Only 1 HDMI input: help

My television is old enough that, while it has oodles of component inputs, it only has a single HDMI input. Which makes a noticeable difference between watching HD tv (HDMI) and DVD’s (component). This would only get worse if I get an xbox 360. Possibly a dumb question, but… is there any way to share the single HDMI without manually plugging/unplugging various sources?

Sure, a HDMI switchbox should be cheap enough. I see lots of people on auction sites selling what must be these:

They’re fairly cheap, and I trust Chinese cables more than other electronics :)
You could also hit the usual sites you get your hardware and look for HDMI switches.

If you’re in the market for a receiver also, just get a receiver that has HDMI inputs. As much as I like to dis Sony, they’re one of the only manufacturers with a sub-$400 receiver that’s not too shabby and has three HDMI inputs. I think it’s the 910 model. has inexpensive HDMI switchers.

Be careful of these inexpensive switchers. I got a $25 component switcher and it’s really bad, the PS3 top of the screen is always flickering, it happens with the 360 too but not as often. Anything above 720p is completely unplayable, 1080i just flickers the whole screen and won’t even show any video.

You could also get a VGA cable for your 360 if you have that input on your television.

HDMI is digital, so there’s little risk of that with an HDMI switcher.

I bought a 3x1 switcher from Monoprice not long ago and it works great. I saw what looked like the exact same thing selling for three times the price at Circuit City too.

I went for a new Onkyo receiver with a pair of HDMI inputs and one output.

Of course, if I get another HDMI device, I’m gonna be looking for a switchbox…

Does your TV have a VGA input? The 360 with a VGA cable looks identical to HDMI, and it has the same features – upscaling DVDs, etc.

Well, my initial post isn’t entirely true because I don’t recall the technical term for the “HDMI” input. It’s a digital input that looks sorta-kinda like a VGA input but the number of pins and their orientation is different than on the back of a computer. And it’s white, rather than blue :)

So I have a HDMI-whateveritis cord running from my cablebox. Good to know switchers are available and that I can use modern receivers as switchers as well.

VGA is a 15-pin adapter. Count the pins/holes. Does your input look like male or female VGA?
The official VGA adapter for the 360 comes with a genderbender in the box.

That sounds like a DVI connection not an HDMI connection.

I think that’s what the cord is called. HDMI-DVI. Anyhow, my original question has been answered: I need either a new reciever (I wouldn’t mind upgrading from 3.1 surround, even though it’s a really nice Denon, just a really nice OLD Denon) or purchase a digital switcher.

HDMI and DVI aren’t the same thing, although they are pin compatible video-wise, which is why you can have an HDMI-to-DVI cable with no special hardware in the middle. (You won’t pass on the HDMI audio, though.)

Small plug = HDMI
White rectangular plug = DVI

Ah… see I run my audio through my receiver, which explains why I hadn’t noticed that.

If you’ve got DVI, then that’s just a tiny ($5 to $10) adapter away from running a 360’s VGA or DVI.

That’s true if the DVI port is a full DVI-I connection that supports digital (which his must if he’s using a HDMI-DVD cable) AND analog. My Westinghouse LCD has two DVI ports but they are DVI-D only, which you can’t use one of those cheap VGA to DVI adapters on, because there needs to be a a2d conversion step. They do make VGA to DVI-D adapter boxes but they cost more like hundreds (rather than tens) of dollars. Not all DVI ports are equal.

Another potential problem you may have is if your TV doesn’t support HDCP over your DVI port, some HDMI devices may refuse to send a signal through. Fuckin’ DRM bullshit.

But anyway, assuming all your HDMI devices do work when plugged in directly to your TV using a HDMI-DVI cable, they should all work through one of the aforementioned HDMI switchboxes as well.