While HDMI ports are very common among monitors, certain monitors, particularly the older monitors, do not feature an HDMI port at all.
Which begs the question, “how to connect monitor with no HDMI ports?”. Fortunately, there is a very easy solution to this. Basically you can use a different port or video interface adapter.
The adapters can be small dongle or an entire cable that turns the HDMI on one to another interface on the other. Options include HDMI-to-VGA, HDMI-to-DVI etc cables and adapters.
However, there are some caveats here and I will discuss those in detail in the text below.
Most Multimedia Devices Use HDMI Ports
Most of the source devices like a laptop, gaming consoles, Blu-Ray player, set-top boxes and so on, output the video/audio through HDMI ports.
Unless if you have an old laptop, for instance, you will not find any other video output port other than an HDMI port.
The same goes for the modern gen gaming consoles, set-top boxes and even Chromecast
Hence, if you have a monitor that is missing an HDMI port for input, then you may find yourself in a pickle.
Also Read: What is HDMI Input Used For?
Do All Monitors Have HDMI Ports?
No, it is not necessary for monitors to feature an HDMI port. In fact, if you have a monitor that is a decade or so old, then there are chances that it may not feature an HDMI port at all.
Ports commonly used by older monitors include
Read in Detail: Do Monitors Have HDMI Ports?
Take for instance the Acer V6 V22HQL 22″ monitor. This monitor DOES NOT feature an HDMI port at all and instead only features a DVI and a VGA port for connectivity.
So How to Connect Monitor With No HDMI Ports?
There are two solution basically:
- Use another port
- Use Adapters
1. Connect Monitor to a Different Interface
I mentioned earlier that a majority of the newer devices use HDMI ports for audio/video output. However, majority of the desktop computers still feature a VGA or a DVI port.
Laptops also often feature VGA ports.
Hence, the simplest way to connect a monitor without HDMI ports would be to use a different port altogether.
2. Connect Monitor Using an HDMI Adapter
If a monitor does not have an HDMI port, then it will mostly certainly have either a VGA or a DVI port (if its old) or a DP port (if its new).
Fortunately, you can easily connect monitor with no HDMI ports to your laptop or desktop using interface adapters or adapter cables.
The following is an HDMI to VGA adapter:
A simple and a cheap device as shown above can easily be used with a monitor that does not have an HDMI port.
You can use the VGA end of this adapter to connect to your monitor instead and use the HDMI input for connecting your desktop or laptop to the adapter. You will need an HDMI cable for connecting this adapter to the laptop or desktop.
Alternatively, you can also find stand alone HDMI-to-VGA, HDMI-to-DVI as well as HDMI-to-DP cables.
Caveats with Using HDMI Adapters or Adapter Cables
There are some very important caveats that you must note when it comes to using adapters.
Interface Will Work at the Performance of Lowest Denominator
For starters, the video connectivity will work at the performance of the weaker of the two interfaces.
- VGA supports maximum of 2048×1536 resolution at 60Hz max
- DVI supports 2560×1600 resolution at 60Hz max
- HDMI 1.4 supports 4K@30Hz
- HDMI 2.0 support 4K@60Hz
Therefore, when using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter or adapter cable, the entire interface will work at the specs of DVI i.e 2560×1600@60Hz max.
No Audio Signals
VGA and DVI are ONLY video interfaces. Unlike HDMI, they do not support sound.
Therefore, when using an HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI adapter, you will not be able to transfer the audio signals to a monitor if it has built-in speakers. Instead, you will need to use the separate 3.5mm audio port for sound.
Adapters are NOT Bidirectional in Most Cases
Interface adapters are not bidirectional meaning they cannot work the other way around.
Basically, if you have an HDMI-to-VGA adapter or an HDMI-to-DVI adapter, it will take a signal from an HDMI SOURCE (Laptop, Desktop) and switch it into VGA or DVI on the other hand (connected to monitor).
You cannot use this the other way around. Meaning you cannot take a VGA or DVI source, and then convert that to HDMI output. HDMI-to-DVI DOES NOT EQUAL DVI-to-HDMI.
HDMI Adapters DO NOT Work For Gaming Consoles Generally Out of the Box
If you want to connect your gaming console i.e PS4, Xbox One, PS5 etc to a monitor with a VGA or DVI-D port, then the average HDMI-to-VGA or HDMI-to-DVI adapters or adapter cables will simply not work.
Certain game consoles, such as PS4, simply do not recognize the adapters.
The following video explains how you can work around this issue by using an HDMI switch.
When connecting gaming consoles it is best to check with the manufacturer whether the adapter will work with your particular gaming console.
So there are two ways on how to connect monitor with no HDMI ports. The first is to use a different port altogether. The second is to use an adapter.
Before you go about purchasing any adapter, however, you must confirm if it works in the intended way and if the reviews for it are positive.