Last week I upgraded my overly-complicated mixed cable setup in my living room to run almost exclusively off of HDMI cables, and now my wife and I are happier people.
WHY THE UPGRADE?
In a few months I’m going to be moving to a new house and my LCD living room television will be wall mounted. All of my consoles will be located in either a media box in the wall under the mounted TV, or further below that in a cabinet. To accommodate that arrangement, I need longer cabling, and preferably fewer cables in general.
Since HDMI is capable of HD video AND audio over a single wire, moving everything to HDMI seemed like the right path to follow.
WHAT’S GETTING UPGRADED?
I previously had a cable box (component based), an Xbox 360 (component based), a Wii (component based), and a PS3 (HDMI + optical audio based) hooked up. The three component cable based devices were connected to a component switch box that was switched manually.
I plan on demoting my Wii to the game room in the next house, so the only things I want to connect to the TV are the PS3, Xbox 360, and the cable box. All of them are HDMI ready.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BUY?
Since I already owned one HDMI cable, I only needed to purchase the HDMI switch with three additional cables. This gives us a short cable per device, and a fourth longer cable to lead from the switch to the TV. The switch I bought can be found here. It provides you with 5 HDMI inputs and auto switching between them. It will even automatically switch back to a previous input if it detects a feed coming from it after you turn off your current input device, such as switching back to the cable box after the PS3 is turned off. The switch also comes with an option AC adapter that let’s you control it via remote.
HOW’D IT GO?
It went great! Should have done this a long time ago! I’ve been using this setup for over a week now and not once have I needed the switch remote, or even pressed the Select button on the switch. I was able to get rid of a ton of unnecessary wiring and replace it with much simpler, cleaner HDMI cabling and a switch.
AND FINALLY, HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
The total cost of the switch as well as two 3’ HDMI cables and one 15’ HDMI cable was just over $21 on Amazon. Not bad, huh?