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Access Multiple HDMI Source Components

Help! My HDTV only has one HDMI input but I have a HD digital cable TV box and a upconverting DVD player with HDMI outputs. How can I connect all my source components to my HDTV with HDMI cables? 

Answer: You need to use an HDMI switch box or a A/V receiver with multiple HDMI ports. Be aware that the HDMI standard has undergone several revisions in the last few years and if you need the latest level of HDMI support and capabilities, you need to make sure that the HDMI switch box or A/V receiver you select is capable of delivering the HDMI revision level you need. See HDMI revisions for the information on HDMI capabilities at each revision level.

As HDMI devices become more commonplace, you need to be able to select your various signal sources without swapping cables. Signal sources such as DVD players, HDTV signal sources like HD cable TV or HD Satellite TV or the newer Blu-ray players with 1080p content can have HDMI video/audio outputs which you'll want to hookup to your HDTV.





Rear panel - 19 pin female HDMI 

HDMI Switch with remote control

Multiple HDMI™ inputs and one or two HDMI outputs. Simultaneous connection of high definition video sources, such as satellite systems and HD DVD players. Outputs send the high definition audio/video signals to high definition displays (HDTV) or audio receiver. Digital audio and high definition video for each source is accessed immediately when the unit "switches" to it. Control the switching by using the IR remote.

HDCP Compliant

HDCP (high bandwidth digital content protection) is a standard encoded into the video signal to prevent it from being pirated. If a source device is HDCP coded and is connected to a display or projector without the proper decoding mechanism, the picture is relegated to "snow" or in some cases, very low (480P) resolutions of the images. In order to see high resolution digital video with HDCP compliance, both the source, the display and anything in between must be equipped with HDMI connections that can enable HDCP decoding, such as the HDMI Switcher.

How the HDMI switch works

You simply connect all your component sources to the HDMI Switcher's inputs using HDMI cables. Once the sources, the Switcher and the display are powered and connected, you simply select which source you want to view using the IR remote.

HDMI supports both Audio and Video signals.

  • Switch between any HDMI™ source
  • Additional digital optical audio output extracted from HDMI™ input for easy connection to multi-channel audio receivers
  • Maintains high resolution video - HDTV resolutions up to 1080p
  • IR remote
  • HDMI™ compliant
  • HDCP compliant
  • Video Amplifier Bandwidth: 1.65 Gbps
  • Single Link Range: 1080p/1920 x 1200
  • HDMI Connector: type A 19 pin female
  • Digital Audio Output: TOSlink
  • Power Supply: 24V DC

Cable hookups for HDTV

DVI, HDCP AND HDMI 

DVI, launched in 1999, is a digital interface that transmits video data from a source device to a display. With DVI, there is no digital-to-analog or analog-to-digital conversion that needs to take place before, during or after transmission. This streamlined process makes DVI superior to interface connectors such as analog video that may require a conversion from analog to digital.
 

DVI is generally considered to be the better transmitter primarily because analog is sensitive to the phase changes of cable. Simply stated, the analog picture cannot be reproduced as accurately as the digital one, particularly at distances. Analog cables are also generally more intolerant to environmental conditions and can add “noise” among other anomalies.

DVI emerged as the preferred connector because it’s purely digital. This means the integrity of the video signal remains true through any transmission, even long distances using low capacitance, thicker DVI cables and fiber optic interface technologies, the distance of DVI transmission can extend as far as 500-meters from the source to the display.

USB and FireWire

There are two other data transmission interfaces that compete with DVI: IEEE-1394 FireWire and USB (universal serial bus) 2.0. Yet both of these use some form of compression. When a signal is compressed, transmitted and then uncompressed, it has more potential for difficulty than one that is sent uncompressed, like DVI. Although both FireWire and USB are often used to connect cameras and other DTV (digital television) devices, neither is the format of choice for large panel high definition displays such as Plasma or LCD flat-panels.

HDCP

With the advent of DVI, however, came HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), a standard "key" encoded into the DVI signal to prevent video data from being pirated. HDCP was strongly endorsed by the entertainment industry. If a source device is HDCP coded and is connected to a HDTV display or projector via DVI without the proper HDCP decoding mechanism, the picture is relegated to "snow" or in some cases, a very low (480P) resolution. In order to see HDTV with HDCP compliance, both the source and display devices must be equipped with DVI connections that can enable HDCP using "software key" decoding.

HDMI

HDMI (high definition multimedia interface), is a new connector that is based on the DVI-HDCP model. HDMI with HDCP addresses the concerns of the Hollywood film community while providing consumers the ability to view high quality content on all HDTV displays and projectors. It also offers several features that make it perfectly suited for the consumer electronics market:

- supports uncompressed high definition video plus multi-channel audio in a single cable using a smaller connector that eliminates the need for multiple cables in home entertainment systems, simplifying installation.

- transmits uncompressed digital video so that the picture maintains a high quality of color depth, brightness and contrast.

- supports Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) based on the AV.link protocol so it can be controlled with a universal remote that is used with multiple HDMI sources such as DVD players or satellite set-top boxes.

- supports bi-directional communication between devices, allowing the DTV to communicate its preferred audio/video formats to the set-top box, and the set-top box to communicate what video format it is providing to the display. This enables the DTV to make intelligent decisions on how to render any given image in the format designated by the original film providers.

- supports every uncompressed standard, enhanced and high definition video format ranging from 480I to 480P, 720P, 1080I and 1080P as well as existing PAL formats.

- has the bandwidth to support compressed audio formats such as Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS, DTS EX and uncompressed formats (PCM audio) up to eight channels, up to 192kHz, up to 24-bits.

- supports most standard PC monitor formats, such as VGA, XGA and SXGA—all in a single HDMI cable.

- extends as far as 500-meters using proper cabling techniques. In most commercial and home theater installations, the consumer electronics components are installed in a closet or basement far from the actual displays. This makes cable length an important feature for consumers and installers.

Because of these advantages, HDMI is becoming the standard digital interface for consumer home theater devices and digital TVs.

How do I find a HDMI switch box?
Google online is one resource. Search for HDMI switch box.

Octava HDMI switch

Monoprice.com HDMI switch boxes
HDMI switch boxes from Monoprice.com

HDMI switch box - Monoprice.com - 5X1 Enhanced 1.3b Certified HDMI Switch with built-in Equalizer (REV.3.0) w/ Remote

KEYDIGITAL.com
KeyDigital HDMI switch box



 
 
 
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