Dual HDMI off single onboard HDMI

I do apologize if this exact question has been answered, as I have not found it.

I work for Truama surgeons and this is somewhat of a timely question. One of the surgeons went and bought two new Samsung B2430H monitors that allow, VGA, DVI, and HDMI connections. The other crucial part in this is the MSI 785GM-E65 MB, which has on-board ATI Radeon 4200. I have already contacted MSI tech support and they expressed opinions other than what I've found the general concensus here to express. I am hoping to find a correct solution, that doesn't require the purchase of a new video card.

My first thought was to just buy a HDMI splitter and two HDMI cables so that the monitors can run in extended mode, however MSI says they have not tested it. Use of sound is not required, however best quality is strongly preferred. MSI also expressed that I would have to run one HDMI and the other VGA, which I'm sure there would probably be a noticeable difference.

So, my question is, without buying another video card, what is the best use alternative with what I have?

Thank you in advance for your help, time and consideration.
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  1. Best answer
    If the goal is to use extend mode to display different information on both screens, then a HDMI splitter will not work. Doing so will result in the same information being displayed on both screens because the HDMI port will only send 1 video stream. It is not meant to send two different video streams.

    If the onboard ATI HD 4200 has a DVI-D or VGA port, then that should be used to set up an extended display since a seperate video signal can be sent out of those ports.

    Your last resort is to purchase a video card which can cost up to roughly $50 for your purposes. Nothing fancy a HD 4650 should suffice and both monitors should be connected to the video card.
  2. A splitter is not going to work for what you want to do. I would try the VGA. I doubt you will notice any difference, except maybe a little brightness, but probably not if they are the same monitor. I have one of my dual monitor computers with DVI and VGA and they look the same. HDMI and DVI are the exact same video signal.
  3. @jaguarskx, on the second monitor (second channel - extended) should I just use the DVI to DVI, or DVI to HDMI converter then HDMI into the back of the monitor. Or will the converter actually lose quality due to conversion and being passive?
  4. Best answer selected by nstag8r13.
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