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PW6 - Syncblaster, JS converters question.

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Planet__, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Planet__

    Planet__
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    Hello again :hiya:

    Been away for a while since I was last hooked and got my system over a year ago, and I'm back for some more advice! I now I want to connect a Philips SL400i to my PW6 42" and looking for the best way to do it.

    The US version of the SL400i is component YUV prog scan, but the euro version available to us laggers is the scart RGB version. Now, the boards I put into my PW6 are two component boards and an additional VGA. Sky+ is in one of the VGA ports via a syncblaster cable, dvd player (757ai) in one component and PS2 in the other component. The remaining VGA is redundant since my testing with a pc (music server) and the PW6 wasn't as good as I hoped (lack of resolution, PITA to use etc).

    I have a few options:
    1. get another syncblaster cable and connect the sl400i from scart to vga.
    2. get a JS Tech RGB to component converter and use it for sky+, while the existing syncblaster can be used for the sl400i to vga. Means the component sky and ps2 will have to be switched through the av amp (ax5i).
    3. get a JS Tech RGB to VGA converter V2 for either sky or sl400i, or both if it's a marked improvement over the syncblaster cable.

    Picture quality from sky is paramount here, but I've been more than happy with the quality using the syncblaster - but any improvement gain would be gladly welcome. The readibility and picture stability with the sl400i is also important.

    What would you guys think is the better option? Any difference to be had between the syncblaster vga, js RGB-YUV and js RGB-VGA when used with sky+ and a pw6?

    Is there anything I've missed?

    Thanks,

    Alan
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    PW6 VGA can accept component as can additional VGA so you can go RGB>JS RGB>VGA box int o VGA or JS RGB>YUV box into VGA (need a 3/5 RCA to D-sub lead)
     
  3. nobbydog

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    For what its worth I tested a syncblaster and JS RGB/VGA alongside each other (other than the time it took to swap cables) and the JS won hands down, if anything the colours with the JS were too rich, but overall a much better picture.
     
  4. Nick_T

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    Interesting... I don't suppose you compared with a direct connection as well did you? As in using a SCART > RGB-S (4 RCA cables) lead to connect the RGB signals to the normal component video inputs and the SYNC (taken from composite) connected to the HV connector (this is on the dual slot terminal board). This works if you change the SYNC setting on the plasma to VBS. I have yet to hear from anyone who has even comented on this signal, from my first impressions it looks excellent, but I haven't seen a JS box to compare it with.
     
  5. Likvid

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    If buying the JS converter, what option is best to go for? the component or RGBHV converter?

    The component converter seems higher priced than the RGBHV version.

    Which one would get better PQ?
     
  6. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    From what I understand from similar questions I have asked myself is that the RGBHV converter would be best.

    The component converter is more expensive because it has to do a far more complex convertion on the signal, where as the RGBHV converter only needs to convert the SYNC signal (the RGB signal is passed through without being altered as far as I understand).

    This is how I understand it anyway.
     
  7. stevelup

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    Hi

    I have often wondered about this...

    If the RGB signal is passed without modification on the JS unit, then it is impossible for the image quality to be different than when using a Syncblaster cable.

    This suggests that the JS unit is fettling with the picture in some way?

    Steve
     
  8. Planet__

    Planet__
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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    It looks like a fight out between syncblaster, js RGB-YUV and the js RGB-VGA. If I get a js RGB-VGA then compare it to the syncblaster; by connecting each into vga port (cause there are two) and just plugging them into the sky box scart con, one at a time obviously, and test the image quality.

    As nobbydog says, there is a marked improvement over the syncblaster with the js RGB-VGA, albeit overly rich colours (which could be adjusted on the pw6 i'd imagine). Horneydragons suggestion of using the js RGB-VGA and component to vga cable is a good one, the balance being the cost of the cables, no amp switching and still obtaining component output.

    Nick-T, I can't try what you suggested as I don't have a dual slot board in my panny. But your explaination of the difference between the two js converters seems plausable. My mind is now on the same thought-train as stevelup, what 'fettling' does the js RGB-YUV do, and does it improve things? It's only slightly dearer than the VGA version.

    Do you think JS would let me buy both types of converter to test, and return whichever I didn't need? I'll give both converters a shootout and post my findings!
     
  9. Nick_T

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    I would be interested in the results Planet.

    I have since found that the method I wanted to use using a SCART > RGBS cable doesn't actually work without boosting the SYNC somehow (as my cheap Joytech AV Control Centre seems to do!). See my post here for more detail: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1436337.

    I'm now going towards the JS-Tech RGB > VGA box as it seems to be a "more pure signal" than the component signal and it solves the problem of poor SYNC coming from the SCART that I have experienced when trying to go the SCART > RGB-S route.
     
  10. Planet__

    Planet__
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    I'll let you know Nick!

    I'm going to speak to JS Tech tomorrow and order a RGB-YUV and a RGB-VGA converters, and hopefully they should arrive before the weekend for testing.

    Things to be tested:
    - Sky+ with RGB-YUV (direct and switched through av amp but shouldn't be any difference here at all)
    - Sky+ with RGB-VGA,
    - Sky+ with syncblaster which is my set datum.

    Then:
    - SL400i with syncblaster,
    - SL400i with RGB-YUV (again, direct and switched through av amp),
    - SL400i with RGB-VGA.

    Got a busy weekend ahead!
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    not it is down to how well you srip the sync signal apart and the JS box uses some snazzy kit....Sync blaster is a cheaper unit with cheaper components
     
  12. stevelup

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    There is no way that the sync separator can affect the colour balance or colour intensity.

    *IF* the JS box has brighter / more saturated colours than the Syncblaster cable then it is modifying the analogue RGB signals in some way.

    I'm not for one minute doubting that the sync separator in the JS box is much more clever than the simple passive device in the Syncblaster. What I'm questioning is - what else does the JS box do.

    If it does pass the RGB signal through without modification then the increased colour intensity which has been reported must purely be a placebo effect.

    Steve
     
  13. Planet__

    Planet__
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    After speaking to the bloke at JS Tech I've decided not to bother with the RGB-YUV converter. He says better quality will be obtained from the VGA converter - this surprised me. It's what he uses on his panny. They wouldn't allow me to test any converters and return them for a different type if I found one to be better. So ordered two RGB-VGA converters.

    There is a saving to be made, since I don't have to buy more component cables and I don't have to do any source switching with the av amp. All my components will be direct to the plasma, meaning I can PiP between them all, which I do use. If only the panny could split the screen in four so I could see all inputs at once! Would look cool, but utterly useless!

    One thing about JS Tech, they only accept payment by Paypal which is a real pain with it's unverified monthly limit. So ordered it from www.letsautomate.com. Slightly dearer, but their cables were cheaper.

    Wired:

    Slot 0 - VGA--------JS RGB/VGA Converter-----------Sky+
    Slot 1 - Component----------------------------------DVD
    Slot 2 - Component----------------------------------PS2
    Slot 3 - VGA--------JS RGB/VGA Converter-----------SL400i
     
  14. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    That confirms what I have been let to believe with the Js Tech boxes. I think I will go for the VGA one as well but will probably get it from AV-Sales.

    I'm still deciding how I will connect the VGA to the screen, I have the dual slot component/composite board for the Panny plasma so I have the option of using a VGA > RGBHV cable but I could use the VGA input. Not sure which would be best quality if any difference at all. I was going to use the VGA input for my PC, so I could buy another VGA terminal board and use this, or buy another component board for my DVD player and Xbox (through amp) and use my current component/composite board.

    I'm slowly narrowing down the options :)
     
  15. Planet__

    Planet__
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    Thats the problem, if you can call it that, you have so many options with the pannys!

    I really wanted to test the difference between the two converters, but the option I chose was almost £100 cheaper (less cables) and a bit more versatile. I forgot about AV-Sales, dammit!

    I found using a pc with the panny a bit of a pain. The resolution is too low IMHO, webpages and outlook a nightmare with only 250 very large pixels vertical truly available when you consider toolbars etc. Scaling it to another resolution made the text very poor. Mind you, Half Life 2 and Doom 3 rocked when running the right rez and AA & AF! Playing pc games in the livingroom is a rare thing, that's ps2 domain. I primarily wanted a pc connected to the panny to be a music server, but the difficulty of use and noise of the pc changed my mind, hence the reason for the SL400i. Windows MCE and a modified Xbox would do the job too, but are noisey ugly bits of hardware, unless you get a mega-dear Hush pc. Good luck with it!
     
  16. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    So many options it has done my head in!

    It would be nice to test both converters but I suppose you would ideally need to find a local re-seller to be able to this, and even then you probably would need to pay for both. I have found that both Seven Oaks and Audio File in Cambridge do the JS Boxes, but I would rather go to AV-Sales. But on what I have read on here and on the JS-Tech site I think I am pretty much content on going for the VGA box. The problem I have now is how much to spend on cables! You can spend a fortune but is it worth it for just a SKY+ signal? Using VGA it is tempting to use the hundreds of various VGA cables I have about (work with PC's) but I suppose this wouldn't do the JS box justice.

    The reason for PC connection to the plasma is much the same as you, for a music server (Windows MCE). I also have a projector which I have been using as my main TV up until now which displays some very good and useable PC resolutions (as you say Half Life 2 and Doom 3 are excellent on it in widescreen through my home cinema amp as well :) ). I agree about the Panny not being high enough resolution for normal PC use though.

    I have a chipped Xbox (no, not the best looking of AV equipment it has to be said) with a Hi-Def kit which I am yet to try on the panny, but works excellently with the Projector. I can use this as a Media Centre if I wish and play music across my home network.

    I suppose the PC connection was more of a nice little gimmicky feature which I can do without and when I do want it changing connections wont be a problem.

    Let me know how you get on with the JS box, I hope to purchase one very soon!
     
  17. Planet__

    Planet__
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    It may do your head in at the mo', but when your system is running at the best it can be, your head will be in the clouds! Just don't look for problems! Like I said at the begining of the thread I was happy with my setup for over a year until I got so fed up loading cd's into the dvd player.

    As for cables, I plumped for a Thor scart and a VDC VGA cable. I only got one of each so I can compare it to the ones I already have. No need to spend more if they are just the same, but if there are marked improvements with the new ones I'll get some more. But I dare not open the can of worms that is cables!

    I'll let you know how i got on!
     
  18. Planet__

    Planet__
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    Just as an update of my messing around!

    The JS RBG - VGA converter is a marked improvement over the syncblaster cable, wish I had done it sooner! What are the differences? This is odd, but white is err, whiter, brighter or cleaner if you like. The contrast is also a lot better. I notice it more on images that white reflections or chronas. How can I describe it? You know when the light reflects of peoples bald heads and you get highlights lol! Well they're just sharper! The picture in general is sharper, more detailed. With the white being brighter I've readjusted my settings to bring it down a little.

    I thought I may be imagining it, a placebo effect if you will, but I tried the syncblaster again afterwards and went straight back to the JS Tech.

    I was wondering, to test both cables at the same time, if this was possible - put the js tech scart into scart 1 of the sky+ box and the vga from it to vga1 on the pw6, and at the same time connect the syncblaster scart to scart 2 of the sky+ box and connect its vga output to the addtional vga port on the display. That way you could (in theory) use PiP to compare both images. I never tried it, I had fecked around with cables too much already! I wonder if it's possible?
     
  19. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Planet and Nick T

    Just in case you guys have missed it there has been pretty much Universal support for the RGB2VGA converter from JS Technology on these Forums for about two years now - its the best tried and tested method out there for your RGB sources.

    If you can forgo a percent or two of sharpness the JS Technology RGB2YUV converter is also very good and gains you colour controls that you loose with RGBHV (the RGB2VGA converter).

    Whilst some have questioned that the RGB2VGA converter is actually doing anything or can make a difference keep in mind your 'Professional' Display is looking for a 1.0v Sync on video - not 0.3v as supplied by most SCART RGB equipped sources.

    Nick T - did you consider using the spare SCART socket on your SKY box as a 'pass through' switch with your new RGB SCART source? You may only require 1 x RGB converter.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  20. Nick_T

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    Planet, cheers for the update on your view of the box. I do not believe that the dual testing you talk about will be possible as SKY+ only outputs an RGB signal on AV-1 (SCART 1) as far as I remember anyway. But you can pass an RGB signal through AV-2 (from a console or something).

    Joe, I pretty much thought that the JS RGB2VGA box was the way to go, I was just playing with the RGB2RGBS option as if this would work I thought it would be just as good, but as you say I found the SYNC was not powerful enough unless passed through my cheap AV Switcher box. The only thing stopping me getting the box at the moment is the functionality of it compared to the JS RGB>YUV box, as if this was used every source I have will output Component video (apart from PC) and this could all be fed through the amp I am planning on getting (Denon 2805) and mean I will have one output which makes things easier as I have a Projector to use as well as the plasma. Although I'm not too fussed about running Sky+ to the projector... I could always use a cheap 10m or so VGA cable for this as it wouldn't be that often it was used.
     
  21. symanski

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    Best to avoid the cheap cables! One of the advantages of our products is that you can choose which cables to use. I don't supply "free" cables with products, because typically that's all they're worth - nothing!

    RGB to Plasma VGA - yes, it's nice what it can do. When I originally designed the unit, I opted on using only the best components that I could get my hands on. If you've spent quite a bit on your system, you want to get the best. That's why it's got true H-Sync output and also had a little computer on board too.

    RGB to Componet is design in a similar way, usinging high quality discrete components. You can opt for a more integrated solution, but when I evaluated those single chip solutions the bandwidth wasn't good enough. No bandwidth means poor picture quality, therefore I designed a high bandwidth design. That's one of reasons why my products give excellent results.

    If you're having difficulty trying to get multiple RGB sources in to the one connector, consider the Master SCART Controller - it won What Video & Widescreen Entertainment's Accessory of the Year award.

    All the best,

    Dr John Sim.
     
  22. Nick_T

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    :thumbsup: Many thanks Dr John

    I do not intent on compromising on cables at all to be honest. I just mentioned the cheap cable for the very long cable run to my projector for the rare times I would want to use my Projector for Sky+. But thinking about this I might as well just stick with my 10m SCART > RGB-S Cable for this and use your RGB>VGA box purely for the Plasma.

    As far as high quality VGA cables go, this is not something I have thought about much before in the PC world. Is the £35 2m Premium VGA lead (the blue one) on your site considered to be the one to go for or would you recommend spending more?
    I am an IT Sys Admin and therefore I have an abundance of VGA cables lying around but I take it the VGA cables which come with PC screens are again not worth anything?

    I only have one RGB SCART source so do not need the Master Scart controller but I have recommended it to people :smashin:
     
  23. Nick_T

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    Actually I just remembered something else...

    I was considering the VGA > RGBHV (5 x BNC) cable route, would this be an improvement over VGA > VGA?
     
  24. Likvid

    Likvid
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    I am going for the RGB2VGA JS Tech now as i can't afford to buy the cable and it doesn't work with RGBs on the Ty-42TM6Y board.

    I would go for the Van Damme VGA - 5 BNC cable.

    It's broadcast quality.
     
  25. symanski

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    OK, several question and I'll try to answer the all.

    1. As long as it's a good quality VGA cable, it should be fine. The cables I sell are monitor cables, just that I've selected them based upon their performance. Some VGA leads used on monitor aren't that great, but since you're in IT you should have access to good quality ones.

    2. VGA or BNC? Something I've been asked before, and one person did do the comparison. From memory, they said the VGA socket was better - but there was very little in it.

    3. No problem with the Master SCART Controller - other people in this thread looks as if they needed extra inputs.

    All the best,

    John.
     
  26. Nick_T

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    Thanks John!

    I think I will go with the VGA>VGA cable then and experiment with the various VGA cables that I have before actually purchasing one. I already have a high quality SCART lead to take the input from SKY+ to the Converter box so all that is left for me to do is to actually by the box! Thanks for the help :)
     

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