Are you looking for a way to extend your screen to two or more monitors? Many laptops only have an HDMI output port, allowing you to connect to an external monitor. But what if you want to connect multiple monitors to one device?
At first glance, it doesn't seem possible. However, there are certain devices that you can use to successfully extend your screen to two or more monitors.
Having the extra screen real estate that extended monitors provide can increase your productivity and workflow.
Let's take a look at your options.
Can an HDMI splitter extend the screen to 2 monitors?
No. You cannot extend your screen with an HDMI splitter because an HDMI splitter simply doubles the signal. To extend your screen, an HDMI adapter is required. An HDMI adapter like thisUSB 3.0 to HDMI AdapterYou can extend your laptop screen to two monitors.
What does an HDMI splitter do?
Onedivisor hdmiit is a small device with one male HDMI port and two or more female HDMI ports. The HDMI splitter takes a video source and sends it to multiple HDMI outputs.
In practical terms, to display the same media on multiple monitors, what you need is an HDMI splitter. It is useful for presentations and other things. Keep in mind that an HDMI splitter will not extend your screen, it will just display the same image on all connected displays.
Many laptops these days don't even have an HDMI output. How can you connect a laptop that doesn't have HDMI to two or more monitors?
There are a few ways to achieve this goal, although the steps required will depend on the available ports on your computer.
Expand your screen with just 1 HDMI port
If your laptop only has one HDMI port, you can still connect multiple monitors to use extended mode. One monitor would be connected to the HDMI port of your laptop and the other throughUSB 3.0 para HDMIoUSB-C para HDMI.
Your computer should automatically detect the new monitors and allow you to enable extended mode.
Display extension without HDMI ports
Use un adaptador USB 3.0 a 2 x HDMI
When your laptop or computer doesn't have HDMI ports, the easiest option is tocompre un adaptador de video USB 3.0 a HDMI de StarTech.
These dongles look like HDMI splitters, but one end is USB and not HDMI. A USB 3.0 to HDMI video adapter can extend your desktop to two additional monitors or more.
In fact, you can continue to use your laptop screen as a third or half monitor, adding even more space to your setup.
How it works
- Plug the USB end of the adapter into a USB 3.0 port on your computer or laptop
- Connect your displays to the adapter's HDMI ports
- Download and install the necessary drivers (instructions should include a link to the files)
- Your computer should detect the displays and automatically switch to extended desktop mode
- You can use the Manage Views feature of Windows to adjust the views (or press Windows + P)
Note that USB 3.0 has much lower bandwidth than other connector types, so these adapters do not support 4K@60Hz.
Extend the screen only with USB-C or Thunderbolt
Usa un USB-C para 2 x HDMI
These days, most laptops have at least one USB-C or Thunderbolt port. With thatUSB-C to 2 HDMI adapters, you can use a single USB-C port to connect two monitors in extended desktop mode. No external power or drivers needed, everything is plug and play.
To set up, plug the USB-C end into a USB-C port on your laptop, then plug your monitors' HDMI cables into the HDMI ports. Your computer should automatically detect the monitors as individual monitors.
Please note that this specific dongle will not work on MacBooks or other Mac OS devices. Currently it is only compatible with Windows.
Expand screen only with DisplayPort
DisplayPort para HDMI
So, you have a computer with DisplayPort and you want to connect multiple monitors to it. There are a few options.
Since you have a DisplayPort on your computer, you can use it for one monitor and connect the second using aUSB 3.0 to HDMI Adapter.
Another option would be to purchase a DisplayPort to 2 x HDMI splitter, make sure the one you choose supports extended mode.
I likeG2G DisplayPort para dongle HDMI doble. Please note that this particular adapter requires an additional power supply via a Micro USB cable.
Monitors Extension on Mac
Using multiple monitors in extended mode on Mac is tricky because there are limitations for each device. For example, the Mac Mini can natively support up to two external displays, but MacBooks can only support one external display.
The new M1 MacBooks can also natively support only one external display. To make matters worse, the aforementioned dongles don't work with macOS either.
Use a Dell DisplayLink docking station
There is a solution. What you need is a DisplayLink compatible hub or dongle. Dell makes some of these hubs and they are a bit pricey, but so far the best option available.
I likeDell D3100 docking station.I'll explain how to set it up using a MacBook.
- Connect the D3100 docking station to a power source with the included adapter
- Connect your MacBook to the hub using the included USB-C to USB-B cable
- Connect your HDMI displays to the hub's HDMI slots
- VisitDisplay Link Downloadsand download the latest drivers for macOS
- Once installed, your MacBook should detect the displays and you can use them in extended mode
Dell docking stations also work on Windows devices. However, it is much cheaper to use the adapters mentioned above for Windows.
Tips on Using HDMI Dongles
There are a few tips to keep in mind when using a USB to HDMI video adapter.
For one thing, these adapters won't work with USB 2.0 because they don't support the speed bandwidth requirements. If you're not sure which USB ports on your computer are USB 3.0, look for one with a blue label.
Although USB 3.0 supports much higher bandwidth than USB 2.0, it's still not enough for two 4K displays at 60Hz. These USB video adapters are limited to 1080P@60Hz.
Finally, and this is important, USB video adapters generally only work with Windows because they require specific software.
About 90% of USB video adapters only work on Windows. Along those lines, some also require additional drivers, so be sure to check the included instructions.
HDCP copyright protection
Some HDMI dongles do not have a proper HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) certificate, so you will not be able to view copyrighted media. HDCP is built into all HDMI cables and devices.
For example, if you try to watch Netflix on a monitor connected to a non-HDCP compliant HDMI dongle, you may lose the signal. In most cases, by using a USB to HDMI dongle or hub, you don't have to worry about HDCP issues.
In any case, it is better not to buy the cheapest dongle on the market. You want one that can deliver consistent quality without going offline at random times.
HDMI 2.1 can be found on newer TVs and supports resolutions up to 8K or 4K at 120Hz.
Certain laptops that have a DisplayPort Alt-Mode compatible Thunderbolt 4 port may also support HDMI 2.1 capabilities.
you could use a singleUSB-C to HDMI 2.1 Adapterto connect an HDMI 2.1 monitor to your computer. If you have multiple Thunderbolt ports, you can use two of them to connect multiple HDMI 2.1 displays.
Since the bandwidth requirements for HDMI 2.1 functions are so high, there are not many dongles available on the market.
Does an HDMI splitter reduce quality?
No. An HDMI splitter will not reduce quality because HDMI uses digital signals that will either work or not. However, some HDMI splitters will default to the lowest detected resolution on all connected displays.
For example, if you connect a 4K monitor and a 1080P monitor to an HDMI splitter, this can change the resolution of all monitors to 1080P. For the most reliable quality, I recommend using a high-quality powered HDMI splitter. Some templates will define individual resolutions, but most generic ones will only support one resolution at a time.
Does an HDMI splitter cause input delay?
A powered HDMI splitter will not create input delay because the signal is not converted or processed. However, splitters that lack an external power supply or are of poor quality can experience input lag and other issues. In general, most HDMI splitters don't add any noticeable input lag.
There are many different HDMI adapters that you can use to extend your displays. It may take a while to find a combination that works for you. Windows machines have more options available, macOS is limited to expensive hubs.
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