Connecting your laptop to two projectors is a great way to show presentations or video in a large room.
You can simply split the image to two opposite ends of the room to ensure that everyone can see the image.
So how do you connect two projectors in one laptop?
For this, you will need a splitter cable or adapter depending on the type of laptop and projector model. Connect the single-side cable to your laptop’s Video Output port. Next, connect one cable on the splitter/adapter side to the Video Input port on your projector and repeat with the second projector.
Step-by-step Guide on how to Connect Two Projectors to One Laptop
The only thing you need to connect your laptop to two projectors is either a splitter cable or adapter.
These products are inexpensive and easy to get your hands on. Make sure you get the length right so that the cable works at the desired distance between the laptop and the projectors.
The video/image quality should be more or less the same when using two projectors Vs one but may begin to deteriorate when you add more than two projectors to the network.
Step1. Check Laptop Video Output Port
Most standard laptops connect to external viewing devices with VGA cables. Confirm if you have a VGA Output port. Some laptops may only have HDMI or DVI ports.
Step 2. Check Projectors Video Input Port
The Video Input port should be located at the back of the projector. Check the type you have. Most standard projectors connect with VGA cables although HDMI and DVI are also common.
Step 3. Buy a VGA Splitter
If both projectors and laptop use VGA cables then buy a VGA splitter. The cable comes with a single VGA Output head on one end and two VGA Input heads on the other end.
The appropriate length of the cable depends on the distance between the laptop and the projectors.
Skip the next step if your laptop and projectors are all VGA supported.
Step 4. Buy a VGA to HDMI/DVI Adapter
If the laptop uses a VGA cable but the projector HDMI or DVI (or vice-versa), a VGA to HDMI or VGA to DVI adapter is appropriate.
The Output side that goes to your laptop should have the corresponding Output head (VGA, HDMI, or DVI) while the adapter side has dual cables with the corresponding Input head.
Simply connect the single cable to the laptop’s Output port and the dual cables to each of the projectors Input ports as described in the next step.
Tip: consider getting an adapter that supports VGA, HDMI, and DVI so you never need another adapter in case a similar need arises in future.
Step 5. Connect the Laptop to the Projector
Make sure that both projectors and the laptop are powered off.
Connect the single cable to the Output port on your laptop.
Next, connect one cable on the adapter side to the Input port of the projector and then connect the second cable on the adapter side to the Input port of the second projector.
Step 6. Turn on your Devices
Power on both projectors and wait until they are both fully operational before powering on your laptop.
Step 7. Configure your laptop
Press the button that allows your laptop to display on external viewing devices. This is usually a button with the image of a monitor.
If the image doesn’t display on the projectors;
- Click on the “Start” button
- Go to “Control Panel”
- Go to “Hardware and Sound”
- Click “Connect to Projector”
- Click “Duplicate” to display on the laptop and projectors
- Click “Projector only” to display just on the projectors
How to Solve Common Projector Display Problems
Once you have figured out how to connect two projectors in one laptop, your problems may not be quite over. There are a few common problems that people face, especially during presentations.
Knowing how to get around these issues before they come up ensures that you are not caught flat-footed in case of a mishap.
Display Toggle Issues
Display toggle is basically how you choose how the images are displayed on your laptop and projectors.
Extended mode is where you can display different images on the separate projectors.
If your laptop defaults to extended display mode as some models do; simply press down the Windows key and the letter P simultaneously.
Use the arrow keys to choose the appropriate display mode and then press Enter to activate.
Projector Doesn’t Turn Off
Sometimes the projector will refuse to switch off despite pressing the power off button. This problem is usually caused by an ill-fitting lamp assembly.
Refer to the user manual on how to properly fit the lamp assembly.
Projector Doesn’t Display Image
If you don’t see an image on your projector after setting everything up; it might be because it is not set to the appropriate input source if it uses multiple sources.
Use the projector remote to toggle between input sources until you find the right one.
Poor Quality Image
If you notice magenta or purple dots on the screen then the projector may be dusty. Clean the projector green panel to restore the image quality. Make it a habit to regularly clean the projector to keep the image crisp.
If the image is blurry or low-resolution then the problem might be misaligned computer resolution. Modern projectors are designed to automatically align with the computer’s resolution although this isn’t always the case.
Try adjusting your laptop resolution until the image improves.
Cord is too Short
If your laptop is too far from the projector you may need an extra cord. An HDMI or VGA extension cord allows you to connect the extension to your projector cable and then to the laptop.
A female to female HDMI adapter is just as good for this purpose, provided that the cable is long enough.
Remote Control not working
Having to stop a presentation because the remote isn’t working can be frustrating. The first culprit, in this case, is the batteries which may be low and need replacing.
If the batteries are fine then try moving closer to the projector. Infrared remotes have a certain range beyond which they stop working.
A final possible cause of a dead remote is fluorescent lighting in the room. This type of lighting actually interferes with infrared waves and causes the remote to stop working.
If turning off the lights is not an option you might consider operating the presentation manually from your laptop.
Connecting two projectors to one laptop shouldn’t be difficult if you have the right cables. A splitter cable is easy and straightforward to use while an adapter gives you more variety.
Unless you are sure that you will never need to use additional cables, then an adapter is a far better choice.
An adapter with multiple output options including VGA, HDMI, and DVI should help you get set up in case you want to add even more projectors or display devices.
A cord extender will help you get the distance right so that you don’t need to have all your equipment set up within close proximity.