The 7 Best HDMI To Component Converters
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in January of 2018. Whether you own a TV or monitor without an HDMI input or the inputs on your new set have broken, one of the converters on our list can save the day. These devices take the video and audio signals traveling through an HDMI cable and split them up into component channels, enabling you to use older equipment with modern devices. We've ranked them here by compatibility, build quality, and value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 11, 2020:
Composite Cables vs Component Cables: It’s easy to get the two confused, and both carry analog signals, however, component cables were designed to support HD and replace composite cables, which couldn’t support high definition. Composite cables are often called RCA cables due to their connections, while component cables are sometimes referred to as YPbPr cables, again, due to the names of the individual connectors. Both only carry video signals, so rely on a separate pair of cables to carry audio. By the way, we also have a list of the best HDMI-to-RCA cables in case that’s what you’re looking for.
Component Cables vs HDMI: while the component interface is newer than the composite interface, both are being replaced by HDMI. Component cables only support up to 1080p (Full HD), so even if both your input and output (display) devices support 4K (Ultra HD), and for some reason, one doesn’t have an HDMI port, but a YPbPr port instead, a component cable will not preserve that UHD signal. However, if you’re using a component cable, then it’s likely that your output device predates UHD anyway. Another difference is that HDMI is digital, so there is comparatively less signal loss at the same signal quality – at 1080p, for example. However, most analog cables are manufactured to a high standard nowadays anyway, so it isn’t really an issue.
Updates to This List: with all of that in mind, this update was simply about removing problematic models like the IO Crest Digital SPDIF and Anber-Tech YPbPr, and adding some better options, like the Easycel Scaler and Frontier Factory Adapter. The Frontier Factory Adapter is marketed for use with a Slingbox, but can be used with other devices too, and its indicator lights are quite handy in any case.
HDMI-to-Component vs Component-to-HDMI: like with HDMI-to-composite cables, HDMI-to-component cables can’t be used in reverse – i.e. they can’t take an analog YPbPr signal and output it as a HDMI signal. However, I’ve added the Koopman Converter as an option in our list that offers component-to-HDMI conversion.
May 16, 2019:
While this is a category that offers little in terms of innovation given the limitations of a component signal, the Universal Premium took over the top spot from the Volantech model that has slipped to number three. The main reason is that the former has a dedicated optical audio output, which allows you to utilize it not just as an AV relay, but to send its audio to a receiver and split it up into the 5.1 channels you would need to enjoy a surround sound experience. In the second spot you'll see a newcomer to the ranking, Anber-Tech's Converter, which is decidedly similar to the Volantech in design, but which hasn't suffered any availability issues that have occasionally cropped up with the Volantech. The overpriced and feature-poor Radio Shack model remains in our last spot, and it'd be tempting to remove it entirely were it not for the fact that it's the only option that won't take up any space on a TV stand, and that could theoretically even be wired inside a wall behind a hanging TV set.