Hey hey, folks! Lumpz the Clown here, and on the recommendation of my good Twitter friends @RewindMike and @utahpunk, I put aside my initial reluctance and purchased a Wii2HDMI Converter. The main reasons for my reticence were reports of them melting and potentially damaging the Wii as well as audio output issues, so getting a reliable product from a trusted seller was absolutely pivotal in my decision to take the leap.
After performing some careful research, I chose the Wii2HDMI Converter by WSTD. Bear in mind that there are many cheap knockoffs that look exactly like it, which may have lead to the above-stated reports, but after over an hour of capturing, I’m pleased to say that WSTD’s iteration has proven fairly reliable.
Before I get to the results, it’s important to note that:
- The Wii is only capable of delivering a maximum resolution of 480p, or Enhanced Definition (ED).
- The component cable outputs at 480p, compared to the composite cable output of 480i.
- The component cable’s image is upscaled to 720p on ED or HD displays.
- The Wii2HDMI upscales the image to 1080p or 720p (details below) after the 480p signal is delivered from the Wii.
- An EDTV or HDTV is required to view output from either of these products.
I should also note that I’m capturing gameplay using an Elgato Game Capture HD, which supports HDMI and component/composite inputs. All of this is output through HDMI and hits the screen while being captured by the Elgato Game Capture via USB 2.0.
None of the settings within the Elgato software were changed for this test, and displayed 480p60 as the input resolution, which was kind of odd. However, this didn’t seem to negatively impact the resulting capture footage in any way, as you’ll see below in the Results section.
Wii2HDMI Technical Specifications
Given that last point, does this product really deliver the goods? Aside from the above-stated points, the Wii2HDMI Converter also has the ability to:
- Swap on the fly between 1080p and 720p via a small pinhole located near the HDMI output.
- Output sound through the 3.5mm jack when connecting to an HD computer monitor.
Even better, the Wii2HDMI supports all Wii native display modes, which include 480i, 480p, and 576i for our friends across the pond. Supported HDMI output regardless of region is at 60Hz for 720p and 1080p.
Now, onto what you’ve all been waiting for: the epic resolution throwdown of the century!
Wii Component vs Wii2HDMI Results
For the sake of being a dogged completionist, here is the side-by-side comparison featured in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios (changeable within the Wii’s Widescreen Settings) at 1080p.
And for those who may be wondering, here is the same video captured in 480p:
When placed side-by-side, it becomes clear that the component output is much darker than that of the Wii2HDMI. However, it’s important to note that not once did I feel compelled to change the settings on my TV and Elgato to accommodate the Wii component cable, especially when capturing Super Metroid.
The Cons of Wii2HDMI
Regardless of aspect ratio or resolution settings, the title screen looks washed out compared to the component cable output. Later discussions with other YouTubers have led me to believe that this is a product-wide problem, and that changing their capture card or TV settings is done on a case-by-case basis.
As for me personally, I just want something to work right out of the box. I shouldn’t have to change user profiles or TV settings just to make something look good. Unfortunately, the Wii2HDMI almost forces additional legwork on those interested in capturing the best possible image.
Even worse, if any of you out there need complete darkness when trying to sleep (me to a tee), the Wii2HDMI needs to be unplugged when you’re done, lest you be blinded by its insanely bright blue LED.
I honestly don’t see why it’s necessary to include an LED that’s constantly on while the Wii is in Standby mode. Yeah, I know it’s plugged in, I didn’t need the reminder, thanks.
Some of you may have your recording equipment in a completely different room (or office if you’re lucky), and this may not even be a problem. It really just depends on your needs and setup.
Will it Work for You? TL;DR
- Cleans up the image and upscales beautifully to 720p or 1080p.
- Uses only a single HDMI cable as opposed to the multiple wires of a component cable.
- Has HDMI and 3.5mm audio output.
- A bright blue LED that never turns off unless the unit is unplugged from the Wii.
- The Elgato only recognizes the Wii’s maximum 480p signal (could be different with other capture cards).
- Having to constantly change brightness and contrast settings on a case-by-case basis.
Aside from its minor quirks, I’m pleased with the Wii2HDMI. The majority of the games I captured rendered beautifully after the fact, the unit wasn’t even warm after 1+ hour of solid game capture, and I will say that it’s a vast improvement over the Wii’s composite 480i output.
If you’d like to get the unit I used for this test, click here or the link below to be taken directly to WSTD’s product page.
Do be aware that WSTD may not ship to your country, so exercise caution when dealing with other brands. Some other top-rated sellers include Prodico, NAMEO, and Tendak. Just do your research, and save a Wii while making cheap manufacturers go extinct!
Thanks for stopping by, and Lumpz the Clown OUT!
Would you rather go Component for your setup? Read my full Monoprice Wii Component Cable review here and make up your own mind!
Want to reduce your tech clutter while still capturing old games at 1080p? Check out what the RetroPie is capable of!