The Playstation console has cemented its place as one of the premier gaming platforms since its birth in the early 1990’s.
As technology has evolved over the years, so has the playstation console to keep up with the times.
One notable change is video.
Video has come a long way since its humble pixelated days.
With higher definition capabilities of modern televisions, the line is blurred between what you are watching and reality.
The newer Playstation 4 (PS4) uses a HDMI cable to transmit audio and video to a video output device such as a television.
But, do USB to HDMI adapters work for a PS4?
No, USB to HDMI adapters do not work on a PS4. The PS4 only has a HDMI video out port that it uses to transmit audio and video in conjunction with a HDMI cable. It cannot transmit audio or video via USB. If the HDMI port of your PS4 is broken, you will need to get it fixed.
How a PS4 displays video
Let’s take a closer look at the PS4 and how it transmits video.
As mentioned earlier, video has evolved a lot over the years.
The older CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions typically had a resolution of 480p, whereas newer televisions have a resolution of 8K!
That’s like watching cinema quality movies in the comfort of your living room.
Other than resolution, the cables and protocols for transmitting audio and video have also changed.
Different types of video connection
Below is a list of the different types of video connection used for a variety of devices like VCR, DVD, TV and other HDTV equipment.
Composite Video (RCA or F-pin)
This is a means of transmitting video information as a single signal over one wire. It is commonly connected using the RCA jack. Composite video connections were used for older video equipment such as VCR’s and DVDs.
S-Video (super-video) – This type of cable transmits video information in two parts; color (chrominance) and brightness (luminance).
This produces better quality images as a composite video cable due to the fact that televisions are created to separate signals for color and brightness.
This type of connection uses three cables to send red, green and blue signals. This is how it achieves sharp and clear images.
DVI (digital visual interface)
DVI uses a digital interface standard to convert analog signals so that it can be utilized for analog and digital monitors. It provides a pure digital video connection for greater quality pictures.
HDMI (high definition multimedia interface)
HDMI is the latest and most used connection for video and audio currently.
It combines digital video (DVI) and multi-channel audio all in one cable. It is used for high-definition video which encompasses 720p and 1080p video formats.
The PS4 and HDMI
As you just saw, there are many ways to interface multimedia equipment with a video output device like a television or a monitor.
Of the five connections mentioned, the PS4 uses HDMI as a means for transmitting audio and video to a television.
It has an HDMI output port which is located at the back, which you use in conjunction with a HDMI cable to connect to an output device capable of displaying video.
Note, the output device will also have to be HDMI compatible and have an input port.
What is the purpose of a USB to HDMI adapter?
Electronic devices come with a limited number of ports, whether it be USB or HDMI ports.
More often than not, they will have fewer HDMI ports than they do USB.
This means that if you need to connect multiple video output devices and only have one HDMI output port you are out of luck.
Or are you?
If you have a spare USB port, you can use a USB to HDMI adapter, to solve your problem.
The adapter can be plugged into the USB port giving you one more HDMI port.
However, the downside with using the USB port is that it takes longer to transmit images and audio compared to an HDMI port.
Why you cannot use a USB to HDMI adapter on a PS4
So, a USB to HDMI adapter can come in handy if you need an extra HDMI port.
But, can it be used on the USB port of a PS4?
Unfortunately, a USB to HDMI adapter will not work on a PS4. The PS4 does not support the transmission of video or audio by means of USB (it uses the HDMI standard to do so).
Also, the PS4 operating system does not have the appropriate drivers required to support the USB to HDMI adapter. It would just bypass the internal GPU of the PS4.
If you were to look at the ‘video output settings’ in the PS4, you would not be able to find ‘USB’ as one of the options.
The USB to HDMI adapters are mainly used for computers and laptops which have the capability and necessary drivers needed to transmit video via USB.
What is the purpose of the USB ports on the PS4?
If the USB ports cannot be used to transmit video, what is their main purpose on a PS4?
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a standard for protocols of data transmission across cables and connectors, between computers (or anything that has a computing system, like a PS4), peripherals and other computers.
The main purpose is to transport data, not video.
So, the USB ports on the PS4 are used to communicate with playstation peripherals such as, controllers, external harddrives, VR headsets, etc, and transmit data.
They can also be used as a means to charge wireless devices like wireless controllers, headsets, etc.
What options do you have if your PS4 HDMI port is damaged?
If for the unfortunate circumstance you have damaged the HDMI port of your PS4, the only option you have is to get it fixed as a USB to HDMI adapter cannot be used.