Ditching the home office for the couch.
June 23, 2006 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations on converting VGA to S-video.

I just purchased a new LCD TV/monitor. No problem hooking up my laptop to it, but my tower does not have a TV-out card, so I'm looking to convert the VGA signal to S-video so I can heave my ancient CRT to the curb. Any simple, easy methods to do this without buying either an expensive converter or a new video card?
posted by moonbird to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Converters are about $50-$80 and they do a pretty decent job, I guess, depending on on your standards. Using a TV that uses s-video instead of a monitor might be kind of frustrating, I don't think you'll get the quality you want at usable resolutions, unless you're just looking to watch video on it?
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:29 AM on June 23, 2006

Here's how to build a VGA to TV converter for very, very cheap for the not only electronically inclined, but the very hardcore programmer.

Otherwise, VGA to TV convertors generally cost the same, or more usually more than a new video card with TV out. So... consider replacing the card if you can. :-S
posted by shepd at 8:30 AM on June 23, 2006

I'd use it with the laptop for a while and see if the output quality works for you before you invest any money in a converter card for your tower -- VGA via s-video is not going to give you the kind of image quality you want for most computing uses -- text, in particular, will most likely be a bear. I'm not sure if this is relevant to how you plan to use it, but I would not expect to replace a CRT you use for "real work" with an LCD TV with s-video input.
posted by Alterscape at 8:40 AM on June 23, 2006

I've used several of these and the quality is meh. What Rustybrooks said. Are there any other inputs on the lcd tv? I'd imagine you have a component video input, perhaps even dvi-d? In my experience with such devices, as Alterscape suggests, the problem lies in the fuzzy text; If you're not a gamer, you can pick up a graphics card with video outs (rca/component/svid) for under $50 (maybe I'm a little fuzzy on that, but you can get a ati card that will do this for an approximate price.) GIGO applies here and the higher quality input you can use on the lcd will be your best bet. It is however, workable.
posted by AllesKlar at 10:19 AM on June 23, 2006

Best answer: I assume that you've hooked your laptop up and are fine with the display...

Check out ebay, I got one several years ago for $20 that got it's power from the keyboard port and worked pretty well. Of course, I'd go with a VGA-Component cable. But that's just me
posted by hatsix at 11:30 AM on June 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

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