Composite to S-Video Converter - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brendan M., Dec 5, 2002.

  1. Brendan M.

    Brendan M. Extra

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    Hello,
    I spend most of my TV time watching cable television rather than DVDs. I have AT&T digital cable, unfortunately the Motorola cable box they provided me with only has composite/rca output jacks (no s-video out). This bothers me because I want the best picture possible through my cable connection, I have an open s-video input on my tv, and my receiver is not capable of converting the signal.
    In browsing through tv stores, I have stumbled upon a converter device that claims to convert composite video into an s-video signal. They tend to be rather expensive (at least $120 bucks) and I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with one of these devices or knows anything about how well they perform? Here is a link to what I'm talking about:
    http://www.smarthome.com/8290.html
    Any advice/information/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Also, I'm using a 32" direct view JVC.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    Check out this link to partsexpress.com
    They sell an adapter to convert composite to s-video. I use it and it wont improve the picture quality but I don't see any video degradation, although I just use it for my crappy digital cable [​IMG] And they are very inexpensive. They have a couple of models of adapters.
    RCA to S-VIDEO Adapter
    Ken
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    If your TV has a 3D YC comb filter, broadcasts and many (not all) digital cable and satellite channels will look much better going to the TV as composite.
    At least as of two years ago, you could tell that a composite to S-video converter was mediocre to poor simply because it cost less than USD 250. You need a converter advertised to contain at least a 3 line digital comb filter (a step below 3D YC) to get nice results. Such a converter will be a box as opposed to a bulge in a cable, will have a power supply and power cable, and may not be connected backwards to convert S-video back to composite.
    You may or may not notice degradation from a poor composite to S-video converter when viewing regular VHS tapes.
    The graphical diagrams to the right of the Entech CSVC-1 description linked to by the top section of this thread tell me that the unit does not have a true comb filter. It will not reproduce the full DVD resolution test in the AVIA 200 TVL pattern. This deficiency shows up as certain spacings of pinstripes on shirts or pickets in fences in the background being blurred.
    Currently the easiest way to get good composite to S-video conversion in an external unit is to get an S-VHS VCR. Still you need to evaluate the quality ofthe comb filter inside but I have a JVC HR-S3911U that I judge as being good for the purpose.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  4. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I agree with Allan -- I don't think a $120 comb filter is going to do any better job than your TV's internal comb filter. The graph is meaningless -- the comparision graph is not of a 3D YC compb filter, just the crappiest one they could find.
     
  5. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    I'm in agreement with both Allan and Hanson. Also, once the chroma and luma singals are mixed together in a composite signal, they can never be fully and completely seperated again. The vast majority of channels on any digital cable or satellite system HAVE had their chroma and luma combined at some point in the production, so the full benefit of s-video output on the receiver is lost anyway.
     
  6. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I use one mostly for the convenience from my 4DTV. The only time S-Video comes into play on that is when watching a digital channel..but my switcher and projector are ALL S-Video. So..not so much for improved video quality..but just to save me switching stuff.

    Not sure what brand I got...bought 2 about 2 years ago..but they work fine in both direction. I take the S-Vid out of my switcher..into these adapters to get composite into a 2.4 gig transmitter.

    I have WAY too much free time...
     

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