How to Use an HDMI Switcher

By Kate Evelyn

A high definition multimedia interface, or HDMI, switcher is a device that you can use for connecting multiple HDMI high definition devices to one HDMI input. This is helpful if you only have one or two inputs on your TV or receiver but you have multiple devices you want to hook up, such as a PlayStation 3, an Xbox 360 and a high definition DVD player. Switchers are available with a variety of inputs, ranging from two to eight. Make sure you buy one that has enough for all the components.

Things You'll Need

  • HDMI switcher
  • HDMI cables (one per device and one for the switcher)
  • Available HDMI input

Instructions

Step 1

Place the HDMI switcher in a spot where it is easily in reach of all of the components and the input you want to use (for example, your TV or receiver) as well as a power outlet. A good place to put it is in the middle shelf of your entertainment center so it has easy access to everything. Plug the power cable into the wall or a power strip, if applicable.

Step 2

Run an HDMI cable from each device to one of the inputs on the HDMI switcher. To do this, simply plug one end into the appropriate port in the side or back of the device and the other into one of the ports on the switcher. Each port has a button on the front associated with it. Some switchers have the inputs pre-labeled with words like game console, DVD and CD. Try to match these up with your devices if you can. It will make your life a little easier.

Step 3

Run another HDMI cable from the switcher to the input on your TV, receiver or other input device. Do not plug it into one of the component ports. There will be a separate port just for this purpose.

Step 4

Turn on your input device and run through the input options until you get to the channel connected to the HDMI switcher. Then push the button on the switcher that sits in front of the cable for the device you want to watch or listen to.

Step 5

Check to make sure your audio and visuals are working properly. If not, make sure your cable connections are tight and that you pressed the correct button on the switcher.

Tips & Warnings

  • Not all HDMI switchers require an external power source. Most of the larger units do though, especially the ones that come with remote controls.You can buy both switchers and HDMI cables at most electronic stores.