There never seems to be enough HDMI ports on a TV. In fact, running out of ports is a common problem across many different kinds of devices, including the most recent version of Apple’s MacBook Pro. If you have one more device to plug into the TV but can’t find a place to connect it, don’t worry, because there is a way to add more ports and you won’t have to continue switching cables in and out.
How do you add more HDMI ports to a TV? If you connect the outport from an HDMI switch to the TV via an HDMI cable you can add three additional ports, however, you’ll lose one when you connect the switch to the TV.
As it was just noted, it is possible to add more HDMI ports to your TV by adding an HDMI switch, in fact, we have an entire guide on HDMI switches and their many features and capabilities. However, if you’re not familiar with an HDMI switch or maybe you want to use something else, we have more information below.
Adding More HDMI Ports to a TV
With more HDMI ports you can connect additional devices, instead of constantly exchanging one cable for another. Unfortunately, most televisions, even the latest models, only come with one or two HDMI ports. If you’re like most people, you have more than two devices you want to connect.
If you want a quick and easy fix you’ll need to purchase an HDMI switch, such as the SGEYR (on Amazon), and you don’t want to confuse it with an HDMI splitter. A switch provides you with additional ports, while a splitter only sends the same signal from one connected device to multiple TVs in the house. Put simply, an HDMI splitter will not give you extra HDMI ports, but it does have other useful features that we’ve already explored before.
HDMI Switch: The Most Common and Cheapest Method
An HDMI switch is a device that gives you additional HDMI ports, though it does remove one from the TV. It’s a handy component that doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s easy to set up. It’s important to note that you won’t spend a lot of money on a top-rated HDMI switch, either. How an HDMI switch works is simple. It comes with HDMI and AC connectors so it must be placed close to an electrical outlet and the port on the TV.
Once it is plugged into the outlet and HDMI port on the TV, you can start connecting other devices. Regardless of the type of device that is connected to the switch, it will be visible on the TV. All you have to do is use the TV’s remote control to switch between the various inputs. Even though an HDMI switch will give you additional ports, it can still come with disadvantages.
- Adds more HDMI ports
- Small size
- Easy to install
- Lag times can occur if you’re using a passive instead of an active switch.
- Not all switches support 4K content.
Audio/Video Receiver: Using its HDMI Ports
You might still have an A/V receiver either connected to your entertainment system or stored in a closet. Some people might think that these devices are outdated, but your old A/V receiver might be able to give you additional HDMI ports without having to buy a switch. When you hook the audio and visual receiver to the TV, you are using an HDMI port the same as with a switch.
Once the A/V receiver is connected, you can plug other devices into it. The content from any device connected to the receiver will appear on the TV. There are complications to using an A/V receiver. You have to turn on the TV, receiver, and the device you want to use, and then power it down when you want to switch to another component. All devices connected to the receiver use the same input channel.
- You don’t have to purchase another component
- Supports multiple devices
- Lag time isn’t affected
- Easy to install
- You will need to attach a cable for every connected device.
- It can be complicated and time-consuming to use.
There are some cases where you may not need an HDMI switch (or an HDMI splitter – our guide). For instance, if you own an A/V receiver, such as the Wireless Home Audio Amplifier System from Amazon, you can use this instead, but there are a few reasons you may not want to.
HDMI Switch vs an A/V Receiver
If you already have an old A/V receiver that you use to boost sound quality, you can save money by using it instead of buying an HDMI switch. If it’s already connected to your TV, then there’s one less setup step you need to perform, however, there are disadvantages to using an AVR, including that you can’t switch between inputs.
The remote for the A/V receiver only controls volume and power. You will also have to manually turn on each device you want or use its corresponding remote. If you don’t have a soundbar but still want surround sound, an A/V receiver is a great option when you need more ports to connect external devices to the TV. If you already have a surround system and still need additional HDMI ports, a switch may be worth it.
Why Use an HDMI Switch?
If you already have a surround system and don’t want to drag your A/V receiver out or don’t have one, an HDMI switch will fix the issue of having two few TV ports. You do have to purchase another device, though it is inexpensive, even if you choose one with five or more HDMI ports. Most devices are HDMI compatible, so you don’t need to use only the inputs that come on an A/V receiver.
A switch is also noticeably smaller than a receiver, making it easier to place in your entertainment system. You’ll also find that it’s easier to hide the connecting cables with a smaller device. The primary advantage of using an HDMI switch is its convenience. Your TV remote controls all of the HDMI inputs and you don’t have to get up to turn devices on and off; you simply switch input channels from the comfort of your couch.
It’s common knowledge that TVs don’t come with enough HDMI ports for all of today’s devices. People need to connect more than one or two, and even smart TVs don’t allow for this. There are cost-effective ways you can add HDMI ports, and both come with advantages. If you have an audio and video receiver, it has inputs that you can use to connect multiple devices. However, there are several downsides to this solution.
A better option is to purchase an inexpensive HDMI switch. You can find switches with two or more HDMI ports. The switches are easy to install, but make sure you get an active one. It means that it plugs into a power source so you don’t have to worry about the switch “dying” in the middle of a movie or while you’re gaming.