An HDMI Splitter is a device that allows the HDMI signal to be split between two displays. While traditionally, signals were broadcast via analog signals, recent advancements in high-definition television have necessitated a move toward HDMI. An HDMI splitter is used to divide the signal coming from one HDMI input between two HDMI outputs. This splitter is a sophisticated piece of equipment that requires its own power source.
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. Other things for buyers to consider include the brand, port number, and price.
When to Use an HDMI Splitter
The most common situation where an HDMI splitter is needed occurs when an individual has only one HDMI box and would like the signal to be broadcast to other displays, likely in other rooms or offices. For example, a DVR can be split between two displays in different rooms without having to purchase a second DVR.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an HDMI Splitter
The biggest factor to consider for an HDMI splitter is that it accepts the lower resolution of the two displays it is connected to. The result is that a display with a higher resolution can only be viewed at a resolution that matches the other display connected to the splitter. Most HDMI splitters come with restrictions on how long cords can be. Some HDMI splitters are limited in the amount of power they have, and thus cannot transmit a quality signal beyond a certain distance. Some HDMI splitters also do not need their own power source, but these are often of lower quality and cannot broadcast a signal very far.
HDMI splitters also come with a different amount of ports. Commonly seen are 2, 4, 8, and 16-port splitters. The price of the item is increased when additional ports are added. This is useful for buyers who want to connect many displays to one HD input but again, the lowest resolution display sets the resolution for all the displays. Thus, buyers probably want to ensure that all of their displays are reasonably close in terms of resolution capabilities to not have a significant drop off due to one low-quality display. Finally, HDMI splitters cannot switch between HDMI inputs. That device is known as an HDMI Switch and is sold separately, but combination units are also available.