Workaround for TV & HTPC
August 10, 2012 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Can I convert HDMI to component for my HTPC?

I have a cheap 720p plasma TV that we bought at Walmart. (Sanyo DP50740) All three HDMI ports stopped working simultaneously. Since this happened in the middle of a electrical storm, it it likely that whatever chip or chips control HDMI input got fried by a surge. I moved most things over to the component connecters, which still work fine, but I don't have any way to connect the media PC. Can I buy a converter that will go from the computer's HDMI port to one of the component connections on the TV? Will it display at 720p? Will converting from digital to analog significantly degrade my picture? Where can I buy such a thing? I'd rather do this than buy and install a new main unit, since this TV is rarely used for anything other than kids cartoons. Thanks in advance for your collective widsom.
posted by Crotalus to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Monoprice has a converter box that claims to deal with the HDCP copy protection and converts up to 1080p.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:40 PM on August 10, 2012

I think Blazecock Pileon has it, but if not, it might be helpful to search using the term DAC (digital-analog converter).
posted by easy, lucky, free at 4:46 PM on August 10, 2012

Other alternative: does the HTPC have VGA on it? VGA to Component is a simple cable if your TV can take in RGB Component (most can), and a very cheap ($20) rgb->yuv converter if it can't
posted by jaymzjulian at 5:45 PM on August 10, 2012

I don't know what model of TV you have, but a lot of the cheaper models actually have VGA or DVI inputs that you could use instead of HDMI. Also, if your PC has a dedicated video card, some of them still have component cables that will go into a round hole on the backplate of the card (resembles an s-video output but with more pins.)

I would guess you'd have checked and confirmed/denied the precence of the above already, but if not, it may be worth a shot.
posted by Bonky Moon at 11:18 PM on August 10, 2012

To clarify, the Monoprice unit descrption reads, "The converter supports HDCP 1.2, so handshaking and copy protection isn't an issue."

This means that the unit will respect and enforce HDCP rules, and will NOT convert HDCP material which is flagged as do-not-convert.

There are HDCP stripper/converter units available, but they are illegal in the US and you have to scrounge pretty hard for them.
posted by mwhybark at 8:15 AM on August 12, 2012

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