written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/30/2009
We look at how a switcher can change one HDMI input into two outputs and how to make this happen.
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Splitting the HDMI
The device you’re looking for in this case is called an HDMI splitter, a box that converts an HDMI signal into more than one HDMI signal using an internal switch. Now, most boxes are used to send out multiple signals to a single screen, effectively allowing more than one piece of equipment to be hooked up to the same TV. But here, the end goal might be to take the signal from the equipment and repeat it over onto another screen simultaneously.
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Two Televisions or Projection Systems
A Piece of Equipment with HDMI (cable box, PC, etc)
A Two-Port or Three Port HDMI Switcher (like this one) with an input and output portion
At least two or three HDMI cables
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1.Connect the HDMI cable into the input side and connect two cables into the output side of the switcher.
2.Now, take the two HDMI output cables and connect them to the separate televisions.
3.Once the two televisions are connected, turn on the equipment and test the setup.
4. If a PC is the one connected, set it up as if you were trying to connect multiple monitors and it should work.
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A Few Considerations
The connection process itself is surprisingly simple but it does have some considerable limitations. For systems where you’re only looking to duplicate the screen on two or more monitors, the HDMI switcher will undoubtedly do the trick. However, if you’re connecting a PC up to the monitor, there are a few things to consider:
A PC on an HDMI switcher is unable to do anything other than duplicate monitors, not extend the monitors on up to three screens – for that, you’ll need to consider a different solution, perhaps an additional graphics card or two.
The image quality on the second monitor, especially with a standard definition image over HDMI will not look quite as good with the HDMI switcher, as opposed to without the switcher. Furthermore, your better solution is to find a piece of equipment that comes with more than one HDMI port integrated in order to do this without the HDMI switcher, having the equipment itself do the work for you.