Syncblaster or JS Converter?

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
I know that you get what you pay for, but it would be stupid of me not to ask.

I need to convert from my Sky+ box to RGB or Component.

The obvious choice is the JS converters. There is no doubt that they give the best solution and I have never heard a bad word said about them.

But the Syncblaster (Available from Keene) is half the price and on paper they do the same job (i.e connect RGB devices to a Plasma), but how good are they.

Again, there is no doubt that the JS Converter is the best choice, but does the Syncblaster even come close??
 

JamesTapp

Standard Member
Jon,

I am about a fortnight into the plasma experience, and I ordered everything at the same time (Internet and posted cheque to John). John's RGB to Component box arrived first, and when I examined it I was very pleased with the build quality.

The box does its job effectively, and I can't fault the picture even from the lower bandwidth channels on NTL.

I have no lipsync issues, and because I use Component I have Just mode, although to be honest - I have stayed in 16:9.

I have seen a thread where someone had issues with the SyncBlaster. 911uk started it 17/6.

I decided that there was no point in spending 3k for a plasma and then feeding it a possibly second best source... Guess someone using the Keene syncblaster would be best placed to comment on that though...

Kind Regards,

James
 

jont

Well-known Member
Seems to be a bit 50:50 ... some keene cables work fine, some do not ... problem seems to be the stability of the sync signal from the sat boxes and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer ...

John's boxes seem to be 100:0 in that they always work, irrespective of sat box ...

You pays your money ...
 

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
Fair points.. I had already decided to buy a JS Component converter.. I just wanted to find out whether a could save a few ££ with the Keene box.

Thanks for that.. I will send my order through, as soon as I have it confirmed that my Plasma has arrived!!
 

tman

Well-known Member
I use the Keene Syncblaster to connect my (current) digi box to my Panny PW4 (SCART to VGA), and I am very impressed with it. Picture is very good and stable. I haven't noticed any lip-sync problems either.

I did look at the JS boxes first of all, but they are about twice the price of the Keene cable, so syncblaster is was then. I don't regret the purchase at all, although the new JS SCART to Component box does look very nice.
 

symanski

Active Member
Keene are a quite competent company. But I know my product, and the process it went through to be as good as it is.

Initially, I did look at the more commercial quality, and cheaper, parts for the circuit. There is a prototype which uses these commercial quality parts. The results were ok, but not perfect. And if you've spent several thousand pounds on a plasma screen, "ok" is not good enough.

That's why the RGB to Plasma VGA unit uses a broadcast quality device, with computer enhancements. There is nothing that comes close to the accuracy of the unit, especially when Macrovision copy protection is on the source.

Why is broadcast quality so important? Your screen is having to process each line, and if there is any jitter this adds noise in to the system, limiting the screens effectiveness at displaying the source material. Therefore, accuracy helps to keep the output faithful to the source. You need 50% sync splicing and an effective input filter to be as faithfuly as possible.

50% sync splicing is a process where the sync pulse is analysed, and registered at half way down the pulse. At this point, the pulse is travelling at it's fastest and is the optium point to register a transition. Others are level based, and this is not so accurate and easily fooled by noise.

Commercial circuits use a single pole filter on the input, the RGB to Plasma VGA unit has a three pole input filter - three times more effective. This is vital to ensure that interference from any colour carriers is sufficiently suppressed. If not, this can lead to poor accuracy.

Finally, the circuit has true H-Sync output. Exactly as it should be.

Again, I say there is no product anywhere in the world which matches the performance of the Plasma VGA unit using commercial quality parts, especially when using a source with Macrovision.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.
J.S. Technology
 

JamesTapp

Standard Member
Even if I understood that I am sure that I would still be impressed. :D

Hey, call me stupid, but it looks damn fine to me....

James
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Hi John,

Didn't understand a bloody word of it, but it sounds good. From what I have read on this forum your products certainly seem to be superior to any others available.

I have decided to go for a Panny plasma with either a Sony DAVS550 or the DAVS880 which will be connected to the Component inputs.

If I also want to connect say Sky Digital, X-Box and occasionally a Playstation 2 (my sons the X-box is mine ):p which of your boxes would I need? I believe using the VGA input is the best option for this? how would I connect these together? I was also looking at the TiVo, what would I need to connect this?

TIA
Mike
 

symanski

Active Member
Originally posted by JamesTapp
Even if I understood that I am sure that I would still be impressed. :D

Hey, call me stupid, but it looks damn fine to me....

James

Sorry! To describe why it's technically superior, I've got to go a little bit technical! In english, I think the phrase is that it's the dog's..... :D

All the best,

John.
 
A

AlanQ

Guest
Hi All,
I know that retailers should generally keep their nose out of these forums but since we’ve been mentioned a bit I just wanted to set the record straight. The Keene Electronics Syncblaster cables DO use 50% slicing, 3 pole filters and broadcast spec chips, (and all that circuitry is crammed inside the SyncBlaster plug).
Equally, I have nothing bad to say about the JS technology product, it works fine as well……
Regards,
Alan
Keene Electronics
 
L

lpro

Guest
John

I have your RGB _VGA box, however only on the ITV channels do I have lip sync problems, is there any way I can resolve this.
 
M

markbuffyfan

Guest
ok I have a keane electronics synblaster cable connecting my ntl cable box to a 50 inch plasma and before i got it the lipsync etc was horrible when using a converged rgb to svhs out of a dmr 30.

The build quality on the cable is superb and is on a par with the xios in the rest of my system .I am very happy with the result i get from it.!!!

I like the js users have not looked at the other option because u only need one of them and im sure the js is an excellent box .
The synblaster replaces two cables and the js box so in the vfm stakes at £75 (mine was provided free by panasonic) its a steal compared to some custom cables at say £40 each and the box.

would i trade it for a js box if i belived the picture would be better ? darn right i would , and if an independant test showed it was better i would willingly pay the addtional money.

lets hope some mah or user on here with loads of dosh buys both and then lets us know.
 

symanski

Active Member
Ipro:
Lip sync is a problem with the broadcaster, but is made wrose by the processing of video by the screen. Effectively there is a threshold that you have, and you're just over it.

mikeq:
XBoxes are rather good, aren't they?
If you get the TiVo, you can connect up Sky and the XBox (with the Advanced SCART cable) through this. The output would be RGB, which can be routed through the Plasma VGA to the VGA input of the screen.

AlanQ:
We really should talk trade terms. Afterall, there's no point in you having to re-invent the wheel everytime! I've not looked at your syncblaster product, but I know you're quite competent from seeing some of your other products, certainly superior to another supplier. Ideed, I've directed several persons to yourself for a variety of solutions. However, I know what features my design has, and I believe that it is the very best.

All the best,

Dr John Sim.
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Originally posted by symanski
mikeq:
XBoxes are rather good, aren't they?
If you get the TiVo, you can connect up Sky and the XBox (with the Advanced SCART cable) through this. The output would be RGB, which can be routed through the Plasma VGA to the VGA input of the screen.

XBoxes are excellent, once I'm in my new house in Dunfermline and had ADSL installed I'll be giving X-Box Live a bash.

So do I only need a SCART to VGA converter box from yourself? Does the PS2 have a similar output option as the XBox?

Mike
 

jont

Well-known Member
Yes you can get RGB out of the PS2 - either on phono leads or via scart ... I've got mine looped through my sky+ box into a JS RGB>VGA converter and on to the plasma ... and the optical out into the arcam amp !! stunning game play :)
 

symanski

Active Member
Originally posted by mikeq
XBoxes are excellent, once I'm in my new house in Dunfermline and had ADSL installed I'll be giving X-Box Live a bash.

So do I only need a SCART to VGA converter box from yourself? Does the PS2 have a similar output option as the XBox?

Mike

When you get XBox Live up and running prepare for Dr Sim and Dr Shields to visit! We'll bring pizza (from Little Italy on Byres Road).

I think the PS-2 is the same as the XBox's advanced SCART lead. At the end of the XBox lead you have a SCART plug, which goes into the front of the Plasma VGA unit. As simple as that.

An alternative is to loop through from Sky's VCR input, but if you want to keep the VCR connected this does pose a problem. As a side note, the VCR output should go direct to the screen and not through a Plamsa VGA unit as they don't output RGB.

All the best,

John.
 

dazzer123

Active Member
Ihave both j.s box vga and kenne syncblaster both work very well indeed js vga box
to rgb in with sync on hv and keene upto pc in both work very well
i have also used j.s rgb to component converter and also that is a good product cant fault any of them.
 
F

foxmeister

Guest
Mark or Alan (or anyone else for that matter), in your opinion what cable, adaptor etc. would give the best results if I was to use it to connect my Panasonic Sky Digibox (Scart out) to Hitachi 42" Plasma (S-Video in) ??
Thanks very much ....
Didn't know anything about Keene Electronics until now, I'm looking at the site with interest !!
I was thinking of ordering the QED Scart to S-Video lead (£70), would I get good results from this ??
 
M

mikeq

Guest
Pizza:D I'll let you know. House was on schedule to be finished mid/end January and the roof tiles were due to go on this week, but with all this bloody rain aaarrgggh nightmare:mad:

At the end of the XBox lead you have a SCART plug, which goes into the front of the Plasma VGA unit.
right so its the standard cable that comes with the XBox, I was thinking I had to go buy a new 'advanced' cable:blush:

Okay, I think I'm getting there with all of this, I hope. I wont have a VCR (but if I did it would go to either the Composite or the S-Video)

Now if I get a TiVo I can get 1 of your Plasma VGA units I can do this


What if I don't have a TiVo?
 

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Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
Just had a look on the Keene web site and cant find ANY info about the Syncblaster cables.

Can someone confirm if there is a 'Component' version available?

I know that I should be willing to spend what ever it costs, but if the Syncblaster can do a similar job to the JS one, for 1/2 the price, its got to be considered.. Plus.. There is no need to buy a component (3phono) cable either.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Foxmeister - if I understand your question correctly the answer is YES the QED SQART cables are very good (we supply them whenever we require a SCART cable) but it won't give you S-Video out on a standard SKY Digibox.

The SKY box outputs Composite video or RGB video (with SYNC on Composite) from its TV SCART connector.

The options then (as discussed in this thread) being to use an external signals converter between the Digibox and your AV amp or display device. I favour the JS Technology boxes because we know they work very effectively and Dr John is always on hand whenever we come across a 'non standard' system and need some assistance in getting everything to work correctly.

The three options John offers are:

RGB to S-Video
RGB to Component video
RGB to Plasma VGA

All three require an input and an output cable and a mains socket to take a standard 13 amp plug top as they are mains powered to maintain signal quality.

Best regards

Joe
 

symanski

Active Member
Originally posted by mikeq
right so its the standard cable that comes with the XBox, I was thinking I had to go buy a new 'advanced' cable:blush:

Now if I get a TiVo I can get 1 of your Plasma VGA units I can do this

What if I don't have a TiVo?

You connection diagram is spot on - exactly how to connect up the three devices. TiVo is excellent if you want to connect two RGB sources in.

XBox does require the Advanced SCART lead. You can get the one from Microsoft or an alternative from Joytek. I've got the former, but a friend the later. Both are excellent.

If you don't have a TiVo, and you have no need for the VCR connection on Sky, you may be able to cascade the RGB through the Sky Digibox.

I'll book the pizza.

All the best,

John.
 
P

pauld

Guest
Well I have just bought a Syncblaster Scart(RGB) to SVGA in a 3mtr length and will use this to connect my Sony DVD player to my Plasma TH-42PWD4. As far as I am aware this will not allow 'Just' mode but this doesn't matter anyway as all my DVD's are widescreen 16:9 anyway .

As I haven't installed the plasma yet, can anyone confirm my suspicions about the lack of 'Just' mode and can anyone see a problem with that remembering that all my DVD's are 16:9 anyway. Any help and advice would be appreciated.
 

Jon Weaver

Distinguished Member
You are right.. 'Just' mode in conjunction with a DVD is pointless.

'Just' is only useful for manipulating 4:3 footage so that it fits best onto a 16:9 screen.

if the source material is 16:9 (or more) in the first place, you want to leave 'Just' well alone.

Infact, for a DVD player, it would be benifical to use the component inputs as you will have less screen modes to choose from, when all you need is 'wide' (or what ever Panasonic call it).
 

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