Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the HDMI port on a Dell PC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the HDMI port on a Dell PC



This article provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about the HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port on a Dell PC


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Introduction

HDMI Logo 1

This article provides a reference on HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) ports on a Dell PC, by going over the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) by our end users and providing clear answers to each.

The questions vary from what the port looks like to how to troubleshoot them when something goes wrong.

I hope you find what you need below. If not, please contact your local support.


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2. Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.

What is an HDMI port and What does it do?

A Port or Connector :

A Port or Connector on a Dell PC has either holes or a slot that matches the plug or device that you are connecting to the Port.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) :

Has been around for a while and is a proprietary video/audio interface for transferring data from an HDMI compliant source device to a compatible device such as a projector or television. HDMI is a digital replacement for DVI-HDCP video standards.

How does it work?

Externally HDMI is a more robust connector and port than the old DVI connections. There are no thumbscrews to secure the plug and it's not as easy to bend pins in the end of the connector. It is the first industry-supported uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, or A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV), over a single cable. HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports 8-channel digital audio with bandwidth to spare to accommodate future enhancements and requirements.

HDMI was designed to carry 8 channels, of 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. In addition HDMI can carry any format of compressed audio format such as Dolby or DTS. HDMI has the capacity to support the existing high-definition video formats such as 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, along with support of enhanced definition formats like 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL. HDMI has been designed with the consumer market in mind. It's widely adopted across all manufacturers and is supported by the motion picture producers Fox, Universal, Warner Bros and Disney along with system operators such as DirecTV, EchoStar (Dish Network) and CableLabs.

What types of HDMI port are in common use?

There are a number of types of HDMI port and connectors in use currently. Please select your version from the tabs below to see the available ports and plugs and what they can do :

Type A

This port / connector set is defined in the HDMI 1.0 specification.

The male connector is 13.9 mm by 4.45 mm and the female port is 14 mm by 4.55 mm.

There are 19 pins with the bandwidth to call all the SDTV, EDTV and HDTV modes.

It is electrically compatible with DVI-D Single-Link.

Port Type A Port Plug Type A Plug

Type B

This port / connector set is defined in the HDMI 1.0 specification.

The male connector is 21.2 mm by 4.45 mm.

There are 29 pins carrying six (6) pairs instead of three (3). This is for use with very high resolution displays like the WQUXGA (3840x2400 pixels).

It is electrically compatible with DVI-D Dual-Link. This connector hasn't seen much use and the additional 3 pairs is reserved as of the 1.3 specification.

Port Type B Port Plug Type B Plug

Type C

This port / connector set is defined in the HDMI 1.3 specification and is commonly called the Mini-HDMI connector.

The male connector is 10.42 mm by 2.42 mm.

There are 19 pins and this connector type is designed for portable devices.

You can connect a Type C connector to a Type A port by using the correct adapter cable or connector.

Port Type C Port Plug Type C Plug

Type D

This port / connector set is defined in the HDMI 1.4 specification and is commonly called the micro-HDMI connector.

The male connector is 6.4 mm by 2.8 mm.

There are 19 pins and this connector type is designed for portable devices.

Port Type D Port Plug Type D Plug

Type E

The Automotive Connection System has a locking tab, which keeps the cable from shaking loose and helps to prevent moisture and dirt from interfering with the signal. It was defined by the HDMI 1.4 specification.

A relay connector is available for connecting regular consumer cables to the automotive type.

Port Type E Port Plug Type E Plug

What are the HDMI Versions?

The revisions chart the changes in the technology that made the port and speeds improve over time :

Version 1.0

Version 1.0 came out in December 2002.

HDMI is a single-cable digital audio/video connector interface.

HDMI Version 1.0
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 165
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 1.65
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 4.95
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 3.96
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 36.86
Max colour depth (bit/px) 24
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 1920x1200p / 60 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px

Version 1.1

Version 1.1 came out in May 2004.

They added DVD-Audio.

HDMI Version 1.1
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 165
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 1.65
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 4.95
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 3.96
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 36.86
Max colour depth (bit/px) 24
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 1920x1200p / 60 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px

Version 1.2

Version 1.2 came out in August 2005.

Allowed low voltage sources, added Type A ports to PCs and set out Consumer Electronic Control features, command sets and compliance tests.

HDMI Version 1.2
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 165
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 1.65
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 4.95
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 3.96
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 36.86
Max colour depth (bit/px) 24
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 1920x1200p / 60 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px

Version 1.3

Version 1.3 came out in June 2006.

Added output of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and Master Audio streams. It included automatic audio synching, standardised the cable types 1 and 2 and introduced the Mini connector.

HDMI Version 1.3
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 340
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 3.40
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 10.2
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 8.16
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 36.86
Max colour depth (bit/px) 48
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 2560x1600p / 60 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px

Version 1.4

Version 1.4 came out in May 2009.

It increased the maximum resolution to 4Kx2K (4096x2160 / 24 Hz) and UltraHD (3840x2160 / 24 Hz). The new Micro connector was introduced as was the Automotive connector. It also defined and added several stereoscopic 3D formats. Itroduced the Ethernet channel to the cables.

HDMI Version 1.4
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 340
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 3.40
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 10.2
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 8.16
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 36.86
Max colour depth (bit/px) 48
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 4096x2160p / 24 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 1920x1080p / 24Hz

Version 2.0

Version 2.0 came out in September 2013.

Introduced HDMI UHD, the speed increased to allow it to carry 4K and 60 fps. Added the 21:9 aspect ratio and the HE-AAC and DRA audio standards.

HDMI Version 2.0
Max Pixel Clock Rate (MHz) 600
Max TMDS throughput per channel (Gbit/s) inluding 8b / 10b overhead 6
Max total TMDS throughput (Gbit/s) including 8b / 10b overhead 18
Max throughput (Gbit/s) with 8b / 10b removed 14.4
Max Audio throughput (Mbit/s) 49.152
Max colour depth (bit/px) 48
Max consumer resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 4096x2160p / 60 Hz
Max consumer 3D resolution over single link at 24 bit/px 1920x1080p / 60 Hz
4096x2160p / 24Hz

What are the HDMI cable Types?

Standard HDMI Cable

Only provides enough bandwidth for 720p and 1080i resolution video.

Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Only provides enough bandwidth for 720p and 1080i resolution video, but adds support for 100 mbps ethernet.

High Speed HDMI Cable

Has increased bandwidth to support video with a resolution of 1080p or higher (Up to 4096x2160 / 24 Hz,). This type of cable also supports 3D video.

High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Has increased bandwidth to support video with a resolution of 1080p or higher (Up to 4096x2160 / 24 Hz,). This type of cable also supports 3D video, but adds support for 100 mbps ethernet.

HDMI versus DisplayPort?

A common question is which is better HDMI or DisplayPort, I'll go into their common categories and we'll see how they match up :

The connectors

The connectors between HDMI and DisplayPort are similar in range and reach. Mini DisplayPort is more prevalent on Apple devices, whilst the mini HDMI is seen more on portable devices. This one is a tie.

The cables

There are four (4) cable standards for HDMI, but they often aren't labeled correctly. Using a cable that isn't up to the job you want it to do, can be problematical. There is no maximum cable length defined for HDMI in it's standards, but depending on the cable type - they can carry out a wide variety of jobs. DisplayPort cables on the other hand are much simpler - there's one standard of cable and it supports all the current revisions, but can't cover the same wide spread of capabilities like the HDMI cables. Length wise DisplayPort can have a regular 65 foot cable, for a fibre cable it can be hundreds of feet long. For simplicity DisplayPort wins, however for specialised jobs you'd go with the correct HDMI cable type.

Video and Audio Streams

HDMI can handle a single video stream and a single audio stream, so it can only drive one display at a time. Whereas a DisplayPort interface can support from two screens (2560x1600 pixels) up to four (4) screens (1920x1200 pixels) with each screen receiving independant video and audio streams. With additional interfaces you can daisy-chain compatible monitors to have as many as Six (6) screens connected to one source. HDMI is fine for one screen, but if you want multiple screens - DisplayPort is the way to go.

The conclusion

HDMI was designed for Home Entertainment - Home Theatres, projectors, Televisions, Blu-ray players and the like. For this environment HDMI is still the best.

DisplayPort on the other hand was designed specifically for computers as the ultimate display interface to replace the older video standards - However it works more as a complement to HDMI that a replacement of it.

HDMI has had the better uptake by manufacturers, so is the more ubiquitious standard commonly available.

The answer as to which is better - it depends on what you want to do with it. Home entertainment - stick to HDMI, Productivity/Business uses - consider what DisplayPort can do for you.

What Operating Systems support HDMI ports?

So far there hasn't been a popular operating system that hasn't supported HDMI. Everything from Apple, Linux and Windows have support for these HDMI standards built into their operating systems from the base up.

How do I resolve an issue with a Device not detected or faulty on a HDMI port?

Note: If you have Accidental Damage Cover, damage is specifically covered as part of the Accidental Damage package. We will need to know where the damage is and how it occurred when you contact your local Technical Support. If you DON'T have any cover or no Accidental Damage cover, then any repairs will be chargeable.

You can check your warranty status on the link below.

The first step is to check the ports, the connector and the cable for any wear and tear or damage that might be causing you problems :

  1. Checking for damage is very basic, it's looking at the HDMI port and visually checking if there are any:

    • Cracks in the plastics surrounding the port?
    • Any part of the port crimped or bent?
    • Any pins from inside the port bent or missing?
    • Any parts of the port missing or broken off?
    • Any damage to the devices male connector?
    • Any damage to the cable from the connector to the device?
  1. If you identify any of the above you will need to have in place a complete care warranty or be prepared for a chargeable repair call. (Your local Technical Support team will provide a quote for this repair.)

  2. If there is no damage to the port, the cabling or the external device then carry on with the next step.

  1. Does the external HDMI device and cabling work ok in another system?

    1. Yes, then proceed with the next step.

    2. No, then you will need to replace the external device or cable as appropriate.

  1. Plug the external device to the port using the cabling. If you move the connector whilst it's plugged into the HDMI port, does it affect whether the device is picked up or not?

    1. Yes, then contact your local Technical Support team to take the connection issue further.

    2. No, then proceed to the next step.

  1. Have you ruled out a software issue in any way? There are four basic ways to accomplish this.

    1. You can two way swap your HDD (Hard Disk Drive) with one from a similar working system and see if the fault follows the HDD to a new machine or if the issue stays with your system? Please follow your User Guide for instructions on removing any hardware parts as the steps change from system type to the system type or you can search on our support site using terms such as "your PCs model type", "CRU" and "removal" to find a guide specific to your machine.

    2. You can boot from an Ubuntu Live CD (Regardless of the the operating system currently in use on the PC.) and check to see if you experience the same issue in another OS. Ubuntu live CD's allow you to boot the OS off the CD without installing it on your Hard Drive. You can download an ISO of the CD on the Download link below. Tap rapidly at the F12 key when the system boots to the Dell Splash screen and choose the CD/DVD drive option from the boot once menu that appears.

    3. You can plug your cable and screen to another device such as a bluray player or satellite / cable box to check they work away from your PC and operating system.

    4. You can run a factory restore or reinstall your Operating system.

Caution: Carrying out option iv. would be done as a last resort and only done if one of the other two steps couldn't be done. You MUST back up all data before carrying out this procedure - if you do not data WILL be lost. Any operating system reinstall or factory restore involves formatting your Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Please refer to the guides on the Windows portal for further information on these procedures.
  1. Was the issue seen once the OS and Software was ruled out?

    1. No, then the issue is resolved.

    2. Yes, then contact your support to take this further, they will take you through some hardware diagnostics. These are built in to your PC and you can also access more on the Dell Support Site by entering your service tag.

Please see the additional information section at the bottom of this article for contact us instructions.

How do I get the sound back through the HDMI port after upgrading to windows 7?

On some Dell laptops, after upgrading to Windows 7 no sound can be heard from speakers connected to the HDMI port. To verify, view the driver details of the Intel(R) High Definition Audio HDMI in Device Manager.

  1. Click Start and in the search box type, Sound, then click Sound under Control Panel.

  2. Under the Playback tab, HDMI may be missing.

If HDMI is missing from Sound in the Control Panel and there is no audio through HDMI, download and install the latest Intel video and IDT audio drivers from Support Site for your system type or service tag to resolve the issue.

Why does the audio output change when I dock my Dell notebook PC?

When in use and undocked, the default audio output for a Dell notebook PC is the internal speakers.

If the system is docked in a docking station with an HDMI or DisplayPort connected display with a headphone output, the default audio output will change automatically to the HDMI or DisplayPort connected device. This is regardless of any speaker configuration on the display device.

If the external display has no internal or external speakers or has no speaker bar attached, then a no audio condition (loss of sound) may be encountered until the default output is changed back to the internal speakers of the system.

The audio device drivers will always check for HDMI/DisplayPort audio devices installed in Windows and if detected, Windows will automatically make the switch to the HDMI/DisplayPort audio device.

If the displays have no speakers but have a headphone output, then the switch will result in a no sound until the default audio device is manually changed back to the internal speakers.

This is the system working as it should. to switch back to internal speakers, follow these steps :

  1. Right Click the Start button, click Control Panel from the menu.

  2. Click hardware and sound , then Manage Audio devices in the Sound section, the sound window will open.

  3. Click Speakers, then click Set Default, then OK and close the control panel window

Note: This is a normal function of a Windows operating system and the audio driver, and is working as designed.

What is the future of the HDMI port?

There doesn't appear to any doubt that the HDMI standard has a very clear cut advantage in the consumer market.

Many consumers are aware of the benefits of this hardware and there is an increase in manufacturers going to HDMI ports on consumer devices.

With the constant improvement seen, HDMI can only go from strength to strength.


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Additional Information :

Note: It is best practice when using a Desktop or Notebook PC to treat the onboard HDMI port on the device as an output only port. Whilst HDMI cables are bi-directional, this capability isn't built into PC's. HDMI deals with Video and Sound, PC's are set up to output this to a compatible device - such as a screen or interface device.

If you issue with another port on a PC, please try the article below :

If you require further assistance, please contact technical Support.
Contact Us


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Article ID: SLN17611

Last Date Modified: 10/13/2017 03:14 AM


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