USB to HDMI adapters and converters can be quite useful to connect computers to external displays, TVs, or video projectors when you don’t have an external display port (or it’s broken or already occupied). To use a USB to HDMI adapter you will typically need to install special software on your computer that the adapter manufacturer creates. This software is often included with the adapter and can also be found on the manufacturer’s website.
Example uses for USB to HDMI adapters and converters:
You want to connect your laptop to an external monitor but the normal external monitor port on your laptop doesn’t work, so instead of paying for a costly repair, you can use one of these USB to HDMI adapters. Or, you have only one external display port on your computer but you want to connect two external displays to it at the same time. Another possibility: your computer only supports HDMI output at 1920×1080, but you want to hook it up to a 4K display that your computer’s graphic card supports.
The Best USB to HDMI adapters and converters
Cable Matters USB 3.0 to HDMI DVI Adapter for Windows and Mac up to 2560×1440 / 1920×1200
This USB to HDMI adapter is pretty much what you’d expect: USB on the end that plugs into your computer, and a female HDMI port on the other end. Note that you’ll need to supply your own HDMI cable. Like other USB to HDMI converters, this product requires you to install software on your computer first (it’s on an included CD and is also available from the manufacturer’s website if your computer doesn’t have a CD drive like many modern laptops don’t).
StarTech Slim USB 3.0 to HDMI External Video Card Multi Monitor Adapter
Here’s a super slim black USB to HDMI monitor adapter. Like other USB to HDMI converters, this product requires you to install software on your computer first (it’s on an included CD and is also available from the manufacturer’s website if your computer doesn’t have a CD drive like many modern laptops don’t).
Anker USB C to HDMI Adapter
Newer Macbooks and other laptops feature USB C ports, which require a completely different adapter than the older USB 3.0. Anker makes this reliable and affordable adapter so you can hook your laptop up to a monitor or even a TV for giving presentations at work. With the proper HDMI cable, you can play video on an external screen in up to 4K resolution, perfect for watching video on a 4K TV.
One bonus, this adapter is completely plug and play, so you don’t need to install any software to use it. Comes with an 18 month warranty.
StarTech.com USB 3.0/USB C to Dual HDMI Adapter
Many video editors and software engineers need dual screens to get their work done. This adapter allows you to attach two screens via HDMI through one USB 3.0 port or USB C port (make your selection before check out).
Important to note: this adapter works with Windows computers only. It also only supports 1 screen at 4K and the other up to 1080p video.
USB C Docking Station Dual Monitor
If you have one of the Macbooks with limited USB C ports, you may be better served by a docking station. It had two HDMI ports for dual monitor display as well as a DP for a third display (Windows only). Additional ports include power, USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, and a card reader.