Most, if not all of us, have had arguments with family members regarding TV usage.
Some may want to watch movies. While others prefer to play console games.
That’s why having a split-screen option is awesome.
And with an Android TV, it’s fairly easy to use.
Keep reading to find out:
- 5 simple steps to use a split screen on Android TV.
- 3 common issues when using split screen on Android TV and how to fix them.
- A powerful 3rd party device that you can use to split your screen up to 9 sections.
- And a lot more…
How to use split screen on Android TV? 5 steps
Important note: Unlike LG TV, Android TV doesn’t have a split screen feature.
At least not yet. However, there are rumors that developers plan to include it in the future. So that’s something to look forward to.
But for now, what you can do with Android TV is what’s called Picture-in-Picture (PiP).
It’s actually similar to a split-screen functionality. You’d still be able to view 2 screens at once.
There’s just 1 notable difference between them.
Whereas in a split view, your display is divided into 2 equal parts…
With PiP, 1 screen is maximized. And the other will appear in a smaller window.
Moreover, this will only work if you have an external device as a source for the 2nd screen.
In other words, you can’t use PiP to view 2 of your Android TV’s installed apps. But you can use a console, a laptop, or a streaming stick alongside 1 of your applications.
Now, the steps for PiP are easy.
But before we proceed to that…
Let me inform you that I’ve also provided an alternate split screen method for Android TV.
That 1 requires the use of a device called a multiviewer. And you can find out in the Bonus section what that is and how to use it.
Alright, let’s begin.
#1: Go to your Android TV’s main screen
Just click the Home button on your remote to do so.
#2: Plug an external device into 1 of your TV’s HDMI ports
This is for the 2nd screen. You can connect practically any gadget that uses an HDMI cable.
It can be a gaming console like the PS5 or Xbox. It could also be a streaming player like Roku or Fire TV Stick.
You may even use a laptop or a tablet if you prefer.
#3: Change your Android TV’s input
So you’ve just connected an external device via HDMI. At this point, you should switch your TV’s input to the corresponding source for that.
Press the Source button on your remote. It’s the 1 with a box and arrow icon. And select the corresponding HDMI port that you’re using.
You’d know if you’re in the correct input if you can now see your external device on the screen.
#4: Activate the Picture-in-Picture mode
To do that, press the TV button on your remote.
You should then see the Picture-in-Picture icon at the bottom of your screen. It’s the 1 with a square and a smaller box inside it. Click that.
#5: Open any app on your Android TV
By now, your PiP is all set.
You should be able to see your Android TV’s home screen again. And the external device should appear on the smaller window.
So you may now launch any app, such as Prime Video, on your TV.
Now, I know some of you are visual learners. So I also included this video guide on how to enable PiP on an Android TV:
BONUS: How to use a multiviewer to split your Android TV screen
While PiP is enough to see 2 separate screens on your device…
I understand it still has limitations. There’s just no way to make the screens equal in size.
That’s why I’m also offering an alternative method. And that’s by using a multiviewer.
In simple terms, it’s a gadget that’s made for splitting screens.
With this, you can divide your display into anywhere from 2 to 9 sections.
It’s important to note, though, if you’re going to use it with your Android TV…
You’ll also have to use external devices as input sources. Essentially, your TV will only act as an output tool in this setup.
Now, here are a few examples of multiviewers. I’ve also included their price and resolution, and the maximum number of screens they can project at once.
|Brand Name||Price||Resolution||Max Screens|
As far as setting it up goes…
The process is simple regardless of the brand that you’ll be using. And I’ll be providing the steps below.
How to set up and use a multiviewer
Step #1: Turn on the multiviewer. Connect it to an outlet. Then press its power button.
Note: Some variants come with a remote. So you may also use that to switch on the device.
Step #2: Plug 1 end of an HDMI cable into the multiviewer’s Output port.
Step #3: Connect the other side of it to 1 of your Android TV’s HDMI ports.
Step #4: Switch your Android TV’s input to where you plugged the multiviewer. Again, you may do so by pressing the Source button on your remote.
Step #5: Connect the external devices you’ll be using as input sources.
And we’re done. Simple, right?
Now, the great thing about multiviewers is you have plenty of options for split views.
By default, the screens should appear in equal parts on the output device.
However, you can also adjust them easily.
Let’s say you want 1 screen to be slightly bigger than the other. That’s possible with multiviewers.
All it takes is a few tweaks in the settings. It depends on the manufacturer how to do it. But typically, you just need to select your preferred layout in the menu.
Of course, I already mentioned the drawback to this setup, which is…
Your Android TV becomes just an output medium. So you won’t be able to use your apps there.
Nevertheless, using a multiviewer is still a good option to consider.
How to turn off the split screen on Android TV?
To turn off the split screen or PiP on Android TV, press the Source button on your remote. And select TV. An alternative to do so is by disconnecting your external device. You may simply unplug it from your TV.
The process is also the same if you’re using a multiviewer. You can also either change the input to TV or disconnect the device to turn off the split screen.
Android TV split screen not working: causes & fixes
#1: Your TV’s firmware is outdated
If you’re trying to look for your Android TV’s built-in Picture-in-Picture function…
And you somehow couldn’t locate where it is…
It’s likely because your TV’s OS is outdated. You see, Google added PiP upon the release of Android TV version 7.
So if you have something older, you won’t find this feature at all.
Furthermore, it’s possible that you already have the required OS version. But there’s a software bug that’s keeping you from using PiP.
In either case, the solution is to update your TV’s OS. Here’s how to do it:
Step #1: Ensure that your Android TV is connected to WiFi. You’d need it to download the available updates.
Step #2: If your remote has a Help button, press that. If not, click Home. Then select Help.
Note: In some Android versions, you’ll have to click the Apps icon first to access the Help option.
Step #3: Scroll down and select Status & Diagnostics.
Step #4: Choose the System software update option.
Step #5: Select Check for a system software update. This option may also appear as simply Software Update depending on your OS version.
Now, wait for your TV to scan for available updates. It’ll then start downloading and installing them. Just ensure that you don’t interrupt the process.
You’ll see a notification on your screen after the update finishes.
#2: Your TV is on the wrong source
Part of the steps required to make PiP or multiviewer work is switching to the right input.
That means if you plugged an external device on, say, HDMI port number 1…
The correct input source should also be HDMI 1.
So check if this is the case. You may have simply selected a different input. That’s why you’re still seeing your Android TV’s home page.
Now, say your remote’s Source button isn’t working…
Try to check if your TV has a built-in button for switching inputs. Some Android TV models have that.
You may find it either on the bottom center of the TV or at the back.
#3: There’s a problem with your external device’s connection
Whether you’re trying to split your screen via PiP or a multiviewer…
You’ll have to plug an external device into your TV to make it happen.
And so, if it’s not working, there’s a good chance it’s a connection issue.
First, check if the HDMI cable is firm and secure on both ends. Ensure that you plug it all the way through.
Now, if you’ve already connected it properly but you’re still having problems…
The next thing to do is to try another HDMI port. All Android TVs have at least 2 of them.
Also, check if there is dust or debris buildup in the port. In some instances, this may also be the cause of the malfunction. And you may use a dry cloth to clean.
It’s also possible that the HDMI cable you’re using is defective. So replace it with a working 1 instead.
Bonus: Your TV or external device is glitching
Another possible issue to consider is a glitch.
Your TV or the gadget you connected may simply be having temporary malfunctions.
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re damaged. It’s just that glitches happen occasionally with any electronic device.
And the solution is simple.
Just perform a power cycle on both devices. In other words, restart them.
Step #1: Disconnect it from the outlet. You don’t need to turn it off with a remote before doing this.
Step #2: Press and hold its built-in power button for 10 to 15 seconds. This is to eliminate any residual charge.
Step #3: Wait for about a minute.
Step #4: Plug the TV back into the outlet.
As for your external device, the process should be similar. Regardless of what it is, just unplug it from the power source. And reconnect it after 1 to 2 minutes.
Once both the TV and the external device are back on…
You may then repeat the steps for splitting your screen.