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Why Do TVs Only Have 2 HDMIs?

Why Do TVs Only Have 2 HDMIs?

An HDMI port lets your TV seamlessly connect and communicate with external devices, such as laptops, gaming consoles, etc. Most TVs come with one or two HDMI ports — the latter being a more common occurrence. In addition, your TV could also have DisplayPort, USB port(s), RCA, VGA, etc. 

HDMI gets preferential treatment because it’s a lot more common and reliable. DisplayPort is the only interface that gives HDMI a solid run for its money and, at times, surpasses HDMI with its most recent release.

But the vital question is, if HDMI is so popular, why don’t televisions come with more than one or two HDMI ports? If space is a concern, why aren’t manufacturers chucking out the other, “seemingly not very popular” audio-video interfaces to make extra space for more HDMI ports?

Those are certainly valid questions that require addressing. And we do that precisely in this article, throwing light on the two-HDMI-port-situation with TVs in general.

Why Do TVs Only Have 2 HDMI Ports?

SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class Crystal UHD AU8000 Series

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Televisions have two HDMI ports because manufacturers generally believe most users will not need to simultaneously use more than two HDMI ports. And if they do, they can always add more ports through an external device.

Back in the day, when gaming consoles, streaming devices, etc., were not as common ubiquitous as they are today, TV makers had no incentive or need to jack up the port situation on their products.

As a result, every time companies refreshed a product line, they placed major emphasis on the display technologies and audio aspects of their products and only briefly reassessed the port setup. 

In 2021, the industry dynamics and user requirements have changed, and, thankfully, brands are taking note. They have started adding more HDMI ports to their newest offerings. It’s, therefore, no longer uncommon to see HDTVs sporting three, four, or even five integrated HDMI ports.

Can I Use the Two HDMI Ports at the Same Time?

SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Frame Series

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The two HDMI ports at the rear of your TV are not meant to be or cannot be used simultaneously, as there’s only a single screen to display the inputted content.

You may, however, hook on two devices to your TV using the two ports and alternate between them so that you don’t have to plug in and plug out the cords each time you need to make a switch.

For instance, you may have a cable TV box and DVD player linked to your TV at once or a streaming device and a gaming console.

Kindly note that each time you plug and unplug from your TV, the port experiences wear, potentially hurting its lifespan. Therefore, if your TV has just one HDMI port and you have multiple devices to connect, use an HDMI switch or hub to prevent port wear.

Are 2 HDMI Ports Enough?

LG 80 Series 43” Alexa Built-in

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Two HDMI ports on your TV may have been good enough during the late 2000s and early 2010s. But, in the 2020s, two HDMI ports barely cut it, thanks to multiple HDMI-equipped devices you may plug into your TV and make optimal use of the high-quality displays.

For example, if your HDTV has just a couple of HDMI input ports and you need to connect them to a streaming device, cable box, and a gaming console simultaneously, the two ports would feel lacking.

That said, many users still get by fine with 2 HDMI ports on their TVs. And if they need more, they use an HDMI switch.

How Many HDMI Ports Should a TV Have?

Different usage of hdmi ports

The ideal number of HDMI ports on a TV is a figure not set in stone. Based on the user’s requirements, the need for a certain number of ports could vary. However, as alluded to above, three to four ports are optimal.

Kindly note, if your TV has just a port or two, we don’t recommend you buy a new television. But if you are looking for a new TV anyway, make sure the ports are in abundant supply.

The following are some excellent options:

  • Insignia NS-32DF310NA19 32-inch Smart HD TV
  • TCL 65-inch 5-Series 4K UHD Smart TV
  • Hisense 43-inch Class R6090G 4K UHD Smart TV
  • Sceptre X405BV-FSR 40-Inch FHD LED TV
INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32DF310NA19, 2018 Model)
TCL 65-inch 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 65S535, 2021 Model
INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32DF310NA19, 2018 Model)
TCL 65-inch 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 65S535, 2021 Model
INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32DF310NA19, 2018 Model)
INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32DF310NA19, 2018 Model)
TCL 65-inch 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 65S535, 2021 Model
TCL 65-inch 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 65S535, 2021 Model

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Hisense 43-Inch Class R6090G Roku 4K UHD Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility (43R6090G, 2020 Model)
Sceptre 40" Class FHD (1080P) LED TV (X405BV-FSR)
Hisense 43-Inch Class R6090G Roku 4K UHD Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility (43R6090G, 2020 Model)
Sceptre 40" Class FHD (1080P) LED TV (X405BV-FSR)
Hisense 43-Inch Class R6090G Roku 4K UHD Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility (43R6090G, 2020 Model)
Hisense 43-Inch Class R6090G Roku 4K UHD Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility (43R6090G, 2020 Model)
Sceptre 40" Class FHD (1080P) LED TV (X405BV-FSR)
Sceptre 40" Class FHD (1080P) LED TV (X405BV-FSR)

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

If you are a Samsung, Sony, or LG fan, be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars more on the purchase.   

Port Placement is Important

LG OLED C1 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV

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While the number of HDMI ports on your TV is an important attribute, equally crucial is how and where they are positioned on the television.

If they are located too close to each other, for instance, you may have a hard time using them in tandem. The hoods of the HDMI cables you use could be too thick and may come in each other’s paths.

Also, if you’re mounting the TV, side-positioned HDMI ports are ideal as they are easily accessible when the television is stuck flat against the wall. The ports’ positioning won’t matter much if you place the TV on a stand.

Can I Increase the Number of HDMI Ports on My TV?

You can undoubtedly increase the number of HDMI ports on your TV by hooking it up with a third-party accessory such as an HDMI switch. Besides offering you more HDMI input ports to work with, an HDMI switch reduces potential wear and tear on your TV’s built-in ports.

  • VWRHar HDMI Switch 2 In 1 Out
  • UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 In 1 Out
  • Amazon Basics 4K HDMI 5-Port Switch
  • Awakelion 4K HDMI 5-Port Switch
HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter, 4K@60hz Aluminum HDMI 2.0 Switcher 2 in 1 Out, HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out, Bi-Directional Switch Support 4K 3D HDR for Xbox...
UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher Splitter, 4K 30Hz HDMI Switch with Remote HDMI 3 Port Box Hub Supports HDR CEC 3D HDCP1.4, Compatible...
HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter, [email protected] Aluminum HDMI 2.0 Switcher 2 in 1 Out, HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out, Bi-Directional Switch Support 4K 3D HDR for Xbox...
UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher Splitter, 4K 30Hz HDMI Switch with Remote HDMI 3 Port Box Hub Supports HDR CEC 3D HDCP1.4, Compatible...
HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter, 4K@60hz Aluminum HDMI 2.0 Switcher 2 in 1 Out, HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out, Bi-Directional Switch Support 4K 3D HDR for Xbox...
HDMI Switch HDMI Splitter, [email protected] Aluminum HDMI 2.0 Switcher 2 in 1 Out, HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out, Bi-Directional Switch Support 4K 3D HDR for Xbox...
UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher Splitter, 4K 30Hz HDMI Switch with Remote HDMI 3 Port Box Hub Supports HDR CEC 3D HDCP1.4, Compatible...
UGREEN HDMI Switch 3 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher Splitter, 4K 30Hz HDMI Switch with Remote HDMI 3 Port Box Hub Supports HDR CEC 3D HDCP1.4, Compatible...

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Amazon Basics 4K HDMI 5 Port Switch
4K@60Hz HDMI Switch 5 Port Awakelion Premium 5 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher with IR Remote Support Auto-Switch, HDMI 2.0,HDCP 2.2,UHD,HDR,Full...
Amazon Basics 4K HDMI 5 Port Switch
[email protected] HDMI Switch 5 Port Awakelion Premium 5 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher with IR Remote Support Auto-Switch, HDMI 2.0,HDCP 2.2,UHD,HDR,Full...
Amazon Basics 4K HDMI 5 Port Switch
Amazon Basics 4K HDMI 5 Port Switch
4K@60Hz HDMI Switch 5 Port Awakelion Premium 5 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher with IR Remote Support Auto-Switch, HDMI 2.0,HDCP 2.2,UHD,HDR,Full...
[email protected] HDMI Switch 5 Port Awakelion Premium 5 in 1 Out 4K HDMI Switcher with IR Remote Support Auto-Switch, HDMI 2.0,HDCP 2.2,UHD,HDR,Full...

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Some switches have a large footprint and come with a dedicated remote for easy switching between ports. A few others are compact enough to go behind your television and remain entirely out of sight.

The ones mentioned above come with a remote, except for the VWRHar switch, which is relatively tiny.

Also, if you’d like to hook up a switch that connects your source device to your TV but runs audio from external speakers, you may consider an HDMI switch with audio extraction capabilities.

  • NEWCARE 4x1 HDMI Switch Audio Extractor
  • Proster Prozor 3x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extractor
  • FERRISA 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch
NEWCARE 4K@60Hz 4x1 HDMI Switch Audio Extractor with Optical Toslink SPDIF/Coaxial/3.5mm Audio Out, 4 Ports HDMI 2.0b Switcher with Remote Control...
3x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extractor, Proster 3 Port 4K HDMI Switcher HDMI Audio Converter Include PIP IR Remote and 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Female Stereo...
FERRISA 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch,4 in 2 Out Matrix HDMI Video Switcher Splitter +Optical & L/R Audio Output,Support Ultra HD 4K,3D 1080P,Audio EDID...
NEWCARE [email protected] 4x1 HDMI Switch Audio Extractor with Optical Toslink SPDIF/Coaxial/3.5mm Audio Out, 4 Ports HDMI 2.0b Switcher with Remote Control...
3x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extractor, Proster 3 Port 4K HDMI Switcher HDMI Audio Converter Include PIP IR Remote and 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Female Stereo...
FERRISA 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch,4 in 2 Out Matrix HDMI Video Switcher Splitter +Optical & L/R Audio Output,Support Ultra HD 4K,3D 1080P,Audio EDID...
NEWCARE 4K@60Hz 4x1 HDMI Switch Audio Extractor with Optical Toslink SPDIF/Coaxial/3.5mm Audio Out, 4 Ports HDMI 2.0b Switcher with Remote Control...
NEWCARE [email protected] 4x1 HDMI Switch Audio Extractor with Optical Toslink SPDIF/Coaxial/3.5mm Audio Out, 4 Ports HDMI 2.0b Switcher with Remote Control...
3x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extractor, Proster 3 Port 4K HDMI Switcher HDMI Audio Converter Include PIP IR Remote and 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Female Stereo...
3x1 HDMI Switch with Audio Extractor, Proster 3 Port 4K HDMI Switcher HDMI Audio Converter Include PIP IR Remote and 3.5mm Male to 2 RCA Female Stereo...
FERRISA 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch,4 in 2 Out Matrix HDMI Video Switcher Splitter +Optical & L/R Audio Output,Support Ultra HD 4K,3D 1080P,Audio EDID...
FERRISA 4x2 HDMI Matrix Switch,4 in 2 Out Matrix HDMI Video Switcher Splitter +Optical & L/R Audio Output,Support Ultra HD 4K,3D 1080P,Audio EDID...

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

For the audio extractor to work, plug in the 3.5mm cable from your audio device. To see how it’s done, watch the video:

4k HDMI Audio Extractor With Optical and 3.5mm Outputs

Kindly note, these switches would likely not come with an HDMI cable bundled in. Therefore, buy a cord separately if you don’t have one.

Things to Consider When Buying an HDMI Switch

Switch HDMI Adapter Hub Dock

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Apart from audio extraction capabilities, consider the following when shopping for a switch.

  • Look for an HDMI switch that sports more input ports than what you need. Having a port or two free on the switch at any given time doesn’t hurt.
  • HDMI 2.0 is mandatory to stream 4K content without issues. Even if your TV and input sources are not capable of 4K, you’d likely upgrade your setup one day, and those additional ports shall save your sinking boat then.

Kindly note, HDMI is backward-compatible. That means you can’t upgrade an HDMI 1.4 port to 2.0, but the opposite is supported.

FAQ

  1. Is it worth buying a TV with multiple HDMI ports over a TV with just one?

In a world where HDMI switches exist, a TV with a single HDMI port would seem just fine. But if you want a clutter-free space and not deal with two remotes (TV and switch), a TV with three or more HDMI ports is recommended.

But, as mentioned earlier, do not replace your existing, working-perfectly-fine TV with a new television just because you need more ports to play with. There are more than a handful of small enough HDMI switches that can be hidden out of sight.

Conclusion

SAMSUNG 55-inch Class Curved UHD TU-8300 Series

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Of all the audio-video ports a TV or any device with a large display could have, HDMI is arguably the most vital. Though other types do the job, perhaps none are as reliable, universal, and cross-device as HDMI. Most TVs, therefore, have at least two HDMI ports.

While the question of whether TVs should have more than two HDMI ports has its takers, more than 3 or 4 HDMI ports on a TV would be an overkill and an unnecessary waste of port space, irrespective of how advanced the TV is or how large its display is.

If you’re out shopping for a TV, make sure the television has the number of ports you realistically need. If you seek a TV with more built-in ports without increasing your budget outside your financial comfort zone, use an HDMI switch to make up for the shortcoming.

We cannot stress enough how cost-efficient a solution an HDMI switch offers.

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