How To Stream To Multiple TVs Using A Single Source

How To Stream To Multiple TVs Using A Single Source

Everybody loves good entertainment, and my family is no different. When a show gets us hooked, we don’t feel like moving away from the TV. 

But we have to cook, eat, and do our chores, right? 

And so, on most nights, we are forced to pause the show in the middle as we move into the kitchen for dinner.

To avoid this, we thought of using our old TV lying in the garage and setting it up in the kitchen. That way, we can continue watching the shows even while eating.

However, since it wasn’t a Smart TV, we would need to buy a separate streaming device to watch our favorite shows on it. 

It felt like an unnecessary expense to make. 

So, I started looking for ways to stream the same content on both of our TVs simultaneously. And surprisingly, there were quite a few options to do so. 

After thorough research and discussion, we settled on the affordable wired method.

To stream to multiple TVs using a single source, connect an HDMI splitter to the source device and plug HDMI cables into the splitter and all the TVs you want to stream to. 

Pick a Solution According to the Location of Your TVs

The distance between your source device and the TVs dictates the type of connection you should set up for a successful stream. 

Check out this table detailing the most common situations and their relevant solutions: 

Location of TVsType of connectionSolution
Same roomWiredHDMI splitter, S-video/RCA
Same or connected roomsSemi-wiredHDMI extender
Different roomsWirelessGoogle Chromecast

Based on the location of your TVs and the type of connection you desire, you can choose the relevant solution to stream a video to different TVs. 

Stream Using an HDMI or DisplayPort Splitter

If all the TVs you want to stream to are close to each other, using an HDMI or DisplayPort splitter is the best option for you.

A splitter allows you to connect 2-5 different TVs to your streaming source. Which splitter you use will depend on the type of output port available on your source device.

If you want to stream from a smartphone or tablet, it’s most likely to support an HDMI connection.

Whereas if you’re streaming from a computer, set-top box, or other video devices, you can use the HDMI or DisplayPort ports. 

Note: Only select smartphones and tablets are compatible with streaming an output through an HDMI connection. You can do a quick Google search with your device’s name and model to check its HDMI output features. Additionally, you will also require a USB to HDMI adapter to connect an HDMI cable to your smartphone or tablet. 

To stream to multiple TVs using an HDMI splitter: 

  1. Connect the input port of the HDMI Splitter to your source device.
  2. Plug separate HDMI cables into the splitter’s output ports.
  3. Connect the other end of each HDMI cable to the respective HDMI ports of your TVs.
  4. Change the input source in your TV settings to the connected HDMI port. 

The stream from your source device will now be visible on all the TVs.

If your source device supports it, you can also stream different outputs to each TV per your requirement. 

Stream Using an S-Video Input or RCA

The S-Video/RCA connection is a widely used method to connect a DVD player to a TV, and you can also use it to stream to several TVs via a single source.

Note: All your TVs should have similar S-video inputs or RCA for this method to work. 

In order to set up this connection successfully, you will need a video distribution amplifier. It is used to split a source video into copies of itself so it can be sent across multiple outputs.

To use an S-video/RCA connection with multiple TVs: 

  1. Connect your source device to the input port of the video distribution amplifier.
  2. Plug the amplifier’s video cables into the input ports of your TVs.
  3. Change the input source from your TVs’ settings to the S-video input. 

However, since S-video/RCA is a weaker connection than HDMI, it may not give you the best display quality. 

Use an HDMI Extender to Connect Multiple TVs

Using an HDMI extender is a semi-wired method to stream content to multiple TVs.

An HDMI extender is an amplified infrared blaster used to operate multiple devices in your home. It uses a set of transmitters and receivers to wirelessly stream content to several output devices. 

To stream to multiple TVs using an HDMI extender: 

  1. Connect your source device to the transmitter via an HDMI cable.
  2. Plug the transmitter into a power socket.
  3. Plug the receiver into a power socket near your TV.
  4. Connect the receiver to your TV using an HDMI cable.
  5. Select the correct input source on your TV. 

The video from your source device will now be streamed on your TV. Once you connect a separate receiver to each TV, you can stream your source content to all your TVs. 

Note: Since an HDMI extender works on Infrared Radiation (IR) technology, the transmitter and receiver should have a clear line of sight. There should be no wall between the two to block the signal. 

Stream Using Google Chromecast

Streaming with Google Chromecast is a wireless approach to connect multiple TVs to a single source.

But before you start a connection, make sure all your TVs have a built-in Chromecast feature. If not, you need to connect a separate Chromecast device to each of your TVs.

In this case, your source device works as a transmitter, while your TVs or Chromecast devices work as receivers to enable a wireless connection.

The first step here is to group all your TVs using the Google Home app. This app is available for iOS as well as Android devices. 

To group your Chromecast devices using Google Home: 

  1. Connect your source device and the TVs or Chromecast devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open the Google Home app on your phone or tablet. You should be able to see all your Chromecast devices on your screen.
  3. Tap the menu icon (three dots) on any of the devices.
  4. Select Create Group.
  5. Choose all other TVs and Chromecast devices you want to stream to.
  6. Give a name to the group and click Save

To start streaming to multiple devices using Chromecast: 

  1. Start the video you want to stream on your source device.
  2. Click on the Cast icon in the video player.
  3. From the list of available devices, select the Chromecast group you created. 

The benefits of using a Chromecast are that it cuts wiring costs and helps you maintain the aesthetics of your home. 

No, You Don’t Need Separate Set-top Boxes For Your TVs

When we decided to set up our old TV in the kitchen, I was a bit concerned about the monthly costs associated with it. Not only would we need a new streaming device, but we would also have to pay monthly subscription costs.

To avoid this, I decided to buy an HDMI splitter instead.

This one-time investment allowed me to quickly connect the set-top box to both of our TVs.

And now, we are able to watch our favorite shows even while having dinner in the kitchen.

However, if you prefer a wireless connection to stream content to multiple TVs, you should go for Google Chromecast. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the minimum Internet speed requirement for Chromecast?

Google recommends a minimum of 5 Mbps speed for optimum performance using a Chromecast. 

How much does an HDMI splitter cost?

Depending on the number of output devices you want to connect, you can get an HDMI splitter for $5 to $20. 

How many TVs can a universal remote operate?

A universal remote can easily control up to 8 devices. If you are streaming content to multiple TVs in your home, you can operate all those TVs with a single universal remote. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.

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