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Do HDMI Switches/Splitters Cause Input Lag?

Do HDMI Switches/Splitters Cause Input Lag?

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If you’re a PC or console gamer or a fan of cinema movies, you might want to enjoy your games or movies on a big screen like a TV or monitor.

Unfortunately, all the HDMI input ports on your monitor or TV are occupied, and you’re trying to figure out how to connect your PC or game console to them.

That’s when you can use an HDMI switch/splitter to connect your PC/game console to the TV or monitor.

However, you notice some annoying input lag or latency issues after using the HDMI switch/splitter to set up the connection.

You wonder whether the HDMI switch/splitter is causing these input lag issues.

But don’t worry!

In this article, I’ll provide you with a detailed answer and troubleshooting tips to help you resolve input lag issues while using HDMI switches/splitters.

Let’s get started.

Do HDMI Switches Cause Input Lag?HDMI Switch

No, HDMI switches do not cause input lag. 

They serve as bridges that connect multiple HDMI input sources to one HDMI output source without signal conversion. 

Since there is no signal conversion taking place inside the HDMI switch, there is no latency. 

To further prove this point, I connected my PS4 to my Sony TV using an HDMI switch and played the PES game for hours without noticing any delay.

As long as you use a good-quality, active HDMI switch that runs through an AC adapter on an external power supply, you don’t have to worry about input lag.

Do HDMI Splitters Cause Input Lag?HDMI Splitter

No, HDMI splitters do not cause any noticeable input lag. 

HDMI splitters might add some input lag but it is no more than a few milliseconds. The delay is so short that you probably won’t even notice it.

Just like the case of the HDMI switch, I also performed an experiment by using an HDMI splitter to connect my PS4 to my two TVs, one is Sony and the other is Samsung. After an hour of playing PES matches, I did not experience any lag issues.

To get a stable connection, I highly recommend using a powered HDMI splitter.

The powered HDMI splitters not only ensure that the digital HDMI signals are copied in high quality but also boost the signals to reduce any chances of interference if you’re using longer cables.

How To Identify & Fix Input Lag While Using an HDMI Switch/Splitter?

A high-quality HDMI splitter or switch shouldn’t cause any delay or lag.

If you’re experiencing input lag while using the HDMI switch/splitter, try my following tips to identify which device is causing the issue.

Remove the HDMI Switch/Splitter

Start by removing the HDMI switch/splitter from your setup and connect your PC/game console directly to the TV or monitor.

If the lag issue disappears, it’s likely that your HDMI switch/splitter is defective or you purchased a low-quality one.

In case the HDMI switch/splitter is still under warranty, recall it.

Swap the HDMI Cable

Sometimes, latency can come from a damaged HDMI cable. 

Try switching it with another good HDMI cable.

If the lag issue disappears, then the culprit is the HDMI cable. Replace it with a new HDMI cable.

Swap the Mouse, Keyboard, and Controllera PS4 controller, a Logitech Wireless keyboard and a Logitech Bluetooth mouse

A faulty mouse, keyboard, or controller can produce lag due to hardware errors.

Replace your mouse, keyboard, and controller with good ones. If input lag persists, move on to the next tip.

Turn Off the V-Sync Feature on Your Computer/Laptop

V-Sync (Vertical Sync) is a feature that avoids screen tearing issues and is often identified as a source of input lag.

Screen tearing is when you see horizontal lines on your image because your laptop/computer’s game engine and your monitor are not in sync. 

V-Sync makes them sync by matching the game engine’s frame rate to the monitor’s refresh rate. 

However, V-Sync doesn’t affect how fast your laptop/computer’s CPU responds to your input commands. If you input commands faster than the monitor refreshes, you’ll see a delay.

You can try to turn off V-Sync on your computer/laptop to see whether it fixes the input lag issue.

Below is an example of turning off V-Sync on my Windows laptop through the NVIDIA Control Panel:

Step 1: Open the NVIDIA Control NVIDIA Control Panel on Window laptop

Step 2: Navigate to Manage 3D Settings, then select Vertical sync.Manage 3D Settings on NVIDIA Control Panel

Step 3: Turn Vertical sync OFF.turn off Vertical sync on NVIDIA Control Panel

Turn On Game Mode on Your TV/Monitor

Some TVs or monitors have a Game Mode that optimizes image settings for playing games when a PC or game console is connected.

When the Game Mode is turned on, it can also minimize input lag by bypassing video signal processing. 

Check your monitor or TV manual users or specs online to see if they support Game Mode.

Below is an example of turning on the Game Mode on my Samsung TV:

Step 1: Go to Menu settings, then select General.General settings on Samsung TV

Step 2: Navigate to External Devices Manager, select Game Mode, and turn it ON.


What Is Input Lag?

Input lag refers to the delay you experience after clicking a button on your controller until the results appear on the screen. The lower it is, the faster your device will respond. The amount of delay may vary from one device to another.

Needless to say, input lag can make movie time or gaming experience a nightmare.

How Do HDMI Splitters Deal With Input Lag?

If you’re concerned about the potential input lag caused by HDMI splitters, this section will answer all your questions.

You should worry about input lag only if your system is non-powered. If you have a splitter that connects to a power source, you can rest assured that it is equipped with the appropriate internal equipment to duplicate the HDMI signal without disruptions or delays caused by extra processing.

That being said, since HDMI splitters are a new link in the video signal chain, you can expect some input lag. However, with a powered unit, this delay will be no more than two milliseconds. That’s just a couple of frames of 60 Hz signal.

If you’re a hard-core gamer, you should find an HDMI splitter that promises to provide the refresh rate you’re looking for. If you want to split to 120Hz screens, the capability of your splitter should match that of other components.     


Using an HDMI switch or splitter to connect your PC or game console to a TV or monitor does not cause input lag as long as you use a good-quality, active HDMI switch that runs through an AC adapter on an external power supply or a powered HDMI splitter.

If you’re experiencing input lag, try troubleshooting by removing the HDMI switch/splitter, swapping the HDMI cable, replacing the faulty mouse, keyboard, and controller, and turning off the V-Sync feature.

Additionally, turning on Game mode on your TV/monitor can bypass video signal processing and minimize input lag. 

By following these tips, you can enjoy your games or movies on a bigger screen without any annoying input lag issues.

How was content created? This piece is created collaboratively, with tech editors generating ideas, conducting testing, and proofreading meticulously, while AI assists in fine-tuning.

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