My upscaling DVD player to get the best out of my collection, do they need an HDMI port or can I use the Scart? If I can't, is it possible to plug two HDMI cables into an adaptor?has only one HDMI port, which is already used by the Sky HD Box. I want to buy an
When HDMI burst on to the TV scene, we all thought one or two sockets would be plenty to keep us going for ages. It turns out these days there's an HDMI-out on loads of stuff, and with games consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 Elite, hi-def DVD players and your hi-def television service, two sockets just aren't enough anymore.
To tackle your first question, many upscaling DVD players will also allow you to connect them to your TV via component. If your TV doesn't have a component input, you can buy an adaptor that will allow you to use the VGA input to view these signals.
It's not possible to send high-definition video signals over Scart -- it wasn't designed with HD signals in mind. HDMI is essentially the new Scart, but with so much more to offer. HDMI is also digital, which means the picture that comes out of your DVD player should look excellent, with no quality loss.
You can buy HDMI splitters that allow you to plug two or more HDMI devices into just one socket. Unfortunately, these magic boxes are quite expensive. The cheapest we were able to find was made by a company called XtremeMac. It's a four-port splitter, so you can connect up to four devices to your single HDMI port. It's available for around £50. For a little more, you can get a Lindy two-port splitter, which costs £60. Belkin also produces a three-port unit, for around £90.
When you choose a splitter, don't forget to make sure it supports HDCP: without it you won't be able to watch copy-protected content from HD DVD and Blu-ray players.
Also be aware that few splitters support the relatively new HDMI 1.3 standard yet. This might not seem like a problem now, but as we've seen from TVs with just one HDMI socket, things change quickly. If you're going to spend more than £60 on a splitter, you'll probably want to make sure you get use out of it when you upgrade your system in a few years' time.