Re-wire from component to HDMI - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-29-2020, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Re-wire from component to HDMI

Hi All -

I bought a home built 15 years ago and at the time it was wired quite extensively such that everything leads to a receiver closet in the basement - all TVs, cable boxes, etc. After spending more time than I'd like to admit tracing all of the wires, etc. I feel I now have a really good handle on where everything is going and how it is wired. It's all controlled by a rather old RTI smart remote.

Seller left all TVs (old, super heavy flat screens), receivers, etc.

My problem is I would like to keep at much of the infrastructure in-tact but to generally upgrade the system. Just want to get updated receivers that accept HDMI, newer TVs, new smart remote that I can actually program. My biggest concern is how to run HDMI as all TVs have the 5-wire component currently. Is it as easy as attaching an HDMI cord at the TV-end to one of the component wires (taping it together or something) and pulling that HDMI through wherever it goes in the wall to the closet in the basement? That's ultimately what I would like to do, but not sure it is quite that easy...Afraid to try it and lose my component cables in the wall and then be kind of screwed.

Any thoughts appreciated!
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 02:32 AM
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If you have situations where the TV is mounted above a cabinet with the AV receiver, it shouldn’t be too hard to swap out component for HDMI.

However, if you’re talking about signal runs between rooms, that’s another story. You would have to have attic or crawl-space access to all locations where the cables drop into the wall.

Keep in mind also that HDMI is only good for 50 ft. or so, and that’s pushing it. There are HDMI to Cat 6 converters that can do longer distances, but I’m not sure how good they work. You’d have to really pay attention to the user reviews, especially the negative ones.

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately it is the second situation you are describing, for example the living room tv is at the front of the house on the main floor and the receiver and cable box is in the back of the house in the basement. Was hoping it was as easy as fishing the HDMI by attaching it to the component cords and pulling it through whatever path it takes to get from living room to basement...There's no attic or crawl spaces in the house really, at a loss for how I might undertake this with no knowledge of how the wires make it from Point A to Point B
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 07:16 AM
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Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. There is a lot of friction with all the twists, turns and bends. For instance, even in a conduit with lots of slippery lubricant, it’s very difficult to pull in a cable that has more than a couple of 90s. I expect that if you tied an HDMI at the end of a cable and pulled on the other end, it won’t budge.

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post #5 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 07:50 AM
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Sounds to me like you should be looking at HDBaseT technology which is distributing video over Cat6a cable.
The Cat cable will be easier to fish than an HDMI cable. And can run the distances that your house likely needs.

If you were to do this, your video distribution hardware would be in an equipment closet ideally central to the house to minimize longest wire length.

The component cable you have is throw away. Just tuck the excess length back into the wall and forget about it. You likely cannot remove it. It may (should be) stapled to the wall studs.

Each TV should have two Cat6a wires. One for the HDBaseT and the second for ethernet (for a "smart TV" and / or for control). The second ethernet can also be used for serial for control. It can also be used as a backup to the video Cat6a if that fails.

Cat6 cable is relatively easy to run. There are some specialized tools that help. The biggest is an experience understanding of house construction to know where there will be obstacles that need to be drilled or notched and when to do so that doesn't compromise structual integrity. There are plenty of networking companies that you can hire to run the cables if you aren't comfy.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-30-2020, 03:05 PM
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Both of the above replies are good, solid advice. Under ideal conditions, the original owner would have run their cabling in conduit which would make your job considerably easier. The OP didn't mention anything about conduit so suspect that option is out.


Depending on how long the HDMI run is ,and what you plan on pushin,g will ultimately determine what you can do. Anything over 50', for any cable, will be difficult if you want to push 4k HDR and beyond.


Pulling HDMI cable through walls, around internal structures, etc. can be very difficult if not in open wall spaces. It is very easy to damage the cable connectors and bend radius (sharp 90 degree bends) becomes critical because signal continuity may be lost over time with bent wiring.


CAT-6/6a cabling is an option. If you go that route, I would definitely use solid copper core CAT-6 or 6a (non-CCA/CCS and not pre-terminated CAT-6) cabling. Terminating with HDBT (which can be pricey) would be fine for extending HDMI. Terminating with punch down keystone jacks would be fine for extending an ethernet connection (I'm currently doing that). The downside of HDBT is that video is compressed and ARC can be problematic. There are supposed to be new chipsets coming out from Valens (VS3000 I think) that are more robust for 4k HDR and non-compressed video. They were announced over a year ago but I don't think HDBT units with the newest chipsets have shipped yet.


Distance is going to be a major obstacle . You might have to consider using WiFi for your HTS or systems with a robust WiFi setup such as Mesh WiFi and hardwired satellites.

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-08-2020, 08:39 AM
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I had wired my house 11 years ago to use Component-over-Cat5, and I'm still using that. But basically I face the same "issues" that you are - new receivers and new TVs lack component inputs or processing. So while I've used my existing Cat5 for HDBaseT in some situations - I'm also trying to defer a full switchover to HDMI distribution because of the issues that causes, as well as the cost/effort...

A couple things I've been able to do and/or ran into:
- Upgrading a TV to a 4K unit - I spend $50 more to move up one model to one that still has component inputs - that was helpful!
- Some modern receivers that still have component inputs (I'm looking at you, Denon) do NOT support HDTV resolutions on those inputs - only 480i/p for upscaling!
- The component-to-HDMI dongles available for ~$20 work very well as long as you can route digital audio signals to the receiver, but that solution is still limited to DD/DTS (no DTS-MA/Dolby Atmos/etc.)
- There are HDMI-to-component converters (also ~$20) that seem to work for sources that only have HDMI output - so you can feed them into a component distribution system. But that will almost certainly be limited to 2-channel audio.
- But those same sources with HDMI-only-outputs tend to be low-cost streamer boxes. The much better answer for most use cases is to simply tuck one behind each display and avoid the distribution headaches altogether...

Some food for thought - take the "opportunity" to look hard at what you're distributing... For my usage I'm keeping the distribution, but I have no intention of distributing 4K signals, for example - those are handled by either local 4K BD players, built-in-TV-apps, or streamer dongles and ARC/eARC support.

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