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I'm using the following splitter here:

I've got two monitors connected. I have my desktop extending to them but, it shows the same 'extension'. Is is possible to have the two screens be different instead of the same?

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The problem is that the computer only "sees" one output for display, so it pushes one image out that pipe. The fact that you later split it and send it two places doesn't change that. You need the computer to "know" to send multiple images. – Nathan Long Dec 16 '11 at 19:00
up vote 40 down vote accepted
  • A pretty standard nVidia 7 series with 2 VGA outputs that can be extended to use with 2 monitors.

enter image description here

  • You can also find pretty cheap USB screen extenders now a days.. they wont support full HD specs, but if you just need to extend to a monitor, then these are quite good, and on pretty cheap on ebay.

enter image description here

--UPDATE nov/12

  • As of introduction of USB 3 with its ability for extremely high data transfer comes the USB to HDMI adapter for 1080p ability to extend monitor and play HD content (eg Bluray)

enter image description here

  • Also on USB3 is another product that allows you to extend USB to TWO extra HD monitors and allows up to 6 extra monitors in total.

enter image description here

  • Revealed at CES 2012 MSI developed a thunderbolt external GPU called GUS-II. Mostly Macintosh users will benefit from this at the time, but Intel MB should be shipping this interface soon. enter image description here

    • A more professional card that has 4 output (notice the cable looks like yours, the split method, but it is actually 4 separate VGA channels)

enter image description here

  • And here is a massive configuration of 8 monitors can support full HD for each monitor.Usually HD rendering by design software, extreme gamers or commercial use.

enter image description here

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WOW. Pumpkin pulled out ALL The stops on this answer. HoF right there baby. – OG Chuck Low Dec 16 '11 at 16:17
Awesome answer. I'd just add that my nvidia has a VGA and a dvi socket and sees them as separate. OP may need a DVI->VGA adaptor – Wudang Dec 16 '11 at 17:24
The difference between the splitter in the question and the splitter above is that the first is a "duplicator" not a splitter because that's all a single VGA connector can do: show one screen's worth of info, and the second is a splitter run off either a proprietary connector or a DMS-59 (which usually only handles 2 screens in one connector) connector. – music2myear Dec 16 '11 at 17:26
@music2myear since a normal DVI digital plug consists of two link channels each equivalent to an HDMI1.3 (or earlier) video connection, I'd think it'd be possible to run 4 monitors at up to 1920x1200 off a DMS-59 if the card itself supported the configuration. – Dan Neely Dec 16 '11 at 18:23
Most ATI cards can support 3 monitors with a single card. And as @afrazier pointed out there are 6 monitor versions. – Jeff Atwood Dec 16 '11 at 19:44

No, that splitter will always show the same image on both monitors. What you need is a video card with dual outputs (which is pretty much standard these days).

You may have seen a similar-looking splitter on other machines, but that is because either they are using a video card with a DVI port that supports dual monitors, or the card has a proprietary connector which requires the dongle. The splitter in your picture is just a standard VGA signal splitter.

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No, not with a splitter like this - it's just sending the same signal out twice.

Ideally, you'd use two separate video outputs for this - that is, a video card with two independent outputs (or, worst case, a USB video adapter). There are some products, like the Matrox DualHead2Go, which will fool the system into thinking you have one very large monitor connected and then split the signal down the middle.

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Short answer: No.

This is only capable of sending the same analog signal to both screens.

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Nope, not with a splitter. You are stuck with a mirror as the PC/video card sees both monitors as one.

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I'm going to go against everyone else and say YES! (Theoretically)

I say theoretically because I know it can be done I just don't know of any software that will allow you to do it. And caveats apply.

First you need to emulate two screens in your OS. Trick it into thinking there really are two screens.

After that's working you need colour shift the output of these emulated screens and combine them. For example, make the left screen output only blue and the right so it's only red and green.

This combined output will be sent to both monitors through the splitter. You can then modify your monitor settings so that the left monitor doesn't display any red or green and the right doesn't display any blue.

This solution will work if you are not doing colour sensitive work and need to use the splitter that you asked about.

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Clever, if impractical. :) – Nathan Long Dec 16 '11 at 18:59
OK I gots MAD issues with this answer LOL... Issue 1) "first you need to emulate two screens in your OS. Trick it into thinking there are really two screens"... um... yeah... and HOW exactly would one go about this? – OG Chuck Low Dec 16 '11 at 20:13
@Annan, +1 What an amazing idea. I'm a software designer so I may be able to cook up a quick application to do this! It will take some work but I think it is definitively possible! If I get it to work, you will be the answer :D – Xander Lamkins Dec 16 '11 at 20:41
@OGChuckLow The original question was OS agnostic. Multiple X screens can be easily added in Linux by editing the xorg.conf file. The X screens will be there though the output won't be sent anywhere until you specify where to send it. So that's your answer! ;) Though I don't know enough about Xorg to know how to do the combining nor colour processing. – Annan Dec 16 '11 at 20:56
Damn... I have to owe you a rep then cuz it's locked neg in :( But you explained. On a side note... I respect and admire the creativity of your answer but still feel it's kinda... well... awful. Who needs 2 screens but doesn't care AT ALL about the color? LOL. Aside from that, Very creative and I may have just learned something :) – OG Chuck Low Dec 16 '11 at 21:34

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