We spent over 42 hours researching and testing 10 different HDMI switches and found that number of ports available, compatibility with HDMI devices, and resolutions supported were most important. Kinivo High Speed HDMI Switch scored high above the rest we tested in all categories and is our top pick. There were 5 ports available for use and can be switched automatically or manually. Set up is simple, just plug it in and go. It supports 3D and HD resolutions up to 1080 dpi. It is compatible with all HD TVs, Xbox 360s, and many other HDMI devices. It reduces cord clutter and has a 1 year warranty.
HDMI Switch Reviews
Take a look inside most living rooms and you’re likely to find a large TV as the centerpiece of the room. It is where a lot of family entertainment happens as well as get together and holiday events as well.
If your living room is like a lot of people’s, you may find that you have a lot of different devices to plug into your TV. Most TVs have s very small number of ports which can make it impossible to plug in everything that you want to have plugged in and ready to go.
To fix this problem, many people invest in an HDMI switcher. This device is pretty inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of an AV receiver. The way an HDMI switcher works is that it consolidates all the devices you are plugging in to you just one port on the TV instead of all of them.
The switcher allows the user to switch between all of the devices as needed and very simply. The switcher allows users to have access to all their devices without having to constantly pug and unplug them.
There are several things you want to look for when it comes to choosing the right HDMI switch for your needs. There will also be some things to consider as well that will have an effect on the model you choose. This guide will make it much easier to sort through all the choices available so you make the selection that works the best for your specific entertainment needs.
Best Overall HDMI Switch
Kinivo offers users a high speed HDMI switch with 5 ports which means it switches 5 high speed inputs into one. It can either switch automatically or manually as needed.
When switching automatically, it bases its decision on active input from the user’s habits.
Manual switching is done via the IR wireless remote or users can manually switch using the button on the HDMI box.
It offers simple set up with the convenient plug and play capability and supports 3D as well as HD resolutions as high as 1080 dpi.
It works with all types of HDTVs, Xbox 360 consoles, Apple TV, Blu-ray players and many other HDMI devices.
One of the benefits that this HDMI switch offers is the reduction of cord clutter that is fed into the TV. It comes with a 1 year warranty and includes the Main HDMI switch, an AC adapter, and an IR remote control with a battery.
– Darius Spieth
Best Overall HDMI Switch – Runner Up
Users will be able to connect up to 4 HDMI sources to one HDMI input for easy transitions from watching TV to playing video games.
It can support up to 2K and 4K resolutions as well as 3D features.
The picture in picture feature allows users to easily make transitions from one device to another and provides 3 sub screens and one main screen; all you need to do is push a button.
Zettaguard’s HDMI switch can be operated via remote control so you can go from one device to another without having to leave your chair or the sofa.
The slim design reduces the cable footprint without adding bulk and that makes it blend into the surroundings much easier.
You’ll be able to connect gaming consoles, laptops, desk tops and other HDMI compatible devices to your TV easily with this convenient device.
– Darius Spieth
Best Budget HDMI Switch
Fosmon provides users with a three port, high speed HDMI switch that will help you get rid of the tons of cables that are connected to your HDTV. This is a great switch for laptops, computers, cable boxes, video game consoles, blue-ray players and much more.
It features 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output and a built in HDMI pigtail cable that is 1.8ft. This device supports 3d, HD audio and is HDCP compliant as well.
Automatic switching and a manual switch button helps users use the devices they want to use without having to take time unplugging and plugging them back in.
Switching is easy thanks to the plug n play design that has automatic sensors that will switch from one device to another when it detects a signal. The manual button is located on the box and is a built in feature for those times you manually need to switch to a specific device.
One of the benefits to this device from Fosmon is that it needs no power adapter to make it work. HDMI cables can transfer power from all of the connected sources. The metallic alloy plug is corrosion resistant and reduces the chances of tarnish so they last a good long time.
It has many features that make it a very popular choice including supporting a variety of things like 4k resolutions, HDCP pass through, 12-bit Deep color per channel, compressed and uncompressed audio, 3D devices and more.
– Darius Spieth
Summary of Our Top Picks
HDMI switches make your life a lot simpler when it comes to using all the HDMI compatible devices that most homes have including gaming consoles, blue-ray devices, computers, tablets, laptops and much more. Instead of getting tangled in a mess of cables and having to unplug and plug your devices in as you want to use them, you’ll be able to simply push a button and choose whatever device you want to use at the time.
The three HDMI switches featured above are all excellent examples of what a good quality HDMI switch can do for you. They have the flexibility and features you need including remote controls, 3D compatibility, picture in picture and many other features.
Learn more about HDMI switches from our informative buyer’s guide. This guide is designed to help you understand the different features an HDMI can have so you can easily sort through the choices available and make the right selection for your needs.
9. Cable Matters
HDMI Switch Buying Guide
Factors to Consider
HDMI switches are designed to make it much more convenient to have multiple devices connected to your HDTV without the hassle of unplugging and plugging them repeatedly. It works by receiving HDMI signals from different sources that send them to your TV. Even if your TV only has one or two ports, an HDMI switch allows the capability of more devices connected without needing the actual port space.
There are many things that you can connect to an HDMI device. These items include:
- HD camera or camcorder
- Gaming consoles (Playstation, Wii, Xbox 360, etc with HDMI outputs)
- Blue-ray, HD DVD players or DVD players with HDMI outputs
- Computers with HDMI ports
- Satellite dish networks
- HDTV boxes
These are just a few of the many things you can connect to your HDTV via a HDMI switcher. It is definitely a convenient and relaxing way of reducing cable clutter and having all of the devices hooked up that you regularly use. There are several things you want to consider before you purchase an HDMI switch. We’ve listed these considerations below:
How many ports do you need? – The number of devices you want to plug in is an important piece of information to have. If you only have 2 or 3 additional devices to plug in you won’t need or want to get an HDMI switch with 20 ports. Buy the HDMI switch that facilitates the amount of devices you want to plug into it. The most commonly purchased HDMI switch is a 3 port model since most people have 2 or 3 extra devices to plug in.
Supports specific Video and Audio Devices – You want the HDMI switch you purchase to support 1080i/p as well as all the standard resolutions including 720p. Other must haves are Dolby Digital/Dolby TrueHD support. These basics are often used in HDTV gaming, broadcasts and DVD and Bluer ray players so if the HDMI switch doesn’t support these things, it is best to keep looking for one that will.
Automatic/Manual Switching – You want to purchase an HDMI switch that offers both automatic and manual switching. The automatic switching function works by detecting the HDMI signals that are sent from the devices to the HDMI switch. When you turn on a video game console, for example, a signal will be sent and the switcher will automatically switch to that console. If you turn on a DVD player it’ll switch to that one and so on. The majority of automatic switchers are smart enough and takes care of the majority of your device switching needs. If the auto switch doesn’t work the way you need it to, or you have one or more items always on, you will want to have the ability to manually switch your devices. This is usually done via a button on the device that allows the user to choose the device.
HDCP Compliant – In case you are not aware, HDCP is a copy protection that prevents any copy-righted material from traveling across HDMI displayport or DVI freely. If the connected devices are HDCP compliant this is not a problem. Ideally you want the HDMI switch you purchase to support v1.0 or 1.1 pass-through. This means that it gives all the digital content to the next device you want to use with touching it. The most common HDCP pass throughs are version 1.0 and 1.1.
Most of the devices that are available are compliant with HDMI 1.3b or earlier. This includes blue ray players, gaming consoles and some HD DVD players. There is an HDMI 1.4 version that was released in 2009 but there are few products that support the new version. It’s just a matter of time before there are HDMI switches that adopt the HDMI 1.4 version.
HDMI switches make plugging several devices into the HDTV easy and convenient without the headache of tangled cables or having to get up and down from your seat every time you want to switch activities. With all of the HDMI switch choices on the market, it is beneficial to you to know exactly how many devices you want to plug in and what those devices are so the HDMI you choose supports what you need it to.
Before the invention of HDMI switches, users had the option of buying an expensive AV receiver or having the hassle of unplugging and plugging in the devices as they were needed. This is problematic for many reasons. Constantly plugging and unplugging a device can weaken the plug and cause issues at the connection point. It is also just very inconvenient.
Choosing the right HDMI switch isn’t difficult if you follow the information in this guide that tells you what to consider and what type of HDMI switch to look for. When you are aware of what your specific needs are then it’s just a matter of checking reviews to see what customers are saying about using the HDMI switch you are interested in and making sure you get a switch that will handle all that you want to plug in.
Take a little time to do some research, list out your own device needs and don’t over purchase and you will end up with an HDMI switch that performs well, has all the features you’re looking for and that makes your entertainment area much neater and the process of switching from one device to another much simpler.
- Kinivo – https://kinivo.com/
- Fosmon – http://www.fosmon.com/
- Zettaguard – http://zettaguard.com/