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A simple question about component cables

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I just want to double check: The Roku Express+ doesn't support component cables, right?

I just got an Express+ for Christmas, but my TV is pretty cheap and only has a single HDMI port. Currently my PS4 is connected to that. If I could feed the Roku through other connections on the back, that would be ideal, but I only have one of each input type -- HDMI, Component, VGA, and Coax. Normally my Xbox 360 goes in the Component, but I do have a Component switch box.

I notice Roku sells component cables for $10, and it looks like they'd plug in to the Express+, but support is not listed.

Now, I also have an HDMI switcher as well, but it seems to have a really hard time figuring out devices using HDCP. It's one of those pigtail switchers from Monoprice. I tried hooking the PS4 up through it and it actually crashed my Vizio TV and seriously confused the PS4 as to what output resolution was supported (the TV was stuck at 480p, the PS4 was apparently trying to render at 2160p, I had to unplug the TV from the wall outlet and put the PS4 in to safe mode to get everything working again). I assume the Roku would give it trouble.

It would be nice if I could just buy the component cable without having to spend $40-$100 on an HDMI switch for my $30 Roku Express+. Is that possible? Are there any alternatives I can consider?

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8 Replies
Basil
Level 10

Re: A simple question about component cables

"thelostskeleton" wrote:
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I just want to double check: The Roku Express+ doesn't support component cables, right?

I just got an Express+ for Christmas, but my TV is pretty cheap and only has a single HDMI port. Currently my PS4 is connected to that. If I could feed the Roku through other connections on the back, that would be ideal, but I only have one of each input type -- HDMI, Component, VGA, and Coax. Normally my Xbox 360 goes in the Component, but I do have a Component switch box.

I notice Roku sells component cables for $10, and it looks like they'd plug in to the Express+, but support is not listed. ...

The first line of Roku devices supported component output, and those cables are for those. The last one was discontinued in 2011.

Your component output may be a hybrid output. That is, the Green video input may double as a Yellow composite input. That's not uncommon. That would allow the Roku to connect through that input, but it would, of course, be SD not HD output. And then you would have an Xbox issue.
"thelostskeleton" wrote:
...
Now, I also have an HDMI switcher as well, but it seems to have a really hard time figuring out devices using HDCP. It's one of those pigtail switchers from Monoprice. I tried hooking the PS4 up through it and it actually crashed my Vizio TV and seriously confused the PS4 as to what output resolution was supported (the TV was stuck at 480p, the PS4 was apparently trying to render at 2160p, I had to unplug the TV from the wall outlet and put the PS4 in to safe mode to get everything working again). I assume the Roku would give it trouble.

It would be nice if I could just buy the component cable without having to spend $40-$100 on an HDMI switch for my $30 Roku Express+. Is that possible? Are there any alternatives I can consider?

If you're going to spend that much on a switch, you might want to go ahead and get a new TV. You can find 32" TVs for under $100, 1080p 32" for under $120. Of course, a 32" 1080p Vizio will run nearly $200.

On the other hand, the devices you already have (Xbox, PS4) support the major streaming applications. What would a Roku actually bring to the table for you? It may not be worth the trouble to try to connect it to your TV. If you have a guest room (or other) TV that has no devices connected, the Roku Express+ might be useful for the purpose of turning a spare TV into a "smart" TV.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

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Roku boxes from every generation.
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Re: A simple question about component cables

The PS4 handles some of the big names (Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Crackle) but there's a lot of stuff the Roku does that the PS4 doesn't. I'm pretty sure the PS4 can't do Vudu or Prime Video, for example (I'd have to double check). Then there's a lot of smaller cable provider stuff, your Adult Swims, your Disney XDs, etc. that Roku supports but PS4 doesn't, because PS4 serves (some of) that content up through Sony's "Playstation Vue" paid service. Our cable TV is bundled with our internet, so I'd rather not pay for Vue to get something I could stream through the Roku. Plus, even then, Vue likely doesn't cover EVERYTHING I'd get out of a Roku.

The Xbox 360 picks up some of that slack, but the Xbox 360 is also loud and while it used to have a surprisingly large library of streaming apps, more and more of those are being depreciated and phased out every few months.

The point I was making about expensive HDMI switches was that I didn't WANT to pay $100 for one. Nor am I looking to replace my TV, or get another one. I guess it's just a bad dilemma no matter which way you slice it.
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socantra
Level 7

Re: A simple question about component cables

I haven't tried this with a Roku, since I'm now using a TCL-Roku  TV, but it works fine on a monitor with an old laptop and an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The price is considerably more reasonable than what you seem to be talking about
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072N ... UTF8&psc=1

It doesn't specifically mention the Roku, but does mention PS4 and Apple TV.  At eight bucks it might be worth a shot to see if it works
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socantra
Level 7

Re: A simple question about component cables

As an update to my last post, a neighbor had a 3900x Roku Express that they got for xmas and weren't using yet.  I hooked it up to the monitor through the hdmi switch referenced in the last post and it seems to work just fine. 
Please attempt to maintain a thin veneer of civility.
Remember, you are speaking to strangers on the internet,
not your own family at home.
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Re: A simple question about component cables

The troubling thing is, that looks exactly like the one I already have from Monoprice that the PS4 really, really does not like. The only difference is, judging by the Amazon photo, the lights on that one are red, while mine has blue lights. It looks like a form factor that many different companies use for very similar devices, but reviews are all over the place for the one you linked. There's even this review that specifically mentions it's not compatible with the PS4.

If you don't get a pigtail switch like that and go for something that plugs in to a wall outlet and comes with a remote, most seem to start at $25-$40 and increase exponentially from there, some definitely costing as much or more than the price of another TV. It really is ridiculous. It kind of reminds me of the old Monster Cable days where they were charging $100 for ten feet of HDMI.
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twiceover
Level 10

Re: A simple question about component cables

"thelostskeleton" wrote:
The troubling thing is, that looks exactly like the one I already have from Monoprice that the PS4 really, really does not like. The only difference is, judging by the Amazon photo, the lights on that one are red, while mine has blue lights. It looks like a form factor that many different companies use for very similar devices, but reviews are all over the place for the one you linked. There's even this review that specifically mentions it's not compatible with the PS4.

If you don't get a pigtail switch like that and go for something that plugs in to a wall outlet and comes with a remote, most seem to start at $25-$40 and increase exponentially from there, some definitely costing as much or more than the price of another TV. It really is ridiculous. It kind of reminds me of the old Monster Cable days where they were charging $100 for ten feet of HDMI.

I use one of the 4 port box switches with a remote from Monoprice.  Works with my PS4 and Roku.  I think it was ~$40 when I bought it.
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twiceover
Level 10

Re: A simple question about component cables

So this over at Slickdeals today...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075XL6HRV?ta ... 0f87950INT
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Re: A simple question about component cables

"twiceover" wrote:
So this over at Slickdeals today...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075XL6HRV?ta ... 0f87950INT

Hm. Picture in picture is nice. I can watch Youtube while playing a game at the same time. 
Sure, I'll bite. Thanks!
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