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The Kinivo 550BN is the king of affordable (and reliable) HDMI switchers. With five high-speed HDMI ports, one output, and a compact, utilitarian design, it's easy to see why it's so attractive. While earlier iterations of this unobtrusive, competitively-priced switcher didn't feature 4K support, the latest version is a significant upgrade, offering 4K video at a crisp 30 or 60 frames per second (FPS). That makes it ideal for both video game consoles and physical media players, especially if you’re looking for something to use for a Blu-ray player that supports 4K discs.
Though there's an included infrared (IR) remote to swap between HDMI inputs, the 550BN can also switch automatically to an active input, which removes one potentially confusing element from the equation: Which input refers to what? There's no need to memorize arbitrary HDMI numbers with the 550BN. Thanks to its wide array of features, excellent visual fidelity, and auto-switching abilities, the 550BN is one of the best options for power users and beginners alike.
Another smartly-priced option, the Zettaguard True 4K 4x1 is best for those craving an easy swap between devices. At less than an inch thick and less than five inches wide, it's small enough to tuck away out of sight and its design is restrained enough to blend into predominantly dark entertainment hubs. On the back, you'll see four separate inputs, as well as one output; on the front, lighting above each port indicates which one is currently in use. To swap between inputs, you can use the included wireless infrared remote, which also lets you alter PIP options on the fly, all from the comfort of your sofa.
One intriguing facet of the Zettaguard is its picture-in-picture (PIP) mode, which allows you to not only view another HDMI source on a tiny window in the corner of your screen but also seamlessly toggle between the two. For practiced multitaskers, this comes in handy. With 4K, 2K, and 3D video output support, this particular hub is a cheap, utilitarian HDMI switcher that can handle just about anything you throw at it.
With support for three HDMI 2.0 ports via its premium chipset, the Smartooo 4K-ready HDMI switcher offers extensive support with a slightly higher price tag. It's capable of supporting HDCP 2.2, Full HD, as well as all popular HDMI resolutions, including 4K at 60Hz and 1080p at 60HZ for ultra-high-definition output. Additionally, the Smartooo is compatible with the most common audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS, Dolby True HD and more. Released in late 2016, the Smartooo is 6.3 x 4.7 x 2.2 inches and weighs just 1.2 pounds, so it's easy to hide in an entertainment center.
Released in 2012, the Fosmon HD intelligent five-port HDMI switcher remains Amazon’s No. 1 best-seller years later. Capable of connecting all of its ports into a single HDTV, it doesn't have 4K support, but it does work with Full HD 1080p televisions. Additionally, there’s support for 3D, as well as a full spread of video game systems, Blu-ray players and streaming devices. The included infrared remote allows you to quickly and easily change HDMI inputs while sitting comfortably on your couch.
At 6.4 x 2 x 4.3 inches and weighing in at 6.4 ounces, the Fosmon offers 24-karat gold-plated ports to prevent any rust from ruining the connection. The Fosmon supports multiple audio formats, including DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital AC3 and LPCM7.1. No power adapter is required to make the Fosmon connect and work, but, for devices that might not have their own power source (think streaming devices), there’s an included AC adapter for an extra kick of juice.
The Orei HD-201P 2 x1 High-Speed HDMI Switcher delivers professional quality picture and sound with no signal loss. It automatically detects and switches to the active signal making it convenient to use, and it supports multiple video types including 1080i, 1080p, 720p, 1024x768, 1360x768, Audio format PCM2, 5.1, 7.1 CH, Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1. But, the real advantage of this HDMI switcher is its advanced picture-in-picture (PIP) feature that allows you to output two sources on a single screen.
Unlike many other HDMI switchers, this 2.8 x 5.5 x 1-inch model gives you the option to choose from four different screen sizes for the second picture. Choose anything from a half-and-half screen with two widescreen images displayed side-by-side to a small image that can be tucked into any corner. With no lag or delay in the PIP output, the HDMI switcher allows you to keep up with two games at once or follow exciting political races while still watching your favorite show.
This USBNOVEL device connects up to three HDMI inputs to a single HDMI display for seamless transitions between all your gaming devices. Like a few others on this list, it also comes with an IR remote control, so there’s no need to get up from the couch to change inputs. It supports 4Kx2K,1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i resolutions and measures 4.3 x 3 x 1 inches, so it can subtly sit next to your set-top box or gaming console. It has a unique iron box design that helps to keep it cool during extended gaming marathons.
This switcher is praised for its ease of setup and use. Not to mention, an 18-month warranty and promise that customer service will respond within 12 hours should quell any doubts you have.
Compatibility - If an HDMI switch isn’t compatible with all your devices, it won’t do you a whole lot of good. The easiest way to tell if everything is compatible is to make sure the switcher and your devices support the same version of HDMI. It’s also a good idea to choose a switcher that has a solid track record for compatibility.
4K and HDR - If you have an older television that doesn’t support 4K, then you don’t need to worry about this. However, if you have a 4K television and any 4K video sources such as a UHD Blu-ray player, PlayStation 4 Pro, or Xbox One S, then choose an HDMI switcher that supports 4K video and HDR.
Auto-switching - This is a fantastic feature if you have a lot of HDMI devices. When you turn on a compatible device, such as a Blu-ray player, the HDMI switcher automatically swaps to that input.