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VGA - Scart RGB?

Discussion in 'Computer Systems' started by MonkeyDonkey, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. MonkeyDonkey

    MonkeyDonkey Member

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    I've just been googling this to find a number of wiring diagrams and information to create a vga - rgb scart cable.

    Has anyone tried this?

    I'm assuming its possible to get an RGB signal from VGA without needing a converter?

    I've done a search on here but there never seemed to be a definitive answer.

    If anyone has any more information on this it'd be great if you can post it.

    Thanks!
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19 Moderator

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    AFAIK you will need a converter to go VGA > RGB
    The reason I think this is because I've got an RGB>VGA converter to connect my TiVo to plasma and if I need a converter to go that way I can only assume I would need one to go back the other.
    I got my converter from www.js-technology.com and it might be worth you contacting him to see if his converter will work in reverse, but I doubt it as the pins used on the scart (and possibly the VGA) would be different.

    Mark.
  3. MikeTV

    MikeTV Active Member

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    Not easily, but reputedly, yes. I have not tried it myself. The solutions I have heard about require creating a suitable VGA to PAL convertor cable. Also, you need a graphics card that is capable of outputting the right signals (PAL interlaced @15hz?), and not many can. To output the right signal, you also need to install and configure the "powerstrip" software.

    In addition, graphics cards will not output the right signal during bios loading/startup, and these signals may even damage a regular PAL TV, and so be warned. Hence, you shouldn't connect up a TV until you are sure that Windows has loaded, and the PC is outputting the right PAL interlaced signal, which is tricky to do without monitor (some people use VNC to remote control the PC into the right state).

    I believe there is a modded radeon card that outputs the right PAL signals, even during startup, but I'm not sure of the make. Anyway, some more googling may turn up more information.
  4. groovyclam

    groovyclam Member

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    I've done this recently.

    I use a Radeon 9600 ( vanilla version - not Pro or SE ) card and get an RGB signal direct from the VGA port going to my Panasonic widescreen CRT telly.
    Apparently any 9xxx Radeon card will work.

    You need to solder your own cable using an old SCART you dismantle, a phono lead, a VGA 15-pin adapter and a 75 ohm resistor. I bought all the bits I needed from Maplins.

    You also need to install Powerstrip on your PC to get an interlaced custom-size widescreen resolution working under Windows.

    It works a treat. The display is far better using the RGB than the Radeon's S-Video port. The only problem is the soldering is fiddly - you need a very small soldering iron. You should probably also get a multimeter to test your soldering before using the lead in case you fry your telly or graphics card.

    Here are two websites on how to build it:

    http://ryoandr.free.fr/english.html

    http://www.idiots.org.uk/vga_rgb_scart/

    Use the pin connection table from the first site not the second.
  5. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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    What res do you use for your TV? by default it only outputs 1024x768 when I plug mine into my Tv on my Rad 9600XT ?

    Alos you can get a DVI -> Component from ATI which I guess if yo have component inputs would negate the fiddling around with a soldering iron :)

    Matt
  6. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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  7. groovyclam

    groovyclam Member

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    I run the widescreen resolutions at 720x576 which gives a bit of loss of picture top and bottom due to overscan

    or 720x540 gives no overscan/full desktop but some of the bob/weave deinterlacing methods of DScaler and the Nebula software don't work so well with 540 vertical resolution so I go back to 720x576 for those.

    This is on a "normal" CRT widescreen telly *not* a plasma or LCD.

    The RGB output is vastly superior to the S-Video output at whatever resolution I pump out of the S-Video port.

    I don't see how much use the DVI to component adapter you point to is when trying to connect the HTPC to a UK CRT telly - has *any* UK CRT TV got a component input ? Plus the homebrew VGA-RGBSCART lead carries the audio signal as well.

    It is not hard to make the lead - I had never really soldered before in my life - it is just fiddly and intricate. A friend told me how to use a multimeter to test my soldering. Maplins sell fantastic little multimeters for a couple of quid.

    All in all I think it cost me £17 in bits and pieces from Maplins and a whole afternoon of patient soldering.
  8. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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    Yes mate.. most new CRt's have comp inputs..
    My thomson has a comp input, which takes ntsc/pal prog scan so its gotta be better than the s-video output :)
  9. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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    Another question.. if you use 720x576 do you then zoom the picture on your TV or use the 16x9 option (but I guess that would only horizontally stretch it ?)

    I have ordered the DVI/Component dongle to give it a try

    Cheers

    Matt
  10. groovyclam

    groovyclam Member

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    I'm not really sure what you are asking.

    The homebrew lead always has widescreen switching enabled via the SCART so the picture is always autodetected to be widescreen by the TV. The Windows desktop fills a widescreen CRT TV and is not skewed or stretched.

    If I am watching a 16:9 broadcast via the Nebula then everything is hunky-dory, if I am watching a 4:3 broadcast then the 4:3 picture is stretched across the widescreen of the TV and I have to force my TV into 4:3 mode with the TV remote "aspect" button ( I have asked the Nebula team to consider adding a new feature to automatically pad a 4:3 broadcast with vertical black bars either side so it fits in the 16:9 frame without being stretched )

    Watching DVDs using ZoomPlayer is fine - it puts the required black bars into 4:3 DVDs and I don't have to override the TV aspect ratio manually.

    Is that what you are asking ?
  11. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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    yes thanks...

    in my case if I send my tv a progscan signal it should fill the screen (it removes the options for zoom/wide etc etc) all depending on the res I set (i think)... should be a interesting experiment :)

    cheers

    Matt
  12. MonkeyDonkey

    MonkeyDonkey Member

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    Thanks all.

    I may give this a go at some point, or I might take the safe option and just buy a converter :D.
  13. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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    I too have made this and I also run in 720x576 res, I just use Zoomplayer's Anamorphic option to effectively display a squished anamorphic image which the TV's 16:9 aspect displays un-squished, just like it would from a normal DVD player :)

    Thief
  14. cowtipper

    cowtipper Member

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    whne your using the dvi dongle what frequency do you use as i am interested in purchasing one of these but need to be able to output 50hz for pal playback onto my plasma
  15. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne Active Member

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    No idea yet... not received it..try avsforum as they have loadsa info on it..

    Matt
  16. probedb

    probedb Active Member

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    Do you have a separate computer for this ? I was really wanting to use the DVI->VGA dongle and having it as the second monitor on my PC, however I couldn't get PowerStrip to alter the settings properly on the second monitor (TV)

    [update]just read the page and you need 2 comps, bugger![update]
  17. MikeTV

    MikeTV Active Member

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    I think this feature may already exist with the nebula - I watch widescreen broadcasts on a 16:9 display, and they always fill the screen, and 4:3 broadcasts automatically have black bars either side. In other words, the aspect ratio is always correct, whatever the format.

    However, this might be because of the way my display is configured - I have a resolution that has "square pixels" (ie. the pixel ratio is 16:9 - as well as the physical screen dimensions). Obviously, 720x576 isn't 16:9 - it is 5:4. So perhaps it isn't possible with a PAL/Scart connection. It might be worth checking the Nebula settings though.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. kraven

    kraven Member

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    I wouldn't bother with the DVI route. I've looked hard for DVI to Scart cables and none of them are bi-directional. Either way, you've still got to hack the scart end of the cable to add the audio signals.

    BTW, has anyone tried using powerstrip with a 1024x540 / 576 resolution with a VGA to Scart cable ? This way you could use MCE with a native 16:9 resolution without anymore screen sizing problems. I guess keeping the sync down to 50hz and the pixel clock close to 15.4mhz could be an issue, but I did read somewhere that said that all PAL 16:9 sets had a native resolution of 1024x576, but this didn't state if this was only for Plasma/LCD screens.

    Also, i'm using a Radeon 9200se 129mb with MCE and the card isn't really up to the job. When running in 32bit colour with TV in any mode except full screen, the video processing with the extra effects on screen is causing the video to be jerky. 16bit colour is fine, but then MCE complains about the colour depth.

    K.
  19. kraven

    kraven Member

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    Ok, I've been trying to use one of these Scart leads and a 1024x576 (16:9 resolution) on an ATI 9200se, and it works (mostly).....

    NOTE: IF YOU TRY THIS, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!!!

    Here are the settings from Powerstrip :

    Horizontal
    Scan Rate : 15.854
    Active : 1024
    Front Porch : 37
    Sync Width : 48
    Back Porch : 179
    Total : 1288

    Vertical
    Scan Rate : 25.006
    Active : 576
    Front Porch : 0
    Sync Width : 3
    Back Porch : 55
    Total : 634

    Pixel Clock : 20.420
    Composite Sync : Yes
    Interlaced : Yes

    Horizontal Sync : Yes
    Vertical : Yes

    I'm using a Creative Labs 9200se on a Sony Wega KV32-FX60.

    I was losing in overscan, about 20 pixels on both the left and right handside of the screen and about 10 lines from the top and bottom of the screen. When not in fullscreen playing a recorded program, the frame rate was choppy. Also, the deinterlacer in the TV didn't seem to like the increased resolution. However the colour in the picture was perfect, MCE didn't complain about the resolution. When in fullscreen, the quality was perfect, easily as good as the source.

    Considering this was just me messing about for an hour, seemed to work well.

    K.
  20. RussKing

    RussKing Guest

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    Hi there!

    Kraven - How well have you prgressed since your last post. Any further?

    Anybody - Is a cable of this type not recommended for someone who is only using a TV as their only output? Will the output really not sync on the TV during booting? Can I not just use my normal S-Video TV-out for these screens? Will attempting to view the BIOS screens while using the VGA-RGB cable really damage the TV!?

    Many Thanks for your help!!

    Russ.
  21. kraven

    kraven Member

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    Russ,

    I havn't had time to try anything since, and I won't have any time this week as I'm off to Paris for a few days on work.

    This cable is suitable for everyone who wants to use a TV connected to their PC. However it's not simple to setup. Yes, you can use a S-Video connection as a backup, and in theory if you have a card that can output dual desktops, then you could attach 2 TV's to your card. However you will never be able to view the bios through one of these cables as the refresh rate will not match the PAL standard.

    From Windows perspective, all you are doing is outputting to a monitor at a specific resolution and refresh rate. It just so happens that this setting is compatible with the PAL standard.

    As to wether it will damage your telly, that really depends on your telly. All I can say is that on my TV, Sony KV32-FX60 (5 years old), it's still working.

    K.
  22. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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    WONDERFUL!!! I've been trying for a 16:9 res for AGES, been using 720x576. I'll try this tonight :)

    Dave
  23. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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    Not entirely true, I'm pretty sure you can't use interlaced resolutions on nVidia based cards.

    Dave
  24. MikeTV

    MikeTV Active Member

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    Right - it's pretty much ATI radeon-based cards only (although I used to have interlaced working with an old Matrox G400, too). When I last checked, the Nvidia's supported custom resolutions, but not interlaced, or at least, not an interlaced overlay (and the overlay is often used for DVD playback, etc.).
  25. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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    Kraven:

    Been trying to get 1024x576 tonight and my TV (Toshiba ZP38) will NOT take it :(

    Surely this isn't right : Pixel Clock : 20.420

    Dave
  26. RussKing

    RussKing Guest

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    Ok, I'm just about to try and build one of these cables using the schematic from http://ryoandr.free.fr/english.html.

    I have everything except the 75 ohms resistor. Can I still use this cable temporarily without this resistor or am I going to risk blowing something up!!?!

    Many Thanks,

    Russ.
  27. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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    It won't work, that resistor is the bit that tells the TV you're giving it an RGB input and not composite. Theres nothing on the composite pins on the SCART end so you're not gonna get anything on the TV I'm afraid :(

    Dave
  28. RussKing

    RussKing Guest

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    Thanks for your reply Dave. It's a bit academic now though unfortunately since my VGA cable only has 14 out of the 15 pins!?! Pin 9 is missing!! Looking at the schematic of a VGA cable, pin 9 is never used!?! How does this cable therefore work? I'm a little confused!? I'm going to go to PC world tonight to try and buy another cable that has all 15 pins! I just hope that pin 9 is actually wired!?!

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers,

    Russ.





    Standard 15 pin D-Sub VGA connector pinout

    Pin # Description

    1 Red Video
    2 Green Video
    3 Blue Video
    4 Sense 2 (Monitor ID bit 2)
    5 Self Test (TTL Ground)
    6 Red Ground
    7 Green Ground
    8 Blue Ground
    9 Key - reserved, no pin
    10 Logic Ground (Sync Ground)
    11 Sense 0 (Monitor ID bit 0)
    12 Sense 1 (Monitor ID bit 1)
    13 Horizontal Sync
    14 Vertical Sync
    15 Sense 3 - often not used
  29. CodeThief

    CodeThief Member

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  30. RussKing

    RussKing Guest

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    I have to say I did prefer the solution that was offered in the other website.

    Does this mean then that I still wire up pin 9 even though there isn't a pin there or do I look for a D-Sub connector that uses all 15 pins?

    Thanks for your help,

    Russ.

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