This gadget lets you switch 2 video devices between 2 displays in one tap

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This small box can eliminate your need for additional monitors or TVs.

Michael Griveaux/ZDNET

If you’ve ever set up a TV for use with more devices than it has ports, you’re probably familiar with an HDMI adapter. It’s a small box that accepts multiple HDMI inputs and routes them through a single output. With one, you can connect multiple devices to a single input on your TV or monitor. Similarly, HDMI splitters can take a single input and output that video to two displays simultaneously. Monoprice’s Blackbird 8K HDMI Spliter/Switch does, as the name suggests, do both.

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This means that it is possible to create many combinations of sources and monitors which can save you having to purchase additional TVs or monitors. For example, if you have a computer that you use for work or for competitive PC gaming, but you want to switch its output to the big screen TV for watching movies or casual games, a single click of the Blackbird buttons on the device or remote control can redirect the output This video is up to 4K @ 120Hz or up to 8K @ 60Hz.

The front and back of this Blackbird 8K HDMI Adapter/Splitter from Monoprice

The back includes two HDMI 2.1 inputs and two outputs, as well as a connector for the included 5V power supply. Meanwhile, the front includes an infrared receiver, a selection of indicator lights, a switch to cycle through modes, and EDID switches for changing compatibility settings.

Michael Griveaux/ZDNET

But, what if you also have a game console or streaming device that you want to switch to as well? And what if you want to be able to play the console or stream video to your TV and monitor? This adapter can do that, too.

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This is not the first device to offer this functionality. However, buying HMDI adapters online can be like the Wild West; I’m never sure the specs on this too-cheap-to-be-true switch are real, if they even bother listing things like the supported HDMI version.

Even then, seemingly compatible devices can have a funny way of not playing well together. Fortunately, the Blackbird’s comprehensive and verifiable spec sheet makes it easy to see if it will fit your needs. Includes support for:

  • Resolution up to 8K @ 60Hz and 4K @ 120Hz
  • Compatibility with HDMI 2.1 and HDCP 2.3
  • 40Gbps video bandwidth
  • Support for HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Hyper Log Gamma (HLG) passthrough
  • Advanced audio support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital EX, DTS High Res, DTS-HD Master Audio, Direct Stream Digital, and many other protocols
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Fast As Possible V-active (FVA), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) support
  • Advanced EDID Management (Extended Display Metadata)

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Not everyone will need something as complicated as the Blackbird 8K HDMI Switch / Splitter from Monoprice to master their setup. However, for those looking for a way to use their expensive new OLED TV as a monitor as well, or gamers who want to combine console gaming setups and PC gaming setups together, it can be a space-saver and money-saver as well.

The remote control and power supply for the Blackbird 8K HDMI Switcher/Splitter from Monoprice

The device includes a remote control and a power supply.

Michael Griveaux/ZDNET

After all, why spend money on a secondary or triple monitor that will take up more space when you can just expand the usefulness of your existing TV or monitor with this simple little device?

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There are cheaper adapters and splitters, but few offer the flexibility, proven support, and build quality of Blackbird. If it sounds like it would make a great addition to your desk or TV stand, so can you Get it now from Amazon or From Monoprice itself. If you want a cheaper option that only supports 4K, or if you have more hardware than this model can handle, Monoprice reserves A line of other Blackbird HDMI accessories to suit those needs as well.

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