Usually when we buy a monitor we look at its size in inches, resolution and response time and refresh rate; If you’re looking for a high-performance monitor, you’ll also notice if it has HDR or if it has adaptive frequency technology like FreeSync or G-Sync, but PIP and PBP can go pretty unnoticed, at least. in the beginning. Let’s see what they do and what they can bring, especially if your monitor already has them and you aren’t using them because you don’t know what they’re doing.
What are PIP and PBP technologies in a monitor?
Both monitor technologies have to do with monitors which have multiple video inputs, and which in a way have the ability to use more than one simultaneously. But before we get into the thick of it, let’s see what each of them is individually.
Definition of PiP
PiP stands for Picture in Picture or Picture in Picture. With this name you can already imagine that we necessarily have a main image and a secondary image, the secondary being in the main image.
Thus, PiP technology allows a monitor to be used to have a main image that occupies the entire screen and a secondary image, obviously from another of its video inputs, in a small box generally configurable from the OSD of the computer. monitor (not from software, but from the monitor itself) both in position and size, although the latter is not available on all monitors.
Of course, not all monitors allow you to configure PiP mode and there are some models, especially old or low-end models, which although they have the technology only allow one mode of operation (which is usually with a small box at the bottom right corner of the screen) and does not support any configuration. However, on more modern and / or high-end monitors, this feature is usually still configurable.
Definition of PbP
For its part, PbP comes from the English Picture by Picture or image by image. In this case we also have two simultaneous video inputs but among which there is not a main one but both are used at the same time, dividing the screen in half as was the case in the past in games on two-player console.
Like PiP, PbP technology is or is usually configurable, so that we can choose which monitor video inputs we want to use (in case there are more than two) and how we want the screen to fit. includes, for example, the aspect ratio. Some monitors actually allow two-thirds of the screen to be occupied by one video signal and the remaining third by the other, rather than both occupying the same. You should pay attention to the compatibility of resolutions and aspect ratios of video sources, as this may cause problems.
Fundamental differences between PIP and PBP
As you will already assume from looking at the definitions of the two technologies, the fundamental difference is that with PbP we have two equal and simultaneous images, each occupying half of the screen, while with PiP we will always have a main image that occupies any screen and a secondary image in a small box.
Another fundamental difference is that with PiP you cannot select the audio source if the monitor has speakers and supports it i.e. the audio the monitor will output will always be that of the image selected as primary and never of high school. On the contrary, with PbP, this is configurable, always from the monitor menu.
Just as there are differences, there are also similarities. To begin with, the two technologies are obviously only compatible with a monitor that has several video inputs, and also these video inputs must necessarily be digital (which today limits it to HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C). Also, it should be borne in mind that there are many monitor models that are compatible with PiP technology but not PbP and vice versa, and although this is odd, a monitor does not necessarily have to be compatible with both. .
Finally, be aware that, as a monitor has several video inputs, it does not necessarily have to be compatible with one or both technologies; If you want to know if your monitor is compatible with PiP, PbP or both, you have to consult it in its technical specifications.
What can these features be used for?
As we said at the beginning, these characteristics usually go unnoticed and especially if the user of the monitor does not know that he has them. However, they can be very useful for many users to do things like:
- Have two PCs connected to the same monitor. This is particularly useful if the monitor is ultra wide, since this extra width will allow you to have almost two complete monitors using PbP technology, for example being able to work in one and monitor settings in the other.
- It can also be used for, for example, working on a computer while looking at the mobile screen in a small corner using PiP, thus always having your screen visible.
- You can have a PC and a console on the same monitor and at the same time, for example to play a game on the console while keeping an eye on Discord or streaming software like Open Broadcaster Software.
- It can be used to watch a video recording in a small way while you take notes on the main screen.