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best hdmi splitters

The Best HDMI Splitters in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our big HDMI splitter test. Here we present you all of the HDMI splitters we have tested. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best HDMI splitter for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an HDMI splitter.

  • An HDMI splitter is a useful tool that allows you to multiply the HDMI signal. In many cases it can make sense to have an additional exit. It is e.g. This makes it possible to output video content simultaneously on the television and on a projector.
  • Choosing a suitable HDMI splitter can prove to be too complex for a beginner, as many of the information requires specialist knowledge.
  • Communication using HDMI poses some obstacles. In particular, the different HDMI versions make buying more difficult for beginners, since the devices should work perfectly with each other and there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises.

Best HDMI Splitters

Techole 4K - HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out

 Our Pick
Techole 4K – HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out
  • ✔HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 out – Techole Aluminum HDMI splitter…
  • ✔Long Distance Transmission – The HDMI splitter provides…
  • ✔Wide Compatibility – Compatible with HDMI 1.4/ 1.3/ 1.2,…
  • ✔4K Crystal Clear Picture – Techole 4K HDMI splitter…
  • ✔Simple Plug and Play Operation – This HDMI splitter is…

This HDMI splitter distributes audio and video signals from one source to two different HDMI screens at the same time, creating a high definition resolution.

This means that high-resolution videos can be shared. This is also possible thanks to the excellent remote transmission. Because this HDMI splitter from Techole can transmit the data at a bandwidth of 3.4 Gbit / s.

Techole - HDMI Switch 4K HDMI Splitter

 Our Pick
Techole – HDMI Switch 4K HDMI Splitter
  • PLUG AND PLAY: This HDMI switch is easy to setup and…
  • UPGRADED HDMI SWITCH: Solid Aluminum Alloy construction,…
  • FAST & STABLE TRANSMITTION: The HDMI Switch provides high…
  • HIGH RESOLUTION: Support 3D, 1080P, 4K x [email protected] resolution…
  • COMPATIBILITY: HDMI Splitter Switcher suitable for most…

This HDMI switch scores with its bi-directionality. Because, depending on your needs, a signal can be transferred to two or two signals to one signal. So this HDMI switch from Techole can be used for a lot.

In addition, customers rave about its good resolution. Not only the screen, but also the audio is HD and leaves nothing to be desired.

KELIIYO Hdmi Splitter 1 in 4 Out

KELIIYO Hdmi Splitter 1 in 4 Out
  • 【1×4 Hdmi Splitter】This Hdmi splitter 1 input 4 output…
  • 【High Compability】Keliiyo 4 way Hdmi Splitter supports…
  • 【Material& Transmission】Keliiyo hdmi audio splitter made…
  • 【Wide Application】3D support, HDCP V1.4 Powered hdmi…
  • 【Simple to Use】This hdmi splitter 1×4 is easy to setup…

Frequently Asked Questions: HDMI Splitter

What is an HDMI splitter?

An HDMI splitter is a useful electronic device that allows an HDMI signal to be split across multiple outputs.

An HDMI splitter is therefore also known as an HDMI distributor.

An HDMI splitter has many uses and will be used in many multimedia setups.

The HDMI splitter often consists of three connections. One HDMI IN connector for the input signal and two HDMI OUT connectors for two output signals.

The two output signals are identical or the output devices that receive the HDMI signal receive the same input.

The HDMI signal transmission should make it easier for the consumer to connect the many different multimedia devices with one another. HDMI not only transmits the picture, but also the audio signals.

The HDMI splitter therefore transmits all the information that a device needs to be able to reproduce the content accordingly.

The actual function of the HDMI splitter is to decode the received signal, to amplify it, to encode it again and finally to forward it.

The amplification of the signal is necessary to ensure a constant quality of the signal.

Why do I need an HDMI splitter?

HDMI splitters have many uses. A simple application would be, for example, to display the computer image on the monitor and the television (or projector) at the same time.

The HDMI splitter supplies both end devices with the required information and elegantly solves this problem.

If you want to record your gaming experiences on the PS4 with a capture card (for private use), then an HDMI splitter can help you.

If you want to retrofit an Ambilight to experience dynamic background radiation on your television, then an HDMI splitter is exactly the right choice for you. The HDMI splitter supplies the television and the Ambilight controller with the required signals. Do I need an HDMI Switch or an HDMI splitter? And what alternatives are there?

Beginners in particular often have problems with these two terms and often use them as synonyms, even though they have completely different possible uses.

As mentioned above, the main job of an HDMI splitter is to multiply the signals, but the job of the HDMI switch is to ensure that you can switch between the different input signals.

Assuming we have two different computers sharing a screen, the HDMI switch could switch between the two inputs and, depending on the switch position, display the image from one computer or the other.

A suitable example would be a presentation setup where we want to enable the presenter to either use their own laptop or use the computer on site.

The switch makes it possible either to transmit the signal from the laptop or to use the signal from the stationary computer.

The switch can therefore be interpreted as an “or”: either use signal source 1 or use signal source 2.

A switch can be interpreted as a reverse splitter.

The splitter distributes a signal to many outputs, whereas a switch provides a logic in which many inputs point to one output.

Some switches can even be controlled using a remote control. This makes it possible, for example, to easily switch between the individual sources from the sofa.

In addition to these two variants, there is a third type, the so-called matrix.

An HDMI matrix makes it possible to either duplicate the signals or to switch between the individual signals.

So it is a real all-rounder, but usually more expensive than the simpler versions.

Can I use an HDMI splitter despite HDCP?

A question that arises very often in connection with HDMI splitters is about HDCP.

“High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection” is a special encryption system that is provided for the protected transmission of audio and video data. It is a copy protection built into HDMI.

Sources of video and audio data, such as Blu-Ray or streaming providers, have the option of encrypting the data via HDCP.

This encrypted data is forwarded to the connected devices.

In our case, the HDMI splitter now acts as a middleman between the two devices. The way HDCP works can be expressed as follows:

The two devices, which are connected to one another via an HDMI cable, check whether the other device supports the compliance requirement for the HDCP version.

If the receiver of the signal does not support HDCP, either no picture can be transmitted or only one in a lower resolution.

So: yes, you can definitely use an HDMI splitter despite HDCP. However, you should ensure that it supports the HDCP version of the signal source.

Does an HDMI splitter have a negative impact on picture quality?

No. HDMI splitters shouldn’t have a negative impact on the picture.

HDMI is a digital signal and digital signals can be reproduced without any problems.

Types of HDMI Splitters

The number of different HDMI splitters is enormous. Choosing a suitable HDMI splitter is not that easy.

In principle, the selection is much more about the purpose of the HDMI splitter.

Basically, however, all HDMI splitters work in a similar way: get an input signal, amplify it, and forward it.

However, some HDMI splitters have special features that can be a decisive factor depending on the area of application.

These features are:

  • With EDID manipulation and downscaler
  • With audio extraction

The different types each have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer, a different type is suitable for you. With the following section we would like to make your decision easier.

HDMI Splitter with EDID manipulation & downscaler: Advantages & Disadvantages

First, let’s look at EDID itself and the communication between a playback device and a source.

EDID stands for “Extended Display Identification Data” and it describes the display capabilities of a display.

This includes information about the supported resolutions, the supported aspect ratios, the Hertz number, etc.

This data describes all the important information a source needs to send the correct data to the display screen.

Advantages

  • The displays are given the appropriate resolutions
  • Additional control over functionalities

Disadvantages

  • Increased power consumption due to the conversion within the HDMI splitter

What happens now if we connect display devices with different resolutions to our HDMI splitter?

The two display devices would send different EDID data to our source and it would not know in which resolution it should send the data.

In such a case, our source would choose the lower resolution in order to be able to display the data correctly on both devices.

With the help of EDID manipulation, however, we can tell our signal source exactly which signals we want to receive.

So we can request an image with a higher resolution and process the signal within our HDMI splitter using a controller.

As a result, our device with a higher resolution receives the optimal image and our device with a lower resolution also receives a suitable image that corresponds to its resolution.

The image is scaled down within the HDMI splitter using the downscaler.

EDID manipulation can also be applied to audio data. For example, we can explicitly request a special audio format and forward it to other devices.

HDMI Splitter with audio extraction: Advantages & Disadvantages

Some HDMI splitters offer built-in audio extraction. This audio extraction can e.g. to TOSLINK or Cinch.

Specifically, this means that the HDMI splitter receives a signal via HDMI and only forwards the image information to the HDMI outputs.

For the audio data it provides a separate connection via TOSLINK or Cinch, which only contains the filtered audio data.

Advantages

  • The possibility of different connections
  • The integration of devices that do not have an HDMI connection

Disadvantages

  • Additional cables are required

This form of an HDMI splitter allows different information to be sent to different devices.

For example, the audio signal can be forwarded directly to an external sound system, whereas the projector and television only receive the pure image data.

These models are particularly interesting if the playback device does not support ARC (Audio Return Channel) and the sound should not be output directly on the playback device.

Cinch supports a maximum of 7.1 sound and TOSLINK a 5.1 sound.

HDMI Splitter: Purchase Criteria

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible HDMI splitters.

The criteria that you can use to compare the HDMI splitters include:

  • Input / Output
  • HDMI version
  • UHD (4K), Full HD, SD
  • Resolutions supported
  • Supported sound formats and audio encodings
  • Other HDMI functions (ARC, CEC, HEC)
  • HDCP

In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important for the individual criteria in order to make your purchase decision easier.

Input / Output

A key feature of HDMI splitters is the number of inputs and outputs.

Some retailers mistakenly refer to their products as splitters when they are actually switches.

An HDMI splitter has one input and several outputs, whereas a switch often has several inputs and only one output.

The optimal number of outlets is strongly dependent on the intended use. In principle: the more connections the better.

If the setup changes, there will still be enough outputs available from the HDMI splitter.

Instead of purchasing a new device, you can continue to use the device you have already purchased.

HDMI version

Another important purchase criterion is that of the HDMI version. The criterion provides information about the data rate of the signal.

For example, HDMI 1.4b, with a data rate of 8.16 Gbit / s, can already transmit the popular 4K resolution, but only at 24 Hz.

For comparison: The HDMI 2.1 version can reproduce an 8K resolution at 60 Hz or a 4K resolution for a 3D television. This corresponds to a data rate of 42 Gbit / s.

Before buying, it is important to ensure that the HDMI version of the HDMI splitter is not a bottleneck so that other expensive purchases are not in vain.

Below is a list of important properties. It is advisable to skim through them briefly to get a feel for the various values.

HDMI 1.0
1920 × 1080 pixels at 60 Hz

HDMI 1.3
2560 x 1440 pixels with 60 Hz

HDMI 1.4
3840 × 2160 pixels at 24 Hz
1920 × 1080 pixels at 24 Hz (3D)

HDMI 1.4b
4096 × 2160 pixels at 24 Hz
3840 × 2160 pixels at 30 Hz
2560 × 1600 pixels at 60 Hz

HDMI 2.0
3840 × 2160 pixels at 60 Hz
1920 × 1080 pixels at 48 Hz (3D)

HDMI 2.1
7680 × 4320 pixels at 60 Hz
3840 × 2160 pixels at 120 Hz (3D)

UHD (4K), Full HD, SD

Instead of specifying a resolution in numbers, such as 3840 x 2160, it makes sense to assign this to a name.

The terms UHD, Full HD and SD should give you a quick overview of the performance of the HDMI splitter.

The term UHD (Ultra High Definition) is a small modification of the popular 4K resolution with at least 3840 x 2160 pixels.

UHD delivers razor-sharp images and channels such as Sky or Netflix offer the option of streaming via 4K.

UHD differs from True 4K, however, as the width ratio does not exceed 4000 pixels.

The true 4K resolution is 4096 × 2160 pixels, whereas that of UHD is 3840 x 2160 pixels.

So there is no major difference and both variants are often referred to as 4K.

Full HD and SD are older resolutions that describe milestones in image quality.

Full HD describes a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 pixels, whereas SD (Standard Definition) describes a resolution of 720 x 576 pixels.

4K video content is growing in popularity!

Resolutions supported

In addition to the information on the resolution standards and the HDMI version, the dealer often specifies the video formats supported.

The information is given in the following form: 2160p, 1080p, 720p, 480p and 360p.

Similar to the information on UHD and Full HD, these values give you information about the supported resolutions of the HDMI splitter.

The ‘p’ stands for progressive image transmission and this value gives you information about the vertical resolution of the image.

So it is independent of the width and thus of the aspect ratio of your screen.

Usually these values are superfluous as they can be derived from terms such as 4K and 2K.

Rather, the dealers explicitly give you the certainty that this resolution is supported.

The following list gives you a rough overview:

  • UHD = 3840 × 2160 = 2160p
  • Full HD = 1920x1080pixels = 1080p
  • HD = 1080x720pixels = 720p

Supported sound formats and audio encodings

Similar to the supported resolutions, the retailers explicitly give you the certainty that this audio format is also supported.

Since not only image information but also audio information is transmitted via HDMI, this information can give you a quick overview of supported sound formats.

However, this information is usually superfluous, as the supported sound formats depend on the HDMI version.

The actual purchase criterion is again the corresponding HDMI version of the splitter.

Before buying, make sure that the HDMI version supports the audio format you are using.

Most audio formats should be covered from an HDMI version of 1.4a.

The HDMI version 1.4a was introduced at the beginning of 2010. The HDMI version of a new HDMI splitter should therefore almost certainly be above version 1.4.

Below we provide you with a list of the HDMI version and from which audio format has been added.

Of course, higher HDMI versions also support the older formats and are downward compatible.

HDMI 1.0
MPEG, Dolby Digital, DTS (Digital Theater System)

HDMI 1.1
DVD audio

HDMI 1.2
SACD

HDMI 1.3
Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, dts-HD (Digital Theater System- High Definition)

Other HDMI functions (ARC, CEC, HEC)

With the help of HDMI, not only images and sound are transmitted, but also other information.

In this way, HDMI provides the user with additional functions that are intended to simplify control or also to reduce the amount of cabling.

These functions are ARC, CEC, and HEC.

ARC: The “Audio Return Channel” should make it easier for you to connect external audio devices.

The way it works is relatively simple. The HDMI splitter forwards the picture and sound signals to the playback device.

The playback device, for example a television, uses the image data and sends the audio signals back to the HDMI splitter, if the setting is made accordingly in the menu.

These audio signals can now be picked up by the HDMI splitter, for example with the aid of a coaxial cable, and provide an interface for an external audio device.

CEC: The “Consumer Electronics Control” function provides an interface so that the various end devices can communicate with one another.

The basic idea behind this is not to control each device separately, but to enable universal control.

For example, if the picture is output via a television and the sound via an external system, we could still use the television’s remote control to control the volume.

The television sends a signal to the audio system via the HDMI port and tells it that the sound should be amplified or reduced.

HEC: The “HDMI Ethernet Channel” supplies the end devices with the Internet. So it provides a way to get Internet via HDMI instead of an Ethernet connection.

This should further reduce the cabling effort for the end user. HEC was introduced in HDMI version 1.4.

HDCP

In order to be able to play back copy-protected content properly, the HDCP version must be supported.

For example, to be able to enjoy Netflix in 4K, the display must support at least an HDCP version of 2.2.

This also applies to the splitter used within the HDMI connection chain.

We therefore recommend that you buy an HDMI splitter with a version of at least HDCP 2.2 in order to be able to use it sustainably.

Facts about HDMI Splitter

How does the HDCP authentication process work?

In order to determine whether a playback device is authorized to play HDCP-protected content, HDCP authentication is necessary.

The data is only transferred from a signal source if the authentication was successful.

A distinction is made between the following device types:

  • Source, which sends the data.
  • Data sink, which processes the data
  • Repeater, which forwards the data.

The signal source sends a request and asks a data sink for its identification number.

The data sink responds to this request by sending its identification number back to the source.

The source then checks whether the number is valid and whether the data sink is authorized to receive the data.

If this is the case, the two devices exchange their keys, with the authentication process also having to be carried out by the data sink.

The protected data can then be transferred between the devices as required.

If there are sound or picture problems, a failed HDCP authentication process could be responsible.

My devices support HDMI version X, but only a lower HDMI version is used. What is the problem?

To take advantage of a higher HDMI version, not only must the devices support the HDMI version, but also the HDMI cable.

The cable is responsible for the actual data transmission and it is imperative that the HDMI version of the cable does not constitute a bottleneck.

It is therefore advisable to pay attention to the HDMI cable when connecting and to retrofit it if necessary.

Which HDMI splitter is now suitable for my setup?

As already described above, this question cannot be answered universally.

The choice of the right HDMI splitter depends very much on the application scenario used.

At this point we would like to give you an overview of what can be important when buying an HDMI splitter.

An essential feature to look for when buying is the compatibility between the different devices.

A chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and the same applies to HDMI signals.

It should be ensured that the HDMI splitter does not represent a bottleneck.

This means that the versions of HDMI and HDCP should be at least the same as the signal source and the playback device, otherwise we would have to lose quality.

In the worst case, the signal transmission fails completely and only a black image can be seen.

This happens, for example, if we have a data source with HDCP 2.2 encryption and connect it to a device with an HDCP version of 1.X.

Cheap HDMI splitters usually have such a shortcoming, so that the use of these devices is considerably limited.

In general, it can be said that the higher the individual values, the better the HDMI splitter.

The problem, however, is that the higher the values, the more expensive the device is usually.

In our opinion, an HDMI splitter should represent a long-term investment and it makes perfect sense to retrofit it at relatively long intervals.

However, if the components used do not change, it can make sense to use a cheaper, low-sized splitter.

What else do I need for my setup?

In order to implement a perfect home theater system, a great gaming setup or other projects, more components are of course required than an HDMI splitter.

At this point we would like to go into further products that may be of interest to you:

HDMI extender

This useful tool is able to amplify the HDMI signal. The signal that the HDMI cable transports gets worse and worse at longer distances.

This effect occurs because the cable has a conductor resistance. If the signal is to be transported over longer distances, it is necessary that the signal is renewed.

The HDMI extender is connected between two HDMI cables and renews the signal.

In the case of more complex setups that are not characterized by e.g. Connect a 10 m HDMI cable, an HDMI extender is recommended to ensure transmission between the two devices.

HDMI cable

Not all HDMI cables are created equal. There are also many differences with HDMI cables that should be considered before buying, be it the length, the supported HDMI version, the material of the connector or the connector type.

An important criterion, albeit often neglected by beginners, is the HDMI version. It provides information about the data rate at which the data can be transported.

HDMI adapter

It can happen that older devices do not have a connection for HDMI or that we want to use the HDMI signal for another connection.

In this case we can use an HDMI adapter. This accepts the HDMI signal and provides another connection.

For example, we can connect a DVI input to an HDMI cable by using an HDMI-DVI adapter.

Of course there are also other types of adapters that can be used as required. This makes it possible to use devices without an HDMI connection.

Last product update on 2021-02-27 | Source: Amazon Affiliate