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Switches vs Splitters vs Matrixes

By Zachary Medved

Which one is right for me?

It is important to know the differences between what A/V Splitters and A/V Switches do. There seems to be a lot of confusion for people with understanding which of these devices they need for the application they are setting up. When you first glance at these types of devices they look like they are the same thing when in reality they are very different. As we work here to show you the difference between these devices we are going to use HDMI as the video source and example. However, they make switches and splitters for all types of Audio/Visual interfaces.

Some may ask, "Why would I need a splitter or a switch?" Mainly people who are in need of either a splitter or a switch are people that work with a lot of professional audio visual equipment. This doesn't mean that the standard user doesn't ever need one of these devices. Here is one reason why any normal person may need one of these units. Your TV has only 1 HDMI input on it but you have 2 HDMI devices that you want to connect to your TV and you don't want to have to unplug and plug cables back in all the time (not only is that annoying but it isn't that good for the connectors to get unplugged and plugged back in all the time).

What is the difference?


What is a Switch?

A switch allows you to connect 2 video sources to 1 display. Your video sources may be something like a DVD player, PS3, XBOX 360, Satellite Receiver and/or a Cable box etc. Your display is normally going to be a TV set but at times may be a Projector.

What is a splitter?

A splitter allows you to take the video from one source and then display it on multiple displays depending on how many outputs the splitter has. Again, your video source will normally be; a DVD player, PS3, XBOX 360, Satellite Receiver and/or a Cable box etc. Your displays can be a combination of TVs or Projectors as long as they all have the same interfaces as your splitter.

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