HDMI splitters come in all different shapes and sizes. Most common is the “one in, two out” splitter. This is the kind of splitter which takes one input, such as a gaming system, and outputs it to multiple displays. For instance, if you have two monitors you’d like to cast your game to, this is the kind of splitter you would need.
Unfortunately, many people confuse an HDMI splitter with an HDMI switch. However, a splitter is not the same thing as an HDMI switch. An HDMI splitter goes from one input to two or more outputs. An HDMI switch goes from multiple inputs to one output. So, make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish so you do not confuse whether or not you need an HDMI splitter or an HDMI switch.
What to Look for When Buying an HDMI Splitter
There are many different types of HDMI splitters so it is important to know what to look for. Here we will go over some of the most common things you’ll see when looking for an HDMI splitter. If you are looking for an advanced HDMI or have any questions about splitters, feel free to contact us.
Here are the most common qualities of HDMI splitters:
- Number of Outputs: HDMI splitters come with many different options for the number of outputs available. The most common is one in, two out, however, splitters are seen going from two outputs all the way up to sixteen outputs total.
- Powered/Unpowered: Most splitters are powered by some sort of external power adapter, however, there are some splitters on the market that are not powered. If a splitter is not powered it might only allow one display to show at one time so look out for this if you want both monitors/TV to show the display.
- 2-in-1: Some devices offer functionality as both a switch and splitter. This will save you a bit of money if you are looking for both and don’t want to spend money on two. Also, sometimes it’s handy to have both functionalities just in case. You never know when you might need a switch when you have a splitter or vice versa.
- Resolution: Some splitters have a maximum resolution that may be below what you need. For instance, if you need a 4K splitter make sure the splitter clearly states it supports 4K. If you need 3D output, again, make sure it specifies this.
- Refresh Rate: Be careful when choosing a cheap splitter because it may say it is a 4K HDMI splitter or a 3D HDMI splitter, but then it doesn’t have a high refresh rate. In many cases, the cheaper ones will only be 30Hz and not 60Hz. 60Hz means that an image will display on the screen 60 times per second. At 30Hz, it’ll only display half as many times. This is important for gaming or action scenes in movies, as a lower refresh rate will make the movie or game appear laggy or as if it is glitching during crucial moments. It won’t appear smooth. It’s really not worth it to save a few bucks.
- HDCP: Look for an HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) level that is compatible with your device. Many newer devices are 2.2 HDCP while many cheap splitters do not support this.
- HDMI Version: Different versions of HDMI exist as well, the most common being v1.3 and v1.4. However, the latest version is HDMI v2.1. Be sure to select a device that supports whatever HDMI version cables you are running. Remember, the HDMI version will affect the output. For instance, if you are running v1.4 HDMI you cannot effectively output 4K at 60Hz, the maximum will be 30Hz. So, do not overlook this number not only when buying an HDMI splitter but also when buying your HDMI cables to being with.
The Best HDMI Splitters
If you’re looking to split one input into two or four outputs you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than OREI’s HDMI Splitter. This splitter supports most of the latest technology HDMI cables as is compatible with nearly every single device you can think of throwing at it.
This particular splitter supports up to HDMI 2.0 but is also backwards compatible with HDMI 1.3 and 1.4. It also supports all types of audio currently available on the market including Dolby-AC3, DTS-HD, DSD, etc. It will work at a range of up to 30 feet, provided the HDMI cables used to span that distance are of high quality.
Most HDMI splitters at such a low price range, such as this, do not support such high quality. This splitter can support 4K at up to 60Hz and does so with no quality loss whatsoever. It can even split 3D video transmitted over HDMI. It’s also HDCP 2.2 compliant so it will work with almost any device.
The only thing to keep in mind when using this HDMI splitter is that if you are splitting to a 4K device and a 1080P device (or lower resolution), it can only split at the lowest resolution. Hence, this device is best suited for those who are going to split between devices that are of the same resolution and/or quality. It’s also a plug and play HDMI splitter which means that there is no additional installation or setup which needs to be performed.
This HDMI splitter comes in both a 2-port and 4-port version.
The Siig 4K HDMI splitter packs a lot of power into one box. In fact, not only does this device work with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, it can output 4K resolution at 60Hz. It also has an autoscaling feature which detects and configures the resolution of the display devices automatically.
This device also works with all levels of enhanced audio. Some notable audio formats that it works with are Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, SACD, MPCM, and LPCM. It also works with almost any input device you can think of throwing at it as well as any output display.
One of the best features on this box is its flexibility. The EDID switches on the back of the unit allows for multiple configurations. The device allows for full-HD, ultra-HD, learning EDID (which learns from first output device), and multiple audio modes as well as 2D and 3D video options.
The power is micro USB which means you can use an adapter to plug it into the wall or, if you have a spare cable, you can use a spare USB port from your TV or surge protector USB port. The device itself also comes in a compact form (no bigger than a wallet) which can be attached to the back of your TV or wall using a small piece of velcro. Although, the compact version does not have as many options.
In fact, there’s hardly anything negative to say about this device. For its price it really cannot be beat. It has great quality and the functionality is great too. If there is any downside at all it is that 720p and 480p downscaling is not supported with this device.
This HDMI splitter also comes in a one in four out model and a one in eight out model. The box gives off very little heat and is resistant to EMI/EFI interference too. The firmware is upgradable and it also comes with a 3-year warranty.
Although the goFanco HDMI Splitter doesn’t support the highest refresh rate for 4K (60Hz), it does a great job nonetheless. In fact, it works very well for 4K at 30Hz if you don’t mind a lower refresh rate. It’s also very reliable, so you don’t have to worry about losing image quality or any picture loss.
The highlight on this product is the four EDID modes, which provides flexibility for you depending on your setup. The four modes are as follows:
- Mixed EDID: Will take the lowest resolution device and output at that resolution for all connected devices.
- Copy EDID: Uses resolution information for the device plugged into output 1 and displays that resolution to all other connected devices.
- 1080P: Outputs 1080P to all connected devices.
- 4Kx2K: 4K resolution (at 30Hz) is output to all connected devices.
This is a great feature for those who have multiple monitors and multiple setups. It gives great flexibility for users who want to upgrade at some point or maybe just replace one monitor with a monitor of a different type. Sometimes you might just want to experiment and see what gives you the best picture quality or fastest output. This HDMI splitter allows for all of the above.
Another great feature is that this supports nearly all available audio type as well, even the most advanced audio. Some notable types it is compatible with include Compatible with Dolby TrueHD, LPCM 7.1, DTS-HD master audio as well as Dolby Digital plus. The device’s metal casing also helps to eliminate any feedback that might be caused by EMI or RFI noise interference.
The Techole HDMI Switch Splitter, as its name implies, is both a switch and a splitter. While this is one of the most affordable HDMI splitters you will find online, there are a few important caveats to keep in mind. Now, there are some really, really good features, but just keep in mind that is not a fully functioning HDMI splitter like the two splitters above.
One of the best features of this splitter is that it also functions as a switch. So, you can either have one input and two outputs and use this is a splitter, or you can have two inputs and one output, and use this as a switch.
The main drawback of this is that as a splitter it will only output to one device at a time, not two devices simultaneously. So, if you’re looking to cast a display onto two monitors at the same time, look elsewhere. If that’s not important to you, this device will suit you just fine. If you need to run two devices simultaneously they do have a version for that, however, this device will not function as a switch also.
Another great feature of this HDMI switch splitter is that it doesn’t require any external power. This is great if you need to take this device on the go all the time. It also gives this item a minimal footprint as it saves a ton of space. And, you don’t have to upgrade your surge protector just to get one more open slow to fit another plug, there’s no need with this splitter.
While this splitter does support 4K and 3D, it does so only at 30Hz. That said, it is compatible with nearly every device on the market and is HDMI 2.0 ready. Some users have reported problems using it with HDCP 2.2 devices.
There are many things to like about this splitter and switch in one. It is cheap, what it does, it does well, and it functions essentially as two devices (an HDMI splitter and an HDMI switch), saving you some money. All in all, a great product from a good company at a great price.
Looking for a good 1×8 HDMI splitter can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re looking to output to a lot of different display types. Also, if you’re looking for a good HDMI splitter that supports high resolution. That said, the J-Tech 1×8 HDMI Splitter fits the bill is almost every regard. In fact, this box is quite a powerhouse. Not only does it allow for multiple resolution outputs, it also outputs to 4K @ 60Hz.
Advertised as a MRO (multiple resolution output) device, this splitter is in fact compatible with both 4K and 1080P TVs. However, if you use anything lower than 1080P, such as 720P or below, this device may or may not work with them. Most users have reports not having good luck trying to use 720P or 480P devices with this box. That said, it does a great job in “mixed” mode with a mix of 4K and 1080P devices.
This unit is also compatible with all the latest technology. Not only is it HDCP 2.2 compliant, it is also HDMI 2.0 compliant. In fact, many users who previously had HDCP problems switched to this device to bypass those problems. It also works with almost all the latest audio equipment as well, including LPCM 7.1, PCM, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. Almost all new input devices are supported as well including Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, etc.
One of the best features of this device is its unlimited lifetime tech support. If you have any issue whatsoever, their USA-based (Texas) tech support is available five days a week to help. There is also a one-year limited warranty on this box.
HDMI to DVI Connections and Vice Versa
Many people are concerned about using an HDMI splitter because of their DVI connections. This can instantly be fixed by using an HDMI-to-DVI conversion device such as a simple HDMI to DVI cable or an HDMI to DVI adapter. The nice thing about either an HDMI to DVI cable or an HDMI to DVI adapter is that they both can be used as either a DVI to HDMI or an HDMI to DVI converter. This is also known as being bi-directional. So, whether you are trying to output to an HDMI device or output to a DVI device, they work for both applications.