Looking for a VERY multi-interface video adapter for our conference TV
August 11, 2016 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Is there a device that converts multiple video outputs (DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, mini-DP, VGA, DVI, ect) into a single HDMI cable?

Hi all,

My company has a conference room and we constantly have people from outside the company giving presentations on our LG 55" HDTV.

I have DOZENS of various HDMI/DP/miniDP/miniHDMI/VGA/DVI adapters sitting around for the impossible array of video outputs on modern notebooks. It's a PITA and people are constantly stealing them.

I've look all over Amazon and Newegg and the best I can find are dinky little $20 adapters that claim to convert VGA and DP to HDMI.

Is there a single box that has all (or at least many) of these inputs that converts to a single HDMI input? If not, what TV or monitor would be best suited for this task?

posted by lattiboy to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Short answer: ditch the cables altogether and install an AirMedia box. Essentially, it creates a private wifi network between your users device and the display. It allows you to cast video from lots of different devices to your display with no cables at all.
Expensive, and probably overkill, but it will solve your problem for sure.
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:28 AM on August 11, 2016

We use ClickShare at work. Plugs into USB port, so it works on everyone's computer. Really straightforward to use (plug into computer, open program that loads on USB drive, wait 10 seconds, press button). Vendors & visitors use it all the time with no problem. Highly recommended.
posted by brainmouse at 11:49 AM on August 11, 2016

zip-tie all the adaptors into one giant rat king ball.
posted by zippy at 12:12 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

How much of a budget do you have? Extron makes a number of boxes that can handle this, but they're not cheap. The link below is for a basic unit, but you'd have to use some HDMI adapters for some of your other digital interfaces. Extron has a few more expensive units that should have all the connection ports you need.

Extron 1604

That said, I agree with cosmicbandito. AirMedia or something similar is probably a better option. Sometimes video playback can get chuggy on wireless systems, but unless you're doing Broadcast work, I don't think it's a big deal. Here's the Extron equivalent that I have used many times, and love.

Extron ShareLink 250

p.s. I do not work for Extron, haha.
posted by LoRichTimes at 12:24 PM on August 11, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks all.

A lot of those options seem quite expensive. I'm not averse to spending a few hundred bucks, but these seem more complicated then the current setup.

Kind of shocked nobody like Monoprice or Ancher has made something for this niche yet.
posted by lattiboy at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2016

Kind of shocked nobody like Monoprice or Ancher has made something for this niche yet.

Because adapters are one thing, but switching capability is a whole 'nother animal.
posted by TinWhistle at 1:36 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

TinWhistle has it right. You're talking about the potential for scaling and scan changes. That kind of switching requires some signal processing that can't be achieved by a simple A/B/C knob.

Maybe try Kramer? They make some cheaper (but solid) hardware that can handle this. B&H Photo Video is a good resource for price comparison.
posted by LoRichTimes at 2:15 PM on August 11, 2016

It's a PITA and people are constantly stealing them.

Lo-tech, free solution employed by IT for our lab, after replacing x number of $25 dongles: exchange the adapter for a campus ID or driver's license. The ID card gets returned once the adapter is returned.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:50 PM on August 11, 2016

The IT department at my company uses something like these security tethers attached to the end of the HDMI cable to keep adapters from walking off.
posted by Aleyn at 6:06 PM on August 11, 2016

My workplace has done the same as Aleyn's. There's a single HDMI cable in each conference room, but the end has a handful of adapters connected to it via security tether. The aesthetic is halfway between those cooking measuring spoons that lock together on a ring and a swiss army knife. It's not the prettiest, but should another interface come out, they could just toss another adapter on the keychain.
posted by mikeh at 7:47 AM on August 12, 2016

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