Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Markeyus Franks
HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Output, is the latest audio and video signal transmission standard for monitors, projectors and televisions worldwide. The cable standard became popular because of the superior video quality offered by a single cable. HDMI has become so popular that it has completely replaced DVI and composite (RCA) audio/video transmission.
HDMI was quick to make its place in the market because, unlike the DVI and component cables, it only needed a single cable to transmit data. Furthermore, previous technologies required data to be compressed before transmitting it, lowering the overall quality. HDMI cables allow for uncompressed data transmission, upscaling the output quality exponentially compared to its predecessors. If you own an HDMI device or plan to learn more about it, keep reading!
When Did HDMI Become Popular in TVs
The HDMI connector went through several iterations, HDMI 1.0, 1.2, and so on, till HDMI 2.1. The HDMI 2.1 could offer 8k resolution at 60Hz and 4k at 120Hz. This was when HDMI became extremely popular across all AV devices, especially televisions and computers. There is mixed analysis on the internet about when it took the market by storm. While the HDMI connector was available on 90% of all digital television by 2007, it sold around 143 million units. But a report about 2021 shows that around 10 billion devices with HDMI connectors were sold that year.
Based on this analysis, HDMI gradually gained popularity since its release, and by 2021, it had peaked.
Why Should I Use HDMI Over Other TV Connectors?
The HDMI connector allows you to get display resolutions up to 8k based on your television and display setup. Unlike previous technologies that used separate cables and ports in your television to transfer video and audio signals, the HDMI combines it all in one connector without compressing the output quality. Less compression of the AV signal allows you to transfer in the best quality. It is more secure than previous methods too. While data theft is rarely considered when displaying video and Audio, DVI and composite methods had no protection against unauthorized copying. HDMI comes with HDCP, protecting any of your content from being stolen or pirated when being transferred.
Some more features that HDMI allows is backward compatibility with DVI. So if your TV or output device does not have HDMI, you can easily convert it to HDMI. HDMI also supports 3D output, amongst several other features unheard of in DVI and component technology. Considering how HDMI has left DVI and RCA behind, upgrading to HDMI is a no-brainer.
How do I get HDMI on my Old TV?
1. Check to See If You Have an HDMI Socket in The Back of Your TV In the First Place
Some TV sets do not display the option to shift to HDMI until an HDMI output device is connected and sending a signal. If you have never used an HDMI connector, it is easy to confuse the socket for an additional USB port. The HDMI port looks like a larger USB port, but if you look carefully, you will find that the edges are slightly tapered. Furthermore, inside the port, you will find around 19 different pins compared to 4 in a standard USB-A port.
If you have a newer TV, it is most likely that it supports HDMI, and you will find it in the source options as soon as an HDMI source is connected.
2. Purchase a Composite to HDMI adapter
Older consoles, DVD players, and VHS players came with only RCA outputs, and you may want to connect them to your TV to revisit some memories. If you have a TV that does not have input for RCA or the RCA ports are already being used by a DVD player or a gaming console. In that case, you can have trouble if you need to connect another device that has an RCA output. You might need an RCA to HDMI converter to do the job.
This converter is available on Amazon, supports 1080p display resolution, and is the perfect solution for your RCA display sources. It can take input from your media player, laptop or PC in RCA ad convert it to HDMI. Advanced signal processing provides exceptional and precise colors and details. Connect the converter to a 5V power source, usually available in the display device, to make the converter work.
3. Use other older connectors: Composite cable, VGA, and DVI
Just like you can get a converter from any other technology to HDMI, you can also find one the other way around. If you are sure your TV does not have HDMI input, you are only left with the option to use the existing input methods on your TV: RCA, VGA, or DVI. Carefully check your input source to see if it has display options other than HDMI. Often you can find a different display cable from the official vendor of the device.
But in case an official cable is unavailable, aftermarket solutions are available. If you browse Amazon and eBay, you will find converters from HDMI to RCA, VGA and DVI. You can convert any HDMI input to a compatible input for your television and enjoy your multimedia without any hurdles.
How to Fix a Broken HDMI Port on a TV?
For HDMI AV transmission, both devices need to be compatible with HDCP. When both devices recognize each other through HDCP, it is called the handshake. The HDCP handshake is the most common reason why TVs fail to get an HDMI signal, resulting in a black screen and making it impossible to stream any media. Here are a few steps to troubleshoot such a situation:
Check HDMI Connections
Due to the size of the HDMI connector, it often loosens up, making the connection between your Tv and output device weak. Therefore, checking your cables and connectors on both devices is a good option. Try checking the ports for any visible damage, like bent pins or a broken port altogether. The HDMI port should be snug and should not move or rotate.
Change the Turn-On Sequence
Technology can be gimmicky at times and cause unnecessary inconvenience for no apparent reason. The HDMI is not novel to such issues. Sometimes, turning your device on before your TV restores the signal. If changing the turn-on sequence of your devices helps, note the sequence for future reference.
Use Another HDMI Port
Most modern TVs come with more than one HDMI input port. First, ensure you have the HDMI cable connected to the channel your TV is displaying. If that is true, try connecting through another port on your TV to see if you get an HDMI signal. Make sure you change the input from the current HDMI port to the one you shifted. You can change the display source using your TV remote.
If you’re connected to the HDMI port on an audio receiver, shift from the audio receiver to the HDMI port of your TV. You should get a signal on your TV, and can now connect the audio device separately to your TV through the auxiliary output port or audio jack. If your audio receiver works this way, there is a problem with the HDMI port on your receiver. At this point, you may have to contact a professional.
If you cannot trace the problem despite following all the steps above, try checking for updates on your output device and TV. Sometimes a software update may be keeping your AV transmission from working.
Get Professional Help
If all of these steps fail, then there is a chance that you have a faulty TV or Source. You may have to contact a professional to help solve your problem or repair your device.
How to Add More HDMI Ports to Your TV
An HDMI switcher is the easiest and quickest solution to additional HDMI ports for a TV. All you have to do is connect the HDMI switcher to the port on your TV and all your devices with HDMI output to the switcher. You can shift between the HDMI devices through the IR remote with the HDMI switcher. Here is a recommendation for a good switcher:
The Kinivo Switch available on Amazon gives you 5 additional HDMI ports with 4k HDR output on all ports. It is compatible with most modern HDMI devices and comes with HDMI 2.0. High transfer speeds of up to 18 Gbps give you the best accuracy and precision in AV quality.
Can I Get HDMI Without Using a Cable?
You can do that through a Wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver kit. They connect remotely to the device and TV, allowing you to send the same signal to more than one TV at a time.
This transmitter allows you to connect one output device to two displays with a range of 50 meters and 4k resolution. It is auto-paired from the factory, so you do not have to match the transmitters and receiver. It is available on Amazon for a reasonable price.
- What does no HDMI Signal mean?
This means your TV is not receiving audio or video from the source. There is a problem with the connection between your device and TV.
- Will a smart TV work without cable?
Yes, even if you do not have a cable box or antenna connection, a Smart TV can stream multimedia online.
- Will USB-Type C replace HDMI?
There is a significant chance that the USB type-C will replace the HDMI as it is gaining more popularity across devices. It can offer all the features of HDMI with a small form factor and a reversible connector. But it will take a long time to shift as too many devices currently use the HDMI port for AV signals.