How to Connect PC to CRT TV?

Discussion in 'Video Cards and Graphics' started by Elfear, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Elfear

    Elfear VC&G Moderator
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    So I'm trying to put together a little HTPC for my kids and I'm running into issues getting the PC to output good looking video. I've tried an S-Video cable and it looks like butt. Blurry, doesn't scale too well, and outputs black and white when video card drivers are installed.

    I bought a VGA to Component adapter but the TV must not support component over vga because the output was all messed up. I tried a DVI to Component adapter as well and I got the same results.

    According to the specs of the HIS 2600 Pro, the card supports component over DVI (YPrPb component output) and I assume my MSI card would do the same so I'm not sure why the DVI adapter didn't work.

    From what I can tell I am left with a couple options:

    1) Buy an adapter like this.

    2) Use an S-video to composite adapter. I assume that this will look as bad as the plain old S-video cable since the source is still the same.

    3) Possibly a new video card if the YPrPb component output functionality is missing from the MSI 2600Pro I have.

    The old TV I'm using has S-video, composite, and component inputs.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. zagood

    zagood Diamond Member

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  3. Paperdoc

    Paperdoc Golden Member

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    I would try (am going to, actually) the S-video to Component adapter - it's simple and cheap.The difference between the two systems is simply that the S-video system keeps the color signals on one line and the black-and-white (brightness only) signal on another line to keep each a little more precise, whereas Composite combines those two on the transmission line and depends on the TV to separate them inside. Fundamentally, though, those two signals have the same timing, synchronization and resolution, so they should be easy to un-separate. It's not at all the same as translating from three separate analog signals at different horizontal and vertical scan frequencies and resolutions (VGA) to TV standards. Of course, you'll still have to provide separate lines for the two stereo sound channels that accompany the video signal.

    Don't forget that a TV never had the resolution of a computer screen. At best it is comparable to about 640 x 480 pixel resolution (the old original VGA system we haven't used for 2 decades). A TV standard signal is 575 lines high in a frame, but of these only about 525 lines are actually displayed on the screen. In the early days of desktop PC's it was recognized that most TV's could not produce clearly readable text at 80 characters across the screen, which is about 640 pixels across. It's fine for moving things, which is what TV is all about, but it is not ideal for fine detail.
     
  4. Binky

    Binky Diamond Member

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    I'm confused. Do you have an MSI or HIS 2600 pro? You said both. The component adaptors for ATI cards are very specific. If the adaptor you used came from another card (nvidia maybe) then you wont get good results. See if HIS/MSI will sell you an adaptor, or try ebay if you can figure out exactly what adaptor you need.
     
  5. Elfear

    Elfear VC&G Moderator
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    Not a bad idea but the TV I have for the kids now is a 27 incher and I'd rather not get them something too small as they'll be sitting 10-12' away.

    Sorry if I wasn't very clear. I have an MSI card but the only specs related to YPrPb component output functionality I could find were from a HIS 2600 Pro.

    The VGA to Component and DVI to Component adapters I used were generic units from Monoprice. I don't believe ATI makes either of the adapters so I think I'm stuck with some other solutions. I'll give the S-Video to composite adapter a try as Paperdoc suggested. It came with my video card and may work a little better.
     
  6. bigsnyder

    bigsnyder Golden Member

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    ATI makes a specific component adapter that should be compatible with the HD2600. I believe it is a DVI to component. The older style D-Sub to component were for the older Radeon 9700/9800 era cards if my memory is correct. When the correct adapter is used, it should be detected in the video drivers, there is also dip switches to set the max resolution supported by your display. Keep in mind that your TV will probably max out at 1024x768 @ 60Hz, maybe even 640x480. Check your TV documentation for supported input resolutions to be sure (probably listed as 480i, 480p, 720p, and maybe even 1080i).
     
  7. TemjinGold

    TemjinGold Platinum Member

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    Since the OP mentioned CRT, it should be no higher than 640 X 480 and if it's old enough it's probably 512 X 384. This is probably why the S-Video cable "looks like butt." The S-Video to component suggestion will likely fix the black/white issue but I have a feeling it won't look much better than the S-Video cable in the blurry and scaling departments.
     
  8. Insomniator

    Insomniator Diamond Member

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    Old CRT's and PC's just don't mix. Get a new plan...
     
  9. heyheybooboo

    heyheybooboo Diamond Member

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    Assuming you live in the US:

    NTSC standard definition TV resolution is 720x480 4:3 at an interlaced 29.97 frames per second. The Radeon 2600 pro will provide this signal. So ...

    Carefully read your video card manual and determine how to configure the 2600 pro for an NTSC (essentially North American) signal. It may be necessary to reset a jumper pin on the card itself from PAL (the rest of the world) to NTSC.

    Hook up a conventional computer monitor to your kid's PC. Set the screen resolution to 720x480 @ 60Hz. Good luck from there!

    This resolution will look really wacky on the screen because a computer monitor has a 16:10 aspect ratio (as opposed to the 4:3 aspect ratio of NTSC) unless the monitor you use is 8 years or older (then the aspect ratio could be 5:4 or even 4:3!).

    Shut down and connect the TV. There ya go.

    Got all this? You will be tested later :D



     
  10. Elfear

    Elfear VC&G Moderator
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    You are correct. The S-video to composite cable fixed the black and white issue but it still looks like "butt".

    Wish I could but I'm trying to stream Netflix on the cheap so I have to make do with what I have.

    Just to clarify, which adapter are you giving instructions for? The DVI to Component adapter?


    Thanks for the help gents.
     
  11. Binky

    Binky Diamond Member

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    You need a card that natively supports component. Not all ATI cards support this, or they just don't have it enabled by the factory, or you just don't have the right adaptor. Since I'm somewhat lazy, I'd be looking on ebay for a card that came bundled with a component adaptor. Hell, I may even have one in my closet-o-crap. I know I have an older ATI 9600 AGP card, but not sure about PCIe.
     
  12. heyheybooboo

    heyheybooboo Diamond Member

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    It should not matter, depending upon the MSI support of that specific DVI ---> component adapter (which should project a better image than s-video I would think).

    An email to MSI might result in a recommendation as to a third-party adapter and tweaks to help you set up the card config to outpit to an SD TV. I've had good luck with them (but YMMV ...)