HDMI extension and switching time

Well, it’s taken about six years, but I think I’ve finally found something the first generation Chromecast is good at, aside from demonstrating the meaning of choking hazard. They came with these little extension cables, so that you could put a bit of distance between your display’s HDMI port and the device itself versus shoving the Chromecast G1 into your TV.

Simply put, my old Asus monitor only has two real problems. One is the speakers are utterly and completely crap—that audio should never and under no circumstances have audio routed through them. Thankfully, Asus put a 3.5 mm port that let’s me hook up external speakers to handle the HDMI audio input. The other problem that is less easily solved: is there is only one HDMI port. It’s from an era where even a nice monitor only had one if any. Thus with my conversion to HDMI all the things around 2013~2014 thereabouts, It has been the real sticking point.

To swap cables: I’ve got to either blind man finger for the port until the HDMI goes in, or flip the monitor forward so I can get a visual on the port. Yeah, my top request for HDMI 3.0 is going to be a reversible connector like USB-C.

Today I did a bit of experiment. I connected my old HDMI switch, so I could check if my 780GTX or iPad took offense to it. At least under Linux, I’ve not been able to use Skylake or Braswell graphics with the switch, so it’s mostly been underutilized since my Xbox and Fire TV went to different displays. Much to my happiness, the GTX doesn’t care about the switch and my iPad Pro 11 -> HooToo adapter setup doesn’t seem to mind; although I didn’t test HDCP on either, I doubt that’s an issue here.

As a follow up, I decided to test if doing a hotplug from the iPad end would be smart enough to trigger the switches input auto switch behavior and it is not. Since the Chromecast G1 extension cable makes it easier to swap cables on my Asus monitor, I think what I will do is just toggle cables and spare myself wiring up yet another thing with an idiot light.