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Introduction

More and more conference and collaboration rooms are configured for only HDMI connectivity to a large screen display or a projector. Although the trend is undeniable, there is still a sizeable legacy population of laptops with VGA video outputs. These laptops become foreigners in the land of HDMI and Display Port connectivity. Let’s work together to figure out how to bridge that legacy gap and keep conference rooms working and end users happy.

Discussion

To make VGA and HDMI laptops work seamlessly in the meeting room environment, we need to provide access to both types of connectors and then convert all signals to the HDMI format for further transmission and distribution. The first product I selected is the TNP128 with VGA and HDMI inputs. It has the combination I need and enables the user to hide the connectivity when it is not used.

 

Blog 10222015 - Figure 1 - Hybrid Tilt N Plug with VGA and HDMI inputs

Figure 1: Hybrid Tilt ‘N Plug with VGA and HDMI inputs

Another tabletop interface that may meet this requirement is the CNK200 with cable retractor plates and USB power connections.

Blog 10222015 - Figure 2 - Hybrid CNK200 with VGA and HDMI retractable cables

Figure 2: Hybrid CNK200 with VGA and HDMI retractable cables

The advantage of the CNK200 solution is that it has retractable cables built into the interface. Hence, no additional cables for connecting a laptop are required. Now that we have HDMI and VGA connectivity available, let’s select a converter to change the VGA signal to an HDMI signal. This converter should handle 1080p and 1900 x 1200 resolutions to be compatible with most computers. I selected the VP500-102 VGA to HDMI converter.

Blog 10222015 - Figure 3 - Hybrid VP500-101 VGA to HDMI converter

Figure 3: Hybrid VP500-101 VGA to HDMI converter

The final piece of equipment we need is an auto switcher that enables automatic selection between VGA and HDMI inputs. For the most part, only one input is used at any given time. This solution will work with a single input connected or both inputs connected. The auto switching is configured to select the last user connecting to the interface. For this function, I selected the UT260-041, a 4 x 1 ShareTime HDMI auto switcher with an idle display.

Blog 10222015 - Figure 4 - Hybrid UT240-041 VGA to HDMI converter.

Figure 4: Hybrid UT260-041 VGA to HDMI converter

Now that we have all of the components, let’s do a system diagram to see how everything will be connected together. Note that audio for the VGA signal is combined together with the video to provide the HDMI signal with the audio embedded.

Blog 10222015 - Figure 5 - System diagram for hybrid video solution

Figure 5: System diagram for hybrid video solution

If you are not using a CNK200, then to complete the system, you may want to use some VGA, HDMI and audio cables. Preferably something compact that can be easily stored. Here are few examples.

 

Blog 10222015 - Figure 6 - Different retractors for use with the system

Figure 6: Different retractors for use with the system

Let’s now review the cost of the installation, excluding the video display and the furniture. The cost is based on list prices for materials.

 

Blog 10222015 - Figure 7 - System pricing

Figure 7: System pricing