Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Handling cables and electronic connections can be a real nightmare for some. Either because of the number of extensions or because of their length and width, as well as the devices they link. To avoid complications, you may find it useful to purchase a connection splitter.

In this article we will give you all the information you need to purchase a splitter, also known as a splitter or splitter box. This device has become an ideal auxiliary for the connectivity of electronic devices with multiple inputs or outputs, so you’ll need to choose the right model wisely.




Summary

  • A splitter is an electronic accessory for communication systems that distributes an input signal to different receivers via cables. Its function as an interface makes it possible to speed up the interconnection between devices and to maintain order and control in the devices.
  • Splitters are very diverse depending on the material they are made of and, above all, the type of signal or frequency they distribute, as well as the type of connection they support. Keep in mind the differences between video, audio and television signal splitters, as well as electrical power, telephone and internet communication.
  • Being of simple characteristics, the splitter focuses its value proposition on the facilities and conveniences it can offer to the consumer. Therefore, take into account the number of outputs, presence of cables and manufacturing material to make a successful purchase.

The Best Splitter: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Splitters

Electronic devices and their accessories can cause us headaches when we don’t use them properly. That’s why devices like splitters provide simple solutions that make a big difference. Here’s everything you need to know about this product and its applications.

Splitters are simple to use and offer great benefits. (Photo: Vadim Guzhva / 123rf)

What is a splitter and what are its advantages?

A splitter is an electronic interconnection device used to split the signal from one input to different outputs simultaneously. Although the most common use is in sound, they are also used for video, power, telephony and internet signals.

These gadgets are used for different purposes. When they are home or portable interconnects, they help to distribute or diversify the output sources. In cases of greater need, such as complex sound systems or professional studios, they allow inputs and outputs to be concentrated in a single interface.

Such devices, however, are not perfect. By their nature, they often support only one type of input and output, so some equipment may require additional adapters. At the same time, any interconnection carries a risk of signal deterioration or loss at the receivers, interrupting communication processes.

Advantages
  • Concentrates output channels
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Enables simultaneous use of multiple receivers
  • Reduces the use of cables
  • Allows monitoring of signal and devices
Disadvantages
  • Signal may deteriorate or be lost
  • Some require electrical power
  • Allows only one type of input/output
  • In some cases, its use may be illegal

Audio, video or TV splitter – What should you look out for?

The concept of a splitter can be a bit ambiguous in the electronics market. The line of products of this type extends based on the type of signal being received and emitted, as well as the specific connection being used. Although we are omitting some categories, these are the most recurring ones you should be aware of.

  • Audio: Perhaps the most diverse category, multiple transmission and reception of audio signals has many scenarios. From distribution to multiple auxiliary or headphone outputs to multiple microphone and control console connections. Be sure to purchase a splitter with the input/output you need.
  • Video: HDMI is the most popular and common connection in today’s video market. Because of this, video splitters often incorporate inputs and outputs that, fortunately, are neutral in that there are no male and female prongs. Note that duplicating video signals may require special permissions and licenses.
  • Television: Despite the rise of satellite TV transmissions, this industry has not been able to completely abandon the use of cables. For this reason, splitter boxes with TV cable input and output allow the user to distribute the received signal to different screens and TV sets in the same household.
Audio Video Television
Connector type TS, TRS, TRRS HDMI Coaxial
Does it require power? Not always Yes No
Usage regulations Not applicable HDCP Piracy protection
Average cost 100-200 MXN 250-500 MXN 50-150 MXN
Did you know that the use of HDMI cables includes a content protection system called HDCP, which prevents crimes related to illegal transmissions and piracy?

Purchasing Criteria

Splitters are tools designed to facilitate the operation of electronic devices and support the functioning of communication technologies. So that your purchase corresponds to your needs, you will want to take into consideration the following details.

Number of outlets

We’ve already discussed this factor in pricing. The design and layout of splitters with different numbers of outputs caters to specific needs and various scenarios. If your intention is to share your music with another person via headphones or to stream a presentation on three screens, your splitter will be simpler.

In contrast, devices that allow the connection of two or more receivers are intended for larger and more complex communication circuits. Splitters with numerous outputs are ideal for distributing the TV signal to multiple screens, as well as feeding power, telephone, audio and internet connectivity networks.

Presence of cables

While splitters have the function of reducing the use of cables, they sometimes cannot completely eradicate it. Some of the more complex systems incorporate their own extensions to improve performance. Be aware of the specific scenarios in which this occurs.

Wired

These are mostly gadgets that are intended for high voltage devices or include multiple inputs. The included cable is usually a power pass-through cable, as well as an appropriate regulator to maintain performance and ensure that communication is not truncated.

Unwired

These are those of lower or no power. Think of television transmitters, which are small and function as a pass-through interface. The same is true for smaller and smaller sound or power distribution boxes. In short: they are practical, but only for minor use.

Material

Although on the surface it is nothing more than the packaging of an entire internal operating system or hardware, the material of manufacture is important in electronic devices. This can determine the usage scenario, as well as the lifespan and care or maintenance of the device. In the manufacture of splitters, these are the most common.

  • Plastic: Not the most suitable, but the most common. The advantage of a splitter with a plastic housing is a saving in materials, which, of course, translates into a reduction in price. There are no risks in using this material, but you should be careful when storing and transporting it.
  • Metal: This is perhaps the ideal material for most splitters. Most have anti-rust properties that allow them to be used in changing external conditions, such as temperature and humidity. Think of these splitters as “heavy duty”.
  • PVC: Think of it as the predominant material in splitters with integrated cables. It is a widely used material due to its strength and good synergy with the copper that acts as a conductor. If your splitter includes PVC you will be able to handle it freely and use it without fear of short term wear and tear.

(Featured image source: Phakorn Kasikij/ 123rf.com)

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