High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is the de facto standard for HD connections in the 2000s and 2010s, especially with how ubiquitous it is on HDTVs, flatscreens, new generation game consoles, BD and DVD players, and cable or satellite boxes. The cable linked to the HDMI port found on our audio-visual components so that you can connect them to HDMI inputs found on your typical HD display monitors. With the right adapter, you can also connect or put in older format displays to HDMI components or HDMI displays on vintage devices.
It’s indeed possible to connect your PS4 to a VGA projector or your VCR with a SCART connection to an HDTV. More to the point, there is a multitude of ways to go about format conversion from a legacy format cable like RCA and coaxial to HDMI. Just keep on reading to find out more about them when all is said and done.
A “How To” Guide on HDMI Conversion of Various Formats
Here are the 14 cable and AV formats you can convert into the HDMI format to make them connectable to an HDMI device or display.
1. How to Convert Composite, RCA, or AV to HDMI:
Composite is the format for a video designed from 1954 to 1956 that served as the analog video transmission standard for SD or standard-definition video from 480i to 576i. RCA connectors, otherwise known as phono or Cinch connectors are connectors from the 1940s using 3 cables (red and white for stereo audio and yellow for composite video). AV input is the generic term referring to the common connector of TVs that enable it to receive audio-visual signals from electric sources like video players generating such output.
The best composite, RCA, or AV to HDMI converter: You need a converter to allow them to connect to an HDMI cable or output. The GANA Audio Video Converter Adapter is everything you’re looking for and more when it comes to allowing your composite, RCA, or AV input television set or projector to connect to your HDMI video source. It’s particularly handy in converting your composite RCA connection to HDMI because it supports PAL, NTSC3.58, NTSC4.43, SECAM, PAL/M, and PAL/N standard TV formats input from all over the world. It also supports HDMI 720p or 1080p output to boot. It’s signal processing, from what we’ve seen ourselves, is superb, producing crystal-clear resolution, details, and precision.
2. How to Convert VGA to HDMI:
Video Graphics Array (VGA) is a 1987 graphics standard made for IBM PS/2 computers that many PC clone manufacturers adhered to, making it an almost unintentional universal PC video connection standard during the 1990s. Unlike HDMI or even DisplayPort, it doesn’t carry audio signals, only video ones. Much like Digital Video Interface or DVI, you need a separate connection port or jack to listen to audio since PC monitors usually lacked built-in speakers compared to television sets. Its connector is a D-shaped one with 15 pins on it that links to a port with 15 pinholes.
The best VGA to HDMI converter: When converting a VGA source to an HDMI connection, make sure your adapter has a separate cable for audio since the VGA connector alone carries no audio and only video. Thusly, the best VGA to HDMI converter is the HDMI/HDCP-compliant IOCrest 1080P VGA to HDMI Audio Video Cable Converter. This converts any VGA source into an HDMI display. It also supports audio function for HDTVs and HDMI monitors by offering a separate port for your audio needs, like when connecting a 1990s laptop to your HDMI flatscreen or something. This handy adapter has a 3.5-millimeter output audio jack and a USB connector for good measure.
3. How to Convert USB to HDMI:
There are various USB to HDMI adapters you can get online, particularly when it comes to linking your USB-type source devices to a normally HDMI-compliant PC monitor or HDTV display. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) industry standard is already a plug-and-play type of connector that allows you to ubiquitously plug in various devices to your modern TV, but to use that TV as a display when it lacks a USB port at the back or sides requires you to get the best USB to HDMI adapter out there.
The best USB to HDMI adapter: This is where the StarTech.com USB 3.0 to HDMI Display Adapter comes in. Unlike video grabbers that offer additional unnecessary services to capture video for Let’s Plays on YouTube or various recordings of your favorite shows that bypasses the copy protection of HDMI, this is an affordable adapter that enables you to connect any USB-enabled device to your HDMI display in a jiffy. What’s more, it gives you your money’s worth by being a dual/multi-monitor video converter with an external graphics card to boot. Just remember that it’s a Windows-only 1080p adapter.
4. How to Convert USB Type C to HDMI:
USB Type C or USB-C is a smaller type of USB used for smaller portable devices like mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 players, miniature tablets, digital cameras, and so forth. It’s not uncommon to get a Type-C USB cord and standard USB adapter for it included with your phone or battery. However, you need to search for a specific adapter when converting your USB-C cord to work with an HDMI output cable. You can use it to connect your cellphone to an HDMI display and the like, but usually, you’re not allowed to do vice-versa.
The best USB-C to HDMI adapter is CableCreation USB C to HDMI + VGA Adapter. First off, it converts USB-C not only to HDMI but also to VGA. It’s also compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices. It comes with its own VGA Adapter and HDMI 4K video compatibility. You can watch YouTube, stream Twitch.tv, or hear podcasts by linking your iPhone or Samsung phone to an HDTV. However, please keep in mind that if two outputs are linked, only one output can receive the input signal. The priority signal for the CableCreation Adapter is HDMI first and VGA second.
5. How to Convert Coaxial to HDMI:
The coaxial format refers to coaxial RF or coaxial radio frequency connector. This connector type uses a multi-megahertz radio frequency range. This connector and port are used with coaxial cables with all the necessary shielding to prevent magnetic or electric interference with the signal being transmitted. If you want to do dependable coaxial component linkups with an HDMI speaker and video display device then you should definitely get your hands on the Anber-Tech SDI to HDMI Converter Adapter Audio De-Embedder. It covers stereo, SDI loop-out, SD-SDI, HD-SDI, 3G-SDI, and so forth.
It also includes auto format detection as soon as you plug the cable and device in. It’s one of many ways to convert your coaxial to an HDMI audio output speaker, HDTV, or home entertainment system with speakers galore if you lack the traditional coaxial output on your legacy systems like an old VCR, game consoles like the Sega Dreamcast, or a laptop from the 1990s. It supports bitrates of up to 2.970 Gbps as well as video or VHF analog signals to boot. The Anber-Tech Adapter is, after all, the best coaxial to HDMI converter in the market to date.
6. How to Convert Component (YPbPr) to HDMI:
Component video is an analog video standard that splits 2 or more component channels into separate wires. Meanwhile, YPbPr refers to the color space used in video electronics, particularly in component video cables. The green cable carries Y, the blue cable carries Pb, and the red cable carries Pr to individually render each color space with amazing clarity and quality for analog transmission. With that said, in order to convert a component-linked VHS player or even a Sony PlayStation 2, you need the right converter for the job.
The best component to HDMI converter: Enter the Volantech Component YPbPr RGB to HDMI 4K Converter. It’s a YPbPr component video input converter that converts that analog signal to a digital 4K HDMI output. It can accept component video and R/L audio signals and then send them to an HDMI display with no problem. Additionally, it enables you to connect your old game consoles, DVD players, and even other legacy systems making use of component tech to your newest HDTV flatscreen in a snap. It’s a particularly sought-after product for linking the Wii and Xbox 360 to an HDMI display.
7. How to Convert DisplayPort or DP to HDMI:
DisplayPort or DP is a digital display interface created recently, in 2006, by a consortium of PC and chip manufacturers that include Maxell, Sony, Lattice, and Philips. It’s primarily utilized to connect DP video sources to computer monitors that also have the DP port. However, it can also carry other data forms like audio and USB. As for the best DP to HDMI adapter for the job of linking your DP audio-video component to a traditionally HDMI monitors like an HDTV or the latest flatscreen displays, you won’t go wrong with Cable Matters.
The best DisplayPort or DP to HDMI: The Cable Matters DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter is one of the best DP adapters out there that allows DP users to make use of the more common HDMI equipment while still getting state-of-the-art audio and video quality they’ve come to expect and love from the DisplayPort family of devices. It’s capable of connecting laptops, desktops, game consoles, video disc players like DVD and Blu-Ray units, cable boxes, satellite boxes, and so forth to link up with HDMI display units despite using a DP output. It even supports 4K video resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 found in the latest PS4 or BD titles.
8. How to Convert Mini DisplayPort to HDMI:
Mini DisplayPort is a miniaturized version of DisplayPort mainly used for portable Apple Inc. products like the iPhone and MacBook. Mini DisplayPort is also known as mDP or MiniDP. Meanwhile, a MiniDP to HDMI adapter is an AV digital interface that allows you to connect your MacBook to a flatscreen HDTV or an HDMI computer monitor as well as one of the more modern HDMI projectors out there. You can also use it on your iPhone and other mobile equipment. The best one on the market is, again, a Cable Matters device.
The best mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable: The Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter is an mDP to HDMI adapter that’s also compatible with devices that use the Thunderbolt 2 port. Just make sure that you buy a separate HDMI cable for it since that’s sold separately from this Thunderbolt 2 and MiniDP to HDMI dongle adapter. You can use it for iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and even other computers, tablets, and phones using mDP for plug-and-play connection to any HDTV or HDMI display. It can support video resolutions up to 1080p.
9. How to Convert SCART to HDMI:
As for converting a SCART-compatible legacy system and cable to make it compatible to an HDMI display, here’s the nitty-gritty. SCART is an old AV input standard—specifically a French standard—for television sets in 1980 that came about around 1977. It has a signature female 21-pinhole port interface that you’re supposed to connect with SCART plug that has male 21-pin plugs on both ends. If you want to hook up your 1970s-1980s SCART VCR, Betamax, game (pong) console, and so forth to your HDMI monitor or HDTV, then you should give VCANDO a try.
The best SCART to HDMI converter is the VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter. Instead of linking up your Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation to an old-timey SCART TV set that might or might not be in black & white, you can instead use the converter to convert 480i (NTSC), 576i (PAL) format video from your Betamax or VHS tapes as well as Sega Genesis cartridges to a 720p or 1080p HDMI signal output on your HDTV or HDMI monitor. You might need to do some tweaking on the resolution to avoid letterboxing or black borders over the video feed, but otherwise, it’s a straightforward conversion.
10. How to Convert DVI to HDMI:
The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) was developed back in 1999 by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It’s one of the modern 21st Century standards that was supposed to succeed VGA, but eventually, HDMI won the battle and DVI is on its way to being obsolete itself. DVI (1999) is the first of two other formats, which are HDMI (2002) and DisplayPort (2006). If you want to link your HDMI cable to a DVI port of an HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, or DVD player as well as various generations of consoles from the 2000s onwards, you need the proper converter.
The Best DVI to HDMI Cables and Adapters: Meanwhile, one of the best DVI to HDMI cables and adapters is the AmazonBasics DVI to HDMI Cable. It’s a cable and DVI-HDMI adapter in one product. Instead of depending on a splitter that comes with a DVI output to link a DVI cable to an HDMI port, you can instead use a DVI cable with a gold-plated HDMI output on one end and DVI on the other end. This cable is 10 feet or 3 meters in length. It’s ideal for use in home theater entertainment, HDTV gaming, and much more. Its net jacket offers an extra layer of protection to boot that’s CL2 rated for residential buildings.
11. How to Convert Ethernet to HDMI:
It’s simple to convert Ethernet cables to HDMI connections because HDMI systems also depend on Ethernet Cat6/Cat7 cables for extending the HDMI signal. Ethernet, by the way, is a family of computer networking technology utilized for Local Area Networks (LAN), Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN), and Wide Area Networks (WAN). It’s an old standard that came out in 1980 and standardized as IEEE 802.3 in 1983 but persists to this day. It has since been refined for higher-bitrate support and longer distances.
The best HDMI over cat 5E/6/7 extender: This is why HDMI users depend on these cables to cheaply extend the reach of their normally more limited HDMI cables. By our estimation, the best HDMI Over Cat6 Extender that money can buy is the J-Tech Digital HDMI Extender By Single Cat 5E/6/7 product. You can use it to connect your HDMI display to an Ethernet Network or enable long-distance connections between multiple HDMI displays within 200 feet as required. It has zero video latency and 24bit video color for Cat6 and 36bit color for Cat7. It also covers resolutions from 480i to 1080p.
12. How to Convert HDMI to Thunderbolt:
First off, let’s discuss what Thunderbolt is. It’s an interface developed in 2011 by Apple and Intel. It allows external peripherals to connect to a computer. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the MiniDP connector. Thunderbolt 3, in contrast, uses a USB-C connector instead. You can use for Thunderbolt 1 and 2 the AmazonBasics Adapter if you want to connect them to an HDMI display. Indeed, you can’t go wrong with the AmazonBasics Mini DisplayPort Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter.
The best thunderbolt to HDMI: It enables your Apple iMac or MacBook to connect to an HDTV, projector, or computer monitor with an HDMI output. The adapter box converts your MiniDP output into something you can link into an HDMI cable and port. The MiniDP Adapter can support up to a 1920 x 1200 resolution. However, it doesn’t support iPhones or iPads. It’s strictly a product for the MacBook and Apple iMac in case you want an HDTV display for your computing, PC gaming, streaming, podcast, video editing, graphics design, and so forth needs. You need a separate converter for Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C connector, like something from CableCreations earlier.
13. How to Connect iPhone to TV with HDMI:
In order to connect or mirror the content of your Apple iPhone to various HDMI display monitors or television sets, you need the proper converter. Alas, you cannot do it vice-versa, with your iPhone serving as the monitor or display to your HDMI devices, like a Blu-Ray player or game console like Sony PlayStation 4. The best and most highly rated device for your conversion needs is the Mareion 6.6ft Digital AV Cord and HDMI Connector. A connector is cheaper than an adapter and can do practically the same thing.
This simple cord and connector are designed to hook up your iPhone on one end and plug it to the HDMI input of an HDTV on the other end. You don’t need software or drivers; it’s plug-and-play. You can use it for video streaming purposes in full HD in case the screen of your iPhone is too limiting to really see detail and movement even though the phone itself is perfectly fine for uninterrupted Wi-Fi action. This cable is compatible with many of the latest iPhone versions, iPad versions, and so forth. To be more specific, you can use it for the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, X, 8, 7, 6, Plus, and 5.
14. Best Wireless HDMI Transmitter and Receiver:
Last but not least in this guide to make different cable formats usable with an HDMI cable and input for an HDMI-compliant display is the HDMI wireless kit. Wireless is the way to go when it comes to cable-free HDMI signal delivery action. The best way for your HDTV and various HDMI devices to go wireless and send their content to the airwaves is by buying the J-Tech Digital HDbitT Series 1X2 Wireless HDMI Extender. We believe J-Tech has the most cost-effective and high-quality wireless transmitter and receiver for the job.
This digital kit comes with amazing video and audio quality for up to 164 feet away. J-Tech is a dual antenna transmitter box that looks quite like modern Wi-Fi routers and roughly works just like them. It lets you extend AV signals from an HDMI device to another for up to 50 meters with low latency. The latency time is 0.3 to 0.5 seconds, which is decent enough even for any Blu-Ray release or the most input-sensitive of fighting or FPS games. The signal is delivered almost instantly and comes with full HD support for 1080p at 50/60 Hz, 720p at 50/60 Hz, 576p at 50/60 Hz, 480p at 60 Hz, and much more.
Conclusion Regarding HDMI Conversion
HDMI was developed back in 2002. It came about in between Digital Visual Interface (DVI), which was developed in 1999, and DisplayPort (DP), which was developed in 2006. It ultimately became the successor to Video Graphics Array (VGA) that was used mostly on PC clones and monitors. It spread like wildfire among consumers partly because HDTV was the hottest device to have for game consoles and the now multibillion-dollar gaming market and partly because manufacturers wanted a format that was anti-piracy or made pirating digital media difficult.
HDMI has HDCP or High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection to protect intellectual property rights for music, games, and videos. At any rate, because of HDMI’s ubiquitous nature, products like adapters and splitters have been made to allow legacy systems to connect to either HDMI AV components or displays with ease.