[ale] pc to TV converter

krwatson at cc.gatech.edu krwatson at cc.gatech.edu
Tue Jan 13 17:49:28 EST 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org] On Behalf Of Brian
> Pitts
> Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 17:14
> To: ale at ale.org
> Subject: Re: [ale] pc to TV converter
> On Tue, 2009-01-13 at 13:29 -0500, krwatson at cc.gatech.edu wrote:
> > I need to connect a PC to an analog (NTSC) TV. I've done some searches
> and they seem to range from $39.00 to $100.00 dollars on the low end and
> $250.00 to $650.00 on the high end.
> What kind of outputs does your PC have and what kind of inputs does your
> TV have? E.G. if your PC has DVI and your TV takes HDMI buy a DVI to
> HDMI adapter.
> > Now that I can control my digital to analog converter box with a serial
> port this is the last piece I need for my MythTV DVR.
> I was tempted to get a converter box and do something similar until I
> found out that all the boxes eligible for the coupon downsample the HD
> broadcast signal to SD.
> -Brian
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> Ale at ale.org
> http://mail.ale.org/mailman/listinfo/ale

I have a Tivax STB-T8. It receives ATSC and converts it to NTSC. I need a computer to control the Tivax via its serial port so I could switch channels when I record with my VCR.

I have an Athalon 1800+ system with 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive in between tasks and a BT848 based video capture card. So I got the idea of loading MythTV on the PC and retiring the VCR. The only problem is that the PC doesn't have TV out. Other than the Tivax (which I had to get anyway) this hasn't cost me anything. My NTSC TV had RF, composite video (RCA), audio (RCA), and S-Video inputs.

This leaves me with a few options, I can buy a video card with S-Video or composite output or I can use an external PC (VGA/SVGA/XVGA) to S-Video/Composite converter. The PC already has built in audio. The advantage of the external PC to TV converter is that it can also be used to connect laptops/PCs to the TV that don't support S-Video/Composite out (I run into this problem regularly).

The problem is finding a good converter. Every body claims theirs is the best from $39.00 to $650.00. This means either the high end ones are a rip off or the cheap ones aren't worth the plastic their case is made of.

So far I haven't found any good reviews. The user reviews complain that they can't read the text on the TV when they are running 1024x768. No kidding at best TV is 400 lines of resolution (on a good day with a tail wind and a comb filter) so even 640x480 would be unreadable. This means the user just doesn't understand the technology so their review is not worth much.

Someone told me today about a PC Magazine review of multiple brands but the site is for video capture and not video output conversion.



Keith R. Watson                        Georgia Institute of Technology
Systems Support Specialist IV          College of Computing
keith.watson at cc.gatech.edu             801 Atlantic Drive NW
(404) 385-7401                         Atlanta, GA  30332-0280

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