Difference Between HDMI Input and Output

September 11, 2022 5 Minute gelesen

IF you fail to identify HDMI Input and Output, your entire function may turn out to be an ugly affair. As you know HDMI is the fastest medium to transmit Audio/video signals, it is readily available. 

However, with the introduction of HDMI Arc and eArch, HDMI’s usage has become complicated. To use it correctly, you must link HDMI Input and Output accordingly. So what actually input and output is? How you can easily connect your PC, Laptop to the TV, and how you can perfectly craft an HDMI In and Out connection to get blasting sound from your sound bar. 



Major Difference Between HDMI Inputs and Outputs

  1. HDMI Input receives audio/video signal 
  2. HDMI Output sends audio/video signal
  3. HDMI-ARC-Input receives an audio signal from an HDMI-ARC-compatible sender for a unified audio response
  4. In and out for HDMI cable with ethernet work differently

Here is a complete read to get the glaring benefits offered by ethernet-enabled HDMI cable.

HDMI Cable With Ethernet-Its Benefits Over Wi-Fi


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What is an HDMI Input and What are Its Uses?

You often find HDMI Input imprints on monitors, TVs, and home theatre receivers. HDMI input allows either end of the HDMI cable to insert and transmit audio or video signal from a source device. Take this simple illustration. 

HDMI input is like a dark tunnel – no light or sound. It receives light, bright colors, and sound from the source. The most common HDMI source devices are Blu-ray players, Game consoles, and A/V receivers. In short, a device with HDMI input will warmly accept digital data, greet it with a smile, and display it with the apt color scheme and ideal sound pitches.

HDMI Input


What can’t be an input? 

To explain this, understand the following illustration of the Laptop and Blu-ray player. To get a display on TV through Blu-ray, you’ll have to create a bond between HDMI-out of Blu-ray with HDMI-In of TV. 

Similarly, to get a display from Laptop to a TV or Monitor, you’ll have to join the HDMI-in of a laptop with the HDMI-out of the TV/monitor. 

The illustration clearly attests that in relationship to TV, laptops and Blu-ray players can never be an Output.


HDMI Output

HDMI output does the total opposite of HDMI Input. It injects pixels, sound pitch, and now ethernet, into HDMI input. In short, HDMI Output serves like a mother who takes care of the infant, (Tv/Monitors) by supplying life-inducing colors and audio. 

So, when you see an HDMI output tag on any device, you must think of it as a mother who is ready to feed light, and sound to input that is dark. Thus, a device having HDMI Output will send data i.e. audio, video, or ethernet to input. 

In short, the sender has A/V information which it conveys to the receiver through different tools– cables, adapters, wireless devices. 

HDMI Output


How to change HDMI Output to Input on a Laptop with a Capture Card?

Firstly, we aren't talking about converting HDMI Output into and HDMI Input. Let’s discuss how you can receive signal from external source to your laptop from gaming consoles –Xbox or PlayStation– using capture card. 

  1. Attach the USB-C cable to the capture card, and place the other end into a USB 3.0 port on your laptop or desktop. In order to get the most out of it, you should make sure it is connected to a USB 3.0 port and not an older one!
  2. Using an HDMI cable, connect your gaming console to your capture card that has an HDMI IN port.
  3. Now, you’ll need another HDMI cable to connect your laptop to the card's HDMI OUT port.

Congratulations! You are all set-up.



Laptops have input HDMI port

99% of laptops are HDMI Output, not input.


Can You Use HDMI Input as Output?

Straight NO. The two ports are designed differently. They can’t be interchangeably used without the additional support of adapters or HUB. They should be your best tools to convert ports into either output or input. These handy gadgets help you connect all the latest versions of laptops lacking an HDMI port. 

But how can you easily do this? 



How to Connect MacBook to HDMI Port of Tv / Monitor. 

We all know apple for its ability to innovate. But this innovation sometimes produces complex issues. For example, the MacBook doesn’t have an HDMI port. Undoubtedly, this has led apple to create a thin and light body for all its gears, yet the ease of connecting it to any projector and TV is compromised. 

Connecting MacBook, especially the MacBook Air with HDMI Output isn't a plug-n-play. You need a hub or adapter. In this case, you’ll connect HUB with Thunderbolt-3 or USC-C port. And then insert HDMI cable into HDMI Out of HUB. This setting will create a junction for smooth flow of A/V signal from MacBook to TV or Monitor.  

Here is the vibrant collection of HUBs that serve all your needs. 

Tap Here



What are HDMI In and HDMI Out on Sound Bar?

Connecting your Device with a sound bar makes the question of HDMI-In and HDMI-Out obsolete. It needs special treatment. To perfectly join your sound bar with the TV, you need HDMI ARC which contains a delicate Audio Return Channel enabling the HDMI cable to send sound back and forth between your TV and sound bar. 



What are HDMI In and HDMI Out on Sound Bar?
HDMI cable inserted in HDMI Out (ARC) on sound bar


So here is the trick. 

1 - Make sure one of the HDMI on your TV is labeled as HDMI IN (ARC)”

2 - Then immediately check for “HDMI OUT (ARC)” on your sound bar

3 - Connect the HDMI ARC cable with the respective port

4 -  If the sound doesn’t turn automatically, go to the TV's setting and tweak the external speaker’s mode. 


But for superb audio and thrilling experience, HDMI ARC may not be the perfect solution. 

Then what should you choose? 

HDMI ARC Vs Optical: How to Get the Best Sound?

Note: In some cases, Sound bars have an HDMI ARC port but are not labeled. If you face this, go and read the user manual. 



HDMI Input and Output: Final Words from UNI

To boil down, HDMI Input and Output are unique. While HDMI Output is the sender, HDMI Input is the receiver. However, as you’ve seen, next-gen laptops don’t even carry an HDMI port, forcing us to rely on HUBs and adapters. Similarly, connecting the sound bar with the TV requires special treatment using an HDMI ARC cable. Anyway, hope this article helps.

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