It is important to know the differences between what HDMI Splitters and HDMI Switches do. There seems to be a lot of confusion for people with understanding which of these devices they need for the application they are setting up. When you first glance at these types of devices they look like they are the same thing when in reality they are very different.
What is an HDMI splitter? An HDMI splitter allows you to split one HDMI source signal to two or more displays. What does an HDMI splitter do? HDMI splitter used to duplicate signal from your cable box so you can watch same shows in two televisions or televisions and home theater system, or televisions and projectors .
The biggest consideration when buying an HDMI splitter is that the splitter uses the lowest resolution of the available devices, so if the two displays have different resolutions, the splitter defaults to the lower one.
Some HDMI splitters are limited in the amount of power they have, and thus cannot transmit a quality signal beyond a certain distance. Generally if an HDMI splitters do not need the external power source, these are often of lower quality and cannot broadcast a signal very far.
What is an HDMI switch ( or switcher) ? A switch allows you to connect two or more video sources to one display. Your video sources may be something like a DVD player, PS3, XBOX 360, Satellite Receiver and/or a Cable box etc. Your display is normally going to be a TV set but at times may be a Projector.
Do I need a powered HDMI switch? Active switchers run on power, the switcher is able to function properly with a steady supply of power, but you have to plug an adapter. The powered HDMI switch can transmit a quality signal very far ( beyond 20 meters). Passive switch, it use just little power by HDMI cable from the signal source, They do not require any external power to run. This is more energy-efficient but if the video source device can not provide enough power ( below 3V, normal HDMI cable supply is 5V) in some cases, the switch may be refuse to function. They can not transmit the signal very far also.
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