The 7 Best AV To HDMI Converters
Who Needs An AV to HDMI Converter?
AV to HDMI converters are popular with a lot of people, not simply technology buffs. To the outsider, this can be difficult to comprehend. But when the uses for these converters are explained, it is easy to see why they have become so popular.
To understand who benefits most from these converters, it is important to learn what they do. When most people speak of AV cables, they mean RCA cables. These are typically the cables with red, yellow, and white tips on them. These cables actually play a big role in the history of the television, as they provided a near-universal connection for audio and visual devices to be tethered to equipment. Until the recent invention of HDMI, RCA jacks were the standard. This means that there are still many products on the market that use AV cables and RCA jacks, and anyone who needs to use these with a new television may need a converter.
People with older camcorders will love the ease of a converter for displaying their memories on newer, high-definition televisions. Older video cameras used the familiar cables to connect to television RCA inputs. With a converter box, these same cameras can be attached to a high-definition TV via an HDMI port.
The 8-bit era may be long gone for many, but for some, 8-bit games provide a simple and nostalgic form of entertainment without breaking the bank on the newest systems. AV to HDMI converters allow those who are so inclined to play their old games on newer TVs.
Yet it is not just the 8-bit systems which use AV connections. Many other classic systems do as well, such as Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Nearly every gamer who plays older systems can benefit from an AV to HDMI converter. This is because even though some modern televisions still offer up AV connections, the image and audio quality may be greatly improved by converting to HDMI.
The same goes for playing classic movies from a VHS player. Instead of converting the entire collection to Blu-ray, there are still many who enjoy their VHS collection. For them, a converter is a much better investment than keeping an old television around, and it provides a higher-quality experience.
What Is The Difference Between AV and HDMI
AV is an abbreviation for audio/video. It has become a generic term used in home entertainment setups and products and is usually connected through some sort of RCA cable. The typical three-jack AV setup on most entertainment equipment includes a yellow sleeve for video, a red sleeve for the right audio channel, and a white sleeve for the left audio channel of stereo audio. These connect to the corresponding male jacks of the cable. RCA cables were created by the Radio Corporation of America in the 1940s, hence the name RCA.
There are many types of AV cable, but most are either component AV cables or composite AV cables. The composite AV cable is the classic three-connection cable mentioned above. The component AV cable has three connectors for video and two for audio. This helps to produce a better picture. Composite AV inputs can be found on DVD players and VCRs, projectors, mixing boards, camcorders, and even CD players. Typically only newer HDTVs have component AV inputs.
Before these cables, quarter-inch phone connectors were the standard for much audio and visual equipment. While RCA cables were originally designed for home radios, they became the connection of choice until the HDMI cable came around.
HDMI stands for high definition multimedia interface. The importance of HDMI lies in the fact that it allows for uncompressed audio and video data to be transferred from an HDMI device to a display. This preserves the highest frame rate possible, and keeps audio from clipping or warping in the transfer from the playback device to the speaker. This high definition is popularly used in home entertainment, where the highest quality experience is desired. As technology becomes more immersive, the importance of high quality audio and video is undeniable to keep the illusion alive. In modern home entertainment, virtual reality, and even just for playing social media videos from a projector, HDMI is king.
HDMI also has educational uses as well, in medical labs and for experiments carried out within a video conference. The use of HDMI in these cases allows high definition streaming in real time, which can make every experiment a teaching opportunity.
What To Look For In An AV to HDMI Converter
When looking for an AV to HDMI converter, it is important to understand a few key things that make up a high-quality unit. Much of the concept behind these converters is to make old units viable again. In order to accomplish this, a unit must provide a clear channel for the signal to pass through. A converter will decode the AV signal to its original bits, and then re-route it to the HDMI port to be used. If done incorrectly, this can mean poor image quality.
That is why one of the most important aspects of these devices is their build quality. It is often worth the extra cost to buy a high-end converter in order to ensure that the image is as clear as possible. It is important to note that the image will only be as good as the device capabilities. For instance, a 720p video recorder will not produce 1080p results on a newer TV by simply using a converter, but it will deliver the best quality possible.
Another thing to look for is whether the converter requires a power supply. Some units are passively powered, meaning they do not require an external electrical source to operate. Other converters will need their own power supply. If you only have limited space remaining on your power strip or would rather not clutter up your entertainment area with even more wires, look for units that can be powered by USB or battery.
One final thing to consider is lag time. Nearly all convertors will cause some amount of lag. It could be as little as a millisecond or as much as a full second. Picking an adapter made with high quality components will not only ensure a longer lifespan, but also reduce the possibility of experiencing any detectable lag between the input signal and the output signal.