The better way to connect your all your Home Theater Components is via a HDMI cable, especially if you own a HDTV. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, and can transmit both audio and image signals through one cable. So it is easy to see the advantage of using HDMI. And it is the only cable to produce 1080p video resolution; this is vital if you are watching Blu-ray movies. Even if you are not, using HDMI means less messy cables to look at and connect.
The problem that you may quickly be faced with, is not enough HDMI inputs. HDMI Ports can be located on Blu-ray Players, DVRs, Apple TVs, cable/digital boxes, gaming consoles and many other digital streaming devices. With this constantly growing list of devices being added to your Home Theater, you will quickly run out of HDMI inputs on your HDTV. Older High Definition Televisions may only have two HDMI inputs or just one.
If this is the case, you will be constantly unplugging and replugging your HDMI cables to the component you are currently using. The answer to this problem is not purchasing a new High Definition Television with multiple HDMI Inputs, but instead, you invest in HDMI switches. These are small hubs that offer you a way of connecting all your HDMI enabled devices in your Home Theater, regardless of how many HDMI inputs you have. The hub can support inputs from multiple HDMI sources and then transmit the signal you want to your HDTV via one HDMI cable.
These HDMI Switches vary in price, from $12 to the more expensive, $100 or more. Brand names of switchers include Xtremehd, Sony, RCA, IOGear, Portta and many others. The more expensive models tend to have multiple outputs, letting you connect to more than one display screen. But most regular users will find a basic switch will meet most of there requirements. Once you have all your devices connected to the hub and the hub is connected to your HDTV, you select with component you want to use. This is done by manually selecting the component on the hub or using a remote control that came with the HDMI Switcher. Sometimes even a universal remote control can be programmed. Some switches even offer automatic selection.
Make sure your HDMI Switcher can support the HDMI features of your components. For example if you have a new 3D Blu-ray Disc Player, you will want to make sure the HDMI Switcher can handle High Speed transfers. Details on switches can sometimes be very insufficient. But most will state if 3D is supported. Another key is to look for what HDMI version (1.3,1.3b,1.4) your devices have and match it up with the HDMI Switcher. Once the right one is found; connecting and using your Home Theater Devices will be made easy and as painless as possible. All done from one HDMI input.