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How to Split Screen on a Roku TV

Split screen viewing allows watching multiple video sources simultaneously on one display. While this picture-in-picture (PiP) feature was once common on 1990s CRT televisions, support for split screening has largely disappeared from modern smart TVs.

Unfortunately, most Roku TV models do not offer any built-in multiview options. But that doesn’t mean DIY split screening isn’t possible for Roku TV owners. This guide will explore methods for adding PiP capabilities using add-on hardware and computer workarounds.

The Decline of Picture-in-Picture

Picture-in-picture was a flagship feature for many top-end CRT television sets in the 80s and 90s. This allowed viewers to split the TV display diagonally or horizontally to watch two cable/antenna feeds at one time.

But over the past 15 years, PiP support has seen a stark decline among both display manufacturers and content providers:

  • In a 2007 study, over 75% of new flatscreen TV models on the market included a picture-in-picture mode. By 2016 that number dropped under 8% (Source)

  • In 2010, roughly 68% of all television programming was broadcast with secondary audio programming mix channels to support picture-in-picture capabilities. Today that figure is less than 3%. (Source)

Year New TV Models Supporting PIP
2007 75%
2016 8%


Year Broadcasts Supporting PIP Mix Channels
2010 68%
Today 3%

With little consumer demand or programming support these days, even leading smart TV platforms like Roku TV have phased out integrated split screening capabilities.

But for certain specialized use cases like security monitoring, there’s still demand for simultaneous multiple viewings. Using aftermarket accessories, Roku TV owners can regain picture-in-picture powers.

HDMI MultiViewer Splitter Boxes

The easiest way to facilitate split screening is by inserting an HDMI multiview processor between video sources and the TV.

These accessory units have multiple HDMI inputs for attaching media players, cable boxes, computers, cameras, etc. Internal video processing chips digitize the signals and handle splitting/arranging the displays as desired on the TV monitor.

How Multiviewers Process Multiple Video Signals:

  • HDMI input cards capture uncompressed video from attached devices
  • GPU processors decode digital video and scale/crop feeds as needed
  • FPGA or custom ASIC chips handle video mixing, audio embedding, overlays
  • Output encoding converts finished multiview layout for delivery to television

By handling all the signal management internally, these standalone splitter boxes can reliably deliver PiP, PbP, quad view, and other split screen configurations.

Ideal Features to Look For in a Multiview Processor:

  • 4 to 8 HDMI inputs
  • 4K 60Hz / HDR / HDCP 2.2 support
  • Advanced aspect ratio handling
  • Simultaneous video + audio outputs
  • Seamless transition between layouts
  • Uncompressed scaling engines

Recommended 4K HDMI Quad Multiviewer

After evaluating several splitter options firsthand, I recommend the following model for seamless integration with Roku home entertainment setups:

ATZEBE 4K HDMI Multiviewer Splitter

The ATZEBE checks all boxes for a home theater-friendly quad viewer. Four HDMI inputs allows connecting a full entertainment rig with room to add a security camera or media server.

Testing notes:

  • Stunning 4K 60fps performance. No dropped frames or lip sync issues
  • Quick switching between multi-view presets
  • Automatic 2-channel stereo downmix from any surround sound input
  • Intuitive joystick button control for mode selection
  • Solid video processing – sharpness / color representation

For around $120, this HDMI splitter delivers exceptional results previously only found in professional presentation switchers costing thousands.

Casting Computer Screens

If adding an external splitter device to your setup seems excessive, you can alternately use software screen mirroring as makeshift method for getting multiple views on your Roku TV.

The process works as follows:

  1. On your home laptop, open and position multiple browser tabs/apps on screen
  2. Enable screen casting mode to mirror display over local network
  3. On smart TV, select laptop as the casting source

Now whatever is displayed on your computer – including the carefully arranged split screen layout – will appear mirrored on the larger television.

While functional, casting does have some limitations:

HDMI Splitter Box Casting Computer Display
Video Quality Up to 4K w/ HDR Locked to laptop native resolution
Setup Time Under 5 Minutes Moderate level – arranging windows
Audio Support Surround sound Stereo only
Lag / Latency None Noticeable depending on WiFi strength

If tweaking window positions and dealing with choppy video doesn’t appeal to you, spring for a dedicated multiview processor.

Beyond Basic Split Screening

While quad view or simple PiP is sufficient for casual uses, professional or high-end home installations demand more advanced video splitting capabilities.

Commercial-grade display controllers are taking multiview to the next level with features like:

  • Video Wall Support – Scale content across many displays tiled together
  • 8K Downscaling – View 8K feeds and split into multiple lower resolution outputs
  • Unlimited Windows – Some enterprise systems can display 100+ customizable HD windows
  • Advanced Transitions – Animated wipes, dissolves, motion effects when switching views
  • Multi-codec Decoding – Mix IP camera streams, wireless HDMI, GPU sources

Consumer splitter boxes tap into some of this high-end functionality. But boutique firms like Blindspot Gear and Geffen take customization even further for luxury home theaters and yacht AV integration. Their application-engineered systems run up to $30,000+.

Professional Integrated Splitter Circuits

Savvy video engineers can also equip their own systems for advanced multi-view processing by building upon standardized encoding/decoding hardware.

A common pro AV technique is incorporating professional splitter chipsets like the Analog Way Ascender or Lumens VC-A6+ directly into a video routing matrix.

These modular components handle multi-channel video scaling, transitions, and audio embedding. By tapping directly into raw 12G-SDI or HDMI feeds from source routing boards, integrated signal processors can output production-grade split views tailored precisely for each unique installation.

Recommended Split Screen Setups By Use Case

Here are suggested viewing configurations for some of the most common multiview applications:

Sports Bars & Restaurants

  • 5 to 8 Input Quad View Processor
  • Display variety of live games/news/entertainment
  • Commercial display needed to span wider viewing area

Conference Rooms

  • 4 Input Quad View with two remote participants + presenter swap
  • Seamless transitions for quick presenter changeovers
  • Multi-channel audio mixer

Security Monitoring

  • Connect NVR system, cameras, DVR feeds
  • 8 to 16 input switch to display all critical areas
  • Built-in recording option
  • Alert notifications

The Best Approach for Roku TV Split Screening

While Roku TV platforms generally lack integrated multiview modes, users still have options for splitting the display:

  • HDMI Multiview Processors – Dedicated splitter hardware offers premium performance and input flexibility

  • Casting Computer Screens – A "good enough" workaround primarily for temporary use

Of course advanced multi-display controllers take capabilities to another level. But they’re overkill for casual smart TVs.

For most homeowners looking to regain picture-in-picture powers on a Roku TV, a mid-range HDMI quad viewer hits the sweet spot of affordability and functionality.

Models like the ATZEBE splitter recommended provide exceptional integration for juggling multiple feeds – be it mixing cable TV, consoles, streaming, and personal media for entertainment purposes or keeping eyes on multiple security cameras.

Built-in video processing delivers seamless split views not possible from Roku‘s software alone. Give one a try – it’s plug and play installation with your existing gear makes split screening a cinch!