How to Connect Monitor With No HDMI Ports?

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.

how to connect monitor with no HDMI ports
You will be in a predicament if the source device, like a laptop, has an HDMI port but your monitor does not. Source: Pixabay

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

  • VGA
  • DVI-D

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.

Acer V6 V22HQL
Acer V6 V22HQL is an example of a monitor that lacks an HDMI port. Source: Acer

So How to Connect Monitor With No HDMI Ports?

There are two solution basically:

  1. Use another port
  2. 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.

laptop vga port
Use VGA or DVI port instead for connecting to your monitor.

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:

vga to hdmi
VGA to HDMI adapter. Source: Benfei

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.

hdmi to dvi cable
HDMI to DVI cable

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.

For instance,

  • 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.

Final Words

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.

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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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