Whether you want to use your monitor on different screen, or plug your console to multiple monitors, HDMI Splitter is the tool for you. Not only is it essential for cable management but this splitter also lessens the complexity when duplicating video data.
An HDMI splitter copies data from the primary screen and multiplies it over multiple secondary screens. Although connecting HDMI cables to the HDMI splitter is fairly simple, first-time users may have issues connecting the right end of HDMI to the HDMI splitter port.
If done incorrectly, the secondary monitor does not display anything. And if you connect the primary screen to the wrong port, it may even give you a black screen. This article explains a step-by-step guide on avoiding such issues and connecting the HDMI splitter correctly. So, without further delay, let us get right into it.
Table of Contents
How Does an HDMI Splitter Work?
Before we start, let us first see how an HDMI splitter works. The splitter has one input HDMI port, a power port, and several HDMI output ports. The power port is connected to power the splitter.
- The input port takes the data from the primary screen source.
- The device then duplicates this data and sends it to all the connected output HDMI ports. Since the splitter only copies the input video data, you cannot use it to extend the display.
- Secondary monitors connects to the HDMI output port where the device sends the copies of original video data
Your splitter may have two or more HDMI output ports. If your splitter has one input and three output HDMI ports, it is called a 1 x 3 HDMI splitter (one by three splitter). Depending on the number of output ports on the splitter, you can copy the primary screen to up to 16 screens.
One thing to remember when using HDMI cables on a splitter is that HDMI cables should not extend more than 50 feet between the source and the destination screen. If done so, the display will become pixelated and blurry, or you may even get a black screen.
How to Use an HDMI Splitter?
Now that you know how a splitter works let us get right into setting it up.
HDMI Splitter Components
You can find three types of ports on the HDMI splitter, The power port, HDMI input port, and HDMI output port. Some Splitter will even have dedicated light to indicate if the cables are secured.
Look for writings like DC 5V/12V, power, or auto-power to locate the power port. Input HDMI port is usually denoted by the word IN or INPUT. You can only find one input port in an HDMI splitter.
Finally, the output HDMI port is OUT or OUTPUT. Depending on the type of HDMI splitter, there can be a number of output HDMI ports.
Connecting the Cables
You need to connect the cables from primary and secondary monitors to the correct HDMI port in the splitter.
- First, connect the HDMI cable from the source monitor to the input HDMI port.
- Now connect the cables from secondary monitors to the HDMI output port.
- Finally, connect the power cable to the power port in the splitter.
Once you connect all the cables, turn on the primary monitor. All the secondary monitors should now display the image that’s currently being displayed on the primary monitor. Check the HDMI splitter box for a power switch if the secondary monitor does not turn on. Turn the power switch on and wait for the display.
Is HDMI Splitter, HDMI Extender, and HDMI Switch the Same?
Now that you know how an HDMI splitter works and how to set it up, let us discuss about different HDMI devices. You can find several HDMI devices with multiple purposes. However, here we have discussed about three types of HDMI devices that confuses users the most.
The HDMI splitter duplicates video data from one source and sends it to multiple monitors. However, you cannot extend video data over 50 feet or above using an HDMI cable. This is where an HDMI Extender comes in.
HDMI extender comes with two devices, a transmitter, and a receiver. You connect the transmitting device to the source and connect it with the receiver using a CAT ethernet cable. Finally, you plug the secondary monitor into the receiving device.
On the other hand, HDMI Switch is completely opposite compared to HDMI Splitter. An HDMI Switch has multiple input ports and one output port. You can use this to connect multiple sources, such as a PC, console, or TV, to a single monitor. And by using a dedicated button, you can switch between the input devices.
Can I Use an HDMI Splitter to Extend the Display?
HDMI splitter takes the video data from the primary screen and replicates it to secondary screens. This is why you cannot extend the display using an HDMI splitter. If you want to extend the laptop screen to multiple monitors, you will need a USB to HDMI cable.