HDTV using RGB SCART-VGA cable

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by blackfly, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. blackfly

    blackfly
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    I haven't seen any reference to anyone trying this at all, not many RGB SCART sources output anything except a regular 575i signal, but here goes..

    Background.
    Right now I'm setting up a projector for my Dad, who just got sky digital.
    The projector (Sanyo PLV-Z1) has YPbPr and VGA inputs. Our DVD player (Panasonic SA-HT520) will go to the YPbPr inputs for a 480P picture, and the projector manual advises using an RGB SCART-VGA cable (code: POA-CA-SCART) from our Sky digibox output (VCR routed through SCART on digibox also). The manual states that the RGB SCART will only provide a 575i signal, despite the capability of the VGA port (computer can go right up to 1280x1024, HDTV up to 1080i50 and 1080i60 are also listed for this port in addition to the YPbPr connectors).

    Problem.
    The tricky part comes in with connecting my xBox, NTSC (chipped with switchable PSU and avalaunch dashboard). My games are NTSC, mostly 480p, so I should have little problem - except for my AV pack.
    Anyone familiar with consoles realises that different proprietary cables etc are used depending on your TV equipment. I have the Advanced AV pack for the UK, RGB SCART output. Unfortunately, the xBox only displays the HDTV menu to switch on support for 480p, 720p and 1080i when the HDTV pack is connected to the AV port.
    If I could make my xBox output HDTV despite not having this menu in my dashboard (through lack of correct proprietary "dongle"), does anyone see any reason why I should run into problems running 480p through RGB SCART and into the VGA of the projector?
     
  2. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Blackfly

    Much confusion reigns I fear.

    RGB and YUV are both Component video signals.

    RGB as a rule is only ever Interlaced when output from a SCART socket.

    YUV can be Interlaced or Progressive depending on the capabilities of your source kit.

    HD15(VGA) inputs default to RGBHV (for a PC) which is normally Progressive - some HD15(VGA) Inputs will have an option to switch to RGB+Sync on Composite Video; which is what your RGB enabled SCART source will output (as an Interlaced signal).

    If you have an AV Receiver with YUV switching your best option would be to use an RGB2YUV converter (I recommend the JS Technology converters) to convert the RGB SCART output from your SKY box to YUV and then switch your two YUV sources (SKY + X-Box) via the AV Receiver - you'll have one Interlaced YUV source (SKY) and one Progressive YUV source (X-Box); your projector will work with both signals.

    Keep in mind you'll have to adjust the projector for colour, contrast etc for both Interlaced and Progressive.

    If you don't have an AV Receiver with YUV switching your can add a high quality switch to your set up.

    Your VCR will require a separate Composite (or S-Video cable) as it wont be switched via the SKY box once SKY is set to output RGB.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  3. blackfly

    blackfly
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    A little confusion, on occasion, but not too much.
    I understand YUV is somewhat like svideo when compared to RGB and that there is a lossless conversion formula (can't quote it off my head though)
    I downloaded the pdf docs from http://www.js-technology.com and found interesting info here also http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/compon.htm
    I have pinout info for my projectors VGA socket too.

    The issue I'm testing relates to what you said on the 4th line:
    "RGB as a rule is only ever Interlaced when output from a SCART socket.
    YUV can be Interlaced or Progressive depending on the capabilities of your source kit."
    Are you saying then, that a SCART-VGA cable cannot physically carry a 480P signal, or just that it's not normal?
    For a progressive scan signal there are at least 3 signal paths then, as in YPrPb, but there can be 4 or 5 for separate timing info, as in RGBH/V and RGBHV (not sure if the term RGsB is 4 signals or sync on green?). Is it possible that there are enough pins on a SCART connector to cover this? I just have to ensure that the VGA pins match up with the correct SCART pins. If SCART was carrying a progresive scan signal, would only the RGB pins be in use or would timing info have to be routed to the correct VGA pin? I would have expected that it would be as you said whether interlaced or progressive, RGB with sync on composite.
    Whether the signal is 480/575i, or one of the progressive modes, the front projector I'm using can handle pretty much anything (auto or manual selection).

    Now, as my projector manual states when advising connection of SCART equipment to the VGA socket, only a 575i image can be acheived (because that's all that's typically fed out by equipment with a SCART output).
    I put it to you that a SCART cable can carry a progressive scan signal and output it to a suitable device using the VGA socket, if a capable video source exists with a SCART socket.
    There is no AV receiver, I already explained what there is and how I plan to hook it up. Converting RGB SCART to YUV requires buying electronics, my VGA socket IS RGB and able to accept a signal with a suitable cable.
    The VCR through digibox is fine going to current TV RGB input right now. Are you saying that the digibox will output the VCR SCART signal as S-video through it's RGB output? I'm not sure that would be so, unless the VCR was S-video at source and the digibox merely routed the signal unchanged. Would be nice if the digibox converted to RGB before reaching it's SCART output.
    If the VCR is not an RGB output, but S-video through SCART, I understand your point entirely - VGA socket will not like it (pins all wrong, see pdf at JS Technology). If the VCR outputs an RGB signal however, the digibox should carry it fine. The digibox manual states that both its SCART sockets are full RGB.
    So, my issues are this
    1) Is there some physical limitation in the pin routing and cable material that makes progressive scan over SCART-VGA impossible (I know it's not "normal" and that TV etc will only output 575i anyway, my concern is my xBox output)
    2) Getting my xBox to output progressive scan whilst a SCART AV pack is attached (not really an issue for this forum I feel), possibly RGBH/V signal through SCART to VGA.
     
  4. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello blackfly

    I cant say there's anything inherent in a SCART connector that would preclude it passing a Progressive signal - others may know different.

    Unless I'm mistaken your X-Box will only output a Progressive signal if you purchase the required HD cable set - which outputs Progressive YUV on 3RCA connectors (not Progressive RGB or YUV on SCART) - see http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/highdefinitionavpack.htm

    Your 'seeing' your VCR (most likely Composite video*) via your Digibox on your current set-up (SCART to SCART) because your TV can auto switch to Composite video on its SCART input; the Projector wont do this on its HD15 (VGA) input.
    *Its very rare to find a VCR that Outputs RGB.

    As I see it you have the following Sources and Output signals:

    01. VCR - Composite Video (575i) on SCART
    02. SKY - RGB+Composite sync (575i) on SCART
    03. X-Box - RGB+Composite sync (575i) on SCART or YUV (480P)on 3RCA.
    04. DVD - YUV (480P) on 3RCA*
    *Are all your discs NTSC?

    Now you can try waving a magic wand and getting 01, 02 and 03 into your HD15(VGA) connector on a SCART cable - though I feel your better of looking at the realities and realising you need some way of bringing all of these sources together as a common signal your projector understands.

    There are no magic wands I know of that don't cost a few quid to achieve what your trying to achieve.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  5. blackfly

    blackfly
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    Well, here is the cable I need: http://www.keene.co.uk/pages/cat/11lea/11F.html
    Seems to be wired the way I expected, quite straightforward?

    Ok, point taken about the VCR, I can get a separate S-video or composite cable into the projector for that. Although the Panasonic NV-FS90 we have spare was a pretty high end VCR (I can't find the manual to see if it is RGB), but we could use that instead of the SCART only JVC.
    FYI
    My equipment is as follows:
    1) Sanyo PLV-Z1: YPrPb, HDB15(VGA), S-video, composite video inputs (and 8 pin mini din serial port - no clue about using this one).
    2) Panasonic SC-HT520 DVD/CD 5.1 AIO: RGB SCART/YPrPb 480P out (lots of audio phono ins, but none can be encoded as 5.1 or pro logic 2, only disc).
    3) JVC: SCART
    4) Amstrad Sky digibox: RGB SCART IN & OUT
    5) *ahem* "modified" xbox PAL/NTSC switchable, using RGB SCART. Desiring progressive scan output for 480P content through RGB SCART to HDB15 VGA.

    All our DVD films are PAL region2, are you saying that progressive scan is not possible from these discs? If so, why are there YPrPb jacks labelled 480P on our region2 locked player. Btw, this player is very difficult to unlock too, and I doubt it can handle the new region1 enhanced coding even if unlocked.

    My xbox progressive scan output is my secondary issue, probablly not a suitable topic for this forum and quite controversial too (chipping xbox to switch PAL/NTSC on demand etc). Most of my games are NTSC and 480P.

    If I can tweak my xbox to think the HDTV AV pack is attached, will it then output a YUV signal instead of RGB? If so then the SCART-VGA idea is redundant. I should get on the xbox-scene and talk dashboard design teams into EEPROM tools to fix this PAL region progressive scan problem.

    I saw my first xbox game today labelled as 480P in the PAL region (Prince of Persia2), so progressive scan isn't NTSC specific at least. Although, since PAL xboxes lock out progressive scan even with the HDTV AV pack connected, I'm not sure how ppl are supposed to use PAL 480P games? M$ needs to update xbox dashboard I feel.

    So it seems as though I'm safe with the SCART VGA (now I've sourced it), and can run a VGA extension from it to get the ~12m I need.
    Thank you for pointing out the VCR issue, I'll try it through the SCART VGA first, but it looks like a separate cable to the projectors s-video is needed.
     
  6. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello blackfly

    This could get very long and the video purists will be very upset at us mixing and matching broadcasting standards (NTSC and PAL) with signal type descriptions [480P(60), 576i(50)] :)

    Link - your link doesn't go to a specific cable. If you want a SCART to HD15 cable its easy enough to supply one for you.

    DVD player - your R2 (PAL) discs are not intended to be played back at 480P(60hz).

    If your DVD payer is only capable of Progressive output for NTSC and your forcing it to play all of your discs back at 480P(60) your in for some very soft and juddery looking images from your R2 discs.

    Better to let the player play your R2 discs back at 576i(50) and let your projector convert the Interlaced fields to Progressive frames at 50hz.

    It was fairly common up until about twelve months ago to have a Player that was NTSC Progressive and PAL Interlaced.

    I'm not fully up to speed on X-Box technicalities but do feel your barking up the wrong tree as far as Progressive RGB goes - simply install the X-Box HD cable pack for Progressive YUV output; though again I'm not sure how it works if your discs are encoded at 50Hz and your converting them to 480P(60).

    There's no such thing as 480P PAL - I guess the disc is possibly encoded at 480P(60) and you have the choice of viewing it at 'up scaled' 576i(50) via SCART RGB or 'native' 480P(60) via the HD pack.

    The upshot of all of this is your still going in circles trying to force kit to do something its not designed to do to save you having to buy a switcher - many have tried before and failed.

    So a fairly straightforward working solution is as follows:

    01. SKY RGB SCART to Projector HD15(VGA).
    02. VRC Composite SCART to Projector Composite RCA.
    03. DVD YUV 3RCA to YUV switcher
    04. X-Box (+HD cable pack) YUV 3RCA to YUV switcher
    05. YUV 3RCA switcher to Projector YUV 3RCA

    Pretty simple really.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  7. blackfly

    blackfly
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    Here is that link again: http://www.keene.co.uk/cgi-bin/codesearch.pl?SBB92S
    A lot of interesting cables, although my dad has ordered a 10m from Germany through eBay. Pinouts for the cable are included btw.
    After experimenting with my Xbox and a HiDef AV pack it looks like I'll have to go the YUV route after all, and M$ should be severely told off by all PAL users. It seems that it is actively blocking PAL from geting progressive scan, despite 480P PAL games being available.
    If I switch my xbox from PAL to NTSC, 480P gets disabled, even if it was previously enabled (although 720P and 1080i remained enabled, I have no way to test whether they run in PAL mode). Only thing I can do in PAL mode is enable PAL60.
    For example, the PAL version of Halo runs in 575i if I set my xbox to PAL. If I set my xbox to NTSC I can play the PAL version of Halo at 480P?!
    Obviously my NTSC games all run at 480P as stated on their boxes, if I run them in PAL they play at 480i.

    As for the DVDs, I ran them through XBMC and they looked fine? I'll see if I can get my wife to send some region 1 discs over to test any difference though.
    From what you seem to be saying we have issuse with panasonic if region 2 cannot play back progressive scan, as the unit is clearly progressive scan and very much locked (need a special remote to unlock or new firmware via disc).
    How exactly do I get my projector to convert the input signal? It seems that when I manually select a mode other than the correct input signal, it is eith larger or smaller than the screen size and distorted.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but a switcher won't be needed as this is my Dads setup and the xbox belongs to me. I would value your opinion on a certain Xbox AV pack that claims to include both RGB SCART and YUV outputs, is this possible? More importanlty it has both optical and coax S/PDIF though.
     
  8. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello blackfly

    So the X-Box to Z1 is a Red Herring :)

    You 'only' require your Panasonic DVD player plus SKY Digibox to interface with the Projector; which is straightforward enough.

    I have no experience of the differing X-Box cable packs - the folk in the know do seem to recommend the Official HD kits as the cable to go for.

    Probably best to look in the Gaming Forums for more info on why some games are encoded for PAL60 playback.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  9. blackfly

    blackfly
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    Well not exactly a red herring, just that xbox is not a permanent part of this setup (these days though, what is?).
    Found an interesting page here: http://www.xbox-scene.com/articles/vga-cable.php
    VGA from xbox seems to be a possibility then, and can be home-made from VGA and Xbox SCART cable.
     
  10. blackmanalishi

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    Hello all, interesting thread.

    Anyone know whether the cable referred to by blackfly would work going from my Sky+ box to my PW7 additional VGA slot (with RGB enabled)? The only reason I'm wary of it is because it says it's specifically designed for Sanyo projectors...

    Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  11. Nick_UK

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    The problem with these interlaced->progressive conversion boxes is that unless you pay megabucks for them, you don't get very good results, and what you gain in the progressive conversion you lose elsewhere.

    I have the Zinwell ProV progressive scan convertor, and although it results in much cleaner vertical scanning when used with my Benq projector, the amount of memory used to store the picture information is insufficient, so you get poor grey scales and crushed whites, and have to spend hours finding compromise settings. This unit only costs about £90, so I don't suppose I can expect more. Keene do other progressive convertors - no doubt the more expensive ones work a lot better.
     
  12. blackmanalishi

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    Thanks Nick,

    So does that mean if I don't want to spend megabucks I'd be better off getting a JS RGB 2 VGA box for £100ish and using my native VGA board, freeing up my second slot? I think I'd rather do that if getting a decent SCART to VGA cable is going to be costly or unreliable...

    Oh, and if that's right - anyone got a JS box going begging 2nd hand? :thumbsup:
     
  13. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    It all depends on how much of an improvement that you're going to get from your projector when feeding it with progressive scan. My Benq 6200 suffers from "feathering" on the display near to the bottom of the picture (more noticeable on fast action scenes), probably because it's a 60Hz display device and I'm feeding it from a 50Hz source. Feeding the projector with progressive scan from the Zinwell box stops the feathering, but then I get the problems with grey scale instead. It's all a bit of a trade-off really.
     
  14. blackfly

    blackfly
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    Nick UK
    I think blackmanalishi was refering to the SCART-VGA cable I mention from Keane Electronics (http://www.keene.co.uk/cgi-bin/codesearch.pl?SBB92S), not a VGA box, and £30 is hardly megabucks for a cable?
    I don't think such a cable is suitable for progressive scan, or at least I don't know of a device that outputs a progressive scan signal from a SCART socket?
    My sanyo PLVZ1 manual suggests that cable for connecting SCART equipment to the projector, but makes it clear that it will only be a 575i signal. You actually have to set the VGA input to RGB SCART mode through the menu when using that cable as well, don't know if your projector supports this?
    I think the cable is commonly called RGBs (composite sync, or sync on green, not sure which).
     
  15. blackmanalishi

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    Thanks guys, yes I was referring to the cable.

    I spoke to Keene and apparently it's very uncommon for that cable to work on anything other than the Sanyo projector due to a number of reasons (most of which I can't remember as I spoke to them yesterday).

    However they did recommend the SyncBlaster cable as an alternative - twice the price but should at least work. Think I'll just for the JS Box instead as I've managed to bag one for a little more than the cost of the SyncBlaster and means I can use the native VGA port instead...

    Thanks both
     

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