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Best video output connection?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sonofdbn, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. sonofdbn

    sonofdbn
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    I want to connect an HTPC to a direct view TV - probably a Philips Pixel Plus, which seems to be my best option given prices and availability where I am (not in the USA). Taking this as the starting point, what would be the best way to connect? The model I'm considering, the 29PT9420, has S-Video, Component (YPbPr) and VGA(RGB) inputs, but much cheaper alternatives have S-Video and Component only.

    It seems that the best connection option is VGA, then Component then S-Video, but given the type of TV I'm considering, will there be a big difference? Not going for VGA means a much wider (and generally cheaper) range of TVs, so if VGA will not produce a marked improvement over Component, then I would rather go for a cheaper choice. (Also, many TV displays only have a VGA connector in the front, and I'm not keen on having a cable coming out the front of the TV permanently.)

    On the other hand, it seems that very few (no?) standard graphics cards offer Component video output as standard. Yes, there are ATI dongles and VGA converters, etc. but they're not easily obtainable outside the USA. One interesting option is the Realmagic Xcard which offers an S-Video to Component cable, but I don't understand how that would be better than S-Video alone, if the starting point is an S-Video signal.

    So it doesn't look like Component video output is all that straightforward either - which leaves me with S-Video, which I already have as an input on my 10 year old Panasonic 29 inch - so should I just stick to that?
     
  2. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    svideo input is poor, you wouldn't be able to use a desktop properly with svid, movies would be ok, but no great.

    component or vga connection would (as you suggest) be the best. You can get VGA to component transcoders delivered to the UK for around £180 in total so that may save you having to go for a more expensive set.

    If you can afford it then a proper vga connection to a tv that can display decent resolutions (that philips you mention can do upto 1080i) would be the best (and probably the easiest to setup).

    HTH
    owain
     
  3. sonofdbn

    sonofdbn
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    Unforunately I'm out in Singapore, and costs of - heck, anything - being delivered here from the USA are incredible. Assuming I can't go the VGA-transcoder-component route or the ATI dongle route, is there ANY way of getting component output from a graphics card?

    And how good is component output for Windows desktop use? Would it be legible? Actually using an IBM T30 with its onboard ATI chipset and S-Video out produces a surprisingly good Windows desktop on the old Panasonic TV - the text is not totally legible, but a front-end like myHTPC looks fine.
     
  4. frog

    frog
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    I am trying something similar at the moment. Found out that very few cards have true component output, I could only find one and it's more expensive than my PC !!!
    Since I am on a mission to do this on the cheap, the DIY route is my current option, I have managed to build a vga to component (YPrPb) converter, picture is crystal clear but not centered, and that's probably due to the very simple converter (cost £s, not £££s).
    Whether it will work for you depends on what inputs the TV will have and what the Video card can output to match it.
    I am now investigating the VGA option, easy from the computer to the projector, not so easy from the DVD player.
    I anyone is interested in the links/circuits I have found so far, let me know and I'll post them. They were mainly found on this board, but it could save you some searching...
     
  5. sonofdbn

    sonofdbn
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    frog,
    I'd certainly be interested in what you've done and found so far - even the name of the expensive component out card would be useful information.

    What do you mean about "VGA option.... from the DVD player"? Are you talking about using component out from the DVD player into the VGA in of the projector?
     
  6. frog

    frog
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    Ok, here we go...
    Firstly, to answer your question re "VGA option", you are absolutely correct, i am working on the basis that if my computer is connected to the projector using a VGA cable, then everything else will follow the same route via some sort of switcher. Reason is that the Sony HS1 that I have can only have VGA or Component, not both... Thanks Sony...

    Now, VGA would as suggested before be your best option over component, VGA is effectively RGB which carries horizontal and vertical sync separately. Component mixes the sync along with one of the color components, so you theoretically loose something along the way, hence the higher price I guess.

    If you want to convert VGA to component you have the following options (there may well be more...).

    -Buy a transcoder (search this and www.avsforum.com forums for details), here is one i know of: http://www.digitalconnection.com/HomeTheater/9a60.htm
    -If you have an ATI Radeon card, check this out: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=212199
    Note: searching for YPrPb at the following link will yield lots of useful information (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=26) although all of it is US based.
    -If you don't have a Radeon (I have an ATI ALL IN ONE 128), you can try a number of different DIY circuits, I have only tried the first one, and as I reported in an earlier post, it produces an off-centre image that I cannot correct.
    Note: Not all cards will work with these, my three laptops (all dell) for example refuse to output anything.
    1.Cheapest and simplest (the one I have tried):
    http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/sync_r.html

    2. I have not tried this (yet).
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=193919

    However, having thought about it, how much more expensive are those TVs with VGA input ? Sounds to me like you could be going down an expensive no-return route if you can't get the PC to talk YPrPb to the telly.

    Good luck, hope this helped some
     
  7. frog

    frog
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    Oh, and I could not find that video card again, sorry... Seems Google doesn't give the same results week on week... :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  8. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    Sorry to jump in but the ArcadeVGA from Ultimarc can output from VGA directly to RGB scart if that helps.
     

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