Tom had his Home Theater in Los Angeles installed about 3 years ago. Everything has been working fine and he was enjoying his system very much. He then decided he wanted to connect his Wii to his home theater system. Being a fairly handy person, he tried to connect the system himself to an open input on his Receiver. For some reason he heard audio, but saw no picture. He then called a local A/V Integration company and asked them to install his Wii. After looking at the receiver, they told Tom that it would not be possible to connect the Wii to the receiver and that he would need a new one to see a picture. Being convinced that this A/V Company was just trying to sell him something he didn’t need, he told this company he was not interested and sent them on their way. Of course, now Tom had to figure out how to resolve his issue. What is Tom to do?
At Technospeak, we see this issue a lot. There are two points of confusion that Tom ran into during this dilemna. The first is the output differences between the 3 major game Consoles. The second is the technical specs of his particular Receiver.
To speak briefly about games consoles– there are 3 main consoles that most consumers want to connect to their Home Theater in Los Angeles. These consoles are the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Both the PS3 and the Xbox have an HDMI out on them and are capable of transmitting a full HD picture. HDMI is currently the Audio/Video standard for High Definition material and thus most Receivers are capable of displaying pictures from these consoles quite easily. However, the Wii is only capable of transmitting a Standard definition picture via analog cabling, even if you buy those fancy Monster Component Video cables you see at your local Electronics store.
Most Home Theaters installed in the past 3yrs will wind up with the Receiver connected to the TV with an HDMI cable. So what happens when we connect a device like a Wii that has a Standard Definition connection? Will we see a picture? The answers to this is “yes, but…” only if your Receiver contains a A/D Converter and a Video Scaler.
An A/D Converter, or Analog to Digital Converter, is a chip set that will take any incoming analog connection (including the Standard Definition connection from Tom’s Wii) and convert it to a digital signal. Once the signal is in the digital realm, it can be transmitted through digital wiring, such as the HDMI out from a Receiver. However, the A/D converter is only half the equation of getting that Wii picture on your TV.
There are some TV’s out there that will not except a Standard Definition picture through an HDMI connection. It is a complicated issue related to copyright protection of video content, but don’t worry about this for now. The point here is that we now need to get this newly converted digital signal up to a resolution that will be compatible with Tom’s TV so we can see his Wii. This leads to the last chipset we need in Tom’s Receiver– a Video scaler. A video scaler takes the digital feeds from any source connected to it, examines the current resolution of those sources and then up-converts them to a resolution compatible with the display.
In Tom’s situation, his Receiver had neither an A/D Converter or a Video Scaler. Thus, Tom’s only option if he wanted to connect his Wii to his Home Theater system was to purchase a new Receiver that had those features built into it.
Of course, Tom’s next hurdle is which Receiver to purchase to replace the one he has. Have this problem as well? Call Technospeak at (310) 410-8771, we can help.