Video Conversion Explained
TECH TIPS - VIDEO CONVERSION EXPLAINED
WHY WOULD I NEED TO CONVERT VIDEO?
Usually you’ll want to convert video so you can connect older, legacy equipment with newer devices. For example connecting a modern laptop to an older projector.
Here are some common video conversions:
▪ HDMI to VGA
▪ VGA to HDMI
▪ DisplayPort to HDMI
▪ DisplayPort to DVI
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HDMI TO VGA, AND VGA TO HDMI?
We always talk about converters starting at the source device, for example a PC, going to the display. For example, HDMI to VGA would be used to convert the HDMI from a PC to connect to the VGA port on a projector.
VGA to HDMI would be the opposite, it would be used to converter an older PC with VGA to a newer TV with HDMI.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO THIS?
You need a video converter. This can be either a box or a (usually) short length cable with the appropriate connections to make the conversion (input and output).
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONVERTER AND AN ADAPTER?
Some people use the terms converter and adapter to mean the same thing. At Lindy, we find it clearer to differentiate the two:
A converter is a powered device that uses active electronics to convert one video signal to another. The power source can be an external adapter or even from the device you are connecting to.
An adapter is a simpler non-powered device that makes a physical conversion from one connection type to another without the need to use active electronics.
The connections you are changing from and to dictate whether you need an active converter or a passive adapter. For example, converting VGA to HDMI always requires electronics to make the conversion because you are changing an analogue signal to digital. But, if you need to change a DVI interface to HDMI, active electronics are not required – the conversion is only a physical change in connector shape, so a passive adapter will suffice.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HDMI TO VGA CONVERTERS, AND VGA TO HDMI CONVERTERS?
The convention is to talk about the source and the destination device. For example a PC (source) to a destination (display).
So, a PC (source) might have an HDMI connection; a display (destination) might have VGA. In this case you would need an HDMI to VGA converter.
Conversely, an older PC (source) may have a VGA connector. You may want to connect it to a modern HDMI equipped TV (target). In this instance you would need a VGA to HDMI converter or adapter.
DO THESE CONVERTERS WORK IN BOTH DIRECTIONS?
No if it’s an HDMI to VGA Converter then HDMI is your source and VGA is your destination. You cannot reverse them and connect the converter the other way around.
ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?
That’s a quick summary of why and how to convert video signals. For a more detailed look at video conversion when it comes to active and passive products click here.