Wii U 1080P with Component cable - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been doing a lot of research on running the Wii U with component cables and I was amazed to discover how many people believe that component cables can't achieve 1080p. Because of HDCP protection, I know that 1080P over component is only allowed if the TV allows it, otherwise you end up with a no signal or blank screen. The Wii U doesn't have any copy protection on video signals since it doesn't have the ability to play blu-ray or DVD movies, so Nintendo has allowed 1080P usage and it even upscales Wii and Wii-U games to 1080P over component.

At the moment, my current TV setup has me limited on HDMI inputs. Eventually I'll have to get an HDMI splitter, but in the mean time I figured instead of switching out the plugs whenever I want to play the Wii U, I'll just keep it hooked up using the official Wii component cables that I already had with my old Wii.

I've also seen debates over whether component actually looks better on the Wii U, due to the limited RGB over HDMI. Anyway, I plugged in my component cable and set the Wii U to 1080P and the results were not what I expected. The picture wasn't very sharp and had some noticeable static distortion around letters. The best way to describe it is signal interference, what looks like little white squiggles or dots that move around onscreen text and some other objects. From a good distance away from the TV you can't even see it, but it's quite weird because if I set the Wii to output 1080i, then the picture looks beautiful, crisp and colorful. 720P looks fine as well, but not as nice as 1080i. The problem only occurs in 1080P and only with the component cable. In 1080P over HDMI the picture is perfect, of course.

1080i is my best option right now until I get a splitter I suppose, but I noticed that my TV must not be very good at handling 1080i because when I play Virtual Console games, I can sometimes see scanlines briefly appear over some sprites, similarly to how the Wii would do that in 480i. 1080P HDMI has no scanlines present.

So what could be the cause of this? I've heard stories of people using Wii component cables to achieve 1080P with much success, unless their TV can't support it, then it doesn't show up at all. My only theory is that my TV isn't supposed to display 1080P over component cables, but because of the Wii's lack of HDCP perhaps the TV accidentally allows it...?
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 02:04 PM
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At the risk of speaking out of turn and getting chastised over it since I'm hardly an expert in this area, I'd lean towards the culprit being your component cables.

Unlike a digital signal over HDMI that either works or doesn't, the signal being sent through your component cables is an analog signal that can be affected by things like outside interference. And judging by some cheap unpowered switchboxes I own that work just great with SD and ED sources but show issues when an HD signal is routed through them , the more information being sent through a component cable increases the chances of a cable issue becoming evident (1080p requires the most bandwidth so it seems logical to assume that if a cable issue is going to rear its head, it's most likely to be evident at 1080p).

My suggestion is to borrow or purchase a better quality component cable and see if that doesn't fix the issue. Particularly if this was a cheap 3rd party cable, I'd say my theory stands a decent chance of being correct.

If you own a Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, ruling out a tv issue should be easy enough to do.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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"I was amazed to discover how many people believe that component cables can't achieve 1080p"

Component will carry 1080p just fine. The vast majority of displays will only accept 1080i as their maximum over component though.

"Because of HDCP protection, I know that 1080P over component is only allowed if the TV allows it"

There is no HDCP on component. HDCP enforced devices won't spit HD video out over component, normally down-rezzing to a functional 480p, but this has nothing to do with what the TV allows. In the case of component, the source device doesn't even know if something is plugged in on the other end.

"I'd lean towards the culprit being your component cables."

It's either bad cable, or your display is just kind of bad about digitizing the incoming 1080p analog signal. 1080p runs at twice the bandwidth of 1080i, so what works fine at 1080i on your display could very reasonably fail at 1080p.

Now, instead of buying a new component cable, just buy the HDMI switchbox that you already know that you need. smile.gif Until then, run the Wii U at 720p over component.

http://www.amazon.com/Kinivo-501BN-Premium-wireless-adapter/dp/B0049SCB2Y

I ran a variant of this switch for a while. I have nothing but good things to say about it. It did its job correctly, and was smart about its auto-switching.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought that may be it, but I've heard the Nintendo branded component cables are among the best. I wonder if the problem could even be linked to the port on the Wii U? I use HDMI for my PS3 and 360 and don't have component cables on hand to test. I did have a second set of the same cable that I just tested using a different component input and I got the same results. The TV in question is from 2007, 1080p LCD Samsung LNT4061F. Here's a picture I took with my digital camera. It's hard to capture on camera, but you can see a white line going through the words in the middle and bottom of the image.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

It's either bad cable, or your display is just kind of bad about digitizing the incoming 1080p analog signal. 1080p runs at twice the bandwidth of 1080i, so what works fine at 1080i on your display could very reasonably fail at 1080p.
Now, instead of buying a new component cable, just buy the HDMI switchbox that you already know that you need. smile.gif Until then, run the Wii U at 720p over component.
http://www.amazon.com/Kinivo-501BN-Premium-wireless-adapter/dp/B0049SCB2Y
I ran a variant of this switch for a while. I have nothing but good things to say about it. It did its job correctly, and was smart about its auto-switching.
Thanks. smile.gif
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 03:09 PM
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If they're official cables, I imagine it's unlikely to be a cable fault.

It's still a possibility though. The Wii obviously wasn't capable of putting out HD resolutions so it's possible the cable isn't quite up to the task since it wasn't designed with this in mind.

Are there Wii U branded official component cables? Would be interesting to see if they're identical beyond the packaging. If they're different, it's perhaps anecdotal evidence that the original Wii cables are slightly deficient with handling HD.

Edit - A search just now seems to indicate that we can safely rule that possibility out. Plenty of people seem to be utilizing component just fine on the Wii U including people using the official Wii cables.
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