Newbie Questions


Standard Member
Just got my set up in the living room. Consists of:
1 Pace Sky STB - Scart out
1 Fujitsu 4208 - 1 Composite, 1 S-Vid, 3 Component
1 Denon 3802
1 Sony DVD - S-Vid
1 PS2 - Scart

Set up currently is as follows:
STB - Plasma via Scart Out->Composite In
PS2 - STB via Scart Out->Scart In
DVD - Plasma via S-Vid Out->S-Vid In
All are connected to the amp separately via optical or standard RCA

I want to revise this mainly due to the fact that the picture from the STB is cak.

I've contemplated getting a scart to component converter but there are only three BNC input sockets on the tv and am concerned as most converters seem to have four or five.

I'm interested in video switching as well, get the amp to do all the work.

Really am in the dark though. Can anyone help?


Are you sure the only output you've got on the STB is SCART?

If it is, you may be able to convert it to s-video providing the box supports it. Use a standard SCART to Composite/S-Video adapter but make sure it's an 'out' one or switchable, not an 'in' one.

You'd need to use a switch device to get two s-videos into your plasma. I think some of the Yamaha a/v recievers handle this. Otherwise there are switch boxes available from Maplins.

If you happen to have a 15-pin mini d-sub on the STB then convert that to component RGB.

Good luck!
Unfortunatly, if its a Sky box (as opposed to Sky+), then the old choice of output is Composite or RGB (both within the SCART).

Only the SKy+ box supports S-Video.


Active Member
For you STB, you really need to go via an interface, such as the RGB to Plasma VGA unit I designed. This will then go to the PC input.

Does you DVD player have component video output? Certainly use the amp as a S-Video switch for the PS/2 and DVD if it doesn't have component output.

All the best,

Dr John Sim

And honest question about your converters.

Say I had a RGB device, let say a Sky digibox and had no preference whether I went VGA or Componant, which would give the best performance.

The differences as I see it are:


Con - VGA Cable more complex and expensive and there are few 'home cinema' oriented versions about
Con - VGA input doesn't support 'just' mode


Pro - 3xPhono lead cheaper and there are more 'home cinema' orented interconnects available.
Con - Converter is slightly more expensive.
Con - Componant input 'wasted' on a non-progressive source

Say your choice was based on picture quality alone, which would give the best quality??


Active Member

Plasma VGA:
VGA cables are designed for use in PC and other computers. When using them on a A/V system, you're not really bringing them to their limits. TV rates are upto 8MHz, VGA is well over 100MHz. But some cables are better than others, hence you can opt for VDC leads or even import from in the US. You have the flexiblity to tweak your system.

Some screens don't support the "just" modes on VGA input, but some may. I'm not able to test every screen, so I can't say which would.

The leads aren't always cheaper. And why compromise your system by opting for cheap cables? What's important is to get the right cables for your application.

Component conversion is slightly more expensive. My component converter is based upon the Plasma VGA unit so you get the absolute best sync detection possible (far superior to anything else commercially available). This gives you a very stable output, faithful to the source.

I wouldn't say that component is wasted on a non-progressive source. Your screen will do a certain amount of progressing scan on any input. Component video isn't that different from RGB.

The Best:
For picture quality, RGB to Plasma VGA. For flexiblity, RGB to Component video. Component video is perhaps 98% as sharp as RGB, but you do get to adjust the picture more on your screen. (there isn't any adjustments on the boxes, but your screen may have more options).

However, what's important is what you want from your system. That's why I offer several methods to connect to your screen. I do listen to people like yourself and what requirements you have! Then go and design the solution, without compromising quality just to shave a few pennies.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.
Thanks John,

The decision is an absolute nightmare.. if I go down the VGA route, I leave my Componant input spare and will be able to use to by another 'out of the box' device (i.e Xbox, DVD etc) without the need of any kind of converter.

However, I won't have the 'JUST' mode, which I guess would be good to use for 4:3 sources on Sky.

However, If I go down the componant converter route, I have 'JUST' but will have used up my only usable input.

The VGA input will still be free, but will need another converter from you to make it work (good business for you, but not so good for me).

I want to go down the VGA route, but I also want 'JUST'.

I am going to have to think this one out.

I am sure that I am not the only one in this position, so If anyone has any thoughts or experiences on this subject, I would be interested to hear.

All the best



jon if it helps even with component if you are going to use a progressive scan dvd player you dont get the just option anyway
That isn't really a problem, as you would never (rarely) use 'JUST' on a DVD.

"Just" is only useful when it comes to fitting a 4:3 imagine onto 16:9 screen.

DVD would always be in 'wide'.

I really think that the 'VGA' route is the most practical, but as said before, not having 'just' on Sky is going to be a problem.

How have Sky/Plasma users chosen to connect theirs?

If you went VGA, how do you manage without Just??


to be honest jon never missed it because i never had it, i use the pronto and have set 1 button up to switch aspect.
i went for the vga box because i wanted to keep conponent for dvd player

Thats my thoughts exactly... I want 'just', but then again, I don't want to waste the componant input.

I think its very likely that I will invest in a P.S compatable player at some point.

Plus, if I go down the componant route, it means that the only option for using the VGA input is either a PC (not going to happen) or another J.S converter (good news for John, but not for me).

I think that its best that I forget about 'JUST' and go with VGA.

Then I can buy a new DVD player. And a componant switchable amp.. And a new wife.. But perhaps I should buy the Plasma first.... When will it all stop :)


Active Member
Originally posted by johndj1
Thanks for keeping the thread going chaps. Have one final question.

Been digging around and found this

What's the difference between this and buy one of Dr John's boxes?

Also, if there are three component inputs on my tv, where would the fourth rca go?

If you go down this route, you use the composite and RGBHV inputs on your screen. Then you can't connect anything else to it! If you use my boxes, you can have RGB in via the VGA port, Component (or RGB via a second Plasma VGA unit) and you still have the composite/S-Video input free for your VCR. It allows you to get the best from your screen by having more than one input!

Have you considered an A/V amp which switches component video? This I think would solve you problems.

All the best,

I have considered a new amp.

But when you think that I am about to buy a Plasma, Stand and possibly a new DVD player.. A new amp is going to be hard to justify, when mine already works perfectly well.

Its a shame, as my colleague is selling his THX certified £1000 Denon, but its too much to change all in one go.


Active Member
I understand! I've been considering changing my amp too, but there's some stuff I want before that too!

All the best,



Standard Member
Thanks chaps

Apologies for being dense, this will be my last question (hopefully). I'm very interested in the amp option but having reviewed the sockets at the back of my Denon 3802 I'm worried that I might get schtuk.

Getting the RGB in is not a problem via the composite input but the only component out appears to be reserved for the amps OSD monitor. Is this the case... or could it be the answer to my prayers (fat chance...)

BTW, I'm going to post this on the Amp forum also.



Active Member
Originally posted by johndj1

Getting the RGB in is not a problem via the composite input but the only component out appears to be reserved for the amps OSD monitor. Is this the case... or could it be the answer to my prayers (fat chance...)

BTW, I'm going to post this on the Amp forum also.


RGB and composite are two different things. RGB is for Red, Green, and Blue - which also require a composite line for timing information. This gives you four signals that you need to connect, SCART can takes these. For your amp, it would have to switch SCART. Composite is, well, a composite of all the RGB lines mixed in, and you can't seperate them as well as you'd like to be able.

Not sure about the component output, but I'd hope that the OSD would be on all video outputs.

All the best,


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