Originally Posted by garyjo
When you tested...was it FIOS STB directly to HDTV? As I recall, reports of picture darkening are when a DVDR is in the chain.
Yes, that's precisely my understanding too, from the experts in this forum. It happens when one puts a DVD recorder in the path that has been manufactured to international specs rather than US specs. The international spec for S-Video is a 0 IRE black level. The US standard is a 7.5 IRE black level (I should know; I was a videotape editor for 30 years!).
The question here was whether this el-cheapo Component to S-Video/Composite converter that I had purchased not only converted Component to S or C but also whether it took the extra step of conforming its S/C output to the 7.5 standard, or whether it simply passed the Component to S/C unchanged. As I understand it, some Component to S/C converters leave the video unchanged while others change it to conform with the 7.5 standard (Component video apparently ALWAYS is 0 IRE the world over including the US).
Well, after getting my converter yesterday and hooking it up from my STB to my HDTV's S-Video input, I can confirm
1) that it works as intended, giving me full anamorphic 16x9 that my HDTV's Wide setting converts to perfect 16x9 aspect ratio and
2) that the black level is perfectly fine.
Since the black level is perfectly fine, this means that my converter is indeed also CHANGING the video to conform with the 7.5 IRE standard. This in turn means that when I hook it up to the DRM-ES18 I intend to purchase today, the black level will become too high, since the ES18 is an international machine and is expecting to see a pedestal of 0, not 7.5. I will therefore need to adjust my HDTV's image controls to compensate accordingly.
I hope that makes sense, and I hope I have that right.