Sending the same video signal to multiple monitors can be useful for presentations to large audiences or to an audience that is in different rooms. Digital signage systems that use a central computer to send the same video to monitors located throughout a facility also require linking video monitors to a common video signal. No matter what your need, joining multiple video monitors requires using the right equipment.
Understanding Video Signal Distribution
Unlike an audio signal, which can be split from the main source using a signal splitter or “Y” adapter, the video signal carries too much information to be split. Simply splitting the signal cuts its strength in half, degrading it beyond usability. If you have attempted to use a simple adapter to split a video signal, you know the video becomes unwatchable. What is required to distribute video is a component known as a distribution amplifier, or DA. While the video DA does technically split the video signal into multiple outputs, it also maintains the original signal strength.
Choosing a Distribution Amplifier
Your choice of video distribution amplifiers depends on the type of monitors you plan to link together. Video DAs are manufactured according to the type of input video signal. For example, if you want to link multiple computer monitors together, you need a VGA or DVI video DA. High-definition monitors will need to be connected to an HDMI or component DA. Standard definition televisions will use an RCA or S-Video DA. While video distribution amplifiers exist that will also convert video from one format to another, this feature can be costly. You will save money by choosing video monitors of the same type, so that the video format remains consistent.
Making the Connections
After your video DA is in place, making the connections consists of plugging the video from the source to the input of the video DA, and then connecting the individual outputs from the DA to each of the monitors that will be receiving the same video signal.
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