Monitor Splitting Cable

We fix problems experienced when using a monitor splitting cable to use two monitors when your PC has only a single display output.

QUESTION I have recently installed a monitor splitter cable into my PC's monitor output socket and connected up both my PC monitor and TV to it. My PC's graphics are Intel HD graphics with 1760MB of RAM.

I now have two problems. First, my monitor flickers with rapid white 'pulsations' running up and down the image. Second, I have to plug the TV into the splitter first, followed by the monitor, otherwise the computer desktop won't fit TV screen properly. Could you please recommend a way of not having to plug things in separately & also how to stop the flickering?

HELPROOM ANSWER Using a monitor splitter cable is far from ideal, although we appreciate that if you have only one display output on your PC, then you may have no choice. From your description of your PC's graphics capabilities, it's likely that you're using a relatively recent Intel processor, such as a Core i5. Such systems often offer more than one monitor connector, although they may not be of the same type.

For example, you may find a VGA connector and a HDMI connector or perhaps a DVI port. If this is the case, you should be able to connect one port to your PC and the other to your TV (preferably using the HDMI connector). You can then configure your PC to use different resolutions on each display if you wish, or you can a configure it to "clone" the display on to your TV, thereby displaying the same image on each.

The advantage of doing this is that the PC can configure each connection individually to suit the specifications of the attached display. With a splitter cable, you will be sending exactly the same video signals to both, despite differing requirements from each. This is why you are having issues with flickering and images not fitting correctly on the screen.

The order in which you connect the screens to your splitter is also important as the PC is configuring the graphics according to the specifications of the display connected first.

You don't say whether you're using a desktop PC or a laptop, but if it's a desktop PC and you don't have multiple display connections, we would recommend buying a low-cost plug in graphics card with at least two display outputs.

You won't need anything fancy, just a relatively up-to-date entry level AMD or Nvidia card will fit the bill (this should give you plenty of change from £50). Unless you want to upgrade your PC to play the latest games, steer clear of more powerful (and expensive) graphics cards as these require additional power connectors and often come with cooling fans which will make your PC noisier.

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