HDMI is backward compatible and almost every laptop has an HDMI port. It is widely used for playing games on the console, watching movies, or displaying presentations on a bigger screen.

On the contrary, if you want to use your laptop as an external monitor and make it essentially a portable display, you must have a laptop with HDMI input. Imagine having a separate HDMI input port on your laptops, life would become so easy, right?

Does My Laptop Have HDMI Input?

Unfortunately, we would have to pop your imaginary bubble since getting HDMI-in on a laptop isn’t possible. The only way is to find a laptop with a separate HDMI port or HDMI-in which is extremely rare.

Curious to know if your laptop has an HDMI input port or is compatible with it? We suggest you read out the article till the end.

What Is HDMI And How Does It Work?

HDMI, short for High Definition Media Interface is an audio/video interface standard that holds the responsibility to transmit high-quality videos from one component to another.

Usually, HDMI ports are present on any one side where the cable is connected and work via a set of distinctive plugs. On both, ends, the HDMI connector cable has a six-sided plug and every plug features 19 steel connector pins individually.

These connector pins fit right perfectly to the 19 holes present in the HDMI port. Once plugged in carefully, the pins then transfer the high-definition from the laptop to the external source. Speaking of the audio transmission, the HDMI pins are capable of transmitting up to eight audio channels.

Now, this was about the HDMI output, what about the HDMI-In for a laptop? As explained above, the working of an HDMI-out is pretty simple so, why can’t the process be such simple for HDMI input as well?

The main reason that makes HDMI input impossible is that the incoming signals from HDMI require specific hardware to decode the signals. Unfortunately, this software is not yet available on laptops.

Additionally, laptops usually contain LCD panels and utilize Low-Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS) unlike regular monitors therefore, the connectors are also different. This is why even though the HDMI connectors are usually the same your laptop won’t receive the signals.

What Is The Difference Between HDMI Input And Output?

The major difference between the HDMI input and output is the direction of the incoming signals.

  • HDMI-In: The receiving side
  • HDMI-Out: Being sent from a device

Commonly, the majority of the devices are integrated with an HDMI output port and hence, these can send signals out to other devices. Also, these devices with HDMI-out ports are unable to receive any kind of signals from other devices.

On the other hand, most displays have HDMI-in ports and these include televisions or monitors. Such displays are designed in a way that these can only receive signals and not send out.

Some very rare devices for example. Alienware laptops support both HDMI in and out but, that is not what you can easily get with standard laptops.

Does My Laptop Have HDMI Input?

If you can see one port on your laptop and wondering does my laptop have an HDMI input? We recommend you check if it is labeled as an HDMI-in port.

However, if the HDMI port isn’t labeled, understand that your laptop does not have an HDMI input. A regular HDMI port is only HDMI-out that is capable of transmitting the signals to other components only.

HDMI port on laptops for output and input both can never be the same. few high-end laptops support HDMI input ports available separately, other than the HDMI output slot. Some devices have two separate ports for HDMI-out and HDMI-in.

Can You Convert HDMI Output To Input?

One answer to this question – No!

Unfortunately, you can’t convert HDMI input to output by any means. The reason is that the internal circuitry is different for both the HDMI output and HDMI input.

The only solution is getting a game capture device as it allows you to receive video/audio signals.

Tip: You can utilize HDMI output to an input adapter and try using the port for the HDMI input purposes.

How To Get A Laptop To Read HDMI-In?

Whether you want to record or stream content coming from another device or use certain software (OBS), you can at least make your laptop read HDMI-in signals. But, how is it possible?

This can be done by using a USB HDMI game capture card. Remember, you can’t play games on the laptop using this game capture card but what you can do is stream or record gameplay.

The only downside of opting for the product is that these cards are a bit expensive. So, if you are on a budget and cannot afford to buy a USB HDMI game capture card, you can buy a cheap HDMI monitor instead.

Are There Any Gaming Laptops That Have HDMI-In?

If we look a few years back, you wouldn’t see any single laptop having an HDMI-In port. Fortunately, in today’s fast-growing tech market, you can find a handful of laptops coming with an extra HDMI port for input, e.g. Alienware M17x, M18x, 18, and R4.

Note: Except for the mentioned models from Alienware, no other laptops support HDMI-in.


HDMI-out ports in laptops play a significant role in displaying high-quality audio and video on bigger external screens. Lately, HDMI-in ports are also being very important since many people want to enjoy games or entertainment videos on their laptops.

Even if you find a laptop with HDMI-out and HDMI-in port both, always remember that a laptop using HDMI in works as a display only speakers or keyboard won’t work.

It will only function as a portable display that helps you to play games on your PS4 or Xbox using your laptop screen.


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