Dual monitor setups are fast becoming a popular way to set up your home office space especially now that more and more people are working from home following the Covid-19 business shutdowns. But, how does setting up dual monitors work using an HDMI?
You need an HDMI splitter cable, and VGA to HDMI converter, or an HDMI to DisplayPort Adapter Converter that has a 4K 60Hz, Active HDMI 1.4 to DP 1.2 Female Adaptor with Audio handling capabilities to successfully connect two monitors to a single computer using an HDMI splitter is. Amazon stocks are easy to install uni-direction HDMI to display ports as you need to know if the kind of dual monitor that you are setting up is going to work. Usually, you will notice that your PC has one HDMI output. HDMI media output ports are mostly linked to your PCs graphics card, and you can use an HDMI splitter to set up the monitors.
My goal in this post is to explain how you can set up dual monitors using an HDMI splitter on a smart tv monitor as well as on a regular computer monitor. If you are using classic monitors, external computer speakers, then also make sure to read this guide about Coaxial and HDMI, in it I share my research on which cable is better? I will also quickly explain what an HDMI splitter is and how it works.
To set up dual monitors using HDMI splitter, turn off the computer and all devices, and check to make sure you have required ports and cables to this. Plug the HDMI splitter into the available port on your monitor, then plug the other device (source) to the HDMI ports on the HDMI splitter. Turn on the destination device as well as the source devices, then on the HDMI splitter, switch between the two sources that have been connected to your HDMI splitter. Usually, the monitor will be recognized automatically by the operating system.
What Is An HDMI Splitter?
An HDMI splitter is simply a device that can be used to split HDMI video output from devices to get two separate streams. It splits the HDMI video output from devices like laptops, Roku, game console, Blu-ray, cable box and more. The splitter will also split the audio stream together with the video stream. HDMI is basically used to mirror the video signal on two separate monitors.
HDMI splitters will give you the same output on two different screens. For you to do graphic design or edit videos, you need to have a dual output graphics card, this graphics card should also support DisplayPort 1.2.
There are some splitters that are able to split the video while some splitters cannot split the video. Most HDMI hardware has what is called HDCP (high bandwidth content protection). This is what prevents some of these splitters from mirroring the video onto two separate monitors. This is because they want to ensure privacy so that there is no digital piracy or feed recording. Therefore, HDMI splitting will only be possible on approved HDMI hardware.
To successfully set up dual monitors, the monitors need to be the same. You can face some problems if you want to use an extended model for the monitors. When using an HDMI splitter, you should make sure to get the one that works very well to achieve your goals.
Setting Up The Dual Monitors Using HDMI Splitter
You will need to have the following in order to set up dual monitors using an HDMI splitter:
- HDMI compliant monitors
- The output source device (HDMI compliant)
- HDMI Cable or adapters
- HDMI splitter (should have enough output sources)
Turn off your computer. You should also turn off all the devices that you want to connect to your HDMI splitter and check if all the ports that you need are available on your computer. Also, check for the ports on the monitor and check if you have all the necessary cables ready. You will need a cable to connect the devices to the HDMI splitter. Plugin the HDMI splitter into a port available on your computer. The monitor will be the destination device.
Plug all the other devices (monitors) to the HDMI ports that are on the HDMI splitter. These devices are the source devices. An HDMI splitter allows you to plug up to two devices only.
Turn on the destination device as well as the source devices. On the HDMI splitter, you should press a button to switch between the two sources that have been connected to your HDMI splitter. You can also use the HDMI remote control to change the sources.
Configure the display: This rep involves configuring how you want your content to be displayed like on the two monitors. You can either duplicate the display or extend it. Usually, the monitor will be recognized automatically by the operating system.
- Duplicating the display between two monitors: Here, the monitors will show the same exact content
- Extend display: This allows you to spread the display between two different minutes.
In order to configure the monitors, use the following steps.
On your computer’s desktop, right-click on an empty space. On the menu bar that pops up, select display settings.
On display settings, you should then click “multiple displays”and choose ‘detect”. If the monitor is wireless, click connect to a wireless display option under multiple displays.
You can also configure the order of the monitors. Click identify to do this. You can also choose the primary monitor and personalize other settings.
HDMI Splitter Audio/Video Troubleshooting
In order to troubleshoot your HDMI splitter, you should use the following steps:
- The first step is to unplug the power cable from your HDMI splitter. You should also unplug the cables. Make sure that the displays are not powered off. The video source should not be touched.
- Then put the cable from one of the monitors into the port on the HDMI splitter. After some time, you should put the power cable back into the HDMI splitter.
- After a few seconds, plug the HDMI cable of the video source into the splitter.
- When you are able to get audio as well as video on that monitor, then plug the cable of another monitor into the splitter.
- If the above steps do not work, make sure that you check the display devices audio and video settings so that the two monitors have the same settings
HDMI Splitters Problem
The main problem that HDMI splitters have is the HDCP. HDCP is there to ensure that people do not pirate the content on the monitor.
This works by ensuring that the content is protected. A verification process will confirm that the HDMI device you are using will not record any content or feed from the game console, blu-ray and more. It will also make sure that HDMI will only back to display content from your sources, nothing else. HDCP also encrypts the signal to ensure that there is no unauthorized recording of the content on your devices. The HDCP-protected video cannot play on a device that does not have HDCP.
Features to Look for in a Dual Monitor Splitter
When you are choosing an HDMI splitter there are some specifications and features that you need to look for so that you get a good choice.
Power adapter: Make sure that the splitter you choose should have an adapter of its own. In short, this splitter needs to be self-powered.
Data transmission: Before you choose to buy an HDMI splitter. You need to make sure you know the HDMI splitter you are choosing is capable of providing the amount of data transmission needed for each of the devices that are connected to your splitter. Here, you need to know the HDMI splitter’s refresh rate, resolution and even colour depth. When choosing cables, go for one that has high quality.
HDMI compliant: When choosing a splitter for dual monitors. You need to ensure that the splitter is HDMI compliant. It should be compliant with different HDMI versions including HDMI 2.1, 2.0, 1.3a, 1.3b and 1.4.
If you have a single HDMI output on your splitter, you can use a converter. With a converter, you will be able to use one HDMI monitor and one DVI monitor, but DVI does not support audio, therefore you may need separate cables for this.
The best HDMI splitters for dual monitors
There are so many HDMI splitters that are available today in the market, but these are some of the best splitters:
- ViewHD VHD 1X2MN3D
- Orei HD 102
These HDMI splitters have very good features for seating up dual monitors, they have HDCP support and are also self-powered and comes with their own power adapters. According to most reviews on Amazon, these two splitters are very good.
Is it illegal to split HDMI signal?
Splitting an HDMI signal for good purposes is not illegal. It becomes illegal if you will use the content illegally or you will distribute it without any authorization. If you are only splitting an HDMI signal for mirroring or extending your desktop to two monitors, then it is not illegal in any way.
Copyrighted content can also be recorded for youtube videos or other legal issues. You can also record your gameplay, you just need to make sure that everything you do is legal. You should make sure to use HDCP compliant splitters.
Setting up dual monitors using an HDMI splitter is not very hard. Before you set up the dual monitors, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary requirements needed for a successful setup process. You need to have all the necessary cables, an HDMI splitter with all the necessary outputs as well as the monitors ready. It is very important to ensure that the HDMI splitter you use is HDMI compliant for this to work. Follow all the steps that have been outlined in this post. When choosing an HDMI splitter make sure to look for all the necessary requirements and specifications. We hope this article helped you on how to set up dual monitors using an HDMI splitter.