Daisy-chaining multiple HDMI switches together is one of the most sought solutions for those looking to acquire multiple HDMI media sources into one output.
That’s because there are many devices that only have one HDMI output port, which might not be enough for some home theater setups comprised of a big digital flat-screen TV, a video audio receiver, streaming sticks, plus a projector or set-top box.
With daisy-chaining, users would be able to connect all these HDMI media sources into one output, then use an additional switch with another set of inputs and outputs that can connect the extra devices.
Ideally, daisy-chaining is supposedly a solution that saves you from having to buy multiple high-end TVs or digital audio receivers just because they have more than one HDMI port. The question for most novices is whether HDMI switches can be daisy-chained?
In General, HDMI switches can be daisy-chained.HDMI switches work well in a daisy-chain setup when it is used sparingly. Though daisy-chaining HDMI switches work, it is not the best setup option as it often ends up delaying image and audio output.
Typically, HDMI switchers work with all forms of digital signals, so, daisy chains won’t degrade media quality in the same way as older analog signals even if you are going to chain your own devices together for more control over where they send their input from one another.
Generally, with daisy-chaining HDMI switches, expect a notable delay but not any loss of clarity due either to this faulty device setup of cables or one too many daisy-chains could easily cause device-crosstalk.
How To Daisy Chain HDMI Switches The Right Way?
The standard daisy-chaining method is done by using a male-to-female HDMI cable. The female end connects to your first switch’s input, while any number (from two upwards) of male ends attach to outputs on different switches.
These cables are usually included in the package when buying the switches themselves, but if not, they’re readily available for purchase separately.
As for most home theater setups, what makes sense is to purchase the right number of ports that you need for your setup and then plug in all devices into that one output selection.
For most TVs, this is preferable since they’re usually the place where all media sources are connected anyway. That’s also why it’s important to get an HDMI switch with enough ports so that there will be no problems when switching between different input sources.
A good rule would be to buy something like a 4×4 HDMI switch if you have plenty of devices but not several more than what can fit in the switcher. But if you do want multiple switches in order to display on more than one TV or big monitor, just make sure you go for a model with enough inputs and outputs.
As for the problem of input lag in certain setups, this is usually due to poor cable maintenance, incorrect placement of switches or trying to overdo it when switching sources.
Generally, HDMI switches that up-scale lower resolutions to match your TV or monitor can add a bit more delay compared to those without up-scaling features, but most units have been optimized so much by now that you won’t see any big difference.
In fact, many manufacturers boast about their “zero”-input-lag claims which shows how far they’ve come from the early days when even the slightest delay could ruin all your fun.
Generally speaking, an HDMI switch can be attached in a daisy-chain configuration without any additional adapters or special equipment.
However, keep in mind that not all HDMI switchers support this type of connection, and running your switches together can lead to audio and video lag. Plus, trying to daisy-chain too many devices will lead to unnecessary delay in signal output due to crosstalk and other types of interference.
So, what’s the best way to arrange your home theater components?
It can be a simple setup like having your source device (a set-top box, etc.) connected directly to your TV and using an external switch for another input such as a Blu-ray player or game console if needed.
In case you have two TVs in different rooms but want them both receiving the same input from the same device, just buy a standard switch and connect both TVs to that one device. Make sure you find something with plenty of ports in order to avoid unnecessary hassle.
If you want just the opposite scenario – multiple devices but only one TV – get an HDMI matrix switch with equal numbers of inputs and output for easy switching between all your media sources.
Can Daisy Chain Work With HDMI Cables?
With many working from home offices, the need for kitting up your fancy home office with multiple monitors is beyond tempting. The challenge for many is how to connect more than one monitor and that leads to wondering whether daisy-chaining can work with HDMI cables.
Overall, daisy-chaining monitors with an HDMI cable is will not work or ideal. The problem with daisy-chaining monitors is that you need male and female connectors which are not available on any monitor.
The best possible setup option is to use a splitter adapter out of your media device’s source to multiple monitors using additional HDMI cables to plugin into the existing HDMI port on your monitor.
The reason manufacturers recommend separating each monitor’s connection with an HDMI splitter adapter is so your devices are plugged into separate ports on different HDMI switches rather than sharing one output on a switch with another device.
If you decide to go against the advice of the manufacturer and still want to try daisy-chaining, be very mindful that if anyone device malfunctions for whatever reason (power outage, bad port, etc.), every device after it will no longer receive media or video.