HDMI splitter that will work automatically?
July 18, 2018 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I have an older (2006-ish?) tv with one HDMI port. I have three things (Roku, DVD player, and cable box) I would like to watch via the tv. I've been using an HDMI splitter that requires manual switching (I have to go click it to transfer between the cables), and it's in the process of active dying. I would love to replace it with something that (a) works and (b) does not require that I get up to click it when I switch from Hulu to cable. I'd love to avoid another remote control as well, but it's not a dealbreaker. Suggestions?

If it does require a remote, if you could also recommend a universal remote that would work for at least parts of the described set-up, I'd appreciate it. Right now I've got an Xfinity remote for tv/cable, a Roku remote, and a DVD remote. If having a manual splitter is really much better for REASONS, let me know that, too. (I've been having to get up for five years, so continuing to do so certainly won't degrade my quality of life.)

Assume that I'm on the high end of "general population comfortable with tech" but on the lower end of "tradition MeFi comfortable with tech."

Bonus points for anything I can order quickly from Amazon.
posted by lazuli to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I bought this three port switch, which switches automatically and seems to meet your needs. BUT I had to return it, because one of my devices is a PlayStation 4, which has a known issue of not playing well with unpowered HDMI switches (well, known to everyone but me). So I recommend it on paper but don’t have actual use experience.
posted by ejs at 4:41 PM on July 18, 2018

Monoprice would be my choice here, but I don't have personal experience on their varied options.

https://www.monoprice.com/category?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002 is their list of such things.

Any universal remote with the ability to learn should be able to handle the task of learning the three buttons necessary.
posted by booooooze at 4:47 PM on July 18, 2018

Best answer: I tried three different HDMI switches from Amazon and found two of them to be intolerably flaky. This is the one I kept. It switches automatically when a new input becomes active (which is unhelpful if your devices are always-on, but helpful otherwise) and comes with a small remote that works fine.
posted by Syllepsis at 9:22 PM on July 18, 2018

It's a bit of a gamble with all these cheap Chinese electronics as to which will actually work but automatic HDMI splitters are definitely a thing. I have this one and it works fine, including with a PS4 which as mentioned above is apparently a bit picky about them.
posted by the long dark teatime of the soul at 6:45 AM on July 19, 2018

Response by poster: the long dark teatime of the soul, the one I currently have is super-similar, and I think because the cable box is always officially "on," even when I'm not watching it, that must be why mine doesn't switch automatically.

Thanks, all. I've ordered a three-port version of the Kinivo switch that kalessin recommended. I'll keep my fingers crossed. And booooooze, thank you for the assurances that a universal remote should work; I'll have to figure out how to program mine, then.
posted by lazuli at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2018

Best answer: I have a Kinivio 301BN HDMI 3 port switch that's worked great for a couple of years. It seems to switch every time a new source becomes available, so it will automatically switch from my always-on Roku to the game console when I turn on the game console.
posted by Nelson at 12:10 PM on July 19, 2018

Response by poster: Nelson, that's the one I ordered. Thanks!
posted by lazuli at 2:01 PM on July 19, 2018

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