In the excitement of buying a Playstation 4 console at launch, I hadn’t considered whether I’d have enough HDMI ports on my TV. Having a PS3 and a Sky+HD box but only two HDMI ports meant I was going to struggle. So it was time to find a HDMI Switch.
A HDMI switch is a little gadget that you plug into a HDMI port on your TV and then plug all your devices into it, simple. No, it wasn’t actually. I thought they all did what they said they would which was switch your HDMI devices on automatically when they are turned on. That’s what they ARE supposed to do.
Buying a HDMI Switch
The first place I went to buy one was on eBay. I searched ‘HDMI switch’ and I found one with a built in HDMI cable. Brilliant. So I ordered it for £3.99 including delivery. Job done, ready for the PS4 to arrive.
Launch Day came and I plugged my PS3 & PS4 into the switch, leaving a dedicated port on my TV for my Sky box. The result? The device wouldn’t auto switch to the PS4 when I turned it on. I had to manually press the button on the switch to change sources. There was also interference on the TV screen when viewing the PS3. I tried different HDMI leads, a different port on the back of my TV, but nothing made a difference. In conclusion it was a cheap HDMI connector on the lead which was built into the switch itself.
Buying a switch on Amazon
So, I was back to square one, and decided to try Amazon.co.uk instead. I found a great looking device made by Tecknet which came with a remote control, all for £4.99! No built in lead either so I was free to use my own HDMI cable which I knew worked fine. The remote control was a bit of a gimmick as the device was advertised as an auto switcher, meaning you shouldn’t need to press anything to change sources, the device should just change to the input which is powered on. I installed the Tecknet and was ready to test it out. Again, the switch refused to auto switch to the PS4 but quite happily switched to the PS3. But yet again, we had interference. Not as bad, but it was a ‘sparkle’ like interference on the main XMB and in some games.
The Duronic HDMI Auto Switch
Back to the drawing board! At this point, I decided I’d invest some more money into a switch, and purchased the Duronic HDMI auto switch for £11.99 including delivery from Amazon. I was assured it was ‘HDCP Compliant’, which is something you apparently need for a switch to work correctly with the PS4.
The Duronic arrived, and guess what? It worked just how I wanted it to! The gadget itself is 5cm by 5cm and can be placed behind your TV unit. The switch also has a bright blue LED light to indicate which source it’s auto switched to, but again this can be easily hidden from view.
It automatically switched to whatever device was switched on without me having to do anything. It works exactly as a switch should! So paying more for such a tiny gadget was worth it. Image quality on screen is no different to when you’re not using a switch.
I will point out, that I wanted this review to be complete and helpful to anyone who was also looking for a HDMI switch. Therefore I tested the switch with 4 HDMI cables I had lying around, all 1m – 1.5m long. Only issues I had was with a Poundland HDMI lead! It caused interference on screen and didn’t look very clear. Personally I use a seller on eBay for my leads which are about £1.50 delivered for a 1.5m cable and they were fantastically well. The seller is a user called ‘babz’ or ‘babzmedia’ as their shop is known as, and they have their own branded cables. Never had any issues with them either!