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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would take a break from the WiRNS discussion and talk about something that I am going to have to do pretty soon; that is buy a new television (my current SD TV is on it's last legs).


I was wondering what people are doing to continue to use their Standard Definition (SD) ReplayTVs along with their shiny new HDTVs?


I have just started looking at the TVs that are available now and I see that none of them have S-Video inputs anymore, so I am assuming that looking for that needle in the haystack (a new TV that has S-Video inputs) is a waste of time. I have tried composite connections with the Replay in the past and the S-Video looks much better to me, so I don't want to use composite.


So I figure that the best option is to get something that will convert from S-Video to HDMI or maybe VGA (if the TV supports VGA inputs).


My current setup has three ReplayTVs and a DVD player, all using S-Video cables connected to a 4-way S-Video switch, with a single S-Video output from the switch to the TV.


So I have many questions, hopefully the kind people of this forum can help me answer some of them...
  1. What is the best solution for watching ReplayTV SD output on an HDTV?
  2. Is it a good solution to get a S-Video to HDMI or S-Video to VGA converter? If yes, which one is the better choice?
  3. Would it be a better idea to search out an older HDTV (or a new one if they still exist) that has an S-Video input? Or maybe just get an SD TV (I don't really NEED to get an HDTV, it's just that there don't seem to be many new ones for sale, and I figure I should probably start getting prepared for the day when there will be a worthy HD alternative to the ReplayTVs, if ever)
  4. Does ReplayTV output look like crap on an HDTV? Does it matter if it is 720p or 1080p? I record everything in Standard resolution, will I have to change to at least Medium to make it look decent? I will probably only get a 40" or 42" screen HDTV, so maybe Standard will be OK (I hope)?

I will probably have more questions, but that is a good start for now.


Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space
I have just started looking at the TVs that are available now and I see that none of them have S-Video inputs anymore, so I am assuming that looking for that needle in the haystack (a new TV that has S-Video inputs) is a waste of time.


I bought a Vizio 37" VO370M a few months ago. One S-video input. Online searches show they are still available.
 

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Many of the LCD's include a VGA port which is how I connect my Replay. Most flat screens do a pretty good job up-scaling SD content, but that being said, I found medium record quality to be awful and have to record everything in HQ.


The next problem will be the minute you watch an HDTV show, it's at that point you'll really notice that the Replay boxes are really starting to show their age even though many of us are still using them including myself.
 

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Agreed, the Replays show their age on the big screen, but that said they work well.


I have tried a couple of methods on our new LG flatpanels, both TVs have no S-Video but do have computer VGA connectors and component input as well as several HDMI inputs.


I have tried the following;


1 - Standard VGA PC display cable, set the Replay output to VGA VESA, quality is very good.

2 - S-Vid to HDMI adapter, again, video looks very good.

3 - RGB to HDMI adapter, set Replay output to RGB, video is very good.


Any of these schemes work great. The plus to HDMI adapters is that you can get a low cost HDMI auto switch and connect several HDMI sources, Blu-Ray, X-Box (as a media extender for example) etc. Then you run only 1 HDMI cable to the TV that carries both Video and Audio! The auto switch selects which ever source is powered up. This way the TV only needs to have HDMI input 1 selected.


When I installed these TV's I was amazed at how much expensive old S-Vid, and audio cabling was no longer required. Be sure and get your HDMI cables on-line, there is NO need for expensive HDMI cables, it's all digital.


Lastly, check on the noise reduction options in the TV settings, these help make SD TV look pretty decent. But HD is really growing on me now. I also must say that these new LG LED backlit TVs with internet connectivity are really awesome units, excellent picture, and really low power consumption, they barely get warm and are about 1" thick.


I'm running the Win7 Media Center (7MC) with Digital cablecard (Ceton quad HD Tuner card) and the Replays in parallel. The 7MC is easily making the transition to the modern HD age a joy. I love my Replays, but could now turn them off tomorrow and would never look back, 7MC has been that good so far.
 

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What model Replays are you using? My 5040's have component ouputs and I thought all 5xxx's had them as well? The SD picture quality is great on my 50" Plasma and perfectly fine for most of the shows I watch.


As for which converter is is better, I've used a VGA to Svideo converter that looks identical to the one you linked to, and the quality was not very good. Worse than straight composite I would say, so I wouldn't recommend that if it's just the same circuits in the reverse direction. The HDMI converter looks more promising, plus it integrates the audio with HDMI.


KuoH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space
My current setup has three ReplayTVs and a DVD player, all using S-Video cables connected to a 4-way S-Video switch, with a single S-Video output from the switch to the TV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thanks for all the quick replies!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwz
I bought a Vizio 37" VO370M a few months ago. One S-video input. Online searches show they are still available.
Thanks, I'll check it out, but I think I want a little bigger set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski
I have tried a couple of methods on our new LG flatpanels, both TVs have no S-Video but do have computer VGA connectors and component input as well as several HDMI inputs.


I have tried the following;


1 - Standard VGA PC display cable, set the Replay output to VGA VESA, quality is very good.

2 - S-Vid to HDMI adapter, again, video looks very good.

3 - RGB to HDMI adapter, set Replay output to RGB, video is very good.
How did you use VGA on the Replay, it doesn't have a VGA out I don't think... Did you use a converter?

Also, RGB, is that they ports labeled "Progressive Out" on the Replay?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski
Any of these schemes work great. The plus to HDMI adapters is that you can get a low cost HDMI auto switch and connect several HDMI sources, Blu-Ray, X-Box (as a media extender for example) etc. Then you run only 1 HDMI cable to the TV that carries both Video and Audio! The auto switch selects which ever source is powered up. This way the TV only needs to have HDMI input 1 selected.
Since I have 3 Replays, I would have to get converters for each of them to do this, right? I think that might be a bit too much for me at $50 a pop. My thought was to continue to use my existing S-Video switch and just have the S-Video output from this switch use the converter to HDMI or VGA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski
...

I also must say that these new LG LED backlit TVs with internet connectivity are really awesome units, excellent picture, and really low power consumption, they barely get warm and are about 1" thick.
I will check them out. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuoh
What model Replays are you using? My 5040's have component ouputs and I thought all 5xxx's had them as well? The SD picture quality is great on my 50" Plasma and perfectly fine for most of the shows I watch.
I have 2 50xx units attched to this TV and one 30xx unit (although I will probably retire this one at some point). Again, are the component outputs the ones labeled "Progressive Out" on the back of the Replay? I didn't even remember those existed
. Anyway, are these the outputs to use to get the best picture on an HDTV? If so I might have to look in to a switch similar to my S-Video switch that works with component input/outputs or a TV that has multiple component inputs (although I like the ease of use of the autoswitch better).
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuoh
As for which converter is is better, I've used a VGA to Svideo converter that looks identical to the one you linked to, and the quality was not very good. Worse than straight composite I would say, so I wouldn't recommend that if it's just the same circuits in the reverse direction. The HDMI converter looks more promising, plus it integrates the audio with HDMI.


KuoH
Hmmm, I am not sure you can compare the two because I think going in the opposite direction is different, but who knows! I'll have to keep that in mind when looking at the VGA options.



Well, I think at this point I am going to look at what TV options are out there (any good websites for getting information on current TVs?) I think my best, most cost-efficient option at this point is to find a good TV that either has multiple component inputs (which may be more difficult to find with the proliferation of HDMI) or failing that, just find one that has normal HDMI inputs that I can use with an S-Video to HDMI converter (so that I can continue to leverage my S-Video switch). In fact I think I would prefer the later option because the auto-switch is much more convenient than having to switch inputs on the TV.


Most TVs seem to still have composite inputs, should I even bother trying this? I know that S-Video looks much better on my CRT than composite does, so I am assuming it would be the same on an LCD HDTV.


I don't want to go overboard with this by getting all new cables and switches unless it is more cost efficient to do so. It seems like the easiest solution for me is to just get a TV that meets my needs with an HDMI input (probably best to have at least two in case I want to use HD input in the future) and use an S-Video to HDMI converter on the S-Video cable coming out of my existing S-Video switch. Does anyone have any caveats about doing this?


I have seen HDTV and it is not that compelling to me, so I don't really have any near-term plans to use it (my cable boxes are still SD), so if I can get my SD quality ReplayTV output to look at least as good as it does now on my CRT TV, I will be happy. I do think it would be foolish to buy a new SD TV (if they even exist anymore), since one day I am sure I will have to or want to dabble in a little bit of HD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuoh
What model Replays are you using? My 5040's have component ouputs and I thought all 5xxx's had them as well? The SD picture quality is great on my 50" Plasma and perfectly fine for most of the shows I watch.


As for which converter is is better, I've used a VGA to Svideo converter that looks identical to the one you linked to, and the quality was not very good. Worse than straight composite I would say, so I wouldn't recommend that if it's just the same circuits in the reverse direction. The HDMI converter looks more promising, plus it integrates the audio with HDMI.


KuoH
Only 4xxx Replays have VGA output. 5xxx Replays have YUV (component) output.
 

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Get a Bravia LCD and you don't need converters of any kind.


The 5xxx 480P out looks remarkable on a Bravia for what it is.


Put 2 5xxx on the component inputs and put the 3xxx on the S-video input.


All Done.



(may have to tweak the video settings some on the Sony but *guaranteed* @40 to 46 inches they will almost surely look better than what you are using now) (and do bump up to med quality)
 

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Yes, on the 50xx series, those are the component outs. Simply connect them to the component in of any new TV, most if not all of them will still have those for a good while. The only problem is finding a new TV with enough component inputs, as many have cut back to just one or two in favor of more HDMI. Luckily, there are still many component switchers out on the market. You might even be able to find one that does autoswitching.


As for the VGA/svideo comparison, I would think it would be worse going from svideo to VGA/HDMI, since the source signal is not nearly as good.


On the composite / svideo inputs on new TVs, make sure you check the side panel too. I've see a few that had no old style inputs on the back, but did have one of each on the side for camcorders and such.


KuoH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space
Again, are the component outputs the ones labeled "Progressive Out" on the back of the Replay? I didn't even remember those existed
. Anyway, are these the outputs to use to get the best picture on an HDTV? If so I might have to look in to a switch similar to my S-Video switch that works with component input/outputs or a TV that has multiple component inputs (although I like the ease of use of the autoswitch better).

Hmmm, I am not sure you can compare the two because I think going in the opposite direction is different, but who knows! I'll have to keep that in mind when looking at the VGA options...


Most TVs seem to still have composite inputs, should I even bother trying this? I know that S-Video looks much better on my CRT than composite does, so I am assuming it would be the same on an LCD HDTV.
 

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what KenL said.


To expand on that, you've touch on an area that distinguishes the good TVs from the average TVs: the handling of analog.


The good TVs, generally the name brand units that aren't disposable, are known to be noticeably better at displaying analog input material such as Replay. Sony is one that has consistently come up as superior in this regard.


I have no personal experience with this. I'm just reporting what I've heard over the last couple of years.
 

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I have 4xxx series Replays, they have a VGA connector that can output VGA or Component RGB, selectable.


If you already have an S-Vid autoswitch, then you would only need 1 S-Vid to HDMI converter. Initially I did this and it worked just fine.


The LG TV's we ended up with are 42 and 55" models with "SmartTV", they have 4 HDMI, 2 Component, VGA, and composite inputs. A PC connected to the 55" looks razor sharp. On these big screens HD is really impressive, it grows on you with a set that delivers. With the internet connection, streaming Vudu movies on demand or Netflix and you will never need a DVD again or visit a Blockbuster (they all went belly up around here long ago).


Also, with the internet connection, the TV auto downloads software updates every few weeks, nice to see them tweaking and improving the experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenL /forum/post/20800620


Get a Bravia LCD and you don't need converters of any kind.


The 5xxx 480P out looks remarkable on a Bravia for what it is.


Put 2 5xxx on the component inputs and put the 3xxx on the S-video input.


All Done.



(may have to tweak the video settings some on the Sony but *guaranteed* @40 to 46 inches they will almost surely look better than what you are using now) (and do bump up to med quality)

The first one I found, KDL-40BX420, seems to only have one component input, but I'll keep looking.

I also see that there is a version of the S-Video auto-switch that I have, and love, that has component input/output instead (and does do auto-switching). Buying this switch and component cables seems to be a little cheaper than buying an S-Video to HDMI converter, so that may be another solution (plus it switches automatically just by turning on the Replay, rather than having to switch the input on the TV AND turning on the Replay, although I can probably program my JP1 remote to make this easier). Plus I read that component connections have better video quality than S-Video, so that's another plus. I am assuming that an SVideo-switch-Svideo-converterToHDMI-HDMIport conneciton would be lower quality than component-componentSwitch-component-componentPort conneciton (please correct me if I am wrong).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski /forum/post/20800792


If you already have an S-Vid autoswitch, then you would only need 1 S-Vid to HDMI converter. Initially I did this and it worked just fine.


The LG TV's we ended up with are 42 and 55" models with "SmartTV", they have 4 HDMI, 2 Component, VGA, and composite inputs. A PC connected to the 55" looks razor sharp. On these big screens HD is really impressive, it grows on you with a set that delivers. With the internet connection, streaming Vudu movies on demand or Netflix and you will never need a DVD again or visit a Blockbuster (they all went belly up around here long ago).

Thanks for the info, does the 42" look good with SD content recorded at Standard quality?


Even though I have little interest at this point in HD, I know that once I have an HDTV I will probably be unable to resist dabbling in the HD side a bit, so while knowing about the SD quality is my primary focus at this time, I would also want the TV I get to have decent HD quality as well.


Thanks again everyone, you have given me lots of good information and I'll be following up on as much as I can. I will probably be back with more questions once I look in to all this.


I guess I should consider myself fortunate that my TV took a dive at this particular time, if I would have posted my question in this forum a couple months ago I probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere near 9 responses within 4 hours!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuoh /forum/post/20800689


Yes, on the 50xx series, those are the component outs. Simply connect them to the component in of any new TV, most if not all of them will still have those for a good while. The only problem is finding a new TV with enough component inputs, as many have cut back to just one or two in favor of more HDMI. Luckily, there are still many component switchers out on the market. You might even be able to find one that does autoswitching.


As for the VGA/svideo comparison, I would think it would be worse going from svideo to VGA/HDMI, since the source signal is not nearly as good.


On the composite / svideo inputs on new TVs, make sure you check the side panel too. I've see a few that had no old style inputs on the back, but did have one of each on the side for camcorders and such.


KuoH

If your TV doesn't have enough inputs, get an audio/video switch. I've seen them for composite, component, and HDMI. You can even get one with remote control.


A multi-device (learning) remote and a A/V switch make a good combination. I've been using one for several years.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space /forum/post/20801180


The first one I found, KDL-40BX420, seems to only have one component input, but I'll keep looking.

I also see that there is a version of the S-Video auto-switch that I have, and love, that has component input/output instead (and does do auto-switching). Buying this switch and component cables seems to be a little cheaper than buying an S-Video to HDMI converter, so that may be another solution (plus it switches automatically just by turning on the Replay, rather than having to switch the input on the TV AND turning on the Replay, although I can probably program my JP1 remote to make this easier). Plus I read that component connections have better video quality than S-Video, so that's another plus. I am assuming that an SVideo-switch-Svideo-converterToHDMI-HDMIport conneciton would be lower quality than component-componentSwitch-component-componentPort conneciton (please correct me if I am wrong).

Go for the KDL40EX500 7 HD Inputs (4 HDMI, 2 Component, 1 PC) and one component can be configured as a rear composite, although the side composite looks to be well behind the screen. No S-video input but you could use the 3xxx on composite without as big a hit as you might expect, comb filter is good on the Bravia.


The LG's would probably be my second choice. You'd use the component inputs on those as well, with no converter. BTW I would never let a display device on the internet for any reason. It may "phone home" and update firmware/and or DRM without permission, that can never be a good thing. Sure at these prices they are disposable but use some other disposable item to be your firewall to the world. There is enough trouble with the risk of unwanted lockdowns sneaking in over the ATSC device update services in certain areas.


As for 5xxx 480P component out I tried it with my last Samsung LCD and S-video looked better. Same with a few other displays I tried. I'm guessing the LG's should look great but it wasn't until I tried it with Bravia that it really felt more like the VGA out on the 4xxx. The source material and quality of downscaling on your HD STB's are always a factor, but the 5xxx can look surprisingly good. I generally don't hesitate to watch that as opposed to true HD. I suspect you will give up recording analog cable on the 5xxx after seeing the difference and of course bump it up to med in any case.


Component switching is mature and reliable but it's always better to get more native inputs in the first place.


You'll need the 4 HDMI inputs when you eventually get that fleet of lifetime TiVo HDs.
 

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I wish I could use the component output of my 5508 with my LG 32ld350 but there is a 480p/480i conflict and I get greenish double screens. My tv doesn't have s video so I'm stuck with composite. Additionally because I'm hard of hearing, I NEED closed captioning, and I can't get that through the component hook up anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonyad /forum/post/20802185


I wish I could use the component output of my 5508 with my LG 32ld350 but there is a 480p/480i conflict and I get greenish double screens. My tv doesn't have s video so I'm stuck with composite. Additionally because I'm hard of hearing, I NEED closed captioning, and I can't get that through the component hook up anyway.

Modern TVs usually don't have S-video. Maybe because there's little or no improvement* and there's better things like VGA, YUV, and HDMI.


* seperating the color information is a good idea, but in the real world the additional information is likely already lost.
 

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Yes if you if you go LG (or anything for these purposes) make sure it supports 480P.


Looks like the ones the Advanced Bleeder mentioned do but it may be hard to tell.


If it won't sync you're out of luck because the 5xxx can't output 480i over component.
 

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My wife solved this problem with a component video auto-switcher so she could share her Sharp LCD HDTV with a couple of ReplayTV 5000 boxes and a DVD player and only use one component input set on the TV.

http://www.audioauthority.com/produc.../Switcher/10/1


I solved that same problem with a now ancient Pelican System Selector Pro, which manually switches both composite and component video and audio.


Component video from a ReplayTV 5000 looks pretty good on an HDTV even though it's only 480P.



Bye.
 

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If you go the component route, I have one of those Audio authority 4 port autoswitches that Crunchy references. You can have it for $50


I'm suprised that any current Flatpanel wouldn't support 480i/p, 720p, 1080i/p as they are so common now. The LG 42LV5500 and 55LW5600's do for sure. I record in Medium on my 4xxx Replays which I believe have a lower quality output than 5xxx series, but the TV makes them very watchable.


I chuckle at the fear of internet lockdown, these sets are already HDCP locked up so what else can they do? The "connected" experience is awesome, shopping for a movie on Vudu, watching trailers, etc. is really something to see. I do have my Replays off of the mothership forever now, but I'm not worried about the TV. It also supports DNLA, something I plan on learning more about.


These particular models also include two remotes, a standard I/R one Plus an R/F "wand" that has accelerometers in it like a Wii controller. With this you can navigate complex menus with hand motions, point and click your way thru, very cool! The 42" model was over $1000 a few months ago but BestBuy had an online special for under $700 so we snapped one up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski /forum/post/20802708


...I chuckle at the fear of internet lockdown, these sets are already HDCP locked up so what else can they do?

You better believe they can *upgrade* "behavior" without warning or permission.



It's just the fact it may go behind your back for untoward betrayals, trojans, or malware. (Un)intentional bugginess? Gimmicky online features aren't worth it. The same thing absolutely applies to my refrigerator. Don't need to open more venues for spam and spyware. If you want to update the firmware (and know for sure what it does) then it should be up to you.


So I need to set up an advance hardware firewall just to I can watch ads on my smart oven? Or the smartphone with the rootkit logs in with a self-cleaning loop and burns down the whole building?



How about WiFi that logs onto open networks and interacts with Google... or the Google van driving down the street?
 
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