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 (reverse) 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. But for most home 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

HDMI -> DP

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.

6 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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