How to extend or split your screen using HDMI splitter?


👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Nov 24 2022    📁 TECH

What is HDMI?

HDMI stands for “High-Definition Multimedia Interface”. HDMI is the most versatile communication tool among multimedia devices. It can be used to share screens and project one device's output into another, the best example of this being a monitor showing the output of a motherboard. While most desktops today use this 19-pin HDMI, some of them also use the VGA connector for the same purpose. This VGA is the ancestor of HDMI meaning they do the same things but HDMI is easier to deal with and can transmit audio/video (both display and sound)data as compared to the old VGA which can only transmit visual data (only display with no audio) 

HDMI is the standard connection between the processing unit (like a computer) and the display unit (like a monitor).

Different types of HDMI 

How to use Split Screen Feature on ...
How to use Split Screen Feature on Samsung Galaxy Devices
There are mainly three types of HDMI today, they are HDMI/ type A, mini HDMI/ type C, and micro HDMI/ typeD. These are all various forms of HDMI with all of them a 19-pin configuration each. They carry a small amount of electrical current through them that is the input for the display unit (like a monitor).  There is also an HDMI connector known as HDMI Type B, which is rarely used.

HDMI Splitter

The HDMI cable is a digital data transfer cable that can transmit both audio and video data to the receiving unit. Based on this you can imagine that it is simple to split the screen using an HDMI cable. All you will need is an HDMI splitter dongle. 

Also read: How can I tell if my laptop has an HDMI input or output?

This is the type of splitter dongle you will want. Using this you will be able to mirror the screen among many other monitors and displays. But bear in mind, this is only for mirroring screens. It means that your secondary display will only be able to display what your primary screen is displaying. This is the type of dongle you will want to use for projectors if you already have a secondary display. 

HDMI Splitter
fig. 3 Port HDMI Splitter (source: Amazon)

You will want to connect this dongle to the primary source (like a computer or a laptop) and then connect the other HDMI cables to this which will connect those display units and the processing unit (the computer or the laptop I mentioned earlier) 

By doing this, you will essentially have a setup that displays the same content across those different display units connected to this. There are many ways to extend a screen. Before we go to that, let’s understand what mirroring means and what extending means. 

Extending and Mirroring Screens

Extending screens is a way of having different content on different screens.

Split Screen using HDMI
fig. Split Screen using HDMI

This is an example of a split screen. It contains different content on different screens. And the content can be moved from one to another screen. Now, the following is an example of a mirrored screen.

Mirror Screen
fig. Mirror Screen using HDMI

Here, whatever content is being shown on the laptop is being shown on the bigger screen as well. This is what mirroring a screen means.  

The screen extension 

The above-mentioned method is for screen mirroring onto multiple display units but it doesn’t extend your screen and for that, you will have to go through a little more than that. 

If you want to extend your display follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Start menu from the taskbar. 
  2. Open the Setting section 
  3. Under System, select Display
  4. Doing this will detect any secondary monitors you have and show your desktop.
    (If it doesn’t show your secondary monitors, select multiple displays and then detect )
  5. Use the list next to your desktop to choose how you want your displays to project. 
  6. Once you are satisfied with the customization, select Apply to save the setup. 
  7. Setting up secondary monitors can be fun and needless to mention useful.

I hope these methods described above were helpful in what you were trying to achieve. 

Can we Split the screen using an HDMI splitter?

No. Names can be deceiving and this is an example of how. The HDMI splitter isn’t able to send out multiple signals. It only amplifies and divides one single signal to give out multiple. So, the splitter is only capable of mirroring the original. The following diagram shows how a splitter works.

How splitter works
fig. How splitter works

How can I Split Screens then?

Nowadays, PCs come with Type C ports. USB C is the industry standard for combining power as well as data in the same cable. It is the latest and greatest for using one cable for everything. Because of USB C, we can now have multiple HDMI Ports connected to a single computer or a laptop. Don’t have a USB type C port on the PC? You still have options. You can opt for a relatively older USB-to-HDMI converter. If your computer is capable of sending display signals to a USB port, you can use it to add multiple screens and use them all at the same time without necessarily having to show the same content on the same picture. However, you will have to make sure that your device is capable of it. 

Also read: Does HDMI 1.4 cables works with TV having HDMI 2.0?

Another alternative would be to use DisplayPort which we’ll be looking into in the next part of the article. 

DisplayPort

DisplayPort is a household name in the PC sphere. It is an open, royalty-free digital display and audio interface standardized by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association). It is also used to interface display signals. It was designed to replace VGA and DVI interfacing systems. The new DisplayPort is widely recognized now because of its ability to share better and faster visuals. DisplayPort is able to support the following Resolutions and Refresh Rates. 

  • Single display resolutions
    • One 16K (15360 × 8640) display @ 60 Hz
    • One 10K (10240 × 4320) display @ 60 Hz
  • Dual display resolutions
    • Two 8K (7680 × 4320) displays @ 120 Hz
    • Two 4K (3840 × 2160) displays @ 144 Hz
  • Triple display resolutions
    • Three 10K (10240 × 4320) displays @ 60 Hz
    • Three 4K (3840 × 2160) displays @ 90 Hz

Article by: Adamya Neupane

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