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What is downstream USB ports on monitor?


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What is downstream USB ports on monitor?

  • My Dell 1704FP digital flat panel has two "downstream USB" ports on the left side. What are these for?

    The DO NOT appear to work as normal USB port, since I plugged a memory device into the port and it wasn't recognized (plus the "downstream," mentioned on the enclosed instruction sheet, seems to mean something different than a normal USB).

    I'm NOT talking about the USB port that's an option for connecting the monitor to the computer vs. analog or digital connections; that's located on the bottom as a single port.


  •    It means that the Monitor's USB ports are not directly connected to the computer's mother board. You have a cable connected to the motherboard via the monitor's built in hub. You can liken it to an every day extension cable. Whatever you plug into the extension cable is not directly connected to the outlet. There is an extension cord between the device and the outlet.
  • So what good are downstream USB ports on a monitor...or how are they used?
  •    Well . . ... that would be subjective. However, if you have more USB devices than your motherboard has ports you have some more ports available "downstream" on the monitor. Very handy if you have a lot of USB devices. Typically a motherboard will only have 2 USB ports, but there is potential to have a lot more USB devices. For example the printer, mouse, scanner, pen drive, joy stick and more could all be USB.
  • I guess I'm confused because these USB ports on the monitor don't seem to work when I plug things into them.
  •     You have the monitor's USB hub cable going back to the PC, right? You just can't plug devices into the monitors USB ports without having the monitor's built in hub connected to the PC. The monitor's video connection has nothing to do with its USB setup. The most basic setup at the monitor is the built in hub cable connected to the PC's USB ports. That makes the monitors built in hub active and gets you 4 USB ports plus the left over port at the PC. See you started with the PCs 2 USB ports and after the above connection now you have 5 USB ports. 5 and not 6 because one of the PCs USB ports is being used for the monitors hub. Get it?  
  • Ah-ha! I think I understand.

    That wasn't at all clear on the monitor setup instructions.

    So if I understand correctly the USB "in" on the monitor has nothing to do with video (I have the digital video cable attached for that...just tossed the analog they sent away). I run the USB from the computer to the monitor "in" port and I pick up the (in this case) two extra "downstream" USB ports on the side of the 1704FPt digital flat panel monitor. Cool.



  •    You've got it grasshopper! However, Are you sure there are only 2 USB ports on your monitor? I'm not using the USB ports on my 2001FP, but I thought there are 4 of them. The monitor's USB hub input plus 4 ports. I'm not at home right now, or otherwise I'd look and see. Maybe there are 4 on the 2001FP and not the 1704? I'm not sure on that one.  
  • Oops. You're right. I hadn't seen the extra two on the back/bottom next to the USB "in". There are two on the side, plus two on the back (bottom) next to all of the other cables.

    Wow. I've got USB connections coming out of the wazoo. I'll just have to keep my son away from them with all his devices!

    Thanks for your help.


  •    You're welcome! Thanks to you for confirming the 4 ports. I thought I might have been a victim of false memory syndrom there for a minute.