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Windows 7: Advice on basic video card with S-Video out

08 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7
Advice on basic video card with S-Video out

I have an old Radeon 7000 video card. I used it to extend my desktop (to a monitor in my living room where I can watch videos more comfortably) on my XP machine. The machine died and I now have a Windows 7 machine. My Radeon 7000 video card is pretty useless with it. I lost the Radeon CD and I spent several hours yesterday reading excellent posts here about old video cards, drivers, and how they sometimes can be made to work with Windows 7. For whatever reason (mostly my own limited brain) I can't get this ancient card to work on the new machine (it sends a driver-less signal out the S-Video but completely bypasses my main computer screen now -- I just use the VGA out for my computer monitor sitting next to my computer). I've pulled out the Radeon and am back to a single screen for now.

I don't do gaming via the S-Video out, just viewing of FLVs and other computer-compatible video formats. The S-Video out (and the sound card out) goes to a DVD recorder and thus to my TV in my living room. I don't need to convert native formats, I just play (and sometimes DVD record) them as is. I have a mouse at the living room TV and the extended desktop (on the TV) is "off to the right" of my regular computer monitor desktop. Things I drag off to the right of the main monitor show up on the TV and I play them on my TV when I'm in there, rather than at my computer desk in my study. This setup worked great with my old XP machine.

What basic video card might support my needs now that I have to use Windows 7? I have room for a PCI card, a 1x PCI-E card, and one 16x PCI-E card. Would prefer to use the built-in power supply (my machine uses a NVIDIA nForce MCP61P chipset -- the machine is a cheap Compaq CQ5300F). Probably a basic PCI card might be best for me.

Thanks in advance!

-- vertex11

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You might as well get the cheapest card you can get then. I would suggest using the 16x PCI-E card slot. Go to and use their guided search to search all 16x graphics cards till you find one with the specs you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

the best value out now for a card is the 9500 gt for about 60-70 bucks. u get dual dvi (vga adapters included) and it will play all video fine and rip threw hd content with no problems
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Apr 2010   #4

Win 7
Great video card


I'd recommend one of the lower-end versions of a Radeon 4K or 5K card.

You get the latest hardware, great driver support, amazing display, AVIVO offloads CPU wonderfully and a very low price.

One I have experience with is the Radeon HD 4350, - XFX HD-435X-YAH2 Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

$37 including shipping

You won't have any issues with this card.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7
Thanks for the advice!

Thanks vbfa, for the advice on the Radeon HD 4350. I purchased the XFX Radeon HD 4350 video card and, ultimately, it is working fine and doing what I want. It is indeed a good solution for what I want.

The downside is only a few hours (actually 5) of frustrations and I'm still not fully cognizant of why I had such, and so many, problems. First off -- can this really be a Windows 7 "feature" -- the CDROM that came with the video card -- refused, and I mean "refused" to run on my W7 machine. It didn't run when I inserted it, it didn't run when I manually clicked on the setup.exe or the autorun.inf, and at least a half dozen other steps I took to force the programs on the CD to run. This should have been a warning to me.

Next when I finally found a cludgy workaround to get the files on the CD to install, the effect of the install was obviously, and hopelessly, incorrect. It dawned on me, of course, to abandon the CD and get the ATI install package from the Web site for my card. I ran that, and it installed fine, and it looked very promising.

Remember, I'm just using non-HD monitors: a VGA computer monitor, and a non-PnP television via S-Video (with a DVD recorder at the far end of the S-Video connector). The ATI driver package asked the normal questions (I want to use the S-Video-out to extend my desktop), but refused to accept ANYTHING having to do with a second monitor. The "extend" to a second monitor was always, always, ignored. I switched the S-Video-out to be the "primary" monitor, and I indeed saw my desktop on the other end of the S-Video (my TV in another room). But ALL permutations of a "second" monitor were always ignored. This is after all kinds of attempted workarounds (e.g. deleting all drivers, re-installing, etc. in all kinds of ways). No joy.

I spent a considerable amount of time using the Windows Control Panel approach to extending my desktop, but all efforts were ignored, ultimately, and the desktop was never extended to a second screen (no second screen was ever "found" even using the windows control panel approach).

Ultimately, I perused the ATI Web site for similar problems. There are apparently lots of headaches with video cards not explicitly designed for Windows 7 (although perhaps my, no doubt relatively-rare (and likely old-fashioned) need for S-Video, rather than HD, connection is probably pretty unique among users). And, in reading the efforts of others who have card trouble with W7, I stumbled upon someone who recommended what I had always thought was "obviously wrong". Don't use the Radeon video card for your VGA out. Instead, they recommended as a last resort, go back to the "on-board" VGA out and only use the Radeon card for the "extended" screen out. To do this, they recommended, I must change my BIOS to force the on-board video for the "primary" screen.

Finally, I got some positive reinforcement. Yep, the on-board VGA out worked fine. And, lo and behold, I could FINALLY extend my desktop by using the Radeon video card solely for the "extended" (second) video monitor. I'm using the on-board video for my primary computer monitor. And, I could only accomplish even this, by using the Windows Control Panel approach to extending my desktop -- the ATI software approach refused to acknowledge even this set-up.

So, I am finally OK with a seemingly trivial request -- entend my desktop using a 2-year-old (but not ancient) Radeon XFX video card via S-Video out. Perhaps the odd needs of my particular setup is mostly to blame. Perhaps my choice of a probably non-W7 card is also to blame. Perhaps my own stupidity (OK, mostly my own stupidity) contributed greatly to my woes.

But, I got it working and am now fine with the setup. For $40, I can't complain too much.


-- vertex11
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) SP1 RTM

The s-video port is shared with the VGA port. It should work if you use the DVI port and a DVI-VGA adapter for the monitor and the s-video direct to the TV. It won't work connecting it directly to the DVD recorder because the recorder doesn't send the nesesary detection current to the card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7

Interesting, especially given that a 5-year-old Radeon video card, with the exact same setup (and Windows XP), worked beautifully for me for several years. New tech adds new smarts that can defeat simple tasks. Not necessarily progress.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Advice on basic video card with S-Video out

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