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You recently purchased a new OLED TV with fantastic image quality but then, you realized your AVR (Reciever) does not support HDMI. In this article, you will learn how to connect your old AV receiver to your new TV.
To connect an old receiver to a new TV, a converter box is required that will convert the analog signals into an HDMI signal that the new TV is capable of reading. The type of converter needed will depend on the old receiver’s connection type for video output (Composite, Component, or S-Video).
This article will cover what inputs and outputs an AVR has and then look into what those connection types are and what their function is because that is what we will need to know in order for us to solve our dilemma.
Then we will look at what connection type converter box you need (because there are different ones). Then lastly, I will show you how to connect new AV devices to your old Receiver.
AVR inputs and outputs
We will list all the possible connection types that an AVR can be built to handle. However, older models of AVRs will not have modern connection types, and thus we will have to find a way to convert analog signals to digital and vice versa, depending on how you plan to connect your old AVR to your new TV.
Analog Audio (RCA connector)
This connector is sometimes also called a phon connector. If you have an old receiver, then this is what we will be dealing with when trying to connect it to a new TV.
This connection type is used to transmit audio and video signals. RCA was introduced in the early 1940s,’ and it has only recently faded out of home audio and video equipment with the introduction of S/PDIF and HDMI.
Check out my article where I go over what an HDMI extractor is – here.
Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
Newer AVRs will have this type of connection. S/PDIF is a type of digital audio connect (compared to RCA analog). The audio signal is transmitted over a coaxial cable with RCA connectors or fiber optic cable, which has TOSLINK connectors. One thing to note is that this type of interface only transmits audio signals.
Your new TV might support this connection type as well as HDMI, while your old Receiver will probably support RCA
This is the video analog version of the RCA. While RCA audio connectors are white and red, these video versions are usually yellow. This analog video format only supports standard-definition, which is typically 480i or 576i resolution.
Your old AVR will most likely have this video out instead of newer HDMI connections. This is the video signal we will have to convert, so we are able to connect your old Receiver to your new TV.
Another analog video connection is S-Video, which typically plays back video at 480i or 576i resolution. Like that of Composite video, except it separates black-and-white coloring signals, which helps it achieve better image quality than that of Composite Video. However, the color resolution is lower than that of Composite Video
This is another connection type that you may have on your old AVR, and we will need to convert this signal to a digital signal in order to send it to your new TV.
Another connection type that your old Receiver may have is that of Component Video. Component Video is an analog video signal and can be contrasted with Composite Video. Where Composite Video has one channel that stores and transmits the video data, Component Video splits the video signal into three separate channels.
HDMI is the mainstream AV interface used to transmit both uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data. Both the audio and video data are transmitted through one cable. HDMI is easy to use, and if your AVR includes HDMI connections, then you shouldn’t be reading this article.
All you need to do is connect an HDMI cable from your output (video) connection to your TV, and that’s it.
How to connect an old AV Receiver to a new TV
Now that we know the various connection types that are available on an AVR, you need to figure out what video connection your AVR has.
Then we will need to convert that signal into a format that your TV can read—most new TVs will support HDMI, which is the standard now.
Some TVs may support older connection types, but then all you need to do is purchase the appropriate cable and connect your AVR to your TV.
I’m assuming now that your existing old AVR does not support HDMI but has various connection types such as Composite Video, S-Video, and Component Video.
Composite Video, S-Video to HDMI Converter
The process is straightforward. All you need to do is purchase a converter that changes your Composite Video or your S-Video signal into an HDMI signal. We do this with a little piece of hardware so aptly named a Composite Video/S-Video to HDMI converter.
The output signal from your AVR video will be routed into this piece of hardware, and then the output signal will be converted to an HDMI signal that you can then send to your new TV. It’s as simple as that. Just make sure you have the appropriate cables after you purchase the converter.
These converters will come with a power adapter, so you will need a spare socket within close reach of your AVR and TV to power it. Otherwise, it’s a simple plug and play device.
What is also cool is that you don’t have to purchase an individual one for each of the connection types. They all come neatly designed and packet into one converter.
Check out this Composite Video/S-Video to HDMI converter on Amazon here
What is lovely about this converter is that it upscales the video quality of your standard Composite Video and S-Video, which is 480i or 576i to 720p or 1080p full HD
This converter is exactly what you need to sort out the situation of converting and connecting your old Receiver to your new TV. Besides upscaling the video quality, it also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack output. Although we are using this converter primarily for video, if you’re having any trouble with your AVR or audio setup, this device will route the audio from your RCA connections to this mini-jack output for easy use.
Component video to HDMI converter
If you have an AVR that has Component Video as its video signal connection, the process is just the same as with the other connections. All you need to do is purchase a Composite Video to HDMI converter.
The same process is involved in connecting your old Receiver to your new TV. You send the output video signal (which in this case is Component Video) along with the RCA audio into the converter, and then the HDMI signal on the other side gets sent to your TV. Again, it’s as simple as that.
Check out this component Video to HDMI converter on Amazon here
One thing to note is that the HDMI output resolution is the same as the component input resolution. However, the full range of Component Video resolution is supported, and these are 480i 60Hz, 480p 60Hz, 576i 50Hz, 576p 50Hz, 720P 50/60Hz, 1080i 50/60Hz, 1080p 50/60Hz.
So as you can see, if your Component Video signal is full HD, then your output signal will also be full HD. As simple as the other converter, it is merely a plug and play device.
The last thing to note about both of these converters is that they won’t break the bank, and you won’t need to purchase more than one.
What if I need to connect new equipment to my old Receiver (AVR)?
What if you want to connect your Xbox or Apple TV to your old Receiver, and these new devices only support HDMI output?
The same concept will apply. You will need to figure out what input connections you have on your AVR (they will either be S-Video, Composite Video, or Component Video). Then you purchase the appropriate HDMI to that specific connection type.
Please note that you cannot use the previous converter boxes for this because they are built oppositely. Those converter boxes take analog signals and convert them into HDMI; however, you will need an HDMI to analog converter for this scenario.
Check out this HDMI to Composite Video / S-Video converter on Amazon here
Check out the HDMI to Component Video on Amazon here
These converter boxes will allow you to plug your new AV devices into your old Receiver (AVR) without any hassle or need for software.
Technology has come leaps and bounds since the mid 20th century. It is possible to do almost anything in today’s digital world, and you need not stress because there is usually a cost-efficient solution to your problem.
After discussing and understanding what a Reciever is, we got a clear and better understanding of its functions and capabilities (also compared to a regular stereo receiver).
If you knew nothing about AVRs, have not connected yours up (or have tried and failed), or are reluctant to purchase any new AV devices because you are scared of compatibility, you should now feel confident and understand what you need to do.
In both cases of connecting your old Receiver to your new TV and in a case where you need to connect your new AV device to your old Receiver, all you need to do is purchase a converter box that will convert the appropriate signal for you.
Make sure you purchase the correct one because although they look almost identical, the signal route and conversion are different. One will convert an analog signal to digital (Composite, Component, and S-Video to HDMI), and the other will convert digital to analog ( HDMI to Composite, Component, or S-Video)