Blog posts tagged with 'hdmi'

HDMI AV switch

HDMI Switches – Multiple HDMI Sources to Multiple HDMI Output units

HDMI Interfaces have become very popular to connect High Definition Audio-Video Systems like DVD Players, Blue-ray disk players, Cable Set top boxes, Satellite receivers, HD Gaming units, etc. 

There are special HDMI Cables that connect these sources to HD display units like LCD Displays, Plasma Displays, LED TV's, LCD/ DLP Projectors, etc. 

HDMI Switches are used to connect both the HDMI Sources and HDMI display units together in a single box so that one can select which source they want to connect to which display unit, at any  point of time. 

There are two types of HDMI Switches – N x 1 & N x N. 


The N x 1 HDMI Switches allow a user to connect multiple HDMI Sources to one HD Display unit. User can select which source they want to connect to the display unit at a given point of time, either using the remote control that is supplied along with the HDMI Switch (mostly) or using the On-device switch knob. 

This is quite comfortable for the user because they don't have to disconnect a device from the display unit and re-connect the same, by physically plugging and UN-plugging cables every time they want to move between the Blue ray player and the Cable/Satellite receiver, for example. 

All the connections can be permanently made and the user can just use the remote control to select which HDMI Source they want to connect with their HDTV. They can even connect and select from up to five HDMI Sources using common HDMI Switch models that allow up to 5 x1 connectivity. The 3 x 1 HDMI Switch model is another popular model among HDMI N x 1 Switches.

The N x N HDMI Switches allow a user to connect multiple HDMI Sources to multiple HD Display units. This could be useful in situations where a user has multiple HD sources and multiple  HD displays and want to be able to select which source they want to connect to which display unit. 

For example, users might want to watch a movie using a HDMI supported LCD/ DLP projector in the weekend. But they don't always want to connect the Blue ray player to the projector as the bulb life in any projector is limited. By pressing a single button on the IR remote control of their HDMI Switch, they might be able to switch to their Plasma/ LED TV's on weekdays. 

In normal cases, users might have to physically plug the cable to the LCD/DLP Projector and Plasma/LED TV every time. But, with N x N HDMI Switches, they can permanently connect all their input sources and all their output sources to a single HDMI switch and use the remote to decide which source connects to which display. 

There is no need to wade around complex set of cables and in most cases, there is no need to even get up from their seat. One touch on the remote control decides where they see what. Its simple and effective! The common N x N HDMI Switch configurations include 5 (Input) x 4 (Output) & 3 (Input) x 2 (Output).

Some HDMI Switches can even extend the range of the HDMI connections (distance over which HDMI signals can be carried over HDMI cables) as they can equalize and re-lock the HDMI signals passing through them. Some of them even support HDMI and HDCP Pass through capabilities. 

The HDMI Switches generally maintain the resolution of the High Definition displays passing through them – So, they support the highest HD Standard - 1080p & a high computer display resolution of up to 1920 x 1200 pixels. So, there is no downgrading of the HD signals passing through the HDMI Switches.

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What is HDMI Splitter?

HDMI Splitter – Connect Multiple Displays using a Single HD Source





The HDMI Interface/ HDMI Cables have become very popular for connecting High Definition Sources with High Definition Displays. Since the HDMI Cables can carry audio along with HD video, its an additional advantage as it reduces the clutter (due to many cables) around a home-theater unit. 

So now, users can connect their HD DVD players to a Plasma/ LED Screen using a single HDMI Cable between them to enjoy high quality HD video. But we know that the DVD player is placed very close to the display unit and both of them are connected directly using a HDMI cable. 

The HD DVD Player/ HD Satellite Receiver are normally kept in the living room, along with Plasma TV/ LED TV or other display units. In any family, there are situations when multiple family members want to watch the same TV show/  Movie from different places. 

For example, the lady of the house might want to have a display in kitchen and watch the video programs while cooking. Working professionals might want to lie down on their bed in their bedroom and watch TV for some time, before sleeping after a tiring day. In many houses, there are multiple rooms and family members might want to view video programs right from their own room. 

One can buy multiple displays and place it where ever users want them. But what about Satellite receivers /Cable Set-top boxes? Users cannot buy multiple such units as each unit incurs additional monthly costs. And the same DVD cannot be played using multiple DVD players!

That's where the HDMI splitter comes in very handy. The function of a HDMI splitter is to replicate the same HD source (from DVD Player, Satellite receiver, etc) and display them simultaneously on more than a single HD display unit (LED Display, Plasma TV, etc). The best thing about a HDMI splitter is, they can replicate audio signals along with the video signals!

There are various models of the HDMI splitters which can split/ replicate a single video source into two, four or even eight independent video streams that can be displayed on two, four or eight independent monitors connected to the splitter. 

So, in every HDMI splitter, there is one HDMI In port where the source is connected using a HDMI Cable and there are multiple HDMI Out ports where the displays can be connected, also using HDMI Cables. There is no need to carry separate audio cables for each display as audio signals are split (replicated) along with the video signals.

Most of the HDMI splitters maintain the source resolution as such. If a 720p HD source is played from a DVD Player, all the screens display the same 720p HD video. Hence, there is no reduction of video resolution while using the HDMI splitter. Many splitters support up to 1080p HD resolutions, which is the highest commercially available HD resolution for now. 

It is also important to remember that the maximum distance over which HDMI signals can be carried by HDMI cables are limited. So, special quality HDMI cables or HDMI extenders can be used to extend their distances. 

In some cases, its even possible to use Remote Control extenders to control the HD DVD player/ Cable Set-top box kept at the living room, right from the kitchen or bedroom.

HDMI splitters are compatible with HDCP protocol which maybe required to combat piracy in HD video. So, a HDMI splitter is a small device but extends your home theater to multiple locations within your house. You can even have up to eight screens displaying the video/audio from the same source across the house! 

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VGA AV to HDMI Converter

Most of the latest display terminals in the market come with HDMI ports that support High Definition display format. Some of them can take an input signal from a PC/ Computer in certain HDMI ports.

But the issue is, computers do not come with HDMI ports! They come with VGA ports for video and audio-out ports for audio. So, if one wants to connect their computer output to a Plasma/ LED/ LCD/ DLP display terminal using a HDMI cable, they would need an VGA + Audio to HDMI Converter.

A VGA cable and audio cable connects from the PC/ Laptop to the Converter and a HDMI cable connects to the display terminal from the converter. HDMI Cable can carry both image and voice together. So, one cable is sufficient on the monitor side.


But please be aware that only certain resolutions of the computer display are supported by the converter. So, the computer/ laptop display needs to be adjusted accordingly (to one of the resolutions supported) while connecting with the VGA to HDMI converter.

The images are rendered as such by the converter, and there is no up-conversion or down-conversion of the resolutions/ change in format.

The VGA + Audio to HDMI converter could be useful if one wants to see videos on a bigger screen (or) if one wants to browse the net from a distance (using wireless keyboard/ mouse, for example).

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HDMI extender CAT5

Network Equipment: Extend your HDMI signals up to 200ft!


What is a HDMI to Cat5E Extender?

HDMI to Cat5E Extenders are a pair of devices that connect to each other using a Copper UTP Cat5E Network Cable to extend the HDMI video signals / DVI video signals over a distance of up to 60 meters.   

Why is a HDMI to Cat5E Extender required?

HDMI to Cat5E extenders are basically required to extend the distance over which High Definition (HD) Video signals can be sent from a video source (like DVD players) to a display terminal receiver (like Plasma display, LCD projector, etc.). 

HDMI cables supplied along with the video source (like a DVD player) are actually a few feet in length. So, one can only connect the source to a display terminal that is close by using the supplied HDMI cables. 

But, what if one wants to connect a DVD player to a monitor that is far away? For example, the DVD player could be in the living room and a second monitor might be in the bed room, which is a few meters away from the source. 

Another example would be to connect the HDMI source of a DVD player with an overhead LCD projector that supports HDMI input. The distance between them could be more than just a few feet/ meters.  

HDMI Cables cannot connect directly over that distance and hence one might need a HDMI to Cat5E Extender.

Some of these Extenders can even connect to DVI video signals (which is another video signal format) and extend their range over an inexpensive Cat5E cable (network cable).

Some Salient features supported by HDMI to Cat5E cable extenders:

They come as a pair of units – One needs to be kept close to the HDMI source, and the other needs to be kept near the display terminal. Both of them are connected to the source and display terminals using normal short-length HDMI cables. But, a long Cat5E network cable connects the two of them. 

The Cat5E cable can run for up to 60 meters, which should be enough for most applications that require the HDMI signals to be extended from one place to another. 

Any length Cat5E cable (up to 60 meters) can be connected between the individual extender units without the user having to change any settings. So, the feedback and amplification signals (for example) are auto adjusted by the units themselves. 

The HDMI to Cat5E cable extenders support the latest High Definition standard – 1080p which gives the best HD quality as of today. So, they support the bandwidth required for transporting such high bandwidth video signals (2.25 Gbits). 

Some of the HDMI to Cat5E extenders support HDCP – High bandwidth Digital Content Protection. Its a technology used to prevent the stealing/ duplicating of copyrighted digital content while being transmitted over various video interfaces including HDMI, DVI, etc.