HDMI and RGB cables are two different methods of connecting a video playing device to a TV. RGB cables were used as the standard connection device for decades. HDMI is a newer technology that has the capacity to transfer high definition data. HDMI is a relatively new technology, and many people do not have all the hardware to support it. Using an HDMI to RGB converter allows older televisions to be compatible with newer players.
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RGB cables use analogue technology to transfer video information. The video is broken up into three colours: red, green and blue. An RGB cable is made up of three separate lines fused together, which split off at the end into multiple male plugs. Each colour of video is transferred through its own line, and the endpoint is coloured appropriately. The audio is transferred through a separate audio cable, which may also be attached.
HDMI uses a digital format to transmit video. Audio and video are transmitted together using a single cable, which is a desirable feature, as RGB cables can become tangled behind electronics. HDMI cables are capable of transmitting a higher quality of video than RGB cables, and are the only method used to transmit HD video from media devices to a monitor. Analogue media loses quality when it transmits, whereas digital media does not.
As technology changes, you may find yourself in a situation where you have an older TV, which would only input video through RGB cables, and a newer media device, such as a Blu-ray player, that only has an output port for an HDMI cable. Converter boxes are available, where you can convert the digital signal to analogue and receive it through your TV.
There is a problem many people experience when trying to play Blu-rays through a converter box. Because of copyright protection laws, most converter boxes have a feature called HDCP, which stands for High Definition Copyright Protection. This can potentially block commercial Blu-rays from displaying on your TV.
Video Quality Drawbacks
By converting the signal from digital to analogue, you are lowering the quality of the video. Even if you have a Blu-ray player, you will not be able to watch video in high definition without an HDMI cable and a high-definition TV. If you wish to watch at a higher quality, you will need to upgrade both your television and your cables.
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