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Are HDMI Splitters/Switches Good for Gaming?

Are HDMI Splitters/Switches Good for Gaming?

Have you ever experienced yanking the HDMI cable of your soundbar from the TV so that you can make space for your console?

Even if you don’t have a soundbar, as long as you have a gaming console, you’ll most likely experience running out of HDMI slots to connect it to your TV. 

Good thing there are HDMI splitters and switches you can use to make this experience hassle-free. 

But before we rush to Amazon and order these accessories, let’s first explore if they have a good or bad effect on your gaming. 

Let’s talk about it. 

HDMI Splitters vs HDMI Switches

Before we go any further, let’s first distinguish a splitter from a switch

While they are used interchangeably, they are two different devices. HDMI splitters “split” their signals to several HDMI cables connected to it. 

On the other hand, an HDMI switch can only send signals to one HDMI cable at a time. 

An HDMI splitter is best used if you have several monitors or TVs in the same space that you want to feed the same display to. For example, you have two TVs in your room and you want both of them to show your game. 

This is also a good setup if you love playing multiplayer games and you want the other player to have a screen to themselves. 

Likewise, this works for a shop that has several TV displays on its walls and the shop owner wants a certain show to be displayed in each unit. 

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Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

As for HDMI switches, it’s best for people who don’t plan to play two TVs at once or those who don’t have two monitors, to begin with. You’ll want an HDMI switch if you just want those HDMI cables attached to your TV even if you’re not using them. 

An HDMI switch will make it hassle-free to switch from one console to another. But take note that once you turn on another console, the signal can switch to its HDMI cable, effectively shutting down the other console. 

Nonetheless, a hassle-free playing experience is already a good reason to purchase an HDMI switch for your setup. 

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Do HDMI splitters cause input lag?

In general, HDMI splitters can cause input lag, but these aren’t noticeable most of the time.

Do HDMI Splitters add LAG to your games ???

The quality of your HDMI cable may also create lag, but as you can see, it’s not related to the splitter itself. 

Some would say that HDMI splitters that are connected to a power source (active splitters) will have no input lag, but this is not always true. 

Some splitters don’t need any power source , yet deliver almost no input lag performance that is noticeable with the naked eye. 

If the HDMI cable is also of a low-quality make, then there can be certain lags because it doesn’t use the best materials that can support the signals that are sent to your TV.

Do HDMI switches cause input lag?

HDMI Input LAG - Fact or Fiction

No, they don’t. Even when you test it with a tester, there is no difference in the refresh rates with using an HDMI switch instead of plugging your console straight into the TV. 

Input lags caused by HDMI switches have been a myth, with a lot of companies taking advantage of this to convince you that their switches are better. 

But now you know that you don’t need to be afraid of using an HDMI switch to help you run your game to two or more displays. 

What is a refresh rate?

Frame Rate and Refresh Rate Explained

Refresh rate is a term you’ll often hear when it comes to screens, cables, and games. 

In a nutshell, refresh rates refer to the number of times a screen changes within a second. 

A higher refresh rate means that the image gets updated more times within a second; hence, it is denoted by frames per second or Hertz (Hz). 

In gaming, you want a monitor that has a high refresh rate especially if you’re playing high-speed games like combat or race games. 

But it doesn’t stop there. 

To fully experience a high refresh rate, your other equipment, like your cable and GPU should be able to accommodate it. 

If not, then the lowest refresh rate of any of your equipment will be followed. 

So as best practice, we recommend that you check the refresh rates of your GPU, HDMI cable, and TV screen to make sure that you get the best gaming experience possible. 

Are HDMI Splitters/Switches Good for Gaming?

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Yes! Now that we’ve put input lag out of the way, HDMI splitters and switches are good for gaming, especially with limited HDMI ports. 

Both of these accessories function as extensions to the available HDMI ports on your TV, but they have a few differences based on what we’ve discussed in the earlier sections of this post. 

So if you’re looking to play the same game for two or more monitors, you can use an HDMI splitter to help you display them. 

On the other hand, if you’re only looking for an extension of your TV’s HDMI port, then you can use a switch so that you no longer have to remove and exchange the cables. 

Of course, if you have enough HDMI ports on your TV, there’s no need to buy these accessories for gaming. 

There is no significant boost in refresh rates anyway. And as a gamer, you want a device that will improve your refresh rate. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t a feature of both splitters and switches. 

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Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Connecting your consoles to your TV is a lot more convenient when you have an HDMI switch. But if you want two or more displays, then it’s a splitter you’re looking for. 

While myths tell you that these accessories cause input lag, testing shows no change in the refresh rates with these accessories versus when your console is connected to the TV. 

With that said, we hope that this has helped you know if you truly need a splitter or a switch for gaming.  

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