Q&A: Can I convert my mini PC from HDMI to AV input?

hdmi2avQ: Can I convert my mini PC from HDMI to AV input?

A. If by ‘AV input’ you mean composite-video, then yes, you can, but you need a special video converter to do the job and you might be disappointed with the results when you do it.

The problem is HDMI is a digital video signal whereas composite-video is analog – they are very completely different. So at the very least, you need a video digital-to-analog converter. The other problem is that composite-video can only handle a maximum resolution of 720×576-pixels, well down on your typical 1920×1080-pixel HDMI video resolution. (If you’re thinking about trying to record Blu-ray discs this way, forget it – it just isn’t worth the effort.) The end result will likely disappoint if you’re expecting HDMI quality – it just won’t happen.

That said, HDMI to composite video/audio converters like this one sell on eBay for around $30-35. They take an HDMI input and spit out composite video and analog audio via RCA sockets. The switch you can see on the side is to switch the unit between the European/Australian PAL standard (720×576-pixels@25fps) and the US NTSC TV standard (720×480-pixels@29.97fps).

If your display device has no other video input option, something like this should work, but if you want the best quality you can get, trying looking to see if your TV/projector has another video input option such as VGA or DVI input – that’d be our tip.


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