What is an HDMI Distribution Amplifier?

HDMI has become an everyday part of our lives. From TVs to laptops, countless devices use HDMI for high resolutions and improved picture quality. You can find multiple HDMI tools in the market to set up and enjoy video content on a range of displays. An HDMI distribution amplifier is one such device that can help individuals and businesses create professional video setups.

Let’s explore more to make you an expert on HDMI distribution amplifiers.

What is an HDMI Distribution Amplifier?

An HDMI distribution amplifier is a device that lets you split video signals from one HDMI source to several HDMI displays. Additionally, an HDMI distribution amplifier boosts the signal to each display to make up for any loss in video or audio quality. Or in other words, the amplifier amplifies the video and audio signal from an HDMI source for top picture and audio quality.

You can find HDMI distribution amplifiers that support two to multiple displays. The number of supported displays is mentioned in the device specifications as 1 x 3, 1 x 4, or 1 x 5. The “1” refers to a single source of HDMI video that distribution amplifiers support.

The last part, “x 3” or “x 5,” indicates the number of HDMI displays the device supports. So, a 1 x 4 HDMI distribution amplifier will be able to split the video signal into four outputs or displays.

HDMI distribution amplifiers copy the source signal and send one copy to each display. It also boosts the signal to improve the quality of the feed for the output devices.

HDMI Distribution Amplifier vs. HDMI Switch vs. HDMI Splitter

We have countless HDMI devices to create a great viewing experience. As a result, some of us may get confused between all the resources and end up choosing the wrong one. You need to know the difference between HDMI distribution amplifiers and other HDMI devices to make the right decision.

What is an HDMI Switch?

HDMI switches are just the opposite of HMI distribution amplifiers. They help you connect multiple HDMI video sources to one HDMI display. So, you can use an HDMI switch to connect your DVD player, computer, and gaming console to one HDMI TV.

HDMI switches also have another difference with distribution amplifiers. HDMI switches do not boost audio or video signals. They deliver the same signal they receive from the source.

An HDMI switch mentions the number of supported video sources as 2 x 1, 5 x 1, and so on.

What is an HDMI Splitter?

An HDMI splitter does the same job as an HDMI distribution amplifier. You can use an HDMI splitter to send the video signal from one source to many HDMI displays. An HDMI splitter also mentions the number of supported displays as 1 x 2, 1 x 5, and so on, just like HDMI distribution amplifiers.

However, there is one big difference. HDMI splitters do not amplify or boost HDMI signals. They deliver what they receive from the video source to the display.

We hope you are now aware of the differences between an HDMI distribution amplifier, an HDMI switch, and an HDMI amplifier. Next, we will discuss why you may need a distribution amplifier.

When do You Need to Use an HDMI Distribution Amplifier?

You must be thinking why to use an HDMI distribution amplifier over HDMI splitters to distribute your video signals. The reason is, dividing a video signal into different copies can hamper the image and audio quality. The more displays you add to one source, the greater is the dip in quality.

The issue becomes more prominent as the distance of the displays increases from the source. Any cable or signal is bound to suffer degradation if you make it travel over a long distance.

HDMI distribution amplifiers address the loss of picture and audio quality. You can ensure the same resolution, color depth, and clarity on multiple displays using a distribution amplifier. The device electronically improves signal quality so that you don’t have to watch blurry pictures.

As a result, an HDMI distribution amplifier is perfect for connecting HDMI devices over a long distance. Your DVD player can be many feet away from your TV and still display 1080p or 4K content without issues.

HDMI distribution amplifiers help you create a professional video setup. You can use one source to power many HDMI TVs in your bar or restaurant. The format is also ideal for studios and commercial applications where you need multiple displays to work.

How to Use an HDMI Distribution Amplifier?

It is very easy to use HDMI distribution amplifiers. You only need to arrange the required HDMI cables to connect your source and displays to the amplifier. In addition, you will need audio cables if your amplifier supports audio distribution.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

1.      Connect Your Video Source

Use an HDMI cable to connect your video source like a DVD player or gaming console to the distribution amplifier.

2.      Connect Your Displays

Use one HDMI cable to connect each display to the HDMI outputs of your distribution amplifier.

3.      Hook Up Audio Cables

Connect one cable from the audio output of your video source to the distribution amplifier audio input. Next, connect another cable from the audio output of the amplifier to your audio receiver or speaker system.

4.      Power on Your Devices

Your HDMI distribution amplifier will need an external power source for the adapter. Connect the adapter to a wall outlet and power on the amplifier. In addition, switch on your video source and displays.

Next, play something on your HDMI video source and check if the picture and sound are fine.

Final Thoughts

HDMI distribution amplifiers help you watch one HDMI video source on multiple displays. Additionally, distribution amplifiers can support audio signals for an external set of speakers. They come with one HDMI input for your video source and multiple HDMI outputs for your display. You can refer to your device specification or check the number of HDMI outputs to determine how many displays your amplifier supports.

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