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Can You Use an HDMI Splitter for Two Monitors?

As an owner of two monitors, I have often been frustrated when trying to connect them both to a single source. After doing some research and testing, I am here to share how I solved my problem and the other solutions I discovered. Can you use an HDMI splitter for two monitors? In this blog post, I’ll answer this question and provide helpful information for anyone else out there with the same issue.

The answer is a big yes. If you’re planning to set up your dual monitor but only have one input port on your computer, don’t worry! You can use an HDMI splitter

What’s An HDMI Cable and HDMI Splitter? 

A High Definition Interface (HDMI) cable transmits high-definition graphics or audio to another device. It’s often used in a home or office set-up to simplify multiple wirings. 

Typically, a computer with multiple HDMI ports is ideal for setting up monitors. With a splitter, however, you can do just the same.

HDMI splitters look like small boxes with input and multiple output ports. Its primary role is to mediate the connection from a single computer HDMI port to multiple monitors. 

How To Use an HDMI Splitter for Two Monitors? 

Here are the steps to get your set-up going:

  1. Look for the HDMI port of your computer. 
  2. Plug the input cable of the splitter. 
  3. Plug in the two cables in the output port of the splitter
  4. Check if the other end of the output cables matches the HDMI port of your monitors. If they aren’t, you can use an adaptor. 
  5. Connect the other end of the output cables to each monitor. 

How To Configure the Display on My Monitor? 

Now that you have connected your computer to your monitors, you’ll need to configure the display resolution to your desired display set-up. It would allow you to get a single view of your desktop on two monitors and determine the display resolution. 

Depending on your computer’s software, here’s what to do: 

On Windows 

  1. Open Settings > Display 
  2. Click ‘Detect’ in case your computer didn’t automatically detect the monitors 
  3. Choose a monitor you want to make the primary display, then click ‘Make this my main display’ 
  4. Next, adjust the resolution of the monitors 
  5. Choose a monitor and new display resolution on the drop-down menu. Take note that the higher the resolution, the better the image quality 
  6. Confirm the changes by keeping the new setting 

On MacOS

  1. Open System Preference > Display 
  2. Check if your monitors are listed. If they aren’t, re-connect your monitors’ output cables to the splitter 
  3. Next, click on ‘Mirror Desktops’ and click enable mirroring. It’ll allow your desktop to be seen as a whole on two monitors 
  4. You can adjust the resolution by clicking on Scale > Display Panel 
  5. You can customize your resolution or choose from the pre-configured options 

 On Linux 

  1. Open Control Panel > Display 
  2. Check your monitors on the drop-down list. If they aren’t detected, click on ‘Detect Displays 
  3. Choose your primary monitor and turn on the ‘Primary Display’ button
  4. Adjust your resolution and click ‘Apply’ 

What’s the Best Resolution?

If you’re unsure what resolution to use, you can use your software’s native resolution. 

A native resolution is a pre-configured setting that allows your display to be in its optimum quality. The native resolutions of the softwares mentioned above are as follows:

  • Windows – 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • MacOS – 3456 x 2234 at 254 pixels per inch
  • Linux (Ubuntu) – 1280 x 768 pixels

Types of HDMI Splitters 

When buying an HDMI splitter, you should consider the resolution you aim to preserve and the distance of your devices. Generally, splitters can either be active or passive. See their differences below to help you choose what’s best for your set-up. 

1. Active Splitters

An active splitter is a small box with multiple input and output ports. It uses an external power to transmit signals from a computer to a monitor. The added power lessens signal interference resulting in a preserved media quality. 

Active splitters work best for connecting devices over longer distances. It also means it can be pretty pricey too. 

2. Passive Splitters 

On the other hand, passive splitters look more simplified. It has a tinier box wherein a single input cable is connected and, on average, two output ports on the opposite side. 

Unlike active splitters, it doesn’t use any external power. It means that the quality of the transmitted media is vulnerable to interference resulting in a lower quality. Nonetheless, it can perform well for devices closer to each other. 

HDMI Splitters VS HDMI Switch 

Often, people mix an HDMI splitter with an HDMI switch during purchase. If you aim to project the same content to two monitors, you should make it clear that you want to buy a splitter. 

A splitter connects to one input and distributes the same media to multiple devices (like your monitors). On the other hand, a switch provides multiple input ports for different devices to connect to. It also provides an option for which device can run its media on display. 

Conclusion 

So, can you use an HDMI splitter for two monitors? Certainly! HDMI splitters come in two types. There are also various designs in the market, so rest assured, there’ll be one to fit your set-up. 

However, as much as splitters are convenient, remember to consider their effects on your overall display resolution.