VGA (Video Graphics Array) based systems can have interesting uses. Whether it is to simply connect a computer to a television or convert an HD signal which uses the standard VGA connector into RCA compliant signals, it is possible with the correct hardware tools.
What is VGA?
The video graphics array was designed for computers in the late 1980’s which have undergone several advancements in the past couple of decades. It is now one of the standard options used in HD televisions. The HD-VGA connectors usually use the same set of 15 pins to make the connection. Regardless of which technology is using the cables, each pin uses a specific set of information which is used to render the image on the screen. This can, with special hardware, be converted into a useable signal on televisions.
Why Convert to TV Signal?
Many people simply have larger television screens which can be used as a monitor with limited resolution and quality, but are still usable for many other purposes. One of the most common uses is as a screen to make simple presentations in an office. Another use is to watch downloaded content on a television without having to burn a DVD or use another device which requires the use of external media. The connection is simple and can be done with several different pieces of hardware or a simple cable.
Converting VGA Video Signals
The process of converting a VGA signal to a usable TV format such as Composite Video can be done with special cables. These cables will usually have a special VGA connector as well as a stereo plug which fits into a normal headphone or sound output jack. This will then convert the video and sound data to the other end, which would be a standard RCA connector. This will compose of a Yellow video cable, a Red right sound channel cable and a White left sound channel cable. These options come in various lengths as well as “female” cable ends for devices which connect into the converter cable.
The other option to convert the VGA to TV signal is through the use of special video converter hardware. These consist of special input boxes which can convert the video data directly into the needed TV signal. The hardware boxes may have several different options for connecting to a television. This could be an RCA output, HDMI output or other options depending on the hardware. Several different manufacturers make these hardware options which could connect your PC or compliant VGA device to a TV screen.
Advantages of VGA Conversion
There are many reasons why directly converting the VGA signal can be an advantage for many reasons. The video signal can be used for various different uses. The following are benefits of converting VGA signals to TV signals:
Easy Presentations – Some companies may not want to spend on a projector and additional hardware to make presentations. By using a VGA to TV converter, connecting a notebook computer with a VGA port allows you to make a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or display presentation videos without the use of a projector or other device. This can be very effective and much cheaper by using materials already on hand such as a television. This also tosses out obsolete hardware such as Video Cassette Players.
Watching Downloaded Video Media – Some people enjoy using popular services such as iTunes or other equivalents to purchase and play videos, movies and other media. Watching these videos on your home entertainment system is always much more entertaining than the constraints of your computer monitor. Some laptop/notebook PCs have tiny screens which make watching this type of media difficult. The use of a television is also more convenient as you are able to relax in the comfort of your living room or bedroom.
Having a Larger Display Option – Some people simply want a larger monitor screen without having to pay a large amount for a new monitor. Using a television as a monitor is also a smart option, especially if the television is fairly new but does not have the modern VGA connector for HD video devices. Gaming on a larger screen is also more enjoyable for many people who have a video card capable of rendering high end graphics that deserve a larger computer screen.
Temporary Backup Monitor – Disaster can strike at any moment and a monitor can break and become useless. If you do not have the money to purchase a new monitor right away, a VGA to TV converter option could be a useful way to have a temporary monitor to use. The TV can also be used as a larger, secondary monitor. Many people want to have a dual monitor setup without having to buy a second monitor if they have a video card which supports dual monitor connection with the original motherboard connection. This is possible through the use of a VGA to TV converter.
Disadvantages to VGA Conversion
Small Resolution Size – Since VGA output from most computers is designed to work with the resolution which the video card can support with generic monitors, it is often restricted to smaller screen resolutions. The common resolution is 640 x 480 pixels while some video cards can display larger sizes in addition to this size. Most televisions which are not modern will only be able to display the smaller sizes with older graphics cards. Modern televisions may already have VGA input on them so checking to see if it is included is a must.
Reduction in Color Output – The VGA to TV converters will most likely reduce the amount of colors which can be displayed on the television, especially on older television sets. This is simply because the conversion of the signals is not perfect and results in some loss in quality.
Slow Video Response – Some VGA to TV converters will have a low bandwidth output and will only show a certain amount of frames per second. The fewer the frames, the slower the video feed will be, which may seem less than perfect. Flickering of the screen and in some cases artifacts may occur from the feed. This is not unusual in VGA to TV converters which are designed to be a simple bridge between video data. Some software take more steps to ensure that the video quality is greater, thus reducing this unsightly side effect of VGA to TV video conversion.
Video Deformity – The output from VGA to TV may not match well enough and have either a too long or short height or width setting. This may or may not be adjustable with your television and can look awkward for some uses. The video output may not work with every television and depending on the brand, some TVs may have issues while others may not. Higher quality televisions are expected to have better results with VGA to TV converters.
Manual Sound Connection – Some VGA to TV converters are video only. This means that you must figure out a way to connect the sound on your own, purchase an additional sound cable to feed into your television or simply deal with the sound option that your PC or notebook has. This can be severely difficult to deal with and may make the connection of the video not as perfect as needed.
Additional Power Consumption – Some VGA to TV devices will require additional power to run and will take up additional power sockets or consume batteries to operate. This may not be the best option for some people who already have several devices consuming power. This may also not be as portable as needed for some applications. Either way, consuming more power will always equal spending more money over time. Rechargeable batteries also consume electrical energy when they are recharged.