PC Component Out Options?


Senior Member
I purchased a Dell pc a while back thinking that it had a video output card. I was wrong. It only has a VGA output. So needless to say I've waited to long before playing with the thing and not sending it back is not an option. So I need a cheap card or converter that will allow me to have a Component(R,G,:) output. I'd like to keep it under $80.

I found this cable and was wondering if something like this would work.

I will be pumping the signal into and Infocus X1 which is "HDTV 1080i, 720p, and component 480p" only.

The computer will be dedicated to running a CQC interface viewer and controlling a Sony 7777. So I won't need to use it with any displays other than the Infocus X1. The computer has 2 PCI Express slots available.

What are my options here?
I will be watching this post to see the the "experts" have to say.

If the "Infocus X1" is a VGA projector, I think your cable will work. If it is a HDTV, I would suggest trying the newer ATI cards that supports the dvi-to-component adapter that ATI sells (since you do have PCI-e slots available) .

For a HD TV input, I don't think the cable you referenced will work as desired (but I DO NOT speak from experience....only what I have read).
Smarty, don't be watching me, 'cause I'm no "expert". :)

But I don't think that cable will work, because it's the wrong type of component video. Actually, it should give you a picture, but the picture will be the wrong color.

Squintz, as you are aware, VGA is a flavor of component labeled "RGB" (red, green, and blue). Though some HD displays accept RGB, most use the flavor labeled "YPrPb" (luminance, red-difference, and blue-difference). This is what most DVD players put out.

Since it only takes a wee-bit of analog circuitry to convert between two, there are cable adapters that can do it. I will have a look around.
Thanks for the help guys. I just need to use my Infocus X1 as a monitor for my Dell PC and using the infocus's VGA input is not an option due to the location of the projector and the fact that I did not run cables from the computers location to the projector. So I want to feed the computer's output into my Denon receiver via Component and have the receiver route the signal to the projector. I think the projector is using the "YPrPb" flavor that you mentioned and the PC is outputing standard VGA(RGB)
The ideal situation would be a card that output component direct without adapters. Does anything like that exist?
Just about any new video card has the ability to do component out.

Since you have PCIe slots available, I'd suggest spending a little more than you had planned and getting a 7600GT like this.

It has a component break-out dongle and no fan.

On the other hand, if you don't care about noise then you can go with something like this that is closer to your price range, has a fan but still has a component break-out dongle.
I never seen these component breakout dongles before. It appears to me that they connect to an "S-Video" looking circular jack.

I know I need to keep up with the times, but is this round jack really an S-video output? I know an S-video signal cannot be Hi Def (right?) so, what resoltion of component out can these cards typically supply via this round jack? I assume they can do 720p or 1080i right?
Smarty said:
I never seen these component breakout dongles before. It appears to me that they connect to an "S-Video" looking circular jack.
I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop that "appears" to have an S-Video jack on the back. But is you look closely, it not only has the obligatory 4 pins, but an extra 3 pins as well. Wondering WTF, I found this buried in the owners manual:
Your computer has an S-video TV-out connector that, together with a standard S-video cable, a composite video adapter cable, or a component video adapter cable (available from Dell), enable you to connect the computer to a TV.
So I suspect that it is somebody's (Intel's? It's their video chipset) enhancement to the S-Video connector to allow for component video.
Yup. The cards have more pins in there. With the (now called) "HDTV Adapter" (which would have previously been called a "component video adapter" as it was on my old ATI cards) you get the YPrPb output from that S-Video-PLUS jack. :eek:

All that said...

Let's start over.

I re-read the first post.

You have an Infocus X1. According to the data here this is an SVGA native projector with VGA interface. True? Accurate?

That means that it is actually only capable of 600 lines of resolution.

Although the review says "the X1's rendering of 1080i is a thing of beauty", it's still got nowhere near the processing capacity of a PC running ffdshow properly configured... and it's upscaling and interpolating the 1080i input to it's native 600 lines.

Run the cable as a regular VGA cable. Configure the second display as 800x600 (the native resolution) then get to work on the upscaling.

HDTV, 720p, 1080i, 1080p... these are all resolutions that your projector does NOT support natively. It's upscaling them. Don't send it "component" or "720p" or "1080i", send it SVGA. Adapt it / upscale it - and process it as much as your heart desires and processor on your HTPC can handle - and send it at the projector's native 800x600.

Run the 777ES into it in component mode and switch between the two based on your source.

For the record, I have run three different projectors this same way and it has produced the best results in each case. Currently, my HTPC sends WXGA (1360x768) to the Sanyo PLV-70 and my preamp switches between two (or three) 777ES units and sends component signals into the same projector by switching the projector's source. I've used a Panasonic and HP projector for the same purpose before getting the Sanyo, which is used to shoot 24' across the room to hit a 10' diagonal screen, which required a telephoto lens and thus the PLV-70. The HTPC - when configured and running correctly - is a much better picture than the 777ES units - which are no slouch by most reviews. Of course, the 777ES units just do their job... and that's hard to beat compared to a tempermental PC. :D
man, I was wondering why this got so quiet so quickly after I posted.

Thought I missed something during the discussion and posted a reply that made no sense and nobody wanted to point out how foolish I was.

Greg, have you tried either or those cards that you posted? The buying guide over at AVSForum says to avoid the GS cards and I would assume the same with the LE.

I haven't tried either, so I haven't a clue how well they work (I'm still playing with a 6600GT, personally) but I am curious to see if you've had luck with either.

Also, a bit of a de-rail, in your last post, it sounds like what you're saying to do with the computer is to output an 800x600 signal but clean-up, process and resize the video within that resolution?

So you would embed 1080i video within the 800x600 resolution? I never got into the ffdshow thing as until just recently I didn't have a computer that could handle it (and even now I'm not sure if I do or not) but I didn't realize that's how it works.
I have used MANY different cards and have had good luck with one model of a given brand then bad with the next; if the reviews warn against them, go with your gut. I'm not ashamed to return things that don't work... though I'm often so lazy that I just end up giving them away a few months later. ;)

Yes, I'm suggesting that based on your initial post you should NOT make your PC to component out to a device that will accept VGA input from that PC.

It's all your projector can do. Don't send it a PC-adapted rate that it will then re-adapt.

Try it even without FFDSHOW. I've found that many of the recent codecs - from WinDVD or PowerDVD or Nvidia - are VERY good and you may not even see much difference between the simple output from those players (or Zoom Player using those codecs) and getting all fancy about it. Your projector will only do 600 lines. There's only so much fanciness you can do before you hit that projector and it dumbs it all back down to 600 lines. Unless I'm wrong about the model you have...

Think of it this way: unless the projector will handle 1080 lines of resolution (natively) then it must process whatever you give it to whatever level it is actually going to do.
And if there's to be processing going on, it's not all that likely that a good codec on the PC won't keep up with the scaling on the projector. That has been my experience, anyway... and on projectors that also have very well rated scalers.