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Transcoders - need some help

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by neoglow, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. neoglow

    neoglow
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    Hi, I've found it quite difficult finding a solid answer to buying the right transcoder and want to get good advice before I shell out money for one.
    Heres my question,
    I have a PS2 console and want to connect it to a TFT PC monitor to play games. I have found a number of items that are geared towards TFT / console connection, but most seem to mention the Xbox more than others. The ones I have found are these...

    JS technology RGB>VGA converter
    Iscan ultra
    Vdigi VD-Z3
    X-Select D4 and D-Terminal
    Lumagen
    SweetSpot Video Processor

    There are many more Im sure but Im told buying a box that simply changes the signal to VGA is not enough, to sustain quality a transcoder is needed.

    Can anyone give me some advice from experience or point me in the right direction? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks, Mark.
     
  2. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    If it's a small monitor and you're just after getting it to do TV stuff and play PS2 then something like the little Avermedia tuner boxes are perfect. They've got svhs and component inputs and send out XGA or SXGA output iirc. Prob pick one up for about £100-£150.

    JS Tech box will split an RGB signal into RGBHV, but not scale it to a signal the screen understands. IScan Ultra will give you a wonderful progressive scan image, but still nothing the screen will understand. Lumagen and sweetspot will be overkill IMO.
     
  3. franc

    franc
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    HI. I have succesfully used a budget transcoder to play Gamecube/xbox/DVD on a crt monitor and a Panasonic plasma. The only problem I can see is the frequency range of the monitor. Most monitors won't work with a standard signal which is around 15hz. Most start at around 30hz and up. This is around what a VGA signal is.
    All the sources I tried were outputting progressive scan mode (US/Jap Gamecube/XBOX running PS through the official Component cable: DVd player running PS through Component output) The signals are sent to the transcoder and from there to the screen via a standard 15D monitor cable. The image was very nice with lots of razer-sharp detail.
    As far as I know, there are few PS2 games that support PS. Being the case, I would suggest something like a Iscan pro (which I have too) to deinterlace the signal which should take it to a frequency the monitor will recognise. That said, the picture with the Iscan was noticeably softer than the cheap transcoder which was a revelation.
    I hope this is helpful. Some of the technical stuff others can tidy up but it should be more or less correct.

    Regards FRANC
     
  4. neoglow

    neoglow
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    Hi guys, thanks for the replies. The monitor I have is an AOC 17" TFT with only a VGA connection, No DVI. So the games themselves have to output Progressive Scan?, but I didnt think the PS2 has progressive scan apart from the new slimline ones. Mine is the original shape. Im still so confused. Im slowly getting a better idea, to help could you explain to me the abbreviations relating to transcoders and the like, such as these...

    what do these mean / stand for...

    iirc
    RGBHV (red, green, blue) - HV?
    480p,720p or 1080i

    and any others there are,

    Many many thanks guys, Mark.
     
  5. franc

    franc
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    Hi again. RGBHV translates to RED/GREEN/BLUE/ HORIZONTAL/VERTICAL. The H&V relates to the synch of the signal, in this case its seperated into Horizontal and Vertical parts. This would require or use a cable with 5 individual connections for each signal. Synch can also be combined with the GREEN signal ('RGsB') known as 'synch on green'. This only requires a cable with 3 connections as the synch signal is carried with the green signal. Lastly and least common is 'composite synch'. This cynch signal is carried on a single cable additional to the three colours: a cable with 4 connecters.

    The numbers you have listed, followed by either a 'P' or an 'i' refer to the signals resolution:
    480p is 480 progressive
    720p is 720 progressive
    1080i is 1080 interlace

    Its origins are based on the US/Japanese NTSC system. Standard NTSC is 480i while the UK and the better part of Europe use PAL which translates as 575i. Therefore, a progressive PAL signal will be 575p. Phew, thats enough about that....

    There are a number of PAL progressive games available in the UK. The original Getaway and maybe Tekken 4 are, but its down to the software. With a ps2 component cable you can output a progressive signal with these games. You need to change the settings in the menu to output component too. I hope this helps!

    regards FRANC
     
  6. neoglow

    neoglow
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    Hi Franc, your help is very much apprieciated. So is progressive scan and component the same thing? I have just discovered that all PS2's have component output, I just checked my PAL PS2 and its confirmed. At the moment the PS2 is connected to my telly, when I switch the PS2 to Component, the screen still shows the picture, but its green. My telly does not support component. However, if I bought one of these...

    http://www.yoho-games.com/PlayStati...w_FREE_PS2_Component_Cable/10296/product.aspx

    http://www.vdigi.com/index.php?option=content&task=blogsection&id=4&Itemid=27

    And connected it to my TFT monitor, Im presuming the picture will be fine considering these units are designed to convert progressive scan / component to a VGA signal. If however the games I am playing on my PS2 are not progessive scan compatible, would they not be viewable at all? Seems crazy to make a unit to convert component to VGA for the PS2 when only a handful of games support it, having said that, as the signal is being converted to VGA would they all work anyway?

    The last thing is regards this link http://www.vdigi.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=55 It says that a PAL>NTSC convertor is needed for a PAL XBOX, do you think this would be the same case for a PS2? (or GC for that matter)

    A big big thankyou to you Franc, you've been a huge help.
    Cheers, Mark.
     
  7. neoglow

    neoglow
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    I think I have answered my own question, the sellers of the VD-Z3 have a forum and the forum is clogged with questions regarding a PS2 and a VGA monitor. The simple answer is yes and no,yes, it will work if the games support progressive scanning and no, if they do not. So the only way to connect a PS2 to a TFT is with a standard (composite) to VGA convertor. The unit you mentioned above - the Iscan Pro - would this take a composite or component signal and convert it to VGA, regardless if the games are progressive scan compatible or not.?
    What would the picture quality be like?

    Thanks Franc,
    Mark.
     
  8. franc

    franc
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    Hi again. Yes, the Iscan Pro does indeed up-convert any interlace signal PAL or NTSC to a Progressive signal (VGA). It has composite, S-Video and component inputs and a 15D monitor output that can be set to RGB or Component. The Iscan is a nice unit and is very easy to use. The deinterlacing is great but it does soften the picture a little. It will do what you want it to and is a relative bargain for what they can be picked up second-hand.
    component and RGB signals are very similar and this is why you can still see a picture, albeit a green one! The transcoder simply adjusts the colour signal to compensate. The units you link to are very similar to the unit I have. If you have the hardware and software that will support it, its a treasure.
    Progressive Scan is simply a component signal that has been deinterlaced.
    Good Luck
    Regards FRANC

    p.s. If I can find the time, I will try out the Iscan Pro I have on my tft screen and see what results.
     
  9. neoglow

    neoglow
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    I think the I-scan is the best path to take then. So I would set the PS2 to component output, the i-scan would correct the signal and display it on a TFT monitor and I could play any game (progressive scan or not) with a relatively good picture? Right? Two things then, can you recommend a good place to buy an I-scan (second hand or new) and if you do gat a chance to test the I-scan on a TFT (preferbly with a PS2 / console if you have one) and I'd be very interested to know the results. Heres my email address to make it easier.
    neoglow@btinternet.com

    Many many many thanks Franc, you've cleared a lot up for me, I did find alternatives earlier called VGA Boxes, I think these just convert a composite signal to VGA, cant imagine the result would be very good but maybe they are.

    Cheers, Mark.
     

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