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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


This isn't exactly on topic here, but I'm not quite sure what the correct forum would be for this post.


I'm looking for:


1. SVideo splitter - like a distribution amplifier but for SVideo. Should work for PAL & NTSC. The only one I found so far was at Kramer Electronics, but it's a bit costly for my taste.


2. Composite to SVideo. Essentially, a comb filter. I have one from radio shack (a small plug in), but the quality sucks... Again, looking for a relatively low cost solution.


Any ideas?
 

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I had a similar need a while ago, and also found the little Kramer box to be the cheapest solution. I got it for $72 plus shipping from markertek.com about 2 years ago. No complaints about quality. Actually splitting the S-Video doesn't work, even if one of the target devices is off. I tried. ;)


Just in browsing, I noted that they also make a composite to Y/C decoder, for $112.


And a plethora of other nifty little boxes...


Not the cheapest, but you might get what you pay for. As of those 2 years ago, I don't think there was a better S-Video DA solution. Now, who knows...


Alex
 

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Hey Alexander,


Still at $72, it's better than the price I get from them here (BTW, Kramer is an Israeli company). They are asking for around $100 + taxes for it here. I was thinking more like $50...
 

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Faroudja's VP100 might serve your second need pretty well...I see them pop up on Ebay often, but couldn't find one when I just looked now. Usually a little over a $100 for them I think.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oferlaor
Hi,


This isn't exactly on topic here, but I'm not quite sure what the correct forum would be for this post.


I'm looking for:


1. SVideo splitter - like a distribution amplifier but for SVideo. Should work for PAL & NTSC. The only one I found so far was at Kramer Electronics, but it's a bit costly for my taste.


2. Composite to SVideo. Essentially, a comb filter. I have one from radio shack (a small plug in), but the quality sucks... Again, looking for a relatively low cost solution.


Any ideas?
I am using a Monster (Entech) compiste to SVideo converter. It cost under $100 and it works great.


Stephen
 

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Responding on a couple of things:

(1) "Splitters" - it might be better to refer to them as "distribution amps"; this seems to be the "pro" terminology for them. I've just been shopping for one myself, but I wanted it to distribute stereo audio as well as video (I was considering both composite and S-video versions). Extron makes the ONLY box(es) I could find that do both video and stereo audio (with the audio on RCA jacks). Check www.extron.com, and search on "MDA" (they're part of their VersaTools line). Other vendors (if you don't necessarily need audio) include:

Inline ( www.inlineinc.com )

Altinex ( www.altinex.com )

...and Kramer, which you're already aware of.

Markertec.com has even more!


(2) Without knowing exactly what you're trying to do here... the composite to S-video thing is not as easy as it might seem! Remember that the composite signal has chroma (color) and luma (brightness) information all mixed together. Typically, this information gets smeared together, which results in picture quality that is inferior to S-video or component (which keep the color and "image" information separate) (this is probably oversimplifying at the expense of accuracy, but this is the general idea.)


NOW, if you take that "iffy" composite signal and try to separate the chroma and luma BACK OUT OF IT... well, obviously, that can be done well or done poorly. This functionality is comparable (if not identical) to the function of the "comb" filter in a TV set. I'm not going to go into too much detail here (because it's covered so many other places), but one of the differences between the $200 32" Sanyo TV and the $800 32" Sony TV is the quality of the comb filter. You'll see terms like "digital", "3-d", etc. This is really brought home in the Kramer line of S-video converters. If you search their site, you'll see their Model 401D which claims to accomplish

CV-to-SV; then, you'll also see their FC-10D, which states that it does the conversion "digitally using an adaptive comb filter and DSP techniques to minimize dot crawl and cross-color"!! Probably without intending to, they've just explained why you wouldn't want to buy THEIR cheaper decoder (or anyone else's, for that matter!)


(The FC-10D is available at: http://www.lektropacks.co.uk/product...Fid=33&sku=422

... for 245 "pounds", which is (I think) a lotta dough in ANY currency!)


Of course, if you're just doing the CV-to-SV conversion because there's no other way to get the signal from here to there, or because you just need to drive a crappy 640 x 480 overhead projector display, maybe you don't CARE about dot crawl and all that! Personally, I was considering the "upconversion" (and still am) because of POSSIBLE (and still unverified) benefits in the recording process of my ReplayTV 4320, which has both composite and S-video inputs and outputs (as well as a Y/Pr/Pb output). My cable box only offers a composite output, hence the need for upconversion. See my post, at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...AND+conversion


(3) Given the discussion in (2) above, you should be skeptical about ANY CV-to-SV converter (or "transcoder", or whatever term is used) that costs less than $200-$300. (The Extron YCS Transcoder retails for about $350, and the Kramer FC-10D was mentioned above). In particular, the Radio Shack device falls into this "cheap" category. I bought one, and found that it magnified any deficiencies in signal quality going into its composite inputs (i.e. what would look like a fleeting line on the screen ordinarily resulted in a huge bar of static lasting several frames!) Huey's results notwithstanding, I would avoid this unit! If you do develop a problem somewhere along the line, it might be difficult to rule out the RS converter as the source.


(4) AS I UNDERSTAND IT (i.e. check this info yourself), the conversion from S-video to composite is much easier to accomplish, because it is simply a matter of blending the chroma and luma information (appearing on 4 wires in S-video) down to 2 wires (composite). I don't think you can just short the wires together (!), but I think it can be accomplished with a fairly simple mixing circuit. It's a matter of stepping DOWN in complexity and fidelity, as opposed to the CV-to-SV conversion. Analogy: it's pretty easy to take a recording of a voice, and mix in background music. It's much more difficult (if not impossible) to try and separate the two back out of a recording where they're mixed together.


*******

I'd certainly like to understand more about the complexities of this whole process, and I welcome comments, links, etc.



George
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well,


The distribution amp (I just need a 1SVideo->2SVideo splitter) is going to be used so that I can hook up a DVD recorder to my system. My satellite receiver has 2 SVideo outputs, but these are already in use (one for PVR and one for direct connection to the TV). If I want the DVD recorder to be able to record from satellite, I need a third SVideo output...


Regarding the converter. I don't need a REALLY good one, it's basically so I can use my A/V receiver to switch my VCR. I have a tiny connector, purchased from radio shack, which does a 2-way conversion. It WORKS. It just produces a pretty bad looking image. The VCR in itself doesn't have that good a picture, but that converter exacerbates things.


That radioshack unit looks really good. However, I live in PAL country. The real question is whether this particular unit will work for me (RadioShack is notorious for having the US stuff not work anywhere else + having no documents describing in details what their units will or will not do).


The converter is of secondary importance (I'll check out the entech thing) - I have to think about whether or not I want to put in the DVD recorder or not. If I do, I'll need a GOOD SVideo splitter (what's the point of recording bad SVideo...).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Huey
I use this powered (9v AC adaptor included) Ratshack Svideo splitter 1->4 with great results (no ringing, artifacts, etc.). It'll convert composite to Svideo and vice-versa too. $40 USD: http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1172

http://www.radioshack.com/images/Pro...15/15-1172.jpg
I just installed this unit and I'm not too happy with it. I have Svideo coming in from TIVO into it and all four outputs going to 2 different devices as such:


Output 1 -> Svideo to A/V Receiver

Output 2 -> Svideo to AV TV Stereo Capture Card

Output 3 -> Composite to A/V Receiver

Output 4 -> Composite to AV TV Stereo Capture Card



The image displays perfectly on the A/V Receiver using Svideo or Composite. On the other hand, the Capture card displays what seems a bright picture when using svideo, and a good picture when using composite.


If I connect a Svideo cable directly from the TIVO to the Capture card, the image is perfect.


I know it is the radioshack device that's causing the problem, but I would like to know why?
 

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Let me qualify "bright picture" above. The image has a washed out look. It seems as if not all the colors are there and the image is too bright.


Has anyone seen this before?
 
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