connecting VCR to LCD monitor
September 17, 2005 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Trying to use a 17 LCD monitor as TV with my VCR. Where can I get something, hopefully not too expensive, to connect the RCA composite output to the VGA input of the monitor. Not sure if i need to find a converter box or some adapter cables exist to do the job. Did not find much useful info by googling.
posted by flyby22 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
You need a "VGA Box". You'll find stores that usually sell... uhhh... imported game console accessories (oh hell, modchips) are going to carry products like that. Should cost between $50 and $100 CDN. If you're in the US you'll probably just have to order online since most of those places have been put out of business by M$/Sony.

They also make HDTV -> VGA boxes, but since you're talking about VCRs you probably aren't interested in that.
posted by shepd at 9:26 AM on September 17, 2005

Lik-Sang is one of the type of stores shepd mentions.
posted by zsazsa at 10:30 AM on September 17, 2005

It doesn't sound like you want to have a PC in this equation, but on the off chance that one is available, just get a video card with TV-In. You can then connect the VCR to that, and when you want to watch the signal just fullsize the video player application and the VCR image will take up the entire LCD screen just like a TV.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:20 AM on September 17, 2005

It can't be done with just a cable. Google either "NTSC to VGA convertor" or "VGA TV tuner". The picture quality may well be unwatchably awful though.

You should also consider selling your current LCD on eBay and buying one with a built-in video-in facility. It may work out as the cheapest and most effective way to pull this off.
posted by cillit bang at 4:35 PM on September 17, 2005

Response by poster: thanks for the vga/xga box suggestion. I think that is what i would end up getting. About the PC i dont want to put in a pc in there now..just finished building two of them.

momentarily had the idea of building or getting one of those media boxes with AV component form factor. But then I figured I would rather save the money for now :-)
posted by flyby22 at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2005

Response by poster: which LCDs have video built in facility. I have a Dell 20 inch which i believe supports S video input..Is that what you are talking about. Here is reason behind my original question.

It is just that I have this LCD that I dont use much. and the TV bedroom which is a bit too bulky and big. Instead of buying a whole new TV I was hoping I could reuse the LCD.

Are you saying that the picture quality with the XGA box will not be good enough for TV watching ?
posted by flyby22 at 4:51 PM on September 17, 2005

a friend of mine works in a video game store, and they use 15" LCDs on the game demo consoles - it's pretty hard to demo games since the screens don't really do TV resolutions that well. if your LCD doesn't do the resampling thing at lower resolutions (so it looks slightly blurry but otherwise normal instead of pixelated and hard to read) then it will probably be close to unwatchable.
posted by mrg at 8:58 PM on September 17, 2005

Most VGA boxes won't do any upsampling.

So the output is usually (from my personal experience) at a low dot clock. That means something like 640x480 @ 60 Hz (for NTSC) or 50 Hz for PAL.

The actual resolution is unusual so if your LCD can't handle that well you're going to be SOL. Sorry.

I've used VGA boxes on LCD and CRT monitors. CRT monitors look okay at NTSC (not great but not bad), and unwatchable at PAL (too flickery). LCD isn't bad, but again, this was on a higher end NEC LCD that could handle the odd resolution. I didn't try PAL on an LCD (just NTSC)... I expect PAL might actually look better since the LCD won't be all flickery!

So, all in all, they work ok, but they aren't going to look *better* than a TV. In fact you'll notice much easier the faults of old analog signals... Oh well. :-S
posted by shepd at 9:15 PM on September 17, 2005

Converting NTSC to a standard VGA signal is hard. You have to do de-interlacing and then increase the frame rate and upscale the resolution. It's hard to do this and produce good results, and cheap external convertor boxes are likely to cut corners, so I'd be wary of buying one from somewhere that doesn't offer a full refund.

Monitors that accept video-in are advertised as LCD TVs. They're the same thing.
posted by cillit bang at 5:50 AM on September 18, 2005

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