The connection of multiple HD devices from input to output and vice versa require lot of HDMI cables. In earlier days, you need to switch these cables between the devices to connect the same source to different HDMI monitors. But in 2018, it is much easy if you use a Bi-Direction Switch.
The necessity for a common user or a commercial entertainer to use this small mini cubicle device arises from the fact that, our place is full of HD multimedia devices. Using less of cables makes it easy to switch through different devices. This is where a good HDMI Bi-Direction Switch comes in handy.
Table of Contents
What you Expect from a Trouble Free Switch?
The following things will be useful, before you decide to buy the cheapest one in the market.
- Easy Operation
- Transmission over Long Distances
- Flip the Main Control
- No Accidents
- Application to Different Devices and Resolution
The best thing that is available with the #1 ranking on Amazon.com in the Electronics > Accessories & Supplies > Audio & Video Accessories > Distribution > Distribution Panels is the Dotstone HDMI Bi-Direction Switch.
Before I go through my marketing blah-blah, let me tell you some basics.
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What is HDMI Bi-Direction Switch?
It is easier to understand with a picture than words.
In a HDMI relay, you have a source and output. Bu the real problem comes when you have multiple sources and display devices. In the 2 x 1 scenario, you connect one video source which may be for eg. Laptop, cable box, dvd player etc, to different output devices like HD TV, computer monitors, LCD tvs, Smart display devices etc.
In the olden times, you need to switch the HDMI cable from one output device port to another. But now with a switch of a button, you can change the display device from a LED TV to computer monitor. This is known as the 2 x 1 HDMI Switcher.
The reverse case is possible. For eg. you have two sources like a DVD Player, Blu-ray player, PS3 Console, Xbox etc. , but the display device is only one like the HD TV. Now you prefer to watch a movie from the DVD for some time and later you would like to play a game using the Xbox. Then you just press a switch, and this will happen. This is call as the 1 x 2 HDMI Switcher.
Since both the cases work using this device, we call it the Bi-Directional HDMI Switcher.
What about the Long Distance Signal Transmission?
As we know that using the HDMI cable, both the audio and video signals are transferred to the display devices like SMART tvs. If the source is in one room and the TV is in another room, it will require some distance apart. But this Dotstone Switcher can work up to 5 meters. You are worried about signal or data transmission loss, which is not a problem with this device. The reviews are the proof. You also get high bandwidth of 3.4Gbps.
The Bi-Direction Switch uses is compatible with current of 15ma. It also is compliant with all HDMI specifications from V1.0 to V1.4.
What is HDCP and Pass Through?
The full form is High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a specification developed by Intel Corporation to protect digital content. This is used by companies like Netflix, Roku etc streaming sites to protect their plays, movies and serials. It acts like a barrier to protect premium internet content passed between computers and monitors, televisions etc.
So when you have such specification enables by Netflix or Roku, you will get purple scree, haphazard video transmission, improper signal etc. To bypass it you need unplug your HDMI cables and re-plug them.
So a HDCP Pass-through means, that you need not unplug these HDMI cables and can safely switch between sources to view digital content, without the fuss mentioned earlier. It is just like when encrypted CD, DVDs, were used, you were unable to copy to your computer. But this switch will help you safely view your Netflix content without any breaks or disturbance.
Audio and Video resolutions Supported
Since this switch is suitable for HDMI devices, it supports higher resolution of audio and video signals. It can accept video signals like 3D, 1080p, 2K x 4K resolution and also HD audio.
This also supports several HDMI appliances like Cs, laptops, gaming consoles,XBox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, projectors, TV receivers, TVs and more. It can be used in both commercial malls, concert venues, DJ theaters and also at home.
The Simplicity and User Experience
It’s a small square 3-d item which fits in your palm. It doesn’t require any power. All of it is taken from the source device. It’s also Plug and Play. It basically consists of 3 HDMI ports and based on your requirement you can connect the HDMI cables. But only 1 to 1 device works at an instant.
For example in a 1 x 2 case, if you connect a cable TV box as source, but have two output like the LED TV and Smart TV, you will be able to watch only on one device. But you can switch to the other device with a button click.
This HDMI Bi-Direction Switch is brought about by DotStone which is a standard company in this type audio and video accessories. As mentioned before this has 2 ports which can be used bi-directional. Manual switch is a light indicator to see which device is working. It is also HDCP Passthrough and adds to its several other features supported. The resolution supports for Ultra HD devices from 4K, 3D and 1080p.
What is Ultra HD 4K resolution?
This is a higher resolution that is displayed on your TV, then the 1080p resolution. Normally the 3840 pixels × 2160 lines (8.3 megapixels, aspect ratio 16:9) is the resolution that is displayed on your TVs in the Ultra HD 4K resolution. This gives more clarity than normal HD resolution which is 1080p.
You may scratch your head about the difference between Ultra HD and 4K resolution. Actually the 4K standard supports 4096 x 2160 4K resolution and is generally played in the local multiplex shows. But the same version is simplified to 3840 X 2160 as Ultra HD for TV and other small home appliances.
Generally Netflix like companies have separate premium plans for this kind of UHD and 4K views. When you subscribe to such plans, you can watch them on your TVs.
What the Amazon.com Reviews Say?
This product weighs only 3.2 ounces and is 3.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches. On an average the Amazon.com customer review shows 4.3 out of 5 stars. There are about 1049 reviews written by the time of this article.
The 5 star reviews are about 75% and 1 star reviews only 11%. One user has two sources in the form of XBOX One S and PlayStation 4 Pro (or PS4 Pro) with the display device being Samsung 50″ 4K. He found that they are working perfectly in-tandem and the pictures below are an example.
You can use this to connect a CRT monitor with the help of a DVI adaptor. This can also be used to switch between tivo bolt+ and an xbox 360 and an old sharp tv. As I said earlier, you can view only 1 display device using this switch. But if you need to view the same signal on 2 devices, then you need a splitter.
This will also work with Roku and a Firestick. The general cable recommended is the AWG26 HDMI with 5m length. It also supports 30Hz and 60Hz. Since it’s also HDCP pass-through it also supports 720p resolution.