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142 Reviews
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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product & price for the need, be aware this conversion can not be made perfectly
INTRODUCTION:

Heads-up: Most people aren't fully knowledgeable of this particular avenue of technology, meaning that contrary to what you might hope or have been told, you can't down-vert VGA to a TV resolution without quality loss. Most of the reviews which scathe this product and others, saying the quality sucks, might be true but they're not recognizing the...
Published on June 1, 2010 by T. Sessoms

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Video Quality
Terrible video quality, from *both* Sabrent converters I purchased. The first one was great for about two weeks, then the image gradually got darker the longer I used it. I thought it was a setting on my computer so I'd keep turning the brightness up on both the computer and the converter but that didn't really work, the image was still distorted. Someone told me to...
Published on May 21, 2010 by Bryen Christopher


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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product & price for the need, be aware this conversion can not be made perfectly, June 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
INTRODUCTION:

Heads-up: Most people aren't fully knowledgeable of this particular avenue of technology, meaning that contrary to what you might hope or have been told, you can't down-vert VGA to a TV resolution without quality loss. Most of the reviews which scathe this product and others, saying the quality sucks, might be true but they're not recognizing the fact it's a limitation of the technology--not the device. Don't review a device poorly for something it cannot do.

First thing to know is, when converting any video signal into a different format, it most likely will not be perfect. When downgrading from VGA to Composite (RGB), it's even worse. You need to know this up front and expect it. Unless you buy specific hardware (for much more), or have specific software which helps down-vert the graphics, it's going to lose sharpness and sometimes clarity, and at worse the image might appear "shifty". Even the special hardware and software won't make it perfect, it merley softens edges for the most part. TV quality composite wasn't designed for the resolution capability of VGA, or even today's higher-end video output formats.

Your needs and application may vary. For simple things like watching videos or playing games (which use mostly graphics and large fonts, not small text), and certain presentation applications, this will be perfect. This will not be good if you need to browse the web and still think you'll be able to easily read small text with clarity.

PROS:

* Price for the features you get - awesome. It works as described, includes everything you need to get going. You shouldn't spend more than this

* Includes everything you need

* Intuitive/easy to use out of the box, < 2 minute setup time

* Great quality video as expected (read 'introduction' and 'my application' and 'video quality' for more details)

* Excellent for DVD playback/video/games/presentation/GUI interfaces

CONS:

* The sharp/crisp/high-quality stuff you see on a normal computer screen will not be here--because it's not possible to down-vert VGA to Composite without losing the quality. This is not a flaw of the device, it's merely the technology.

* Not good for browsing sites which use lots of text, reading documents, things of that nature--again, this is not the device, it's a limitation of the technology itself

MY APPLICATION:

I needed this to convert a low-resolution VGA output (640x480 or 800x600) into a Composite feed which could be seen on a 6.5" or 7" LCD with average quality. What this means is, small fonts like 10pt, 12pt, etc, were not expected (or needed), as it was a GUI-driven touch-screen interface using mostly graphics and large fonts. For this purpose, the output was perfect for my needs.

I had everything

VIDEO/PICTURE QUALITY:

4 out of 5. (please read the introduction to see more about video quality)

The quality is exactly what I expected, so the rating is high. If you expect this to look as sharp as a projector, you're looking at the wrong item--get a projector. On a medium-sized screen (relative to what I'm used to), 37-45", most normal text (10-14pt font, unbolded) looks grainy. 12+ size font bolded looks decent. Graphics, ones which aren't intricate and which lack detail, look great. Anything with lots of detail is going to look off. Imagine trying to play one of today's high-end games, but through the graphics ability of a 20 year old gaming system. It simply won't look right.

But if you're going for simple or large graphics, pictures, video, flash games, solitaire, web-browsing using large fonts and low-resolution, presentations, gui-interfaces, car-computers, and other stuff along those lines, you get the drift. This is perfect for playing a DVD on a computer and porting it to your TV. It's not great for trying to read a Word document with small font at a high resolution.

Something to note is the high resolution input it can take, very awesome. Something to be aware of, however, is that these high resolutions don't look great on all TV screens. You'll have to try some out to see what works best for your application. I accidentally put 1600x1200 through it and it rendered even though it said it wouldn't.

PRODUCT QUALITY:

5 out ot 5. It's compact, the device is sturdy, all the ports are firm, nothing is loose when you plug it in.

INSTRUCTIONS:

3 out of 5. The instructions were adequate but lack a lot of detail. Not that you need a lot of detail, but for some it may be helpful. I merely plugged it up and started toying with it. I didn't read the instructions until I wanted to see an explanation of all the menu items. The menu layout is very low-tech but functional, reminds me of first generation VCR's.

INCLUDED CABLES:

5 out of 5. They give you everything you need to get started, including a short composite cable.

NOTES:

* As with lots of electrical devices, I suggest having all your connections made prior to applying power. So if your computer/tv are already on, connect the VGA and composite cables up first, then plug your USB cable in to provide power. Or, better yet, have everything turned off first, plug everything up, then turn on your equipment.

* Other units which look alike and advertise they do the same, may be able to do the same, but many of the ones I reviewed on Amazon and elsewhere all had the same series of bad reviews--mostly hardware failures and defects. This model appears to have good reviews across all the websites. Pay the extra $15 for it.

* An $80 unit won't do more quality-wise than this unit will; at best it will have a better menu system, and maybe more overall features, but the quality will be the same. Unless you break the $100+ mark and get a unit which advertises boosted video signal and special firmware/software to help make fonts/edges/contrast look better, it's not worth the extra money.

* What you expect in quality of picture versus what you get, will differ compared to someone else's expectations.

* You may see a split-second flicker of the RGB bars when everything powers up the first time, but immediately following should be your VGA. This is normal, RGB bars indicate there's a composite signal but there's no video or picture to render. If the RGB bars stay "on" with your computer connected, make sure you are using the right input resolution (I suggest dropping to 640x480 and then move up from there). If the RGB bars are always "on" and your computer isn't connected, this might indicate a problem with the unit or it might be "normal" depending on how your TV renders composite signals (some will display RGB bars to let you know it has a composite connection but no input).

* Menu layout is "simple" and low-tech, but it does provide you with the features you need to make sure the image fits on screen just right.

* I didn't check to see if it loses its settings (which you can change through the menu) after power-off because it doesn't affect my use of the product.

* Some systems, usually laptops, may not immediately render the video to the screen. Try making sure your composite cable is hooked up to the TV, your VGA cable is hooked up to the laptop, and then turning the laptop on. Also try it the other way around, have the laptop on and then connect everything. Also try powering the device after the connections are made, or before, whichever works. This is due to how some electrical signals "latch" in varying computers (usually laptops with the selectable VGA/LCD options). Never had the issue with a desktop or dedicated VGA-out.

* Something to note is the high resolution input it can take, very awesome. Something to be aware of, however, is that these high resolutions don't look great on all TV screens. You'll have to try some out to see what works best for your application. I accidentally put 1600x1200 through it and it rendered even though it said it wouldn't.
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99 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for streaming Netflix movies to TV, December 16, 2009
By 
Jesse S (Norwood, MA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
I bought this so I could play streaming Netflix movies through my laptop on my LCD TV. Device worked perfectly right out of the box. Here are the connection steps: 1. Connect laptop "VGA out" to device "VGA in" using included cable. 2. Connect device's power cable to USB port of laptop. 3. Connect device to LCD TV using included S-Video cable. 4. Turn on TV and laptop. 5. Use TV remote to select appropriate S-Video input port. 6. Set laptop to send video out through VGA. I had it working in about 10 minutes, playing a streaming Netflix movie through my laptop onto the TV. Picture quality was better than I expected, almost as good as the picture from the cable box. Device comes with a composite video cable also, so you have a choice of either S-Video or composite video (yellow RCA plug) connection to your TV. Overall, I'm very happy with ease of setup and picture quality. (My setup: Compaq Presario CQ60 laptop with Vista, and Westinghouse 26" LCD TV, connected via this converter.)
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, September 8, 2009
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
This converter does what it says....Lets you watch anything on your pc monitor on your tv also. The picture is amazing. I think the picture on my tv looks better than the picture on my pc monitor (which is digital from an HDMI source). I'm running the converter from the analog source on my pc then s-video to the tv which plugs into my Video 1 input. It does not go to the monitor. I just got a black screen on the tv until I went into the NVidia properties and set up the tv as a clone and had to play with the PAL/NTSC switches to make the picture look right.
I am very happy with this product. I expected to get something that worked but didn't look so great and I was fairly shocked at how nice it looks.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much works as it should, December 24, 2009
By 
KenSW (Long Island, NY USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
Hook up was fairly simple. It came with all necessary cables. Composite output worked perfectly but S-Video wasn't so clear. Streaming Netflix, the picture quality using composite video was pretty good using PC resolution of 768x1024. The browser was easier to see on the screen (55" analog TV) using 600x800 so I suggest that setting if you really need to read the TV screen. The streaming movie appeared to be just about the same in either resolution. I recommend this product if you need composite output to an "old" analog input TV.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected., January 4, 2010
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
I got this for use with a Samsung NC-20 netbook. I expected it to be primitive, that it might require some tweaking to get to work passably. But it worked amazingly well right from the start. It exceeded my expectations.

I was impressed that it did up to 1280x1024 resolution. Prior to buying it, I thought it only did up to 1024x768. The Amazon description isn't accurate. On the box, it actually says 1280x1024.

I like the horizontal and vertical scroll switches as well. That lets you position things on your screen properly. And the zoom feature helps you read text better.

And best of all, no software to install. No drivers to get. It works right out of the box.

You just have to know how to enable your VGA output on your laptop, that's all. That shouldn't be too hard. Just google it or go to your control panel's "display" properties section.

So far I've watched several movies and sporting events through this over my laptop. And they look like regular TV. No pixelation. It's much better than watching them on the laptop screen.

Of course it is a lower resolution than your regular computer screen. So don't expect to see your icons and computer text very clearly. They will all appear somewhat fuzzy. Which is why the zoom feature of the device comes in handy every now and then. But I still wouldn't recommend it for web surfing (unless you increase your text and icon sizes). Just use it for video playing.

The only issue that came up was at the very beginning. When I turned it on for the first time, it resulted in a scrolling, jittery display. But I quickly figured out that it was preset to PAL TV instead of NTSC TV, so I solved that by toggling the two DIP switches on the side of the device. That took me all of 20 seconds to realize and do. Once I did, it was working perfectly.

And I do mean perfectly. No jitters. No snow. No ghost images. Just a solid screen.

I looked at other devices of this type as well. Many of them do the same thing. But I remember reading the comments for one of them, and someone said that their device overheated to the point where you couldn't even touch it. Well, not with this device. This device is completely cold to the touch. It uses USB for the power (which is very minimal power), so it couldn't overheat even if it wanted to.

Oh, speaking of power. You might want to buy a "wall outlet to USB power converter" for this if you're using it with your laptop. That way, you can use a wall socket instead of your laptop for the power. It's not a huge power drain, but I figure you can save your battery this way.

Another thing you might want to buy along with this is an audio "Y" splitter cable. The cable has a stereo 3.5mm male plug to two RCA male plugs (one for left and one for right audio). That lets you connect your laptop's audio to a TV in case you don't want to hear audio through your laptop.

Great purchase! Now I can use the laptop as a portable DVR. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Video Quality, May 21, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
Terrible video quality, from *both* Sabrent converters I purchased. The first one was great for about two weeks, then the image gradually got darker the longer I used it. I thought it was a setting on my computer so I'd keep turning the brightness up on both the computer and the converter but that didn't really work, the image was still distorted. Someone told me to buy a separate USB power adapter to help, but that didn't improve the image at all. Finally I bought the second Sabrent converter to replace the first one thinking I'd just gotten a bad device. After two weeks the second converter began dimming as well until it was just too distorted to be useful. These converters were only used for about 10 hours per week for two weeks and both ended up being terrible. I've since purchased a KWorld KW-SA235 PC to TV adapter and it's been fine for over a month now.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sabrent Laptop to TV Converter, March 13, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
This comment is for the "Sabrent PC Laptop Mac Computer to TV Presentation Converter, VGA to Video, PC to TV Converter Box, VGA-Video Converter TV-PC85" only.

I received this item on time in a sealed box. The box was missing an s-video cable that was supposed to be included. I had an extra cable at home, so I tried anyway. I followed the instructions and this product NEVER WORKED.

Issues:
1. The menu was difficult to navigate and technology seemed old.
2. So-called "manual" was poorly constructed and difficult to follow.
3. I have a Mitsubishi DLP 60" and the picture was fuzzy with lines on screen.
4. The Sabrent device completely disabled my laptop function key for brightness, sound, etc. It actually took over my laptop functionality and I had to unplug Sabrent device on numerous occasions to decipher the issue.
5. I laughed when I opened the package because the device is so tiny. The Amazon picture makes it look much different.

I purchased this based on Amazon users' experiences. I do not understand how this product received so many good reviews.

I'm returning the product for a full refund and will find another way to watch netflix on TV.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for watching movies on an older T.V!!!, June 25, 2010
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This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
I am a student that just finished my freshman year of college. While at school, I filled my 1 tb hard drive with movies and T.V. shows that I could watch over the summer. This converter was just what I needed to send my movies from my laptop to my older 32" t.v. set.

Pros: Great value! Easy to hook up and use right out of the box. Movies look great on the t.v, its no HD, but that's to be expected with an older television and composite video.

Cons: Don't expect to be able to read text on the desktop or on websites without some difficulty. If the resolution of your pc is turned all the way down, you can mildly read the screen, but since I watch movies, this was not an issue.

Overall: Great product for the price. I checked a lot of converter reviews, and this one seemed to be the best! There is no need to bey an expensive $80-$90 converter, THIS ONE WORKS GREAT! Hope this review helps in your decision. :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product, November 24, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
This product ships in a timely manner. When I got the product it was packaged very nicely. It worked strait out of the box just like other consumers have said it would. Keep in mind that it is usb powered so you might want to hook that up. Be shure that after you hook it up, if you live in the U.S. you flip the switches marked 1 and 2 in the back to a down position or you will get a scrolling screen and also be shure to restart your computer. You might want to adjust your monitor pixels to about 800 x 600 depending on your TV or monitor. It also has picture placement adjustments on the side that are bottons not turning nobs which i found out the hard way. The owners
booklet wasn't much help thou. I guess they think we know everything already. Please note that the product i purchased wasn't perfect it was refurbished and the s-video didn't work but the video out worked fine. So if you want it to work perfect you might want to consider buying new. This product was still worth every penny and I would do it again. In fact I am going to buy one for my wife for christmas. Hope this review helped. Thanks to every one else that did a review it helped allot. I might not have known what i was getting If you didn't comment.
-M. Ward from TN.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good converter for PC to TV use, November 28, 2009
This review is from: Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box (Personal Computers)
I bought this a week ago and it showed up today. I have connected it to my Windows Media Center PC and the picture on the TV is great, I can't really tell the difference from when I had the cable hooked up directly to the TV. You can also hook up a computer monitor at the same time. The clarity of the desktop and web browser/links are better than I expected when viewed on the TV. A couple of things I learned when setting this up that you will want to be aware of (the manual is not the greatest): 1) Make sure the two "dip" switches are in the correct position, you will probably need them in the "down" position, not where they are out of the box, you can do this with the unit on - 2)If the TV screen is flickering or showing a 2nd "ghosting" image, try changing the display settings of the computer to some lower resolution, this should fix it. Keep in mind that if the screen of the TV is not fully utilized, changing the monitor resolution on the PC will affect this and should be able to fix it. For the money, this product works very well. This is a plug and play device, no computer drivers are needed.
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Sabrent PC to TV Converter Box
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