Converting scart to something my projector can use

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Zeel, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Zeel

    Zeel
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    Hi there,

    I'm about to buy my first front projector:

    http://benq.com/products/Projector/?product=1055&page=specifications

    It has the following inputs: Analog RBG, HDMI, Composite Video, S-Video and Componenet Video.

    Now, at the moment I have my Sky box, DVD player, hard drive and VCR all connected to a scart switching box and the output from that goes to the TV. This is great. But of course the projector doesn't have a scart input!

    So ideally what I'd like to do is replace the scart output from the box to the TV with something the projector can use. Would that be as simple as buying something like this that, it seems, will convert the scart to component:

    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/PGV379.html

    Is that the best solution, or is there not much point paying £50 for a cable that presumably won't improve the quality since the inputs are still scart?

    Alternatively, would using an adapter and s-video cable work okay? For example:

    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/AD001.html
    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/PGV6609.html

    Half the price, and from what I understand S-video isn't much worse than component. Although the adapter does mention that if you're using the s-video input you need to have an s-video compatible scart socket. Not that I'm sure how you tell if it's compatible... but would this just be on the switching box, or do all the involved scart sockets need to be s-video compatible?


    I'd be happy to change everything to component, but unfortunately only the HDD and DVD player have such outputs. The Sky box and VCR have not. I'm not so bothered about VCR, but I'd need to be able to have the Sky box connected to the projector somehow.

    Sorry for the long post! But if anyone has time to help a beginner out here I'd be very very appreciative.

    Thanks.
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
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    I think you'll need to convert the RGB output on your sources to YpBpR (Component video) using a QED RGB To component converter box (around £60). Those SCART to component cables only work with sources that output a component signal via SCART connection e.g. Topfield PVR. VCR doesn't support RGB so if you really need to convert that to the projector, composite video or S-Video would be the way to go. I use the component output from my DVD recorder to output the Sky signal and it works. Composite video from Sky is terrible. I use a JS Technology RGB SCART buffer to take the single output from my Sky box to both my CRT TV and the DVD Recorder to give me good quality recordings as well. Then all my component sources are switched via an AV receiver. What are you going to use for sound when using the projector?
     
  3. Zeel

    Zeel
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    Thanks very much for the reply.

    I'm glad you asked what I was using for sound - I have a basic AV amp which I'm currently using for surround sound for all sources. It's a Pioneer VSX C100:

    http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/products/archive/VSX-C100-S/index.html

    I haven't really changed anything since I got it, but I've just had a look back there and right now it seems I have all the audio (only, not video) inputs going into it, and out to the speakers. I suppose one possibility might be to connect the video in to the AV amp as well. Although I'm pretty sure my amp doesn't handle component video, using composite instead But uh, I may be wrong.

    Or, if I'm understanding what you've said correctly, would the following be possible and a better idea?:

    Using a component video switch (such as http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/component-video-switch.html for £70):

    Connect the Sky box via Scart to the HDD/DVDR, and have that output via component to the switch.
    Likewise connect the output from the DVD player (I prefer to have a separate player and recorder) via component to the switch.
    Run a component cable from the output of the component switch to the projector.
    Leave the audio cabling pretty much as it is, all going into the AV amp.

    That way I can view output from the HDD/DVDR, DVD player, and Sky box all on the projector, and should get reasonable quality even when watching Sky. The HDD/DVDR and DVD player both have component outputs already, so no conversion needed there I suppose. The VCR I don't really mind leaving unconnected for now as I very rarely use it. I guess it could always be connected via scart to the HDD/DVDR as well.

    The component switch seems a little expensive, especially when you add on the price of several component cables, but I suppose it's worth it to get a good picture. Oh, finally, would you mind me asking if you think there's a huge difference between a fairly cheap component cable and a much higher priced version, such as:

    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/CP003.html for £16
    vs
    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/PGV339.html for £45

    Bearing in mind the projector I'm using (BenQ W500, 1280x720 native resolution and probably around a 60-70" screen size) and the quality of AV amp etc.

    Thank you so much for the answers you've given so far, this is really helping me out a lot.
     
  4. davepuma

    davepuma
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    If it doesn't handle component, I wouldn't use the AV receiver to switch the video if you're thinking of a separate switching unit. I would however, recommend one that does more than just component. Joytech do a couple at around £60, have a look at the 245C and 540C models, they have other connections inc. digital audio. I recently got a Zektor model for work and it works a treat but it was £190 (company was paying obviously) but it's built like a tank and it's compatible with the wii (which was one of the main reasons for getting it).

    See above recommendation for Joytech or look at lektropacks and Keene electronics etc. I haven't heard of anyone using the one you quoted but it looks a bit cheap (I might be wrong but I've had experience of cheap non branded switching units/converting boxes and they're not worth bothering with).

    That sounds fine, I take it the gear is being permanently rigged to the projector and not connected to a TV? If it is and you wanted a permanent arrangement (maintaining the best pic quality) that you didn't have to constantly connect/disconnect cables to switch between std TV and projector, then you will need some form of buffer output to output to 2 displays. That's why I use the JS-Tech SCART buffer to output RGB to 2 inputs from my sky box as composite via sky on a large screen really is terrible. I should really upgrade to Sky HD but until they drop the prices.....

    TBH, I have used various component cables in my system and I can't spot any difference between any of them. I recently installed the 10m one you linked to above from tvcables between the Zektor switching unit (see above) at work through the ceiling to a sony 720p projector and the pic is great and I doubt it would be improved via a more expensive cable (IMHO). Cable Universe also do a cheap component cable (which I use in my own system and am perfectly happy with) at around £12 or so. I also bought a 1m component cable from currys for £10 (JVC) because I needed it there and then for my bedroom set and there is no difference pic quality wise between it and the others (ranging from Ixos to Supra) in my system. Ixos do some nice ones that don't cost the earth if you don't mind spending a bit more or check out Profigold as their cables are always well builts and offer good quality for not much money. There are also the powerbuys above (I can vouch for Mark Grant cables as I have a few in my system).

    No probs.
     
  5. Zeel

    Zeel
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    Great! The Joytech 245C seems a lot better than the unbranded component only switch that I cited, and is pretty much the same price. I think I'll definitely go for that. I really appreciate the advice here - saving me a lot of hassle and some money too!

    Likewise with the cables, I'll just go for reasonable quality just now. Thanks for the information there.

    Oh and sorry yes I should have mentioned that the projector will be entirely replacing my CRT TV, so it'll be the only thing that I'm viewing anything on with this gear. The TV will be moved to a different room. That being the case, the only thing I'm a little unclear on is how my Sky box would be best connected up. It's just regular Freesat, no HD etc. Am I correct in thinking that since the signal is only ever going to one device (i.e. the projector) I wouldn't need a scart buffer of any sort? As far as I can tell, those are to (nearly) flawlessly split the input signal in two to direct to, for example, a TV and projector. So in my case I'd still get reasonable quality Sky viewing just going with scart from the Sky box to another device (DVDR for example) and then output from there via component. Or is there much I could do to up the quality of the Sky above that?

    I think that's about it for questions from me anyway. I really can't say thank you enough - it's great to be able to get good advice on something you don't know too much about yourself.
     
  6. davepuma

    davepuma
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    If the sky box is only going to one display source, you could either run it via the DVD recorder (from Sky RGB socket) providing the DVD recorder does RGB passthrough (most do). Alternatively, buy the QED RGB SCART to component converter and run it via the switchbox (component). Obviously running it via the DVD recorder might have lip sync issues but these can usually be compensated via the AV receiver. RGB and Component (YpBpr) are much and such the same pic quality wise but if you find that the pic quality isn't what you had hoped, I'm afraid the only option after that is HD but then you'll only get HD on the HD channels. SD will probably look exactly the same although I've heard some people say the HD box improves certain channels. However, there are a lot of narrow bandwidth (poor pic quality) channels on sky that look terribe on any display. Just look at any football on ITV to see the diffference between a good quality broadcast like BBC or Sky and a poor one like ITV.
     
  7. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Zeel

    Assuming you go with SKY > DVD-R and let the DVD-R undertake the required RGB to YUV (Component) conversion then all you require is a 2x1 Component Switch - the JS Technology 'Master Component Controller' is the one to consider - see http://www.js-technology.com/produc...id=49&osCsid=a384584b700efd80da9ab384f48f15f7

    Partner that with cabling by VanDamme and you'll get no signal degradation due to the Switch or Cables.

    Joe
     
  8. Zeel

    Zeel
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    Great! Thanks for the tips guys. I think it's all making sense to me now. :)
     

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