The 5 Best HDMI Converters [Ranked]
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In this post, we examined 5 of the best-selling HDMI converters.
These HDMI converters are small box units that convert an HDMI signal to a variety of other signal types to accommodate devices lacking an HDMI input (Source).
How do they work?
HDMI signals were developed for high definition televisions, usually with a resolution of at least 720p, but more commonly 1080p. The HDMI converter takes this high definition signal and allows it to display on a monitor at a lower resolution by a process called scaling (Source).
When you’re in the market for a converter, experts say to look for features as opposed to versions.
What this means is that you shouldn’t get wrapped up in getting a converter that’s HDMI 2.0 or 1.4 compatible as both will operate equally. Rather, look for the converter that has all the features you need (Source).
Comparing The Options
How Do They Compare
Here we’ll compare 5 options:
- The Simple Co HDMI converter converts your HDMI signal to RCA or composite. This unit is inexpensive but delivers solid performance when you need to display your high definition content on older TVs and devices. This unit is both PAL and NTSC ready. Most buyers found this box to be easy to use and commented on the solid performance at getting HD signals on older televisions.
- The Ddida also converts HDMI to RCA, and like the previous model, it also supports both PAL and NTSC. This unit promises plug-and-play operation with no drivers to download. It comes with a guarantee and 30 days unconditional refund if you’re not happy. While users were happy with the performance and ease of use, some commented they had issues getting it to work with devices like the Google Chromecast and the Roku.
- Next up is the Tendak 1080p to AV 3RCA composite converter. Like the previous models, this works on both PAL and NTSC devices. This unit also boasts a plug-and-play design with no extra software or drivers to download. While most users said the device was easy to use, some said the instructions were hard to follow.
- The RadioShack HDMI to Composite converter is a simple converter without the advanced features of the previous devices. This is a simple HDMI converter with RCA cables. It doesn’t need a power source like the other boxes which are USB powered, giving this an advantage on that front. However, most users want more from a converter, and this one doesn’t provide it.
- The last device we looked at is the GANA LINK converter, which converts HDMI signal to standard definition AV. This is a perfect box for hooking up an HD device to an old VCR or TV. Like the other boxes, this handles both PAL and NTSC, and like the other boxes, this one also doesn’t work with devices like the Chromecast and the Fire Stick. What this does offer that the others don’t is video processing to enhance the picture’s brightness and contrast.
Best HDMI to Composite For 2020
Ease Of Use
This HDMI to RCA composite video converter is affordable, portable, easy to use, and an excellent choice if you don’t want to give up your old TV, VHS or VCR. Users love the price, but some do note that they received a defective unit. The Gana HDMI to composite box converts HDMI to normal CVBs signal – standard definition 480i, and it supports PAL and NTSC TV outputs. What’s great about this product is that you don’t need any drivers to use it – you just have to plug it.
However, this HDMI to composite is not compatible with TV Sticks, mobile phones or iPads. You also have to hook up the UBS cable to 5V power plug before you start using the device, or the converter might not work.
In general, users have a favorable opinion of the Gana HDMI to RCA/AV composite, and they are pleased with its performance. A reviewer comments that the HDMI converter works better than he initially expected and that he connected a laptop to an old TV with no issues. The buyer also observes that the device gets hot sometimes, but it’s not a deal breaker for him. Another purchaser mentions that the HDMI converter box works well on analog TVs and the quality of the picture is excellent.
A user also remarks that you can use the Gana converter to play PS4 on an old TV.
However, some customers have noted that they’ve bought several HDMI to RCA converters and they didn’t work at all. Some also state that the picture was black and white and the signal inconsistent.
Ease Of Use
If you have an old TV and you don’t want to throw it out, you can use this HDMI converter box offered by RadioShack to convert digital to analog signal. Users love the quality and the design, but some do note that there are no instructions how to use it.
The RadioShack HDMI-to-composite converter measures 11.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches, and it converts HDMI to RCA, but not the vice versa. What’s more this device doesn’t require a power source to run, but you might have to do a hard reset if you plan on using ion on streaming devices or gaming consoles.
A buyer comments that the RadioShack HDMI converter box surpassed his expectation and that he connects it to Amazon Firestick with no issues. He highly recommends it as the best HDMI to RCA composite. Another reviewer shares that the quality of the picture is not real HDMI, but it’s close and that he would gladly buy a second one.
A user also states that you just have to plug the device on both ends and you’re ready to go. He adds that the can use the HDMI to RCA cable to stream Netflix on an old TV fast and easy.
However, some customers have complained that the HDMI to composite box doesn’t work and that the quality of the picture is not good. Some also warn that they tried it on a Roku device and that it didn’t work.
Ease Of Use
This video/audio HDMI converter adapter offered by Tendak is portable, light, easy to use, and available in three colors. User love that the device support HDMI input from 480i to 1080P, but some do note that they are disappointed with the quality of the picture.
The Tendak HDMI to composite measures 2.6 x 2.2 x 0.8 inches, and it features an updated software program so that you can use it on more devices. What’s more, it has a switch to choose from PAL and NTSC formats, and it will work with most traditional TVs. Another great thing about this video and audio converter is that you don’t have to install drivers and you can power it from phone adapter, a USB jack, or a USB port device.
A reviewer shares that the HDMI to composite device allows him to set up a PS4 on an old TV and that the picture is of good quality. However, he doesn’t like that there are no instructions to explain the different settings. Another purchaser observes that the HDMI to RAC video converter works perfectly and that it’s compact and easy to use. The reviewer adds that he would gladly buy a second one. A user also mentions that you can use it with Fire TV stick with no issues.
However, some customers have noted that the HDMI composite doesn’t work well and that the picture is of poor quality. Some also state that the video has distorted lines at the bottom or no picture at all.
Ease Of Use
If you’re looking for a way to watch Netflix on an old TV, you might take a look at this HDMI to RCA video converter offered by Ddida. Users love the price, but some do note that the device doesn’t work as well as they expected. The Ddida HDMI to composite box measures 2.2” x 2.6” x 0.8”, and it allows you to play HDMI on old TVs, RCA projectors and displays, and more. It also has a select switch for NTSC and PAL TV format, and you don’t need drivers to run it – just plug and play.
However, this video converter is not suitable for Roku Express, Fire TV Sticks, Xbox, PS4, and Google Chromecast. But the great thing is that you have a 30-day money back guarantee and a one-year warranty.
In general, users have a favorable opinion of Ddida HDMI to AV/RCA composite, and they are pleased with its functionality. A reviewer remarks that the HDMI video cable is perfect for his 21” TV and that he is pleased with the quality of the picture. He highly recommends it to anyone looking for a cheap HDMI to RCA converter.
Another user mentions that he bought the HDMI converter box so that his sons could hook up their new video console to an old tube TV and that it worked perfectly. A happy buyer also comments that he has been using this HDMI video converter for months with no issues.
However, some customers have complained that the HDMI to RCA video converter doesn’t work at all and that the quality of the picture is bad.
Ease Of Use
This HDMI to RCA converter box offered by CIMPLE CO is efficient, well-made, portable, and affordable. Users love the sleek design and the price, but some do note that they are not happy with the quality of the picture.
The CIMPLE CO HDMI to composite converter measures6.4 x 3.7 x 2.4 inches, and it works right out of the box – just hook it up, and you’re ready to play. It comes with all the necessary cables – a USB cable, high-speed HDMI cable, and RCA/AV cable. What’s more, this device is USB-powered, and you can hook it up to Xbox, PS4, DISH Network, Comcast and more, but it doesn’t support 3D or 4D.
A buyer comments that he is satisfied with the performance and quality of the CIMPLE CO HDMI to RCA box and that he connects it to his laptop and TV with no issues. Another user remarks that the video converter works well with a Blue Ray player and PS4 so that he doesn’t need to buy a new TV.
A reviewer shares that the instructions regarding the NSDT/PAL switch are not very clear, but it’s not that hard to figure things out. However, some customers have complained that the HDMI device didn’t work out from them and that the quality of the picture was not what they expected.
What is Reddit Saying?
- One user posted in a video game emulation community wondering what fellow users experiences were with these composite converters. The top response was from a Redditor who said that for emulation purposes, because they scale images to 480i, a poor emulation experience, it's better to go with a VGA to composite transcoder because that one does not actually do any scaling.
- Another poster explained that it probably wouldn't be a great visual experience, although he qualified by saying that if you have RGB support with the SCART input that is one way of getting a decent picture, but will require some technical optimizations including a VGA output on the video card, and the drivers in video cards will also have to be able to employ 15 kHz horizontal scan rates.
- Another user had a home improvement style question, wondering how it would be best to run these cables through the exterior wall, crawlspace and interior wall so that he could mount a projector without having any unsightly wires disturbing the harmony of his living room.
- He describes wanting to run these cables, passing onto a plate, having to drop them through a subfloor and into a crawlspace, needing to use a flex conduit to exterior wall, emerging up for my subfloor so that it was nearby a power outlet junction box, splicing off the junction box so that the projector would be powered and then having to cut out drywall and mounting a power outlet.
- Because there's not a lot of information online, we actually resorted to analyzing customer experience with the ViewHD.
- One buyer had a question for the seller, wondering whether the S-video output was significantly enhanced compared to the composite output.
- Another user responded saying that for his Roku, that he didn't experience improved quality using the S-video output. Another prospective buyer wondered whether this unit had the ability to convert HDMI to RCA for a Chromecast. The consensus was that it would work- one buyer says that he had done the exact same thing himself and another speculated that generically because it's able to convert red, white and yellow in general that it wouldn't be an issue.
- One of the ViewHD's users said that he was pleased with the quality of the picture, but somewhat disappointed that it wasn't compatible with all of his devices. In particular, an older computer didn't work well with it- all it produced was color bars.
- Another potential drawback is because there aren't any physical controls on the unit you can actually do image centering or zoom- both handy if you need to manipulate the image you are rendering. Yet another buyer says that it has worked perfectly for his needs, enabling him to record video from any source. It enables him to capture anything that's on his television- though he does advise it's important to understand the crucial difference between perspective and aspect ratio.
- Another buyer completed a fairly technical set up, using a converter box running into a selector switch so she can toggle the HDMI device inputs. Another thing he's done is configure it so that all of the devices plugged into a power adapter and a power control panel so that he can turn them on and off as he needs, as well as using a remote control fan to keep things cool.
- Another user describes setting up an old television for his grandmother so that it would be compatible with a Blu-ray player in order that the old television which lacked the appropriate imports would be able to communicate with the Blu-ray player. Another user who I purchased an Xbox for his daughter on Christmas discovered that the connections were incompatible with the projection TV in their living room. They used this unit to help communicate between the Xbox and the old composite TV connection.
- Another buyer was similarly satisfied, saying that while the output resolution isn't the highest quality, it's fine as a temporary fix for all televisions incapable of accepting the HDMI inputs. Indeed many buyers said that if you're working with older devices, trying to hook them up to newer technologies, this can be a handy fix at least until you decided to purchase a more modern electronic appliance.