Does My Laptop Have an HDMI Input?

In order to display stuff on a monitor or TV, you need to have an input port. Often people wonder if they can use a laptop’s screen to connect a device to hence they often ask “does my laptop have an HDMI input port?”

Unfortunately, the answer to the question is a resounding no. In 99% of the cases, a laptop does NOT feature an HDMI input port. Instead, the HDMI port that you find on a laptop is almost always an output port.  

There is a whole of difference between an HDMI input and an output port and they cannot be used interchangeably.

In the following text, I will explore in details this topic and thus aim to dispel any confusion that you may have regarding whether a laptop as an HDMI input or not.

Input vs Output HDMI Ports – Not Interchangeable

When it comes to data transfer between two devices, there are two types of HDMI ports: input and output ports.

While they may both look the same, the way they function is completely different.

HDMI Port
Output and Input HDMI ports look the same

Since both the HDMI input and output ports look the same, people often confuse them to work both ways. However, HDMI is NOT a bidirectional interface.

USB vs HDMI interface
USB vs HDMI interface

In other words, the data goes from the output to the input ports. HDMI does not work the way USB or the Ethernet interface works.

The output ports are located on source devices, or the devices that generate the data such as laptops, desktops, gaming consoles etc, and the input ports are located on display devices – or the devices that broadcast the signal either in the form of video, audio or both these include devices such as monitor, TV, projectors, soundbars etc.

The following table shows the devices that feature input or output ports:

TypeDevice
InputTV
Monitor
Projector
Soundbar
A/V Receiver
OutputDesktop
Laptop
Gaming Consoles
Blu-ray / DVD Player
Set-top Boxes
DSLR Camers
Tablets
Mobile Phones

So Does My Laptop Have an HDMI Input?

As mentioned earlier, since laptop is a source device, meaning it generates signals, laptops DO NOT have an HDMI input port. Instead, they offer an HDMI OUTPUT port.

Meaning it used for connecting an external display. So if you want to have a multiple monitors display, for instance, whereby you have both your laptop’s screen and an external display to work on, then you can use an HDMI port.

So to put it bluntly, you CANNOT use an HDMI port on a laptop to connect your desktop, gaming console, set-top box, Chromecast etc. with the aim to use the screen.

Also Read: What is HDMI Input Used For?

Can You ADD an HDMI Input on a Laptop?

While you cannot turn the available HDMI port on a laptop into an HDMI input, you CAN use some workarounds particularly with the help of  Game Capture Cards (Aka Video Capture Cards).

Work Around Solutions for Using the Laptop’s Screen as Input

There are some popular methods you can employ to turn a laptop’s screen for connecting your PC, gaming console or camera to and view their content live.

Enter Video Capture Cards

If you really want to use the laptop’s screen for connecting your gaming console or even your PC to, then you can use a simple external device called a video capture card.

a 1080p 60 fps video capture card
A 1080p 60 fps video capture card

A video capture card is often used by gamers and streamers whereby they record their live sessions.

This is an input device that basically turns your live video and audio signals from your PC, gaming console, camera etc to data, which can then be in viewed live on your laptop or saved, edited or uploaded onto the internet.

The best part about this is that it just requires a USB Port on your laptop.

Hence, using this card, you can basically connect your desktop, camera or your gaming console to the HDMI input port on the capture card and use the USB port on the other side of the capture card to view it to the your laptop’s display.

You will also need to download and install free software called OBS (open broadcaster Software) on your laptop for receiving the signals from the video capture card.

Now it should be noted, video or game capture cards are not cheap. A good video capture card that can record at 1080P and 60 FPS is fairly expensive.

You can get cheaper ones that can record at 1080P at 30FPS, but that is not recommended particularly for using your laptop’s screen for gaming.

A new monitor with an HDMI input would be much cheaper than a good quality video capture card.

The following video explains this better:

Also Read: Can You Add HDMI Ports to a Computer or Laptop?

Using Miracast for Connecting Your Phone to Laptop’s Display

If you want to simply view or mirror the content on your Android phone onto a laptop’s screen, then you can use a simple utility called Miracast.

On Windows 10 this is fairly simple. You will need to download the Miracast – WiFi Display app from the App Store and then make sure that both your Android phone and your laptop is connected to the same WiFi Network.

Once the App is installed on your Android phone, then head over to your Windows 10 laptop, and type “Projection Settings” in the search.

Click on the result, which should open a new Window highlighted as “Projecting to this PC”.

projecting to the pc
Projecting to this PC settings

If your “Project to this PC” is “Always Off” and blanked out like above, head over to optional features and type “Wireless Display”. Select the feature, let it download and now the options to project to this PC should be available.

Now head over to the Miracast on your phone and find your PC’s name on it. Once connected, the phone screen should be mirrored on to your laptop’s screen.

Very Few Rare Exceptions – Laptops with HDMI Input

Overtime, there have been few rare laptops that have featured an HDMI input port. These laptops are literally like finding a needle in a haystack.

Take the 2012 Alienware M17x R4 released almost a decade ago. This was a laptop that did feature an HDMI input. However, this laptop is not just obsolete but out of commission too.

Alienware M17x R4 hdmi input
Decade old laptop with HDMI input – Alienware M17x R4. Source: PCmag.com

If you are actively looking for a laptop with an HDMI input, just don’t. You will have a hard time finding one and even if you do, the cost would be unjustifiable.

Instead, look for a good video capture card if you absolutely want to use the laptop’s screen as an external display.

FAQ

Can You Connect a PS4 or PS5 to A Laptop With HDMI?

No, you cannot. As mentioned earlier, the HDMI port on a laptop is an output port. The HDMI port on a PS4 and PS5 are also output ports.

You cannot connect an HDMI output to another output port. Since laptops lack an HDMI input port, you cannot connecting gaming console to them.

The only workaround is using a video capture card.

Can You Connect an Xbox to a Laptop with HDMI?

No, you cannot. The same as above applies here too. Since laptops have an output HDMI port, you cannot connect Xbox to your laptop with HDMI.

Final Words

So the simple answer to the question is “does my laptop have an HDMI input?” is a no. Since almost about 99.9% of the laptops do not feature an HDMI INPUT port, there is almost a zero chance that your laptop has one.

Unless you have a very old Dell Alienware laptop, the chances are next to nil.

The HDMI port on a laptop is an Output port. Hence, you cannot simply connect your gaming console to your laptop and use it as an external display.

The only proper workaround for that is getting a video capture, but the cost and the hassle of putting this together isn’t quite worth it. Instead, just get a cheap external monitor.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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