For some time now, Amazon, eBay and many other online stores are offering products that are promoted as "USB to HDMI adapters." Far from traditional VGA, DVI, Display Port and HDMI adapters, these types of adapters promise to “get the image from a USB port to a monitor or television with an HDMI connection. Do they really work or are they just another hoax? What experience do you get through these? We see it below.
Do USB to HDMI adapters work?
Before going into the subject, it is convenient to establish a distinction between the different USB standards that currently exist and the capacities they have in terms of transfer speed.
USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter
Today, the three most common standards in laptops and desktops are USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1. Each of these standards supports a different transfer speed, ranging from 60MB / s to 1,250MB / s.
- USB 2.0 maximum speed : 480 Mbps or 60 MB / s
- USB 3.0 maximum speed : 4.8 Gbps or 600 MB / s
- USB 3.1 maximum speed : 10 Gbps or 1,250 MB / s
On this basis, there are different adapters with different connection interfaces whose compatibility depends on the supported standard. And it is that while the USB 3.1 to HDMI adapters have a USB type C port , the USB 2.0 and 3.0 to HDMI adapters have a USB A interface, the one of all life.
Based on the above information about the capabilities of each of the USB standards, the maximum resolution supported by each of the adapters depends not only on the standard used, but also on the characteristics of the adapter itself. We must bear in mind that the technology implemented in the adapter does not duplicate the computer image as a conventional HDMI, VGA or DVI connection does, but converts binary data transmitted through the USB connection to image through a converter , which is why they require an additional program.
Generally, it is easy to establish a resolution map based on the standard:
- USB 2.0 maximum resolution : Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) at 30 FPS
- USB 3.0 maximum resolution : 2K (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) at 50 FPS
- USB 3.1 maximum resolution : 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) at 30 FPS
So do these types of adapters work? The truth is that yes, although they generally do not offer the maximum quality promised by the capabilities of the standard . USB 2.0 and 3.0 to HDMI adapters often have a maximum resolution of 800 x 600 and 1,920 x 1,080. This is reflected by the opinions of many users on Amazon and other online stores.
USB Type-C to HDMI Adapter
Another aspect that we must take into account is latency, that is, the time it takes for the adapter to duplicate the image from the computer to the screen . Unless we use quality adapters, the response time is usually quite high for tasks that require immediacy, such as video editing or online games. It is also likely that the frame rate per second (FPS) is not the most stable and does not even reach the amount promised by the manufacturer. This is more pronounced especially in USB 2.0 adapters.
Opinions on a USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter at Amazon.
As for USB 3.1 to HDMI adapters with USB Type-C interface, these are usually compatible with the resolution they promise . Also with 2K resolutions at 60 FPS and with immediate response times, so that the transmission is done without any latency involved.