RCA to HDMI? Can You Convert RCA (composite video) signal to HDMI?
If you have older AV equipment like a VCR player or a first-generation DVD player, projector, video camera, you would be familiar with RCA.
For decades, the RCA connector was the grandmother of all AV connectors, until HD video and HDMI came along.
Before that, if you buy any AV equipment, you’ll have no problem connecting it to your television set. Your TV sets have the necessary RCA inputs. RCA connectors are a given.
Since most HDTV sets don’t come with RCA input ports, can you connect your older AV devices to your HD television set which comes with HDMI and/or component video inputs?
The good news is you can. You can do it with an RCA to HDMI converter, popularly known as AV to HDMI converter.
Can you connect the AV out of an older device like a VHS player to your HDTV via an HDMI connection ?
Yes you can. You don’t have to dump your old analog AV equipment into the storeroom in this age of HD video.
You could do it with the use of an RCA to HDMI upscaler, adapter or converter.
How to Use an AV to HDMI Converter
Depending on the composite video to HDMI adapter, your composite video connection (yellow (video) , red and white (audio) outputs) can be converted to HD video.
Not all composite video to HDMI converters convert your video to Full HD at 1080p.
Some will manage only 720p. You’ll have to check the specifications before you buy an RCA to HDMI upscaler.
Types of RCA to HDMI Upscalers
Basically there are two types of RCA to HDMI converters.
The first type is the RCA to HDMI converter box. In this type of adapter, you’ll have female inputs. To use this you would need two separate cables.
The first set of cables will be your RCA or composite cables (yellow, red, white). You plug these cables into the AV out ports of your equipment (VCR, DVD player, etc).
The free ends of the RCA cables will then be plugged into the female ports of the RCA to HDMI converter box.
You then plug the other end of the box with your HDMI cable and connect it to your HDTV set.
As you can see from the diagram above you’re only allowed to convert RCA to HDMI and not HDMI to RCA.
In other words, you can’t convert HD video (from Blu-ray player to be played on your analog television set.
So, it’s only upscaling that’s possible with composite video to HDMI conversion and not downscaling.
RCA to HDMI Cables
The second type of RCA to HDMI converters are in the form of cables.
Simply plug the RCA end of the cables to your analog AV equipment and plug the HDMI end to your TV set.
This is a plug-and-play kind of connection and can easily be used by anyone within minutes.
Can You Really Get True HD Quality Video with an RCA to HDMI Upscaler?
If you are familiar with analog connections, you’ll know that once a composite video is output to a playback device, there’s will be generational loss which is not really noticeable to the naked eye.
To minimise this loss, high quality cables with gold-plated connector are usually used.
The same goes to composite video to HDMI conversion. The composite signal from your AV equipment will suffer loss of quality when it reaches the converter console.
However, it will not be noticeable to the naked eye.
Since it’s not a true HD to a true HD connection and you’ll not enjoy native HD video quality.
However, your video quality will be much better with RCA to HDMI than an RCA to RCA connection.
Check out this video to get a clearer idea of how to connect an RCA device to an HDMI HDTV.