Radeon 9800 s-video Output to Plasma Display.


     i have to connect a Radeon 9800 to a plasma display.  The card and the plasma display have s-video ports and my plan is to use this (s-video over cat5). Before i purchase the equipment I would like to know if such a connection would work, my concern is not the cabling but the capabilities of the card.

The card has an onboard TV tuner, but I want to use the plasma display to see not only the tuner's output but also as a second remote monitor for the PC.

There is a DVI output from the card but this is already in use by the PC's desktop monitor.



Chris ColemanAsked:
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
yes it will work..
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
you mentiones s-video or cat5.. is it because of distance & cost that you are making this cable?  if so, then you need to consider loss of signal.
I'm assuming that your plasma set is HDTV.  If so, I think you'll find that CAT5 is not a good solution.  The bandwidth of an HDTV is greater than what a CAT5 cable can handle.  So you'll see some distortion in the picture.

The S-video signal for an HDTV feed requires mroe than 100MHz of bandwidth.  CAT5 is rated for 100MHz.  It's right at the limit and you will see the difference.  Use CAT5e or CAT6 cable to get a clear display.  Hopefully you're not planning on going too far with it.  The S-Video signal is analog and will show artifacts even with good cable.
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I have sent an XGA signal over 50 feet of cat5e with an adapter and it works, although at 1280x1024 there is a very slight smearing that is barely detectable.  I would imagine that s-viceo, being much lower in bandwidth, will look fine.  The card is a Radeon 9800 Pro.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:

yes it will work.. (my first comment)

use cat 5e...addon SVIDEO connectors with gold plating.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Well ... the best answer here is Yes it will work; but NO, you shouldn't do it !!  The AIW 9800 Pro (I assume that's what you have since you indicated it has a TV tuner) has one "good" output (DVI) and an s-video output that's fine to standard TV, but will not provide teh quality I expect you want for a computer display.

The s-video output is a MUCH lower bandwidth than the DVI output.   You CAN buy adapters to send s-video over Cat-5, but you're just extending a relatively low resolution signal ==> and since you indicated you want it to be a monitor for the PC, I think you'll be disappointed in the quality at any resolution above 800x600 (and maybe even at that).

I'd suggest you do one of two things:

(1)  Buy a DVI splitter and either a DVI extender (if the total distance is less than 50') or a set of DVI to Cat-5 adapters (if the distance is longer) and simply replicate the display.   Note this will only work nicely if both your monitor and the Plasma have the same aspect ratio (i.e. you have a widescreen monitor).

(2)  Buy a 2nd video card to dedicate for the Plasma display.  You'll still need a DVI extender or set of DVI to Cat-5 adapters, but the quality of the display will be MUCH better, and you can run each display at its appropriate aspect ratio.   The video card will also cost less than a good DVI splitter.

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Chris ColemanAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the answers so far, I am now less @in-the-dark@ ..

Anyway I do not think that the Plasma screen has HDTV, for one thing I'm in the UK and for another it's not mentioned in the manual.

The manual however does say use the DVI port but that's already in use.

Anyway my plan is to dump the cat5 and use a long s-video cable with gold connectors, about 20feet, or 7metres .

I can experiment with the resolution of the Plasma Display  although I would like to achieve 1024*768.

I looked at DVI splitter but my understanding was that a loss of signal would be apparent, although I confess that I thought a digital signal could be split without loss of signal ??

I will send the audio signal over two audio cables, I would like the audio to be present both at the plasma display and in the PC room, do I need to split the audio signal, there is an audio output from the card ?

Thanks, ChrisColeman.


Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
the audio output will be from your onboard audio card OR motherboard..

it's good to use a straight through S-VIDEO cable...
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
1024 x 768 is achievable with s-video (it's definitely the max, however).   With a direct cable (20 feet is no problem) you may get pretty good results.

However, that's a 4:3 aspect ratio -- I suspect your plasma is not 4:3, so you may need to use some other settings.

You can also get DVI cables that work at that distance (http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=2817&sku=40299) in case you decide to use a higher resolution signal.
check this ati accessories
Chris ColemanAuthor Commented:
I have installed the long s-video cable and it seems to work ok, but not so good as i would like. Images are fine but text is a bit difficult to read.

I think this is because of the size of the plasma screen, its big, I think perhaps a metre wide.

In XP it is possible to change the dpi for text from the standard 98 to 120, would this help ?


Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
"In XP it is possible to change the dpi for text from the standard 98 to 120, would this help ?"

In display properties, go to the APPEARANCE tab, then click ADVANCED, then choose the window that you want to change the text in.. modify the font size to your liking.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"Images are fine but text is a bit difficult to read" ==>  You can try "tweaking" this a bit (be sure you have ClearType font smoothing enabled; and go ahead and try a larger font); but this is likely simply a case where the limited bandwidth of s-video is unable to provide the display quality you want.   The larger the display, the more obvious these limitations are.
I agree with Gary; s-video is good for movies, but not for desktop displays, and defects only become more apparent with larger screens.  A VGA cable (and maybe an amplifier) would be better in this case.
Chris ColemanAuthor Commented:
It was a little difficult to work out the points, ..

But thanks anyway, if the client is not happy I will install a second video card ..
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
cool. thankyou!
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