Universal Converter Box

Ever suffer the annoyance of things that should connect to each other, but don’t?

Fortunately, there are many adapters out there to make your life easier, and a couple that you only think will make your life easier, but won’t work. Almost anything in the electronic world can be adapted to anything else, but sometimes it can be more expense and trouble than it’s worth.

Video: Used to be, the biggest conversion need was a way to get video from a DVD player into an older TV that only had an antenna jack. I almost had a fight with a fellow once that was positive that all he needed was an adapter from the RCA cables off the DVD player to the threaded connector on the TV. I noticed that after he bought the $3 adapter, I never saw him again. What he really needed was a device called an RF modulator, because the video signal from a DVD player cannot be understood by a TV tuner. But the RF modulator costs $20, and he was sure I just wanted to sell him the more expensive item.

The need for the RF modulator is less now, because all newer TVs have the needed inputs, but there are still a lot of old TVs out there. You can pick up an RF modulator at any decent big-box electronics department.

Converting HDMI to Composite video is possible using an adapter such as this one from Amazon. Going the opposite direction and converting Composite, S-Video, or Component to HDMI can be done with this device.

Audio: Audio hookups are considerably easier; there is less information to process, and fewer types of hookups available. The most important conversion you might need is digital optical audio to digital coaxial . That’s not too hard; this gadget will do that. There are others that will go the opposite way.

Computer: In some ways, computer conversions are the easiest; You won’t need to convert digital to analog or vice-versa, it’s all digital. Almost anything in the computer world can be converted: DVI to HDMI, HDMI to DVI, Serial or Parallel to USB, and so forth. Just search your favorite electronics store for the converter you need. (It’s probable you won’t find a lot of these converters locally; You’ll have to buy them from Amazon or Monoprice.com.)

But don’t you wish you had something like this gadget?


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