HDMI Splitter or Switch?

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mancich
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HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:19 pm

Fellow Bogleheads,

I have an old 42" Panasonic plasma hanging on the wall in our basement that still works and looks great. It has (1) HDMI port on it. I want to connect a sound bar, as well as a Roku (and maybe an XBox 360) without having to connect and disconnect HDMI cords.

Should I be looking for some kind of splitter (or is it called a "switch" )? Something simple and not too expensive. FYI, the room is really for the purpose of giving the kids a place to hang out, watch TV, play video games, etc. Any recommendations you can make would be appreciated, thank you.

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Kenkat
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:45 pm

Is it an HDMI in or HDMI out? I am guessing it is an HDMI in. So, for the sound bar, that won’t work - you would need the signal going out from the TV, not in. However, I am also guessing there is another format going out from the TV you might be able to use - either digital audio out / optical or RCA. So that would take care of the sound bar. Then, you could potentially plug the Roku into the Xbox 360’s HDMI in, eliminating the need for a switch because the Xbox 360 is operating as an electronic switch and passthru (you'd have to try this - if it doesn’t work then the switch option should).

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Ged
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Ged » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:46 pm


bloom2708
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:47 pm

https://www.ebay.com/itm/UHD-5-Port-HDM ... :rk:6:pf:0

eBay has a ton of options. Sound goes to the TV through HDMI, out through optical or composite out.

Optical out on the TV? Optical out to Sound Bar. Or Red/White to Red/White soundbar.
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Ketawa
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Ketawa » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:48 pm

You may or may not need an HDMI switch. It depends on your soundbar. For example, I have a Vizio soundbar with 1 regular HDMI input and 1 HDMI-ARC port, but an old Panasonic plasma will probably not have HDMI-ARC, so I can only run 1 HDMI device "through" the soundbar. If your soundbar has multiple HDMI inputs, then you might be able to connect everything to it. Otherwise, you will need an HDMI switch. These are active powered devices that come with a remote to switch ports. I had a good experience with a 4x2 Blackbird HDMI matrix (switch has 1 output, matrix can have multiple outputs), although looking at Monoprice, everything is now 4K-enabled and more expensive. You only need a switch that can pass 1080p at 60Hz.

Does your Xbox 360 have HDMI or component video? Early generations had only component video.

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mhc
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mhc » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:50 pm

I would get a powered switch.

A new tv in that size is under $300. It would have all the new features and use less power.

NJdad6
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by NJdad6 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:50 pm

Check out Monoprice. They have lots of options for this type of thing at very good prices. They are also very helpful and can provide recommendations on what will work best. However, HDMI splitters are more expensive than the old cable ones. You could probably get something that works for about $30-40.

Celtic
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Celtic » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:54 pm

To deliver video to the Plasma you want a switch. This will allow you to deliver video from more than one source onto the cable into the Plasma.

Does the plasma have speakers or do you plan to use external speakers or sound bar?

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:03 pm

Thanks all, good input (pun intended)

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:12 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:48 pm
You may or may not need an HDMI switch. It depends on your soundbar. For example, I have a Vizio soundbar with 1 regular HDMI input and 1 HDMI-ARC port, but an old Panasonic plasma will probably not have HDMI-ARC, so I can only run 1 HDMI device "through" the soundbar. If your soundbar has multiple HDMI inputs, then you might be able to connect everything to it. Otherwise, you will need an HDMI switch. These are active powered devices that come with a remote to switch ports. I had a good experience with a 4x2 Blackbird HDMI matrix (switch has 1 output, matrix can have multiple outputs), although looking at Monoprice, everything is now 4K-enabled and more expensive. You only need a switch that can pass 1080p at 60Hz.

Does your Xbox 360 have HDMI or component video? Early generations had only component video.
The HDMI port on the side of the TV says "HDMI" and right below it it says "A/V in". The back of the TV, which I can't readily access since it hangs so close to the wall, has numerous other RCA-type cable ports (red/white/yellow), but no other HDMI port; I remember looking for one when I hung it a couple of years ago. The XBox does have HDMI. I want to be able to stream movies on the Roku (and play games on the XBox) and have the sound come through a sound bar (which I have not purchased yet) without having to switch anything. Hopefully that is possible.

KlangFool
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:19 pm

OP,

It is easier for folks to help you if you provide the model number of your TV.

KlangFool

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Ketawa
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Ketawa » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:28 pm

mancich wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:12 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:48 pm
You may or may not need an HDMI switch. It depends on your soundbar. For example, I have a Vizio soundbar with 1 regular HDMI input and 1 HDMI-ARC port, but an old Panasonic plasma will probably not have HDMI-ARC, so I can only run 1 HDMI device "through" the soundbar. If your soundbar has multiple HDMI inputs, then you might be able to connect everything to it. Otherwise, you will need an HDMI switch. These are active powered devices that come with a remote to switch ports. I had a good experience with a 4x2 Blackbird HDMI matrix (switch has 1 output, matrix can have multiple outputs), although looking at Monoprice, everything is now 4K-enabled and more expensive. You only need a switch that can pass 1080p at 60Hz.

Does your Xbox 360 have HDMI or component video? Early generations had only component video.
The HDMI port on the side of the TV says "HDMI" and right below it it says "A/V in". The back of the TV, which I can't readily access since it hangs so close to the wall, has numerous other RCA-type cable ports (red/white/yellow), but no other HDMI port; I remember looking for one when I hung it a couple of years ago. The XBox does have HDMI. I want to be able to stream movies on the Roku (and play games on the XBox) and have the sound come through a sound bar (which I have not purchased yet) without having to switch anything. Hopefully that is possible.
I would buy the soundbar you want, then buy a switch if you need one. Most new soundbars will probably not have multiple HDMI inputs since they are designed to work with HDMI-ARC. Your TV probably has an optical audio out that you can use to get OTA channel audio to the soundbar, if you decide to set it up. Otherwise, if you plan to set up a cable box, that would also have to go into the HDMI switch. Either way, you will probably have to switch something periodically - the soundbar input and/or the HDMI switch input, unless the device you buy reliably switches to active devices on its own. That might not happen with a Roku since they are generally always on.

Monoprice has many non-4K switches available, categorized under "non-HDMI", probably because they do not meet the newest HDMI/HDCP standards. https://www.monoprice.com/category/Vide ... I/12146489

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:31 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:19 pm
OP,

It is easier for folks to help you if you provide the model number of your TV.

KlangFool
Don't know the exact model (it is probably stamped on the back where I can't easily get at it at the moment) but it is a Viera model circa 2007.

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GoldStar
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by GoldStar » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:40 pm

If its an HDMI-Input make sure it handles both video/sound. (Look up model number on-line if you don't have the booklet that came with the TV). Some Early TVs would only handle video through HDMI. Provided it is both video/sound you could then buy a switch in order to swap between the XBOX and the Roku.
For the output - look at what type of sound outputs you have and then you "might" be able to buy a separate converter to convert between it and the Soundbar (or just buy a soundbar that has an input that is compatible for your TVs output). OR you might have sound outputs on your Roku and Xbox you might be able to use instead (would also provide the fix if your TV doesn't handle sound via HDMI).

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:43 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:40 pm
If its an HDMI-Input make sure it handles both video/sound. (Look up model number on-line if you don't have the booklet that came with the TV). Some Early TVs would only handle video through HDMI. Provided it is both video/sound you could then buy a switch in order to swap between the XBOX and the Roku.
For the output - look at what type of sound outputs you have and then you "might" be able to buy a separate converter to convert between it and the Soundbar (or just buy a soundbar that has an input that is compatible for your TVs output). OR you might have sound outputs on your Roku and Xbox you might be able to use instead (would also provide the fix if your TV doesn't handle sound via HDMI).
Great, thank you!

Celtic
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Celtic » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Depending on your X Box model you may be able to connect it to the Plasma with composite video avoiding the need to have a switch.

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm

Bryan99 wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:43 pm
Depending on your X Box model you may be able to connect it to the Plasma with composite video avoiding the need to have a switch.
Good point too. More concerned with the Roku / soundbar connection than the XBox anyway, as the kids tend to watch Netflix more than they game. Thanks!

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Alexa9
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:14 pm

Not sure if this is what you want, but a home theater stereo like Yamaha RXV385 has 4 inputs and one output to the TV.
Add 2 or 4 speakers and maybe a subwoofer. Will definitely sound better than a soundbar.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:13 pm

What model Xbox do you have?

You might not need a Roku, as some XBoxes can stream Netflix, Amazon, etc.

Broken Man 1999
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mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:37 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:13 pm
What model Xbox do you have?

You might not need a Roku, as some XBoxes can stream Netflix, Amazon, etc.

Broken Man 1999
We have an XBox 360

123
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by 123 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:59 pm

mancich wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:19 pm
I have an old 42" Panasonic plasma hanging on the wall in our basement that still works and looks great.
Congradulations on the Panasonic plasma. We had one and enjoyed it until it died a couple of years ago. While I was sorry to see it go (it also helped to heat the room on chily nights) our electric bill went down when we replaced it with an LED model. I've noticed a 42 inch Samsung Smart TV at Costco recently for $249, so I might be reluctant to do a whole lot of fiddling to extend the use of a plasma screen.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

mancich
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by mancich » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:50 am

123 wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:59 pm
mancich wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:19 pm
I have an old 42" Panasonic plasma hanging on the wall in our basement that still works and looks great.
Congradulations on the Panasonic plasma. We had one and enjoyed it until it died a couple of years ago. While I was sorry to see it go (it also helped to heat the room on chily nights) our electric bill went down when we replaced it with an LED model. I've noticed a 42 inch Samsung Smart TV at Costco recently for $249, so I might be reluctant to do a whole lot of fiddling to extend the use of a plasma screen.
Yes, DW is suggesting the same; buy a new TV :beer

Katietsu
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:27 am

Maybe you could just work with what you have. Use the HDMI port for the Xbox 360. Stream Netflix through the Xbox - no need for a Roku. If you need a cable box, get one that connects via the RCA composite connections. Use one of the audio out options for the sound bar.

Celtic
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by Celtic » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:28 pm

Since you have an X Box 360, a relatively simple option is to connect the X Box to the Component Video IN on the plasma, and the Roku to the HDMI IN on the Plasma. Connect audio out from the TV to the sound bar. Switching between Roku and X Box would be accomplished via the Plasma remote with corresponding video shown on the screen and audio sent out to the sound bar.

(Note component video is 3 RCA type cables which I believe you mentioned were on the back. They are labeled Y Pb Pr. Two other RCA cables are used to carry the audio left and fight.)

wrongfunds
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Re: HDMI Splitter or Switch?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:18 am

Two-in-One-out HDMI switches are available for under $10. I have one which I am using to switch between incoming cable box and Roku to the TV hung on the wall because I was too lazy to remove the TV and access the built-in second HDMI port on that TV. I can find the exact model of the switch if that is what you are interested in. Output of that switch goes to the sound bar which does have a pass through so when sound bar is NOT powered, it just passes the hdmi straight through. I have bunch of short hdmi cables to achieve this.

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