HDMI Port in Cars: What’s it used for?

HDMI Port in Car featured image

The HDMI port allows drivers to watch videos and other stuff on their car stereo or infotainment screen when the car is stationary. However, to enjoy this, you’ll need to connect a device using a HDMI cable to the stereo.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick for connecting a phone to a car’s HDMI using a Lightning to HDMI adapter or USB C to HDMI adapter.


What is a HDMI Port & Cable

Generally, an HDMI port allows anyone to access a device’s content on another screen or device. So it could be between a phone and a laptop, a phone and a TV, or a laptop and TV, for instance. 

You are using a phone as a case study. You can view the content on your smartphone via another screen with an HDMI port. However, you will need an HDMI cord.

The HDMI cable allows both devices to access themselves. You typically plug one end of the cable into your output device and the other end into the HDMI port of the display device.

Uses of HDMI Port In Car

The HDMI car port feature is found in newer vehicles. It allows drivers to access the content of their smartphones through their car stereo or infotainment screen.

With the HDMI port, you can practically watch videos, pictures, play video games, listen to audio and use google maps on your onscreen computer. You can also watch live streaming, including playing youtube on a car stereo

Here’s one Reddit user playing super Marioword through because there’s an HDMI port in the car’s stereo system.

The HDMI port in a car is usually located in the dash directly under the stereo or the infotainment screen. All you need to do is get a compatible HDMI cable connector like the ones we suggest below

Then connect one end of the cord to your vehicle’s HDMI port and the other to your smartphone. And there you go.

Whatever displays on your phone is seen on the car stereo or infotainment screen.

HDMI port in car with hdmi cable
HDMI port in the car

Connecting your Phone to HDMI Port in Car


There are conditions of use.

Please note, you can’t control what you watch from your car’s screen. Instead, you select what to watch from your smartphone, which appears on the car’s screen. 

Secondly, you can only use this feature when the car is immobile. The reason is to avoid accidents caused by distraction. Although some people bypass this and still have their videos on their screens while they drive. That’s risky, and can be illegal in some countries.

When you start moving, the screen goes blank. But you can still listen to audio–like audio music from your phone. If you’re using Apple maps, you will still hear audio commands giving you directions.

This feature comes in handy when you’re stuck in traffic for long hours. Or preferably during lunch. While you sit in your car and eat, keep yourself entertained by watching content from your phone on a larger screen.

For People who sleep in a car. This is another way to keep yourself entertained. You can watch movies, play video games, and many more. However, if you constantly drive, this option might be useless to you, except, of course, for audio alone.

What cars have HDMI ports?

You will find HDMI ports in some recent vehicles. Good example is Honda, Range Rover SUVs, Lexus, etc. Let’s use Honda as an example here.

While few Honda owners find this helpful feature, many see it as useless. In addition, most Honda owners’ review states that this feature can only work with Honda apps installed on your phone.

For most, the use of this feature is already limited d. They stated that, at least, Honda could have given them a chance to use this feature freely from any app. 

However, the Honda Fit and Honda city 2017 models seem to enjoy this, as they can connect to any phone via the HDMI port. Although they can’t access visuals while they drive, they can do other things, such as

  • You are navigating with google maps on the phone. When the car moves, visuals will blank out, but you will hear google’s voice telling you where to turn.
  • Listen to music from your phone by selecting an audio source.

A HDMI port in a car allows users to connect their mobile device or computer to the car’s infotainment system. However, in many cases, the screen will cut out once the vehicle starts moving as a safety feature.

How do I hook up HDMI to my car?

You can hook your HDMI cable to your car via an HDMI port, although very few cars have this feature built-in by default. If your car has an HDMI port, but your device doesn’t, such as an iPhone, you can buy an adapter.

As seen in the image below:


The HDMI port in a car allows drivers to see content on their smartphone through the car stereo or infotainment screen once you connect your phone to the stereo via an HDMI cable. 

Everything you do on your phones displays on the infotainment screen, where compatibility is bigger and bright r. However, you can’t use the feature while driving, except if you want audio.


Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder StereoUpgrade.com
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