Is HDMi the standard output for desktop computers these days?

I’m currently shopping around for a cheap tower unit to connect to my TV. The thing is, my TV doesn’t have a VGA input.

I’m just going to use the unit to stream video if that matters.

DVI is the standard. Any desktop nowadays will have DVI and may or may not have HDMI.

The benefit of HDMI is that it also carries the audio so you don’t have to set up a separate connection for that.

If you don’t have an HDMI output on the computer you can buy a cheap video card that has it. I added an EVGA card to my dad’s computer just for the HDMI port on it, at a price of $15 after rebate. Don’t use a DVI-HDMI converter- DVI does not output audio.

I bought this back in 2010, I think it was about $400 at the time. I specifically got it because it had HDMI output, and also because it’s a small form factor, which manufacturers also seem to make extra quiet. It makes virtually no noise and is hooked up to my living room TV for HD streaming of everything. It does have a crazy “on” light that’s a big blue bar. Some electrical tape fixed that up.

I really don’t think it will be hard for you to find something very similar with HDMI, probably cheaper and with more RAM.

Even most cheap netbooks (which should be fine for streaming video) seem to come with HDMI ports these days, presumably because people use them for just this sort of purpose.

Displayport is catching on as well.

Anything recent should have HDMI and/or DisplayPort. IIRC, DisplayPort is “open” therefore no royalties and hence the different connector. The two are compatible with each other. Our work HP’s now all come with DisplayPort and before it was HDMI.

Also, DVI is very common and with an adapter ($5-$10) it can display HDMI and depending on the video card it can also carry audio. But, that is not as common and was not a standard implementation.

DVI is actually a deprecated standard. [1] In my experience, HDMI is very common, and DisplayPort is somewhat sporadically supported. Case in point: The projectors at work sprouted HDMI cables a couple years ago, to supplement (and eventually supplant, I would think) the VGA cables that were already there. None of the projectors have DVI cables hanging off of them, and none of our laptops have DVI ports. Only HDMI and party-like-it’s-1987 VGA.

([1] Money quote: “Displays and display standards are rapidly evolving, with new features such as multi-display support, stereoscopic 3-D, higher resolutions and increased color depth quickly moving from early adopter and niche usage to mainstream application,” said Eric Demers, AMD’s chief technology officer, Graphics Division. “Legacy interfaces such as VGA, DVI and LVDS have not kept pace, and newer standards such as DisplayPort and HDMI clearly provide the best connectivity options moving forward. In our opinion, DisplayPort 1.2 is the future interface for PC monitors, along with HDMI 1.4a for TV connectivity.”

Now that the question has been answered, have you considered a Roku or Chromecast instead of a PC? Far cheaper and easier to use, especially the Roku.

I have noticed that most projectors still sport VGA ports. I presume it’s for legacy applications, of which there is probably no shortage.

Thanks for replying,

Anything Roku can do for me, I pretty much already have built into my TV. I do have Chromecast, and it works great for its intended applications, (Youtube, Netflix.) but if your trying to watch stuff off the browser, it kind of sucks.

Plus, I’m a little concerned about burning all those hours on my laptop streaming to TV. I’d rather just get a cheap tower unit. That way if it burns itself out a couple of years from now, there wont be any love lost.

Plus, having a full-on HTPC gives you tons of options: gaming and emulation, support for any type of media file you’ll come across, Myth/Chris_TV, and lots of control options.

4-player MAME sessions make it worth the price of entry, methinks :smiley:

DVI and HDMI interchange pretty readily though; I got a cable off Amazon (or Monoprice; I don’t recall) with a HDMI plug on one end and a DVI-R plug on the other, and use it to go from my Xbox to my PC monitor.

Up to 1920x1080 (1080p), HDMI and DVI are interchangeable - and can be converted with a simple passive adapter or cable (although you lose audio/don’t have audio on DVI). Above 1920x1080 they diverge and it isn’t so simple - converting dual link DVI to hdmi or vice versa is non-trivial.