ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get More HDMI Ports - HDMI Expansion Made Easy

Updated on December 6, 2014
Too many devices - more HDMI ports needed!
Too many devices - more HDMI ports needed!

There are many who know the problem: Your LED TV is slowly growing old and when you purchased it, nobody expected that there would be so many HDMI devices to be connected to it one day, true? There is a BluRay player, a Playstation, an XBOX, an Apple TV, a satellite receiver. Today, all these devices connect to the TV set via a so-called HDMI port. The HDMI port can be deemed the equivalent to what was once the SCART connector in the analog world. And once again, there are far too few of them on the TV set!

Problem: Not enough HDMI ports - Too many devices

Especially old TV sets often feature very few HDMI ports, sometimes only one. Today, this often leads to problems in practice. After all, who wants to crawl behind the TV set every time in order to re-plug devices? No one! But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy a new TV set. In order to get more HDMI ports, it is often sufficient to acquire a cheap HDMI switch or HDMI toggle that allows you to connect multiple devices to the same HDMI port!

In the following, we briefly explain how this works:

Solution: More HDMI ports with switch

Connect several devices to one HDMI port without re-plugging

1. Count your devices! How many HDMI extensions are needed?

HDMI switches/toggles are practical but they aren't magic. Who would like to expand his television by ten HDMI ports should better acquire a new TV set. However, minor HDMI expansions can be done easily. In practice a ratio of 3: 1 has proven feasible, i.e. 3 devices can be attached to one HDMI port.

HDMI Splitter vs. HDMI Switch
HDMI Splitter vs. HDMI Switch

Switch ≠ Splitter!

Caution: Do not confuse HDMI switches with HDMI splitters! HDMI splitters generate multiple outputs from one output signal (e.g. multiple monitors connected to one single HDMI output)! Our case is different, here the task is to toggle the video output of several devices to one output, not vice versa!

2. Wiring / connection of devices via HDMI switch

To get more HDMI ports, you need an HDMI switch. This switch is looped in between the TV set and the devices to be connected to it. Use the remote control of the switch and the switch itself to toggle between the signals from the different devices.

Smooth operation requires the HDMI switch to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Transfer rate of at least 2.25 Gbps for easy full HD resolution
  • Manual and automatic toggle function
  • Explicit Full-HD support!

Depending on the manufacturer and its features, an HDMI switch will cost about US$30.

3. Comfort - more HDMI ports, less mess

You have already a lot of remote controls at home. Therefore, when selecting an HDMI switch, you should make sure that it will work without remote control in everyday operating conditions if possible. For example, switches that automatically detect the last active signal have proven functional.

Example: The satellite receiver sends its image via the HDMI switch to the TV set. Now, if the BluRay player - which is also connected to the switch - is turned on, the switch automatically toggles to the latter. If the Blu-ray player is turned off, the image automatically toggles back to the sat receiver. Such partially "smart" switches increase comfort considerably and should be preferred with respect to cheap switches in every day life.

Overview: Which devices are suitable for HDMI expansion?

Most HDMI devices can work with HDMI switches. Nevertheless, there are some limitations that you should know. Devices that require high-speed HDMI with a transfer rate of 10.2 Gbps (e.g. 3D BluRay Player, 4K contents) tend to be unsuitable for HDMI switches because in this case, extremely powerful studio equipment is required. For home use, it is preferable to connect devices with high-speed HDMI specification directly to the TV set.

The following devices should better be connected directly to the TV set:

  • Blu-ray player with 3D contents
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Equipment that displays 4K contents

The following devices are suitable for use with HDMI switches.

  • DVD players, HD-DVD players, Blu-ray players
  • Camcorders, Digital cameras
  • Satellite receivers
  • PC, Mac, Notebook, Tablet
  • XBOX 360, Playstation 3


How many different devices (PlayStation, XBOX, DVD Player, Receiver, etc.) are connected to your TV?

See results

Special cases / FAQ:

Question: Can I upgrade my TV with 2 HDMI switches?

Answer: In principle, yes. If you have a TV with 2 HDMI inputs, you may for example connect 2 HDMI splitters to it, which in turn provide a total of 6 HDMI ports. However, in such configurations you can easily loose orientation.

Question: Does the HDMI splitter require additional electric power?

Answer: That depends. Most HDMI switches do not require a separate power supply but work with the 5V voltage supplied via the HDMI cable by the devices. In some cases, a switch may however require more power. Pay particular attention to the product description in such cases!

Question: Is it possible to connect multiple devices to different screens in order to achieve the possibility to toggle e.g. between Xbox and Playstation and between TV set and beamer?

Answer: Yes, that is possible. However, this will require an HDMI matrix instead of an HDMI switch. An HDMI matrix allows the inputs and outputs to be combined as desired.

What are your experiences with HDMI switches? Post them in our comments section below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hdmiguru profile image
      Author

      Tobias 14 months ago from Germany

      Thanks! Glad to hear that :-)

    • profile image

      Jim 14 months ago

      Thanks this was very helpful

    • aashupatel profile image

      Aashutosh patel 14 months ago from Gujrat India

      awesome one and so nicely explained tobias

    • NinetythreeProof profile image

      NinetythreeProof 3 years ago

      Great information on the topic.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)