Not everyone believes that newer is better. If you’re a techno-geek who loves reliving their childhood by playing on old video game systems, or you’re perhaps the nostalgic type who likes to revisit fond memories recorded on an old-school camcorder. An AV to HDMI converter will be perfect for you.
We have literally spent endless hours searching through listings of every available converter option on the market. We did all this just to be able to present you with all of the information you could ever need to make an effective product choice to suit your needs. We’ve found the three best converters on the market, and we’re ready to give you the rundown on why you need one in your life if you still love old technology. You don’t need to look anywhere else.
What Is an AV to HDMI Converter?
This fantastic piece technology allows you to take an AV signal from a long-since-outdated piece of equipment or electronic entertainment and convert to one suitable for a device with an HDMI input so that you can enjoy the material in glorious high definition on the latest up-to-date screens and sound systems
For decades, many televisions relied on something known as an RCA jack to send the audio and video content out to other devices. This was the only means by which you could combine them with other technology like sound systems and game consoles.
Once the age of HDMI came to fruition, these RCA outputs began to lose their relevance due to their inferior sound and image quality. What this meant in the process though is that the technology from the RCA era started to become incompatible with modern HDMI based audio and video tech.
If you’ve still got an old VHS, camcorder, or games console from that era, then without one of these converters you’re going to massively struggle to access your favorite content. And for some people, that’s as much of a big deal now as it was when these devices were in their heyday.
An AV to HDMI adapter can pull a decades-old VHS or games collection out of the pits of redundancy, and allow you to enjoy them all over again albeit in modern HDMI glory with enhanced quality in every area. It can even let you enjoy your wedding day footage again in a new light.
This not only means that you don’t have to shell out on expensive technology platforms to relive old memories, but it means that you can explore them in more detail than you ever could before. For many people, this makes them indispensable.
How to Pick the Right AV to HDMI Converter
In this section, we’re going to explore all of the key features that you need to look out for when comparing products like this and determining which one is going to work best for your individual needs. Even though the converter niche has hit a ceiling over time, almost all of the options you choose will just about cover your needs. Some offerings will meet your requirements more adequately than others by excelling in the following areas:
How Easy Is It to Use?
In a totally ideal world, you’ll be able to take your converter out of the box, plug it in, and immediately start enjoying your old camcorder memories or video games from a bygone era. This isn’t always the case, however.
Ensure that you’re fully aware of the installation process before making a purchase. Try to view the instruction manual online beforehand, if you can, as this will give you a complete understanding of what you’re about to let yourself in for. If you can manage it hassle-free, then go for it.
How Compatible Is It?
AV to HDMI adapter units are absolutely nothing if they are not compatible. At the very least your product should be able to convert signals from RCA jack based products, but the best of the best units will also allow you to access technology coming from any region or area of the world. This means that they will support PAL, NTSC, and SECAM to ensure that you can playback whatever you want, with whatever you want, and from anywhere you want — as long as the signal source is AV based.
The first part of the image quality equation we need to mention is that of source quality. Simply put, if your source material is giving an output of 720 pixels then you aren’t going to be able to see your content at 1080p simply by using a converter.
The second part of the equation is that the quality of the converter you buy will determine the output quality of the image and audio. Though you can’t dramatically improve the quality of the source material, you can still enjoy a more refined version than the original with the best converters. Basically, the more premium the product the better the content enhancement will be.
Lagging is where something that’s being rendered either visually or audibly slows down due to the source material sending the signal out faster than the converter source can process it. This does occur with some converters, but how much lag you experience depends on the quality of the product on offer.
The best examples on the market will allow you to enjoy your old videos or games with barely any lag in the process. The lag can be so minimal in fact, that you probably won’t even notice it.
When shopping for an AV to HDMI converter make sure that you know how it is powered. Some options are battery powered which can lead to the inconvenience of dead cells, whereas others rely on USB or AC/DC sources.
One of the benefits of using batteries (despite the ongoing costs) or USB is that you won’t have any more wiring to tidy away in your entertainment area. This can make them preferable to using mains adapter powered choices.
Thebest converters on the market have compact, hard-wearing housings that aren’t easily susceptible to impact damage or wear. This is an important factor to consider, being that your converter is likely to be placed in a high-traffic area of your home.
Ideally, select a product with a warranty or guarantee to ensure that you can be refunded in the unlikely event that the build quality isn’t good enough.
Shopping for products based on a reputable brand name can be an excellent way to almost guarantee total satisfaction without having to do lots of searching and comparing. Even though choosing such a brand won’t necessarily guarantee that a product meets your personal requirements, it will mean that there’s a great deal of quality and satisfaction assurance as thousands of other people will already be making use of that same piece of technology.
The following manufacturers produce some of the best AV to HDMI converter solutions money can buy: Tendak, Wonlyus, Portholic, Ruipuo, Rasfox, Gana, Techole, KLKE. All of the above manufacturers engineer some of the best AV / HDMI conversion technology available for your hard-earned money.
Top 3 Best AV to HDMI Converters
In this section, we’re going to highlight the three best converter products available on the market right now to save you some time and stress. There’s no need to spend endless hours comparing items by searching through digital marketplaces. All of the items here have been chosen because they’re the best in a particular area. This means that no matter who you are, or what requirements you happen to have, we’ve got an option for you.
1. Our Pick: GANA RCA To HDMI Mini RCA Composite CVBS AV To HDMI Video Audio Converter
- Converts analog composite input to HDMI
- Supports HDMI 1080p or 720p output
- Provides advanced signal processing
- Supports all versions of PAL, NTSC, and SECAM
Though this might not be the best AV to HDMI converter for those who want the cheapest product available, it’s easily the most desirable option for those who want a converter that’ll work with technology from any region while, at the same time, delivering the best sound and picture quality in the process. Made from high-quality robust ABS plastic that’ll stand the test of time and compact enough to sit snugly next to your existing home entertainment system without intruding too much, you can convert audio & video from any PAL, NTSC or SECAM AV source for HDMI viewing.
- Great build quality that’s super durable
- Classy looks
- A high level of compatibility with pretty much all AV based technology
- USB powered so reduces wire clutter
- More expensive than some other options
- No power alternatives to USB could be an issue if you don’t have spare ports
It’s powered via USB meaning you don’t have to find any additional sockets and it’s suitable to convert AV content for viewing on the latest 1080p HDMI technology, giving you the maximum picture and sound quality possible. It’s even a nice-looking unit too, with sleek curved edges and a classy matt finish. The only negative here is the price. It’s one of the more expensive options available, but that’s only to be expected due to the high compatibility and conversion quality on offer.
Public Review Summary: Gana is an easy-to-use, plug-and-play converter which works really well with different types of devices. The sound is crisp and clear, and the video is good enough to play games but not the best. But in some cases, this device didn’t work so it’s a really big downside.
2. Best for Ease of Use: Techole RCA to HDMI Audio Converter
- Extended usability
- Plug and play
- Wide compatibility
When you’re making use of entertainment technology you want it to be a hassle-free and enjoyable experience. And that’s precisely what you’re going to get with this fantastic converter from Techole. We’ll start with compatibility. It’s well equipped and able to channel AV to HDMI from technology that’s PAL, SECAM, or NTSC and present it on 720 or 1080p devices for optimum quality in the process.
- Incredibly easy to use straight out of the box
- Highly versatile due to being able to work with technology from almost any region
- High-quality conversion means your old technology will render better than ever
- Good value due to the low cost
- Only powered by USB so you’ll need a spare port
- Quite a large and bulky unit
Regardless of your choice of old school entertainment, you’ll be able to access it with a slight bump in quality thus making it more enjoyable than ever. The durable build quality here is also a welcome benefit as it’ll stand the test of time. What makes this the most accessible option available is the fact that you can plug it in and start to use it straight out of the box without the need to use any additional driver software in the process. This makes for an incredibly easy-to-use product that even carries a cheap price tag to boot.
Public Review Summary: This device simply converts analog composite input to HDMI at 720p or 1080p. It is easy to use and lightweight giving high-quality audio and video for users. If we look at the bad side, it has the same problems as other products. It has problems with connection and, in some cases, it doesn’t work at all.
3. Best Budget: KLKE RCA To HDMI Converter 1080p
- RCA to HDMI converter
- Plug and play
- HDMI 1080p
- 18 months warranty
For those who don’t want to spend the earth and simply achieve a successful AV to HDMI conversion without any bells and whistles attached, this converter presents the best no-hassle, easy-to-use solution available on the market. Interestingly, considering the lower price tag you’d probably expect a lower degree of compatibility but that absolutely isn’t the case here. This product is compatible with tech from pretty much any region and it can be used with even the latest HDMI TVs thanks to 1080p rendering.
- Really cheap price and great value
- Excellent compatibility
- Includes a warranty for total peace of mind
- Easy to use thanks to no driver installation being required
- May have a lower sample rate and marginally more lag than alternative options
- Not the smallest of units so might take up a lot of space
It’s easy to plug in and use and it even happens to be one of the only product options that comes with an included warranty too. Considering that other more expensive options aren’t necessarily offering that, it serves as a massive bonus. There aren’t really any downsides here to speak of other than the fact that other options deliver a better sample rate and have less lag. But whether or not you’d actually notice the difference is really down to how discerning you are. Most people simply wouldn’t.
Public Review Summary: This converter is a great solution if you need to watch content from old devices like VHS. It takes just 5 minutes to install and it’s ready for use. It comes with a USB cable and has a set switch to 1080p. As usual, one drawback some customers admit is that it doesn’t work with all their devices.
Best AV to HDMI Converter FAQ
We’re now going to highlight the most frequently asked questions about AV to HDMI converter products, so that we can give you total peace of mind before making a purchase.
We’ve ensured that you’ve got the most effective answer possible for each one so that you can move forward with total confidence and make a choice that’s sure to satisfy your every need.
Do I need an AV to HDMI converter unit or a cable?
AV converter units feature inbuilt technology that’s able to properly refine and compress an AV signal before sending it out to an HDMI output source. An AV to HDMI cable differs in that it doesn’t come packed with all of the same technology meaning that it won’t optimize the signal.
A cable is certainly a cheaper option, but it’s not the best option for those who want to enjoy their entertainment in the most optimal way possible.
Do I need to install any software before using an AV to HDMI converter?
It’s possible that you might, yes. Some converter products require you to install driver software in order for you to be able to effectively use them. This is, however, quite a rare occurrence, and many of the best products can be used straight out of the box without drivers.
Always check first before making a purchase, as this can lead to confusion if you try to simply “plug in and play”. Some users report their products as defective for instance when all they needed to do was install the relevant drivers before use.
Do I need an AV to HDMI converter?
That’s a good question! The truth is that these are completely optional products for some but completely necessary for others. It all depends on what kind of technology you have in your home, and how much you make use of it.
If you’re one of those people with stacks of old camcorder and VHS videos or decades-old game consoles, then the only way you’ll be able to continue using this technology in the “modern” HDMI era is with the use of an AV converter product like this.
Do I need a HDMI to AV converter or an AV to HDMI converter?
It’s quite easy to get caught out here due to the different input/output paths that these two very different products have to offer. Basically, most people need an AV to HDMI converter if they want to use AV technology with HDMI technology.
You wouldn’t typically use something that provided the opposite function, because this would mean that you were rendering HDMI content onto inferior quality technology. But there are a few instances where this might be necessary depending on which technology you have.
Is there really any difference in quality between AV to HDMI converters?
There is a theory that these products reached their natural capacity some time ago and that they can’t actually improve any further or offer much difference from one model to another. There are however some small differences that separate budget and premium options.
What you’ll find is that the basic ability to convert an AV signal into HDMI is something that all products in this category are capable of. But where you’ll usually find marginal improvements is in the compatibility with the latest technology and reduced lag / improved sample rate.
After reading through today’s post you have now been imbued with all of the knowledge you could ever need to effectively move forward and select a viable AV converter solution to work with your HDMI display and decades-old technology. There are so many reasons why you’d want to do this. The truth is that as we move forwards into the digital age, we’re also at risk of leaving behind countless hours’ worth of cherished memories or nostalgia that we want to be able to relive.
If we didn’t have access to conversion technology then these memories would sadly slip into digital oblivion with no way of us being able to access them. Luckily for you, you’ve now got the three best options on the market at your disposal to be able to effectively enjoy entertainment from a bygone era for many decades to come. Buy one of our top three AV to HDMI converters now and step into the future whilst still being able to enjoy the past.