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How Do I Connect My HDMI Monitor to a USB Port?

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) port on a computer monitor or laptop is one type of port that most people are intrigued about.

People frequently transfer data across devices by connecting cameras, printers, flash drives, gaming controllers, and other peripherals. So, how do I connect my HDMI monitor to a USB port?

One of the easiest ways to add a display monitor to your desktop computer is to connect it via USB

Another approach to using a USB-connected monitor is using it as a USB extender or hub for your machine. The USB ports on the monitor are not used to play media files such as videos.

Instead, the USB ports on the monitor are employed as extenders to link PC accessories like a mouse and keyboard. You will need a monitor with Smart TV features to play media files directly.

The well-known USB interface enables users to connect a range of devices to a computer quickly, easily, and reliably.

Additionally, you’ll learn to connect a computer to a display using the two most popular USB types.

We believe that by the end of this post, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the great entertainment you want to stream from your computer to a much larger display.

Let’s look at connecting an HDMI monitor to a USB device step by step. 

How to Connect Each USB Type to an HDMI Monitor.

1. Connecting an HDMI Monitor to a USB 2.0/3.0 Port 

A high-quality USB 2.0 or 3.0 to HDMI adapter is needed to connect HDMI displays to USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports.

Ensure that the adapter is compatible with your serial port. Several adaptors are compatible with specific device models and operating systems, while others are compatible with most devices (TVs, Cameras, home theaters, etc).

Confirm and see whether the adapter comes with drivers and follow the prompts to install them. 

As indicated, connect the HDMI Monitor to a USB 2.0/3.0 Port following the steps below:

  1. Insert the USB end of the adapter to your desktop monitor and other source devices.
  2. Attach an HDMI cable to the adapter’s HDMI port.
  3. Connect the output of the HDMI cable to the monitor’s HDMI port.
  4. Switch on the computer monitor. It will detect the input automatically.

2. Connecting an HDMI monitor to a USB-C port

A high-quality USB-C to HDMI adapter is needed to connect an HDMI monitor to a USB-C port.

Ensure that the adapter is compatible with your gadget since some adapters solely work with certain devices and USB interfaces.

Connect the devices as follows when you have ascertained that you have the right adapter:

  1. Insert the adapter’s USB-C end into your serial port.
  2. Plug your HDMI cable into the adapter’s HDMI port.
  3. Insert the HDMI cable to the display monitor’s HDMI port.
  4. Switch on the desktop computer. It must choose the input by itself.

Key Information to Consider When Connecting an HDMI Monitor to a USB Port

Here are some points to bear in mind when connecting your monitor to a PC’s USB port:

1. A USB-to-HDMI adaptor is a must-use.

Considering USB is a data interface, and HDMI is an audio and video interface, you can’t connect a USB cable directly from the computer to an HDMI monitor.

Therefore, use a USB-to-HDMI adaptor. A CD driver is included in most USB-to-HDMI adapters.

The adapter can interact with the desktop computer thanks to the driver. To install the software on your computer, insert the CD into the drive if your computer has a driver.

If your device does not have a CD drive, you’ll need to get the driver from the manufacturer’s website.

The driver commands the GPU to transmit data through the port, which the adapter relies on. The data from the external device is transferred directly to the computer.

To install the driver on your system, insert the CD into the drive if your device has one.

If your PC doesn’t have a CD drive, you can still get the drive from the adapter’s official website. To find the driver, input the adapter’s model number on the website.

The driver should be simple to obtain and download.

2. The USB port type determines the speed and resolution of a USB-to-HDMI adapter.

USB4, the latest USB specification, provides a bandwidth of 40 Gbps which is incredibly fast. Conversely, most devices offer USB 2.0-USB 3.1 ports.

These contain 480 Mbps, 5 Gbps, and 10 Gbps bandwidth. The last two are by no means slow.

Unfortunately, USB is slower than standard video interface technologies like DVI and DisplayPort since it lacks the powerful hardware found in such video interfaces.

Some USB-HDMI adapter manufacturers advise you that the adapter may take a while to synchronize with some devices depending on the USB protocol in use; data processing may take too long.

Eventually, it gets the job done. Meaning when you connect a USB 3.1 converter to a USB 2.0 port, the USB will process information at the USB 2.0-speed level.

Additionally, USB 2.0 is inadequately powerful to support video playback. If your device has a USB 2.0 port, use it for low-bandwidth applications instead of high-bandwidth applications like video playback. The same as with resolution.

When a USB 3.0 converter is linked to a USB 2.0 port, the converter will retrieve and process data at an 800 x 600-pixel resolution.

The adapter will obtain a resolution of 1080p if you’re using a USB 3.0 port. USB-C connectors enable 4K resolution at 30 Hz and data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps.

For example, if you connect one of them to a 4K HDMI monitor and the computer’s data output is 4K, the monitor will display the information in 4K.

It’s important to note that you’ll need a high-speed HDMI cable with 4K resolution to get data from the converter to the monitor.

3. Both Mirror and expand modes are supported by most USB-to-HDMI adapters.

Mirror Display and Extend Display modes are typically supported by USB-to-HDMI adapters.

Nonetheless, it would be best to double-check before buying any adapter. You can even use the Extend Display mode to display separate windows on each monitor.

You can also use the duplicate mode to display a similar window on both monitors.

Switching modes as required will help you perform more effectively if you prefer to use both modes. In that case, a converter that provides both benefits is preferred.

4. USB-to-HDMI adapters include video and audio transmissions.

USB, just like HDMI, can transfer both audio and video.

You won’t have to connect an audio cable if you’re using a USB adapter to connect a monitor.

Both visual and audio signals are retrieved from the GPU and then sent to the HDMI cable through the USB port. The HDMI cable transmits them to the computer from there.

Why Use a USB Connection Instead of Other Connection Types?

Though connecting your monitor through VGA, DVI, or HDMI is easier and less expensive, USB usually provides plug-and-play convenience, low latency and superior visual playback.

1. Expandability

Besides the advantages we mentioned earlier, the USB connection is preferred over other connection methods due to its expandability.

For example, using USB cords, you can connect six extra displays to your computer configuration.

Besides, you won’t require any additional hardware like graphic cards.

Also, you can connect 14 extra displays if you use Windows Multipoint Server. And with Mac, you can add four extra displays.

Therefore, if you are doing a video presentation at a conference meeting, you may connect many display monitors via USB connections without additional graphics cards.

Additionally, if you are editing your photos (be they Valentines photos, full-body shots, or formal headshots) on a laptop but need a larger display to appreciate color, this type of connection is very important in expanding your toolset for you.

This setup usually results in cheaper installation and maintenance expenses and less complicated infrastructure.

Another instance in which multiple display monitors may be handy is at a Point of Sale (POS) for consumer checkouts. One screen would be oriented toward the cashier, while the other would be oriented toward the paying customer.

2. Portability & simplicity

USB connections for computer displays usually offer convenience and portability. For instance, if you were to connect a monitor using typical connections, you would use a video cable, either an HDMI, VGA or DVI cable.

Besides, you would need a power cable and most likely a USB connection for touch data.

The power cord would need to connect to an electric outlet or a power brick.

Conversely, a USB monitor uses only one connection to convey touch data, power the monitor and peripherals, and transmit high-resolution video.

3. Less space

USB connections are less space-consuming than other types of connections. The connectors are usually smaller, and the cables are thinner than VGA, DVI, and HDMI.

Furthermore, it would be best to have a single cord transfer all data while simultaneously charging the display.

4. Power efficiency

USB connections consume less power than conventional connections because USB connections compress and transfer data using software operations rather than hardware.

Dedicated hardware doing the same task would consume power even while idle. Therefore, USB connections reduce power wastage and consume up to 80% less electricity.

5. Size

USBs usually weigh less than a pound. Besides, aesthetics and size are important considerations when installing a digital signage device or point of sale in a retail environment.

The retailer will be delighted if the solution takes up less space and looks better. As mentioned earlier, USB connections and cables are smaller and thinner than HDMI, VGA, and DVI.

Furthermore, once again, a single cord does it all. There is no power brick to conceal. And since USB is a digital transmission media, there will be no interference as there is with VGA.

6. Security

USB solutions are ideal for any application that requires video data protection. Before sending, the computing device detects video updates to the screen and compresses them using DisplayLink compression technology (DL2+ or DL3).

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