Selecting a video card with TV out

JKM

Rear Admiral
First of all, it's good to be back at the site. I don't post much but I've been lurking for eons. :)

Anyway, I dusted off the old Wing Commander box (A Windows XP computer that I have that is the only PC that can play every WC game except Privateer) because I got a new joystick and I wanted to test it out. The TV I want to use is an awesome Samsung SD CRT tv with component inputs. It's great for old game systems, and I figure it would do a beautiful job for displaying the earlier WC games on a TV much bigger than my computer monitor. The problem is that the video card only has S-Video out, and although the component of my TV is sweet, the S-Video stinks.

Does anyone know of any AGP video cards that can output interlaced component video signals? There are a lot out there that can hook up to HDTVs, but I'm afraid it won't work in a TV only capable of 480i. There isn't a lot of information on Google because who in the right mind wants to play an old 320x240 game on a computer through an SDTV in component?
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
S-video vs component is easy, but you can get a s-video to scart converter and use that, available in every radio shack for maybe 5 dollars?
 

JKM

Rear Admiral
I'm afraid that wouldn't work, that just passes the S-Video signal to a scart-type connector. Scart can pass through an RGB, S-Video, or regular composite connection. Also, there's no such thing as Scart here in the states, although I DO have a European RGB Scart ->component transcoder that I use with most of my old systems. I had to import a lot of cables, but it was worth it.

...some people think it's funny that I'm so picky about video quality, yet I refuse to buy an HDTV.
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
There aren't many that output component directly - most only output VGA or S-Video.

If you still insist on component, you may have to purchase a "scan converter" - this thing takes VGA inputs and outputs it as interlaced video as composite, s-video, and I suppose if it's really good, component.

They are, however, relatively expensive pieces of equipment and can easily cost $200+. Probably more these days since they're extremely niche devices now that every cheap TV has a VGA input.

Edit: Aren't there VGA-to-SCART converters? I'm not sure if you're in Europe where SCART is common, but SCART does have an RGB input.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
VGA to SCART was available in the late 90's... the good ones were really expensive(basicly it is a VGA to S-video/component convertor. The cheap ones were really poor quality output.

Matrox dualhead cards(AGP 450/555) series featured a bundled VGA-to-scart convertor, but I believe the electronic/signal conversion for this was done in the Card itself. Ofcourse you could simply look out for an older used AGP card(Most cards from 2003 had s/video composite out.
 
Hm... HaHA! I so happen to have a Radeon 9600 Pro AGP that I might soon-ish part with. Good enough? (Otherwise, I'll give it to my mom. I'm embarrassed she's still running on a built in GeForce MX240, or whatever it was...)
 

JKM

Rear Admiral
Silent Warrior: That would be fine, the most advanced game I'm playing is WC Prophecy, but while searching for info about that card I found out that ATI made an adapter that hooks through the DVI ports to output component, and it supported 480i! And it's 6 bucks on Monoprice! I don't know for sure if it will work on my card, it lists that "9500 series" cards will work, and mine is a A9550. ATI's website also lists that the 9550 has an optional component video adapter... for 6 bucks I ordered one and will try it.
 

JKM

Rear Admiral
Well, it took me all night of messing with settings and reinstalling drivers, but the adapter did work (I'm actually on that computer connected to the TV as we speak.) It's nice to be able to actually read text on this thing.

I'm afraid this isn't going to work for low res WC games though, since they run at 320x240. It works, and it looks GREAT, but it's very tiny on the screen. It would probably work great with 640x480 games like Prophecy.

I suppose I could use DOSBox to fullscreen the DOS versions since I think it scales, but I do love the KS music.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Yeah, I run my DOSBox in 1024x or so since otherwise the windows would be tiny on a 1920x monitor. You can fullscreen KS or run it in a window too.
 
S

StormEdfilho

Guest
Well, there is no real necessity to keep a box just for Wing Commander, I have almost all games running really well on Win 7 64 bit. DOSBox + D-Fend Reloaded for all games and expansion packs from WC1 to WC3 (included) and the rest (WCP, WCSO, WC4 DVD) run well on Win7 (thanks to the amazing hard work of many dedicated fans).

Only exceptions are Priv 2 (which suddenly decided to never ever run again on DOSBox, dunno why) and Academy (Didn't really try).

If you ever decide to get them to run on your main computer, I'd be glad to help.

You can tell DOSBox to upscale the older games while keeping the aspect ratio, they look very pretty and also authentic.
 

JKM

Rear Admiral
Well, my desktop computer is hooked up to a 19" monitor and crappy speakers. It is also in a massive case that isn't easily unplugged and removed. My WC 'puter is in a small case, and the living room has a bigger tv and a sweet sound system. And... I did have this computer just laying around doing nothing.

I also build a DOS computer a little while back specifically for Privateer, but I have no idea if it still works or not. I doubt I'll ever use it since it seems Privateer runs fine in DOSBox.
 
Top