So you want to use your projector but your media only has component output. Maybe it’s an old DVD player or VCR. Perhaps you’re attempting to play the Nintendo Wii only to be downtrodden in knowing that it only accepts either A/V or component video cables. Perhaps you’re attempting to mirror the display of your plasma TV, only to be surprised at the lack of an HDMI port but the presence of those five red, blue, green, white, and red ports for audio and video. Whatever the case, there are actually plenty of recent projectors that feature both the YPbPr component port and the HDMI port that have been made at least around the early 2010s.
In regards to what we consider as the best projector with component input, it’s definitely the BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050). If you want to know why then you should keep on reading. In a nutshell, it gives you the most return for your investment or the most bang for your buck when push comes to shove.
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What Is Component Video?
Before you buy a projector that has a component video port as the main or secondary A/V option (maybe it also has a 1080p HDMI port for you), you should first know the details of what component video is. Component video, also known as YPbPr, is probably the last and most advanced analog A/V standard for TVs until the HDTVs and their High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) ports came rolling in from 2002 onwards.
- Analog Component Video Reproduction: Video signal reproduction on a display device like a cathode-ray tube (CRT) television or a digital projector is a straightforward process that’s complicated by your multitude of signal sources. DVD players, videogame consoles, computers, and VHS players or VCR all transmit, process, and store video signals using a variety of methods, from discs to cartridges to magnetic tapes. However, you can maintain signal clarity from these different source media devices by separating the components of the video signal into brightness and color differences so they don’t interfere with each other. This signal separation is the secret behind the high-definition clarity of the component analog video.
- What Is YPbPr? YPbPr is another name for the component video standard. They refer to the three component video channels that make up component video, which are “Y”, “Pb”, and “Pr”. The “Y” represents the luma or brightness while the “Pb” and “Pr” represent the color difference signals. While YPbPr refers to the analog A/V standard, it has a digital equivalent known as YCbCr or component digital that only makes use of one cable with one connector instead of three cables merged into one cable but has three RCA prongs or ends. The audio channels mostly deal with the left and right speakers of the TV.
- The Component Analog Video Difference: Component video is also known as component analog video or analog component video (as opposed to component digital video) that transmits information into three separate signals as covered above. It’s different from a composite video that’s been used for SECAM, PAL, or NTSC and combines all the video information into a single line signal for analog standard definition TV. However, even though the component video is far more advanced than composite, both types don’t carry audio and require separate audio cables in order to work. It’s strictly video only.
- Component Video Cables: There are technically two cables with multiple connectors. The video cable has 3 RCA-type connectors reminiscent of RCA composite cables (not to be confused with component cables). There are also two left and right stereo audio cables, one red and one white. The Wii-U and Switch from Nintendo might have HDMI ports available, but the Wii is strictly 480p and A/V, with an extra component video ports option available for the component cable. The cables you can use on your Wii each have RCA plugs at both of their ends. The video plugs carry YPbPr analog component video signals specifically.
- Disambiguation of the Component Video Term: Component video is a term mostly associated with the YPbPr A/V standard that syncs luma with color difference signals that can even approach quality levels of 1080i (interlaced), which is the same resolution size as HDMI’s 1080p (progressive scan). It’s a pretty impressive feat for an analog standard. When used with qualifications, it can refer to the component digital video standard of YCpCr instead. Component video is commonly used on VCRs and DVD players released before 2002 to 2003, which was around the time HDMI was being implemented as the new standard.
The Best Projector with Component Input
We reiterate that the BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050) is probably the best of its kind projector with component input and an HDMI input as well. You might as well get a projector that has both component and HDMI inputs unless you wish to invest in a component to HDMI adapter or converter to allow you to play component video game consoles, media players, and even cable or satellite boxes. This is because HDMI remains the current standard the same way A/V cables used to be the standard a few decades ago.
- Why The Projector Instead of a Converter? Projectors offer the ultimate home theater or cinema experience. Additionally, getting a component video compatible projector instead of daisy-rigging a converter to run a component media device on an HDMI projector will allow you to get high-fidelity or full-faithfulness reproduction of what the component video signal is supposed to look like. Naturally, this depends on what type of projector you’ve gotten your hands on. However, from our personal experience, zero-lag signal reproduction works best when the signal is fed directly to the source instead of through an adapter middleman.
- Getting a More Genuine Experience: A projector allows you to see TV shows, films, and videogames—specifically when dealing with the Sony PlayStation, PS2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii as well as the last few consoles of Sega such as the Sega Saturn and the Sega Dreamcast—the way they were intended to be displayed. Usually, when you convert or emulate these consoles on newer high-definition platforms, something becomes amiss. From letterboxing to black sidebars to artifacting and even low latency (also known as lag), the projector experience from an HDMI connection isn’t as true-to-form as from a component video one.
- Sometimes Bigger Is Better: Yes, there are times when bigger is better. There are other times when bigger is overhyped or makes things worse or clunkier instead of better. However, in the case of a projector with a component video port, it recreates the impactful feeling of watching things on the big screen at a cinema way better than even the biggest of HDTVs or plasma TVs. You can see every detail of whatever show you’re watching. You can make your Nintendo Wii experience of fighting friends in one-on-one matches at Super Smash Bros. Brawl or exploring dungeons through Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess more immersive. The motion controls feel more responsive when you can see big movements come out of your slight ones.
- The Basics of Projectors: Any projector, even those with component video ports, is really a two-piece type of system—the projector and the projector screen. Nowadays, digital projectors are easy to use. Either some models are lightweight and compact or they’re of the short-throw variety, which meant that they projected at a short throw distance or nearly right in front of the screen instead of many feet at the back of the room or mounted on the ceiling. That’s what we liked about the BenQ DLP HT2050. It’s a short-throw projector itself that can be placed on a shelf, bookcase, or coffee table without interfering with you as you watch your movie or play your game on the big screen.
- It’s All About The Convenience: As far as we’re concerned, the BenQ DLP HT2050 comes at just the right size. We had our hands full on which component video projector to get since they come in all shapes and sizes. We also had to make up our mind on which frames to get, which are available as retractable (motorized or manual) or fixed frame. We ultimately decided to go for a fixed frame for convenience, which is the same convenience we received from the HT2050. It’s also a DLP projector, which means it uses prism mirror technology in order to project amazingly clear digital video on the screen with nary any artifacts or errors.
- The Competition Available: There were several projectors with component video ports that gave the BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050) a run for its money. The Epson 5030UB HD projector is one such projector. It offered us a cost-effective and practical way to maintain a cinematic picture size and experience at home while even using an outdated analog A/V standard. The quality of the component video is really apparent in both the BenQ DLP HT2050 and the Epson 5030UB. We just found that BenQ pushed a little further in terms of cost-effectiveness. It offers more in video inputs, zoom capabilities, scaling circuitry, video processing, and top-grade lenses. The BenQ offers is simply more of a total package compared to what even the esteemed Epson company has available.
- DLP versus LCD versus LCoS: The BenQ HD Projector (HT2050) is a Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector. It uses tilting mirrors to reflect light in either away or into the lens. Light Crystal Display or LCD technology meanwhile uses liquid crystals on the glass to modulate the amount of light passing through the lens. Finally, the LCoS or Liquid Crystals on Silicon projector combines the best of both words of LCD crystal and DLP mirror technology but at the cost of being much more expensive than both. LCoS or SXRD (Sony) also makes use of ultra-high-intensity lamps to boot. For whatever reason, BenQ’s DLP works great with analog component video signals.
- High-Resolution Action: Naturally, what’s the point in getting an HD projector with a component video port if you’re not going to take advantage of its HD tech? The BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050) offers an ANSI brightness of 2,200 lumens, 3D capabilities, 1080p native resolution, and an amazingly clear 15,000:1 contrast that works excellently on older shows to prevent that muddy or faded look some vintage videos get when they get projected on a digital projector. The blacks are striking and the whites and colors pop out to give you the clearest picture possible. Naturally, 1080i on analog or 1080p signals provide the best quality pictures and projections possible compared to 480i or 576i programs. It also features ISFccc Certified Calibration to ensure excellent day or night viewing.
- The Quietest of Projectors: Another thing that made the BenQ DLP HT2050 stand out to us is the fact that it’s whisper-quiet in operation. It doesn’t sound like an aquarium tank or, worse, a revving motorcycle when it’s turned on. It’s almost as quiet as watching your TV. The sounds from the projector or your sound system should adequately drown out any minimal fan noise you’d hear from this projector that’s a class of its own instead of the other way around. We can’t count on both hands the number of projectors that almost made the cut for this article as being component video-friendly, only to fail the noise test and sounding like a clunky electric fan with a motor too powerful for it to run without rattling all over the place.
- The Convenience of Short-Throw Projector Technology: The BenQ DLP HT2050 is a shorter-throw projector that makes installation a breeze. There’s no need to mount it up on the ceiling because it can deliver a diagonal screen size of 60 to 180 inches, 1.3x zoom, vertical lens shift, and a short-throw ratio of only 79 inches at 6.6 feet or 1.15 to 1.5. If you’re going to mount it on the ceiling, you should do so closer to the screen and with sufficient adjustment. Otherwise, a coffee table or a nearby bookshelf should suffice in letting it project right in front of both you and the screen. There’s no need for you to worry about blocking its projection path if it can be placed directly to your screen along with your component video game console and video player.
- Resolution Compatibility Galore from The Trusted Name in DLP Projectors: Not only is BenQ a reliable brand that makes the number 1 best-selling DLP projectors in the whole world that has a 1-year warranty for all their products for parts and labor. Its HT2050 HD projector is also a great DLP model with component video compatibility that offers HDTV quality visuals for vintage component source videos with varying resolutions ranging from 480i to 1080p. This includes 480p, 576i, 720p, and 1080i as well as video compatibility for NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and SDTV. This means that you won’t get funky results from what you’re watching, like a PAL format video or videogame running faster or slower because your projector can only read NTSC or something
- The Penultimate 3D Home Theater Projector with Component Input: Simply put, the BenQ DLP HT2050 isn’t only specifically a projector with a component video port. It’s the projector we’ve tried out that balances quality with price together to form the best projector with a component input we’ve ever seen. It can upscale even the 480p native resolution of a VHS tape, DVD, or Wii disc into fully detailed and amazing 1080p on the biggest of home screens. It also has a lot of other things going for it, such as its all-glass cinema-grade lens and RGB color wheel that works in tandem with its DLP technology via its patented CinematicColor feature. It’s also designed with a fetching and robust silver/white projector body that coincides with our own personal tastes in projector color, but your mileage may vary.
Pointers for Review
YPbPr, RGB, and S-video signals are composed of two or more separate signals. Thusly, they’re all component video signals when you think about it. However, it’s a component video that ultimately got the moniker for consumer-level video applications due to its high-quality output that’s probably the best you could get from the outdated analog A/V standard or standard definition era of video. It also uses the common-at-the-time three-cable system that uses RCA or BNC connectors for analog cable systems. Typical resolutions in lines or interlaced form are 480i (NTSC) and 576i (PAL) at the square 4:3 aspect ratio for most TVs.
As for PCs and their display monitors with the 15-pin DIN connector or the IBM VGA standard, you can get screen resolutions that include 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x768, 1152 x 864, and 1280 x 1024 or larger. Regardless, if you wish to play TV shows or videogames from this bygone era of standard-definition video on a projector, your choice is either to get a component-to-HDMI adapter/converter or get a projector with a component port already in place. We choose the BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050) as our component video projector of choice because buying an older outdated model is a bad investment and this HD projector is quite decent with its component video conversion.
- Steve Kindig, “How to choose a home theater projector“, Crutchfield, Retrieved on May 12, 2020
- “BenQ DLP HD Projector (HT2050)“, Amazon.com, Retrieved May 12, 2020
- “Component Video“, Wikipedia, Retrieved May 12, 2020
- “YPbPr“, Your Dictionary, Retrieved May 13, 2020