Turn the back of your projector and you will find different ports there. Each of these ports performs a particular function. They allow you to connect the projector to various devices, however, this is possible through the use of cables.
There is no fixed number of ports for every projector, however, there are common ones, and we will be discussing some of them.
What port does a projector use?
This port is for the HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cable. It allows you to transmit audio and video data in and out of the projector. Note that this can only happen if the connected device supports the HDMI cable.
An HDMI port looks like a USB port; there is only a slight difference between them. The HDMI port is wider and taller than the USB port. Some projectors have just one HDMI port, while others have more than one.
The HDMI connection is the most common connection for projectors. It makes it easier to connect devices. However, each of the devices should have an HDMI port.
Suppose the connected device has no HDMI port, you can use an adapter. This will link the HDMI port of the projector to the other end of the device.
Like the HDMI port, the DisplayPort also transmits audio and video signals between devices. All you need to do is to connect one end of the cable to the projector, and the other end to the device you want to project from.
It transmits a higher resolution compared to some other connections. It also has a better performance. Apart from transmitting audio and video signals, the DisplayPort can also supply power. Suppose it is connected to an adapter, it can power the adapter. You can find these adapters in stores online.
To use this port, look for the DP logo on your projector. That is where you are to plug-in one end of the cable. However, if the projector’s description indicates that the device has a DisplayPort but you can’t seem to find it, check the instruction manual. It should direct you on how to make the connection.
The Universal Serial Bus (USB) port is another plug-and-play connection. Although it is an efficient method of connecting a projector to several devices, it is not common to all projectors.
For projectors that have a USB port, you can connect them to devices using a USB cable. This is the fastest method for projector-to-smartphone connections. It is simple and straightforward; connect the wider end of the USB cable to the projector and the other end to the device.
For a USB connection to take place, the projector must have a USB port or you can connect via the HDMI port using an adapter.
This is another common projector port. The Video Graphics Array (VGA) used to be the most common connection before HDMI took its place.
The VGA is used to transmit video signals across devices. It can reach up to 256 colors and it offers a 16-color 640×480 pixel resolution.
The VGA port on a projector is D-shaped and has 15 holes and two bolts, one at each side of the port. The VGA port is said to be the male connector, and thus the female cable has 15 pins which will be plugged into each of the holes on the port. It also has two screws that will fit into the bolts.
You can connect VGA to an HDMI port using a VGA to HDMI adapter or converter. But if your projector has both ports, there might be no need for that.
This projector port transmits digital video signals between your projector and connected devices. The DVI-D (Digital) is one of the three available DVI formats; the other two are DVI-A (Analog) and DVI-I (Integrated).
The DVI-D port has 15 pins and has the shape of a trapezoid. To connect to the DVI-D port, you need a DVI-D cable. These cables vary in length and signal strength. Note that the signal strength of the cable may reduce if it is longer than 16 feet.
There are smaller ports on the projector. These are used to connect cables like the RCA cable, S-video cable, audio cable, and the likes.
Is a projector input or output?
To answer the question, it is important to know what an input device is, as well as an output device.
An input device provides data for processing. An output device on the other hand gives out the processed data as an information.
Now, looking at the way a projector works, we can determine if it is input or output.
How does a projector work?
Either your projector is an LCD, DLP, or an LCoS, all projectors work in the same way. They accept data signals from connected devices, either a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC.
These signals may be audio, video, or a combination of both. The video signal is processed as light rays and is projected onto the projector screen.
Since the function of the projector is not to produce the signal but to give it out, it can be considered an output device.
There are different projector ports. The ones discussed in the article are the most common types.
There is no fixed method for connecting your projector to other devices. You can decide to use any of the connectors on your projector. For instance, although HDMI connection is the most common type of connection, it does not mean everyone uses it. These connectors differ from one another in terms of providing a good picture quality for projected images.
Note that, for each of these projector ports it is important that you use the appropriate cables. Do not force a cable into any of the ports. If after many trials you are unable to plug-in a cable, report the issue to the seller. Forcing the cable in may damage either the cable or the port.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.