VGA (text mode) to HDMI

Hi all - my first post here

I’m looking for some advice on which device to buy: presumably RGB2HDMI or Retrotink (judging by watching Adrian’s Digital Basement!) but there may be others. I need to convert a VGA signal to HDMI but (here’s the twist) I need it to output the console mode that comes up when it first boots i.e. the usual DELL splash screen then the messages as it POSTs and possibly the BIOS before it boots into (in my case) Lubuntu.

I have a very old Dell machine (can’t get the model number just now but it’s got 1GB RAM and dates from around 2005). I’m always loathe to e-waste these things until they either fail or literally have no use. At present it’s mechanically KVM switched into an old VGA monitor (which I use to fiddle about with the BIOS and see any warning messages before it hits the OS) at which point I switch it over to a standard HDMI display via the converter. The issue is that said VGA to HDMI converter I have won’t handle text modes like POST and BIOS screens. I need some space so I thought if I got a VGA to HDMI that could handle these modes, I could retire the old VGA monitor and the mechanical KVM.

I’ve seen Adrian use the Retrotink and RGB2HDMI but not sure what best meets my needs. I’ve no issues about lag etc - just want to have something that can handle all text and graphics modes.


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I only know about RGBtoHDMI (originally @hoglet’s invention, subsequently much extended) but I believe it detects various screen modes on the fly and adjusts to the right timing. That said, my use-case is 8 bit micros and yours is PC-compatible. The wiki does describe various PC-compatible cases,