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VGA to HDMI Cable - An Unfortunate Myth

They exist, but they sure don't work

People often find themselves wanting to go from a VGA connection on their computer into an HDMI connection on their TV. Well, when you connect other things to your TV, you just go and get a cable for it, right? With that thought, the obvious thing would be to get a VGA to HDMI cable. Unfortunately, VGA to HDMI cables don't work!


VGA to HDMI with Scaling (up to 720p)

If you need to convert any VGA or component signal into a digital high definition HDMI signal up to 720p resolution, this conversion box will do the job perfectly. The only additional thing that you need to get besides this converter is an HDMI Cable of the appropriate length.

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$54.95

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Hammerhead - VGA to HDMI (1080p)

Simply connect the analog VGA output from the PC to the digital HDMI input of your HD ready television and enjoy stunning high definition video from your computer on your TV. The Hammerheads high bandwidth capability supports a wide range of PC and HDTV resolutions with no transmission loss.

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$69.95

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Why won't a cable work?

Have you ever heard the saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"? That's why. Okay, really though, the reason has to do with the differences in the signal formats. All video signals use different signal formats to communicate the video information. This is why there exists different connections like VGA to HDMI. If they were using the same type of signal, they'd just use the same plug. Okay, yes there are some exceptions like VGA and RGBHV, HDMI and mini-HDMI, etc., but the video signals being used in HDMI and VGA are extremely different. The biggest overall difference is that VGA is a purely analog signal and HDMI is digital. If you were to get a cable with HDMI on one side and VGA on the other, it would be like trying to fill your car up with jet engine fuel, or trying to play hockey with a bowling ball. Okay, regardless of the metaphor you want to use, the point is, they are just very different things and completely incompatible with each other. This is why a VGA to HDMI cable won't work.

So what will work?

Fortunately, for all of us who have at one time found ourselves in this predicament and staring blankly at a picture of a VGA to HDMI cable, there are solutions that DO work. What we need is a device to change the signal from one format to another. This is going to include a change, among other things, from analog to digital. These converters will take as an input an analog VGA signal and process the data so it can then send out an equivalent digital signal. Now with that in mind it's important to note that there are a lot of different converters out there that will convert a VGA signal into an HDMI signal, but they can be very different in how well they work and what they actually do for you.

What to look for in a VGA to HDMI converter

-Audio Support

VGA connections are video signals only. In other words, they don't include the audio signal from your computer. In order to get the audio to your TV you'll need a VGA to HDMI converter that will also take the audio signal from your computer and combine it with the VGA signal to be sent over HDMI. Some TVs have inputs that can be used as a secondary input for the HDMI signal allowing you to get the sound to the TV another way, but most TVs don't do this. If you will be wanting to play the audio out of the TV make sure the converter you purchase supports audio.

-Scaler

A Scaler is a device that will properly format the video signal to fit your TV. In many cases the VGA signal coming out of your computer is a different resolution than what your TV supports so it will need to be scaled to a resolution supported by your TV. Getting a converter that has a scaler in it will save you from lots of headaches when you're trying to get the video from your computer to the TV. This will often raise the cost of the converter by a bit, but it is absolutely worth every penny.

-Supported Resolutions

When looking at a converter you will want to look at which resolutions are supported. This means you'll want to check what resolutions it supports as input to the converter, and which resolutions it supports as output to the TV. Many converters only support 720p output, which in most cases is fine. If you are absolutely set on having the best quality picture, however, you'll want to go for a converter that supports a full 1080p output. Also, check what resolutions are supported as input, the more options the better, but specifically you'll want to make sure it has 1280x720 and 1920x1080 (only if going for the 1080p converter) to make sure you can get true formatted 720p and 1080p formats on your TV.

-Price/Value

Since there are so many options available it's important to recognize that you don't always get more for your money, and some features aren't worth what they add to the cost. For example, most people are very satisfied with the 720p resolution output and the 1080p versions often cost nearly double what the 720p versions do. In this you'll just have to decide how much money is this worth to me, and what features do I really need.

Suggested Solution

We here at VGAtoHDMIcable.info have tried out a lot of these converters and we have a strong recommendation. The best overall value seems to be the Sewell Direct VGA to HDMI Converter (pictured above). It's a safe bet to cover the things we discussed above and to be available at a good price.

Other HDMI Converters

If you're looking for HDMI converters other than VGA ones please check out this informative article: HDMI Converter

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