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Mitch 3rd August 2002 06:19 PM

VGA to S Video/ S Video to RCA
hey guys,
If I wanted to run a vcr to a computer monitor, instead of buying a $90.00 VGA to RCA cable, could I go VGA to S Video, then S Video to RCA.
I think that would be a lot cheaper than the alternative.


Aud_Mot 3rd August 2002 09:49 PM


I might be telling you somehing you already know.

If you want to see a VHS composite video signal on a computer VGA type monitor, you will need something more than just a "cable." There would need to be some active electronics to make the NTSC (or PAL) to RGB conversion.

If you could give us more details of what and why you are trying to do this, we could be of more help.

Is it that you have a spare VGA monitor and you want to use it on your VCR? Is a PC part of the mix?


Mitch 4th August 2002 07:31 AM

No, a PC isn`t going to be part of the mix. I just have a nice monitor that I would like to hook a VCR up to.
I`ve seen the VGA to RCA cables made for plasma TVs, but they are really expensive.

Thanks for your help,

Aud_Mot 6th August 2002 04:09 AM


What you need to shop for is a composite video to VGA converter.

Assuming you live in North America, you are talking about NTSC composite video. That means all the video information comes down a single coaxial cable. All mixed together on this cable are several discrete signals needed to generate an image on a TV screen.

A computer monitor needs those different signals on individual wires, that is why you use a 15 pin monitor connector.

Add in that your computer monitor displays it's image with 3 important differences. a) It redraws the screen at a faster rate b) It does it from top to bottom, (the non-interlaced spec you see) TVs do it very other line line then goes back to the top and does the lines it missed first time (called interlaced) c) your computer monitor has roughly 2x the lines of resoultion of a Standard NTSC TV signal. 1024 lines computer Vs 525 lines TV.

A broadcast engineer could take me to task for some small errors in the above, but I simplified things for easier understanding.

That explains why just a cable will not work. You need an active converter. I would be suprised if you can get one for under USD $100.00. Broadcast ones cost thousands.

You might be disapointed with the results. "Blowing up" 525 video lines to 1024 lines might sound like a good idea, but you will just be seeing more of the imperfections and noise of your source. It is very much the same as enlarging an old snap shot.

If you do buy something, see if the store will let you try it out first, or let you return it for a refund.

Good luck,


Mitch 6th August 2002 05:39 AM

well see, they have these composite video to VGA adapters that are these yellow boxes for about $80.00 USD. These are the only ones I have been able to find.

Heres something else I just found.

Schaef 6th August 2002 12:31 PM


Originally posted by Mitch
well see, they have these composite video to VGA adapters that are these yellow boxes for about $80.00 USD. These are the only ones I have been able to find.

Heres something else I just found.

The E-bay item won't do what you want. It goes the wrong way. Besides, its still not a composite signal. I really don't think you're going to find a passive cable to do what you want. In addition to the items that Aud_Mot mentioned, you have several steps to go through just to get the VGA signals. You have to first separate out the chroma and the intensity (I think that's what its called, I'm blanking on it right now) signals. Then you have to figure out how to separate that into an RGB signal. Next you have to get the horizontal and veritcal sync pulses out of the stream and separate those onto their own lines. (Yes, it could be re-generated, but then you need a gen-lock to make sure its synched to the original signal)

So, as you can see, its pretty complicated and not easy to do. It can be done, but not with a passive cable or set of cables. Your best bet is one of those $80 boxes. Although I have to question spending $80 on a box to convert a crappy image onto a probably small monitor, when you can spend the same $80 (or maybe a little more) and just buy a TV with a tuner and everything else!

annex666 1st September 2002 12:38 PM


Originally posted by Schaef

...the chroma and the intensity...

chrominesence and luminesence - literaly colour and intensity (one measure for light intensity is Lumens - although I believe the UK and US use a different Lumens scale).

Hope I helped, although not with the content of the thread just general knowledge.

hifiZen 6th September 2002 06:13 AM

Analog Devices makes a part... check out the AD723 and AD724

hifiZen 6th September 2002 06:16 AM

Oh, oops. You want the opposite... composite to RGB. hmm...

hifiZen 6th September 2002 06:22 AM

You could connect an AD7185 to ADV7190... the video will go through an A-D / D-A cycle, but it will do what you want. You could also use the comparable Philips parts (SAA711x series and the like) or one of the other AD parts if you can't get your hands on those specific chips, but those are the ones which came to mind. I'm afraid I don't know of a chip that will do what in the analog domain.

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