HDMI Monitor at very low cost – Use your Old Android Tablet as an HDMI monitor

Hello guys, in this article I am going to share with you a very useful trick for DSLR camera users & especially raspberry pi users.

You can convert your old obsolete android tablet into a good quality HDMI monitor.

Sometimes we need a small 7-inch monitor display. Especially For Retropie games & raspberry pi users need a monitor.

Raspberry pi 4

You can use it as an additional HDMI screen for a laptop.

Most useful for

  • HDMI screen for raspberry pi
  • HDMI screen for laptop
  • HDMI screen for camera
  • HDMI screen for CCTV

Display options for Raspberry pi & RetroPie gaming

Retro pi
RetroPie

Generally, we use raspberry pi SSH & VNC service to work with raspberry pi, in that case, we can use our Smartphone or laptop as a Monitor but When we connect VNC via wifi we notice some lagging & slow frame rate so we can’t play games or can’t our work properly.

Otherwise, we can buy a GPIO supported raspberry pi display which is available at a reasonable price but this type of display has a very low resolution & low frame rate. We can’t play games or play videos with this type of display 

you can check this video where I have shown about the Raspberry pi display.

Another option to make a portable raspberry pi set-up is buying a 5inch or 7inh HDMI display which has a touch function also but frankly speaking I have used this type of display but I am not happy with the touch quality of those products.

Those HDMI displays are workable and we can play games & video on it but those 5 inches & 7 inch HDMI Displays are a little bit costly.

Another option is to use a regular Computer monitor but it does not run with a battery & it is not portable. But I think it is the best option for raspberry pi & Retropie gaming.

Use your old tab or smartphone as an HDMI monitor

If you have an old android tab or phone you can use it as a good quality HDMI monitor.

Raspberry pi 7 inch display
ANDROID tab as an HDMI monitor

It is the best option because –

  • You can make it at a very low cost.
  • Good quality & good resolution
  • You can use it on a battery
  • Re-use of obsolete gadgets is a smart idea.

What you need to set up an android tablet as an HDMI Display

  • A USB A type to micro USB OTG connector. If your tablet has a USB type C port then you need a type c OTG cable or connector. You have to use a good quality OTG otherwise it will not work.
  • HDMI video capture card. USB 2.0 version is working perfectly.
  • HDMI to HDMI cable for raspberry pi 4 you need a micro HDMI to HDMI cable.
  • And an OTG supported Android Tablet or smartphone
  • A USB camera app.
HDMI Video capture card
HDMI Video capture card
OTG Cable
OTG Cable
HDMI HDMI cable
HDMI HDMI cable

USB camera app for Android

Many USB camera apps are available at the play store. I tried with standard USB camera app

And the USB camera viewer app.

USB Camera Viewer APP
USB Camera Viewer APP

This USB camera viewer app is working good for my tablet.

About Audio, Video capture card

HDMI Video capture card
HDMI Video capture card

It is a small device with a metallic body. One side of this card has HDMI input & the other side has USB A-type male output. It can support up to 4K video input & Output Video resolution is 1080P maximum. You can use a lower resolution which is suitable for your tablet. Check the price from Amazon .in (Paid link)

Connection

Connection is very easy. Connect HDMI cable to your HDMI device & HDMI input of the capture card, connect capture card USB A port to OTG Female A port & connect OTG micro USB to charging port of your tablet.no need extra power for a capture card.

Now open the USB camera app. You can set resolution & frame rate. In my tablet, the HD quality with 30 frame rate is working perfectly. 

Video guide

Drawbacks

Audio & touch not working

All apps do not work with all tabs or smartphones.

You have to choose a proper USB camera app for your tablet.

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