Although television and monitor manufacturers have done a decent job of trying to make sure their products have enough HDMI slots, most of the time their efforts are in vain. That’s because there’s an ever increasing number of devices which attach to the TV or the monitor through these ports. This can create the juggling act of having to plug and unplug devices as you need to use them.
Fortunately, there’s a device that solves that problem, and that device is called an HDMI switcher. HDMI switchers allow the user to keep their devices plugged in, so they can switch between them as they see fit. Having said that, however, there are some significant differences between these switches. That’s why we set out to find the best ones available, and below you’ll find the fruits of our labor.
Best HDMI Switches – Reviews
10Dot Stone HDMI Switcher Hub
Equipped with 4 inputs and 1 output, this HDMI switch is ready to support up to 4 devices at the same time. However, that’s not the only great feature found on this device. Thanks to its PIP function, it also allows the viewer to view subscreens as they’re viewing the main screen. This powered switch is not only easy to set up and use, but it’s also easy to transport thanks to its slim size. This switch is only 4.4-inches by 2.2-inches and only 0.9-inch thick. This makes it the right size for packing into a backpack or duffle bag to take with you on game night.
9Gana 3 Full HD 4K Switch
Anyone looking for a simple and inexpensive manual HDMI switch may want to examine this particular switch closely. It has 3 HDMI port inputs and 1 HDMI port output, so the user can hook their most used devices up to their television or monitor. This means that the user can hook up PS4 players, laptops, Blu-Ray players up to their TV quite easily and because it is HDTV 4K compatible, it can transmit HD and 3D signals very well. It also supports audio formats such as the Dolby AC3 and DTS 7.1 standards. This unit comes with a fixed 1.8-foot HDMI cable and is Plug N’ Play for the user’s convenience.
8Kinivo 5-Port High-Speed 4K Switch
Since this switch is capable of accepting 5 HDMI input devices to export to an HDTV output display, it’s capable of reducing a ton of unnecessary clutter from around your television. This unit will automatically switch from one input to another depending on the active input. If necessary, this unit can also be switched manually using the IR remote as well. Since all of the HDMI ports on this device are placed on the back, it helps to keep cables nice and straight. The best feature found on this switch is that it can transmit a 4K 30Hz signal and also 3D content.
7Zettaguard 4K Switch With Remote
Gamers and movie lovers who want a more seamless transition between all of their devices may want to look at the features on this HDMI switch. Up to 4 devices can be connected to this device for routing the signal to a single HDMI source. This allows for game systems, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, and other systems to seamlessly added to a person’s entertainment system. Using a picture-in-picture system, this device also allows the user to easily switch from one device to the next with the push of a button on its remote. And all of your devices can be connected with brilliant 4K resolution.
6Univivi 5-Port Ultra HD Switch
Equipped with 5 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output, this switch makes it easy for the user to connect a myriad of different devices to their television. This unit allows for 4K resolution at 30Hz and is more than capable of supporting ultra HD, 3D, Deep color and other quality television formats. It can be used with a variety of different devices including Blu-Ray players, game systems, HD-DVD systems, and Fire TV or Roku sticks. It’s easy for the user to select inputs by either using the buttons on the device or using its IR remote control. It even has a 24K HDMI connector for less transmission loss to the TV.
5Snanshi 4K 3-Port Switch
This passive HDMI switch is easy to use and extremely easy to operate. Since it’s powered by the devices plugged into it, it doesn’t require to be plugged into a power source like some other models. It has 3 HDMI inputs that allow for a variety of different devices to be plugged into it, and it’s output supports full 4K 60Hz operation. Because this device is a passive model, however, the user does have to ensure that their cable connection is under 30-feet for proper operation. Having said that, this model is great for anyone who wants a simple and inexpensive switch for all their devices.
4Awake Lion 5×1 Premium Switch
Designed to be compatible with all HDMI devices, this switch box can connect just about any device to a person’s TV. It can easily support devices such as computers, DVD players, Roku media players, Blu-Ray players, and game systems. It uses automatic switching technology, so it automatically switches over when the device is turned on for the user’s convenience. This device has 5 HDMI ports, so the user never has to worry about unplugging one device to plug another one into it. And it’s also capable of handling true 4K resolutions quite easily. All of which makes it a handy HDMI switch for just about anyone to own.
3Dot Stone Bi-Directional 4K Switch
This bi-directional HDMI switch can be used in one of two different ways. It can be used to connect two HDMI sources to a single HDMI display, or it can be used so that one HDMI source can be toggled between two separate displays. This creates a number of exciting options to the user. For instance, they can connect a Blu-Ray and a PS4 to a single display and cycle back and forth between the two. Or they can connect a game system to both an LED TV and an HDMI computer monitor and switch between the two displays as needed. And since it’s Plug N’ Play compatible, it’s easy to set up and use as needed.
2Avedio ARC/HDMI 2.0 Switch
Although it’s inexpensive price tag would suggest that this switch doesn’t have high-tech features, it’s actually a well-built switch that has a ton of exciting features incorporated in it. It has 4 HDMI inputs that can support not only support the HDMI 2.0 standard but can also support HDR, and the HDCP1.4 standards. It can also support a TV resolution of up to 4K at 60Hz, support an ARC and MHL function, and also supports a variety of audio formats including DTS-HD, Dolby True HD, and Dolby AC3. Additional features found on this unit include a remote control and buttons for selecting the input source.
1AVHack Full HD 3-In-1 Switch
All the features most people are going to need out of an HDMI switch can be found in this particular model. It has three HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output, so up to three different devices can be hooked up to a TV so that the user can switch between them as they need to do. This product is capable of high-speed signal transmission, so the user never has to worry about signal distortion or loss. This product also comes with an IR remote control that makes it easy for the user to switch between their installed devices. All of which makes it a suitable switch for home, school or office use.
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A Guide To Buying An HDMI Switcher
Modern tech enthusiasts are often the ones who need an HDMI switcher the most, but even the common household can benefit from having one available to them. After all, with all of the different game systems, digital media players (DVD and Blu-Ray players), and other devices, the number of available HDMI ports a person has available can be pretty limited. Adding an HDMI switcher will solve that problem quickly, but there are a few things to consider before running out and purchasing a new one. To help our readers buy the best HDMI switches available, we’ve listed some of the prime characteristics to think about.
The Minimum Requirements
The first thing that has to be considered is the quality of the HDMI switcher’s signal. Most of the quality ones manufactured today have a resolution of 1080p and are equipped to handle either Dolby Digital or DTS. We would consider that to be the bare minimum for any household with either an LED or LCD television.
Having set the minimum standard needed, it’s important to note that some people are going to need an HDMI switch that’s a bit better. If the person has a 4K television, then the switch they buy is going to need to be able to conform to that particular standard.
Select The HDMI Type
HDMI switches can be broken down into one of three categories: either automatic, manual or remote. With automatic models, the signal that’s given priority will get the signal. For example, suppose you had an Xbox One set up as your priority device. In that case, when you turned it on, the automatic switch would turn immediately to that device. With manual devices, however, the user has to push a button or switch a switch, and with remote models, the user uses a remote to change outputs. It really is that simple.
Choose An HDMI Switch Not A Splitter
We don’t have a problem with HDMI splitters at all. In fact, in certain circumstances, we think that they are handy tools to have around the home. However, they aren’t switches. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, it’s quite simple. A switcher switches from one output to another, while a splitter splits the signal into two different signals. Although splitting the signal can be useful for some situations (such as sharing a monitor), it doesn’t allow the user to switch from one device to another.
Consider The Number Of Inputs & Outputs
The next thing to consider is the number of inputs and outputs you need the HDMI switch to have on it. Although most people will only need one output for outputting a signal to their preferred device, the number of inputs a person needs depends on how many devices they own. For instance, if they have a PS4, An Xbox 360 and a Blu-Ray Player, then they are probably going to want to get a switch with at least 3-inputs—more if they want the option of adding additional devices in the future.
Does An HDMI Switch Have To Be Powered?
Another thing to consider is whether or not you need a powered HDMI switch or not. And our answer to that question is that it depends. Although powered switches are capable of transmitting a signal over 60-feet, most people don’t need to transfer their signal more than a foot or two to their television. In that case, one that isn’t powered is more than sufficient. Models that aren’t powered also have the benefit of using less power than powered models, so that’s something to consider if you’re conscious of energy costs.
One Final Consideration
That just about sums up the basic requirements that you need to think about before you run out and purchase a brand new HDMI switch. However, there is one more thing to consider. It’s important to find out whether or not the switch comes with an HDMI cable that connects from the output to the receiving device. Some models come with an HDMI output cord, but most of them do not. It’s usually something that most people will have to buy unless they have an excess of HDMI cables sitting around the house. One thing is for sure, however, and that’s the fact that none of the switches available come with HDMI cables for input devices, so make sure that all of your devices are equipped with the cable you need to attach them to the HDMI switch.