theres this old TV i have is it worth getting this type of converter just in case?
Theres also this cheap one (CVBS) with 10-20 euro, wonder if it will even do things correctly
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Depends. What are you trying to connect? I don't know that you could connect a Blu-Ray player output 1080P to that and expect it to work on an old SD TV (or if that box even supports HDCP, in which case the Blu-Ray player wouldn't even work).Google is your Friend
Only aiming for the laptop
Unless it's a Sony WEGA or some other fancy SD monitor, I doubt it.
These little gadgets are somewhat variable: sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. They're a bit finicky with laptop input, but work fairly reliably with dvd or bd players. Quality control varies tremendously, which is odd: the two you posted pictures of are exactly the same unit, which are exactly the same as a dozen others sold under different brand names. Larger versions with metal cases, about the size of a cigarette pack, are more reliable.
Two issues with connecting them to old CRT (4:3) televisions: clarity drops noticeably during the conversion from HDTV HDMI to SDTV RCA composite, and very often theres an aspect ratio mismatch which may be impossible to correct. HDMI output from most devices defaults to 16:9 anamorphic (widescreen squished into a 4:3 frame), as do the adapter boxes. This is automatically expanded by modern 16:9 televisions, but older CRT TVs don't have ability (or screen size) to do that trick. So the CRT playback will be squeeze-distorted. Depending on what you want to view, the distortion can be tolerable, but its usually a dealbreaker.
If the laptop or disc player or media player offers aspect ratio settings that can alter HDMI output, you might be able to work around this by playing with those settings (switch to 4:3 pan/scan or letterbox mode on media players, or choose anything that looks good in the laptop display controls). But most HDMI>RCA adapters I've tried force all input to squeezed anamorphic output.
Quality of the converter aside, the potential aspect ratio issue mentioned in case of a TV that does not have the ability to unsqueeze anamorphic 16:9 is not going to be a major problem if you are using a laptop because players like MPC-HC and VLC allow you to override the aspect ratio and therefore "presqueeze" (letterbox) the video so that it would be unsqueezed by the TV when it displays anamorphic 16:9 without correction.
Yes, I did note in my post that one can try altering the screen settings in media players like MPC-HC and VLC. But those media player settings don't always come thru the HDMI>RCA converter unchanged: some of them will redundantly squeeze standard 4:3 input into 3:4, which will mangle even the "letterbox" workaround (I've run afoul of this many times). These HDMI>RCA (composite) converters are more useful as conduits to making analog recordings from a laptop that will later be played on 16:9 screens with available aspect-ratio controls. And they're helpful with comparatively rare pre-HDMI video projectors that do have AR controls.
Three years ago the cheapest HDMI>RCA adapter was $60, which was a significant sum to risk. Today, the miniature USB-powered version pictured in the first post can be had in the $20 range: cheap enough to just buy and try. If it works for your CRT 4:3 TV, wonderful, if it doesn't, return it to Amazon or throw it in the trash. Be aware of the primary "gotcha" with these minis: they require strong steady power. If you connect the supplied USB power cable to your laptop, you'll run into glitches. It is much better to use the standard AC adapter with mini-USB plug that one would use to charge most smart phones.
Last edited by orsetto; 11th Feb 2017 at 12:57.