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Discussion Starter #1
So here's my situation: I have a Sony 32 inch TV, it only has 2 HDMI outputs. One of them I have dedicated for my connection to my computer, I need 2 other devices connected to the other one HDMI port: Roku and DVD player. I tried one of those FOSpower HDMI splitters, it was able to display the Roku, but it would not display the DVD player at all... Tried it downstairs and same situation with the PS3 - would not display it.

So would I actually need a "switcher" not a "splitter?" Would a switcher allow me to hook up the switcher to my other HDMI port on my TV, then hook the DVD player and Roku into the switcher, and I can switch what port the signal goes to? So this wouldn't "split" the signal and degrade it... it would just allow me to select where the signal goes? I just want to figure out what I need to get. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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So here's my situation: I have a Sony 32 inch TV, it only has 2 HDMI outputs. One of them I have dedicated for my connection to my computer, I need 2 other devices connected to the other one HDMI port: Roku and DVD player. I tried one of those FOSpower HDMI splitters, it was able to display the Roku, but it would not display the DVD player at all... Tried it downstairs and same situation with the PS3 - would not display it.

So would I actually need a "switcher" not a "splitter?" Would a switcher allow me to hook up the switcher to my other HDMI port on my TV, then hook the DVD player and Roku into the switcher, and I can switch what port the signal goes to? So this wouldn't "split" the signal and degrade it... it would just allow me to select where the signal goes? I just want to figure out what I need to get. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
When discussing A/V signal path, it helps to picture it as water flowing thru pipes with the signal starting at the source device(s) and ending at your display/speakers. The cables are the pipes and the signal flow is always from the output of the upstream device(s) to the input of the downstream device(s).

With that in mind, you will notice that the first mistake in your question was when you said that your TV only has 2 HDMI Outputs. TV's do not have HDMI Outputs. They only have HDMI Inputs as the video signal flows TO them, not FROM them.

A splitter is a device that splits the signal. It does not combine signals. Even if it could combine signals, you wouldn't want it to as the resulting signal being output by the device would be a combination of the two (or more) source signals coming into it. So, a splitter should be used when you have more downstream devices, that you want to get the signal to, than upstream devices, from which the signal is coming. For example, if you have a Blu-Ray player and you want to feed the signal from that Blu-Ray player to 2 TV's, you would place a splitter between the Blu-Ray player and the 2 TV's with one cable running from the output of the Blu-Ray player to the input of the splitter and 2 cables running from the outputs of the splitter to the inputs on each of the 2 TV's.

A switch is a device that allows you to connect multiple upstream devices, each providing a unique signal, and select which of those signals to pass thru the switch's output(s) to your downstream device(s). The most simple type have multiple inputs and a single output. This is the type of device you would use if you had multiple source devices e.g. a game console and a Blu-Ray player, but only one TV/audio system. You would run one cable from the output of your game console to one of the inputs on your switch and another cable from the output of your Blu-Ray player to a different input on the switch. Then you would run one cable from the output of the switch to the input on your TV. You would then tell the switch (either via. a physical button or a control signal sent by some sort of remote) which source device you want the signal you see on your TV to come from. The device is used to switch between the connected source devices. Hence the name.

Matrix switches are slightly more complicated and allow you to select between multiple source signals and output them to multiple different downstream devices. It is the ability to select different sources independantly for each of the devices connected to the switch's outputs that makes it a true matrix switch. If the switch is only able to send the same signal to both of its outputs then it isn't a true matrix switch. In that case it is basically a combined switch and splitter.

One last note. Switches and splitters do not necessarily have to be standalone devices. Many times they are built into your source devices, receivers, and TV's.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, that was my mistake with "HDMI outputs," I understand that I'm going OUT from my DVD player and that signal is being fed IN to the TV.

Well, I guess I had an HDMI "switch" with this FOSpower thing... only problem was that it didn't display anything when it came to my DVD player.... same thing for the PS3, it just flashed a green screen that was a bit distorted, then nothing after that. I need to find one that will work for my DVD player also. Like I said, the Roku it displays, but for some reason, my DVD player will not display going through the switch. I had it hooked up correctly as you said: a cable from the switch's output port going into my tv's HDMI input, then my Roku and DVD player going into input ports of the switch.
 
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