Expand Your Screen Real Estate with Plugable’s New USB-C to HDMI and VGA Cables

As more USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 computers hit the market, we receive frequent questions about how to best connect these systems to monitors, TVs, and projectors. For owners of DisplayPort-enabled displays, a great option has been our best selling “Amazon’s Choice” Plugable USB-C to DisplayPort cable.

Today we are pleased to announce the latest expansion to our USB-C cable product line with the launch of Plugable’s USB-C to HDMI 2.0 and USB-C to VGA cables, to directly connect all your existing monitors and projectors to your Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C systems, like the MacBook Pro 2016 (which can support two attached cables and monitors). These 6 foot/1.8m cables allow for a clean, cable-managed installation without the need to keep track of additional USB-C dongles.

The USB 3.1 “Type-C” standard has introduced several new features not present in previous generations of USB. One of these capabilities that’s most interesting is the ability to negotiate “Alternate Modes” which — if both sides of the connection support the same mode and agree — can dedicate some of the physical wires in the USB-C cable for transmission of non-USB signals like video.

One of the most widely adopted Alternate Modes is one for transmitting video, using DisplayPort signaling. This enables the ability to carry a native video signal over USB, allowing an additional display to be connected by adding a simple, inexpensive adapter cable to the USB-C port on compatible systems. And because of DisplayPort’s flexibility, the signaling can be converted to other popular connection types such as HDMI and VGA.

USB-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode provides a direct pipeline to the system’s graphics processor, and our adapter allows the attached display to function optimally, with no additional software or drivers to install – just plug and play.

Our USB-C to HDMI cable is one of the first available with an HDMI 2.0 port, which is capable of supporting resolutions up to 3840×2160@60Hz (4K@60Hz) on supported host systems and HDMI 2.0 capable monitors and TVs and is backwards compatible with the millions of existing HDMI 1.4 displays.

Our USB-C to VGA cable harnesses the USB-C port on the system and converts the DisplayPort digital signal to an analog VGA signal in order to connect your legacy monitors, TVs and projectors to your new USB-C Alt Mode or Thunderbolt 3 system. The maximum resolution supported is 1920×1080@60Hz while connected to a VGA-equipped display.

Popular systems that support USB-C DisplayPort Alternate Mode and work with our new cables include the MacBook Pro 13″ & 15″ Late 2016, MacBook Retina 12″ 2015/2016, the Chromebook Pixel 2015, Dell Thunderbolt 3 systems like the XPS 13 & 15 (9350, 9360, 9550, 9560), Lenovo Yoga 900/910, and many more. We recommend checking with your system’s manufacturer regarding Alternate Mode capability via USB Type-C or on our USBC-HDMI-CABLE and USBC-VGA-CABLE product pages as we update compatibility information as more systems are coming out and tested.

If you have additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to comment below or reach out to us directly at support@plugable.com. We’re always happy to help!

7 comments on “Expand Your Screen Real Estate with Plugable’s New USB-C to HDMI and VGA Cables”

  1. joevt Reply

    Does the USBC-VGA-CABLE use the same chipset as USBC-VGA adapter? The USBC-VGA adapter used 2 DisplayPort lanes at HBR2 speed and allowed 330 MHz pixel clock which allows much higher resolution/refresh rate than the advertised 1920×1080@60Hz.

  2. john Reply

    i saw a video from plugable on youtube a gentleman pluged 7 monitors to a laptop i see the monitors work on it , my question is can 7 flat screen tv’s connect as well to a laptop using the 7 usb to hdmi adaptors ?

    • David Washburn Reply

      Thanks for asking! The video you are referencing is a proof of concept to see what is theoretically possible with our USB graphic adapters, but we generally do not recommend this to customers. Our USB graphics adapters are dependent on both the CPU and integrated graphics processor in your system to function and each additional unit requires more resources. With that many adapters the performance may not meet your needs, and many modern USB 3.0 systems can limit how many USB devices can be connected to your system so you may run into a limitation that would prevent all of them working properly (this can happen with them directly connected or with a hub).

      Our USBC-HDMI-CABLE adapters will not be able to accomplish this as USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode cables provide a direct pipeline to the system’s graphics processor. Generally, a system’s graphics processor tends to limit the amount of supported displays connected at one time and it is different from system to system.

    • David Washburn Reply

      Thanks for asking! You don’t mention the monitor you’re using, but our USBC-VGA-CABLE should be able to work with the Samsung Galaxy S8 as we have had success from our internal testing.

  3. Ann Reply

    I have a Lenovo laptop with only one HDMI port. what do I need to buy to extend my desktop to 2 or 3 monitors?

    • David Washburn Reply

      Thanks for asking! Our email based support team would be happy to help and which of our products may be a good fit for you. Please contact us at support@plugable.com with ‘Ticket Number 199015’ in the subject line. Please include the model of laptop you are using and the monitors you wish to use in the body of your message and we will match everything up and go from there.

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