Many new TVs on the market now are only coming with HDMI connections for external audio, video, and game consoles. The problem I have is not being able to play older game devices such as PlayStation 1, Wii, and the original Xbox due to not having many RCA connections on the TV.
My new Samsung 65-inch Q80T only has one RCA input but some other models don’t even have that, only HDMI ports. Legacy ports are going away for good.
There is now a cheap device that will fix all of your problems called the composite video to HDMI converter up scaler.
Now my kids have been using this little plug-and-play device for a few months now so I thought I would write up a quick review. It is a much-needed device for our home theater projector setup.
Table of Contents
- 1 Composite Video + Audio to HDMI Converter Review
- 2 What is Composite Video
- 3 Convert Composite to HDMI FAQ
- 3.1 Does using a composite to HDMI converter make the video high definition?
- 3.2 Will a Composite to HDMI converter make the image clearer?
- 3.3 Do I need to power the composite to HDMI adapter?
- 3.4 Can I plug more than one RCA plug into the AV to HDMI converter?
- 3.5 Do I get surround sound from the Aux input to HDMI?
- 3.6 RCA in HDMI out, can it be reversed?
- 3.7 What devices can benefit from AVI to HDMI converter?
- 3.8 Can I use this device to plug into more than 1 HDMI port?
- 4 Conclusion
Composite Video + Audio to HDMI Converter Review
If you want to use your DVD, VCR, camcorder, Android TV box, or game system with RCA outputs with your new 4k HDTV or HDMI-only monitor, this converter is what you need.
Simply plug standard composite AV cables (yellow, red, and white) into the input port of the converter, and then connect an HDMI cable from the converter to your TV.
The micro USB port is there to power up the unit. It is the only way I know of to convert an RCA output to HDMI cheaply.
This converter works great with either 720p or 1080p TVs, and the output mode is easily selectable with a switch on the side of the device. Now I have one each for the PlayStation 1&2 and the Wii.
So if your TV only supports 720p then this is the selection you would use.
The analog converter’s processing integrated circuit is high-end, which allows you to get the clearest picture quality possible. Optimal color and detail reproduction depending on the source video.
Both video and audio are integrated into the HDMI output, providing an all-digital, one-cable solution to your HDTV or wall-mounted monitor @ 60HZ.
The input lag is not noticeable. That is the processing time from an action on the remote until you see it on the TV. (One of my older TVs that had an inbuilt analog to digital converter had really bad input lag.) The processing is fast and smooth with no image tears or artifacts.
I have it powered by the TVs spare USB port which is rated at 500mah which is more than enough for this little RCA – HDMI converter. At the end of the day, I am very happy with this little analog to HDMI boxes. They are cheap and work well.
What’s inside the box
There is quite a lot going on inside these little RCA to HDMI signal-up scalers. The solder joints are solid and neat. The power circuit is separated well away from the signal logic chip to avoid interference.
The HDMI port is a solid fit not unlike some cheaper connections that fall out as soon as you plug them in.
I like that you can separate 720p and 1080p signals for the best experience with a solid switch.
Wiring Up the 3 RCA to HDMI Cable Converter
What is Composite Video
Composite video is a video signal that has been around for a very long time. It refers to a type of composite analog video information that is transmitted or stored as a separate signal. Like the component video, composite-video cable does not carry audio and is often paired with audio cables as a set of 3 plugs.
For most consumer-level video applications, the common three-cable system using RCA connectors was used. Typically supported resolutions in scan lines are 480i for NTSC and 576i for PAL.
This composite resolution is a far cry from 1080p not to mention 4k resolution.
Convert Composite to HDMI FAQ
Does using a composite to HDMI converter make the video high definition?
In reality no. If you are outputting a 480i resolution that is the signal you will display on your HD TV. All that will be done is the stretching of the image to fill the 720p or 1080p screen.
Will a Composite to HDMI converter make the image clearer?
Yes, you will get less interference from other electrical devices nearby. Make the composite cable from your old games console as short as possible for the best quality.
Do I need to power the composite to HDMI adapter?
Yes, you will need an external USB power source. Usually, you will have a spare USB port on the back of the TV or the Wii/Xbox.
Can I plug more than one RCA plug into the AV to HDMI converter?
Technically yes but you will need to use an AC splitter cable. Only one audio-video device can be turned on at a time otherwise you will get cross-talk. and interference.
It is best to use a composite AV to HDMI adapter on each and then run separate HDMI cables to the TV. You can read more about signal ghosting and artifacts in our other article.
Do I get surround sound from the Aux input to HDMI?
Unfortunately no. As the sound coming into the RCA to HDMI box is stereo that is all that will be transmitted to the TV. If you connect the HDMI cable to an amplifier first and then to the TV you can simulate a virtual surround experience with some experimentation.
RCA in HDMI out, can it be reversed?
Not on this converter box, you will need to buy a separate HDMI in RCA out adaptor. These look similar but are reversed. The video signal only travels in one direction. So HDMI in and then you will get RCA out for older TVs and projectors.
What devices can benefit from AVI to HDMI converter?
Any old audio-video devices with red yellow white cable outputs can be converted to HDMI. This includes:
- VCR players.
- Xbox original.
- PlayStation 1 and 2.
- Nintendo Wii.
- Video Cameras.
- Portable media players.
- Video capture cards.
- Old Game consoles.
- Security Cameras.
Can I use this device to plug into more than 1 HDMI port?
No, there is only 1 HDMI output port. To be able to split the image into two different monitors you will need a 1 into 2 out HDMI splitter.
Now there are a lot of proprietary adaptors to convert different outputs to HDMI. RCA or composite video is the most common so it is the one I like to use.
For the old Nintendo Wii, there is the Wii2HDMI adaptor shown above and for the PS2 there is the PS2 to HDMI, but why buy different adaptors? Just get the AV to HDMI converter and use it on everything out there. Even old handy cams will benefit from this little device.
So don’t throw out those yellow-white cables convert them to hdmi.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair and maintenance jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, Boats, and Computers so writing about them is easy. Working on them is fun.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.