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Reading the config.txt docs, I found this:

These values are valid if hdmi_group=1 (CEA)

hdmi_mode=1 VGA

Does this make the output on my HDMI port be VGA? I have a cable that with a VGA and an HDMI ports, but no converter. Would I be able to use a VGA monitor with that cable and the Pi outputting VGA? Or is this something completely different?

  • That you "have a cable that with a VGA and an HDMI ports, but no converter" sounds unusual. Normally a cable will have the same kind of connectors, both HDMI or both VGA, unless it is a converter cable. There are two main types of converter cables. One type converts electrically similar but physically different connectors such as a gender mender or a USB cable with type A on one end and type B on the other. Other type converts electrically different connectors such as an HDMI to VGA converter cable. HDMI and VGA use connectors that are physically different and electrically different. – Richard Chambers Oct 29 '17 at 13:43
  • This cable here doesn't convert, you need a graphics card that can output VGA signal through the HDMI connector (or vice-versa, im not sure) – BlueMoon93 Oct 29 '17 at 15:34
  • The title uses the phrase "Video Converter Adapter" however the actual images do not appear to have a VGA/HDMI converter. The cables I have seen and used for VGA and HDMI conversion have a fairly large connector at the VGA end which encloses the converter hardware. This cable you linked to appears to have just a standard VGA male connector. And the price seems to be too low at $4 as if it is just a cable. Prices for VGA/HDMI converters are around $10 on US Amazon. – Richard Chambers Oct 29 '17 at 16:34
  • @RichardChambers Exactly. I made the mistake of buying it, but it's just a sucker's knock-off. – BlueMoon93 Oct 29 '17 at 16:37
  • Oh my. I am sorry to hear that. I hope you can return it for a refund or perhaps register a complaint. Good luck on that. – Richard Chambers Oct 29 '17 at 16:44
3

As noted in the documentation you linked:

hdmi_mode defines screen resolution in CEA or DMT format

In this case, VGA would seem to be referring to the resolution, rather than the VGA connector. As noted by Wikipedia:

Through widespread adoption, the term has also come to mean either an analog computer display standard, the 15-pin D-subminiature VGA connector, or the 640×480 resolution characteristic of the VGA hardware.


Converting HDMI to VGA is actually rather more complex than just flipping a setting, as HDMI is a digital protocol and VGA is analogue. You typically need an active converter, like this, to make it all work properly.

See also: Can a simple cable convert HDMI output to VGA?

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