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Use HDMI Switching to Share a Single Input

written by: •edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 9/29/2009

Just because your HDTV has only one HDMI input does not mean you can't connect multiple HDMI devices. All you need is a multi input adaptor that lets you share a single connector.

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    Multiple HDMI Connections

    Some HDTV’s only have one HDMI connection built into them, but what if you want to connect multiple HDMI devices? It would be a lot of trouble to have to plug and unplug each device when you want to use them, and it would be silly to go buy a new HDTV just for more connections. The solution is to buy an HDMI multi input box or adapter that lets you share more than one cable with a single connection.

    Most modern home theater and game devices connect via HDMI cables. They provide the best quality video and sound that you can currently get, and are the only option for getting full 1080p high definition television and Blu-ray signals. If you want to get the most out of your HDTV, you should use HDMI cables. For example, in my own home I am using HDMI to connect my upscaling DVD player and Sony PlayStation 3 video game console that also doubles as a Blu-ray player.

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    How It Works

    HDMI Switch HDMI uses a digital signal, and a multi input adaptor lets you take multiple inputs and redirect them to one output. It does not split the signal, because that would imply weaker signals being divided, so don’t make the mistake of thinking this box works the same way as a cable splitter. Because of how it works, you will still need to make some kind of selection to choose which cable is the active input.

    HDMI multi input adaptors come in a variety of options. The most basic ones, like the HDMI 3-in 1-out HDMI Auto Switch from Parts Express, lets you connect three HDMI cables, then you press a button on top of the device to switch between inputs. This means you will have to get up and walk over to your HDTV and press a button to choose which HDMI device to use. Other HDMI adaptors include a remote control so you can switch devices without having to get up. Also keep in mind that these adaptors often require a power source, so you’ll need room on your surge protector for one more plug-in.

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    If you’re HDTV only has one HDMI input and you have more than one device that can use HDMI connections, don’t cheat yourself out of the best quality picture and sound. Instead, get one of these HDMI multi input adaptors. They retail in price from $20 on up, depending on style and features. Personally, I’d recommend getting one with a remote control feature.