Mike Slinn
Mike Slinn

Using an HDMI Splitter with OBS Studio

Published 2021-11-13.
Time to read: about 2 minutes.

This article is categorized under Media.

A previous blog post discussed the benefits of using an external monitor attached to your camera. HDMI is the most common OBS Studio is a wonderful tool for aggregating media into a real-time stream, and/or making a permanent recording. If you use an HDMI splitter, the video from the camera can be viewed on a large monitor right in front of you, and the video can also be sent to the computer that is running OBS Studio.

A 4K Video Splitter
A 4K Video Splitter

The video splitter shown works with video resolutions up to 4K @ 60 Hz, which includes 4K @ 30 Hz and all 1080p video variants. When used in tandem with an HDMI to USB converter, for example a CamLink 4K, the HDMI video is converted into a video stream that OBS Studio can accept, either 1080p up to 60 Hz or 4K at 30 Hz.

This HDMI to USB 3 adaptor is powered via USB.<br>No additional power is required.
This HDMI to USB 3 adaptor is powered via USB.
No additional power is required.

Here is a conceptual diagram of the signal flow between the camera, video splitter, CamLink and the computer running OBS Studio:

Signal paths with HDMI splitter and CamLink.
Signal paths with HDMI splitter and CamLink.

I have had the video splitter only one day so far, and it has worked well. The splitter takes about 8 seconds after being plugged in before it generates video output. Check out this video saved from OBS Studio using the above configuration:

The video signal is noticably degraded by passing throught the video splitter. Compare the above video quality to the video below, made with the same equipment but without the video splitter: