Firestick to Old Projector

Firestick to Old Projector: a reader (from Rome) asks…

Dear Chris, I have a problem, can you help me to find best way to connect Amazon Firestick to my projector for video signal ( Benq PE5120 ) and to my home theatre for audio signal 5.1 ( Yamaha DPS-A1 ). For audio connection I’d like to use optical signal for taking advantage of 5.1. I’ve attached photos of my projector and receiver connections.

Saluti! Based on the pictures you supplied, I see that your projector’s video inputs are limited to only analog versions: S-video (round 4-pin plug), composite video (yellow RCA plug), and VGA (15-pin). Your Firestick is a digital video appliance, so you’ll need something to convert the video signal from digital to analog in order to use the Firestick with your projector. You’ll also need something to extract the digital audio with an optical output to send audio to your receiver. Both conversion and extraction can be handled by a single device (see below).

Of the video input plugs on your Benq projector, the best option is the 15-pin VGA port (the one with the blue insert, not the black one). VGA can support up to 1080p video resolution (1920×1080 pixels), while the composite and S-video ports only support standard definition television (720×480 pixels).

Based on your pictures, you’ll need the following equipment to connect your Firestick to your home theatre system:

  1. a digital video converter/audio extractor box such as this one for 22,35 €
  2. a standard VGA cable such as this one for 7,99 €.
  3. an optical cable such as this one for 5,99 to 7,39 € (depending on length).

Now to clearly describe how to connect things up:

  1. Plug the Firestick into the HDMI IN port of the converter/extractor box, plug one end of the VGA cable into the converter/extractor box and the other into the blue 15-pin D-Sub IN port on the Benq projector. Set the projector to use the VGA port as the source, then power down the projector.
  2. Plug the optical cable into the SPDIF OUT port of the converter/extractor box, plug the other end of the optical cable into any available optical IN port on the Yamaha receiver. Set the receiver to use that same optical IN port as the source, then power down the receiver.
  3. Plug the converter/extractor box’s included power cable into a wall outlet and the converter/extractor box, then power up both the Yamaha receiver and the Benq projector. Don’t forget to supply power to the Firestick with its included microUSB plug.

You should obtain good video quality on the projector screen, and you should obtain Dolby 5.1 digital audio from your surround-sound speakers. You want to follow the specific order to power up the devices in #3 above to make sure that the video and audio are “authorized” (HD Copyright Protection or “HDCP”) between all components.

Nota Bene: I found an online manual for your Benq PE5120 that shows a DVI-I connector (which is digital), but your picture shows an apparently earlier version of that model. If in fact your projector has a DVI-I connection, you would swap out #1 & #2 items in the equipment list above with this converter/extractor box for 17,99 €, and this HDMI-to-DVI cable for 9,79 €. The video connection (instruction #1 above) will change slightly: plug the HDMI end of the cable into the HDMI OUT port of the converter/extractor box, and plug the DVI-I end of the cable into the DVI-I port on the projector. Set the Benq projector to use the DVI-I port as source.

About HDCP: This is best described as circuitry that all devices have (devices which use digital video/audio). This circuitry is designed to protect content from being used unlawfully and came about years ago with Digital Rights Management legislation. The idea is that artists (musicians, film makers, etc.) didn’t want their works stolen by digital piracy.

How this circuitry works is by devices like your Firestick, the converter/extractor box, and your digital receiver exchanging authorizations (aka “handshaking”) to approve each other to play/display protected content like movies, TV shows and music. This handshaking usually occurs when equipment is first powered up or connected. If the devices cannot successfully authenticate, they won’t pass the protected content from one to the other.

Since your video projector uses analog video, there’s no digital rights circuitry there. The handshaking for digital video is only between the Firestick and the converter/extractor box. For digital audio, handshaking occurs between all three devices (Firestick, converter/extractor box, and receiver).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.