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Cheaper Component to S-Video Converter - Page 5

post #121 of 694
So, I picked up one of the Monoprice converters as well. I literally only had time last night to connect it, and test it out, and so far it seems to work pretty well. I ran component cables from my 8300HD to the converter, audio cables straight from the 8300HD to my Pioneer 660 dvd recorder, and S-Video from the converter to my Pioneer 660. I played an HD show from my 8300HD, and while the picture appeared a bit washed out and not nearly as vibrant as the real HD channel, the aspect ratio did finally seem to be correct.

So I am really not sure what the picture can or should look like with other units or the like, and maybe I could tweak my TV settings to improve the overall picture quality, but all in all, this unit does seem to present an improvement in options over the S-video cable going straight from the cable box to the DVD Recorder. I did not notice any banding or anything like that. Good unit for $50.
post #122 of 694
Let me jump in for a moment. I have a Panny ES20 & EZ17 and really like the PQ on both. I've had to clean the hub/spindle twice on the EZ17 & once on the ES20. Other than that no issues. As mentioned it will record full 16:9 on DVD-R but you have to manually zoom your TV to fill the screen, while DVD-RAM sets this automatically.

I did try a Magnavox with the 80Gb HDD which is similar to the 160GB version. The PQ was very good, but was a hair below the Panny's. What I experienced, and some others have also mentioned in the Maggy thread, is incorrect black level when recording. I noticed this when recording clear QAM through the tuner, however the line input appeared OK. This may or may not bother some people but was a deal breaker for me. Maybe the latest production run corrected this, I don't know. But the PQ was otherwise good.

The other solution is to buy/build an HTPC.
post #123 of 694
Using the monoprice converter, you can copy HD blu-ray DVDs using SD DVD recorders!

Blu-ray and SD versions of Avatar were used in testing.
Copies viewed on a Pan 42" Plasma (720p).

HD Blu-ray version of Avatar copied to Pio 225 (analog copy)
SD recording picture quality is generally acceptable. It is a darker picture with more contrast than the original source. Much of the darkness and increased contrast can be removed from the Pio 225 copy, after making video adjustments (see below).

SD version of Avatar ripped to PC HDD and burned to DVD (digital copy)
A superior picture, "closer to the original", resulted from digitally ripping a SD version of Avatar to HDD. AnyDVD was used to rip to HDD, and Clone DVD was used to burn copy to DVD.

Details of initial test.

Component out from Sony 350 Blu-Ray Player to MP Converter.
SVHS out from MP converter to Pio 225 DVD recorder.

Pio 225 video recording adjustments made (to offset the darker picture with more contrast, coming from the MP converter):
White level: Max
Black level: Min
7.5 IRE
Hue: Green-->Red (Max)
Chroma: Max


Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post

Just recd new monoprice converter. Initial tests positive.
CPRM removed. No color banding. Pic is NOT dark or blurry, as others have reported when using the Lenkeng filter. Seems normal.

Undecided whether recorded pic is "softer". Test content is "soft" to begin with. More testing needed.

Details of initial test.
U-verse HDD receiver is new Cisco unit, with 250gb HDD.
No coax in U-verse network.

Output from U-verse receiver set to 480i for initial tests.
Then to 1080i briefly for more testing.

U-verse content recorded via MP converter was copy-protected Chiller TV show (Twin Peaks pilot). Do not have HBO (or other 1080i protected "premium content") to test.

1. component video out from U-verse receiver to MP converter. SVHS out to Pioneer 220 #1 recorder. Audio direct from U-verse to Pioneer 220 #1.
2. component video out from U-verse receiver to Pioneer 220 #2. second audio direct from U-verse to Pioneer 220 #2. Pio 220 #2 was baseline system.
3. Playback of copy protected content to both recorders simultaneously.
Pio #1 recorded without CPRM putting unit into pause.
Pio #2 did NOT record content. Msg "This content is copy protected."

Addl tests over next few days.
1. Substitute Sony GX7 recorders for Pio 220 recorders.
2. Attempt recording of Blu-Ray content from Sony 350 player.
Insert MP converter between Sony 350 and Pio 220 recorder.

Any other tests?
post #124 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrey r View Post

So, I picked up one of the Monoprice converters as well. I literally only had time last night to connect it, and test it out, and so far it seems to work pretty well...I did not notice any banding or anything like that. Good unit for $50.

$50? That's what I picked mine up for also, at Sewell's. It might very well be the same converter. It's supposed to be arriving at my apt. tomorrow. I'll report the results when it does.
post #125 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post


Pio 225 video recording adjustments made (to offset the darker picture with more contrast, coming from the MP converter):
White level: Max
Black level: Min
7.5 IRE
Hue: Green-->Red (Max)
Chroma: Max

This may be good news(to me anyway)
It does sound like the converter isn't changing the 0 IRE component output to +7.5 S-video(or composite) that our N. American DVDRs require for a line input. While not such good news for N. American DVDR owners, it may be just what I need for my international DVDR, which requires a 0 IRE source for a proper spec DVD
Thanks for your detailed write up, now it sounds like I really need this device. Kind of bad news though for the majority of people using a standard DVDR(at least for those sensitive to black level issues).

It seems like many of the offshore designers of these type of boxes just don't understand how the US IRE black level works. I'd guess my Sima is 7.5 too bright and the Ambry converter may be 7.5 too dark
post #126 of 694
If your DVD recorder does not have ability to change IRE, Chroma, Black/White Level settings, you can put a proc amp between the MP conv and the DVDR. I got good results using a "Studio 1 Productions proc amp" I picked up on eBay for pennies on the dollar.

I forgot to mention in my testing of Avatar HD Blu-ray copy to the pio 225:
The MP conv removes the subtitle. A disappointment for those of us that are hard-of-hearing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Kind of bad news though for the majority of people using a standard DVDR(at least for those sensitive to black level issues)
post #127 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

This may be good news(to me anyway):
It does sound like the converter isn't changing the 0 IRE component output to +7.5 S-video(or composite) that our N. American DVDRs require for a line input. While not such good news for N. American DVDR owners, it may be just what I need for my international DVDR, which requires a 0 IRE source for a proper spec DVD

And, incidentally, this is also another argument in favor of my getting the international Panasonic DMR-ES18 instead of the Magnavox 2160 (assuming my converter, which I expect any minute, looks dark when I put it into my TV).
post #128 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post

If your DVD recorder does not have ability to change IRE, Chroma, Black/White Level settings, you can put a proc amp between the MP conv and the DVDR. I got good results using a "Studio 1 Productions proc amp" I picked up on eBay for pennies on the dollar.

I forgot to mention in my testing of Avatar HD Blu-ray copy to the pio 225:
The MP conv removes the subtitle. A disappointment for those of us that are hard-of-hearing.

I have a Vidicraft proc amp, but it lacks S-video connectors, which is about all I use anymore. Does yours have S-video connectors?
Oh and I don't think it's the converter that removes the subtitles, I think I've read that component in general doesn't pass subtitles. I think I read in in one of Wajos, or maybe Church AV Guy posts.
post #129 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I have a Vidicraft proc amp, but it lacks S-video connectors, which is about all I use anymore. Does yours have S-video connectors?
Oh and I don't think it's the converter that removes the subtitles, I think I've read that component in general doesn't pass subtitles. I think I read in in one of Wajos, or maybe Church AV Guy posts.

HDMI and progressive scan strip analog CC, and some DVDRs may not pass CC even thru interlaced Component regardless of scan type.
post #130 of 694
I know HDMI strips closed captioning from TV shows. I was copying Avatar, and as you know, Avatar has subtitles, which are not stripped using HDMI.

Except Avatar's subtitles were stripped when the MP conv was placed between the Sony Blu-ray play and the Plasma screen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

HDMI and progressive scan strip analog CC, and some DVDRs may not pass CC even thru interlaced Component regardless of scan type.
post #131 of 694
Yes, the "Studio 1 Proc Amp" does have SVHS inputs/outputs.

I picked up mine on eBay for $100 a few years ago. Many studios are getting rid of them, as they move to digital. Originally sold for $795 in the late 1990s. US made, then knock-offs started showing up from Hong Kong. US made version is very high quality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I have a Vidicraft proc amp, but it lacks S-video connectors, which is about all I use anymore. Does yours have S-video connectors?
post #132 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

This may be good news(to me anyway)
It does sound like the converter isn't changing the 0 IRE component output to +7.5 S-video(or composite) that our N. American DVDRs require for a line input. While not such good news for N. American DVDR owners, it may be just what I need for my international DVDR, which requires a 0 IRE source for a proper spec DVD

Quote:
Originally Posted by criggs View Post

And, incidentally, this is also another argument in favor of my getting the international Panasonic DMR-ES18 instead of the Magnavox 2160 (assuming my converter, which I expect any minute, looks dark when I put it into my TV).

I'm not sure of the proper AVS Forum etiquette here. I've already reported in another thread that, as far as I can tell, my new converter, which arrived today, DOES convert the component output to the S-Video output while utilizing the 7.5 standard, since the S-VHS output on my HDTV looks RIGHT, and DOES NOT look dark. Is it improper etiquette for me to post two messages in two different threads with essentially the same information, or is it considered courteous and considerate to post such information in both places, on the off-chance that some may only be reading the one, or only reading the other, thread?

In any event, I just lost one of the arguments for going with the Panasonic instead of the Magnavox, and now have an argument for going with the Magnavox over the Panasonic. But frankly I remain disposed toward the Panasonic; that is because in my opinion the argument was always weak anyway since I can permanently leave my component HDTV image controls screwed up to compensate (the Motorola Fios box outputs simultaneously on its component and HDMI outputs, so I can always do my live HD watching on HDMI without having to change the HDMI image controls).
post #133 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by criggs View Post

Is it improper etiquette for me to post two messages in two different threads with essentially the same information, or is it considered courteous and considerate to post such information in both places, on the off-chance that some may only be reading the one, or only reading the other, thread?

You're fine as long as it isn't EVERY message you post to two threads.
post #134 of 694
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by criggs View Post

I've already reported in another thread that, as far as I can tell, my new converter, which arrived today, DOES convert the component output to the S-Video output while utilizing the 7.5 standard, since the S-VHS output on my HDTV looks RIGHT, and DOES NOT look dark.
post #135 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post

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.
post #136 of 694
Dealing with insufficient outputs on my latest set top box and trying to figure out a workaround. I was considering one of these component to s-video converters to improve the signal going to my 2160A magnavox recorder, but while puttering around in my 'leftover cables' box, I unearthed an old analog to digital converter that I used to use to digitize standard video on my computer. It has video in and svideo out - wondering if that might also do the trick as a link (though I doubt it would improve the quality of the signal, at least it would allow added connectivity and (possibly) some relief from the odd (HDMI -based)incompatibilities I'm running across. Thinking of switching to component from STB to tv, for that reason, as well. Before I buy a component to s-video, I thought I might check to see if anyone has had any luck with one of these gadgets. It also has firewire, which would make things a lot easier, but I'm pretty sure the firewire port is disabled on the RNG110 box.
post #137 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by criggs View Post


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.

Well by weeks end I'll probably be able to tell you how the Monoprice(Lenkeng) converter handles the black level. I ordered one yesterday and it should be shipped Monday, standard shipping should take about a week to get to me. No matter what it does to the black level I should be OK, too low and it should work with my international Panasonic, if it converts it to 7.5 it should work with my US Panasonics, worst case would be if it actually raised the black level above 7.5(which is what my Sima does) in this case I'd probably return it to Monoprice.
It will be interesting to see how it effects the actual resolution, my Sima slightly softens the picture. Since the Lenkeng will be starting with a higher quality component, I'm hoping for slightly better resolution than a simple S-video to S-video device like my Sima.

BTW no matter what DVDR you get, I'd strongly suggest getting a decent quality player to actually play DVDs(commercial or home recorded ones). You can find good older Sony or Pioneer upconverters for <$50 refurbished that will have more features than either the Panasonic ES-18 or Maggy 513 recorders, a good BR player would also work. Of course if you had a DVDR w/HDD your only choice would be to use it to play back things on the HDD.
I'm not knocking the picture quality of either the Panasonic ES-18 or Maggies when playing back DVDs but rather to save wear and tear and also dedicated players tend to have more features not found on recorders.
post #138 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I'd strongly suggest getting a decent quality player to actually play DVDs(commercial or home recorded ones). You can find good older Sony or Pioneer upconverters for <$50 refurbished that will have more features than either the Panasonic ES-18 or Maggy 513 recorders, a good BR player would also work.

Yes, Tulpa just made the same suggestion to me on another thread.

As I mentioned to him, up until now, I've been using my laptop to play back DVDs to my HDTV. The outputs are not ideal. I have a high-res 4x3 VGA output and an S-Video output.

Of course, if there's a convenient way to convert the 4x3 VGA output to 16x9 then I would think I don't need a DVD player at all. But I don't know if that's possible.
post #139 of 694
I wouldn't want to wear out the laptop's drive, either. A $50 to $100 standalone player would be well worth it. You can get some pretty nice, region-free Pioneer's from Amazon for less than $80.00.
post #140 of 694
garyjo, and Criggs, glad to hear your reports about the Monoprice (Lenkeng?) component>S-Vid converter. I'm expecting mine in the middle of the week. My Lenkeng is between my second Moto DVR and my Pio 640 DVDR, and works well.

My new MP converter will go between my Oppo 980 DVD player and my Pio 640 DVDR. I think my first use will be to convert a commercial PAL DVD of the 1986 film Bliss to NTSC, since it isn't available on NTSC DVD.

I finally decided to buy an international model of the Pio 660. Last week, it was listed as in stock at World Import, and Samstores. But, I tried to order it, and neither has it. Does anyone know where I might buy a new one? Criggs, the Pios will record DL media.
post #141 of 694
What would really be useful to me would be a HDCP compliant HDMI to S-Video converter with CP filtering. As it is, I am expecting when the analog outputs get turned off, I will need several converters in series: HDMI to RGB, RGB to S-Video, through a video filter to eliminate CP, and THEN into a DVD recorder. The quality of the video will take a hit each time. I'm sure the "industry" will try their hardest to make even such a rube goldberg process impossible.

I have just purchased a Monoprice component to video converter. I haven't had a chance to test it out or play with it yet. the composite output on my Blu-ray player has been working so far.
post #142 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I finally decided to buy an international model of the Pio 660. Last week, it was listed as in stock at World Import, and Samstores. But, I tried to order it, and neither has it. Does anyone know where I might buy a new one?

I picked mine up used in good condition from B&H for about $375 back in March, though the last time I saw it in stock there a few weeks ago, it was actually cheaper. They come in and out of stock at B&H from time to time. It is a nice unit--the 250gb hard drive is very nice to have.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DVR660HS.html
post #143 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post

HDMI and progressive scan strip analog CC, and some DVDRs may not pass CC even thru interlaced Component regardless of scan type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post

I know HDMI strips closed captioning from TV shows. I was copying Avatar, and as you know, Avatar has subtitles, which are not stripped using HDMI.

Except Avatar's subtitles were stripped when the MP conv was placed between the Sony Blu-ray play and the Plasma screen.

This seems odd to me. CC info is carried in the VBI of the video stream. I have successfully gotten CC to work with composite, S-Video and component, but HDMI is ALL digital, so it has no VBI, and carries the CC info in a completely different way. My televisions don't allow me to select CC "on" when set to an HDMI input. Commercially pressed DVDs, in my experience don't normally put CC info out in the VBI of the video streams either. that's why they have menu options for subtitles or captions. the data is stored on the disk in another form, and the captioning is added to the video stream over the picture by the player, not the television. My experience is, that recordings of commercially pressed DVDs rarely have CC info intact.

Are you saying that Avatar DVD has CC or subtitles info intact on the HDMI output? How does that work exactly? How do you turn them on and off using the television controls?
post #144 of 694
[quote=Church AV Guy;19291505]What would really be useful to me would be a HDCP compliant HDMI to S-Video converter with CP filtering.


Church AV Guy,what you need is an HD FURY 3 by Curt Palme. It is a fully HDCP compliant HDMI > Comp.video converter. it'll cost ya about $300.00 G.
post #145 of 694
What I am saying is that Avatar's subtitles did not come through the MP converter (to the Pio 225, when recording Avatar from the Sony 350 blu-ray player).

Did you get different results?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Are you saying that Avatar DVD has CC or subtitles info intact on the HDMI output? How does that work exactly? How do you turn them on and off using the television controls?
post #146 of 694
I purchased 2 MP converters initially.

I just returned one MP converter b/c the power supplier (5V/1A) plug was so loose fitting it can fall off the converter box connector, resulting in loss of power during unattended recording.

Secondly, before return, I also noticed differences in output between both MP converters. For ex, the color was "washed out" on the MP converter returned, whereas the color was "closer to original" on the MP converter kept.

Anyone else seeing differences (assuming you purchased 2 MP converters)?
post #147 of 694
Quality control would explain why some had luck with the Lenkeng converter and others had no luck. If this is the case I suppose I should have ordered two and figured it would be cheap to just mail one back but I only ordered the one. If it preforms sub par(worse than my Sima CT-2) I won't hesitate to return it, or maybe I should try exchanging it one time.
Mine should arrive later this week.
Garyjo, how does the better one handle the black level? Does it lighten/darken it at all?
post #148 of 694
Marginally better. Better MP converter still passes a "slightly darker picture" to Pio 220 DVDR. As a result, detail in darkest areas is lost.

You can bring back much (not all) of the lost detail if you pass video signal through SVHS inputs/outputs of "Studio 1 Productions" pro amp. Position proc amp in video chain after MP converter, and before Pio DVDR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Garyjo, how does the better one handle the black level? Does it lighten/darken it at all?
post #149 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyjo View Post

What I am saying is that Avatar's subtitles did not come through the MP converter (to the Pio 225, when recording Avatar from the Sony 350 blu-ray player).

Did you have the subtitles switched on while you were recording? That's the only way you could record them. You won't be able to switch them on and off on a recording made by real-time playback.
post #150 of 694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrey r View Post

I picked mine up used in good condition from B&H for about $375 back in March, though the last time I saw it in stock there a few weeks ago, it was actually cheaper. They come in and out of stock at B&H from time to time. It is a nice unit--the 250gb hard drive is very nice to have.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DVR660HS.html

I knew B&H used to sell them, but I didn't realize that they sell used ones. I'll check with them. Thanks.
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