An HDMI output port is used to transmit high quality audio/video signals from a source to a receiver. The HDMI port on a laptop serves an output function i.e. it can project content from the laptop to another external device. But can you turn its functionality the other way around?
Well, some people out here will actually try to convince you that you can change HDMI output to input. But turns out, it is technically not possible to directly convert the HDMI output to input on a laptop.
However, there are quite a few workarounds for that so don’t worry. Let’s see what you can do instead.
2 Ways to change HDMI output to input on a laptop
Generally, most laptops come with an HDMI Output port unless we talk about extremely high end laptops. They do come with an HDMI input port but cost you an arm and leg as well. If you’ve professional requirements, you may consider investing in that kind of a machine because changing HDMI output to input on a laptop is not technically achievable.
The HDMI port of a laptop is designed for output functionality only. It can send signals but in no way it is made to receive signals. Therefore, no matter what kind of cable you use, it will do no good. The port is inherently designed for output function and does not have the capacity to receive input.
This also means you cannot change the HDMI output to input on a laptop because the port is simply not designed for that.
1. Use Capture Card
Capture cards are expensive, to begin with. A capture card can easily cost you as much as a decent 4k TV. If, for some reason, buying an HDMI monitor is not a feasible option for you then, go for a Capture Card.
If a 4k display is not an indispensable requirement, you can go for a lower resolution (1080p) capture card to avoid breaking your bank.
A capture card is the easiest and most foolproof option to stream high quality content on your laptop screen from an external device. It is connected via USB Type C or Thunderbolt ports because we can’t stand any compromise on the quality.
Anyway, let’s see how you can connect via a Capture Card:
- First, connect one end of the USB cable to the capture card.
- Then, connect the other end to the Type-C port of your laptop.
- Next, connect one end of the HDMI cable to your gaming device and the other end to the HDMI input port of your capture card.
- Take another HDMI cable and plug its one end in the HDMI Output port of the capture card.
- Plug in the left out end to your laptop’s HDMI port and you’re done!
Most people confuse these capture cards as adapters that can change HDMI output to input but that really is not the case. Here, the transfer of signals is done via a USB Port and not an HDMI port directly so we can’t claim it to be an HDMI output to input conversion, contrary to the popular idea.
2. Screen Sharing Software
This option is appropriate for anyone who’s trying to avoid expensive adapters or capture cards. Just a heads up that this option is definitely not the best one out there. You will experience slight changes in the quality or speed of content streaming. If you can make peace with that, good for you!
There are plenty of screen sharing software available online like Mirecast or SpaceDesk, etc. These software require both devices to be connected to the same network and allow streaming over Wi-Fi.
Since your devices will be connected over a Wi-Fi network, you’re bound to experience instability in the connection at one point or the other. However, if streaming content is not a regular requirement, this method will be suitable for you.
What is an HDMI Cable?
An HDMI cable is used to transmit video and audio files from one device to another without any compromise on the quality. It is a common tool to stream audio/video content on a bigger screen for instance, from your laptop to a TV screen or projector.
The versatile nature of an HDMI cable is what makes it so popular. Alongside that, the ease of connection as well as the uncompromised speed and quality of the content displayed on an external device is a major selling point for the HDMI cable.
Well then, what are we exactly doing here in this guide?
There are plenty of workarounds to display content from another device to your laptop’s screen. We’ll help you find a reasonable solution in place of the impossible HDMI output to input conversion.
Do laptops have an HDMI Input Port?
Laptops rarely have an HDMI input port. Most laptops come with an HDMI Output port only except a few premium gaming devices. The display of a laptop, unlike a regular monitor, is not designed to receive video signals and so, you find only an HDMI Output port in most laptops.
Can HDMI on A Laptop be Used as Input?
No, you cannot use an HDMI output port as an input port. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed. The HDMI port of a laptop is not bidirectional and it cannot entertain direct input signals in any case.
You will need to use capture cards or HDMI frame grabber to receive audio/video signals on your laptop. The HDMI port of your laptop is designed to send signals and is not capable of receiving them directly in any case.
In short, you cannot change an HDMI output to input on a laptop, at least for the current HDMI ports. You shouldn’t try to do that either because you’ll most definitely end up damaging the hardware of your device. The most effective method to receive input signals on your laptop via HDMI is to use a capture card or HDMI frame grabber.