The HDMI Rule Book

Q: Why am I having trouble finding an HDMI to DisplayPort cable? Does that type of cable exist?

A: The short answer to this question is yes, but only on the black market. The long answer is that there are very strict regulations on how HDMI cables are designed, manufactured and marketed. According to the HDMI consortium, who sets all the rules for HDMI products, the only way the HDMI label can be used is if both ends of the HDMI cable are matching HDMI to HDMI. If one side of the HDMI cable needs to be altered, it must be by an adapter. The only exception to this rule is an HDMI to DVI cable, which manufacturers are still allowed to construct.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) as a technology is patented to what’s called the “HDMI Forum,” which consists of 87 companies who are proprietary owners of the HDMI technology. Manufacturers must pay royalty fees to the HDMI Forum for the use of the HDMI name. There are strict guidelines that enforced by the HDMI Forum, from cable specifications right down to the packaging.

Splitting Monitors


Q: I have an HP Slimline Desktop PC. It has only one VGA port in back. I need an adapter to be able to connect two monitors (extended) but not mirrored. What can I use for this?

A: In order to create an extended desktop, you can’t just split one signal, you would need to add a second video-out port which would allow for a second video signal. You can add a second VGA port via USB with an adapter that will transform your computer’s USB port into an extra VGA port.



Q. Why am I having trouble finding an HDMI to VGA cable? I used to see them on the shelves and now I can’t find them anywhere.

A. The short answer to this is: HDMI has pretty strict rules. outlines what retailers can and cannot say on their packaging regarding HDMI cables, and they also outline how cables must be manufactured. In order for a cable to be “legal” it must have two regular HDMI ends. This has been put into effect in the last few years, and when the HDMI Consortium (the group of companies that own parts of HDMI) started cracking down on retailers, and any cables with different configurations were pulled from the shelf. There are still knockoff cables being made, but because they are not regulated there is no guarantee that these cables will work. The best bet is to get an HDMI adapter. This way you can swap out different ends without having to damage the cable.

HDMI: Save your Loot


What HDMI cable do I need? I just purchased a new Samsung TV. What HDMI cable should I buy for it? There’s so many out there to choose from. Does bandwidth matter? Some sell for $10, others for $70. Does more money equal a better cable?


Any high-speed HDMI cable will work as well as any other HDMI cable on the market. If you purchase a more expensive cable, what you are paying with is the cable’s marketing; which is the packaging and advertising. Cheaper cables will produce the same images as more expensive HDMI cables. Most of the HDMI cables that are on the market today are high-speed, but just be careful to double check. Also be wary of any cable that states the “1.4” or “4K” specification, as those are connection specifications, not cable specs. So those labels have more to do with the hardware of the cable, not the picture it produces. Any HDMI 2.0 will work just fine.

Now take the fifty bucks you saved and go buy yourself something pretty.

Phone Charger for Bonnaroo?


I’m going to Bonnaroo next month with a few friends. This will be our first time and we want to be prepared as possible. We’re excited! I’d like to have my phone for emergency purposes and also to snap a few photos (no videos probably.) I have a small camera that I can bring so I could just use my phone for emergencies only. Is there an affordable charger should I bring?

Thanks so much!


Your best bet is to get a portable USB battery back-up. The one you choose should have at least two charging ports that will allow you to plug in your own USB cables. This way you can enjoy your festival while charging your phone and camera, and not having to be stuck by an outdoor wall charger. These are also super affordable, and small so you can just throw it in your bag. Have a blast!

How can I Watch TV From my Cellphone on my Big Screen?


Ok, I have a 32′ Sanyo TV which has HDMI cable inputs and a CW app on my phone which allows me to watch updated TV shows once they are uploaded onto the app. My question is: Can I watch it on my TV just by connecting an HDMI cable to my phone & into the TV, or do I have to download the movie onto my cellphone? If so, what are the steps?


This depends on what kind of phone you have. If it has a micro HDMI port, which is common, then you can just get a cable that connects your phone to your TV and watch that way. So the type of cable you would need is a Micro HDMI to HDMI.

Will HDMI to DVI to VGA Work? – NO!

Q: “I’m experimenting because my monitor doesn’t have the best graphics. I have a DVI to HDMI cable and my monitor only supports VGA. will this work? HDMI to DVI male to DVI female to VGA male?”

A: No, that will definitely not work. HDMI is digital. The DVI on the other end of your HDMI to DVI cable is DVI-D which is also digital. The DVI on your DVI to VGA adapter is DVI-A which would also work on DVI-I ports, but not DVI-D. That adapter is analog. If you connected those together, you would get no signal at all. Unfortunately cables will not help in this situation.

Splitting HDMI

Q: “I have my PS3 that I use for Hulu/Netflix and it’s in my basement. I have an HDMI cable to a TV in my basement and one running upstairs to my TV up there. Now, my question is, do they make HDMI splitters so I don’t have to run downstairs everytime to switch the cable plugged into the PS3. Anyone have good experiences with HDMI splitters? I don’t want anything overly priced either; $50 is way too much. Hope someone can help.”

Answer: Yes, HDMI splitters would work for this. We sell one that runs around $30.

The Great HDMI Rip-Off

Q: What type of HDMI cable do I need for my 1080 TV and Blu-ray Player?

A: This answer depends on the distance between your TV and your Blu-ray Player. There is honestly no difference between expensive and inexpensive HDMI cables. Usually the only difference is length and sometimes shape or color. We recommend any cable that won’t hit your pocket book. Cheap HDMI cables that carry the HDMI logo and meet the latest standard will work exactly the same as the cables with an expensive package and flashy marketing lingo; all without affecting the quality.

Rear Projection TV and a PS3

Rear projection TV’s are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but they are still in existence and can still be useful today. Today’s question revolves around hooking up a gaming console to an older TV. How is this done?

Q: “I am trying to connect my PS3 to an older rear projection TV. The TV has a spot for an HD input, the inputs are for the R/G/B Hsync and Vsync, then the red and white audio. The problem is that the component cable for the PS3 only has the R/G/B and audio. I tried hooking it up and I just get a scrolling image that is really distorted that just kind of goes up and down the screen like an old VCR with bad tracking. This was the only component cable I could find for the PS3, unfortunately the TV does not have HDMI inputs so this is my only option for hooking it up. Please help or tell me what I need to do. It also has the standard yellow red white, S-video connection too. And then something that looks similar to an Ethernet port but I know that isn’t what it is.”

 A: RGBHV is a 5 RCA video connection that has the same signal as a VGA computer connection. You cannot connect a video game system’s component video (red/green/blue) into that. If the TV had a DVI input that would work.

So it sounds like your best option is a composite video cable made specifically for the PS3. These consoles usually come with the cable included; if you misplaced it they are super affordable.