Top positive review
69 of 69 people found this helpful
Great product & price for the need, be aware this conversion can not be made perfectly
on June 1, 2010
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.
* 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
* 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
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
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.
5 out ot 5. It's compact, the device is sturdy, all the ports are firm, nothing is loose when you plug it in.
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.
5 out of 5. They give you everything you need to get started, including a short composite cable.
* 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.