Why would you need a component to HDMI converter for the Wii anyway? First off, the Nintendo Wii is a best-selling console of its generation back in the 2000s that beat the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360 in terms of sales (even though the PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling console of all time). It’s a motion-based kind of game console that uses motion detection for you to control the player character or various games, mostly mini-games involving sports such as Wii Sports.
In regards to HDMI, the original Nintendo Wii had no HDMI port while (ironically) the Wii Mini re-release only had HDMI and no component ports. If you wish to play the original Wii on a modern HDTV or smart TV, you’re required to get a converter for it. What’s the best component to HDMI converter for Wii? It might be the Portta N3CVRHP Component to HDMI Converter, but don’t take our word for it! Try it for yourself.
What to Look for in HDMI Adapters and Converters
HDMI conversion is important when playing the classic Nintendo Wii on newer TVs. It’s not so much a problem with the Wii Mini and the Wii-U, since both have the opposite problem of lacking ports for component video TVs. Regardless, you should pay close attention to which converter you choose.
- Upgrading Your Wii and Aspect Ratios: Should you play your Wii as is with a 480p 4:3 aspect ratio picture on your widescreen HDTV, thus resulting in a picture with black borders on either side of it? Or should you upscale, crop, stretch, or zoom into the video itself so that it can perfectly fit your widescreen display device? Most gamers prefer the former than the latter in order to avoid fidelity or faithfulness problems. They don’t mind the borders and the Virtual Console even has a way of decorating the borders of 4:3 games with art. Then again, you can use your converter or an app to change the aspect ratio from standard to widescreen anyway. The 480p resolution remains the same though.
- Understanding Resolutions and Upgrading to 1080p HD: You have to understand what resolutions are in order to appreciate when adapters and converters promise an upgraded 720p to 1080p connection. The Wii gaming console from Nintendo renders a 480p visual signal. You can adapt that smaller resolution to HD ones like 1080p. However, the 480p picture won’t magically become true HD just because you’re using a converter on it. When you broadcast a lower resolution device on an HD display you can either upscale it to look decent on larger resolution, but it won’t ever match true HD displays on modern BD players or Nintendo Wii-U or Switch consoles.
- You Should Minimize the Amount of Conversions: When converters claim that it will take the Wii’s signal to 1080p, they mean they’re adapting the signal to 1080p. This is fine if you’re playing your Wii on a device running one of those resolutions, like a smart TV, plasma TV, or HDMI HDTV. However, you will run into some problems with conversion. This is why it’s critical to pick the right converter instead of settling on the first result you see on Amazon, eBay, or Google. For instance, a 1080p adapter will change the Wii’s 480p image to 1080p by stretching. However, if your monitor is a 2K one, your computer might adapt the image for a third time, scarring the resulting image in the form of artifacts or video glitches.
- Knowing Which Component to HDMI Adapters to Avoid: There’s no need to use an HD adapter if you wish to play in standard definition or HD on your HDTV. You simply need a way to connect your Wii console to the TV, right? In such cases, read the fine print or the specs to check if it allows your Wii to play in 480p on a 1080p HDTV. However, if you’re playing in resolutions higher or lower than 720p or 1080p, you should avoid adapters that auto-upscale the resolution of the Wii since it might result in less-than-ideal results. A converter is better than an adapter because it switches the analog signal to a digital one that’s easier to parse by your HDTV.
- The Advantage of Digital Conversion: Converting the analog signal of Component to a digital one for HDMI has many real benefits for you as a Wii gamer. For example, the old A/V cables of the Wii are vulnerable to attenuation and signal decay. You get signal snow or fuzziness when using Wi”s analog connection system via RCA cable. It has component video and audio input ports in order to minimize these tendencies, but even then it’s still limited by the constraints of analog. If you’re using the game console through analog cords that came with the device, switching to component cables and a converter can give you Wii-U level results when push comes to shove.
- Adapters Improve Functionality for Gamers: Many gamers use Wii adapters because they know monitors offer superior performance compared to HDTVs. That’s the thing when it comes to adapters—they’re best used for computer monitors instead of HDTVs. A converter is more ideal for an HDTV that comes with its own speaker. Gamers who want a competitive edge will use adapters for monitors instead of HDMI converters for HDTVs because of the superior refresh rate. HDTVs run at 60Hz or a refresh rate of 60 times per second. Gaming monitors can go up to 144Hz, which is especially useful in gaming PCs and first-person shooters.
- HDTV and Converters versus Monitors and Adapters: Many adapters won’t allow you to push further than 60Hz per second. If you want to take advantage of higher refresh rates with a monitor, you should get an adapter that can support 144Hz. Otherwise, stick with a converter and the standard 60Hz since the Wii is supposed to run at that speed that is paired with its 480p resolution. If you want to upgrade your Wii playing experience so that everything is bigger and faster with more frames per second, some adjustments and pickiness in adapter shopping will be called for. It’s our recommendation to stick to the converter and HDTV combo to get an authentic Wii game experience though.
What Portta Brings to the Table in Terms of Component to HDMI Conversion
- The Portta Is a YPbPr Conversion Expert: The Portta Component to HDMI Converter is quite simply a ridiculously good component to HDMI converter that Nintendo Wii players recommend to each other when making the leap from their standard CRT television sets to their fully HDTV widescreen display appliances the size of what you’d expect a conference room whiteboard would be. If you want to play the Wii as though it’s large and in charge, you won’t go wrong with Portta and its R/L audio and YPbPr component RGB video conversion to pure digital HDMI signals with relatively no loss in video resolution and sound fidelity whether you watch it in native resolution or stretched to fill the screen.
- 1080p Support for Wii’s 480p Native Resolution: So how does the Portta Component to HDMI Converter deal with the 1080p resolution of HDTV and HDMI display devices? It can upscale the image or show it as-is with black borders on the side to compensate for the resolution changes. It can even stretch, zoom, or crop the image at your behest. Most gamers prefer to play on the original 480p resolution to get the most faithful rendition of what they’re playing without missing anything in terms of the screen real estate of the action that’s going on in the motion-controlled polygonal world. It also offers 2-channel audio that’s 24-bit to boot for the Component conversion of HD-DVD players, DVD players, PlayStation 1 and 2, Xbox, Game Cube, Dreamcast, and more.
- A Retro-Gaming Must-Have: The Portta Component to HDMI Converter doesn’t only work with the Nintendo Wii. It can even convert earlier consoles such as the PS1, PS2, Game Cube, and so forth as well as the Sega Dreamcast and the 1st Xbox. Sure, you need a composite RCA to HDMI or A/V to HDMI converter to play even more retro or vintage game consoles like the Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). However, most modern consoles in the 2000s and beyond have some sort of component video setup available to them that can be easily converted to HDMI.
- When To Use or Not to Use the Component to HDMI Converter: Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 have HDMI and component video ports included in their consoles, thus there’s no need to convert component to HDMI with them. In contrast, the Nintendo Wii focused more on motion controls than upping the resolution of its games, thus its 480p resolution library is not available in native 1080p and the console itself lacks an HDMI port. In such a scenario, the Portta Component to HDMI Converter and its support of uncompressed 2-channel audio such as LPCM with no distortion as well as video conversion with no signal delay becomes a must-have item.
- No Delay, Attenuation, or Lag with Portta: Additionally, the Portta Component to HDMI Converter has a 5 Gbps HDMI transmission rate, so the analog rate of a component video console like the Wii is practically nothing to the converter. This results in no distortion of the audio and pure 480p clarity of the video. This R/L Audio and YPbPr Component Video Converter allows you to combine and convert the audio and video of your component source media to digital signals that your HDTV can read with its single HDMI output. If you instead want to display an HDMI source media to a CRT or plasma TV display with component ports, you instead need the Portta HDMI to Component Converter that splits the audio and video to RCA video and twin audio cables.
- Portta and Its HDCP Version 1.3 Support: The Portta Component to HDMI Converter also supports HDCP version 1.3 so that you won’t have trouble with digital copyright protection present in all HDTVs that prevent pirates from using them to steal content from copyright holders. The converter can do all the digital handshakes needed to allow for component video conversion and whatnot at 1080p high component video resolution. There are some analog pieces of content that can reach up to 1080i resolution that’s almost as good as 1080p. The main difference is how interlaced display on CRT television sets differs from the progressive scan method of displaying images in an HDTV.
- A Wide Input Range: Aside from the Wii’s 480p maximum native resolution that can be upscaled to 1080p, the Portta Component to HDMI Converter for YPbPr also covers resolutions like 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. Both standard definition resolution for the 4:3 aspect ratio and the high definition resolution for the 16:9 widescreen are covered by the Portta converter. Additionally, it supports 24 bit or deep color video format. This means it works excellently with the color palette of the Nintendo Wii along with the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox, PS4, PS3, PS2, and PSX. Naturally, this also covers the color palette and resolutions for HDVD players, DVD players, Blu-ray Disc or BD players, cable/satellite boxes, and so forth.
- Wiistar Wii to HDMI Converter versus Portta: Both the Wiistar and the Portta are capable of converting Wii’s A/V connection to HDMI. However, Portta specifically covers component cable connections while Wiistar covers the standard A/V cables that come with the Wii. So which one is better? In our opinion, Portta is simpler to use and therefore better. Sure, Wiistar has additional functionalities like a 3.5-millimeter audio jack in front of it and the ability to link directly to the video port of the Wii for HDMI connections. However, Portta pushes the Wii’s maximum settings before linking to the Wii to support native display modes such as NTSC 480i, 480p, and PAL 576i.
- Portta Takes Advantage of Component Quality: The Portta Component to HDMI Converter for YPbPr takes better advantage of component video quality than Wiistar does for Wii’s A/V connection. With Wiistar, there’s a lot of adapter de-interlacing going on to make the analog signal become more digitally developed. However, Portta’s ability to scale the signal to HD displays is more direct since it goes for the component video angle. Component YPbPr is the closest thing to HD digital that analog technology can get. The conversion is more straightforward when you go the component route instead of the A/V composite or RCA route since you’re using the best version of the analog signal possible with Components. What’s more, component video can do 1080i anyway.
- Important Details to Consider: There are several areas where the Wiistar shines over the Portta. First off, it’s an adapter so it’s much more cost-friendly compared to an outright converter you need to plugin as well. Secondly, it’s a durable piece of hardware made specifically for the Wii that won’t break easily. As long as you’re dealing with a standard HD monitor, you won’t get bogged down by technicalities with the Wiistar. However, ultimately, the Portta wins out because it’s made for HDTVs and the conversion is more assured due to the more dependable nature of converters when compared to the more sensitive adapters that might not work in certain situations or conditions. The Portta simply works in more HDTVs than the Wiistar does in HD monitors.
- What’s in The Box? The Portta Component to HDMI Converter comes with the converter itself along with papers like the user manual, the warranty card assuring of 5 years worry-free warranty, a 5-volt DC power adapter, and various cables like the HDMI cable and the component cable. If you have any issues with the device, feel free to contact the makers of the converter for more details. We personally didn’t find anything wrong with the device we got, but there are complaints on Amazon in regards to defective devices. The money-back-guarantee and the warranty should assist anyone who ends up with a product that doesn’t satisfy them or doesn’t work.
The Verdict on Component to HDMI Conversion
You can’t just pick up any converter out there. You should avoid adapters because they cause more problems than they can solve. A converter is more complete with its conversion prowess while an adapter is more limited in its applications. Additionally, switching to HDMI will help your Wii playing out quite a bit even if you don’t care about special features or higher resolutions (that basically just stretch or zoom into the Wii’s native 480p resolution anyway).
Going from analog to digital assures you of a more solid connection with fewer imperfections, signal loss or attenuation, and consistency across the board. This is important when playing the Wii so that you can focus more on your movement and making full use of the game console’s motion control gimmick. It is still rather shocking that a game console in the same 7th generation as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 would have such comparatively low-grade hardware and lack of an HDMI port.
- “Guide to the Best Wii to HDMI Converter“, Nerd Techy, January 28, 2019
- “Portta N3CVRHP Component to HDMI Converter“, Amazon.com, Retrieved April 28, 2020