 3D content, this switch will support those, as well as LPCM, Dolby, AC3, and DTS7.1 audio. It’s simple, affordable, capable, and it works.
3. Tecknet Switch-Splitter
This device can actually serve as both a switch and a splitter. Of course, it can connect two devices to one HDMI port on your monitor or PC. On the other hand, it can also connect one device to two monitors or TVs, although both screens cannot show the same content simultaneously. It supports 4K resolution and 3D content. All of that is available for a reasonable price, too.
4. Sgeyr Switch
If you are willing to spend a few bucks more, in exchange for more ports, this product is for you. The Segyr switch has five ports for all of your devices, so you can connect them all to one HDMI port on your monitor or TV. The included remote allows you to switch between devices quickly, and supports 4K, HDCP 1.4, Dolby Vision, and 3D,
5. Zettaguard Switch
The Zettaguard HDMI switch includes four ports, plus an IR remote to switch between connected devices. You get true 4K resolution support with this device, thanks to its 18Gbps speeds. It also supports audio formats like LPCM 7. 1Ch, DTS-HD, and more.
6. Iogear Switch
If you really want to go all out with connecting lots of media devices to one monitor or TV, the Iogear Switch could make that happen. It has eight ports that you can use to plug in game consoles, PCs, streaming devices, and more. It supports Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio formats, along with 3D media. You can get this switch with 1080p resolution support, and it will cost a bit more money. If you want true 4K resolution, you can get the upgraded model, but’s it’s also a lot more expensive.