How to Use USB C to HDMI [Updated 2022]

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With USB-C to HDMI adapter cables, USB-C ports can communicate with HDMI inputs on displays, allowing laptop computers to use USB-C and HDMI inputs.

Laptops and other electronic items commonly use USB C connectors, and it is becoming more common for them only to have USB C connectors.

There seems to be a problem when items such as TVs, monitors, projectors, and the like only use HDMI, so an interface between the two standards is required.

Simple cables with a USB-C connector on one end and HDMI on the other are one of the most straightforward solutions. Adapters that have a USB-C port and an HDMI input are also available.

How to Use USB C to HDMI [Updated 2022]

USB-C to HDMI Background

You can connect an HDMI port to a USB C port using a USB-C to HDMI cable that acts as an adapter.

It is widely available to connect USB-C to HDMI cables, which enable laptops, computers, etc., to interact with HDMI-based products like displays, screens, televisions, etc.

Since USB-C is increasingly popular and there is a growing need to interface to A/V products, including everything from smartphones to televisions, laptops to monitors, the HDMI Forum, which licenses HDMI technology, decided to implement an interface between USB-C and HDMI.

HDMI Ethernet Channel, USB-C to HDMI cables, and USB-C to HDMI adapters can support resolutions up to 4K, Audio Return Channel, 3D, and Consumer Electronic Control.

How do USB-C to HDMI adapters & cables work

Because USB-C and HDMI use different signal formats and have different line counts, the HDMI port must operate accordingly.

Using HDMI AM, the cable can be connected directly to HDMI from USB-C using HDMI Alternate Mode.

It supports features contained in HDMI 1.4b, including video resolutions up to Ultra HD at 30Hz, and Consumer Electronic Control, or CEC. 

The HDMI port reconfigures the four SuperSpeed differential pairs of the USB-C interface in Alternate Mode to carry the three HDMI TMDS channels and the clock signal due to the differences between the HDMI connector and the USB-C connector.

HEAC+/Utility pin and HEAC*/HPD pin are the two Sideband Use pins that carry HDMI Ethernet and Audio Return Channel functionality.

Consequently, there are not enough pins left in the USB-C port for the DDC clock, SCL, DDC data, SDA, and CEC. It is accomplished using the USB Power Delivery 2.0, USB-PD protocol, passed over the USB-C Configuration Channel, CC line, between the HDMI source and sink.

Given that HDMI Alternate Mode is attempting to reduce the number of HDMI lines, there are a few compromises. The Alternate Mode is based on HDMI 1.4b, not the more modern HDMI 2.0b. In other words, HDMI Alt Mode for USB-C connections will support up to 4K resolution, 3D video, and HDMI-CEC, but it will not support features like HDR video and other upgrades introduced in HDMI 2.0b.

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Conclusion

It is beneficial that USB-C to HDMI allows many modern devices with only USB-C ports to connect to HDMI-based devices, such as televisions, display monitors and many more.

It makes sense and is excellent news for users that it is possible to switch between interfaces, from USB-C to HDMI. There were formerly many different interfaces and cables to be accommodated, and even dongles to be changed if needed.

There are some limitations with the USB-C to HDMI converter, but You can readily accept them since it allows flexibility to be achieved.

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