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RGB to Component Transcoder

Some high end sets, especially front projectors and some rear projectors use either VGA or RGBHV input terminals, so connecting video devices with VGA/RGBHV outs is straightforward.  You simply get the cable with the correct terminals and connect the devices.  Some sources for these cables are as follows:

  • - a big cable vendor.  Cost is probably between $50 and $100
  • Precision Video at (714) 325-6300 - Cost is $79 for VGA to RCA cable (no BNC-RCA conversion).
  • Some have suggested to simply buying a Radio Shack VGA to BNC cable with the BNC-RCA adapters.
  • - If you have an iScan line doubler, you can get the cable from the manufacturer directly.   Cost is about $50 for the VGA to BNC cable with 3 BNC-RCA adapters
  • - one of a few places that sell VGA breakout cables with RCA terminals

As noted above, if you have compatible terminals between the input and out devices, connecting them is simple and straightforward.  But if you have a VGA source you'd like to connect to your set with component inputs, it makes it a bit more interesting.

Most TV sets today have component inputs which has become the de facto standard interface for HD ready RPTVs. Unfortunately, there are products in the market today that still haven't transitioned to this format.  Good examples are the DVDO iScan line doubler, RCA DTC-100 set top box, Focus Enhancement Quadscan Quadrupler, or the Crytal Imager Video Scaler.  They only have the VGA/RGBHV outs. 

Finding a cable for the iScan is a bit easier than the other video products listed above like the DTC-100.  Why?  Because the iScan has a toggle switch in the back that allows you to select whether you want RGBHV or component signal out.  The DTC and other devices lack this feature.  They only output RGBHV.   Hence, you need an external device (transcoder) that would convert the signal from RGBHV to component.

RGB to Component Transcoder

Transcoder Selection

There are only a few transcoders known.  They are as follows: 

Each retail between $120 - $199.  The Audio Authority unit is the most widely used transcoder since they got to the market first and they are the easiest to use.  You simply plug it in, connect the video source to the input side, and the output side to the TV.  That's it.  


  • Audio Authority:  To learn more about the AA transcoder performance as well as tips and tweaks, click here.
  • Key Digital:  The Key Digital product gives the user quite a bit more flexibility.  It allows one to tailor its operation based on the video source (e.g., DTC-100) and the display monitor (e.g, Panasonic TV).  It also provides for   horizontal raster adjustment which the other transcoders lack.  The RCA is also effective but is the least popular.
  • RCA:  Reports indicate that this works just fine.  This is probably easier to buy locally since Circuit City has them on their store shelves.
  • The RF Systems VR-2C is a newcomer.  It is now under test.  We will provide a review of its performance soon.

Note that the AA and the RCA come with the male to male heavy gauge video cable.  The Key Digital does not.  So if you get the KD, make sure that you buy the cable as well. sells the cable with the KD.


These transcoders are available from local stores as well as various online vendors.