How to Use an HDMI Switch With a Monitor and a TV

Get a dual monitor setup with your TV set

What to Know

  • Connect your input device to the switch's input ports with HDMI, and connect your displays to the switch's output ports with HDMI.
  • Choose your output on your switch to select which display is the active display. Changing inputs allows you to switch between displays.
  • Make sure both your TV and monitor are set to their HDMI inputs, so switching works and displays an image.

This article explains how to use an HDMI switch with a monitor and a TV.

How to Switch Between Computer Monitors and TVs

Using an HDMI switch to switch between a monitor and a TV as your device's active display works the same as using any two displays with an HDMI switch.

Before you begin, you'll need a device, like a computer or game console, as well as the HDMI switch and a few HDMI cables. Ensure your switch and cables are rated for the resolution and frame rate you intend to display.

While this article explains using an HDMI switch to connect to a monitor and a TV, HDMI switches work the same with two monitors, two TVs, or other displays like projectors. So as long as you have an HDMI connection on your display, you'll most likely be able to use an HDMI switch with it.

  1. Power on your switch, and connect its input to whatever device you're trying to display, be it a computer, a game console, or anything else with an HDMI output.

  2. Power on your monitor, set its input to HDMI, and connect your monitor to one of your switch's output ports.

    Changing inputs on your TV or monitor is done on the display itself, using either its on-screen display or the direct input selection buttons on the device. Exactly how you select an input will vary depending on your specific monitor or TV.

  3. Power on your TV, set its input to HDMI, and connect your TV to another one of your switch's output ports.

  4. Turn on the device you're using to display content and select whichever input you'd like on your switch to send your device's video signal to that display.

How to Use Your TV as a Second Monitor

Unfortunately, an HDMI switch will not allow you to have multiple displays active at once. Instead, a switch merely switches between different displays, allowing you to easily change which single display you'd like to use with a given device.

If you'd like to add a second monitor to Windows, for example, you'll need the appropriate inputs and outputs on your device.

HDMI splitters are different than HDMI switches. A splitter can duplicate a device's signal and display the same feed on multiple displays, but this won't be an actual 'second monitor' experience, either.

How to Use Dual Displays With TV and Monitor

The bad news is a dual-display setup isn't possible with an HDMI switch, a device that allows you to select a single active display between several connected displays. The good news is the section above explains what to do and includes a link to an article to explain further how to do it.

  • Why do some monitors have two HDMI ports?

    Multiple HDMI ports let you switch between various sources. For instance, you could connect a laptop and a PS4 to the monitor. If there are not two ports, you need to use an HDMI switch.

  • Can I switch my monitor from VGA HDMI?

    You can use a VGA converter to convert the VGA signal from your computer to the HDMI port on the monitor. This option will work if your computer has a VGA port on the video card, but you want to use an HDMI monitor as the display.

Was this page helpful?