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douglase
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Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:27 am

I guess this is a silly question, but when I was connecting my Roku 3, I discovered that there was only one HDMI port on my TV, and it was occupied by the cable from the digital box.
Solution? Another box with 4 or 5 ports, a switch? is there not a simple cable splitter? The multi-port boxes are $80 bucks! Shouldn't Roku provide a splitter cable for such situations?
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trekkeriii
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:32 am

douglase wrote:
I guess this is a silly question, but when I was connecting my Roku 3, I discovered that there was only one HDMI port on my TV, and it was occupied by the cable from the digital box.
Solution? Another box with 4 or 5 ports, a switch? is there not a simple cable splitter?

No, you need a switch. And why do you need 4 to 5 ports?
http://www.amazon.com/Portta-PET0301S-H ... dmi+switch

The multi-port boxes are $80 bucks! Shouldn't Roku provide a splitter cable for such situations?
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No, no more than the rest of the companies out there. Product description says it needs an HDMI port.
http://trekkeriii.com/Roku_PHP_list.php
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BradC
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:43 am

you are out of luck without getting something.

new tv, switch, or you can get a receiver that does hdmi switching.
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douglase
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:09 am

I don't need 4 or 5 ports, but that's how most of the devices I found were designed. While I realize Roku product description requires an HDMI port, the instruction says 'attach to an open HDMI port', ergo, the presumption is that all TVs have more than one port. Mine does not.
If I need a switch, which seems the cheapest alternative, that means I need to manually switch each time I use the Roku. OK, but a little pigtail would be so much more efficient.
 
philsoft
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:10 am

douglase wrote:
I don't need 4 or 5 ports, but that's how most of the devices I found were designed. While I realize Roku product description requires an HDMI port, the instruction says 'attach to an open HDMI port', ergo, the presumption is that all TVs have more than one port. Mine does not.
If I need a switch, which seems the cheapest alternative, that means I need to manually switch each time I use the Roku. OK, but a little pigtail would be so much more efficient.


There are HDMI switches with IR remotes. That is what I use.
 
trekkeriii
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:25 am

philsoft wrote:
douglase wrote:
I don't need 4 or 5 ports, but that's how most of the devices I found were designed. While I realize Roku product description requires an HDMI port, the instruction says 'attach to an open HDMI port', ergo, the presumption is that all TVs have more than one port. Mine does not.
If I need a switch, which seems the cheapest alternative, that means I need to manually switch each time I use the Roku. OK, but a little pigtail would be so much more efficient.


There are HDMI switches with IR remotes. That is what I use.


In fact the link I gave him was a $10 IR 3x1 HDMI switch.
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mikebdoss
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:27 am

trekkeriii wrote:
philsoft wrote:
douglase wrote:
I don't need 4 or 5 ports, but that's how most of the devices I found were designed. While I realize Roku product description requires an HDMI port, the instruction says 'attach to an open HDMI port', ergo, the presumption is that all TVs have more than one port. Mine does not.
If I need a switch, which seems the cheapest alternative, that means I need to manually switch each time I use the Roku. OK, but a little pigtail would be so much more efficient.


There are HDMI switches with IR remotes. That is what I use.


In fact the link I gave him was a $10 IR 3x1 HDMI switch.


That's the one I have. Works just fine.
 
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:30 am

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trekkeriii
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:42 am

I wouldn't do Auto-switch or any auto-RF modulators because of Roku's video output being always on.
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philsoft
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:43 am

trekkeriii wrote:
I wouldn't do Auto-switch or any auto-RF modulators because of Roku's video output being always on.


Mine is auto switching, I just put the Roku on the Lowest priority port.
 
douglase
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:47 am

Thanks, everyone. You've been very helpful. Guess I didn't realize my TV was that old. Just ordered the switch trekerii recomended from Amazon. I guess my baseball bonanza will have to wait until next Saturday. Thanks again
 
mkiker2089
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:54 am

In your case I'd actually look at the cable box. You can get full HD with the coax output so if your box offers that switch it to coax (Antenna in) and use the HDMI for the Roku.
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Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
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Mark12547
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:25 pm

Here are three ideas to double-check before spending money on another box.

First, did you go through your TV "Source" (or "input") menu to see if it might list a second HDMI port? If it does, it might be in an obscure location. (My main TV has a block of ports in back, but there is also a separate set of ports for plugging in from the side and could easily be overlooked. The TV it replaced had most of its ports in back but had one in front. On the other hand, my most recent TV purchase, for the bedroom, had all the ports in one spot in back of the TV. But in all three cases the "Source" menu listed all the ports.) It's at least worth checking if you hadn't already done so.

Second, does your cable box have a HDMI-input port? Though not likely, it is worth checking to see if, for example, it has an option to pass the HDMI-in to the HDMI-out. Well, it is worth a quick look and, if it is there, it may be a simple keypress on the cable box remote.

Third, there might be a different (non-HDMI) output that produces a HD signal for the TV. The two likely candidates are:

  • Cable-out / Cable-in: If your cable box produces a HD/digital signal on the cable output, and your TV has a digital tuner, you may be able to use a short run of cable to run from the cable box to the TV. However, not all HD boxes with a cable-out produce a HD signal on the cable (the DVR I have doesn't), and a number of TVs manufactured between 2004 and 2007 were "HD-ready" or "HDTV monitors" and lacked the digital tuner, so a HD digital cable signal wouldn't be of any good to the TV.

  • Component video: Generally a component video connection consists of five RCA connectors: Y (green), Pb (blue), Pr (red), Audio Left (White) and Audio Right (blue). (The Audio-out connectors may be positioned over at the composite or A/V port, but the three video connectors are almost always next to each other.) The capabilities vary on the device: 720p (HD), 480p (progressive, enhanced definition), 480i (interlaced, standard definition). (My DVR can be configured for any of those three.) If you have or can download the manuals, it may be worth seeing if the cable box can produce 720p on the component-out and your TV can accept 720p on its component-in, especially if you have to spend money to buy cables.

The S-Video and Composite Video (a.k.a., A/V) are standard definition (480i) only. Standard composite (A/V) ports have 3 RCA connectors: video or composite (yellow), audio left (white), audio right (red), and the same stereo audio out connectors are more often than not used by both composite and component video ports. The S-Video port uses a 4-pin mini-DIN connector and usually also requires a separate pair of cables for stereo sound. (However, one variant modulates the sound on the S-Video cable and I had ran one piece of electronics to the TV with both sound and video through the S-Video cable.) Therefore you don't need to check out S-Video, Composite video, or A/V ports if you want the cable box to feed a HD signal to the TV.

Anyway, those are three possibilities to check out before spending good money.
 
Mark12547
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Re: Not enough HDMI Ports on TV

Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:24 pm

A couple more HD-capable connections are DVI (needs separate sound connection) and IEEE-1394 (carries sound in the connection). So if your cable box has either form of output and your TV has a matching input, that would be another possibility to connect the cable box to the TV.

I checked cable boxes and DVRs that Comcast offers (as per this link), and not one of them would generate a HD signal on the "cable out" (sometime labeled "RF Out") connector; all produced an analog SD TV signal, that is, of those that had a "cable out" or "RF out" connection. Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't boxes out there that will produce a HD signal on the "cable out" (to TV) connection, just that I couldn't find any examples on that particular page that linked to installation guides or user manuals for 27 different boxes. So it doesn't look good, based on my limited sample, that you would get a HD picture by connecting the "cable out" or "RF out" from the cable box to the "cable in" of the TV, but could still be worth testing if you have a short length of cable handy.

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