PC To TV Video Converter
|Average Customer Review: ( 483 customer reviews )
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196 of 199 found the following review helpful:
Works good so far Mar 04, 2010
By J. Black
Works great right out of the box. Works great for watching Hulu and other streaming video sources. Picture looks just like its from a cable box or dvd player.
As someone else noted, you'll have to make sure to switch from PAL to NTSC if you're in North America (default is PAL). This is configured with dip switches.
I did not have to deal with the problem of the settings having to be readjusted after every use (that WOULD be annoying), because I didn't really have to adjust anything. Of course, the edge of the desktop was rolled off the edge of the screen on all four sides, but this is because of the nature of old-fashioned SD CRT televisions: they are actually designed to cut off some of the picture so that there is no "wasted" space. If I wanted to, I could have probably fiddled with the "zoom" and positioning controls, but for what I wanted to use it for: watching streaming video (primarily old tv shows) off the web full-screen, that was unnecessary. The edge-to-edge effect with the tv cutting a bit off the edges is how we have watched tv for decades.
I am running mine through a Philips HDD DVD recorder, simply because that was the device that had convenient A/V jacks on the front in my rack. Probably it helps with some of the signal processing as well.
It is important for buyers to have correct expectations with this device, however: you should not expect crisp PC-monitor-like graphics and easily readable text fonts. Your old-style CRT television is simply not capable of producing a high-res image and was never designed to display computer output. Likewise if you use an LCD with this device it will be the same because the composite and S-Video inputs on even an LCD tv are designed to accept and display a signal of CRT-tv quality. Sorry but that's just the nature of this beast. Do not expect HD quality!
To the person who gave this a bad review because they ran the composite output of this into a dvd recorder and tried to upscale it to 720p with an hdmi output: your doing it wrong! If you want crisp, hi-def output on a hi-def tv that has hdmi, then why not just get a gadget that converts VGA directly to HDMI (they do exist, I believe), or get an HDMI output card on your computer? Many hi-dev tv's even have a VGA port, so you can just plug your PC into it directly (or a DVI port, which can be easily converted as well). There are many better ways to do it with a hi-def tv than with a scan converter; scan converters are meant for old-style standard def tv's which have no other input options than composite or S-Video. Of course you are going to get bad results when you take a hi-res computer image, shrink it down to DVD or VHS-quality video, then try to magnify it through "upconverter" circuits. Its like taking a 10 megapixel still photo, printing out a postage-stamp sized print on your ink-jet printer and then scanning it back in and then wondering why the quality is degraded!
But if Standard Def is fine for you (as it is for me), and you understand the limitations, then this will work well. I only rarely watch television, and I have not felt the urge yet to go out and spend hundreds or thousands on a super-duper 95 inch super ultra 1080i LED flat screen. I bought this to show old tv reruns to my kids on demand, and it works great for that! We just got done watching the third episode of the original 1960's Addams Family on my 32" Zenith CRT I bought for $25 at the Salvation Army, and it worked perfectly!
Bottom line: if you don't require high-def, and you understand the limitations, this will work well. Don't expect to use your TV as a computer monitor with this device--its for displaying power-point slides, video and still photos. At 800x600 with a big enough tv, it might work reasonably well as an ok monitor for occasional things. If you want PC-monitor-quality output with a hi-def tv, look for a different solution.
126 of 134 found the following review helpful:
Works quite well Mar 28, 2009
By David Glenn Lawson
The converter box has one input (VGA) and three outputs (VGA, TV, S-Video). It it powered off a USB port.
The pros are that it is small and works quite well for video. I tried it with three different pcs and the quality of the video input will determine what you get out of it.
Cons include the quality of text output to the screen and the use of a USB port for power. If you use large fonts and icons, a lower resolution setting (800x600) and a quality video card you can read text well enough to surf the web (but you will have to use scroll bars at that low resolution) - I am using an older 36" Toshiba (pre-HD)
I am overall pleased with my purchase. I would recommend it for the price.
80 of 88 found the following review helpful:
Must re-configure each power cycle! Dec 26, 2009
By J. Chris Campbell
The device came set to PAL, but once I switched it to NTSC it was easy to configure.
The size and position for horizontal and vertical are easy to set, but the device forgets my settings every time I turn it off. Since I am powering the device from the computer's USB port instead of using a separate power supply, this happens every time I turn the computer off.
Since the device sits behind my computer and TV, I find it easier to live with only being able to see the top 60% of my lower panel (GNOME) or task-bar (Windows) than it is to re-configure the device every time I turn on my computer.
My TV is about 37 inches and not high definition (free at the dumpster when my neighbors got a HD flat-screen :-) ). I find that text is too fuzzy to read without large fonts for the OS when I use 1024x768, so I keep my computer set to 800x600.
A word of advice, do not let your computer automatically adjust your display size because it will automatically detect 1152x864 which is an unsupported resolution. At this resolution, my TV flickers and there is double-image with most text un-readable. Depending on your OS, this may or may not be possible to prevent, and it can be very difficult to override since the screen is garbled when you try to change the settings (especially if you don't know the keyboard commands for your OS).
57 of 63 found the following review helpful:
Great Little Gadget Dec 18, 2009
By N. Meredith
This converter works well. I did have a small problem hooking it up using my laptop. It took me about an hour to figure it out. The problem was on my end not the converters. But after I figured out the problem it worked like a charm.
This product does come with instructions and troubleshooting but it is not very detailed. The problem I had was getting a picture to show on my TV. I set the NTSC panels down for USA. I put the VGA connection in my laptop and connected the other end to the VGA in port on the converter and the S-Video out to my TV. Vertical colored lines showed up on my TV screen (like the when a tv network goes off and they are testing) I was able to press the menu button on the converter and I did see the menu options come up. So I knew I had something right.
((( SETTING YOUR LAPTOP DISPLAY )))
I ended up having to set the Display menu on my laptop. Click Start, Control Panel, Display. Click on the Settings tab. Then click advanced Then you will have to click the tab that displays what type of viewing equipment you are using. (Not general, adapter, monitor, troubleshoot, color management) Its the tab that I didn't list here ... LOL ... You then want to set it to dual view. You might have a drop down box or option box. Once you set it click ok.
I hope this helps, cause it took me an hour to finally figure it out... LOL... GOOD LUCK!
20 of 21 found the following review helpful:
Works well and for an affordable price Sep 18, 2010
I ordered this product because I wanted to hook up my netbook running Windows XP (with a small display) to my TV in order to watch streaming video, such as Netflix, on a decent-sized display.
As with any type of conversion from PC to TV, things such as text will be nearly impossible to read, but video (including subtitles or text in the video itself) looks great. I can't really tell a difference between this setup and cable TV.
Product works as advertised and comes with all cables needed to hook up to an RCA input or an S-Video input. Note that there is no audio hookup on the unit. This was not a problem for me, as I hooked up a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable (such as this: http://www.amazon.com/RiteAV-3-5mm-Stereo-Male-Cable/dp/B000V0G2C4/ref=pd_cp_e_2) from the headphone jack on my laptop to the same input on my TV as the converter is hooked to (i.e. converter connects laptop to Video 2 video inputs on TV and audio cable connects from headphone jack on laptop to Video 2 audio input). This allows the audio to play (and control volume) through my TV.
I set mine up so that the converter signal acts as a secondary monitor (this is an option in my display settings). This way, I can keep my PC monitor at the higher resolution I like (1366 by 768), and the secondary display has the lower resolution (1024 by 768) in order to make the converter's signal show up. I have a separate browser window on the secondary display (TV), so I can surf or work using my laptop display and the video plays on the TV. When I need to read the text in the browser window in order to change videos, I just drag that browser window back onto my main display (where I can actually read the text), find and start the video, then drag it back on my secondary display (or just squint a lot!).
A couple of troubleshooting notes:
- If you see a blue screen or colored bars on your TV, try lowering the resolution on your PC display.
- If you're in the U.S. and the display is black and white and/or wiggling, make sure both jumpers are set for NTSC. (There is a diagram on the bottom of the unit)
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