Modern HD video is a wonderful thing. But that 4K TV in your living room doesn’t always play nice with older equipment, especially if the gear was made for analog displays. These gadgets will link the old with the new.
The tools we’re looking at today are upscalers, devices that take the low-resolution input from out-of-date connections like RCA and S-Video cables and convert them to standard HDMI video and audio, correctly formatted for your modern television’s resolution and refresh rate. Some TVs include basic support for older connections built-in, but if you need something more robust or your TV has only HDMI inputs, these devices will get the job done.
We’ve chosen popular models for all-around function, more advanced multi-connection setups, basic budget converters, and one special niche product specifically for retro gamers who need the ultimate in connection speed.
Best Basic Upscaler: CoolDigital AV S-Video to HDMI Converter ($39)
The CoolDigital AV Converter represents an ideal intersection between capability and price. It can accept either standard RCA cables (red, white, yellow) or the slightly higher resolution S-Video standard, outputting to either 720p or 1080p HDMI. The option to select either makes it compatible with a wider range of smaller, older televisions—perfect if you’re travelling and want to play something on that cheap hotel TV or if you use your old flat screen TV in the rec room.
Stereo audio output can go through either the standard HDMI cable or a 1/8th-inch cable (the same one as your headphones), meaning it will work with dedicated audio receivers or a computer monitor setup with speakers. You’ll need a free outlet in your surge protector, since the CoolDigital converter requires its own power.
Best Advanced Upscaler: J-Tech…
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