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.