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The 7 Best VGA to HDMI Adapters

By Elvis Shida


These VGA to HDMI adaptors allow you to connect your older computer hardware to the latest TVs and monitors.

VGA to HDMI adapters enable you to connect a computer with a VGA output to a TV or monitor with HDMI. These adapters contain a built-in chip that converts the analog signal from your old PC to a digital output compatible with most TVs and monitors available today.

Whether you want to connect an external monitor for work or stream movies to your HD TV at home, these small, affordable adapters can come to your rescue.

Here are the best VGA to HDMI adapters you can buy today.

See on amazon

The FOINNEX VGA to HDMI Adapter Cable is the best VGA to HDMI adapter you can buy for your old VGA desktop computer. It is an all-in-one cable adapter, so you don't need to purchase extra HDMI or VGA cables. Just plug the VGA end into your PC, and the HDMI end to your monitor or TV.

This adapter supports audio and video up to 1080p resolution at 60Hz. You must connect the attached USB cable on the adapter to your laptop to provide power for the built-in chip. The FOINNEX VGA to HDMI Adapter Cable is compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems.

Key Features
  • No need to buy extra HDMI cables
  • Supports resolutions up to Full HD at 60Hz
  • Can carry audio
  • Brand: FOINNEX
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: VGA, HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm audio cable
  • Cost effective
  • Supports audio and video
  • You have to replace the whole adapter if the cable becomes faulty

See on amazon

The Benfei VGA to HDMI Adapter strips away the unnecessary cables for a clean, minimal design. It only comes with the VGA cable for the source device and USB 3.0 cable for audio or power if using a non-Windows PC. You need to bring your own HDMI cable to connect the display, though.

The Benfei VGA to HDMI Adapter supports high-resolution video output up to 1080p at 60Hz. The best part is that you don't need an additional aux cable for audio. Just connect the supplied VGA and USB cables to your laptop or PC, and you'll get both audio and video output.

If you want a cleaner desk setup, this is the kind of VGA to HDMI adapter you need. This adapter comes with an 18-month warranty for added peace of mind.

Key Features
  • Up to 1080p at 60Hz output
  • Audio output via USB, no audio cable required
  • Gold-plated connectors
  • Brand: Benfei
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: VGA, USB-A
  • Compact and minimal
  • Video and audio support
  • 18-month warranty
  • Audio support on Windows only

See on amazon

The FOINNEX VGA to HDMI Converter is the best budget-friendly VGA to HDMI adapter you can buy. It supports resolutions up to 1080p with audio output. It has a solid build quality with gold connectors, but it is so tiny. So, be sure to take care not to lose it.

This adapter is great if you're looking for a cheap VGA adapter that you can easily carry around. Fortunately, it is easy to use. The adapter plugs directly into your PC's VGA port and offers a female HDMI port for your display. There is a micro-USB cable included for power and an aux cable for audio.

Key Features
  • Supports 1080p at 60Hz
  • Included aux cable for audio
  • Compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems
  • Brand: FOINNEX
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: micro-USB, 3.5mm audio cable
  • Supports audio and video
  • Very portable
  • The tiny design means you can easily lose it

See on amazon

The GANA VGA to HDMI Converter is another portable VGA to HDMI adapter similar to the FOINNEX VGA to HDMI Converter. However, instead of plugging directly into the computer's VGA port, it requires a VGA cable.

This adapter may add cable clutter onto your desk, but it is excellent for long-term use. You can swap the VGA cable when the pins get damaged instead of buying a new adapter.

The GANA VGA to HDMI Converter supports Full HD resolution with audio pass-through. However, the audio and VGA cables are not included.

Key Features
  • 1080p at 60Hz output
  • Audio passthrough
  • Brand: GANA
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: USB power cable
  • Small and portable
  • Supports video and audio passthrough
  • Easy to use
  • VGA cable and audio cable not included

See on amazon

The VENTION VGA to HDMI Adapter comes with the best design for portability and minimalists. It supports 1080p resolution and audio through the included aux cable. There is also an included micro-USB cable to supply power to the built-in chip for active VGA to HDMI conversion.

The best part of this adapter is that it eliminates clutter and tangled wires. The power and aux cables plug into the other end of the adapter to prevent getting tangled with other wires connected to your laptop. You also don't have to use the aux cable if you don't need audio, leaving your setup clean and clutter-free.

Key Features
  • 1080p resolution and audio passthrough
  • Double aluminum foil shielding
  • Brand: VENTION
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: VGA, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio cable
  • Compact and minimalistic design
  • Can carry both audio and video
  • Power and audio cables included

See on amazon

The QGeeM VGA to HDMI Adapter is a low-cost but well-built adapter that supports audio and video up to 1080p resolution at 60Hz. It has 24k gold-plated connectors and an advanced chipset that allows you to stream high-quality video from your old desktop to any TV or monitor with HDMI input.

The adapter comes with a micro-USB power cable and a 3.5mm aux cable for audio pass-through. Since it requires no VGA cable, the QGeeM VGA to HDMI Adapter is excellent if you want a cleaner setup without breaking the bank.

However, the power and audio cable take up space by your laptop's ports and might interfere with other cables, such as the power input.

Key Features
  • 1080p video output
  • Audio passthrough
  • Gold connectors for durability
  • Brand: QGeeM
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: micro-USB, 3.5mm audio cable
  • Easy to use
  • Compact and portable
  • Supports video and audio
  • Creates clutter and tangled wires

See on amazon

The UOEOS VGA to HDMI Adapter is among the cheapest VGA to HDMI adapters you can buy. It connects directly to the laptop's VGA port, so no additional VGA cable is required. You also get a micro-USB cable for power and audio cable in the box.

For the price, you're getting a well-built and durable converter dongle that supports high-quality video streaming up to 1080p at 60Hz. It has audio support, allowing you to play audio and music through your monitor's built-in speakers. It's great if you're looking for a no-frills VGA adapter for the job.

Key Features
  • 1080p at 60Hz video output
  • Audio support
  • Gold-plated connectors
  • Brand: UOEOS
  • Input: VGA
  • Output: HDMI
  • Cable Included: micro-USB, 3.5mm audio cable
  • Affordable
  • Supports video and audio
  • Durable


Q: Do VGA to HDMI Adapters Work?

VGA to HDMI adapters work, providing the best way to connect an old computer with VGA ports only to a TV or monitor with HDMI input.

These VGA to HDMI adapters contain a built-in chip that actively converts the analog signal from your laptop's VGA port to a digital HDMI output.

The best adapters combine the analog VGA input with stereo audio input to a single HDMI output to your monitor or TV.

Q: Is VGA to HDMI Good Quality?

VGA to HDMI adapters can output good quality video in 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second.

Q: How to Connect a VGA to HDMI Adapter

VGA to HDMI adapters come with a VGA male input, HDMI female output, USB cable for power, and an audio cable. The USB and audio cable might be attached to the adapter or come as separate cables.

Connecting the VGA to HDMI adapter to your laptop/PC is simple. Plug in the male VGA connector to your PC's VGA port and connect the USB cable to your laptop or any external power supply. The USB cable is required as it supplies power to the built-in chip in the adapter.

If you need audio, connect the 3.5mm aux cable to the audio input in the adapter and the audio output jack on the laptop. Next, connect your monitor or TV to the adapter via an HDMI cable. Then, select the appropriate HDMI input if you have multiple HDMI inputs, and voila!

Q: Why Does VGA to HDMI Not Work?

Without an adaptor, VGA to HDMI does not work because VGA is an analog signal and HDMI is digital. Simply changing the plug end will not work. To convert VGA to HDMI, you need an active adapter or converter with a built-in chip to convert the analog VGA input to digital HDMI output.

We hope you like the items we recommend and discuss! MUO has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.


About The Author
Elvis Shida (33 Articles Published)

Elvis is a Buyer's Guides writer at MakeUseOf, covering everything related to PC, hardware, and gaming. He has a BS in Information Technology and over three years of professional writing experience.

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Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI) is a 0% APR payment option available to select at checkout for certain Apple products purchased at Apple Store locations, apple.com, the Apple Store app, or by calling 1-800-MY-APPLE, and is subject to credit approval and credit limit. See https://support.apple.com/kb/HT211204 for more information about eligible products. Variable APRs for Apple Card other than ACMI range from 10.99% to 21.99% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of April 1, 2020. If you choose the pay-in-full or one-time-payment option for an ACMI eligible purchase instead of choosing ACMI as the payment option at checkout, that purchase will be subject to the variable APR assigned to your Apple Card. Taxes and shipping are not included in ACMI and are subject to your card’s variable APR. See the Apple Card Customer Agreement for more information. ACMI is not available for purchases made online at the following special stores: Apple Employee Purchase Plan; participating corporate Employee Purchase Programs; Apple at Work for small businesses; Government, and Veterans and Military Purchase Programs, or on refurbished devices. iPhone activation required on iPhone purchases made at an Apple Store with one of these national carriers: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, or T-Mobile.

* Monthly pricing is available when you select Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI) as payment type at checkout at Apple, and is subject to credit approval and credit limit. Financing terms vary by product. Taxes and shipping are not included in ACMI and are subject to your card’s variable APR. See the Apple Card Customer Agreement for more information. ACMI is not available for purchases made online at special storefronts. The last month’s payment for each product will be the product’s purchase price, less all other payments at the monthly payment amount.

To access and use all the features of Apple Card, you must add Apple Card to Wallet on an iPhone or iPad with the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Update to the latest version by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap Download and Install.

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Dozens of Amazon's own products have been reported as dangerous -- melting, exploding or even bursting into flames. Many are still on the market

The cord had been branded with the name of the world's largest online retailer: Amazon.

It was sold by one of Amazon's popular private label lines, AmazonBasics, which offers budget-friendly products including consumer electronics, household appliances, home goods and office accessories.

Launched in 2009, AmazonBasics has grown to offer more than 5,000 products, according to the retailer. Its mission: identifying everyday items that Amazon can create at a similar or higher quality and lower price point when compared to existing name brands -- a strategy also employed by companies such as Costco and Target.

A growing number of AmazonBasics products, which the company promotes heavily on its site, have become bestsellers since the line's inception, and many have ratings above four stars, according to Marketplace Pulse research. In recent months, the online retailer's sales have been soaring as millions of Americans have been staying at home -- and in many cases working remotely -- during the ongoing pandemic.

But consumers have raised serious safety concerns about AmazonBasics items in complaints to government regulators and in reviews posted on Amazon's own website. Since 2016, at least 1,500 reviews, covering more than 70 items, have described products exploding, catching on fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing risks, according to an analysis of AmazonBasics electronics and appliances listed on its website.

The reviews identified represent a small fraction of the overall purchases of the products, and fires caused by consumer electronics are not unique to Amazon branded items. User error can also be a factor, as can faulty or aging wiring within a home or a defective device being used in conjunction with the product.

But when well-made and used properly by consumers, electronics like those sold under the AmazonBasics name should rarely pose dangers, said electrical engineers interviewed by CNN.

Dozens of AmazonBasics product are flagged as dangerous, but many are still being sold


Within the more than 1,500 reviews, many consumers explicitly called out items as potentially dangerous -- using terms such as "hazard" or "fire" or saying the product should be recalled. Around 30 items with three or more reviews like this remain for sale on Amazon.com today. At least 11 other products that fit this criteria were no longer for sale at the time of publication. Some became unavailable after CNN began its reporting, and at least four product pages were removed from the retailer's site entirely -- leaving behind dead URLs known by employees as "dog pages." Amazon confirmed that at least eight of these products had been under investigation, but said the company determined they all met its safety standards.

Customers have written in their reviews and said in interviews that they trusted that AmazonBasics purchases would be safe and well made since they were branded with Amazon's name and frequently touted as "Amazon's Choice." But even as complaints have mounted, the company has provided little or no information to consumers or the public about how it is handling allegations that some of its merchandise is unsafe.

This review was written about an AmazonBasics car charger that has multiple consumer safety complaints.

Amazon shoppers have recounted frightening malfunctions and close calls in vivid detail: A surge protector turned into a "blowtorch," one father recalled -- saying that flames shot out of the device, which was near his baby's nursery. Phone chargers were said to have burned peoples' hands and legs, and exploding batteries allegedly sprayed chemicals in someone's face. A USB cord burst into flames in a parked car while a toddler was inside, according to one parent. A charger in another car was reported as starting an electrical fire on the freeway, allegedly burning the driver and a jacket. Paper shredders turned on by themselves, according to multiple consumers, and one reportedly blew up in a "fireball," burning someone's arm and singeing the hair off. And a microwave suddenly caught on fire when an 8-year-old went to heat up her macaroni and cheese cup as she had done "a zillion times," a mother claimed, saying she had to take the appliance outside and spray it with a hose. Each of these purchases were "verified," meaning Amazon confirmed that the customer who wrote the review actually purchased the product on the site and didn't receive a "deep discount," according to its website. Several were accompanied by photos of the burned items.

More than 150 reviews about the AmazonBasics microwave describe safety concerns including flames and smoke.

While the best way to determine why something malfunctioned is to physically test it and take it apart, many customers said they immediately threw out the defective devices or sent them back to Amazon at the company's request.

CNN obtained two damaged AmazonBasics products from customers: a microwave that a customer said caught fire and a USB cord a user said overheated and melted. These were tested by researchers at the failure analysis lab at the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at CNN's request.

The USB cord was too burned for researchers to determine what had gone wrong. The microwave testing found that the design of the panel covering the heating device inside the microwave could result in the machine catching on fire, and determined that the way the panel was secured could allow debris such as food or grease to collect behind it and possibly ignite. As soon as the researchers turned it on, the microwave began sparking and smoking, causing it to react as if its user put foil or other metal inside. The testing was cut short when the lab was closed due to Covid-19.

Top: A research scientist at the CALCE lab examines the inside of an AmazonBasics microwave. Left: The AmazonBasics microwave remains for sale today. Right: A damaged part from an AmazonBasics microwave is compared with a new part.

"There's a risk in using this machine for sure, and it's a safety risk because this clearly heated up to the extent a fire could occur," said engineering professor Michael Pecht, who is the founder of CALCE and has previously assisted in government safety investigations. "This is more than a reliability problem, this is a potential safety problem."

Amazon did not comment on whether any improvements had been made to the microwave, but said it is confident the microwave is safe to use and that it continues to "meet or exceed" all of the applicable certification requirements.

The retailer said "safety is a top priority" at the company and that it takes a number of steps to ensure all AmazonBasics products are safe and high quality, such as selecting experienced manufacturers, monitoring customer feedback and testing items to ensure they pass safety and compliance standards both before and after they are available. It also said AmazonBasics offers thousands of products which combined have more than 1 million reviews, and that concerns are thoroughly investigated and that the company acts accordingly.

"Not safe," one verified purchaser wrote in a review about an AmazonBasics microwave, including a home video that shows the device sparking and making loud popping noises.

"The outcome of the investigation varies on a case by case basis and may include removing the product from the store, adjusting the design of the product, notifying customers to stop using the product, or other appropriate action," a company spokesperson said in a statement. "We want customers to shop with confidence and if ever a customer has a concern, they can contact customer service and we will investigate."

Amazon said there are a number of reasons an item may no longer be available, but that customers will be notified if a critical safety issue is identified. When asked how frequently the company has done this, Amazon said it had notified customers about an AmazonBasics product less than five times. It did not specify whether it did this for any of the items reviewed by CNN.

'It's a red flag'

Amazon has already been under intense scrutiny for allowing third party sellers with allegedly dangerous offerings to do business on the site, and multiple court rulings have found that the retailer can be held liable for defective items sold in its third party marketplace.

CNN's analysis focused on products sold with Amazon's own name on them -- a growing part of the retailer's business.

The reviews come from people living all over the United States and span five years, but they often call attention to the very same problems:

The same panel within a microwave catching fire, USB cords melting or burning despite no visible wear and tear or overuse, and paint on outdoor patio heaters lighting on fire. Consumers alleged items malfunctioned the first time they plugged them in. Others said electronics were not in use when they began malfunctioning.

In general, one or two reports of problems could be more easily chalked up to user error or other external factors, multiple electrical engineers said. But as the number of reports about the same kinds of failures increases about the same item, so does the likelihood that there is a defect in the design or manufacturing.

Researchers at the CALCE lab compare a new AmazonBasics microwave to one that had visible burn damage.

"That would certainly lead to more suspicion that the product is at fault," said Mark Horenstein, a professor at Boston University's College of Engineering. "It's a red flag."

Amazon said customer reviews are only one indication of a potential issue, saying it looks at a number of other factors such as sales history, returns and customer service contacts when assessing potential problems. "Using customer reviews alone to conclude a product is unsafe or imply there's a widespread issue is misleading," the company said in a statement.

Former Amazon employees said that even a few reviews mentioning words like "fire" and "hazard" should automatically prompt the retailer to take action. Amazon said reviews are monitored and can trigger safety investigations, but it declined to provide details about the specific threshold needed for this to happen. The company said products may be temporarily removed during such inquiries and that in order to keep selling something, it must be confirmed to be safe. It also said that if an investigation uncovers a "potential, non-isolated safety issue," it takes appropriate measures to notify the government and "safely recall the product."

This AmazonBasics surge protector remains for sale despite reviews about dangers and a report to the CPSC that it "made a loud popping noise, sparked, and the case was opened by the force of the damage." Amazon said the product is safe and that most reports involved customers who plugged in multiple large electronics. Some reviews identified by CNN said nothing was plugged into the device, however.

Businesses are required by law to immediately report "potentially hazardous" items to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) so the agency can determine whether an official recall is necessary. Companies can also initiate voluntary recalls in cooperation with the CPSC.

Concerns similar to those detailed in Amazon reviews have been relayed to the CPSC in at least 10 reports that specifically mention an AmazonBasics product. The complaints cover at least eight different items and date back to 2012.

In the United States, Amazon publicly recalled two AmazonBasics items in 2018 and 2019, after the company received 53 reports in the US about power banks overheating and 25 about versions of a space heater overheating, burning or sparking. It said it proactively notified the CPSC of the results of the company's own investigation and its intent to recall the items.

Beyond these two official recalls, the company has never publicly acknowledged that AmazonBasics products have any safety issues.

The CPSC said it was prohibited by law from discussing any item that had not been recalled and that in general, the agency determines if a recall is necessary based on a number of factors, including "the nature of the defect, the level of hazard associated with the issue, and the pattern of similar problems (seen)."

Customers reported being shocked or burned in at least 100 reviews on Amazon's website. Parra from the Connecticut apartment fire said in a lawsuit that he suffered second-degree burns and injuries to his throat from smoke inhalation. Dignoti's report shows Parra spent around a day in the hospital. Parra sued Amazon in 2019, and the case settled. He and his attorney did not respond to interview requests.

CNN used the information provided by the fire department to determine that the type of cord Parra purchased had been removed from Amazon's website. While it is unclear when the cord was pulled, a version of the page captured by the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, shows the product had an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. It shows the cord was still available for purchase until at least June 2017, and that there were warnings from other customers at least a year before Parra's January 2017 fire.

The link for the phone cord used by Parra now leads to nothing but a dead URL known internally at Amazon as a dog page.

"End of the cable melted and started smoking. Glad we caught it before a fire," one verified purchaser wrote in June 2016.

"DO NOT BUY! FIRE HAZARD!" another customer with a verified purchase of the cord wrote in May 2016, attaching 10 photos of the melted and warped cord -- saying it ruined an expensive iPhone and that he considered himself lucky that a fire hadn't ignited. "These should be taken off the market immediately!!!"

While fires caused by USB cords are uncommon, they are possible, according to electrical engineers who said a range of factors could be at play in situations like this -- from problems with whatever device the cord is plugged into to defects within the cord itself.

The AmazonBasics lightning charger that this review was written about became unavailable after CNN began its reporting.

An industry non-profit, the USB Implementers Forum Inc, said it does not believe user error is a significant cause of overheating USB cables. A cable that is substandard, whether because of a design or manufacturing defect, can be dangerous and lead to electric shock, overheating, sparks or fire, it said. The group has certified a number of AmazonBasics cables as meeting their standards, though it focuses on the functionality of the cables and making sure their specifications are in compliance -- emphasizing that it is "not a replacement for industry best practices or any applicable local, state or government statutes, rules or regulations pertaining to safety."

The group also said it conducted an internal review of several cables CNN brought to its attention and found them to be compliant. It does not certify proprietary lightning USB cords used for Apple devices, however, such as Parra's cord. Apple said it allows manufacturers to use its lightning connectors in their products if those items are tested and confirmed to meet high quality standards, and that the company expects manufacturers to meet any applicable safety standards.

Amazon meanwhile said it investigated the safety claims about the kind of cord used by Parra and determined it met the company's standards. "If we determine that a product is unsafe, we remove it from our stores and take all necessary actions, which may include contacting regulators and customers," it said, specifically in response to questions about the cord used by Parra, which was removed from the site.

The retailer did introduce a new version of the product, however, saying it made updates to improve the customer experience.

Losing trust

Matt Citro purchased his AmazonBasics surge protector to protect his family from a fire. Instead, he said that in January 2018, the surge protector itself caught fire. A single phone charger was plugged into the device, but was not being used at the time.

Sitting on the couch as his 9-month-old son slept in his nursery nearby, Citro said he noticed flames coming out of the surge protector -- turning it into what resembled a "blowtorch." He told CNN that he quickly pulled the flaming device from the wall. He wasn't injured but said he was left with more than $1,000 of damage after the surge protector burned a hole in the wall outlet and seared part of his wall.

Matt Citro says that he sent back his charred surge protector so that it could be investigated by Amazon. He never heard anything back, but did receive a payment to cover damage to his home. (Courtesy Matt Citro)

He had never experienced any electrical issues in his home before this, he said, and was convinced the AmazonBasics surge protector was to blame.

"DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!...If I wasn't home my entire house would have burnt down from this cheap product," Citro wrote in a review. "I'm extremely disappointed in Amazon. We put a lot of faith in their products and to have (one) almost burn down my home does not make me trust them. This product has amazons name on it!"

Citro said he immediately contacted Amazon and told the company what happened. At first, he said he was offered a replacement or a refund. Not satisfied, he continued to call customer service.

He said he finally got through to someone who connected him with an insurance company, and he was ultimately paid $1,469, according to a settlement document reviewed by CNN in which Amazon denies any liability.

Amazon continued to sell the surge protector for nearly two years after Citro posted his review, during which time more reviews about similar situations and other concerns piled up. More than 40 customers reported that the product was a fire hazard, had caused damage to their home or belongings or described other dangers.

These reviews represented around 1.7% of the roughly 2,600 US reviews posted about the $10.99 device as of late last year, before Amazon removed it from the site. Several included claims of flames and fires like Citro's. As a comparison, a similar product made by a major consumer electronics company and also sold on Amazon's site had six reviews about possible safety concerns earlier this year, representing .07% of its more than 8,000 reviews. And none of the six mentioned actual fires. Amazon said its own analysis, which added global reviews about the AmazonBasics surge protector, found 1.1% involved claims of overheating, fire and other dangers.

One former AmazonBasics product manager, who asked to remain anonymous because she still works in the industry, said she was surprised to hear that such a high percentage of reviews raised safety issues about an AmazonBasics item. "Once you get 40, oh my gosh, no, that would not be acceptable in any shape, way or form," she said of the reviews found by CNN, adding that a ratio of around .05% would have been seen as more acceptable when she worked there. But she defended her former employer, saying this was just one product and that during her time with the company, she believed the retailer was even more vigilant than competitors in trying to react to safety concerns.

More than 40 customers reported dangers involving the same surge protector that Citro said burst into flames.

Weeks after CNN began reporting on the surge protector -- reaching out to customers and employees and ordering the same item as part of the investigation -- Amazon pulled it from its site in December despite its high average rating of 4.4 stars as of a month earlier. The company did not appear to provide any notification to customers, including to the reporters who purchased it. And it did not post any message on its site about why it was taken down.

Amazon declined to comment on individual customers, and would not say why the page was removed or whether Citro's surge protector was tested. It did say an updated version of the product had been released, but when asked for the link to the updated version, the company said "this product is currently unavailable."

Citro, who said he still shops at Amazon frequently, said he sent his burned surge protector back for testing as the company requested, but never heard anything about what its investigation found.

"I do wish this particular product was tested more thoroughly," he said. "A lot was on the line with my son's bedroom in the next room."

Just like Parra's phone cord, this specific kind of surge protector has not been officially recalled.

Behind the scenes

Three former Amazon employees said the vast majority of AmazonBasics electronics are made in Asia. The company's list of suppliers used for its various private label lines -- including AmazonBasics -- shows that only around 10% are in the United States and nearly half are located in China.

The retailer typically brings AmazonBasics items to market in two ways, explained the former product manager. It either goes straight to manufacturers that are able to meet its standards and works closely with them to create items for the AmazonBasics line. Or Amazon finds an existing product and works with a third-party company, which may use an outside manufacturer of its own, to brand the item with the AmazonBasics name.

She said both methods have been implemented for electronics, but that in this second scenario, Amazon typically has less insight into the manufacturing process and is less involved in quality and safety testing. Amazon disputed this, saying it verifies that products meet the same safety standards regardless of the business model. The company also said it most frequently works directly with manufacturers.

Related: Fake and dangerous kids products are turning up for sale on Amazon

Another former employee who was involved with AmazonBasics in its earlier years and asked to remain anonymous because of a confidentiality agreement, said employees on the AmazonBasics team would randomly order items to inspect and stay on top of reviews to make sure red flags were being caught. "We didn't have a lot of problems in my time but were much smaller than they are now so it was easy to keep things under control," the former employee said.

Former Amazon manager Rachel Greer, who left the company in 2015, said that when she worked in compliance at the company, she believed AmazonBasics products were closely monitored from conception to the years following their launch, saying there was extensive testing done. She said safety issues were rare, but when they occurred, they were caught quickly and addressed as soon as possible. "If someone complained on a review, we took it very seriously," she said.

This required staying on top of manufacturers and making sure corners weren't cut, she and the AmazonBasics product manager both said. In the case of USB cords, for example, Greer described how she made sure there was frequent testing of the cords to ensure that manufacturers hadn't begun to swap in thinner wiring which could be more likely to cause cords to overheat.

A customer said this AmazonBasics retractable USB cord began melting only a few months after he purchased it. "Had my wife not heard it crackling it could have started a fire," he wrote in a review.

"When you're in charge of compliance for something that has the Amazon brand on it, I didn't think it should be something we're messing around with," Greer said. "When you're outsourcing production there's a lot of things that can go wrong."

When she left Amazon, she said she was growing concerned that a drive to increase sales would overshadow a focus on safety as the number of AmazonBasics offerings continued to rise. Prior to her departure, she would increasingly disagree with product managers, who she said pushed to get items into the pipeline faster and more cheaply. Performance evaluations reviewed byreporters backed up the idea that Greer had clashed with colleagues but also described her as "an evangelist for product safety," saying "she is passionate about keeping customers safe."

Greer now works as a consultant to third-party sellers, and said she wasn't surprised to hear that customers were complaining of alleged dangers. She said that when she worked for Amazon, she was never aware of anything close to the number or level of seriousness of the reviews identified by CNN, and questioned whether testing was still as rigorous as it had been in the past.

"If this had happened on a seller product, the second complaint of fire it would have been taken down," she said, while scanning through some of the more than 150 reviews about serious problems with a voice-activated AmazonBasics microwave — the same product tested by CALCE.

Greer said that if she was still at the company and had seen so many reports of fire about a single item, she likely would have reported the microwave to the CPSC and worked with the business teams to enact a voluntary recall by the company.

Since the microwave's release in the fall of 2018, its product page has been flooded with reports from consumers about problems including flames, smoke and sparks. These kinds of reviews made up roughly 5% of the AmazonBasics microwave's more than 3,000 reviews as of February, when CNN's final analysis was conducted. Another roughly 1,000 reviews have been posted since then, with fires being reported as recently as September. A microwave that has been reviewed less frequently but is the same size and wattage had only 10 reviews describing similar safety issues -- amounting to around .7% of its roughly 1,350 reviews on Amazon.

Research scientists use x-ray CT scanning to test AmazonBasics retractable charging cords and microwave parts. . 

While the retailer did not provide unit sales, Amazon said that as the best-selling microwave on the site, it may have a higher number of sales and reviews, which could result in more mentioning possible concerns.

The company disputed Greer's comments, saying safety testing had not become any less rigorous and that it was not aware of any manufacturers using thinner cables "than they were directed to use." It said safety testing is handled by reputable third-party labs with global facilities, including in China and that her statements about the microwave were speculative since she was not part of the team that worked on this item and was not involved in the testing of the device. Amazon also said it proactively sends safety-related customer reports to the CPSC and noted the agency has not issued any consumer warnings about the AmazonBasics microwave.

Still for sale

Amazon declined to provide details about why certain products were investigated and removed from its site, while others with repeated complaints about the same hazards are still available to purchase today.

New mom Leeona Smail posted her review about an AmazonBasics battery charger late last year. When CNN reached her, she recounted how she and her husband were forced to evacuate their home in the middle of the night when they detected the unmistakable smell of something burning. They gathered their dogs, cats and 4-month-old baby by their front porch, called 911 and waited for help to arrive.

It wasn't until after the firefighters left that the Smails said they found what they believed awas the culprit: an AmazonBasics battery charger. They had used the device for several years to charge batteries. But this time, Smail said, after unplugging it from the wall and placing it in a box on their coffee table, it began to melt and smoke. When the fire chief returned the next day to check on them, she said, he was amazed to see the source of the smell.

A Vandergrift, Pennsylvania fire chief confirmed that his team was dispatched to investigate "a smoke odor and light haze" at the Smail home. He said they ultimately learned that a battery charger "overheated and melted," and said it was unclear whether it would have caused the house to catch fire if it hadn't been found.

Other reviews about the same battery charger have described similar concerns. It is still available for sale.

Smail posted a photo of the burned device along with her review before throwing it away. Amazon eventually gave her a refund -- though she said she only received a partial one because the warranty window had passed.

At least 21 other reviews about the same battery charger, which had around 2,000 total reviews at the time of CNN's analysis, also said the device had overheated, melted or burned. Three described the same situation that Smail reported: the charger had not even been plugged in and had no batteries in it at the time.

The item was still for sale on Amazon at the time of publication.

The company said an investigation confirmed the product was safe, and that there were no broader design or safety concerns. But when asked whether it tested any of the actual chargers customers had flagged, and if so, what those tests had found, Amazon said it did not have "information to share."

What should we investigate next? Email us: [email protected]

Do you own a product that customers have flagged as dangerous?

The AmazonBasics items below have received three or more reviews describing potential dangers — with customers using terms such as "dangerous," "fire hazard" or "unsafe." Some items have very similar, or even identical, product names, so if you think you have purchased one of these products, check your order history to compare the identification numbers. While many are still for sale, several have been pulled from Amazon's site, now taking customers to dead URLs, and others are currently unavailable for purchase or new versions have been introduced.

Charging cords and accessories

Office appliances and electronics

Sours: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/10/business/amazonbasics-electronics-fire-safety-invs/index.html

Amazon hdmi adapter

How to Connect Fire Stick to a Computer Monitor

What to Know

  • Amazon Fire TV Sticks can connect directly to a monitor via HDMI or to a computer via a capture card.
  • An HDMI splitter that supports HDCP1.2 is needed when using a capture card and when connecting via some monitors.
  • A Windows computer display can be shown on a Fire TV Stick wirelessly by using the cast option.

This guide will walk you through the steps for how to connect an Amazon Fire TV Stick directly to a monitor with HDMI connector and a computer via a USB capture card.

Can I Use Fire Stick on Computer Monitors?

It’s completely possible to connect a Fire Stick to a computer monitor that’s not being used for anything else and has no actual computer hardware attached to it. The method will differ greatly though depending on what type of monitor you have.

If your computer monitor has a built-in HDMI port and is relatively new, you should be able to simply plug the Fire Stick into it, switch the Source or Input, and use it as you would on a TV.

If your monitor doesn’t have an HDMI port, you will need an HDMI adapter for a DVI, VGA, or RCA connections depending on your monitor model. Check which type you need before buying an adapter.

Here are some of the more common problems people experience when connecting Fire Sticks to monitors along with some quick proven fixes.

How to Fix No Fire Stick Image or Sound on Monitor

Your monitor likely doesn’t work with the Fire Stick’s copyright protections. To get around this, try connecting to the monitor through an HDMI splitter that supports HDCP. These devices are relatively cheap and can remove HDCP limits placed on devices and apps.

How to Fix No Sound From a Fire Stick and Monitor 

You should be able to use your monitor’s built-in speakers or a set that’s connected either wirelessly or with a traditional cable. 

The easiest option? Connect a Bluetooth speaker to the Fire Stick itself. To do this, turn on the Fire Stick and select Settings > Controller and Bluetooth Device > Other Bluetooth Device > Add Bluetooth Device.

Using Bluetooth will also let you connect earphones to your Fire Stick.

After a wired solution? Invest in an HDMI audio extractor device that will pass the HDMI video signal through to the monitor and provide you with several audio-out options for your speakers.

How Do I Show My Computer Screen on Fire Stick?

The easiest way to display your computer’s screen on your Amazon Fire Stick is to cast it wirelessly. Amazon Fire Sticks feature built-in support for casting content from Windows computers and other devices.

The entire process only takes a few seconds to set up and requires no additional cables or devices.

How Do I Connect My Fire Stick to My Windows Computer?

It’s completely possible to use your Amazon Fire Stick TV streaming stick with your Windows laptop, desktop computer, or two-in-one device such as a Microsoft Surface. To do this though, you will need a variety of items to get the whole process working. You can’t just plug the Fire Stick in and start streaming.

To use a Fire Stick with a Windows computer, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your Fire Stick TV streaming stick.
  • The Fire Stick’s USB charging cable.
  • The HDMI extension cable that comes with your Fire Stick.
  • An HDMI splitter with support for HDCP1.2 or higher.
  • An extra HDMI cable.
  • A capture card.
  • Capture card software.

For this example, we’ll use an Elgato Game Capture HD60 S capture card but you can use almost any model from any manufacturer that’s designed to record and view media from an HDMI source.

The HDMI splitter we’re using is an XCD Essentials HDMI Splitter Amplified as it supports HDCP1.2. This means that it can remove the Fire Stick’s HDCP copyright protection which would otherwise block all image and audio from being displayed on your computer.

All set? Here’s how to use your computer for watching your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

The majority of HDMI splitters do not support HDCP so it’s important to check the product description before buying one. Splitters designed for video game streamers usually have this functionality though you should still double-check before making a purchase.

  1. If your Windows device has two USB ports and can support charging multiple devices, plug the Fire Stick USB cable into one. If not, connect it to the USB power adapter and plug it into a power socket.

  2. Plug the other end of the USB cable into your Fire Stick.

  3. Connect the HDMI extension cable to the Fire Stick.

    An HDMI extension cable was likely included with your Fire Stick when you bought it. We need it here as the Fire Stick blocks the HDMI splitter’s power supply cable when connected directly.

  4. Plug the Fire Stick’s HDMI extension cable into the HDMI splitter’s HDMI In port.

    If your HDMI splitter requires a power supply, connect its required cable now and plug it into a power source.

  5. Plug your HDMI cable into one of the HDMI splitter’s HDMI Out ports.

    Some HDMI splitters are known to only offer HDCP support in one of their HDMI ports. If you get a black screen when you connect your Fire Stick to your computer, try switching to one of the other HDMI Out ports on the splitter.

  6. Plug in the capture card’s USB cable.

  7. Plug the HDMI cable from the HDMI splitter into the capture card’s HDMI In port. Your setup should now look something like the image below.

  8. When you’re ready, plug the capture card’s USB cable into your Windows computer to connect your Amazon Fire Stick and the rest of your setup.

  9. On your computer, open the capture software that’s compatible with your capture card.

    Here we’ll be using Game Capture HD, the free software that comes with the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S capture card. You can use something else if you like.

  10. Press the Home button on your Fire Stick remote to wake it from sleep. The image should appear on your computer immediately though it can take up to a minute.

    If you see a black screen and a red HDCP error message on the top-right of the screen, switch the HDMI Out port on the HDMI splitter. To fix non-HDCP issues, disconnect the capture care, wait three minutes, and reconnect it to reset the connection. Closing the software, waiting a few minutes, and opening it again can also fix display errors.

  11. Right-click the display area and select Enter Full Screen.

  12. The display should fill your computer’s entire screen. You can now use your Amazon Fire Stick as you would on your TV.


  • While you can't connect these devices via Bluetooth, you can wirelessly cast to a Fire Stick from your Windows PC using the built-in screen-casting support between the devices. First, turn on mirroring on your Fire Stick from Display & Audio > Enable Display Mirroring. Then enable screen mirroring on your PC; select the Action Center > Connect > and choose your Fire TV.

  • The Fire Stick isn't designed to operate when it's plugged into an HDMI port on your computer, even if it's an HDMI input port. To successfully connect a Fire Stick with your PC or laptop and view content, you need an HDMI splitter and capture card to transmit the signals from your Fire Stick to your computer.

Thanks for letting us know!

Sours: https://www.lifewire.com/connect-firestick-to-computer-monitor-5201860
How to Convert HDMI to RCA

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