An HDMI splitter provides the capability to project the same image to multiple screens, which is handy if you’re, say, hosting a big sports viewing party across several TVs or a head-to-head gaming event on dual monitors. In some cases, you still might run out of places in which to plug in your HDMI cables. Fortunately, an HDMI splitter/switch can solve this problem.
So, how does it work? First, the terms splitter and switch tend to be used interchangeably. However, Greg Scott, a Minnesota, Minnesota-based author and cybersecurity professional, says there’s a difference between an HDMI splitter and an HDMI switch.
“An HDMI splitter takes one source input and splits it to feed multiple outputs; this is useful if, say, a monitoring system needs to send output to multiple monitors,” he explains. “An HDMI switch starts with multiple input sources to feed a single output.” A switch essentially gives you more HDMI inputs to flip between (ideal if your TV doesn’t have many), while a splitter mirrors content across multiple screens.
But Scott says splitters and switches can also support multiple inputs and multiple outputs. “For example, a 2 x 2 splitter splits a signal from either source 1 or source 2 to destinations 3 and 4,” he says. “Or maybe a 2 x 2 switch offers a choice to display content from sources 1 and 2 on either or both destinations 3 and 4.” That’s why some items are called HDMI switches/splitters.
After consulting an expert and scouring the web for a range of popular and well-regarded models, we’ve picked out a variety of great HDMI splitters that will make it easy to mirror content throughout your home.
$29.99 $14.99 at Amazon
The compact Orei HDMI Splitter is ideal for outputting one source to two different displays. It’s compatible with laptops, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PS4 and PS4 Pro and several other sources. The company advises against using cables over 30 feet if you want the best picture, and a USB cable is included. The device can support 4K x 2K resolution at a 30Hz refresh rate. However, it cannot be used to extend monitors and does not extract audio from speakers.
$16.99 $15.89 at Amazon
If you want to project the same image to two different screens (for example, to the TV in the living room and also the TV in the bedroom), the Avedio Links HDMI Splitter is an inexpensive way to do it. You can connect your laptop, gaming console, media player, etc., and that image can be displayed on either two TVs, or perhaps one TV and one computer monitor, or one projector and one monitor, or two monitors. However, the same image will be displayed on both output sources as a mirror image. The splitter supports 4K at a 60Hz refresh rate (which is ideal for many TVs, though it won’t take advantage of the smoother 120Hz in newer models). Both a high-speed HDMI cable and USB cable are included.
$21.99 at Amazon
Zettaguard is known for its HDMI switches, but it also makes a variety of splitters including a 1 x 2 splitter, as well as a 1 x 4 splitter. The splitter can support images up to 4K x 2K at 30Hz, and also supports all types of audio, including Dolby Audio. The device includes vents on the side and back to prevent overheating, and can accept images from laptops, video consoles and Blu-ray players and output them to two identical displays. A power adapter is included, but HDMI cables are sold separately.
$19.99 at Amazon
The Enbuer 1 x 3 Splitter has one input for laptops, gaming consoles, Blu-ray machines, etc., and can output a mirrored image up to three monitors. The splitter supports 4K x 2K at 30Hz and has a remote control. It includes a power supply, but the HDMI cables are sold separately.
$19.69 $18.39 at Amazon
If you need four input options, the Keliiyo HDMI 1 x 4 Splitter can support 4K at 30Hz and transmit both video and audio. The splitter can accept laptops, tablets, gaming consoles and other digital devices as the one input source, and then mirror that image to four sources, which can include up to four TVs, computer monitors and projectors. It includes an AC adapter, but not a HDMI cable.
$18.99 at Amazon
The MT-VIKI 1 x 4 Splitter is another 1 x 4 splitter that can be used with computers, laptops and gaming consoles. It can mirror four outputs such as TVs, monitors and projectors, and supports images up to 4K x 2K at 30Hz. The splitter also transmits audio, complete with Dolby Audio support. You can also use the device to create a cascade of multiple splitters. The HDMI cables are purchased separately.
$41.99 at Amazon
This HDMI Matrix 3 x 2 provides lots of versatility regarding your connection options, and it even has two 3.5mm audio jacks for speakers or headphones. The matrix can support 4K at 60Hz. Three inputs can be used to connect devices such as laptops, gaming consoles and media players. The two HDMI outputs can go to your TV or projector. You have the option of using matrix mode, in which two TVs or monitors display different images, or splitter mode, in which both monitors display the same image. HDMI cables are sold separately.
$675.25 at Amazon
The granddaddy of switch/splitter combos, the TESmart HDMI Matrix 8 x 8 Switch allows you to connect eight HD sources to eight HD displays. And, if you have some old DVI devices, you can use the HDMI-to-DVI adapter to make them compatible. The matrix supports resolutions up to 4K/30Hz. There’s enough room to hold everything from your PC and laptop to video games to your surveillance cameras. You can also use this massive switch as a splitter by setting multiple inputs to go to the same output. HDMI cables are sold separately.