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Installing Two External Monitors to Acer Laptop with One Connection via USB-C to HDMI not working

xtexazorxtexazor Member Posts: 4 New User
Hi Acer Tech Support,

I currently have a ACER Asprire 5 - A515-51-531Z, which has an HDMI port and a USB C port among other ports. I am trying to use two external monitors on this laptop. Both monitors are brand new - Samsung SF350 models. I have only 1 open and the other is in the box still brand new.

I am able to connect one monitor with HDMI to HDMI cable, no problem. In order to connect the second monitor I wanted to, using the same monitor that I already have, I have tried to use a USB-C to HDMI adapter in order to attach an HDMI to HDMI cable to the adapter, and it doesnt work. I get a Windows 10 error - "Display connection might be limited"  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012609/windows-10-fix-usb-c-problems#connectionlimited

I tried 3-4 different brands of adapters, and none worked. I tried a HDMI cable with a USB-C connector and even that gave me the same error message as above.
The cable I used was "j5create 1.91m (6.26 ft.) USB-C to 4K HDMI Cable (JCC153G)" https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/j5create-1-91m-6-26-ft-usb-c-to-4k-hdmi-cable-jcc153g/12469040

and one of the adapters I used was "Insignia USB-C to 4K HDMI Adapter" https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/insignia-insignia-usb-c-to-hdmi-adapter-ns-pu369ch-wh-c/10390235

I tried a connection hub with multiple connection options with a USB-C and HDMI, even that didnt work.

Even if I take off all the connections to the Acer Laptop and only plug the adapter without the other side connected to the monitor, I still get the same error message.

Could someone please help in how I can install a second monitor to my laptop?

Thank you!

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,749 Trailblazer
    The adapters you mentioned seem to be passive adapters and will only work with a port that has video capabilities as well as data streams. You USB ports only support data streams. Accordingly, you need an active adapter that converts the video signals to a data stream the USB port can handle.  Some users have reported good results with this active adapter though a bit more expensive than most passive adapters https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPEV1XK/

    Jack E/NJ


    Jack E/NJ
  • xtexazorxtexazor Member Posts: 4 New User
    Thank you JackE! I will need to look into this. How is it possible to find out that my Acer only supports data streams? Not sure where to check in the laptop specs to understand this. Also, how can I know that an adapter is an active one when purchasing in the store like Best Buy? What should I look out for? I tried to get an Alt-Mode cable and even that didnt do the job. The one you linked was for a USB 3.0 connection. Will I be able to use my USB-C instead in any other work around for a monitor or must I use a USB 3.0? Can a VGA adapter work for the USB-C? as the monitor has a VGA option as well.

    Finally, someone mentioned that having two monitors on this laptop may burn the laptop. Is this true? The person just mentioned this without actually knowing my laptop specs to know exactly to confirm. Not sure how one can check to see if my laptop can handle two monitors or even three.

    Thank you for your help
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,749 Trailblazer
    Most plain vanilla USB ports only support data streams, meaning transferring digital files or supporting a  wired or wireless digital mouse. Most don't support alternate-mode video displayport or hdmi or vga output. Your machine has plain vanilla USB ports. These require an active adapter that essentially converts the USB data signals into a video/audio signals --- they usually cost more than passive adapters and would likely be even costlier special orders at places like BestBuy, WalMart & Staples.  Many folks have reported that this Amazon adapter seems to do the job for plain vanilla ports https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPEV1XK/  at least for HDMI output. There may be others with VGA output and USBC inputs. If you insist on using a USBC port, this active USBA adapter would probably work fine with an inexpensive USBC-2-USBA cable as there is no difference between a plain vanilla USBC port and a USBA port except the physical form factors.

    The only possibility of 'burning' the laptop is if the USB port is also expected to completely power the external monitors. Most if not all external monitors I'm aware off have their own power supplies and only rely on the port for the video/audio signal, not their main power.

    Jack E/NJ


    Jack E/NJ
  • xtexazorxtexazor Member Posts: 4 New User
    Thank you JackE!
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,749 Trailblazer
    Good luck with getting two monitors working. An HDMI hub should also support more than two monitors if mirroring is all you want. Jack E/NJ

    Jack E/NJ
  • xtexazorxtexazor Member Posts: 4 New User
    Hi JackE,

    I got the Insignia USB to HDMI/DVI Adapter - Only at Best Buy https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/insignia-insignia-usb-to-hdmi-dvi-adapter-ns-pu37h-bk-c/10450777 and the j5create USB 3.0 to 4K HDMI Adapter (JUA354) https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/j5create-usb-3-0-to-4k-hdmi-adapter-jua354/12469043 and they both work great. They both work on USB 3.0 and other USB 2.0 ports.

    Im going to keep the j5create, its cheaper and I think may be better graphics card.

    Its possible the USB-C on my laptop is not capable of accepting any adapters. Not even a hub worked when I attached one.

    Thank you for your help!
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,749 Trailblazer
    edited August 20
  • OlugbengaOlugbenga Member Posts: 3 New User
    Hi JackE

    what if I want to connect to a Linus platform and use 2 external monitors? What do you recommend?
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,749 Trailblazer
    What is your full ACER model number? Jack E/NJ

    Jack E/NJ
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