What HDMI Splitter Should I Use With an Xbox?

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Q I recently upgraded my TV to an LG 65B7P OLED. My receiver is an older Pioneer model that I'm loathe to give up. I plan on using an Xbox console, either the One S or the forthcoming One X, as my 4K source. Here’s my problem: both Xbox versions provide only a single HDMI output. I know I could use the TV’s HDMI ARC port to route audio back to a receiver, but my Pioneer doesn’t support that feature. Another problem is that HDMI ARC doesn't support the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA lossless audio codecs. Which gets me to my question: Is there some kind of HDMI splitter I can buy that will let me route the Xbox’s output separately to the TV and AVR? —David Becker

A Yes, there is. You can find plenty of HDMI splitters on sites like Amazon. The type you’ll be searching for is a 1 x 2 model that accepts a single HDMI input from a source like a game console or Blu-ray player, and distributes the signal to two separate TVs, or to a TV and AVR, via dual HDMI outputs.

Once you go online, you’ll find there’s a huge selection of models, some at surprisingly low prices, to choose from, but an HDMI splitter isn’t something to cheap out on. There are several keywords to look for when shopping. First, you’ll want to search for an active model with an external power supply. Active HDMI splitters boost and equalize the signal for reliable performance over a specific distance. They also enable the activation of HDCP copy protection between devices, which is a necessity when watching movies using an Xbox or other media player as a source.

Since your LG 65B7P OLED TV is also 4K and high dynamic range (HDR)-capable, there's an additional spec to look out for. You’ll want to buy a splitter with HDMI 2.0a ports. HDMI 2.0a will let you pass HDR movies and games to your TV, which is compatible with both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats. Using a splitter that meets the latest HDMI specification will also ensure compatibility with Ultra HD programs that have a 60 frames per second display rate, as well as games on the Xbox One X, which reportedly supports native 4K rendering and 4K/60Hz output.

COMMENTS
puddy77's picture

Sorry S&V, but your answer is incorrect. All HDMI 2.0 splitters like the Sewell SplitDeck 4k you have pictured are HDCP compliant. So if one of the output devices is 1080p only like an old Pioneer receiver, then the video on both outputs will be limited to 1080p.

The only solution to this answer that I know of is some sort of expensive HDFury product that strips HDCP (the new Vertex), upgrade the receiver, live with lossy audio, or get a stand alone UHD BD player with dual outputs.

Al Griffin's picture
for a very old receiver. AVRs with HDMI 1.4 ports that support 4K/24Hz have been around since 2009.
puddy77's picture

No, it will not work with HDMI 1.4 ports either. It requires that all devices in the signal chain be HDCP 2.2 compliant. And that is found on receivers with HDMI 2.0a and up. So no, a splitter will not work for anyone in this situation.

meanodeano's picture

Hey puddy, thanks for replies, I have been running into this issue big time. I have a top-of-the-line Yamaha receiver which supports all current 4K/HDR formats, but because I have both XboxS and 1080P projector plugged into the dual outputs, my 4K TV only displays 1080P. Therefore I have to unplug the 1080P projector if I want to see 4K content from my XboxS.

Have you or anyone seen a product that can keep the 1080P device from triggering the XboxS to stop pushing 4K/HDR?

Does anyone know, is the receiver telling the XboxS to turn off 4K/HDR or is the Xbox sniffing it on it's own? As soon as I plug in the projector, the Xbox immediately goes to 1080P (you can see it in the settings live). Just curious.

puddy77's picture

Unfortunately, that is the way HDCP 2.2 is supposed to work. If there is one component in your chain that is not HDCP 2.2 capable, then everything gets downgraded to 1080p. That's why a normal splitter doesn't work for 4k HDR.

Are you unplugging the HDMI cable or the power cable to the projector? If unplugging the power works, then the cheapest suggestion I can offer is a wi-fi smart plug to turn off the power remotely.

If that doesn't work, the only devices I know of that might be able to help you out would be one of the HDFury products, and they are more expensive. I don't have experience with them, so I'd check with their support to see which one. They are active in the Video Processors section on AVS Forum too if you want to read threads or ask for help there.

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