Mini PCs are great for turning any monitor or TV into a mini computer with a maxi screen – provided your TV or monitor has an HDMI input port.
If not, the whole thing falls a bit flat. The problem is very few mini PCs come with VGA output.
And you could be forgiven for thinking that’s where it’d end, but to go from mini PC to VGA monitor only needs an HDMI-to-VGA converter.
You can pick these up from eBay for around $25 and they turn the HDMI output from the mini PC into a VGA port you can connect your monitor to, through a basic 15-pin VGA-to-VGA cable. Just make sure it goes from HDMI output to VGA input – many converters are designed to go the other way.
It’s a great option for using older monitors with your mini PC and not having to tie up one of your HDMI-ready monitors.
The one drawback? There’s no audio throughput from the HDMI so you’ll need to use a different option here (one simple one is to add a USB sound dongle to your mini PC and get analog audio out that way).
The other drawback is that as there’s no power input, the converter has to take power from the HDMI port (which it’s allowed to do). But the question is whether your mini PC’s HDMI output can provide the power to run the converter. In theory it should if it conforms to the HDMI standard correctly, but there are no guarantees with these things. (So, don’t buy a converter and blame us if it doesn’t work.
If you can get hold of one of these devices, give it a try with your mini PC and see how you go. We can’t guarantee it’ll work – but if it does, you’ve found a whole extra set of display devices you can use it with.
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