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Need a video card with "S" out that works with old TV

By Drdave
May 11, 2009
  1. I need some help from the experts. I have a windows media center that has "S" video out that I use to feed a 15 year old 50 inch projection TV.
    The recorded video from the media center is about as good as off air but text and everything else it displayed is hard to read or view. Can anyone recommend a video card that would work better for this application. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    hmm; if the tv has S-Video, then it's not likely that the graphics card is your issue
    but rather either
    • the settings for the card
    • the focus on the projection tv
    try using a computer resolution more like 1024 to force better controls at the tv end.
     
  3. Drdave

    Drdave TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks for the info. Is the reason that Windows and text looks so bad is that I have to much information or not enough per frame for the TV to display?
    I guess what I don't understand is how can the video look good and Windows and text look so washed out.and almost too bright.Whem I turn down the brightness and contast the the video is too dark. I guess I was hoping I could some how condition the "S' output with software or hardware fix.Thanks again.
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    my thoughts

    Projection TV is not the 'sharpest' to begin with.

    Expanding a computer screen resolution like 1280 x 800 (which isn't all the large)
    over a 50" TV has got to be difficult, ie imprecise.

    try smaller computer resolutions to see the effects on the tv projection quality
     
  5. Drdave

    Drdave TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks Again I'll give it a try.
     
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,690   +1,879

    A TV of that vintage has a fixed resolution of 640 x 480, projection or otherwise. (NTSC standard)
     
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    You might have more experience there captaincranky; I was on the track that
    the bigger the difference of resolution on the computer to that of the tv has to lead
    to poor quality pictures.
    Even a monitor at 800x600 will distort when force to 640 x 480 on the S-Video --
    is that even possible?
     
  8. Drdave

    Drdave TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Poor picture

    Is the poor picture due to the output of the video card, TV or both?
     
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,690   +1,879

    I thinking the poor picture, is mostly the TV, and the massive shock to your eyeballs when all the detail is destroyed.

    You should (I think) be able to set the output of your graphics card to the 640 x 480 standard. I Emailed EVGA's tech support and asked them this very question. They said, (loose quote), "yeah you can do it, but it'll look like s*** ".

    A TV has some timing lines at the beginning of the scan. Graphics cards never seem to take this into account and what happens is that anything you feed to the TV gets cropped, whether the resolution of the feed is correct or not. I had tried to feed photos to my TV (32" CRT) or use the TV to view photos from a Jpeg enabled DVD player. I tried matting the photos to compensate for the overscan, but the photos when viewed at this resolution just looked lousy.

    To answer your original question, (or what I think was your original question), most Nvidia cards @ the x500 level are already equipped with an S-Video output.

    At any rate my endeavors were a big disappointment, and I think I did what I was supposed to.

    Maybe it's a cop out, but I just kept buying larger computer monitors to view photos. What comes in handy here is a pivoting monitor, so that you can view potrait oriented photos full frame.

    Even when watching DVDs, they get burned with the computer, then played with a standalone. The players draw about 15 watts, your computer idles at about 150 watts. So you see, it's actually even greener to do it that way.

    I do think, with the exposure we've all had to the new hi-def TVs and monitors, that you're bound to be disappointed with this project, even if it all goes right for you.

    I have a 37" flat panel TV and a 22" WS monitor. When the monitor is pivoted to vertical, a portrait photo is almost the same size as it would be displayed on the TV. So here we're dealing with the monitor's 1680 lines of resolution versus the TV 720. Obviously, in the horizontal (landscape) orientation, it's nolo contendre, the TV wins, at least for size.

    @Jobeard, I'm pretty sure that if you feed the TV @ 800 x 600 it will just badly crop the image, not resize it.
     
  10. Drdave

    Drdave TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Captaincranky, Thanks for all the info. I was afraid that what I have is about the best it going to get. Thanks again.
     
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