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Where’s My TV With 20 HDMI Slots?

by Sean P. Aune | April 11, 2010April 11, 2010 2:38 am PDT

I’ll start off by saying that I fully realize I am an unusual case, but why doesn’t my HD TV have 20 HDMI inputs?  I might not be all that unusual at the end of the day as HDMI input splitters seem to be showing up in greater numbers, but I also realize I am way ahead of the curve on most people for the number of input devices I have.

I realized the other night when I sat down to review the CinemaTube media streamer that I was going to have to unplug one of my HDMI sources if I wanted the best quality image.  I then played the fun game of trying to decide which of the four slots had a device I could live without for a bit of time.

hdmi cableXbox 360?  Are you insane?

Blu-ray player?  Nope.

Roku Box?  I’d rather not.

It was finally my upconverting DVD player that got the boot, but it was then I realized that my HD-DVD player is already unhooked, so it looks like I am going to need a splitter after all.

While I am sure the number of HDMI slots on a TV are being limited by the expense of installing them, I find the number of media sources that suggest you use that connection is increasing far faster than the number on the set are.  Unlike the days of everything being coaxial, and you could daisy chain your connections, HDMI does not offer us that luxury.  I’m probably going to swtich to an HD DVR this year, so there will go another slot problem.

There are only two possible solutions to this problem, because believe me, while I may be in the minority right now on not enough HDMI slots, it isn’t going to remain that way.

Increase the number of slots on the TV – This doesn’t seem very likely as the TV manufacturers aren’t going to want to add any more costs to their sets, and it would also mean a larger connector board, so it seems the manufacturers would be reluctant to do that.

New media sources include 1 input as well as 1 output – Bring back the daisy chaining of devices.  Let me plug my HD DVR’s HDMI cable into my Blu-ray player, and then the Blu-ray goes to the television.  I get to run two devices off of one input.  Perhaps there is a technical reason I am unaware of as to why this wouldn’t work?

Yes, yes, I know, “Oh poor you having too many things with HDMI outputs that you don’t have enough inputs, boo-hoo!”  However, I would ask you to remember my line of work, I have a ton of equipment, and while I know I have more devices than most people, I’m guessing the average person won’t be too far behind me.  It isn’t unreasonable to say that a lot of houses have a Blu-ray, at least one HD game system and an HD DVR, and right there you’ve used up three HDMI slots.  How long until they have a second game system or something like a Roku?  Oops, now they’re short a slot.  See?  It isn’t going to be too long before more people question this admittedly minor issue.  The only big question is what can be done to resolve it.

Have you hit this issue yet?  If so, what was your solution?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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