With many modern devices supporting HDMI, it’s not unusual to find yourself wanting to connect a VGA output to an HDMI display.
VGA to HDMI converters provide a practical solution that makes a VGA to HDMI connection possible.
The information below seeks to answer the questions you may have about VGA to HDMI converters/adapters, including this intriguing one: Do VGA to HDMI converter units need power?
Do VGA to HDMI converter/adapter need power?
Yes, power is essential in a VGA-HDMI converter.
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Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Changing an analog signal to a digital one is an intensive task that requires energy.
It’s like expecting someone to carry a 100-pound object across the room. They’re going to use considerable muscular strength to do it.
Likewise, a VGA to HDMI converter needs sufficient energy to carry the VGA signal and, in the process, convert it into an HDMI signal that the display (sink) can recognize.
Signal conversion is complex and uses a higher number of chips than the average non-converting cable or adapter.
In this case, there’s a ton of back-and-forth communication between your VGA device and the HDMI display device.
First, the source accesses and reads the EDID details from the display device. This data lets the source device know the timings the display device supports, display size, resolutions, luminance, optical filter it uses, etc.
The source device uses this information as a reference, quickly recalibrates, and begins sending the video data in a way that lines up with the EDID details.
To encode an HDMI signal, the processor within the converter requires a data enable signal (DE signal) that shows which region of the video is active.
That’s the complete opposite of what the VGA interface does, which is to display the entire active region.
The VGA configuration is different. It doesn’t understand how to display select regions of the video. And so, the VGA source can’t output the DE signal.
Therefore, the converter has to find a way to create a DE signal.
So an HDMI transmitter within the converter uses the horizontal and vertical synchronization signals from the source device to regenerate a data enable signal, which the converter then uses to encode an HDMI signal.
Then it sends this signal to the HDMI cable and into the display input.
There are numerous, swift, interconnected processes. And the converter is counting on a steady source of power to support them all.
Some VGA-HDMI converters/adapters rely on the power coming in from the source device. But for optimal performance, choose a converter that draws energy from an external power source
That way, the converter always has enough power to make the conversion and transport the signal to the display device.
Why is my VGA to HDMI converter not working?
There could be several reasons your VGA to HDMI converter is not working.
Perhaps the converter is not getting enough electric energy to power the signal conversion.
To get the fuel they need to operate as intended, converters tap into electrical energy. And your VGA to HDMI converter is no different.
Does your VGA-HDMI converter come with a power adapter? Check that the power indicator light is bright, stable, and continuous.
If the light is off, your converter is not receiving any power.
If the light is flickering, power flow is intermittent. That means the converter is not receiving power in a continuous flow that would allow for smooth operation.
The video signal will not make it to the display device if the connectors on either end of the converter are faulty.
It’s unlikely that the male connector on the VGA end and the female connector on the HDMI end are both faulty.
Instead, you’re more likely to have a faulty VGA connector or a faulty HDMI connector. Not both.
You can only find out by testing all the adapter connectors.
If either of the ports you’re connecting to and from is defective, the converter will not work.
By this, we mean the VGA port on your computer (source device) and the HDMI port on your display screen.
The VGA port may be correctly inputting the video signal into the adapter. But if the HDMI port on your monitor or TV is not functional, you will not get a signal.
Likewise, the HDMI port may be working, but the VGA port has malfunctioned. As a result, the signal won’t make its way into the adapter and through to the monitor.
How do I get my VGA to HDMI converter/adapter to work?
You can get your VGA to HDMI converter to work by following these steps:
Provide ample power
Use a different power adapter or power outlet, particularly if you notice that the power indicator light keeps flickering or doesn’t come on at all.
Maybe the adapter works fine, and the electrical outlet is not faulty. In that case, check the converter’s USB power cable. It’s likely the power cable has malfunctioned. Try connecting a new/different power cable.
Most converters use 5V, so any compatible cable should work. Nonetheless, confirm your converter’s voltage first. Then find a cable that matches this voltage. If the new cable delivers the power to the converter, you’ve found your solution.
Is your VGA-HDMI converter passive, meaning it does not connect to an external power source? If yes, it may not be receiving adequate power. And so it won’t operate as it should.
Replace it with an active converter that connects to an external power source.
If you’re dealing with a bent connector pin, use a small screwdriver or similar work tool to straighten the pin.
Place the screwdriver behind the pin and tweak it gently to avoid breaking.
Line up the bent pin with the other connector pins. Then see if it locks into the plug.
If the pins are broken, check whether the connector can be removed and replaced. It should be indicated somewhere in your user manual.
Alternatively, inquire from the seller. They’ll have a solution: either send it back for repair/replacement or receive a new unit.
What if the warranty period has lapsed and you have little faith in your DIY abilities?
Consult a computer technician or see if the local computer shop can repair/replace the connector.
Replace faulty ports
Replace the dead port with a functional one.
If you have experience taking apart electronics, you can do it by yourself. Or have a computer guru do it for you.
For experienced hands, the whole process takes minutes.
Restart your computer
As you well know, computers can get moody on a whim. When they do, different components suddenly grind to a halt.
Sometimes, restarting the computer gets it back in a cheerful, working mood.
When you can’t get a signal on your display, and you’re sure all the devices and cables are working perfectly, try restarting your computer.
Then try the VGA-HDMI connection once again and see if it works.
VGA to HDMI converters need power to operate as they should. Usually, that means connecting them to a power source where they can draw the energy they require.
As long as the available power is sufficient and constant, your converter should operate optimally.
Nonetheless, there’s plenty that could go wrong, forcing the VGA-to-HDMI connection to fail. Common culprits are insufficient power, faulty ports and connectors, and unexplainable computer errors.
You can correct the error by supplying the converter with continuous power and replacing any faulty ports and connectors or restarting your computer. This allows the machine to reset itself and get rid of the error that was preventing it from transmitting VGA data.