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Only 1 HDMI input on my TV. I need 2. What to do ?

Discussion in 'Sky Forum' started by kmm, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. kmm

    kmm Member

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    My HD TV only has 1 HDMI input on it and I am already using this for something else.

    Is there some box or device which will allow me to plug 2 HDMI devices into it (my Sky HD box and my other HD box) and be able to switch between the two, or will I simply have to unpug and plug in each box as I need it ?

    This will be a real pain as the HDMI socket on my TV is right at the very back in an awkward position and will mean me having to take the TV off the wall every time to do this :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    Kevin.
  2. Lin3ar

    Lin3ar Active Member

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    You can buy a HDMI switcher BUT they are expensive at the moment.
    Might be better to wait until the price comes down.
  3. czytt

    czytt Member

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    HDMI switchers allow you to connect more than one device into a single HDMI socket, but they aren't cheap. The Gefen versions will set you back around £250.

    Jerry
  4. kmm

    kmm Member

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    Crikey, that doesn't sound good :eek:

    I guess I will be getting used to taking the TV off the wall on a regular basis then :(

    Cheers,
    Kevin.
  5. JackMan

    JackMan Member

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    Could always buy a new one with 2 x HDMI:D
  6. craigee

    craigee Member

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    or unplug the other end from whatever is currently using it! (I've the same problem):)
  7. Mike_CA

    Mike_CA Member

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    Do you see any difference between HDMI and component? I own a Sharp and Sony and don't see any difference at all on either set. If that is your case, than why don't you use component from one box.
  8. kmm

    kmm Member

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    Yeah, that was my first thought, except I suddenly realised that the other device has a DVI output and I'm usig a DVI-HDMI cable.

    One thing that has just occurred to me, is there such a thing as an HDMI extender cable. A cable that I can plug into the TV that has an HDMI inut socket on the end of it, so at least I won't have to move the TV each time I change the input device ?

    Kevin.
  9. kmm

    kmm Member

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    My LCD TV (Toshiba) doesn't have component. The only HD inputs it has are HDMI (currenty being used by my upscaling OPPO HD DVD player (720p)) and VGA (currently being used by my ROKU HD box (720p)).

    At the moment, I am considering just playing my HD DVD player through RGB scart (at 480i) and having my Sky HD via HDMI. But that would be a shame as the picture on my upscaling DVD player is actually very good whaen played through the HDMI socket at 720p.

    Kevin.
  10. Mike_CA

    Mike_CA Member

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    Instead of spending your money on a HDMI switch, you could probably purchase a A/V Receiver with multiple component inputs and one component output for probably not a lot more money (maybe even less as some of them are less than $200 US dollars but it may be more in the UK) and you'll end up with something more than a switcher. You could then run the component output to the VGA.

    Many of the receivers also have upconverting capabilities for the component connections.
  11. Algoz

    Algoz Member

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    My LG RZ37LZ31 LCD panel does not have any HDMI input. I currently have my DVD player (upscaler) connected from it's HDMI output to DVI input on TV. I am presuming SKY box can also be connected to DVI input - question is what do I need to be able to connect both? Or can I use component for SkyBox?
    Any suggestions welcome
  12. czytt

    czytt Member

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    Use a DVI switcher (still about £250).

    You can use component with the first generation of Sky+ boxes, but if any of the channels are copy protected (with HDCP) you won't be able to watch them. Sky have (I think) said they have no plans at present to use HDCP, but some of the HD channels are run by other broadcasters who have made no such commitment.

    Jerry
  13. mateybloke

    mateybloke Member

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    There is one for £125 @ Keene Electronics,whats wrong with that?
    (www.keene.co.uk)


    Displaying all available data for item code CHDMI31
    HDMI 3:1 SWITCHBOX

    HDMI SWITCHBOX 3:1
    A low cost HDMI switchbox with IR remote control.
    Supports all high definition resolutions:
    VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, and UXGA (1600x1200) & HDTV: 480i,576i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p @60Hz.
    Easy to install and operate.
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
    Frequency bandwidth: 1.65Gbps (Single link)
    Inputs: 3 HDMI female ports (Type A connector)
    Output: 1 HDMI female port
    Weight: 0.57kgs
    Dimensions: 105(W) x200(L) x 25(H)mm
    HDCP Compliant

    [CHDMI31] £125.00 (£106.39 ex VAT)
  14. Mike_CA

    Mike_CA Member

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    You can use the component to connect from the Sky box. Personally, I can't see any difference even though component transfers data as an analog signal (same as VGA) and HDMI transfers data as a digital signal.
  15. witters

    witters Active Member

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    That's just the ticket. HDCP compliant as well.

    Problem solved.
  16. mateybloke

    mateybloke Member

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    BTW if anyone gets one of these or already has one can you let us know how you get on.I'm thinking of getting one once my SKY HD is installed to switch between my PC & SKY HD
  17. Mike_CA

    Mike_CA Member

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    Have you got your PC currently working through the DVI->HDMI? If you do, your more lucky that I was.

    The following are the problems that I had when trying to use the PC to drive the TVs HDMI port. I tried the HDMI ports on both of my HDTVs (Sharp 45" LCD and 34" Sony CRT) and both experienced the same problems.

    I tried both ATI or NVIDIA based video cards in the PC (approximately 3 of each from cheaper ones with DVI connections to the more expensive ones). None of the different ATI based cards could get any resolution better than 720x480. The ATI 9600 would not work at all. Also boot up screens did not work on any ATI based cards. All of the NVIDA based cards (GeForce FX5200 or greater) that I tried would allow you to set any of the resolutions that the TV supports. However, none of them would display the boot up screens. I also tried a Chaintech card but that one wouldn't allow me to get above a 320x200 resolution so I couldn't even get into the display properties. Suprisingly, that was the only card that displayed some of the boot up screens.

    However, all of the cards worked 100% correctly on my Sharps DVI port (the Sony doesn't have a DVI port). The HDMI on both TVs worked correctly from the HDMI on my cable box/dvr as well as my other cable box (it has a DVI port) using a DVI->HDMI cable. From everything I read, HDMI is suppose to be the same as DVI except that HDMI carries audio. Obviously that is not 100% true.

    So unless you don't have any other ports (VGA or DVI) on your TV, I wouldn't recommend using the HDMI port for PC usage. You could probably use VGA to component (if you have one) since that what the Xbox 360 uses. Since VGA and component are suposed to be the same, that may work but then again Microsoft may have designed their video board slightly different to make it work with component.
  18. HeweyBoy101

    HeweyBoy101 Member

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    Personally, I would be loathe to constantly plug and unplug my cables - I'm sure that not what they were designed for - something is bound to break sooner or later. I have just recently purchased a Panasonic 37PV500. I knew it only had one HDMI (even if it had 10 it would have been no use to me as my equipment rack is at the other end of the room). I therefore purchased a QED 4-way HDMI switchbox at £225 (incl VAT + delivery). You may (correctly) think that's expensive, but my reasoning was:

    1) It's part of the "overall" cost of the TV,
    2) I will need more than 1 socket (existing DVD player has HDMI,and SKYHD will be along soon).
    3) I only have to buy this once - with 4 inputs I should be fairly future proofed for a while.
    4) I wanted a quality piece of kit. I knew that there were cheaper versions, but did not want to compromise having spent so much on the equipment. Akin to using doorbell wire for speakers in a decent hi-fi set-up.


    It is a good piece of kit, and does exactlywhat it says on the tin. I currently have only my Denon DVD connected. A 1m HDMI from Denon to QED Switchbox, and then a 7m HDMI from Switchbox to screen. Works perfectly, with remote control switching between all 4 inputs.
  19. mateybloke

    mateybloke Member

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    Yes I am driving my Plasma via DVI-HDMI cable.(also sourced from Keene)
    I've got an ATI 8500 All in one wonder driving a Pioneer 505XDE (Pioneers FAQ says you cant do it but you can)
    The key is to use Powerstrip to set a custom resolution
    I'm driving at 1216x692 @ 50Hhz,this is because setting 1280x720 overscans cutting off the edges.The Plasma reports that I'm runnig 750p.I've even had it running @ 1080i but the text is a bit small!

    It was a pain to get working but gives much better PQ than VGA.
    (I also have a 2nd PC plugged in the Pioneers VGA port)

    I also dont get boot up screens but this not suprising as the Plasma will only display supported resolutions listed in the manual.

    All the info to do this I found on the Plasma forum.

    Hope this helps
  20. Mike_CA

    Mike_CA Member

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    I knew that I could use PowerStrip but I didn't want to (kind of kludgy) and since NVIDIA and ATIs control panel is suppose to perform everything you need, I should have been able to set up the ATI cards without it. I was only using HDMI to find a video card that would work correctly with all ports on my TVs. I never intended using it unless I had to and I just returned the cards if I didn't want it. Since I don't use my Sony connected to the PC, I was just using it to see if it did the same as the Sharp. What concerned me with the NVIDIA cards was the lack of boot up screens (you would think they should come up since boot up screens are only using 640x480@60Hz which is what can be selected on the desktop). Since I have a dual boot system and I normally leave the dual boot screen up for only 5 seconds, I have to guess when I'm at the dual boot screen and then type in the correct keystrokes. Also, what do you do if an error occurs during boot up or if you want to get into the bios? With my PC hidden behind the computer, it's very hard to get at the cables in the back to attach an S-Video cable or else I would have to drag my computer monitor over there.

    I here it from people a lot that HDMI has a better picture quality than either component or VGA. I sure do not see that at all with my two TVs or even with my PC monitor which has both VGA and DVI connections. I sure would like to see someone elses TV running both to see if I just got lucky and got very good analog displays or is in their mind. I would guarantee that if anyone was watching either of my TVs and I asked them to turn so I could change the input, they wouldn't be able to tell whether I was using HDMI or component.
  21. razer za lazer

    razer za lazer Member

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    I have to agree to all of the post reply so far that pc to hdtv is a nightmare one minute i think i've sussed it and the next i'm back where i was 2hrs ago i think i spent one night trying eveything even to the extent of taking my cards out of my pc and trying to start fresh but 10 hrs later i was no closer to achiveing my goal and was petty much miff of about it all in the end i now run it though a dvi/hdmi converter at the tv and have the edges cut .
    But when i have watch a few hd films it looks ok and i cant tell that i'm loseing at picture only when i have my desktop on can i see what im losing which isnt all that much so i think i am now happy with my conection i did try the vga way for 1366x768 but nothing and i can't be bothered with wasted a whole weekend trying to get it to work for the same picture i'm getting already now !
  22. ancientgeek

    ancientgeek Guest

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    I don't think anyone has mentioned that some AV amps do HDMI switching. For example Pioneer VSX-AX4AVi.

    And my pioneer plasma PDP-50MXE11 does HDCP and both PC and video resolutions via its DVI input. I hope I will be putting Mac mini and Sky HD through the AX4 hdmi switch. The amp also upconverts the analogue inputs to HDMI when they are selected, so only one cable needs to go to the screen.

    At present I don't know if the amp will properly pass the PC signals through its HDMI switch (haven't got the cables to try), but I suspect it will. Pioneer simply said try it, but it's not in the spec.
  23. mateybloke

    mateybloke Member

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    Yes I was aware that newer AV Amps have HDMI but my Yamaha RX-V2500 is only 15 months old so I'm not ready to junk it quite yet so a HDMI switcher will do until I buy a new Amp in a few years time.
  24. Stevie LA

    Stevie LA Well-Known Member

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    Get one of these

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-HDMI-M-To...72157QQcategoryZ61395QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

    bit cheaper then a switcher and will do the job.
  25. choddo2006

    choddo2006 Active Member

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  26. Stevie LA

    Stevie LA Well-Known Member

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    I am running a hdmi dvd player and a 360 at present with it and had no problem.You can only have 1 device on at a time which isn't a problem for me.
    Can't comment on sky HD yet as no ones got it but as soon as I get it I will run the dvd player with the sky and let you know.
  27. GrollySTI

    GrollySTI Member

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    Surely a "switch/splitter" makes no difference to HDCP?
  28. ancientgeek

    ancientgeek Guest

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    I'm not an expert on this, but what you need to understand is that with HDCP, public key cryptography is used, and the sender does not send an encrypted signal until it has negotiated with the receiver to establish the encryption and identify and confirm the validity of the HDCP license being operated by the receiver.

    It is quite possible that a simple electrical switch would work, and trigger renegotiation, in the same way that unplugging one cable and plugging another might do. But it is quite impossible for a splitter to do this, because the encryption is negotiated with, and different for each endpoint. Therefore the splitter has to have an HDCP licence, and to decode and re-encode the signal for each of the two receivers. This of course has to be done inside one chip so that you can't hijack the decoded signal inside the splitter.
  29. GrollySTI

    GrollySTI Member

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    With the splitter in line - with just 1 source/tv turned on - isn't there just 1 negotiation?

    The idea is not to run 2 sources ( or 2 tv's for that matter) at the same time.
  30. mateybloke

    mateybloke Member

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    I think you will find that HDCP is only involved at all if the source material requires it ie SKY HD or the new HD DVD formats.

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