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Switching a few HDMI sources to two HDMI devices with a few switches.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok. Here is what I have. This will be a somewhat temporary setup:

Rogers Cable box
Sony PS3
Sony S550 BD player
Marantz/Philips/Yam Universal carousel dvd/sacd all region

My receiver is a Marantz SR9600 only has 2 HDMI 1.1 inputs and one output and does not accept 7.1 over HDMI nor does it decode HD audio and most likely does not accept or pass 3D signals over HDMI (HDMI 1.1). My TV has 3 HDMI inputs.

All have HDMI outputs. Here is what I want to do and why.

PS3
1) I want to play 3D movies from the PS3 with HDMI going to TV and using optical audio output to the RCVR.
2) Play non-3D movies HDMI output to my RCVR then my TV in order to get HD audio on non-3D titles.

S550 BD player
1) Play 7.1 HD audio films with HD audio on analog cables and HDMI to TV
2) Play 5.1 or lower HD audio films via HDMI to receiver so I can use PL II x if I want with HDMI continue on to TV

Marantz universal DVD/sacd carousel
1) HDMI out to RCVR then TV

Rogers Cable PVR
1) HDMI to TV and toslink/coax to RCVR
(I can't run HDMI through RCVR bc I just get static on TV for whatever reason.

So here is my plan using 2 or 3 mechanical HDMI switches:

1) Rogers Cable PVR to TV via HDMI and toslink to receiver (one TV HDMI input gone)
2) S550 HDMI to mechanical HDMI 2 x1 switch. Output to A) RCVR and B) TV and analog outputs to RCVR
3) PS3 HDMI to mechanical HDMI 2 x 1 switch. Output to A) RCVR and B) TV and optical out to RCVR
4) Marantz HDMI to a mechnical HDMI 2 x 1 switch and paired with one of the above HDMI inputs to TV since I only have 3 HDMI inputs to the TV

Also in my system. Panasonic all region 5 carousel DVD player connected to TV using component cables and toslink.

This is a temporary setup to calibrate, test and compare sources and ultimately eliminate some sources from the mix. I will probably eventually eliminate the Panasonic all region 5 dvd player and replace the S550 with an Oppo 103 with all region. Once I get the Oppo 103 I will solve my HD audio and 3D problems since I will have two HDMI outputs (one for audio and one for video) with one being 3D.

I plan to use cheaper mechanical switches to save money since two or three mechnical 2 x1 switches will only cost me $60 vs the $600 that I can spend later for an allregion oppo. It's complicated but once I figure it all out it should be reasonbly easy to operate with a map...lol..and again it is temporary. I chose the 2 x 1 mechanical switch here from monoprice:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011001&p_id=2786&seq=1&format=4#feedback

in the hopes that it is a cheap solution and the mechanical manual switch will eliminate 3D and non-3D incompatibility (IE hard switch disconnects non-3D equipment).

Is my plan workable? Should I buy 3 of these switches and give it a try? Or should I opt for some other switches?
Edited by cpc - 12/18/12 at 11:58am
post #2 of 18
It looks like you've already thought about HDMI's least common denominator principle.

I predict (but can't guarantee) that your headache will be these older devices, the receiver and the Marantz, from having issues as you change EDIDs on the fly. The reason people want to add these switches is to accomodate the older devices and paradoxically many times these are the devices that can't handle having an EDID switched. So you may end up having to unplug cables to make things work, which is, of course, bad for the connectors. But, with a setup that you propose which is this complicated (in HDMI terms), there really isn't a way to know until you try it.

Also keep in mind that your mechanical switch isn't a mechanical switch. It is powered by the source through the HDMI cable. If you look at the last photo on Monoprice's website you'll see LEDs lit through the front panel buttons. That power is coming from some place. I believe some of the regulars on this forum have disassembled this switch to remove (or reverse) the diodes to turn the switch into a splitter. They might be able to explain the switch's capabilities better than me.

From looking at this again, I think you've made this too complicated. Set every multichannel device to LPCM output for HDMI version 1.1. Output PS3 HDMI (as well as optical Toslink) and S550 HDMI to the receiver. Take component cable HD video from Rogers Cable DVR and component cable DVD video from Marantz and Panasonic players to receiver. Take audio from toslink on the Rogers cable box (just as good an output as HDMI from a cable box). Use Marantz multichannel analog audio outputs (for SACD) and toslink (for DVD). Audio for Panasonic would also be Toslink. Two HDMI cables from the TV. One to the receiver and one left open. When you want 3D, swap the HDMI cables into the PS3 and let your receiver use the Toslink input for audio. 3D should be rare enough that you can afford a few cable swaps until you get the Oppo.

The Oppo has two independent HDMI outputs but they both have audio and video on each output. Since they are separate, that will allow your receiver to get multichannel audio with 2D video and your TV to get 3D with stereo audio.

I don't believe you lose any video or audio quality with what I have above versus your original version and this is cheaper and less complicated. Without knowing which AVR you have, unfortunately I can't tell if you have enough inputs for what I wrote.
Edited by alk3997 - 12/18/12 at 11:22am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank-you for your help with what may seem kind of complicated. As I mentioned, it's temporary as I may be thinning out the herd. Once the Oppo comes, I probably won't need multiple disc players. The PS3 will be my game machine and I won't need the S550 in this setup anymore, so I may move it to another room where I need a bd player. Also, the dvd players won't be needed, depending on how they compare in video quality. I will keep one of my universal disc players in this setup.

As you can see, I was actually intending to use the mechanical push button switches sort of in reverse, so perhaps they would not work. In this case, both the S550 into a push button switch and the PS3 into a push button switch, then switching the output to one of either the RCVR or the TV. I think the switches are meant to take two inputs to one display and not do what I'm doing. The Marantz dvd player I would have sent it's hdmi to the TV and sent its audio dig to the RCVR.

I see what you're saying and you are probably correct in the way you suggest I hook things up. The only thing is, I was planning to do some comparing of the HDMI upscaled video output of the Marantz (it has a faroudja chip) vs the dvd upscaling of the S550 and PS3 compared to the component from the Panasonic DVD player. My Panasonic DVD player and the Marantz are both region free (I also have an older Yamaha C750 region free 5 dvd/sacd player but I won't compare that one too much as its output is component. Perhaps I will compare it to the Panasonic component output). For the HDMI video comparison purposes, I could use a 2,3 or 4 x 1 HDMI switch into the TV).

Maybe I should compare the video output of the video devices to one another first, requiring only the three hdmi into the TV and using regular dig audio connections. So the Sony S550, PS3, Marantz all HDMI into TV vs the video of the Panasonic dvd player component. Of course I probably need to research their dvd playback in general ,as I won't know what trouble dvds to try, apart from test material on calibration discs.

I guess my needs are three. 1) Allow 3D playback on TV 2) Allow 7.1 HD audio into RCVR and 3) Spend some time comparing the dvd upscaling video capabilities of the various players. Perhaps I shouldn't waste too much time comparing and just concede that the newer stuff should be best at dvd playback, but it's not always the case.

For normal use though, your setup is better, except that I would like to use multi-channel HD audio from the Sony S550 analog outputs AND the 5.1 analog outputs from the Marantz SACD/DVD-AUDIO player. I need a set of those multi-rca analog switch boxes. I only have one set of analog inputs on my receiver. The reason I need the analog from the S550 is so that I can have 7.1 HD audio as my RCVR is not capable of decoding HD 7.1 nor can it accept HD 7.1 pcm over hdmi. My receiver is the Marantz SR 9600 and it has 2 inputs and one output in HDMI 1.1 (I will ad info to first post). I am stubornly sticking with the Marantz SR9600 because the audio quality and power output is great value for the money.
Edited by cpc - 12/18/12 at 12:11pm
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
There is a simpler way to do this.

S550 > HDMI >...........(1) RCVR
Marantz DVD > HDMI > (2) RCVR > HDMI (1) TV
......................................PS3 > HDMI (2) TV
............................Rogers PVR > HDMI (3) TV

Panasonic DVD player component into TV (or into RCVR if I have another component device to switch)
S550 and Marantz multi-channel analogs into the RCVR with a switch.
PS3 and Rogers PVR digital coax/toslink into RCVR.

With this setup, I can:

1) Compare the upscaling dvd video of the S550, PS3, Marantz DVD and Panasonic DVD.
2) Watch 3D from the Sony PS3 without disconnecting/re-connecting anything
3) Watch a BD on the Sony S550 with 7.1 analog HD audio from or 5.1 HDMI HD audio.
4) I can DPL II x the 5.1 HD audio from the Sony S550

What I can't do:

1) Input 7.1 HD audio into the RCVR via HDMI from either the S550 or PS3. Limitation of the RCVR.
2) Watch a 3D bluray AND listen to HD audio soundtrack. In fact, if a 3D movie has 7.1 then I have to listen to 5.1.

If I really wanted to get HD audio from the Sony PS3 I could put a switch after it to go to the RCVR and a switch to share an HDMI input on the RCVR but it's not necessary since I can't use the 3D video unless its straight to my TV. Whether I want to play bd from the PS3 with HD audio over HDMI depends on how the dvd upscaling and bd performance of the S550 compares to the PS3.

Another alternative to all this switching would be to baby step into separates. I could get a 7.1 preamp with multiple 1.4 HDMI and HD audio processing and connect the output to the amp section of the SR9600. I wonder if the Emotiva UMC-200 would have sound quality close to the preamp section of the SR 9600? Not likely eh?

I hope the dacs of the Oppo 103 are comparable to the SR 9600, or at least better than the S550. One I get the Oppo 103 I can watch 3D and regular bluray movies AND hear 7.1 HD audio soundtracks.
Edited by cpc - 12/19/12 at 6:49am
post #5 of 18
I took a look at the SR9600 documentation. It's a really nice receiver and that is a beast of a receiver - the way they should be made! I kept my AVR5803 (without HDMI) for a long time because of the same reasons you mentioned. It's very strange that the SR9600 doesn't handle 7.1 LPCM since that was supported since HDMI version 1.0 but it doesn't so we'll go from there.

Yes, you've simplified significantly. Don't be afraid to use the component video inputs either. Except for using 1080i instead of 1080p (and some can use 1080p) the component video with good cables should produce the same picture. The difference is that the source is doing the conversion an analog video signal instead of the TV. You can free up another HDMI port by using component video from the Rogers PVR into the receiver. You'll also get faster channel changes that way.

For the items that you can't do:
1) As you've mentioned with the SR9600, the only way to get 7.1-channel into the SR9600 is the analog audio inputs. The other advantage of that is that you can use the lossless audio formats as well. There is a big difference in mid-bass and high end between Dolby Digital and the lossless audio formats (LPCM, TrueHD and DTS-MA HD). I consider that a bigger gain than what discrete 7.1 provides over 5.1-channel with matrixed back channels. So, if I were you, I'd dedicate the analog inputs to the S550. Does the S550 also handle SACDs? I forget if Sony included that with the S550. If not, the really cheap method for switching between the S550 and the Marantz player is three two-channel mechanical audio switches.

2) Since the S550 won't play 3D discs, you're limited to the PS3. Unfortunately the PS3 has no method for outputting analog 7.1-channel audio or lossless multichannel except with HDMI. Even then it can't do DTS-MA HD TrueHD and 3D at the same time. It's amazing it can do 3D at all since the HDMI 1.3 chip inside of the PS3 was not designed for 3D. But, I digress...I think you're stuck for 3D movies with lossy 5.1-channel audio for the time being.

The good news is that all of this really gets solved with an OPPO. I have the BDP-93 and wouldn't trade it. The BDP-103 is even better, although lacking component video outputs. The 7.1-channel analog audio outputs and the dual HDMI should keep your SR9600 happy for years. Remember to do all bass management in the SR9600, which the SR9600 supports.

Anyway, I'd save as much money now and just save up for the OPPO. The DACs will be better than the S550 even with the 103. If you got to the BDP-95 or BDP-105, then the DACs will be significantly better than anything you have, but will cost more. Of course, whether you can hear a difference is another story.
Edited by alk3997 - 12/19/12 at 4:51pm
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Lot's of good feedback. I have often sent my 9600 an HD audio signal and performed DPL II x to it. I know it sounds like a bad idea, but I haven't compared to see how it affects the sound.

The annoying problem with the SR 9600 is that there is almost a rumour that "SOME" SR 9600 can accept 7.1 HD audio over HDMI. I have a feeling it may be the second generation of SR 9600 which had the SAT radio. I keep my eyes open for SR 9600's for sale just so I can go and try to send them a 7.1 HD PCM HDMI signal and see if they work. I have communicated with Marantz and they said that the ability was added part way through production.

I did not know that the PS3 still cannot output 3D and DTS-MA at the same time. I will truly relegate it to non BD useage once the Oppo arrives. I would gladly try the processing and/or DAC's of the Oppo vs the S550, PS3 and/or the SR 9600. One thing I am not sure about, which would be interesting, is whether or not my receiver does bass management to signals that input through the 7.1 analog RCA's...or whether I have to rely on the source for that. The SR 9600 could have analog x-overs or could do some ADC-DAC work. The SR 9600 is known to have a plethora of DAC's I know that much. Lossy audio isn't that bad for sure, it's just that I'd like to try to get everything I can out of my sources.

Even with the Oppo, I will be forced to use the analog outputs for 7.1. At least I have the option of performing DPL II x to a 5.1 HD audio signal fed the 9600 over HDMI. I wonder though if it would be worth it to baby step my way to separates. I could get a pre-pro with HDMI 1.4 and HD audio codecs and other toys and use the 9600's amps. Perhaps some day.

In the meantime, I will keep my eyes and ears open for the holy grail, an SR 9600 which accepts PCM 7.1 HD audio over HDMI.
post #7 of 18
I looked up whether you could do bass management with the SR 9600 and everything I read said that you could. A quote from one of the Marantz spec sheets,

"192 kHz, 24 Bit A/D for 7.1 Channel Input - For audiophiles seeking to use the analog multi-channel input but who wish to use the bass management and/or time alignment, fear not. The SR9600 has high bandwidth A/D converters for those inputs as well. This enables a global setup to work for all sources, analog or digital"

Actually the copy said that it would "wok for all sources", but I doubt that is what they meant to write.

So, even today with your SACD sources, I'd make sure to only use the bass management in the Marantz.

For the PS3 and DTS-HD MA with 3D, I have to stand corrected. The PS3 can do 3D and DTS-HD MA. It cannot do 3D and TrueHD together. I always get those backwards. Sorry about that. Originally the PS3 couldn't output 3D Blu-Ray because of the HDMI 1.3 chip inside. Then the Sony engineers figured out how to do that but they couldn't output any high rez audio formats. Then they figured out how to output DTS-HD MA even though the unit is only 1.3. I don't know if they have anymore tricks that will get TrueHD and 3D combined but who knows? Reference is here: http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=179360 Again, sorry about my mixup.

From a rear channel standpoint, I've mixed 7.1-channel and 5.1-channel audio and when doing an audio mix, there is almost never a situation where the rear center speakers have audio that can't be also mastered exactly the same way in 5.1-channel and then sound the same as the 7.1-channel mix when matrixed. I used to always turn the Dolby EX flag on when mastering Dolby Digital because the rear speakers were usually a diffuse soundfield with ambient sounds. When I mix music I always mix for 5.1-channel and never 7.1-channel because I don't want the audio behind me. The one thing I can't emulate well in 5.1-channel version versus 7.1-channel is a fly-over from the back. Even changing the delays between the left and right channels during the flyover doesn't really make it the same. However, swirling sounds that spin among the speakers can easily be reproduced with a 5.1-audio source and matrixed rear center channels. So keep leaving the DPL IIx on for the rear channels.

As far as the OPPO analog outputs, if properly tuned (including bass management), you should not be able to hear a difference between that an HDMI audio inputs with the DACs in the Marantz. I know some will say thay can but I couldn't with my old AVR-5803A (which has gone on to a good home). I wonder how muhc of the perceived differences are psychosomatic? I believe HDMI should sound better so it does?

Really if you don't mind the extra switching because of the limited HDMI source inputs on the Marantz, you should be set for years with the OPPO.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am pretty sure I read that I could use bass management and time alignment on the analog inputs, so that is why I kept my hopes up. I can easily have it all with the PS3 as long as the soundtrack is DTS-MA. I assume the PS3 can also output LPCM soundtracks.

Well, to be really cheap and miserly, I could always pick up the Atlona AT-570 if I can find one for cheap enough. It appears to support 3D and would provide me with 7.1 analog channels to input into the SR9600. Since I can do bass management, I should be ok. This would allow me to get 7.1 DTS-MA from 3D titles. I guess using the size and distance settings in the PS3 would have an affect on the speakers. Since the PS3 doesn't have analog outputs, if the PS3 has only HDMI, then the size and distance settings must be applied to the HDMI output, if it has these settings. I can't remember. Anyways, I wouldn't need those settings since I can perform them on the SR9600,and it may even be better that I use them in the SR9600 anyways. I could also hook up the Atlona to the Sony S550 and compare it's performance vs the analog outputs of the S550. The only issue I ever have with my SR9600 is that sometimes it seems to lock up and not respond to remote commands, but it has only happened two or three times in 5 years. Sometimes I don't have to turn the receiver on and off, it just starts responding again at some point, usually when I stop movie playback . Again, I will keep my eyes and ears peeled for a SAT ready SR9600 to test its ability to accept 7.1 over HDMI.

http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-HDMI-Audio-De-Embedder-with-3D-Support.html

Only trouble is, the Atlona AT-HD570 is $150-$220. I wonder if I could find a 3D blu-ray player with analog outputs for that much or less.

Ultimately, the Oppo 103 is a good idea. It is frustrating however, that the dvd performance has varied. I was surprised that they ditched the previous video processor and went with the Qudeo or whatever its called. I think I will have to research what disc players are best with dvd's and bd. I think the Toshiba XA2 was good with dvd's. The Oppo 981. The Oppo 83. Anything with ABT in it. I just sold my VP-50 with SDI and SDI Panasonic CP72 (regretably) so my best dvd de-interlacing solution is gone. DVD's on the PS3 and Sony S550 aren't horrible, but I would like to find the best way to watch my dvd's
Edited by cpc - 12/20/12 at 7:09am
post #9 of 18
For audio remember that means you'll be using the D/A's in the Atlona rather than the 192/24's in the SR9600. I'm not sure I would make that trade. Better than lossless but not as good as what the SR9600 should be capable of doing. I'm not sure I'd get the Atlona just to watch 3D movies with lossless instead of lossy sound. I believe in the save your money until you can get what you really want philosophy.

Really all bass management should only be done in the SR9600. The PS3 does not have any bass management features that I remember. But, this also holds true for any DVD or Blu-Ray player.

For my eyes the Oppo BDP-93 DVD playback is as good as my Denon 4010, which is supposedly one of the better ones. I have not seen the BDP-103 so I really can't comment on that model's playback. I suspect you could still find some new BDP-93s out there.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
True. The Atlona AT-HD570 doesn't offer enough and I'd still be stuck with some True HD 3D movies without HD audio playback bc of the PS3. The Oppo 103 looks really useful bc it has two HDMI inputs. Just being able to send the output of my cable box through the Oppo and do some processing could be useful. I could also use it as a switch. I could basically connect the Rogers TV box, the Marantz HDMI output and there I have 3 HDMI things going into one on the TV. Then on the TV perhaps the PS3 could go through the RCVR and into the TV for games, or perhaps send the PS3 through the Oppo to play games in 3D and have HD audio. No idea if games have the need for that and I don't play many games.

Anyhow, I think it boils down to figuring out of the Oppo 103 is the answer. So far it seems that, the Oppo 83 has the best dvd playback but no 3D, the Oppo 93 has 3D and video is ok, some say not as good as the 83. The 93 also allows iso playback so you can store all your BD on a drive and play them from the 93 (depending on firmware) and the 103 has the slighly improved video processing and also the extra HDMI inputs. Not sure how important having the best dvd playback is. I am sure if I compared the best with the worst, I may see that there is some improvement, but how often will I need it? I am slowly replacing my dvd's with BD's (probably will complete this process by the time we get 4K..lol). I do have a few foreign region dvd's and at least a couple of ways to play them, but the Oppo has all region option too. I think I should find a way to get my hands on an Oppo. Just have to decide which. I am disapointed that the new 103 can't play iso but what can you do? The 103's video is better than the 93 supposedly. I only wish the Oppo players were 5 disc carousels.
post #11 of 18
I might make this easier - are you sure the BDP-93 still supports iso's? I thought a recent firmware update disabled that feature. I don't use iso's (except to create discs) so you might want to check. That would eliminate the iso question for BDP-93 versus BDP-103.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I guess if you have a 93 with an older firmware you can still use ISO's. It's not a deal breaker for me. The better video and extra HDMI of the newest Oppo is enough to sway me towards the 103. What I do hope I can do with the Oppo 103 is play flac or wav files from a drive, memory card or nas so I can playback all my cd's. I also hope to eventually be able to navigate files on a nas, connected hdd or memory card without having to turn on a display. Right now I do that with my PC using Gmote but I only play music in my bedroom with my PC connected to my stereo in my bedroom. I am going to replace my older desktop PC with a laptop eventually, and may make a simple HTPC or similar server for audio file playback for use in the living room, unless I can connect the PS3 or Oppo to my network and/or a hdd or other memory with my audio files and hopefully navigate the files without turning on a display. With gmote, you can navigate your song library on your PC using your android smart phone. I notice iphone apps for the Oppo but no android. To be clear, I am talking about using a cell phone to navigate and see files on cell phone screen and play them back through an av receiver. Getting off topic. I think the Oppo 103 may be the solution for the simple fact that it has HDMI inputs and other toys. Once I get the Oppo the Sony S550 will be un-necessary so it will go into another room.
Edited by cpc - 12/20/12 at 11:49am
post #13 of 18
I think you're on the right track (for whatever that's worth) with your planning.

BTW, using the old firmware is fine until you want to play a new BD that requires newer firmware to play.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yep. Around in circles and back again. At least if I get an Oppo, I can then move on with future receiver / pre-pro changes and stick with the Oppo. All of this is moot of course, once 4K causes me to re-think it all again. Kidding...I hope. I actually don't want 4K. What's next? 10K? When will it stop? I remember watching 480i de-interlaced on 720p projectors and it looked great. To me, 1080p is good enough for home theatre...but I digress.
post #15 of 18
I agree - even with a 114" screen, at best, 4K is a very slight improvement over 1080p. For most material it won't be a visible improvement from 9-10 feet (and I usually sit further). At least HDMI can support 4K/24 and slightly less res at 30Hz (back on topic :-) )..
post #16 of 18
Would our recently (this week) updated 4x2 HDMI Matrix with 7.1 Output (+ a 7.1 Input) be of interest?

http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x2_7_1audio.html

Joe
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fernand View Post

Would our recently (this week) updated 4x2 HDMI Matrix with 7.1 Output (+ a 7.1 Input) be of interest?
http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x2_7_1audio.html
Joe

I have seen those before. I thought about getting one also. I will keep it in mind but the Oppo 103 is probably going to be my solution at this point. Still, those Octava units are pretty handy looking. The unit looks like a handy HDMI plus swtich because I could connect another universal player to it also with the 7.1 analog inputs.

For the record, can you input PS3 HDMI and output 3D video to a TV and also output 7.1 HD on HDMI? Or can it output 3D video on HDMI and HD audio on analog connections from that unit? If so, it would allow for 3D video game playback with HD 7.1 sound if there is such a thing.
Edited by cpc - 12/21/12 at 2:43pm
post #18 of 18
Apologies only just picked up on your questions.

If you mean can we Output the HD audio via HDMI to an AVR or Processor with HDMI In but no 3D support then no that’s not going to work – we would need to include a mechanism to strip out the 3D video stream and ‘insert’ a dummy 2D video stream* for the AVR/Processor to lock too, which would add too much cost to the unit!

Joe

*The AVR/Processor requires a video stream to lock to – you can’t send an audio-only signal via HDMI to the AVR!
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