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Desktop Monitors

How Daisy-Chaining Monitors Creates the Ultimate Modern Workstation

Workstations are expanding within many office environments to keep up with the growing number of applications workers need to navigate. Larger screen sizes, multiple displays and other productivity tools are increasingly crowding desk space.

Desktop monitors equipped with daisy-chaining capability, such as the Samsung SH850 Series, allow as many as four HD monitors to run off a single PC with just a single cable between each monitor. Not only does this greatly reduce the number of cables, it also allows removal of docking stations and other cable management systems — decreasing overall clutter and creating a more productive workspace for employees, as well as easier installation and maintenance for IT.

How Daisy-Chaining Works

Daisy-chaining allows one output to run from the PC to the monitor. The monitor then effectively relays or extends the PC signal to the adjacent monitor, or to as many as three.

It may sound technical, but the steps for how to daisy-chain monitors are actually quite simple:

1. Ensure your monitor supports daisy-chaining. The monitor should support DisplayPort version 1.2 or later, which provides the ability to link multiple monitors.

2. Connect the PC’s main DisplayPort connector to the DisplayPort In connector on the primary monitor, and then connect a compatible DisplayPort cable from the primary monitor’s DisplayPort Out to the secondary monitor’s DisplayPort In.

3. If a third or even fourth monitor are being used, repeat the links.

It’s important to note that daisy-chaining can support up to four 1080p Full HD screens, or two Quad HD 2560p screens. While operations control rooms and financial traders may need four or more screens — two stacked atop two — most modern workspaces that embrace daisy-chaining technology are using pairs of widescreen monitors set side by side.

The Daisy-Chain Benefit

The benefits around offices are both soft and tangible. Using multiple monitors creates a far bigger, uniform working canvas for people who use everything from detailed, multi-month project management charts and detailed spreadsheets, to creative pros who run multiple applications and media preview windows at once — but that productivity boost tends to be accompanied by an infestation of cables. Daisy chaining lets you keep the screen space — and the desk space, too.

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Running the primary DisplayPort signal cable from a PC to a daisy chain-ready monitor allows users to extend their desktop with MultiStream Technology (MST) — great for single users looking to increase their canvas — or duplicate it with SingleStream Technology (SST), a handy tool for instructors and in presentation environments.

Daisy-chaining also reduces the need for higher specification laptops with multiple signal output connectors, and for additional cables and peripherals. The reduced need for bulky signal cables helps to de-clutter your workstation. Many workstation monitors on the market that support daisy-chaining also support USB Type-C — a new connector and protocol that provides a signal to monitors, power for a laptop or other smart device, and connectivity for several peripherals that plug into and run off the monitor. That clears the clutter even more, removing the need for docking stations, port hubs and a tangle of A/V cables.

Many office environments are now based on open plans as a way to foster more face-to-face communication and collaboration — and as a way to reduce the overall footprint of offices. Packing more people into smaller overall spaces means work desks are also getting smaller, so technology that limits clutter while enabling broader displays is always welcome.

Conventional office productivity software for word processing and spreadsheets once dominated computing time in many workplace environments. But these days, collaboration and customer relationship applications that typically run off the cloud are now part of the workday mix, putting a lot more demand on the limited screen real estate of a typical workplace desktop.

There are two choices to deal with all those applications: either get very good at opening and minimizing applications from a taskbar; or daisy-chain multiple monitors to realize a more visual workspace. The latter lets users see and keep open multiple windows simultaneously — saving time and boosting productivity.

Discover the best monitor for your enterprise by exploring our full line of daisy chain compatible and USB-C displays.

Posts By

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes is a well-known veteran in the digital signage industry. He consults to some of the world’s largest brands on their digital signage strategy and technical needs, but also spends time mentoring start-ups. A former daily newspaper journalist, Haynes has for the past decade written a highly-respected blog about digital signage, Sixteen:Nine. Follow Dave on twitter @sixteennine

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