1. #1

    Splitting HDMI to extend monitor, not mirror?

    My mother's work laptop only has one HDMI port, and she wants to connect two external monitors to it. Looking up various "HDMI splitters" on Amazon, every single one I come across says that it will just mirror the image to two monitors, NOT extend the desktop.

    How does one go about connecting two monitors to a laptop's single HDMI port and having them function as separate monitors, not just mirroring the output?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by anon5123 View Post
    My mother's work laptop only has one HDMI port, and she wants to connect two external monitors to it. Looking up various "HDMI splitters" on Amazon, every single one I come across says that it will just mirror the image to two monitors, NOT extend the desktop.

    How does one go about connecting two monitors to a laptop's single HDMI port and having them function as separate monitors, not just mirroring the output?
    HDMI doesn't support multiple displays out of one port.

    You can get usb to HDMI, although they're not the best. If it's just for work though then it'll probably be fine.

  3. #3
    Ah, so something like this?

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BPEV1XK...N6UGPLRD&psc=1

    I did find some StackOverflow posts saying that splitting a single HDMI like that is not possible, so yeah I suppose a usb -> HDMI will work. And yeah, it's just her work computer, so she doesn't need anything particularly powerful or fancy.

  4. #4
    Seconding what was said about not being able to split HDMI signals. You can duplicate it across multiple ports, and there are kvm style switchers for it, but you will need a USB > HDMI adapter as stated above if the goal is to extend a display across them.

    The bad news is the framerates on those USB adapters isn't great, so you can't game on that secondary display... but it'll be fine for doing work/browsing the net/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by anon5123 View Post
    Ah, so something like this?
    Yep, exactly that.

  5. #5
    Yeah, my mother doesn't "game" on computers to begin with, and this is just for her work computer (she has a budget gaming PC as her regular computer, and that has a dedicated GPU on it) so I think it'll be fine.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by THEORACLE64 View Post
    HDMI doesn't support multiple displays out of one port.

    You can get usb to HDMI, although they're not the best. If it's just for work though then it'll probably be fine.
    If it's USB C it will work like a charm. I have my Dell office laptop connected to a Dell hub via USB C and that is now powering one full HD and one WQHD monitor at the same time, so effectively 3 extended monitors. Don't even need a separate charger anymore. All managed via one single USB C port.

    My old one was using USB 3 and still managed two Full HD monitors quite well.

    Of course, not fit for gaming. But office apps will work just fine.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by StayTuned View Post
    If it's USB C it will work like a charm. I have my Dell office laptop connected to a Dell hub via USB C and that is now powering one full HD and one WQHD monitor at the same time, so effectively 3 extended monitors. Don't even need a separate charger anymore. All managed via one single USB C port.

    My old one was using USB 3 and still managed two Full HD monitors quite well.

    Of course, not fit for gaming. But office apps will work just fine.
    If your It dept doesnt lock it down. And provided the USB-C port on your laptop supports DP-alt mode. My wifes Dell will not do monitors over USB-C at all, because their IT dept locks it down for whatever reason. And a lot of cheaper laptops dont do DP Alt mode over USB-C, which means those ports wont ever support video by themselves (those external USB HDMI monitor dongles have a little video chip in them, a USB-C version of those should work fine).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kagthul View Post
    If your It dept doesnt lock it down. And provided the USB-C port on your laptop supports DP-alt mode. My wifes Dell will not do monitors over USB-C at all, because their IT dept locks it down for whatever reason. And a lot of cheaper laptops dont do DP Alt mode over USB-C, which means those ports wont ever support video by themselves (those external USB HDMI monitor dongles have a little video chip in them, a USB-C version of those should work fine).
    My IT is already paranoid but that's another level lol.
    Yes, it has a graphics chip.

    But it seems like in OPs case the laptop might not be as restricted.

  9. #9
    why not just buy a docking station?
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jizzyburnizzy View Post
    why not just buy a docking station?
    Murderously expensive.

    A USB-HDMI monitor dongle (the ones that have a little graphics chip in them) are cheap; a docking station is gonna be 50-100$ for the cheap ones.

    For clarity on what i said above - if you get a USB-HDMI dongle (and then have to add HDMI cable), itll likely work. If you just got a USB-C to HDMI cable, it likely -wont- unless y our laptop supports DP-Alt mode over USB-C (not all do).

  11. #11
    Scarab Lord Djinni's Avatar
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    If you ask her to talk to her work's IT dept, there is a good chance that they have a supply of USB 3 or USB C adapters that you can use for plugging in things like HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet and additional USB's. No cost to yourselves.
    My office practically gives them away to all of us. You don't need expensive ones.

    Something like this for example:
    https://smile.amazon.com/MOKAI-START.../dp/B07X5VH1LJ
    or this if you have USB C
    https://smile.amazon.com/USB-Hub-Mul.../dp/B07RL5L8ZL

    At my office we use Startech ones.

    USB to HDMI / DisplayPort is perfectly fine for general web browsing and office work. I wouldn't want to try and do any graphics design, video editing or gaming on it though.

  12. #12
    Legendary! Logwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kagthul View Post
    Murderously expensive.
    Are docking stations expensive to murderous levels? Eh?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logwyn View Post
    Are docking stations expensive to murderous levels? Eh?
    It may be to some people! I mean it all depends on the budget and if you're going branded. I could get a dock for my laptop for anywhere for $50-$250.
    I couldn't live without my docking stations. I have one at work and one at home. Literally plug in one cable and boom everything is good.

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