What is an HDMI splitter and when should you use it?
The word «splitter» comes from the English word "split", which means division. In other words, a divider serves to separate (or duplicate) a signal from a single source to multiple screens. This works, for example, when we have a PC and want to see the image on our monitor and on television so that other people can act as viewers. This would be an example if we had an Apple TV and wanted the image to be seen on two television at the same time.
For this reason, the HDMI splitter will remain the same single entry or "input" that will be the source of the video (and audio), too many outings or "Outgoing", which will be where we can connect the screens where we want the image to be seen. So, we have splits from 1 × 2 (single input and double output) to 1 × 16 (single input and output 16), clear using 1 × 4, 1 × 8, etc.
The HDMI splitter has no power to crack, that is, it will always output the signal through it through the output of every output, without exception. It should be said that there are divisors coming in, that don't require extra power, but they usually have a limited quality so it's normal that they work and that we need to link them to the exit.
What is the HDMI switch and when is it used?
A HDMI Switch it is simply the opposite of the literal sense that it is divisive: it has multiple input and single output. To give you an idea, almost every television has an internal HDMI switch, so it has a few HDMI ports that we can connect to various devices but all of them will be visible on the TV screen itself.
This is useful, for example, if your PC monitor has one HDMI input but wants to connect the PC and game console to it. Swap can work to connect both devices to one monitor and, by simply pressing a button, to switch between one signal source and another. For this reason and unlike splitterters, HDMI switches they have physical switches or buttons
In this case, most of the HDMI switch is passive, that is, you don't need any more power. This is because they don't have to duplicate the image in as many outputs as the separators do, but they simply limit it to sending one or more input signal at the same output, and in this case HDMI itself already provides all the power needed.
Special case: splitter + HDMI switch
There are some devices that are capable of working with both a split and an HDMI switch. They are usually scarce because users may be in need or have one and they are not usually both at the same time, and are therefore more expensive due to their internal difficulties. In any case, these devices have many inputs and outputs and have a visible switch to switch from one source to another.
In this case, the splitter + switch behaves as follows: We will select the input source, and whatever we choose, it will duplicate it in every output. What is this used for? Yes, with a combination of the above. Imagine, as we put before the example, we want the image seen on PC to be repeated on TV for our friends to see. Yes, this device will allow us, at the same time, to do the same with the console by connecting it to the same viewer and TV, and allowing us to switch from one source to another with just one button.