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Windows 7: Hardware for Analog TV questions

11 Apr 2012   #1

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Hardware for Analog TV questions

I am building a HTPC (Win 7 Home x64, Gigabyte A75M-D2H mb w/ integrated video, AMD A6-3500 2.1Ghz CPU, 2 Ghz DDR which I will probably upgrade to 4) to use with an analog TV which supports Coax, Composite, S-Video, and Component (YPbPr) video.

I am currently outputting component video via the VGA port and a KWorld PCTV1600 PC to TV Converter (1600 x 1200) with HDTV Support & Remote at TigerDirect.com and the picture is unsatisfactory. The overall quality is acceptable, but periodically, something I would describe as a wrinkle or a wave - that is, a horizontal line above and below which the picture is not aligned - moves from top to bottom on the screen. It does this regardless of the video source, including live and recorded TV (OTA broadcast, thru WMC via a Haupage tuner), Netflix in WMC, and Hulu Desktop.

I saw the same phenomenon when experimenting with the PC to TV device and my primary computer, which is considerably more powerful (3.1 Ghz Intel Core i5, Asus P8P67 mb, 8 Ghz DDR) so I suspect that this is caused by the PC to TV device, but I don't know this. Can anyone help me either troubleshoot my current setup or recommend different hardware to achieve better results? The Gigabyte mb supports DVI & HDMI as well as VGA, so these are options if a different converter is the answer. All input is greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

The pattern on the screen you describe was typical in older analogue TVs where the electrolytic smoothing capacitors were starting to go and the resultant lines on the screen was caused by insufficient smoothing and beating with the mains frequency. However if your TV is not old, its is unlike to be that but can also caused by ground loops particularly where multiple connections between equipment is used.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #3

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

My TV is from 2001, and did not manifest the display issue in question that when displaying my Dish Network feed. Is it therefore safe to assume that failing capacitors are not an issue here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

This is a common problem when trying to convert VGA to component video. This is definitely an example of "you get what you pay for". Quality video isn't going to come from a sub-$100 product, unfortunately. Unless you want to upgrade your TV to a newer model, you'll probably have to invest somewhere between $150-$200 for a quality converter, and even then you might still see artifacting.

You'd never notice this with Dish, because Dish doesn't output VGA, nor does it convert VGA to component.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2012   #5

Win 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

The TV also has an S-video connection. Do VGA-to-S-video converters work any better (or are they cheaper)? Alternately, are there options to go from the PC's DVI or HDMI ports to the TV's component or S-video connections that would work better (or cheaper)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

S-Video is worse than component (video, then svideo, then component/hdmi, in order of worst to best), so you will not have a better picture than you have right now.

You are welcome to try different converters, but I think you'll end up with nearly the same results. Digital (DVI/HDMI) to component conversion is not cheap, and a quality converter will run you about the same as I posted for VGA to component conversion.
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