TECH TIPS - SWITCHES, SPLITTERS & MATRICES EXPLAINED

WHAT DOES SOURCE AND DESTINATION MEAN?

Sources are devices which provide data, they can be blu-ray players, PCs, media consoles and much more besides. When referring to a source we’re talking about a device that sends video and/or audio.


WHAT ARE DISPLAYS?

These are simply the TVs, monitors or projectors which display the image.

WHAT IS A SWITCH?

A switch is a device which connects multiple sources to a single destination. For example, you want to connect your Sky Box, Blu-ray player and games console at the same time, unfortunately you only have 2 ports on your TV. By connecting the devices to a switch first you can use a single port on your TV, connect each source device to the switch and switch between them using a remote control or push button

WHAT ARE SPLITTERS?

Splitters are in a lot of ways the opposite of a switch. A splitter connects one source device to multiple destinations. For example, you have a single Blu-ray player and want to send the signal to 3 TVs. You connect the Blu-ray player and each TV to the splitter and then you have the same content repeated across each screen. Perfect if you want to display identical video and audio across multiple rooms.


WHAT IS A MATRIX?

A matrix combines the functionality of both a switch and a splitter, performing the functions of both simultaneously. A matrix connects many sources and many destinations. For example, you want to send a Blu-ray to TV 1, games console to TV2 and Sky Box to TV 3. Basically any combination of source to display is possible. 

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR ME?

There’s a couple of things to consider. Firstly, are you using 4K or 1080p? (Try out resolutions guide here)

And secondly, how many sources and destinations do I have? Switches, splitters and matrix switches come in different sizes depending on the number of input or output ports on the device for example:

4 Port Splitter, one source to four destinations

4 Port Switch, four sources to one destination

4 Port Matrix, four sources to four destinations