What To Know
- To convert a laptop’s HDMI output to input, an HDMI capture card is required.
- The process involves using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), which plays a key role by allowing the laptop to display the content from the connected device via the HDMI capture card.
In this guide, we will show you how to convert an HDMI output to an input using an HDMI capture card.
Furthermore, for gamers who don’t have a monitor or TV, we’ll explain how you can directly stream from your console to your laptop using the Remote Play feature.
Keep reading to discover how.
Using an HDMI Capture Card
HDMI video capture cards are a simple, yet effective, way to convert HDMI output to input.
I’ve tried this solution on several popular devices, like a PS4 and Roku Ultra, and it’s shown tremendous success when used with software tools like OBS.
While this may sound like a highly technical process, it’s actually very easy.
Follow the steps below to convert your HDMI output to input using a video capture card.
Step 1: On your laptop, head to the official OBS website and download the correct OBS software for your laptop’s OS (Windows, macOS, or Flatpak). This software will allow you to capture your input device’s images.
Once the software has finished downloading, complete the installation process on your computer.
Step 2: Plug the HDMI capture card into your laptop’s USB port.
Step 3: Connect one end of your HDMI cable to the capture card’s HDMI port before connecting the other end to your input device. For this example, I’m using a Roku Ultra.
If your input device has an HDMI connector (as is the case for streaming sticks), you can plug it directly into the capture card’s HDMI port.
Don’t forget to connect your input source to power if needed.
Once all your hardware is connected, it should look a little something like this:
Step 4: Then launch the OBS app on your laptop. The opening page will look similar to the one shown below.
From here, head to the Sources tab and right-click your mouse. Then, choose Add from the drop-down menu followed by Video Capture Device.
Now, you can enter whatever name you want into the pop-up dialog box before clicking OK. Here, I’m naming my capture device “Roku Capture.”
Next, you’ll see another dialog box pop up on the screen. Here, navigate to Device and set it to USB Video.
Once you’ve completed this step, you’re ready to start using your laptop as a display for your input device.
I told you it was easy!
As you can see below, I’ve tested this method with several other devices, such as Roku and the PS4.
For Console Gamers: Using the Remote Play Feature
If you’re in the mood to game, don’t let your home’s lack of TV stop you! There’s a simple way to play your PlayStation or Xbox without a TV by using your laptop as a display.
While you can connect your game console to your laptop using a capture card, there’s a much easier way to do so that won’t force you to go out and buy new equipment.
In fact, you can connect these two devices without a single HDMI or USB port/cable. As long as you have a fast and stable internet connection, you can use this method to play your game console on your laptop.
The Remote Play feature is available on both PlayStation and Xbox and, as the name suggests, allows you to play your game console on a display remotely.
Not only is this function perfect for playing games on a laptop, but it also works just as well on a smartphone or tablet. So, no matter which screens you have at home, you’ll be able to game to your heart’s delight with only an internet connection.
Let’s learn how to use Remote Play on different devices in a few easy steps.
PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5
To view and play your PlayStation games remotely on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you must download the PS Remote Play app. This app is free to use and download from the official PS Remote Play website.
For detailed steps on how to install, set up, and use the PS Remote Play app, check out our comprehensive guide How to Connect a PS4 to a Laptop Using Remote Play.
As you can see in the image below, I’ve tested this method and found it works flawlessly on my MacBook.
Xbox Series X|S
To remotely connect your Xbox to your laptop, you must download the Xbox app for Windows from the Microsoft store. Once the file has finished downloading, follow any additional on-screen instructions to install the app on your computer.
Before you can start using this function, you must enable your Xbox’s Remote function via its settings menu.
You’ll need to connect your Xbox to a TV or monitor via a wired connection for this process.
So, if you don’t have a display at home right now, I suggest borrowing one from a friend for this step. Thankfully, you should only have to complete this process once before being able to play your Xbox remotely on a laptop.
Follow the steps below to enable the Remote feature on your Xbox.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu.
Step 2: Navigate to Devices & connections.
Step 3: Head to Remote feature.
Step 4: Tick the Enable remote features box.
Now that you’ve successfully enabled the Remote function, unplug your Xbox from the TV or monitor. Make sure the Xbox is still turned on and plugged into power.
Now, it’s time to set up the Xbox app on your laptop.
Follow the guide below to start remotely streaming your Xbox games on your laptop.
Step 1: On your laptop, launch the Xbox app and log in to the same Xbox account currently in use on your Xbox console. Both your laptop and Xbox must be linked to the same account in order to pair.
Step 2: Once you’ve signed into your Xbox account, you’ll see an Xbox icon at the top of the screen next to your account tag.
Double-check that your Xbox is turned on before selecting this icon and choosing your Xbox’s name from the device list.
Once your laptop and Xbox have paired, you’re ready to start streaming Xbox games on your laptop.
Wrapping Things Up
While laptops’ HDMI ports don’t support input signals, your laptop can display input devices using a capture card. Capture cards connect to your laptop’s USB ports, allowing you to connect and stream input devices on your computer.
You can use a capture card to connect various HDMI-compatible devices to your laptop, including game consoles and streaming devices.
However, if you want to stream your PlayStation or Xbox on your computer, you can do so wirelessly using Remote Play. For this method, all you need is a stable internet connection, so it can be set up in a matter of minutes.
What’s your experience converting HDMI output to input? Have you ever used Remote Play to connect your game console to your laptop, and if so, how did it go?
Let us know in the comments below!
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.