This may seem like a repeated question, but since my computer is a bit old I kind of want to get a usb to hdmi cable. I understand that usb 3.0 is backwards compatible so my usb 1.1 could pick it up (as evidenced from the one time I got a usb 3.0 dvd drive) but just so I get the correct one what would you reccommend that would work good with Ubuntu? And if I get it to work, is there any procedures I should go through? Thanks and regards, Thomas

  • There are some special "USB to HDMI" cables that are for use on devices with specially designed ports that can act as either USB ports or HDMI ports. Your device would have to support HDMI internally. You can't convert a regular old USB port to HDMI, unless your converter has active circuitry, that is, it is basically an external graphics adapter. If you're going to get one of those be warned of the relatively high price and slow performance, especially if not using USB 3.0+ Dec 4, 2017 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


I think HDMI over a 1.1 USB bus would be waayyyy to slow. Buy a brand new laptop with HDMI for $400 or one a couple years old for $100-$200 used. If you are talking desktop it's even cheaper.

HDMI 1.0 bandwidth is 5 billion bits per second

USB 1.1 bandwidth is 12 million bits per second

So even if you could somehow make a physical connection the video you watch wouldn't be 30 frames per second but rather one frame every 416 seconds.

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    So it would just be much more logical to get a vga & audio jack to hdmi? I dont really plan on trading in my computer as its kind of a specially made laptop for rugged areas I got at a pretty good sale. Dec 4, 2017 at 3:19
  • Yes I have a VGA & Audio jack to HDMI converter I used about 5 years ago and it worked well. Also if your laptop has a PCMIA Expresss Card slot you can buy a card with USB 3.0 port(s). I do use USB-C Thunderbolt3 to Displayport to HDMI adapter and it works fine but speed there is 40 Gbps. Dec 4, 2017 at 11:24
  • I do have a pcmia express card slot so I could add usb 3.0. So if its 40 gbps how slow would the frame rate be? Dec 5, 2017 at 13:57
  • My USB c thunderbolt 3 is 40 Gbps. USB 3 is s lot slower--I think 5 Gbps. Also the express card USB 3 doesn't hit full USB 3 speeds but I can't remember as I last used it a few years ago. Sorry for inferior comment on my phone. Dec 5, 2017 at 18:10
  • So if I do get a USB 3.0 to HDMI cable if I do get this express card converter. which should I get? Dec 6, 2017 at 15:42

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