S-Video cable PC to TV

Hi, I’m probably outing myself as the complete idiot I am here … I bought an S-Video cable to watch some stuff that only runs on our PC conveniently on our bigger TV, but after hooking it up and switching the TV to AV there was no signal coming into the TV, all we got was a blue screen & nothing I did (not a lot) changed that. Any tips on what I could do to get this set-up running? Thanks, Xpet.

Isn’t s-video a digital output? you need an AV output for your TV. you have to buy the right card for your computer for that.

This is what I do, too, but with a notebook. I need to select a hot key combination to toggle between the s-video output and the regular display. I imagine it’s not so simple on a PC. Check your display adapter manual: I think you need to have multiple monitor support also.

I’m pretty sure S-video is analog - it’s on many old VCRs. It’s just better quality than composite. You may be thinking of firewire.

As to the problem, the way I read it is that you’re running S-video from your PC (how?) to the TV? The only thing I can think of is that you need to tune your TV to the new signal, but I assume you thought of that :slight_smile:

Daltongang, thanks a lot, I’ll look for a card, hope they’re not too expensive. If anybody has any recommendations I’d appreciate it! Are these TV-cards available for the PCMCIA-slot? Thanks, Xpet.

Hi daasgrrl, thanks, now I’m a bit confused … I hope you’re right and s-video is analog (which I assumed without realizing it :wink: ) so that I won’t have to buy another piece of hardware. All I did was switch the TV from “TV”-mode to “AV”-mode, usually whenever we feed a signal to the TV from our DVD-player or our VCR, that does the trick. I would assume that it should work this way in both cases (digital & analog) as DVD is digital and VCR is analog, right? So if the TV doesn’t mind what kind of input it’s getting, the problem should be more in the direction of what daltongang was talking about, is that logical?

Is there anybody out there who has done this before? Thanks so much, Xpet.

sorry, forgot this: how do I run s-video from the laptop to the TV? I bought a cable that is s-video (outlet on the laptop or rather on the docking-station) to those three white/red/yellow plugs (I’m sure they have a proper name …) which I then plug into the TV on the back, this particular TV does not have any other inputs like scat or so … Thanks!

Ahh, closet queen, this sounds like the solution to me! Sorry, I just saw your post … We are indeed using a laptop aswell, it sounds like it’s just the same as when connecting a monitor to the laptop, so I’d have to use the CRT/LCD function, right? Should have thought of this myself as I often use a monitor with my other (work)-laptop! I’ll try it tonight, thanks a lot! Xpet.

S-Video is indeed analog but be aware that you may not be able to see all kinds of movies as some codecs write directly into the graphics adapter and as such are seen on the monitor only.
I tried my laptop before (also S-Video) and while it would show the OS environment on the TV the media player window remained black on the TV (but movie could be seen on the laptop’s LCD).

Actually tuning is not required since you use an AV input. Tuning is only required for RF input signals (antenna/VCR via antenna).

DVD itself is digital but the video connection is mostly analog since the player converts the signal before sending it to the TV.
So no matter if you use composite, S-Video or component/RGB from DVD or e.g. VCR - it’s always analog.
Digital video connections are currently via DVI and (soon) HDMI only, but hardly any TV supports that. It’s mostly found on PC monitors, plasmas, perhaps LCD TVs and projectors.

S-Video use a 5-pin DIN connector, aka Hosiden. The yellow/red/white connections are for Composite video, audio right and audio left respectively. They are referred to as AV connection.
Note that S-Video does not transfer audio, it’s video only but with a better quality than composite.

Rascal, thanks, I guess I’ll see whether it works with the flics I’ve got or not. I think most of it is .avi files, I hope that’s a format you could successfully watch with your set-up? Thanks, Xpet.

Yeah that’s what I do. I hate to question Rascal’s technical prowess, but I don’t think it can be a codec issue: if it will display on your laptop screen, it will surely display on a TV screen since the S-video output is a converted analog signal.

I’ve occasionally had problems at first configuring the TV and laptop resolutions, etc. I fixed that by right clicking on the desktop and looking at the display properties: I can configure the multiple monitors there by choosing the primary and secondary displays and resolutions, etc. Once that’s done, you shouldn’t need to redo it. I’m on a Dell.

I used to download :blush: (ahem, borrow) movies or DVDs then spend hours converting them into other formats just so I could watch them on the home DVD player. Connecting your laptop directly is a whole lot easier! :smiley:

God luck.

[quote=“Closet Queen”]Yeah that’s what I do. I hate to question Rascal’s technical prowess, but I don’t think it can be a codec issue: if it will display on your laptop screen, it will surely display on a TV screen since the S-video output is a converted analog signal.[/quote]It’s a codec issue, some codecs write to an overlay instead of the main back buffer, because overlays can have a different format from the main screen, very useful if it’s a YUV format. Which is why screen capture programs don’t work with DVD players, because they don’t capture the overlay. But the overlays would certainly get output. Another problem you may have with TV output is if the DVD player checks for a macrovision compatible output, and it isn’t. It may refuse to play. Do you disgree Rascal ?

I am just amazed at how much you people know about this stuff, makes me wonder where I’ve been those last few years …

Thanks a lot everybody, I think my basic question is answered, or at least I hope so! I’ll probably run into more trouble regarding resolution etc., I’ll be back if I have more questions! Thanks Rascal for pointing out that I won’t have audio on the TV, if you wouldn’t have mentioned that I’d probably spent hours tonight trying to figure out that maddening silence from the box! I just wonder why they make the s-video cables with the three AV plugs if two of those are for left & right audio channels … ? Thanks again, Xpet.

Not at all. :sunglasses:

Not sure, it might depend on the encoding format used, AFAIK there can be different formats encoded into AVI files.

If the 3rd plug is the same type but yellow color than that’s for composite video, not S-Video!
Maybe you could describe the cable more in detail, i.e. what connectors at both ends and what colors do they have!?

Here is what I do with my DV cam when I want to connect it to the TV, using S-Video:
I use two cables, one 5-pin to 5-pin Hosiden for S-Video and one AV cable (mini 3-pole jack to red, white, yellow RCA/phono connector) for audio. The AV cable was supplied with the camera.
Connection of the S-Video is straight forward but I also connect the red and white plug of the AV cable (besides the S-Video cable) and leave the yellow one dangling around. Of course the red and white have to go to the same input as the S-Video cable at the TV, e.g. AV2.
Therefore you might need an adapter cable to get the audio from the laptop’s headphone out to the white and red RCA/phono cable/connector which then should find a matching input at the TV.

Rascal, thanks, I think I even still have one of those at home, once used to connect a SONY discman to a stereo set (mini stereo jack to AV, right?). I am learning a lot today, thanks! Xpet.

Sounds about right. :slight_smile:

Dear Rascal, it’s a partial success. Basically everything you said happened, s-video = video only, audio from the headphone jack. As I write this, Bill Murray’s “LIT” is running on our TV from this very laptop (don’t tell anybody), great! However, two problems: it’s only black & white (at first I thought it was the movie, it does have this b&w feeling to it, right? But it isn’t …) and it only works when I maximize the viewing window of the media player (in this case VLC), not in “full screen” mode, then I only get a black screen on the TV. Any recommendations?

Anyway, thanks a lot for coaching me to this little success, much appreciated! Xpet.

Black & white sounds like a PAL/NTSC issue, i.e. the movie is NTSC and the TV PAL only (unlikely here in Taiwan) or the movie is PAL (which would be unusual, too) and the TV is NTSC only. Doubt that’s the problem though.

Otherwise I could only think of a problem with the application or codec you are using, tried an update (if available)?

Also try another media player though be aware that I have problems under Windows (using MS and non-MS players) which don’t exist under Linux, thus it might well be a problem with the OS itself. Problems are however not related to DVD but self-made VCDs (they play in my DVD player, too).

Codecs galore here:


Couple of things…

  1. One end of a cable has an S-video connector and the otherside has the RCA triple (1 video and 2 audio connectors) - Some s-video ports include audio out. I forget if it’s an extra pin or one of the pins have it enabled on there. Found this out from a radioshack trip one time.

1a) Audio… if you’re going out from the headset jack. You can buy a left/right adapter to split the sound. Forget the technical term but it’s essentially a splitter. sorry if you already knew that.

  1. Black and white… could be NTSC/PAL. Or… cough there are certain videos out there that flip between color and black and white. Uh, from what I hear they are referred to as screeners. You can sometimes tell when the label is displayed but not always. Just a thought.

I use a PC (VGA) to TV device myself. Cost $1400NT from GuangHua. Powered via USB so dont need another bloody power brick. :slight_smile: