Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How do I connect the VGA monitor output from a computer to a HDTV Component video input? Can I just use a VGA to Component video cable?

You will need more than just cables, you will need video format converters.
VGA signals are in the RGB format, while TV's with Component video is a Y-Pr-Pb encoded format.
We have several different models depending on exactly what you will need. The "non scaling" converters output the exact same resolution and refresh rate as they have going into their input. This is confusing to many people, because it is, well, pretty confusing. It converts only the color encoding, not the resolution, and the scan rate stays the same. So for a TV that only takes 720p (1280x720@60Hz) you must set the computer output to 1280x720@60Hz. Not 75Hz, or 70Hz, but 60Hz. Not 1280x1024 or 1024x768, it would need to be 1280x720@60Hz. 1080i settings are the same type of deal, only often trickier. Some of the new video card drivers have specific HDTV (720p/1080i) output settings which usually work very well.
With a converter that has built-in scaling you can convert the color encoding while also converting the resolution and refresh rate so you can take most common video formats of the PC type and convert to most of the common formats of the TV type. This is much easier of course, but also can tend to distort the image if you try and convert from/to very dissimilar formats. For example, converting an image from standard TV size - 4:3 to Widescreen - 16:9 will distort the image, making average people appear rather overweight.

Low cost Audio Authority Converter

Key Digital KD-VA5 bi-directional converter

Calrad Scaler/Converter

Audio Authority 1365 Scaler/Converter

Related Blog posts:
How to connect HDMI to VGA/Component Video?
Question about Converting HDMI to VGA with a Projector

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