Tired of swapping HDMI cables? Did you just buy a new gaming console and don’t have a spot to plug it in? Want to run the same signal to multiple TVs? You, my friend, need an HDMI splitter. They’re an inexpensive way to keep your current gear relevant and useful. Learn more about HDMI splitters below.
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You may have a nice TV or home entertainment system, but you might need one of the best HDMI splitters to fill things out. TVs and entertainment centers tend to have limited HDMI inputs which can limit the number of devices you can connect. But with an HDMI splitter, you can expand that capability quite a bit.
So many entertainment devices have HDMI outputs because it’s an easy way to transmit audio and video in a single cable. As such, Blu-ray players, video game consoles, and even computers have HDMI outputs. If you want to connect more devices than you have ports on your TV or monitor, that’s where a splitter comes into play. Moreso, if you’re using a device like a projector, your options may be even more limited.
When looking for an HDMI splitter, you’ll want to make sure it can plat the resolution you want (1080p, 4K, etc). Additionally, you’ll want a splitter that supports as many audio and video formats as possible like Dolby Vision, Atmos, DTS:X, and more. A remote is a nice-to-have as well.
What to Look For in an HDMI Splitter
HDMI is the most common audio/video connection in use. However, TVs may have as few as one or two HDMI inputs. If you have a lot of HDMI-equipped source devices, such as an upscaling DVD/Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, media streamer, and game console that all need to be connected to your TV, there may not be enough HDMI inputs, but don’t panic.
Instead of buying a new TV just to get more HDMI inputs, consider getting an external HDMI splitter to fill the gap.
Understanding HDMI Splitters
An HDMI splitter is a device that expands the number of HDMI sources you can connect to your TV (or video projector). The number of HDMI inputs on a splitter may range from 2 to 8. All you have to do is connect the output of the splitter to the input of your TV. Just like that, the splitter gives you more input options.
Some splitters even have two HDMI outputs. This allows the connection of the same source to two video displays (such as two TVs or a TV and video projector) or separate sources to each video display. An HDMI splitter with this capability is usually referred to as a Matrix Splitter. On HDMI splitters with two HDMI outputs that send the sane video signal to two video displays, if one of the displays has a lower resolution (e.g. one is 720p and the other is 1080p, or one is 1080p and the other is 4K), the output from the splitter may default the lower of the two resolutions for both displays.
HDMI splitters plug into AC power and usually come with remote control for more convenient source selection. Some HDMI splitters also incorporate HDMI-CEC support, which allows the switcher to automatically go to the correct input of the most recently activated device.
Kinivo 550BN HDMI Split
One HDMI input is nice, but five inputs are so much better. The Kinivo 550BN splitter has just that. The splitter is very small, which is great because it can be unobtrusive, but keeping it small meant putting two of the plugs on either side of the splitter. This makes cable organization a bit unsightly.
The splitter features a 9-second auto switch and an included remote for manual switching. The splitter supports Dolby digital encoding, HDCP, HDR, 3D video, and an 18 Gbps connection, all of which are great.
Zettaguard 4K HDMI Splitter
This splitter exudes a premium feel with an all-aluminium build, and all ports located on the back of the splitter. This makes it a lot easier to manage your cables. Not only that, but the switcher supports true 4K resolution at 60Hz making it great for gaming. Plus, you can preview all four HDMI feeds with PIP mode on the included remote.
There is no audio splitter here, so if you have a separate audio device, you’ll need to use a third-party solution. This splitter also supports HDR, HDCP 2.2, and Dolby True HD. An indicator light on the front indicates which input is active. If you’re looking for a really solid splitter for some hard-core usage, this is a great choice.
Will using an HDMI splitter reduce image quality?
HDMI is a digital signal and won’t degrade in the same way as older analog signals even with the addition of a splitter. If you are experiencing a notable loss in signal quality, it may be due to a faulty signal either from your splitter or a damaged cable.
Can an HDMI splitter transmit a 4K signal?
Yes, as long as your HDMI cable and splitter support HDMI 2.0, you can transmit a 4K signal without any loss in quality.