Thursday, August 21, 2014

Is it Possible to Convert VGA to HDMI?

We’ve talked about the differences between VGA vs HDMI, but we didn’t really get into converting VGA to HDMI.  A lot of people wonder if this is even possible, and if so, how you might go about doing it.

Switching from VGA to HDMI is problematic because VGA is an analog signal, while HDMI is digital.  These formats are incompatible, and the conversion of one to the other goes beyond a simple cable that has a VGA connector on one end and HDMI on the other.  If you’ve found such a cable being sold online, it is a scam.  It’s completely impossible to do this conversion with a cable.

However, it is possible to convert VGA to HDMI, but it requires a special converter box.  This can range from a very basic converter that simply changes the format of the signal, to a converter/scaler that actually attempts to upgrade the image to high definition.  You also have to ensure that the output of your converter is compatible with your TV or projector.  If you have a 1080p projector, the output on VGA to HDMI converter should also be 1080p, not 720p.

As far as price goes, you’re looking at $30-$100 for the basic models, and that often includes up-conversion.  This cost is pretty reasonable for home theater applications.  You can also get such a converter for business applications, such as conference rooms where presentations are given, because you never know what type of laptop someone who’s presenting is going to have.

If you’re running your home theater from a laptop, or computer that only has analog output, you’re better off sticking with a TV or projector that has analog inputs; most have both digital and analog.  This is a lower quality signal than digital HD formats, but the expense of a VGA to HDMI converter might not be worth it.  If high image quality is of importance to you, consider upgrading your computer, or laptop, or running your home cinema through a standard DVD/Blu Ray set-up.  Converting VGA to HDMI is certainly possible, and it’s probably worth the couple bucks to do so, but it isn’t completely necessary.

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