Looking for A particular type of Video card

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I have a dual core Dell desktop I'm incorporating into the stereo system.
But of course my Yamaha reciever doesn't have a DMI port on it, so I'm going
to have to find something that will give me a composite connection to the
reciever. The reciever doesn't upshift video, and I have to use composite
instead of component, S-Video, or other formats because of my old VCR and
Laserdisc player, so those formats don't work. So I'm in need of some way to
either get a DMI video feed into a composite signal or put in a video card
that will do the trick. The computer is a Dell Optiplex 780 E7500 Minitower.
Any suggestions?

Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

On 5/4/2012 8:45 AM, Rick Massey wrote:
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Google for 'hdmi to composite converter'.

Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

John McGaw wrote:
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One here for $41.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)

One here for $197

(Amazon.com product link shortened)

There can be a couple issues with things like this:

1) HDMI converters are not allowed to support HDCP. If an HDMI output is
   scrambled with HDCP encryption, it's to "protect" the signal so it cannot
   be copied. Depending on the movie playing situation, and the whim of
   the industry, you might not get a signal depending on what you're doing.
   If you just copy the desktop image via video, and it isn't using HDCP,
   that might work. If you went from VGA to composite, VGA doesn't have
   an equivalent of HDCP, but depending on the movie playing situation,
   if the signal was high definition, the player could choose not to output
   a signal, unless it detected a protected video path. I'm no expert on movie
   playback, so this is just a warning to investigate further. The policies
   on movies, have become more restrictive with time.


2) SVideo and Composite are bandwidth limited. You can't squeeze a 1920x1080
   signal into the scan lines of the interleaved composite signal. All of the
   adapters will have some degree of scaling. And a function called convolution,
   to improve the appearance of the image. Depending on the details of the
   adapter, you may have to drop the output resolution setting of the HDMI
   output, to improve the image quality.

Movies are likely to work OK with a resolution setting of 640x480. That's
the least demanding setting, in terms of the properties of the adapter box.

Don't expect to be able to read small text fonts, via that converted signal.
Movie playback works, because the human eye is forgiving of blemishes in
motion video. If you tried to present 640x480 text over a composite connection,
the text will be so blurry, you won't be able to read any of it. The lettering
would have to be in extra-large letters. I've tried doing this, when running
a FreeBSD box over composite to a TV set, and while I could tell there were
lines of text, I couldn't read any of it.

And time will tell, what the color balance looks like.

Read the reviews for each brand of adapter, to see, relatively
speaking, how good a job they do.


Cards like the 7900GT (four or five years old), are examples of some
of the last cards, to have composite, SVHS, or component output. The
mini-DIN is where that output appears. My video card looks similar
to this faceplate.


This article, describes some of the pinout options for the old mini-DIN


Since, when I've tested the mini-DIN in the past, the output always sucked,
I haven't even tried testing my current video card. It has that connector
on it. I've seen so much bad output, I haven't tried the output of my
current card. My TV seems to be a major part of the suckage - bad
composite input port design. If I run the video card mini-DIN, into a
RadioShack channel 3 modulator, the output looks so much nicer. Almost
like it's a DC restoration problem.

I use this kind of thing, to go from a $50 DVD player, to a cheap TV
with no baseband input. Since the TV is a portable, and has a small screen,
it's hard to spot defects. But it works a lot better this way, than
I've been able to get on the other TV via its composite input. The
modulator makes things look better, which is pretty hard to believe
in terms of what it's doing to the signal. Extra "things" in the path
like this, should only make the signal look worse. Now that the analog
changeover has occurred, there is no longer any analog antenna signal
to use, so the TV (on channel 3) can be reused as a dedicated DVD player
viewing device.



Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

Paul wrote:
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I have a similar setup, but I actually use the mini-DIN output on mine
because the RF input on the TV (27" CRT) is toast, and I only have the
composite input available. Text is indeed more difficult to read, and
requires a lot of fiddling with fonts, font sizes, and colors to get it
readable, but it is doable.

Fortunately I still have the old card (x800 IIRC) with the output on it,
shame that new cards no longer have the composite outputs.


Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

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Might it just be that the makers realize that "Text is indeed more
difficult to read, and requires a lot of fiddling with fonts, font sizes,
and colors to get it readable..." so they gave it up as a lost cause? I run
my HTPC system into a 42" Sharp LCD over a full HD digital input and even
that results in difficult-to-read video, at least difficult from a normal
TV (vs computer) viewing distance so I have to knock it back to 720P to

Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

John McGaw wrote:
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The interface would still work for movies. I expect that's why it
existed. And why at one time, there was a mirror mode you could use,
so the video seen on the computer screen, could go to some other
viewing device in parallel.

Composite has a bandwidth limit. I think (a) here, is composite.
While (b) shows the frequency domain content of S-video (Y,C,Gnd,Gnd
on four pin mini-DIN).


An interface such as component (YPbPr), isn't nearly as limiting. And
those mini-DIN connectors have been known to support component.
But, not any more. Mini-DIN is pretty dead these days. And if you did
find an older card with it,  the card might not be worth buying (either
limited slot interface, or GPU lacks features).


VGA is an analog method as well, and bandwidth at the DAC (for RGB)
extends out to 400MHz or so. And you can manage to read text over VGA.
It's possible the component YPbPr output signals are capable like that
as well. The composite and S-Video are the ones which are band limited
to a great extent. The analog TV channels used to be on 6MHz spacing,
and the Wikipedia figure is also hinting at an overall 6MHz limit.
The composite must be filtered when it arrives, to reconstitute the
Y and C info.


Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

Paul wrote:
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Aye, movies and full-screen video (like youtube clips, for example) look
just as good as anything else.  For controlling the box, I use RemoteDesktop
from my main computer so I can view the display on a normal computer


Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

(Much very helpful information snipped because my news provider is strict
about how much one can leave in a response)

Well, I doubt anyone is going to worry too much about text -- the TV is an
old CRT type 32 inch television, and I'm doing this just for those who might
happen to be here and want to watch a movie with me, since I'm blind.
But thanks for this, it should help a lot.

Re: Looking for A particular type of Video card

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I checked recently for a similar reason and was able to find some Nvidia
8400 GS based cards with analog outputs, S-Video in my case. Those seem
to be still around. Although they often say S-Video output, in my
experience composite is usually available too. But you'll have to check
to make sure.

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