Bi-directional DisplayPort->USB-C, HDMI->USB-C, and HDMI->DP cables

[Updated 2021/09/05 with additional cables and adapters]

If you search Amazon or other major retailers for USB-C -> DisplayPort or USB-C -> HDMI adapters, there are hundreds to choose from. But >99% only work in one direction with the USB-C side connected to the PC and the other end to the monitor.

What if you need the reverse? For example, how do you connect a USB-C-only monitor to a PC that only has DisplayPort or HDMI? Or how do you get the touch/digitizer function working on a portable USB-C screen when connecting to a PC that only has HDMI?

Get the right adapter/cable that supports bi-directional or reverse signaling. These cables are expensive 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. Other models use the Cypress CYPD2119.

DP 2.0 <–> USB-C cables

Not yet

DP 1.4 <–> USB-C cables

With DP 1.4 / HBR3 support, these are the most capable and future-proof offerings capable of 4K120 or better. Particulars vary so read the fine print and user reviews.

DP1.2 <–> USB-C adapters/cables

These are limited to 4K60.

Adapters

Cables

MiniDP -> USB-C adapters

HDMI 2.1 -> USB-C/DP 1.4a adapters/cables

Availability expected in Q3 2022; based on the Lontium LT6711GX chipset supporting 4K120/8K30.

HDMI 2.0 -> USB-C adapters (single direction)

Several brands offer HDMI -> USB-C or HDMI -> DP cables but they are single-direction aka “reverse” only. Many include a USB A plug for power (not data) and are based on the Lontium LT6711 chipset (datasheet). These are limited to DP 1.2 alt mode with 4K60 resolution and most do not pass power to the USB-C device.

HDMI 1.4 -> USB-C adapters (single direction)

  • Wacom Link Plus ACK42819 (~$70) (HDMI/mDP + USB 2.0 + 45W USB-C power -> USB-C – single direction only; USB-C power supply not included; will power portable screen, VR, or Cintiq tablet)

HDMI 2.0 -> DP 1.2 adapters/cables (single direction)

Similar to the HDMI -> USB-C adapters, most of these are also based on the Lontium LT6711 chipset, require external USB power and are capable of up to 4K60. They do not pass power to the USB-C device.

Adapters

Cables

HDMI 1.4 -> DP 1.2 cables/adapters (single direction)

These are limited to 4K30 or 1440p60. Most require external USB power.

Adapters

Cables

What about DVI?

To use DVI, just combine on of the above options with a DVI->HDMI adapter.

Portable USB-C screens and VR

Portable USB-C screens require power/display (and USB data for touch screens) all running through a single cable. There are few devices on the market that will combine video+power or video+power+data into a suitable USB-C output for use with non USB-C PCs.

Additional Resources:


Please let me know of any other bi-directional cables/adapters and what you’re using them for.

26 thoughts on “Bi-directional DisplayPort->USB-C, HDMI->USB-C, and HDMI->DP 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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  3. Hi! I’m looking into my options for connecting a Laptop Dock from an HP Elite x3. One thing I’m a bit worried about is that it will only work if it can connect to the device using USB Data as well. I noticed that the “product brief” for the Lontium LT6711 mentions a “high performance bi-directional Super-Speed switch”. Page two of the product brief actually shows a diagram with HDMI and USB 3.1 on the left side and USB-C (DP1.2/eDP) on the other side. Yet on all of the adapters listed here I only see a regular “USB micro-B” connector and the specs for all the adapters seem to imply it’s used for power only.

    Are there any products that you know of that actually patch the USB-C data lines through to the “host” device as well? Honestly if it was only USB 2.0 signals I’d already be super happy.

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    • Ugreen CM323 works fine with usb c hubs at usb 2.0 speeds (uses a micro usb for data connection), I tested it with a usb memory stick in my hub and it worked fine. $25 on Aliexpress

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      • Thank you so much for takin the time to respond, much appreciated! I’ve ordered the CM323 and I’ll cross my fingers that it will work with the Elite x3 Lapdock! 😀

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  4. Hi Dan. Hope all is well! Don’t know if you remember, but I was using the Club3D HDMI>USB-C unidirectional adapter and connecting my Epson Moverio BT-40 Smartglasses via it’s USB-C cable. The image being projected in my smartglasses has a thin white line that flashes intermittently at the top of the image. I tried to contact Club3D, initially their support was trying to help & then now no response. I have two of these adapters doing the same thing. Seems that the Lontium LT6711A chip that does the conversion needs a filter of some sort to get rid of the overscanning. Would you be able to try & solve this?

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  5. Dan, thanks again for those great ressources.

    I ordered an Espon Moveria BT-40 and it works quite w/o any issues by connecting it to my Samsung Galaxy S8. Only concern is the limited battery time as the glass receives power directly from the smartphone w/o any chance to connect an external power source (bad Epson design decision IMHO).

    I was quite suprised, that the glass does not work with my Surface Pro 7.Neither directly connected to the USB-C port, nor by using the Surface Dock 2 USB-C ports. According to the specs, both – the Surface Pro 7 and the Epson Moverio BT-40 – should support USB-C DP Alt Mode. The device manager recognizes a Digital Flatscreen at 640×480 60Hz. Interestingly even a Surface Go can light up the Epson glass and it works fine as PnP Monitor (Standard). Chosing that driver on the Surface Pro 7 as well has no effect (it can be installed successfully, but afterward still the other driver is used, even after reboot).

    Do you have any idea, why it does not work on Surface Pro 7? Could another installed driver (Virtual PC setups, DisplayLink, etc.) cause this behavior or would you expect that the device combination does simply not fit?

    I hope that a Wacom Link Plus ACK42819 with an Inateck USB-C Hub in between will solve my issues for the Surface Pro 7 and as a nice side-effect to connect an external power supply between the S8 as well.

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      • Yes, I use the Dell U4919DW in PBD mode with a Surface Dock 2. The monitor is connected USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to DP. The USB-C to USB-C part has sometimes issues on reactivation after hibernation. This is a little bit better since I installed igfx_win_101.1191 two weeks ago. So, your recommandation is already in use.

        One idea that comes to my mind: The Moverio needs active power supply by the device that sends the display signal, because it has no internal battery at all. Maybe the Surface Pro 7 has issues doing that for any reason.

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        • Update on Epson Moverio BT-40 support with Surface Pro 7 (Intel Iris):
          The newest firmware and device driver provided by Epson (https://tech.moverio.epson.com/en/bt-40/) this week solved the issues with Intel Iris devices like Surface Pro 7.
          Nevertheless it is still not working together with a Wacom Link Plus, which makes it practically unusable with most smartphone devices, because of the high battery consumption and no chance to connect a power supply in between.

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  6. Hi

    im thinking of buying this dual USB c portable monitor –

    https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/electriq-15.6-ips-full-hd-hdr-usb-c-dual-portable-monitor-eiq-dual15fhdpm/version.asp?wgu=272145_116019_16468364444212_c052aaaabb&wgexpiry=1654612444&utm_source=digidip%20GmbH&utm_medium=webgains&refsource=webgains

    it only has a USB c output. My PC only has a displayport input. Would a displayport to usb c adapter work such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasics-Bi-Directional-USB-C-DisplayPort-Cable/dp/B081VK1KHV

    would this be complicated as there is 2 monitors?

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    • I’m not familiar with that external monitor set but that cable ought to work for the signal at least. You’ll need a separate cable for power of course.

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      • thanks dan. will the 2 screens be a problem? the dual set has a outet for power so thats fine. i was just wondering if the dp to usb c will have a problem with 2 screens

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        • I believe that dual-screen support will be up to the laptop itself, not the cable. Worst case is that you’d have to switch off the built-in LCD on the laptop to get them both working or mess around with some GPU driver software settings.

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