First, some common terminology:

  • Composite: The yellow video cable
  • Component: The red/blue/green cable
  • Coax: The only cable that you can screw in
  • HDMI: What everything is these days

Okay, so I've got me some "legacy" gaming systems which we will refer to as "A". This could be a Gamecube, a Playstation, you know, one of the older ones. The important commonality is that they only output via composite.

I've got a modern screen, which we will refer to as "B". It, as I'm sure you're guessing, doesn't take composite inputs. The inputs my TV does take are: HDMI, Component, HDMI, VGA, Coax, and HDMI.

Now, there's all sorts of technical jargon about 'scan lines' and 'resolutions', but all I want to know is this: How can I connect A to B?

My first thought was "no problem, I'll just use the composite ports on my DVD/VCR combo machine and use it to translate!". Yeah, that didn't work. Which I found surprising. I really expected that I could use the coax connection from the VCR to the TV to get the signal from A to B. Didn't work. Turns out, all those composite inputs are routed to the (unused) composite output. So, no signal to screen. Sad panda.

Now, I'm well aware of special A/V cables for certain systems that will give me (for that one platform) a nice digital output that will go into the TV no problem. Those cables are way $$$ and awfully device specific. I'm figuring there should be a box I can pick up for $40 and that'll connect A to B for all of my systems. One at a time, of course. Ideas?

  • Not a direct solution, but older Wii consoles have Gamecube controller ports/memory card slots, and can output Gamecube gameplay over component video.
    – cbirdsong
    Feb 8, 2016 at 17:18
  • 2
    The real issue here is that you want a super cheap solution. You already say you are well aware of the existence of proper cables but are too cheap to buy them... well, if you aren't willing to pay for it then there is nothing really to say. I wrote up 2 different methods initially, but then I noticed the price caveat, both of my solutions would have been more expensive than what little you are willing to pay. PS. you really don't need to explain jargon in the question. If we don't know it then we aren't the right person to answer your question
    – taltamir
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:15
  • What model of TV are you using? Composite inputs are still standard on TVs today.
    – user86571
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:47
  • It's an Insignia NS-32D311NA15 insigniaproducts.com/products/televisions/NS-32D311NA15.html Yeah, I was a bit surprised by the lack of composite.
    – Task
    Feb 9, 2016 at 2:17

3 Answers 3


A quick look at your user manual says you already have the composite ports there. You just need to use the green component for video and the red/white for audio. So no need to buy anything

  • ?!?! Well, look at that, so it does! Okay, I'm definitely going to have to test that out. This is clearly the most elegant solution if it works.
    – Task
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:55
  • @Task while this would be the best answer for your question, unfortunately for Barett I'm not sure that it's the best answer for the question as a whole. If you accept this as the answer, then it'll end up being too localised/closed, but I do think it's a useful question to have on this site. Feb 9, 2016 at 18:09
  • @Matt I appreciate your enthusiasm for keeping the quality high, but I'm sure you're jumping the gun. I've researched it, and this isn't something unique to my TV, this is something that is common to screens that have component inputs and no obvious composite input. You plug the yellow into the green and the TV figures it out. I agree that the answer could use some generalization, but "check your manual, you can probably plug the yellow cable into the green input and it'll work" is a surprisingly general solution to this problem.
    – Task
    Feb 10, 2016 at 15:37

We had this issue when trying to stream old consoles on Twitch because our capture card only works for HDMI. We found that this composite to HDMI upconverter from Amazon worked well (after trying out several that did not). It comes with all the cables that you need, though it requires power to convert from native composite output to HDMI, so you will need to plug it in. It uses USB power, but it comes with an adapter so you can plug it into an outlet.

I would also suggest getting a composite switch box so that you can easily switch between your consoles without needing to go behind your TV and fumble with cables. The output of this box would go into the upconverter so you'd get HDMI output from all of your consoles without needed to worry about what's going on back there.

  • This looks perfect, cable in and cable out, I like it. I've already got a composite switch box. Needed it for all my composite-based machines. Anything else to add on why "composite to HDMI" was the best way to go?
    – Task
    Feb 8, 2016 at 17:55
  • @Task HDMI has built-in audio so you don't need to worry about that either. HDMI is pretty standard, so if you need longer cables, want a switcher, or want to use a capture device, all of them can easily be found for this format. The only downside would be if you have more HDMI devices than you have inputs on your TV. Feb 8, 2016 at 18:04

A quick google search composite to vga returns plenty of options for you,£125 to £13

THere's always this but i think it's gona be pricey for you.

  • Any why would I go with "composite to vga" instead of "composite to hdmi" or "composite to coax" or even "composite to component"? VGA is video only, so now I would need something else for audio. Your answer seems to create more questions than it answers.
    – Task
    Feb 8, 2016 at 17:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .