So your source media only recognizes component displays but you want them to play on an HDTV. Many early HDTVs have component outputs along with HDMI ports, but what about modern HDTVs with only HDMI ports and nothing else? On that note, can you convert component to HDMI? Is it possible to shift from an analog component format to a digital High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) one on short notice?
In such cases, you’ll need a component to HDMI converter such as the Portta Component to HDMI Converter to deal with your component port dilemma. The beauty of component A/V cables is that even though they’re of the analog variety, they can deliver 720i to 1080i (interlaced) signals of high-definition (HD) resolution reminiscent of the 720 to 1080p (progressive scan) HD resolution that HDMI is known for.
How to connect component cables to HDMI
There are loads of easy-to-use converters available in the market to date that can assist you in getting all your equipment in perfect working order, particularly those with component ports to them. The beauty of component video is that it was the last analog A/V format until HDMI became the de-facto format for HDTVs, along with DisplayPort (DP) and Digital Video Interface (DVI).
- A/V Connector Types: There is definitely a myriad or plethora of connector types to choose from over the years because multiple regions made use of their own connection standards. On top of that, there are multiple new connectors introduced that are either brand exclusive or an attempt at making a new standard. However, in terms of age, they basically fall under two camps—the analog A/V connectors of the 1990s and before that and the digital HD connectors of the 2000s and beyond. If you’re linking older devices to older TVs, chances are you’re using analog connectors that give out analog signals.
- Analog versus Digital: The analog signal is the older data transfer format we followed during the early days of electronics. It was used for everything, from telephone signals to SD resolution A/V connections for VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, game consoles, and other home media devices of the bygone eras of the 1970s all the way to the 1990s. The newer devices used in the 2000s and 2010s as well as presumably the 2020s use digital signals instead. With digital, you get higher resolution pictures and better sound. More importantly, the connectors used for vintage analog devices and modern digital devices are all different, but for the most part, it’s component versus HDMI.
- Composite versus Component Analog Connectors: In home theaters, analog signal devices typically make use of 2 different types of connector—component video or composite. Composite RCA cables offer white connectors for audio and a yellow connector for video. Meanwhile, component video A/V cables are more complicated in that they offer red and white audio connectors as well as 3 component video cables. The two cables are for color information while the one cable is for brightness or luma. This setup is also known as YPbPr component video.
- HDTVs, HDMI Connectors, and The Digital Advantage: Many HDTVs use HDMI connectors, which are digital connectors that use digital signals. Digital signals, in turn, offer higher resolutions, better sound, and more faithful color representation compared to the blurrier, smaller, and more primitive analog signals. However, you don’t need to buy all-new equipment in order to get the high-quality experience when watching movies and TV shows or playing videogames. By the tail-end of the 1990s and all the way to the middle of the 2000s, component video tech came along that’s capable of 720i to 1080i resolution.
- Interlaced versus Progressive Scan: Sure, 1080i in interlaced produces pictures at a flickering rate that your eye couldn’t notice but cameras with lower frame rates could. However, it’s still true 1080 pixel resolution comparable to 1080p in progressive scan that scans and displays the uncompressed picture wholesale for you to see. After all, your eyes won’t notice the difference anyway. Another method of achieving HD quality from analog connections such as vintage VCRs, older DVD players, and classic gaming consoles like the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation (the first one) and the Nintendo Wii (no HDMI connector and only has 480p resolution).
- Inexpensive HDMI Converters: You can use inexpensive composite to HDMI and component video to HDMI converters in order to convert the signal from your older media source to work with your HDTV. Quite a number of adapters are available in converting analog to digital signals, whether they convert them in raw original aspect ratio and resolution (like SD or 480p) or upscaled to meet the wider resolutions and dimensions of the high-tech display they’re being broadcasted on, with varying results in quality. Many adapters can upscale the resolution to 720p or 1080p with some minor blurring or artifacting occurring depending on the quality of the analog signal. If it’s in 720i or 1080i already, there should be minimal upscaling required from the component to HDMI conversion.
- The Many Different Analog Devices: Many component or composite video devices of the analog kind exist. Most of them were made before the 2000s or even up to the 2000s. Nowadays, everything in the 2010s are HDMI heavy, but back then devices that use analog signals include personal video recorders, video cameras, set-top boxes, video surveillance systems, older gaming consoles up to the Nintendo Wii, DVD players, and video projectors. You might need a converter if your HDTV is a particularly brand-new one without alternative connection ports for A/V such as component and composite video or even the lesser known French-originated standard SCART. To check which converter to get, check your connection port.
- Component Video versus HDMI Connectors: Component ports are colored in accordance to the RCA connectors of the component video cable that are also colored red, green, and blue (RGB) for video as well as red and white for audio. HDMI connectors are more like its VGA and SCART counterparts in that it contains a single connector with pins—in this case, 19 pins—that are supposed to interface with the HDMI port’s 19 pinholes. Before buying a converter for analog to digital interfacing, make sure it does everything you need it to do. In this case, you need a component to HDMI converter that links up faithfully and intuitively to all devices, from your older vintage source media player to your more high-tech HDTV.
- To Upscale or Not to Upscale? Many HDTVs, like many computers (since HDTVs are practically like computers nowadays) can play lower-than-HD media just fine, just expect aspect ratio quibbles like letterboxing or boxes on the side as in the case of certain YouTube videos of the past era. However, other HDTVs are more consumer-friendly. Rather than cater to the tech-savvy who wants to watch vintage shows in vintage resolutions, these TVs upscale the resolution to full 1080p for good or for ill. Some shows work well with 1080p upscaling by cropping or stretching the picture. Others, not so much. Check the converter’s maximum output resolution for more details.
- Why Use Portta Component to HDMI Converter? We’ve chosen the Portta Component to HDMI Converter as converter of choice for mainly one reason—it’s easier to use than many other converters out there. Sure, a universal converter that also covers other A/V standards like composite is more useful and allows you to view more vintage source media on your HDTV. However, if you only really need a component to HDMI converter, Portta offers you the best service and return for your investment.
- What Portta Brings To The Table Specifically: The Portta Component to HDMI Converter brings quite a lot to the table, particularly when it comes to high-fidelity 1080p support for HDTV use. It also transfers 24-bit, 2-channel audio superbly, thus enabling you to play game consoles like the Nintendo Wii, an HDVD Player (the other standard to Blu-Ray that fell on the wayside), the PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, and so much more. It’s specifically excellent in converting component YPbPr video connectors with RCA plugs for RGB and R/L audio into HDMI 1.3 that’s universally recognized by HDMI 1.3 ports and above (like HDMI 2.0+).
Why The Shift to High-Definition?
Technology marches on. People have upgraded from LCDs to plasma TVs for the purpose of experience a whole new level of high-definition goodness in terms of color and clarity. Frame rates have also improved significantly to the point that you feel like you’re watching sports games live and in real-time. Cinematic frame rates of 24 Fps are now making way to faster and more real 60 Fps that give the movement a sort of “soap opera” or “live sports” effect that gives a more realistic instead of surrealistic feel to everything.
With that said, if your equipment like your Nintendo Wii and its component cables or your old DVD from 2006 doesn’t have HDMI input ports to go along with them, what are you supposed to do? In such cases, the best course of action is to get a component to HDMI converter. There are many pieces of vintage A/V equipment as well, so if you have a universal converter on hand, this can allow you to watch things on your old VHS using your HDTV. A converter ensures that you won’t have to undergo the pain usually associated with setting up A/V connections.