High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) signals are transmitted through HDMI cables made for use with Bluray, DVD, etc., high-resolution video feeds. These feeds can then be routed to computer monitors or TV screens for viewing. When you want to send HDMI signals to several screens simultaneously, you can use HDMI splitters to distribute signals among multiple screens.
HDMI cables typically have one end that fits into the device output. The other end of an HDMI cable has, at least, two outputs split from one line. Alternatively, an output device can be connected to hardware splitters with an HDMI cable. These are used in conjunction with an external power source that splits signals among several display devices. Cables are easily configurable to split one line among multiple screens at once.
About HDMI Splitters
HDMI splitters are capable of splitting only the original signals shown on connected devices. Images appearing on multiple screens are identical and cannot be controlled independently when screens are connected to HDMI-compatible devices like HD antennas and/or receivers.
HDMI splitters should not be confused with HDMI routing switchers, which assign multiple HDMI-compatible output sources into signals that you can change either manually or by remote control. You can also direct what output is transmitted to displays.
Before purchasing an HDMI splitter, you need to know if the splitter can provide the amount of data transmission necessary for each device that is connected to the splitter. For example, you should know the refresh rate, color depth, and resolution. Always use a high-quality cable to ensure your display device is capable of receiving encodings for resolutions that exceed non-digital formats. If your cables and HDMI splitter cannot send appropriate amounts of data, your signal quality will be reduced, and small resolutions may be your only option.
Installing and Using an HDMI Splitter
To begin, you’ll need:
- An HDMI-compliant output source device
- HDMI-compliant displays
- HDMI cable (you could also use hardware/adapters and an alternative type of data transfer wire)
- HDMI splitter with enough output sources to accommodate your needs
For connections into televisions, turn off the TV and all other HDMI devices to which you intend to connect an HDMI splitter. Plug the HDMI splitter into an HDMI port located at the side or on the back of your TV. Next, connect the HDMI devices into open HDMI splitter ports (source devices). Remember, you will only be able to plug in one or two sources into your HDMI splitter.
Turn on your TV and all sources connected to your HDMI splitter. Now you’ll have to scroll through the TV input until you find the HDMI input corresponding to where you have connected your HDMI splitter.
Press the button on the HDMI splitter remote control or the HDMI splitter box to switch between sources that have been connected to your HDMI splitter. You should see the display on the screen alternating between or among your sources. It could take several seconds before the source is displayed.
Installing Split Device Feeds
Begin by plugging an HDMI splitter into an HDMI input on your source device. Next, plug an HDMI cable into an input on the HDMI splitter for your destination devices. Plug HDMI cables into available HDMI input on devices you want to display video and audio feed. For example, displaying audio/video feed from a single Blu-ray onto two screens means you will need to plug an HDMI splitter into your Blu-ray player. Now, connect two HDMI cables into an HDMI splitter. Next, plug the other cable end into HDMI inputs on your destination TVs. Turn on your TVs and scroll through inputs until you find an HDMI input associated with the location where you already plugged an HDMI cable into each device.