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DVI Splitter - Two inputs to one monitor?

By B00kWyrm ยท 7 replies
Jan 4, 2016
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  1. Wondering if a device like this would work,
    to allow two computers to use the same monitor
    at different times, obviously;
    Sharing the same monitor at the same time? Who would try to do that?).

    Are there issues?
    For example... if both machines were turned on, supplying signal,
    could that damage either the monitor, or one or the other of the computers?
  2. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +58

    The link you supplied is for a splitter, from 1 input and output signal to 2 monitors. What you need is a switch. Something like this:

    In my case, I used a DVI to HDMI adapter for one of the devices. And manually switched between the 2 sources.
  3. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    Thanks Rabbit...
    I was aware that I was asking about a splitter rather than a switch (or kvm variation.)
    That is why I specified the questions that I did...
    I know that the signals simultaneously from two sources will not be intelligible to one monitor.
    ( Who would try that anyway ? ! )

    The question is
    whether unintentionally inflicting that combined signal would have damaging effects...
    either on a monitor (or projector) OR on another signal source
    (computer, dvd player, etc - whatever is on the other end of the splitter's "Y").

    I realize that the "KVM switch" idea provides isolation.
    That kind of solution has been around a while.
    First time I actually used one was probably close to 20 years ago.

    Heck... I still have a manual switch for lpt applications.
    Doubt it will ever have a need... not sure when I last saw an lpt/parallel port.
    It was probably about 9 years ago on a legacy system required for a specific business application.

    In my specific application. I am the only one who would be using the set up,
    and so I would be the only one to blame for the screw-up.
    I was just wondering if anyone had specific information as to the potential for damage.

    Thanks again.
  4. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    I think you may have it backwards as one male connector of the splitter goes to the PC and the two females would go to monitors, TV etc. via male male cords no?
  5. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    @ Appzalien... the cabling really is not an issue.
    If you think about it, I think you should be able to figure it out too. :D
    I really do know what I wish do to. (y)
    And the question remains whether there is any hazard to the equipment,
    having two signal sources being attached in this way.
    That really is the main question. Really.
    "Do the signal sources represent a hazard to each other if connected in this way?"
    The second question is related.
    IF I should accidentally have two signal sources powered up,
    would the monitor be endangered by the combined signal.

    Those are the only questions. Really.

    Mailpup may decide this exceeds the bounds of this section of Techspot,
    and another might be more appropriate. I don't know.
    I thought it fit here, because
    it involves attaching two computers graphics cards outputs to one monitor.

    Probably need an electronics engineer or service tech
    someone who really understands these circuit design principles
    in order to answer the question.
    Even then... the answer may be
    "Too many variables to know for sure. Maybe okay, but proceed at your own risk."
    SO... if anyone is qualified to address my question, would love to hear it.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Nah. You're fine. :)

    FWIW, the closest I've come to this situation myself is connecting two separate PCs to a single monitor, one via a DVI cable and the other by a VGA cable. Once in awhile both PCs have been on at the same time, both feeding a signal to the same monitor. Only one PC's output was ever displayed at one time but I could switch between the two. But that's with two separate cables and that isn't your situation, of course. So what happens with the two signals clashing both to the monitor and to each other, I don't know either.
  7. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,436   +37

    Thanks Mailpup...
    I have that ability myself... (two inputs per monitor)
    but I am looking to do something probably no-one here would even consider
    and would wonder why in the bloody heck I would... <lol>
    (Nevermind... I have my reasons. Crazy as a loon though I may be.)
    I actually have three systems, which I would like to have share two monitors.
    I usually work with a dual monitor set-up,
    and the monitors each have two inputs... dvi and vga.
    So... some "port sharing" would be involved.
    The bottom line, it looks like, is
    rather than the splitter option, the switch is cheap enough.
    So... starting to move in that direction.
    actually I have another question now,
    which I will place in another section.
  8. donniemacro

    donniemacro TS Rookie


    I tried the thing you're talking about, for the same reasons, with this splitter.
    It was semi-succesful, I plugged both a laptop and a desktop
    (via HDMI2DVI and DVI cables, respectively), while the desktop was
    off but still plugged in with the power switch on (the laptop was on, of course).
    I saw that something is wrong when I saw that the led indicator on the
    front panel of the laptop that should be off is on :)
    The port of the splitter to which the desktop was connected
    did not work after that, but there was no damage to any other
    piece of equipment including both PCs and the monitor.
    After that I just use one remaining port and plug the desired source in.
    Maybe I was lucky, my advice is to be careful.

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