What is a Splitter? How does it work? Where do we use it?

Splitters are super useful tools when we want to display video from one source onto lots of other devices, but, how much do you actually know about them? Do you know their purpose and how they differ from HDMI, switches and matrixes?

If the answer is no, you’re in luck. We’re going to take you through a comprehensive guide to splitters, including what their purpose is, where we can use them, how they work and the difference from other devices.

So, strap yourselves in and get ready to know everything about splitters!

Let’s go!

What is a splitter?

Before we get into the finer details, let’s discuss what a splitter is. A splitter is a technological device that allows users to stream video from a single source to multiple displays. This means that users can view video from multiple devices within a building, eliminating the need for everyone to be in the same room.

This is super useful for users in the gaming industry or those who wish to stream web-based content for multiple users. Splitters typically support a variety of input signals, here are some examples:

  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • DVI
  • Analog
  • Digital audio signals

What is a splitter?

What is the purpose of splitters?

In short, splitters are necessary for displaying media across multiple channels from a single source. This enhances accessibility and improves information distribution in typically confusing environments such as transport hubs like train stations and airports. These devices are also useful for getting the same information to the greatest amount of people in office environments and entertainment settings.

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Where do we use splitters?

Where we can use splitters is entirely up to the user. If you can think of a setting where transmitting the same signals over multiple devices is beneficial, then you can use a splitter. You may have been in an environment that has used a splitter once or twice.

Here are some settings where we can use splitters to improve information distribution:


It’s no secret that getting information across in a classroom can be somewhat challenging at times, but in the modern-day, with technology at our fingertips, it has become slightly easier. Cast your mind back to your last IT class. Do you remember your teacher trying to teach you about spreadsheet formulas on a whiteboard and being utterly bewildered? Well, that was certainly our experience.

Now, think about how much easier it would have been if your computer screen could have connected to a teacher’s interactive whiteboard or personal computer, displaying all their work in real-time on a screen directly in front of you. We’re willing to bet that you would have had a much easier time learning and you may have paid a little more attention. Well, that’s the beauty of splitters!

Now that so many classrooms use technological devices to enhance learning, splitters can be used in a variety of classroom settings at all ages!

Splitter - Classroom


Airports are some of the more stressful environments that any of us can be in, and for good reason. There is nothing fun about scrambling for a screen that shows our gate and departure time to be met with a hundred other anxious flyers doing the same thing.

So, how do splitters work in this situation? Well, splitters work to distribute the same visual and audio signals across multiple devices, so with a splitter, we can distribute the confused crowd of passengers across multiple screens. This means that they receive exactly the same information, but spread out across terminals, so no matter where they are, they stay informed with little to no stress.

Splitter - Airport


In the age of technology, splitters have never been more useful in the entertainment industry. Take Esports conventions as an example. These monumental events gather thousands of people across the globe and collectively witness a select few players compete for coveted prizes.

Traditionally, players would take part in actual sports, but in this day and age, these sports take place in the form of video games. So, where do splitters come and save the day?

Well, splitters are super useful for streaming all footage from player monitors onto larger screens like monitors and video walls. With splitters, we don’t have to crowd around players whilst they compete for glory, we just have to sit back and relax cinema style!

If you’d like an example where splitters can be used in your home, then we’ve got you covered. We know that sometimes family movie nights aren’t convenient and sometimes all you want to do is watch your favorite family movie in your own space.

With a splitter, you and your household can watch the same TV series or movie on multiple devices from a single source. This is super useful if your streaming service doesn’t allow you to log into the same account from multiple devices!

Splitter - Entertainment


Information distribution is a chore in many businesses, mostly because information can easily fall victim to misinterpretation. With splitters, you can kiss goodbye to the confusion and say hello to clarity! With a splitter, you can distribute the core information to multiple devices across your office, meaning that everyone receives the same information in an identical format.

Want to up your meeting and conferencing game? No problem. Splitters allow users to distribute information, visual and audio onto multiple screens in a boardroom, impressing clients and key stakeholders with additional technological elements.

This also increases the number of people you can cater to in a conference environment by allowing you to hold several people’s attention with accessible information for a longer period of time.

How does a splitter work?

To give you the full picture, let’s go through exactly how splitters work. A splitter takes the signal from the source device displaying an image or a film and transmits the signal to two or more devices via a coaxial cable.

It does this via input and output ports. If a splitter is transmitting to two devices, the splitter transmits half the power to one device, with the other transmitting to the other. If there are numerous devices, the same principle applies just with different proportions.

While this technology is super impressive, it isn’t entirely faultless. As the splitter transmits to more and more devices and splits the power, there can be some system errors like delay or interruption in the quality of sound and visual. So, while you may want to display the same screen onto multiple devices, ensure that you consider these limitations as well.

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What is the difference between HDMI, switchers, splitters and matrix switches?

While HDMI splitters, switchers, splitters and matrix switches share a lot of the same functions, they differ operationally.

Putting it simply, switchers primarily have inputs from multiple sources such as a DVD player, gaming system and cable TV box and then transmit them onto a single source such as a large flatscreen TV.

Splitters functionally do the opposite. They primarily take on media from a single source and transmit this across multiple devices such as monitors like computer screens within an office. Splitters are also super useful for complex AV projects if you want to process multiple signals for a video wall. At Dexon, we supply a huge range of switchers, so stop by and see if you can up your AV game! 

So, you would need a switcher for watching your favorite TV series on a network, playing your favorite DVD and using your gaming system, while needing a splitter for streaming your favorite music and films across multiple devices.

There you have it, your complete guide to all things splitters including how they work and where we use them. Make sure you check out the Dexon website for our wide range of AV products to see how you can optimize your AV project today. 

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