I have looked for a solution for a long time to connect my laptops to my various TVs. I have avoided buying converter boxes because I simply didn’t want the hassle of buying yet another device to go in my entertainment center and then have to fish the cables out when I wanted to move it to another TV. I just wasn’t interested, and the prices were always a little too high. So the Hammerhead VGA to HDMI converter from Sewell intrigued me. Could big things possibly come in small packages? Let’s find out.
Let’s talk first about the specs of this little powerhouse. It comes in the box with a VGA cable, a 5 ft 3.5mm audio cable, a 2.5 ft mini USB cable (used for power from the PC), and a user’s manual. When I say ‘user’s manual’ I use that term loosely because the user’s manual is pretty much a joke. It not only didn’t help me figure out how to connect the device, I could barely read the text inside it because the text was so small. User’s manuals are not universally included anymore, but if you are going to include one you need to actually make sure it is useful.
On the Hammerhead, you will find a mini USB connection on the side (used to draw power from the PC), a VGA input on one end, and the HDMI output and stereo audio input on the other end. I should mention that Sewell says that the power connection via USB may be required if the VGA port on the computer can’t push the video and/or audio signals strong enough. The only way you will know if the USB connection is required is if you try to use the Hammerhead and the audio or video signal won’t work. I did not need the USB connection in my testing. There is an indicator light on the Hammerhead that shows you when the Hammerhead is functioning, and the Hammerhead can support computer monitors up to a 1920 x 1200 resolution @60Hz.
I also wanted to post here the list of the computer monitor resolutions that the Hammerhead supports. This list is directly from Sewell’s website:
640*480@60Hz, 640*480@72Hz, 640*480@75Hz, 640*480@85Hz
800*600@60Hz, 800*600@72Hz, 800*600@75Hz, 800*600@85Hz
1024*768@60Hz, 1024*768@70Hz, 1024*768@75Hz, 1024*768@85Hz
1280*768@60Hz, 1280*768@75Hz, 1280*768@85Hz
1280*800@60Hz, 1280*800@75Hz, 1280*800@85Hz
So how did the Hammerhead perform? Fantastic. I tried the Hammerhead on 3 of my HD TVs, each a different brand, and it worked superbly on all 3. The image is just great, and I couldn’t be happier. The first HDMI cable that I used would not transfer the audio signal – even with the help of the USB power cable, so I swapped the HDMI cable out for another HDMI cable and it worked just fine. The first cable was a 50 FT cable and it was old. I am not sure if the length or the age of the cable caused the audio signal problem, but the second 6 ft. cable worked just fine without the need to use the USB power cable.
The only other problem I had was that the gold screw posts on the side of the Hammerhead that you use to secure the Hammerhead to the VGA cable are not easy to use at all. My fingers couldn’t twist the posts to actually get them to connect to the VGA cable because they are awkwardly positioned. Or perhaps my fingers are just too fat. I eventually gave up. But that was not a deal breaker for me.
The Hammerhead is an excellent device that delivers an excellent video signal. Its construction is solid, and the small size makes it perfectly portable and easy to store. You’ll need more space to store the HDMI cable than the Hammerhead. And the list price of $65.95 is just right for my budget. I believe you can even find it for less than that online. I highly recommend this product.