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Jan/21/09 Update: Component to HDMI and VGA to HDMI Converter now available, click here.

There are two big obstacles in connecting HDMI and component video. First, HDMI is a digital signal, and Component video is analog. The signals themselves are not compatible. So you would need a digital to analog conversion box (or analog to digital depending on which way you are going)

The other problem is HDCP. Component Video cannot support HDCP, and HDMI always supports HDCP encryption.

Because of the incompatiblities, it’s nearly impossible, (without wiring your own ends) to find any kind of a Component to HDMI cable. We just added a solution that will give you a work around, but let me warn you it isn’t ideal. It’s not that clean, is expensive and has limited support… But here goes.

To connect a component video source like a DVD player, cable box, game console etc. to an HDMI display like a TV or Projector, you will need the following three parts:

Component source to HDMI Display
SW-2404 Component to VGA SW-4480 VGA to DVI adapter SW-1121 DVI to HDMI cable

Now since you are upconverting in this situation, you will be getting the best possible quality from your component source. The conversion box will scale the image so that it comes out in High Definition resoultions, rather than simply stretching a low-def image. The problem is going to be the price. This setup will run around $700 depending on cable lengnts etc. which might be more than replacing many of the components in your home theater setup.

UPDATE: Gefen has released a Component to HDMI conversion box it not only converts a Component signal to the Digital HDMI output, but it also has the option to add the audio signal to the HDMI, includes all the cables. And, it will be significantly less expensive than the current work-arounds. (about $180)

Going the other way–connecting a HDMI source to a component display won’t be quite as expensive, but it has more limitations. HDCP encryption will NOT be passed through a converter, so protected content will not display correctly, if at all. Because there are still many HD displays that don’t support HDCP, some devices have the ability to disable HDCP, but if and how they do that is entirely up to the manufacturer.

SW-1121 DVI to HDMI cable SW-4486 VGA to DVI adapter SW-2404 Component to VGA

This is still going to be expensive (around $400) But not as much as getting a new big screen TV or HD projector. Generally the best option will be to try to run HDMI to HDMI/DVI or component to compontent, but if that’s not possible… there are options.

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