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Why My HDMI Splitter Doesn’t Work?

Why My HDMI Splitter Doesn’t Work?

You stare at the different screens in front of you in frustration.

You’ve been working on this HDMI splitter setup for the last 30 minutes.

You’ve unplugged and replugged your devices.

Disconnected and reconnected each cord more times than you care to remember.

You are double sure your power supply works just fine.

You’re also sure each of your TV sets is HDMI-enabled. You double-checked, and indeed, they all support both HDMI input and output.

Still, the HDMI splitter you just bought is not working. And you want to know why.

The glitches below explain why you may have trouble with the splitter connection.


Even if you’ve never connected an HDMI splitter rig before, the accompanying solutions should help you finally get the splitter to work.

Do HDMI Splitters Really Work?

Yes, HDMI splitters do work.

However, how well they do this depends entirely on their quality.

HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out

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The lowest quality HDMI splitters may completely fail to transmit the audio and video to your display screen.

If you’re lucky and the quality of the splitter isn’t so bad, you may get an image and sound all right, but it may lag or cut off in intervals.

It’s not all bad, though.

With a quality splitter , you won’t have any glitches, and you should be able to connect your source device to as many display screens as the splitter can support.

Can you tell the difference between a good and a not-so-good splitter just by looking at them? 


4K HDMI Splitter 1 in 2 Out for Dual Monitors Duplicate

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There’s no definite way to distinguish between a superior quality splitter and a poor quality one without testing them. But a good telltale sign is the price. 

As with many gadgets, the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. 

Higher-priced splitters outperform lower-priced ones. Many cheap splitters do not work as well as the more expensive, high-quality ones.

To be on the safe side?

It’s preferable to choose a high-end option whenever possible.

Why an HDMI Splitter Doesn’t Work?

There are three probable reasons your HDMI splitter doesn’t work

  1. The input and output HDMI cables you’re using are incompatible.
  2. The HDMI specification of your splitter does not match that of your source device
  3. The HDMI splitter does not have enough power to transmit the signal.

Let’s explore each of these probable reasons:

1. The HDMI cables are not compatible

To carry the signal from the source to the display, both the output and input HDMI cables must be compatible.

They must also support the signal resolution. 

HDMI 2.1 Cable Ultra High Speed 8K60 4K120

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For example:

Assuming all your devices are 4K capable, to get a 4K signal, you must use high-speed HDMI cables that support 4K resolution. 

2. The HDMI’s don’t match

The splitter must support the HDMI specification of your source device. Meaning: If the HDMI version of your splitter is different from the HDMI version of the source device, the splitter won’t work.

3. It does not have enough power

HDMI splitters usually come in two types: powered and passive.

The powered variety has to be plugged into an external power source for it to work.

HDMI splitter

The passive variety relies on power from the source device, delivered via the HDMI cable.

As you can imagine, powered HDMI splitters are more powerful and sufficiently carry the image and sound signals to the display screen. And to a farther distance.

By contrast, passive HDMI splitters may not have enough power to sustain the transmission.

But there’s an exception to this:

If the source device outputs a strong signal or the HDMI cable outputting to the display is short then a passive splitter may work just fine.

Think of your PC’s CPU: The more powerful it is, the more tasks it undertakes simultaneously, and the faster it accomplishes those tasks. The splitter works just the same.

How To Tell if an HDMI Splitter Is Bad?

You can tell that your HDMI splitter is malfunctioning because:

  • There’s no image
  • There’s no sound
  • The image is choppy
  • The image is distorted
  • The image is discolored or
  • The resolution is poor
Powered HDMI Splitter 1 in 4 Out with AC Adaptor

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At this point, you’re confident that these issues are not the result of a faulty PC, game console, TV, or projector, for instance. Neither are they caused by poorly done connections.

In case you’re not 100% sure: 

Here is a simple way to tell if the problem is the splitter and not the connecting devices:

  1. Turn off all the connected devices (including the splitter).
  2. Disconnect the HDMI cables from the splitter.
  3. Connect the display directly to your source device.
  4. Turn the devices back on.
  5. Check the transmission.

If the video and audio transmission is clear, it shows that the source and the display screen are working as they should. Which then means you have a faulty splitter in your hands.

How Do I Get My HDMI Splitter To Work?

1 in 4 Out HDMI Splitter

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There are three main things you can do:

1. Use good quality cables.

Check that the HDMI cables are not loose at the port. One loose connection at the port is enough to cause a transmission failure. 

If the cables are loose or damaged in any other way, replace them.

2. Switch the display’s HDMI ports. 

If your display screen comes with two or more HDMI ports, change ports and see if it makes a difference. 

connect HDMI cable to TV

If the display has only one port, you’ll need to troubleshoot some more to figure out whether the problem lies with the HDMI cables themselves, whether you need to update the device firmware, or whether it’s a compatibility issue.

3. Update firmware.

Check if any of the connected devices needs its firmware updated and run the update. The splitter should work well after this unless there are additional technical hitches.


A good quality HDMI splitter will work as well as it’s intended to. 

If you’re having trouble getting your splitter to work, it could be that the HDMI cables you’re using are incompatible, or there’s an HDMI version mismatch, or the splitter may not have sufficient power.

You’ll know the splitter is defective because the audio and video quality is poor or because the audio, or video, or both are absent altogether.

Observe how the relayed image and sound behave when connected via the splitter. 

Then observe how they behave when you connect the source and display screen directly. 

In doing so, you determine whether the challenge you’re facing is because of the splitter or the connected devices.

To remedy the problem, use good quality, compatible cables and try swapping ports or updating the firmware to rule out the possibility of your connected devices acting up.

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