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Converting HDMI to Component Cable

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 12/7/2012

In this article we look why you may not want to bother with converting HDMI to Component cables. A converter is probably your worst option when it comes to making your HDTV pop. Learn why here.

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    New Conversions

    comp dvi cables HDMI and Component are currently the market's two hottest methods of making your HDTV pop with that beautiful HD picture you've always wanted and saved up money to buy. However, what if we're talking about older HD technology - those that lack HDMI connections, or TVs that have HDMI connectors but devices that only function with component cables? Then you're going to be spending some time looking for an HDMI to Component converter for your legacy device. So what better place to start than right here on Bright Hub? Let's start by talking about some of the mystery surrounding this particular piece of technology:

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    Faking It

    boxHD front and rear Plainly speaking, the conversion you're looking to make in this case is one from digital to an analog signal, as the HDMI cable sends signals out (or receives them) in digital form and the component cable does the same thing in analog form. So then, what are some of the problems associated with such a conversion?

    1. The signal being digital is much more lossless and crisp than the analog signal because the transmission across the wire in 1s and 0s is much more accurate than the analog transmission at the same resolution assuming all else being equal.

    2. In converting the signal, the loss in video quality might be barely noticeable for all but the most discerning eyes, however, the loss in audio quality usually is pretty noticeable especially because the integrated audio signal in the HDMI is then being split out into a cable.

    3. Compatibility is often an issue. In the best of cases, your HDMI to component converter will work with 99.9% of all devices out there. But as a simple search on Amazon can reveal, in the worst of cases, your converter will fall flat when it comes to every kind of device.

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    How to Solve a Surprisingly Complex Problem

    Realistically, a converter is the absolute worse option, even if you're not a self-professed audiophile or video enthusiast. You're taking a good signal and degrading it in order to fit an older technology in a way that is going to cost a lot of money. The conversion technology is worthless in the sense that you're spending large amounts of money to get no new piece of tech, just things that inter-convert.

    What might be worth your while to do instead of looking for HDMI to Component converters that can cost as much as $300 is to instead convert the piece of technology that is causing the problem. Specifically though, you should convert the offending piece of component cable-related technology, because HDMI is a more modern and prolific piece of tech than component and is quickly becoming the norm for everything and anything in the TV and projector space.

    A new LCD TV or projector could use the amount of money you're about to put into something obsolete. An upgrade, while possibly more expensive, would leave you with a brand new, awesome piece of technology that could potentially outlast any kind of converter.

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    Additional Reading

    If you're looking for more about HDMI and Component Cables, check out these articles:

    Buying the Perfect HDMI Cable

    Different Display Options