Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Markeyus Franks
You can easily set up dual monitors with an HDMI Splitter by knowing the exact configuration you need. People purchase HDMI splitters when they want to duplicate their screen to one or more monitors/tvs. It’s very important to know that this is not the same as extending your computer monitor screen.
When people hear the term Dual Monitor setup, they often think of two monitors side by side with the capability of extending their laptop or desktop screen. What they don’t think of is the option to duplicate monitors or tvs. If you want a bunch of monitors and TVs with the same display, then you will need an HDMI splitter, but if you want to extend your monitor to a second or even third screen, then you will need an HDMI adapter.
An HDMI Splitter is often confused with an HDMI adapter. Many customers will purchase an HDMI splitter, thinking it is an HDMI adapter. In this article, we will explain the difference and get you on the right track.
Many people use dual monitors for work, home, and other computer-related activities. Let’s just be honest, it’s hard to get multiple things done on just one monitor, That’s why in the early 2000s many corporations switched to using two monitors instead of just one.
With the drastic increase in applications over the past 20 years, using dual monitors is actually the most productive way to accomplish work. In this article, we will discuss how to set up dual monitors with an HDMI splitter.
Let’s get some clarity on the subject of using an HDMI Splitter.
An HDMI Splitter is a device used to duplicate a picture. Take for instance, you want two TVs to run the same image from your cable box. In that particular scenario, you will use an HDMI Splitter. Many people get this confused and think an HDMI Splitter is the same as an HDMI adapter. More often than not, customers will waste time and money purchasing an HDMI splitter for their dual monitor setup only to figure out that it is not the right product. Here is a popular HDMI Splitter on Amazon
An HDMI Adapter- This particular device is used to duplicate and extend your picture. The keyword here is extend. With an adapter you not only have the option to duplicate, but you can extend different monitors. This is what the masses are looking for. The Adapter will consist of 2 HDMI input ports( 1 for each monitor) on one end and either a USB-C or regular USB cable that plugs into your computer. Here is a popular USB-C adapter on Amazon and a popular USB adapter on Amazon also. This will surely get you on your way to having multiple monitors.
An HDMI Switch- This device is for when you want to hook up multiple devices to one HDMI port. This is a handy device to use if you don’t have many HDMI ports on your TV. Although similar to an HDMI extender, this device will switch between different HDMI inputs to play what you want. Take for instance, you want to hook up your PS5 and Xbox S at the same time, but you don’t have any more HDMI inputs on your TV. Here is a popular HDMI Switch on Amazon
How to connect an HDMI Adapter to your computer?
If you have two dual monitors and want to set them up to extend your laptop or computer, then you will need to purchase an HDMI adapter or a USB adapter. This will give you the capability to use two monitors with your laptop or computer. Now, if you have multiple inputs on your laptop or computer that match the connection in the back of your monitors, such as an RGB and an HDMI input, then you would not have to get an HDMI adapter, but this is rare.
For example, In the back monitor A, There is an RGB output, and you have an RGB input on your laptop, then you can connect monitor A to your laptop.
In the back of Monitor B is an HDMI output, and you have an HDMI input on your laptop, so you can connect Monitor B to your laptop.
This is the older way to set up dual monitors. Generally, an HDMI adapter is needed to set up two monitors.
The reason a person would need an HDMI adapter is if their laptop only has one HDMI input port and no RGB input, which is most laptops.
- Make sure your monitor has an HDMI port on the back of it. Most modern-day monitors will come with at least one HDMI port. If you don’t have an HDMI port, but you do have an RGB or DVI, then you will have to get a converter.
- Purchase a good HDMI adapter. Here’s a good one
from Amazon. If your laptop has a USB-C input, here is a good HDMI to USB-C connector on Amazon. Also, make sure you purchase a few good HDMI cords.
- Connect one end of the first HDMI cord to the back of the first monitor and the other end into the adapter.
- Connect one end of the second HDMI cord to the back of the second monitor and the other end into the adapter.
- Connect the HDMI out on the adapter to your computer via USB or USB-C cable.
Video of How to set up Dual Monitors with an HDMI Adapter
Video on how to set up an actual HDMI Splitter
How to Set up Display Settings for your Dual Monitors
Now that you have both monitors hooked up, it’s time to set up how you want them to display. The most common display Setting is to extend your monitor from your laptop or desktop screen, but when using dual monitors, many people will use the two monitors instead of using their laptop.
Below, we will go over different display variations
Extended Monitors with the laptop open
• In this scenario, the main Display will be your laptop screen. The dual monitors will be an extension of the original laptop screen. So now there are essentially three monitors to work with
Extended Monitor with the laptop closed
This is a common practice as well. Many people want to just use two external monitors with their laptops closed. Let’s go over how to get this done:
1. Physically connect two monitors to your laptop with an HDMI cable adapter.
2. Navigate to your display setting and choose how you want to appear
( duplicate or extend mode)
On your laptop, press the search button and type in sleep. After typing in sleep, settings will appear, and you will see the power & sleep options. Click on the option additional power settings. Once in additional power settings, you will see an option that says, “Choose what closing the does.” Select ” Do nothing under the battery and plug-in option.
Please Note: Some newer computers will automatically detect a monitor and will turn the monitor on automatically shortly after you close your laptop’s lid.
This is usually the default setting when first hooking up an extra monitor. In this setting, both monitors will duplicate each other. As soon a your computer detects a new monitor it should automatically start in a duplicate mode. The new monitor will duplicate your current laptop.
If your monitor does not come on, make sure it’s connected properly and navigate to display settings – Multiple Displays and click duplicate monitors.
How to set up Dual Monitors with HDMI Splitter on a Mac computer
Generally, the only Macs that can sustain a dual monitor setup without some type of software intervention are the Mac Mini and Mac Book Pro. If you have one of these computers, you can easily make it happen.
Remember, you will need an HDMI adapter to setup dual monitors on your Mac. With a Mac, you can either use a double or single USB-C to dual HDMI adapter or Apple’s Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter.
Dual monitor setup for Mac Mini:
Mac Minis generally only have 1 HDMI input, but If you have a dual monitor adapter lying around, it can still be used. Otherwise, you can purchase a Mac HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter from Amazon. Here is a good one on Amazon. This will allow you to add another monitor to your Mac Mini using HDMI cord and a USBC to HDMI adapter.
In the video below, I connect a dual monitor set up by the HDMI and Thunderbolt port on the back of the Mac Mini.
Dual monitor Set up for Mac book Pro
Unlike the Mac book Air, the Pro version allows you to setup dual monitors on it. You can use a regular USBC to dual HDMI adapter to add two monitors to your laptop.
This is how you essentially set up dual monitors with HDMI splitter. The process is relatively easy and quick. Here is a quick Rule of thumb: if you just want to duplicate your screen and play the same content on multiple monitors ( Similar to a display demo, store, or restaurant), then you will need an HDMI splitter. If you have a laptop or desktop and want to extend your monitors so that you have more display real-estate, then you will need an HDMI adapter. Hopefully, this article helped you out today.