Bi-directional USB-C -> DisplayPort & HDMI cables

[Updated 2020/12/03 with 6 new cables]

If you search Amazon or another major retailer for USB-C -> DisplayPort adapters, there are dozens to choose from. >99% are single direction with the source/host PC intended to be connected via USB-C and the sink/monitor to be connected with DisplayPort.

What if you need to go the other way? For example, how do you connect a USB-C-only monitor to a PC that only has DisplayPort?

Get the right cable that supports bi-directional or reverse signaling. These cables are considerably more expensive than typical cables since they have several integrated circuits inside to handle both directions. For example, the StarTech cables combine a Via VL170, a Chrontel CH7213C, and a TI TUSB544.

DP 1.4 cables/adapters (full size DP)

With DP 1.4 / HBR3 support, these are the most capable and future-proof offerings:

DP 1.2 cables/adapters (full size DP)

Single direction only:

What about MiniDP?

Some laptops like Surface only have a miniDP receptacle. The simplest approach for these is to use a MiniDP->DP adapter in series with one of the full-size DP cables as follows: [PC] –> [MiniDP->DP adapter] –> [DP->USB-C cable] –> [USB-C monitor]

In general, multiple adapters/cables in series is not recommend for inaccessible or mission-critical systems since every connection is a potential failure point but for most home and office users, this will be just fine.

Another approach is this Wacom device:

What about HDMI?

Several brands offer HDMI -> USB-C or HDMI -> DP cables but they are single-direction aka “reverse” only. Some include a USB A port to power portable USB-C monitors. Many of these adapters are based on the Lontium LT6711 chipset.

HDMI – > USB-C (single direction)

HDMI -> DP (single direction)

Resources:


Let me know in the comments if you know of any other brands of bi-directional cables/adapters and what you’re using them for.

11 thoughts on “Bi-directional USB-C -> DisplayPort & HDMI cables

  1. Hi Dan, I recently bought an HP EliteDisplay S14 which has a single USB-C port (for both power and video input). I need a cable/adapter to convert DisplayPort to USB-C and also provide power. As far as I know, DisplayPort does not provide power so I need something to work. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

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    • I think the best option is the Belkin adapter listed above. It has DP input plus 2x USB-A power injection (10 watts) and USB-C out. There is no competition in this market, so its quite expensive, but worth a shot IMHO.

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      • I too wanted to limit cables to only one for DP -> USB-C with power delivery, but there are almost no products on the market. The Belkin is dedicated for VR and it doesn’t state what power it can deliver to the USB-C end and is also too expensive. Was looking for some kind of USB-C power injector (similarly to PoE injectors) or a USB-C powered hub (with external power supply for the hub) but no sensible products exist on the market. Any help?

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  2. When selecting one of the listed cables be sure to double check the Displayport Alt Mode specifications of your USB-C device. Ex: the Monoprice cable is DP 1.4 spec but it’s DP Alt Mode is only 1.0 whereas most USB-C devices with DP Alt Mode use spec 1.2.

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    • Hi Victor – what does a user miss with the Monoprice cable on today’s hardware? My understanding of the alt mode spec beyond 1.0a is that it addressed power delivery interop and to get any benefit for video you need to jump to alt mode 2.0 for which no products exist yet. So what does Alt mode 1.2 bring beyond 1.0a for video?

      Unfortunately, many of the vesa specs are non-public and you need to pay the annual fee to get access. My subscription ran out quite a a while ago so I can no longer check this myself.

      But I found this: https://www.anandtech.com/show/15752/displayport-alt-mode-20-spec-released

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