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Connecting Sky to a Panasonic TH42PW4BX

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by PaddChas, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Hi,

    I am trying to connect my Sky Digibox to a Panasonic TH42PW4BX directly. I don't want to use the S-Video input (taken for the DVD) or the composite (not high enough quality). I was wondering if it is possible to use the Component/RGB switchable inputs on the extended terminal board? I have heard that the Plasma needs a sync input as well as R,G,B and was wondering whether the sync in the composite video out from Sky will work? - IE Is it possible to wire from the RGB scart on the Sky Digibox to the RGB in on the Plasma?

    Hope someone can help. Thanks in advance,

    James
     
  2. ajb

    ajb
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    Hi

    Your connections used at the moment are only the s-video. Thus, why not use the PC input VGA socket on the screen itself... not on the board.

    You will need a RGB to VGA adaptor from www.rgbtosvideo.com and a scart lead from the sky box to the convertor and a VGA lead from the convertor to the screen. All in cost under 200 quid I should think even with decent cable.

    Hope this helps
    Andrew
     
  3. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Thanks for your reply. I will look into the RGB to VGA box solution. However, do you happen to know however if a direct cable from the RGB scart to the RGB inputs would also work? (and perhaps be cheaper than buying the converter etc?)

    I have a few other questions if you (or any others don't mind)?

    - Whereabouts physically on the screen is this VGA (PC) in? - I can't spot it!! ;)

    - Am I right in thinking that the VGA (PC) in is separately selectable from the component/rgb switchable inputs? (so I could use the component inputs for my DVD at the same time and switch using the remote?)

    - I find that using the S-Video input the aspect ratio is permanently locked - any ideas what the problem might be and ways round this?
     
  4. ajb

    ajb
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    Hi again

    The PC input is at the side of where the video board slots in on the back... there are two 15 pin plugs, one for RS-232 control and one for VGA input.

    The VGA in is selectable separately so you could use the VGA input for Sky and component inputs for DVD.

    It is a known fault with the Panasonics that the aspect ratio locks on S-video in. Nothing you can do about this unless you fancy modding your input board yourself. Some people have... I wouldn't!

    A direct cable from RGA scart to RGB inputs won't work as there's no Sync there... I don't see why a plasma owner is scared of shelling out for the convertor box. The best £125 any plasma owner could ever spend. I promise. As Mr Nike once said... "JUST DO IT"!

    Regards
    Andrew
     
  5. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Andrew

    Thanks for your reply.

    Just to clarify things first - the plasma isn't mine, it's a friends and I am looking into how to best configure his system for him.

    The reason I ask where the VGA input is is because the plasma is mounted on the wall, and the wiring up to the plasma is going to be plastered into the wall and then papered over so it's not visible. I was concerned that it might not be easily accessible - I'm still not sure where the socket is (even with your explanation) and I can't check at the moment because I'm not at his house - please could you clarify whether the socket is accessible given this setup?

    As for the direct cable - the reason I asked is because I heard that the Panasonic would be able to use the Sync in the composite video out signal from the Digibox (and therefore avoid use of the VGA converter and use the other inputs). Do you think this is not possible? (It sounds to me that there wouldn't be this converter if it was?)

    Hope you can help just to clarify these two points. Appreciate your help

    Cheers,

    James
     
  6. kezza

    kezza
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    Keene Electronics do a Syncblaster Scart to VGA cable. I have one connecting my Sky to the VGA port and it is great. It works out cheaper than using a converter box.

    Regards
     
  7. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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  8. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    PaddChas

    Assuming you have found your VGA input :) there should be no problem routing and concealing all of your cables behind the panel there are captive cable ties provided with the panel.

    I'm not sure I follow your 'its on the wall' logic - get it back off the wall before you start ripping into the wall; far too much dust and debris for a plasma panel when routing out the cable runs and also generally the cables will come up behind and out through a hole in the wall plate of the plasma mount.

    If you are digging cable into your mates wall I would also add in the PC cable and a Composite video cable anyway - saves a lot of work if you ever want to change his configuration.

    You can use an RGB signal without using an RGB to RGBHV converter but you run into one - possibly two problems:

    01. If you use the Composite in to take the SYNC you then cant use the S-Video in on the panel; they are a 'shared' input on the Panasonic display.

    02. Signal stability - not all Digibox's are created equal and we often get sync level problems if trying to go direct.

    The JS Technology RGB to VGA box works a treat and has never failed us so far - the Keene cable is 'in there own words' a trial and effort affair that may work or may require an external power supply. When I supply a £3.5K TV and a converter I want to ensure I supply the best system and we will be sticking to the JS Tech boxes.

    I would also tend to use the RGBHV BNC terminals for your Digibox instead of the VGA port - more menu options on the former and still leaves you with the option to add in a PC to the system. All you require is an VGA to 5 BNC cable instead of a VGA to VGA cable.

    One work around on the S-Video lock issue is to run your S-Video signals through an AV amp with S-Video switching - they generally strip out the signal that your source is generating which instructs the plasma display to lock into a specific mode.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  9. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Joe/All,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The plasma is actually already mounted on the wall, and the channel for the cables has already been dug out - it comes from the skirting board directly upwards until it reaches the terminal board (in the bottom of the plasma). If the VGA port is in a different area, it might mean digging more channels in the wall to reach it - that is why I was asking. Any thoughts? - I'm still trying to confirm the exact location of the VGA port on the screen (without actually being able to look at it!)

    I think what I read was that it is possible to use just the R,G,B and HD inputs on the plasma (not the VD) for direct wiring to RGB Scart on the Digibox - with the Sync signal (contained in the composite out of the digibox) wired to HD. If this is true, it would mean not tying up the S-Video in because it wouldn't be using the composite in. Any thoughts?

    As it happens I am edging towards using the RGB to VGA converter box anyway because I would like to use the component inputs for the DVD player (it has component out). This will leave the AV inputs (S-video and composite) free, and Sky using the VGA input, with a cable that can be switched between the Digibox and a PC if necessary. However, you mentioned more menu options on the RGBHV inputs - what are these?

    Finally, if you don't mind me firing too many questions (!), do you know of the details of the outputs on Sky Plus? If I wire up this sytem so that the current Digibox is connected to the VGA, and the DVD to the component, will I be stumped when he upgrades to Sky Plus, or will there still be a RGB scart to use (and will it be the best solution still?)..

    Hope you can help, appreciate it!!

    Thanks,

    James
     
  10. jont

    jont
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    The VGA port is just to the left (as you look at the front of the screen) from the RGBHV bnc sockets so is in an area that could be reached from the same cable channel ...

    I use the rgb>vga box that ajb and joe talked about and it works a treat ... I was going to go for the keene cable but as they never seemed to have any stock and whilst waiting I heard a few mixed reports about it ... and without being able to try to see if my sky box would output a strong enough sync signal I went for the John Sims box ... Joe is right on different digiboxes and you may need to get an external power supplu but you won't know until you try ... (the JS box has a built in PS and comes with fitted lead and plug)

    I also have my PS2 on passthrough through the sky+ box into the rgb>vga for I get my PS2 in RGB ...

    I use the component input for my dvd player, especially as the setup menu on the panasonic plasma has a 'cinema' setting which gives a better picture for stuff from dvd's ...

    Hope this helps

    rgds

    Jon
     
  11. jont

    jont
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    Sorry - forgot other point of yours ...

    yes .. the scart on the sky+ is RGB and i sthe same as on the ordinary digibox ... although you might find that it points the 'other' way round so make sure you've got some slack on your scart cable !!

    Jon
     
  12. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Jon,

    Thanks for the reply!

    Please can you (or anyone) confirm what the differences between the menu options are for the VGA vs RGBHV/Component inputs?

    Cheers

    James
     
  13. jont

    jont
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    The RGBHV has a cinema setting setting tha the manual says 'ideal for movies' .... I guess it changes the contrast/brightness/colour/etc to a predefined setting...

    this mode is not available when on a vga input ...

    Hopefully Gordon will be along shortly to explain exactly what 'cinema' does ...

    AFAIK that's the only difference ... what specifically do you want to know what it will/won't do ??

    rgds

    Jon
     
  14. PaddChas

    PaddChas
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    Jon.

    Thanks again. I'm not looking for specific things it will/won't do - I was just curious, after it was raised that the menu options aren't as extensive, what we would be missing out on. If it's just the different presets for contrast/brightness settings then it's no big loss.....?

    Cheers

    James
     
  15. symanski

    symanski
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    Hi All,

    thanks to all for the recomendations for the RGB to Plasma VGA product. It's always good to hear how my customers like the unit, and the feedback is alway very positive. Even today, one chap who'd bought the unit nearly a year ago told me "it's one of the best items I've ever bought" - he was phoning to ask if I knew of a solution to wirelessly connect RGB to a different room.

    As for the Panasonic locking in a zoom mode with S-Video, I came up with an external fix for that too. I've supplied only one person with the solution and posted the results to the AVS forum in the US. Essentially, A/V amps remove the DC offset that causing the zoom lock. So, I built an adaptor lead which would also block the DC offset.

    I'm enclosing the circuit details, if you know anybody technical or a local dealer should be able to build such a lead for you if you require. If not, please get in touch. And with this solution you don't have to modify your plasma screen!

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     

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