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Someone Want To Figure This Out?

Over the last six months, I’ve been slowly building my wife a computer on the cheap. In total, I’ve spent maybe $100, plus various collected junk parts, and built a very nice Media Center PC without hurting the old bank account. Problem is, the goal is to connect the PC to the HDTV, and the video card outputs VGA and S-Video, neither of which I can connect to the TV for an HD signal.

I picked up a VGA to component video cable, and summarilly discovered I know nothing about video equipment. As I understand, and please correct me if I’m still wrong, the VGA outputs RGB signals and my TV only accepts over component YPbPr signals, so a cable isn’t enough. I either need an RGA to component converter (not cheap) or a video card that can output a compatible signal.

Now, here’s what I think I’ve gathered: Some video cards can be set to output YPbPr component over VGA, and then my VGA-to-component cable will work. Others output DVI and I can get a converter to plug it into my TV’s single HDMI slot (which I’d rather not do, I’m saving that for the Xbox 360). Also, there are other ways to get component out of my computer, including video cards that take component cables.

I’d prefer to be able to use my VGA-to-component cable. HDMI (or rather, DVI to HDMI) is a last resort. If you understand this better than I do, please explain what I’m wrong about. I have some Amazon referral money I can use to pay for it, but I’d like to spend under $100 for the card and accessories (like cables), and hopefully I can sell the current (unused) video card to make some of that back.

Besides some advice, I’d like to give something back, so if you recommend a video card (AGP, or worst case regular PCI), list it below in the comments with an Amazon referral code, so when I buy it you can get some money back. Consider that the PC has a weak power supply, so if the card requires me to buy a new power supply, it better be cheap enough that both the card and the power supply are under $100.

So, if you know a little about video cards and formats, help me out (earn a little referral cash) so I can finish this thing and my wife can stop borrowing my laptop. I’d really appreciate the advice.

November 19th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | 4 comments

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  1. Well, it sounds kinda easy, it would be easier, and nicer if it were PCI express, but AGP is dooable:

    Really, all you want is the ability to output to Compoent, and some cards come with ability, and the thing you need.

    Here is a good one i’d say:
    GeForce 6200
    It’s only listed as from a person, and not New, but it shouldn’t matter.

    If you’re not hard pressed to use your Amazon refferal money, go to Newegg, much more choices, and sometimes better prices.

    good luck

    Comment by steve | November 19, 2007

  2. You could always go with an HDMI selector switch if you decide to go the hdmi route: HDMI Switcher.

    Otherwise, I think you’re looking for a scan converter to convert VGA to component and the cheapest one I could find was $184.

    In the end it might be easier to go with a different video card, although I’d check online for the one you have, particularly if it’s an ATI it might be able to output component through VGA already.

    Comment by Robert Stern | November 20, 2007

  3. Steve, looks good, though I’d prefer to go with a slightly more expensive newer card that’s likely to get better Vista driver support. I might just pull the trigger on that one. Where did you see that it outputs component over VGA?

    Robert, I’d still have to buy a new video card, plus the switcher ($70) plus an HDMI cable. I’d like to avoid HDMI at all costs, but if I have to, do you see an HDMI card that’s cheap (or a DVI that bundles a DVI-to-HDMI cable)?

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | November 20, 2007

  4. On Newegg it shows you all the stuff it comes with new, and the abilities it has.
    Send me an email (the one here). And I’ll get back to you with some more choices, but not till monday at the earliest, as this holiday weekend is kinda busy for me.

    Comment by steve | November 23, 2007

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