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HDMI to Component or S-video/composite converters

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Some talk about HDMI to xx.... converters had been going on in Nextoos "cheaper component to S-video converters" thread but to keep things OT I thought we should really have a HDMI to xx.... dedicated thread. After all it's getting to the point where HDMI may be the only outputs available on modern equipment
With this post I'm going to start off doing a second review on a "cheaper" such converter purchased on Amazon from Bargaincell for the great reduced price of $30(thanks for the tip tomwil). This device has no brand name but looks identical to another HDMI to S-video converter I purchased and then returned from Amazon, sold by WOW parts. That converter was ~$60 and I didn't think it was worth it to me but for $30 I'll be keeping this latest converter, even though it's basically the same converter I reviewed before(screen shots also follow that review).

The converter does have a nice metal case and is quite compact. After being on for a while it does get rather warm to the touch, so I'd probably unplug it after use(it has a walwart but I'd probably unplug the connector from the unit itself).
I tried the converter with 2 different unconverting DVD players, a Sony 700 and Oppo 971. Truthfully I thought the Sony looked slightly better but with some slight tweaking on the Oppo(-5 bright, +2 color, +1 sharp) I was able to get to look similar to the Sony at default. I used my favorite THX test patterns but also experimented with live video and had similar results to the test patterns.

Screen shot #1 is direct S-video to S-video(no converter) this is the standard.
#2 is Sony set to 480p with converter
#3 is Sony set to 720p with converter
#4 is Sony set to 1080i with converter
#5 is Oppo set to 1080i with converter

As with the WOW converter(I believe they are both made by Lenkeng) 480p looked quite bad, odd moire patterns around detailed resolution. 720p looked better and 1080i and 1080p looked best. I say "best" because none of the patterns through the converter look anyway near as good as without the converter but watching live video the lack of resolution isn't nearly as noticeable as the test patterns.
Overall if you needed such a device(to remove CP, enable recording WS, etc.) this one would certainly work and do a acceptable job but if you already have a good source of S-video then by all means use that, even though you may start out with 1080 going to this converter the output is no where near that and even less than regular 480i.
I was impressed with the way this converter handled black level, I tried a similar device(component to S-video converter) sold by Monoprice(another Lenkeng clone) and than one had a raised black level so blacks were more grey than black. This converter did a decent job of passing on true black(which I'm a stickler about).
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post #2 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

As with the WOW converter(I believe they are both made by Lenkeng) 480p looked quite bad, odd moire patterns around detailed resolution. 720p looked better and 1080i and 1080p looked best. I say "best" because none of the patterns through the converter look anyway near as good as without the converter but watching live video the lack of resolution isn't nearly as noticeable as the test patterns.

That's the "danger" in using static test patterns for a motion device like a recorder. A single frame of our recorded video also looks like sh** compared to the moving frames, which look great (a "human-eye-brain" thing).

The experts tried the original Philips 3575 in 2007 and said it also didn't do so good on static test patterns but did a good job on the most-difficult opening of Seabiscuit (must be hard to render).

I used static test patterns in my video lab for years but ONLY to align the various components, which is what they were originally designed for.

I tried my HDMI>Composite (Amazon.com, many sellers) and my Component>Composite (Monoprice.com) converters with my 3575 to HDTV and both produced a very nice moving pic!

I haven't gotten to a DVDR>DVDR setup yet to record something but the direct-to-TV results give me great hope for the same excellent pic!? (Can't use them on VCR since they have no Composite YWR or S-Video input.)
post #3 of 66
This converter says it is HDMI 1.3 HDCP compliant. Does it convert to Composite/S-Video if the incoming signal is copy protected? If it does convert, does it apply copy protection e.g. (CGMS) to the analog output?
post #4 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic Design View Post

This converter says it is HDMI 1.3 HDCP compliant. Does it convert to Composite/S-Video if the incoming signal is copy protected?

Yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic Design View Post

If it does convert, does it apply copy protection e.g. (CGMS) to the analog output?

No
Note while it will work as a filter, I'm sure something like the video filter or I know my Sima CT-2 provides better picture quality, assuming you have a good source of S-video. Well actually my CT-2 messes with the black level, leaving it more grey, but the resolution is better. It's kind of a trade off but my DVD player allows me to lower the brightness so once I do that the Sima looks better. It doesn't really work to over sharpen the input to the HDMI converter, that just adds noise.
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic Design View Post

This converter says it is HDMI 1.3 HDCP compliant. Does it convert to Composite/S-Video if the incoming signal is copy protected? If it does convert, does it apply copy protection e.g. (CGMS) to the analog output?

Yes, as stated by jjeff, it will convert copy protected content and strips it of CGMS. But as stated, the picture quality leaves much to be desired, especially compared to your Video Filter, with which I detect no loss in quality. Perhaps you can pick one up and do some reverse engineering on the HDMI->Analog side. ... a Video Filter with HDMI input= all one could ever need.
post #6 of 66
I'm there.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by i86time View Post

Yes, as stated by jjeff, it will convert copy protected content and strips it of CGMS.

Does anyone know for sure if any other HDMI-to-Composite converter (other than the Lenkeng) defeats copy protection? Like the HD Furys?

The one sold by Svideo specifically says it will shut down the analog outputs if HDCP is encountered, so not a good deal at $269.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

Does anyone know for sure if any other HDMI-to-Composite converter (other than the Lenkeng) defeats copy protection? Like the HD Furys?

The one sold by Svideo specifically says it will shut down the analog outputs if HDCP is encountered, so not a good deal at $269.

The HDFury doesn't defeat CP.The Fury passes CP.That's why the Fury always was considered to be HDCP compliant.I guess the standard for compliancy has changed,because the HDFury4 will have to shutdown it's analog output whenever HDCP is encountered to be "HDCP compliant".Iv'e also noticed that more and more converters of this type are advertising that their product also will shutdown their analog output as well whenever HDCP is encountered.
If this trend continues,then it won't be long until the Lenkeng HDMI>s-video converter will have to comply with the new"HDCP compliancy" standard,or their product won't be allowed to be sold in the USA.There's probably a certain date whereby all such converters be "compliant",until then,we have what we have. At least,that's my guess. G. BTW,The Fury2/3 are HDMI>Component video converters.
post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 
I believe their seems to be some confusion from the makers of the cheaper HDMI to SD converters on what HDCP means. On one of the many different Amazon listings(that are probably all made by Lenkeng) it said it was HDCP because it downconverted the HD to SD and therefor was no longer HD and not covered by HDCP whether this is true or not I don't know but one could say how does something fall under a act for HD CP when after it comes out the converter it's no longer HD......it's SD. Now something like a HD fury is more cut and dry, HD in HD out, to be HDCP complaint it would need to retain any CP or shut down.
If a device like this did indeed shut down when it encountered CP it would have a very limited use. I mean most people looking for such a device want it to take a HDMI source(probably CP's) and convert it to analog for devices(not necessarily recorders) that only have SD inputs.
post #10 of 66
The fact that these units convert HDMI to S-Video or composite, implies that they down-convert the HD signal to SD. I wonder why the most expensive one shuts down the output if it encounters CP and the least expensive doesn't. I also wonder what the HDCP standard states about down-converting. The Lenkeng and the other more expensive units are applying the standard in different ways. Greaser may be right about a time limit to comply. Maybe in the Lenkeng case, the output analog quality is so poor that the watchdogs don't care anyway.
post #11 of 66
I don't think any unit utilizing the current HDCP standard should shut down analog output when CP is detected. My Sony BD player (and most, if not all others) allows all content, whether SD or HD, to be output as analog. However, it will only allow 1080i out from component vs the 1080p/24p from HDMI. And everything that gets played on it has CP (unless it's a home made disc). If it's enabled properly, CGMS should prevent the copying, not HDCP. I thought the whole point of HDCP was for digital devices to check that any other device they were attached to complied with the spec. If not, you only get downrezzed analog out. It has nothing to do with copying. So you couldn't have a BD player or HD cable box piping out a digital 1080i/p signal to simply be intercepted and recorded by a digital bit-bucket for a perfect copy (if such a consumer level device exists, HDCP or not). The source device would say, "Hey, you're not an HDCP compliant device, no digital for anyone, analog only." If what greaser is saying about the HDFury4 is true, either the HDCP specs have changed or device manufacturers are giving concessions to digital content providers that they are not required to.
post #12 of 66
There must be some kind of restriction that these devices are complying to, by cutting the analog output otherwise, it makes no sense at all that they are doing it and limit their sales. I understand that a BD player is down-converting an analog output and and even that they are adding CGMS to it. Technically speaking, is not impossible to do it since at least one of the devices allows it.

Do you think that there would be a market for a device like the Lenkeng but that would provide much better analog video quality output? Anyone?
post #13 of 66
The question of "compliancy"is about as clear as mud.I know that the Fury4 will shut its output down when HDCP is detected, because their website states as much,so there MUST have been some sort of change in the definition of compliancy.Since 7/09 the Fury2,then 3 have been considered HDCP compliant because they pass HDCP instead of stripping it.Now,all of a sudden the Fury2/3 have been pulled from the American reseller market and is only available from Taiwan,plus the Fury4 must kill the output if HDCP is detected.Also,the "MOOME converter is in trouble when it never had a legal problem before.I believe it also passes HDCP and is considered to be on a par with the Fury in quality,and it also passes a HD signal.If downrezzing the signal was all that had to be done to be compliant then i would think that the Fury would do that instead of shutting down.But the whole reason for the Furys existence was to get a HD signal to older non-HDMI equipped tv's. Of course this is all part of closing the analog hole and extending H'woods total control over peoples ability to watch and record.Well,forget about recording,H'wood doesn't want any of that.
My guess is that eventually even the Lenkeng HDMI>s-video converter will be forced to comply with whatever edicts H'wood issues or be outlawed.
i86time,your BD player probably was not made this year,cuz starting this year many of the major manufacturers do not even include analog outputs,only HDMI. This whole issue of compliancy is almost as clear as mud.G.
post #14 of 66
I think there are two things to keep in mind (the first I'm sure you know), AFAIK:
1. HDCP is not the same as CP. HDCP is digital content protection. That spec and the devices attached determine whether or not one gets a digital signal from the DVI/HDMI output. If an HDCP compliant device is not attached, the only options are analog output or no output. Since, basically, only consumer playback devices utilize DVI/HDMI, most of the content they receive, be it TV or DVD/BD, could have some form of copy protection. There could be a situation with an HDCP compliant device does limit the analog output resolution, but the content it delivers may not have copy protection.

2. While some of the item descriptions state these converters will not work (output analog) if the source device is HDCP compliant (which should basically be any consumer device with a DVI/HDMI output), I don't think anyone has actually tested them. The Lenkeng device clearly doesn't do this. It's possible the manufacturer is just stating that for promotional reasons (like automakers used to under report horsepower output) so no flags are raised. But once someone dives in for the first purchase and word gets around on what the item really does, that's when the items start to move.

And to answer your question, YES! The only stipulation would be cost. And would there be some sort of trade-in program for the original Video Filter?
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic Design View Post

There must be some kind of restriction that these devices are complying to, by cutting the analog output otherwise, it makes no sense at all that they are doing it and limit their sales. I understand that a BD player is down-converting an analog output and and even that they are adding CGMS to it. Technically speaking, is not impossible to do it since at least one of the devices allows it.

Do you think that there would be a market for a device like the Lenkeng but that would provide much better analog video quality output? Anyone?

None of this makes a whole lot of sense because the professional pirates don't even use DVDR's,or bother with analog signals. They use computers and deal with pure digital signals,so why is H'wood focusing like a laser beam on these devices???
Yes,i think there probably is at least a niche market(maybe bigger) for a device like the Lenkeng,IF it would output a higher quality video than it currently does.If it did i would have gladly bought one,but i have a Fury2 and am glad to have it.BTW,the Furys edids(4) are fully programmable so as to not become obsolete-ever(according to the manufacturer)Now if someone(say....you)were to build a Lengkeng type converter that is fully programmable by the user to do....whatever,then you would probably have people knocking down your door to buy one. Hopefully you won't have the police knocking down your door too!lolol G.
post #16 of 66
HI, members, I have 3 sony dhg-hdd250 recorders that have the hdmi outputs and a HAuPPAUGE COLUSSUS PC CARD that i'm able to output HDMI from the recorder to the PC card HDMI INPUTS and to my harddrive in the blueray format to dvd discs. works great.
post #17 of 66
It appears our options of HDMI to Analog are closing fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

This is from the Lenkeng website.
http://www.lenkeng.net/Html/Product/...Converter.html

The above link shows that the Lenkeng HDMI-to-Composite device has been totally removed from their website. Even Google has now removed their cache copy of the page.

And, Lenkeng has now agreed to HDMI standards as of May 5, 2011.

post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct View Post

HI, members, I have 3 sony dhg-hdd250 recorders that have the hdmi outputs and a HAuPPAUGE COLUSSUS PC CARD that i'm able to output HDMI from the recorder to the PC card HDMI INPUTS and to my harddrive in the blueray format to dvd discs. works great.

What source did you have digitally recorded on the Sony, OTA or cable (coax/cablecard)? If it was OTA, you were likely able to record to the Hauppage because OTA should not have any CP. If it was cable and you can do premium channels, that's a pretty good setup!
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwil View Post

It appears our options of HDMI to Analog are closing fast.



The above link shows that the Lenkeng HDMI-to-Composite device has been totally removed from their website. Even Google has now removed their cache copy of the page.

And, Lenkeng has now agreed to HDMI standards as of May 5, 2011.




SOOO Lenkeng IS being forced to comply with H'woods edicts.Shows that even the cheaper converters are being *gone after*.
BETTER GET 'EM WHILE U CAN!!! IF you can G.
post #20 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic Design View Post

Do you think that there would be a market for a device like the Lenkeng but that would provide much better analog video quality output? Anyone?

I know I would easily pay triple what I did for the Lenkeng clone I recently bought if it had better picture quality It's the main reason I returned my original Lenkeng HDMI converter, at $60 I didn't figure it was worth it but when this new one came about for $30, well for that I figured I couldn't go wrong! If my fathers Sima ever bit the dust I'm sure he would be fine with a Lenkeng. He has a smaller LCD and isn't as fussy about picture quality as I am.
Personally I'm not too worried the Lenkengs will disappear, their seems to be at least a 1/2 dozen different Amazon sellers selling basically the same thing for prices from $50 and up, but I guess it could happen someday.
post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Personally I'm not too worried the Lenkengs will disappear, their seems to be at least a 1/2 dozen different Amazon sellers selling basically the same thing for prices from $50 and up, but I guess it could happen someday.

The Lenkeng won't disappear but,since Lenkeng is now an official HDMI Adopter,it may not do what you want it to do.It'll may have to kill its output too,as it will have to conform to all of the rules imposed by HDMI.ORG.
HDFury has been an adopter for several years and that may be why the Fury4 will kill its output,in accordance with rules changes concerning HDCP compliancy.IIRC HDFury is also a member of HDCP.ORG,but i'll have to re-check that. G.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser View Post

SOOO Lenkeng IS being forced to comply with H'woods edicts.Shows that even the cheaper converters are being *gone after*.
BETTER GET 'EM WHILE U CAN!!! IF you can G.

Seriously, if the PQ is as degraded as some around here that have a certain level of standards similar to mine say it is (I gave up relatively small, 480i, analog CRT's for good awhile ago, and I don't plan on going back), I'd rather just forget about recording it, or find and buy the pre-recorded discs if possible.

If anything, I might consider buying some to sell for a killing later.
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Seriously, if the PQ is as degraded as some around here that have a certain level of standards similar to mine say it is (I gave up relatively small, 480i, analog CRT's for good awhile ago, and I don't plan on going back), I'd rather just forget about recording it, or find and buy the pre-recorded discs if possible.

If anything, I might consider buying some to sell for a killing later.

I said what i did because i support peoples moral right (if not their legal right) to make one simple copy of something they might like to keep even if i don't agree on the type of converter they may want/use. I like high quality too,that's why i went with the Fury2.The Fury and "MOOME" converters are the best on the market,and the Fury2/3 are still available from Taiwan.But i don't know for how much longer since both models pass HDCP and do not kill their output. G.
post #24 of 66
How many people here would be willing to bet that within,lets say,1yr.Lenkeng will be an active,participating member of HDCP.org??? Either that,or no sellee,sellee in the USA.!

I think i'd bet $50bucks that,that will happen,or something very much like it. G.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by i86time View Post

What source did you have digitally recorded on the Sony, OTA or cable (coax/cablecard)? If it was OTA, you were likely able to record to the Hauppage because OTA should not have any CP. If it was cable and you can do premium channels, that's a pretty good setup!

ALL the video is from cable via the tuner in the sony.
post #26 of 66
From my understanding, consumer component video YPbPr is analog, versus YCbCr digital.

Does closing the analog hole also refer to closing analog component?
post #27 of 66
There appears to be another manufacturer of the similar Lenkeng HDMI-to-Composite converter.

Protech apparently is also a manufacturer, and lists the converter on their website. But, they have also recently become a HDMI Adopter. It will be interesting to see if they remove the converter also from their website.


post #28 of 66
Thread Starter 
IMO that is a Lenkeng, that or they make the converter for Lenkeng. They look and sound identical to the one I have.
I'm not sure which company in China actually makes these converters(and also the many of the component to S-video converters) but who ever does seems to sell them under several different brand names(or they sell them to numerous companies that just put their name on the box).
post #29 of 66


I finally got a chance to test my new Component-Composite and HDMI-Composite converters on a couple of comm. DVDs that I wasn't allowed to copy before for my home-library backups.

I used them between a Philips 3575 and a Mag 2160 with Composite output (didn't try the S-Video out), both attached to a 47" Vizio LCD.

My $29 HDMI converter (Amazon/BargainCell) did an "outstanding" job with just a slight PQ degradation noticeable in the opening credits (edges of letters). I had to look hard to see any diff. in the moving pics while switching between the same scenes in the original and the copy. Runs pretty hot tho.

My $43 Component converter (Monoprice) also worked well but with slightly more PQ degradation than the HDMI converter.

post #30 of 66
If you think that converter did on "outstanding job"then the HDFury will blow your eyes right out of their sockets!! G.
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