The HDMI cables are the de facto standard when it comes to home theaters and most users have long replaced their older cables with HDMI cables. In addition, almost every video and audio equipment, which has been manufactured in the past few years is HDMI-ready, making it easier to connect different sources to your TV, video projector, or other display. Most of the plasma and LCD TVs are also HDMI-ready and the latest models typically come with two or more HDMI inputs.
How many HDMI inputs do you need?
The answer is quite simply – the more, the merrier. If right now, you have only your HD DVD player connected to your HDTV, a few months from now, you might purchase a gaming console, Blu-ray disk player, or another source, which you would want to use as well. This means that if your TV has only one HDMI input, you would constantly need to unplug one of your devices and plug in the second one. Of course, instead of doing that you can always buy and use a switch and since they are relatively inexpensive, you are not going to have to spend an arm and leg on your setup either. However, the switch will have to be power too and that means yet another device that contributes to your monthly electric bill and in addition, if you are trying to transmit HDCP content, then the switch needs to be HDCP compliant as well. However, this is true for the HDMI inputs of the TV too and you should make sure that they are HDCP complaint if you want to be able to watch HDCP encrypted content.
If you are on the market for a HDTV right now, then getting one with three or more HDMI inputs is probably a wise move – you will be able to plug in your HD DVD player, gaming console, and set-up box without having to worry about unplugging and swapping cables all the time or paying for a switch. If you have only one DVD player right now, then it does not really hurt to get a TV with two or more inputs since you are likely to need that extra input sooner than you think. Since most manufacturers are quick to catch up on the latest trends, most of the available TV models are well stocked on HDMI ports and this does not inflate their price either.