I am looking for a switch to instantly choose between two HDMI sources (both 1080p60) and display the chosen feed as the output to another HDMI port. The important part, however, is that the switching must occur instantly and can't cause the inactive source to setup the HDMI connection from scratch when it becomes the active source.

At the moment, I have a "dumb" HDMI switch that, when pressed, toggles between the left and right HDMI input by directly routing its wires from the input to the output, the equivalent of unplugging one cable and plugging the other cable in. The problem is that the inactive device was essentially unplugged, and then had to initialize a brand new connection (if it's a laptop for example, it has to change screen resolutions, and then perform the necessary HDMI negotiation), which is visible and takes about a second.

I am looking for a device that will constantly read the source HDMI feeds so that the devices believe they are always sending video (regardless of whether it's active or not). It also needs to switch gracefully between frames from either source, not causing any visual artifacts from transitioning mid-frame.

The device should support 1080p video (preferably at 60Hz) with minimal or no visual degradation. Two inputs are needed, but having more isn't a problem (unless it's impossible to instantly switch between 1 and 2 because it has to toggle through the series).

1 Answer 1


It's not a switch, but you might be able to get what you're looking for by putting a device like the Gefen HDMI Detective Plus between your video source and your existing "dumb" switch. It "records" the EDID data of your video display when it's connected, and continues to send that data to the video source even if the video display isn't connected. Per the manual, "When the HDMI Detective Plus is used in local mode, HPD (Hot-Plug Detect) is always high," which I believe means that the video source thinks it is always connected to a display. It supports full 1080p.

I've only used it for connecting my computer to my living room TV, which helped with problems that Windows would reset its resolution whenever the TV was switched off or on. I'm not sure it would completely solve the problem you're trying to solve, but it, or a device like it (which always acted like it was a display to your video source), might be another option rather than finding an HDMI switch that has that functionality built in.

  • That's a good thought! I was able to (mostly) solve it in a similar vein by adding a pass-through display like amazon.com/dp/B011NDPJ0I and it keeps the device playing. There are some slight flickers/artifacts during the switch but it's fast and mostly unnoticeable.
    – Keavon
    Apr 17, 2019 at 21:07
  • @Keavon how fast is fast? I want to find a solution for switching instantly, as in less than a second. A quick flicker is fine but not any blackout.
    – localhost
    Jun 22, 2023 at 5:25
  • Today, the ATEM Mini is the best solution for this. (@localhost)
    – Keavon
    Jun 23, 2023 at 8:23
  • @Keavon Haha! Unfortunately that's just ridiculous overkill for my situation. I just want a simple (but instant) switcher between two hdmi inputs, not a streaming production platform!
    – localhost
    Jun 23, 2023 at 11:02

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