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S-video question that hasn't been asked before

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Billilu, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Billilu

    Billilu
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    Well, I looked but I couldn't see an exact parallel to my situation.

    I have a Sony 7700 DVD player, and a giant 36 inch 4:3 Toshiba television. It's coming up for 7 years old, but it's so good and so big, I haven't been able to justify replacing it with a newer widscreen or plasma (yet). In widescreen, it's about equivalent to a 32" TV anyway.

    However, I've always noticed that the colours from my DVD player look a bit muted. Because there are only two Scarts inputs in the back of the TV, the guy who set it up for me four years ago put the scart from the DVD into the Sky box (since upgraded to Sky +), and another scart takes the signal from there into my TV. I should say that my TV isn't compatible with RGB scarts.

    It strikes me, after all these years, that maybe there's a better way. Should I use S-video leads instead to connect the DVD to the TV (both have the correct outputs and inputs)? If so, should I do this via my Pioneer 2011? And if so, why is it better to put the S-video leads through an amplifier/receiver rather than directly from the DVD to the TV?
     
  2. andy572

    andy572
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    Forgive the possibly stupid question, but are you really sure that your Tosh telly can't accept RGB?

    I use a 2939DB, which from your description (i.e. 7 years old) is older than your own TV and this set accepts RGB via 'SCART/AV 1', with AV/s-video on 'SCART/AV 2' and s-video on 'AV 3' (using a front or rear s-video socket).

    From my own experience, the alternative s-video (as you appear to be using composite at present) is most certainly a 'better way' - provided reasonable cabling is used, that is :) I use very cheap cables (by anyone's standards!), but the worst of them certainly exhibit 'faults' in a big way - with colour bleed being the worst artifact. In short, I can recommend s-video as an upgrade to the basic composite picture.

    I do also wonder if you are in fact using RGB? I am not questioning you directly; but your words once again echo the sentiment of others regarding Tosh TVs and RGB. More specifically, the RGB picture has often been described as 'muted' - or words to that effect!

    It is only during the last year that I have experienced prolonged use of alternate sources via my TV and I can say that things appear to depend on each component. Yeah, I know... 'Durrrr'! ;) What I am trying to say is that in my experience, there doesn't seem to be an appropriate 'catch all' summation regarding any one form of input/output - it very much depends on the output of the source, the cable used... etc. What I have seen is that (on my TV) RGB gives a duller, but wonderfully sharp image and natural colours. Composite gives the leased focus image of all and one lacking in detail, but gives a boldness to the image that is missing with RGB (although this can be compensated for via judicious use of the brightness and contrast functions :) ). S-video is the 'half-way house', returning detail (relative to composite) and contrast (relative to RGB), with a reasonably pleasing picture (depending on the source and cabling used).

    Re: use of a receiver, as far as I know, it is merely a matter of convenience - with the receiver acting as nothing but a 'pass-through'. Aside from potentially using fewer remote controls and button presses, I don't believe there is any advantage to using the Pioneer for video.

    I hope at least some of that proves useful, though I expect someone better informed will give the advice and help that you need. Good luck, anyway. :smashin:
     
  3. owenw

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    You should be able to use S-Video (check the manual for the TV to see which SCART socket accepts an S-Video signal).
    The way it's currnetly set-up you are only getting a composite video signal send through the SCART leads. This has the poorest quality of all video connections.

    You should get a good quality S-Video to SCART cable and run it direct to the TV. This will give you a marked improvement in Picture Quality. Running it through the Amp will degrade the signal slightly.

    The only advantage of connecting everything through the Amp is for simpler switching between sources. Let's say you have a Sky digibox with S-Video out (eg. Sky Plus) and the DVD player both connected to the Amp via S-Video. You could switch between Sky and the DVD simply by changing the source on the Amp.
    As there's only one cable to the TV from the Amp you never have to change the AV input to jump between Sky and DVD.

    The only caveat to be aware of with Amp video switching is that not all AV Amps allow you to convert composite video to S-Video. What this means is if you were to plug your VCR (or game console, camcorder etc.) into the Amp using a yellow phono video connector the signal will not be sent down the S-video cable to your TV. Check the manual for your Amp to see if this feature is available.

    To connect from DVD to Amp you will need a S-Video to S-Video
    interconnect cable. You will also need an S-Video to SCART cable to run from the Amp to your TV.

    HTH,
    Owen
     
  4. Kevo

    Kevo
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    More like a 42" WS TV.

    As you are used to a 36" 4:3 TV, height wise a 32" WS TV will look very small, the equivalent of a 25" 4:3 TV.

    I agree with Andy about the RGB. I have a Panasonic 28" TV that is well over 10 years old and has RGB SCART. It too looks a little 'muted' but is still sharper than it's S-Video connection.
     
  5. Billilu

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    Sorry, I made a mistake - I have a Toshiba 3357DB, thus a 33 inch 4:3. What's that equivalent to then?

    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to read through them again slowly and carefully. Perhaps it is RGB then, and it's interesting that others find the colours muted. I really like the picture otherwise, and my old Toshiba does a great job. But won't the colours be diluted further by going through my Sky + box?
     
  6. bxd

    bxd
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    Hi,

    I'd agree with the comments about rgb on these tvs and I'd be surprised if your set didn't have rgb. It probably only has one rgb input but you can get around that with an appropriate scart switcher. Some tv's don't do a great job of handling rgb (e.g. the muted colours) and that may be an issue for you personally if you don't "like" the rgb picture.

    Another slight issue with something like the Sony 7700 is the fact that on a 4:3 tv, the processing involved to produce the 'letterboxed' output (i.e 16:9 on a 4:3 screen) produces a slightly soft picture. In contrast, a Toshiba (of a similar age) will produce a sharper image but one with more motion artifacts due to it's own internal processing. The Sony is still a great interlaced player (I have a Sony 7000) but you should be aware that this 'processing' may have some effect on your overall picture. Try the Sony with a 4:3 movie (e.g. the 4:3 version of Fifth Element) and see how that looks.

    Brian.
     
  7. Kevo

    Kevo
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    A 40" WS TV, which is what I have.

    I used to have a 32" WS but was never happy with the height, especially as a lot of my DVDs are in the 2.35:1 format which makes it look even smaller.
     
  8. BLS

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    A 33" 4:3 TV is only equivalent to a 40" WS if you are watching 4:3 programmes on them!!
    If you're watching a widescreen movie your TV will only be slightly larger than a 28" Widescreen!
     
  9. andy572

    andy572
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    My experience with a few DVD sources (Xbox, PS2 and my present Pioneer DCS-303 :laugh: ) echo your own sentiments, bxd.

    I have found allowing the external hardware to do the processing gives a truly terrible picture - something akin to the camera being slightly out of focus!

    Thankfully, my old telly has a 16:9 button and I am pleased to say that it gives great results with all sources. It's like someone remembered the other half of the picture's lines!:clap:

    Perhaps I should add that I still like an RGB source, whenever it's possible. Although far from perfect, I don't think it's as bad as a lot of on-line reading would have you believe and is worth the 'effort' (and switch-boxes!) for the sharpness and comparitive level of detail alone. If only I could get rid of the transparent wavy lines...:confused:

    Anyone else had that problem?
     
  10. Kevo

    Kevo
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    That's why I said HEIGHT wise.

    People tend to notice the height rather than the width to determine the 'size' of a TV.

    Billilu

    You will be dissapointed in the size of a 32" WS TV.

    Even a 36" will still look on the small size to you.

    Just bear this in mind when purchasing.
     
  11. BLS

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    Yes, but the original post was referring to watching in widescreen. So counting the black bars as part of your height is not a sensible comparison.
     
  12. Billilu

    Billilu
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    I've bought the s-video to s-video leads now. So my next question: if I have s-video connected AND RGB scart connected at the same time, which one is working, ie which one overrides the other?
     
  13. andy572

    andy572
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    If yours is comparable to my telly, then there's no RGB/s-video conflict at the TV end, as the two are on different inputs. Leaving you to once more apply to your own situation, I have two available s-video inputs - one s-vid/composite SCART (AV2), one s-video input (with a front or rear socket being available).

    So, if you have an s-video/composite SCART input, you will probably have to select which signal you choose to utilise. With my TV, this is done by repeatedly pressing the 'MENU' button on the remote control - until a menu that includes the AV2 symbol (with 'S' and 'AV' options) appears. The appropriate signal is then selected by pressing the small + or - keys.

    Hope that applies and helps you. Sorry I can't help with the DVD side of things, though it should be a simple matter of using the appropriate cable and perhaps selecting a different s-video option in the Sony's setup meny, should the picture not be 'spot-on' (this is S1 or S2 on my machine).:smashin:
     

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