S-Video problem with External Connection


This is probably more an A/V question but I'll start here. If there is somewhere more appropriate, please direct me. here goes.

I manage the IT for a client that also has a conference room w/ 4 Epson projectors in the ceiling, with Wireless B cards.  I can connect a laptop to any or all of the four projectors using the Epson MP Software.  No problem.  But there's a wireless lag, naturally, and there's now way anything other than some sort of random picture slide show can be run on all four projectors via powerpoint.  A One to one connection wirelessly is OK, but there's still a lag (and Epson says they do not support Wireless G in these units, by the way. Only B).

But there is also the ability to play DVD's on these projectors, in one of two ways:
1. There is a DVD Player and Amp on a rack in the equipment room which can have it's output channelled to any 1, 2, 3, or all 4.  Picture a room with the same movie playing on 4 screens all around the room. Fine.

2. A Portable DVD player can also be used in the room from one of three different hook ups along the outside perimeter of the room.  In these three areas, there are two cables coming out of the room. Video and Audio.  These are hooked up to the DVD and the same thing that can happen in 1 above can happen here. Picture the same as in 1, but controlled locally from within the room rather than back on the rack.  Same ability to direct output to 1,2,3,4 projectors.  Fine.

Here's where I need some help. I anm pretty network savvy, but really a/v challenged.

The client complains any time they try to use the Epson software to capture computer (Powerpoint,etc . . .) because of the wireless lag. More complaining if they try to direct to more than one projector.

Don't I have all the "plumming" I need to channel a laptop S-Video from the laptop, thru the video hardwire (and running audio from laptop speakerphone jack)?

There are a number of Dell laptops that have S-Video Out.  There are also Dell TV/Digital Audio Adapter Cables. That has

S-video to Computer  <-----I----------------->Composite Video Connector
                                        I----------------->S/PDIF Digital Audio Connector

Shouldn't I be able to plug the S-Video adapter into the computer, hook the composite video connector on this adapter to the video cable coming out of the wall at different spots around the room, and the get output to 1,2,3,4 projectors and control the same way as I can in 1 or 2 above? I'm sure I'm missing something major. But like I said, I'm A/V challenged <g>  

Anyone want to have a go at it here?

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All you need to understand is that the Svideo is a replacement for the RCA video with sound.  That should solve your problem.  i.e.  Svideo == RCA yellow + stereo sound (red-white).  That explains it all, yes?
MixmangleAuthor Commented:
I don;t need to use this adapter.

I just plug S-Video into computer, put an adapter on the other end to match it up to RCA Video, and then run my sound from PC Speakerphone Jack. Correct?
MixmangleAuthor Commented:
Sorry . . .

I don't need to use the adapter???

All else same <g>
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If you can find an adapter to convert svideo to RCA video and stereo sound, that is fine, but they are hard to find.  And yes, you can run a separate line from the speaker out to the audio in, the adapters from a stereo mini plug (goes into PC) to separate RCA red-white lines are very common, I am looking at one about 10 inches long righ now.  This way you are only using the video signal out of the Svideo, and the sound from the speaker out.
MixmangleAuthor Commented:
I think they have one of those adapters.  Fella told me over the phone "I've got an adapter that plugs S-Video into RCA. The person before me told me 'It's expesive, don't lose it.'"

But the he said he has never been able to get it to work. From what you say, and from my conversation with you, it may be more of a problem of enabling the display settings on the computer. They have Dell Lattitude D600s and they all have S-Video out.

I'm trying to stage this in my mind before I head over there tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it works.

Thanks alot.
Just remember, video is video, whether from an RCA jack, or an Svideo.  You will probably have to set the display settings to 640x480 for the external video output (TV mode for a TV screen), but modern projectors should be able to handle 800x600 size.  Just try it with one first, and on the computer BIOS, make sure the external video is enabled.  YOu will need an AC adapter on the laptop, it will suck the battries down in no time.
MixmangleAuthor Commented:
Yes!  I know how to set display properties for External video - - - -but I forgot all about possible BIOS setting.  Thanks
MixmangleAuthor Commented:

I was able to get things working, sortof:

1.  The laptops being used are Dell Latitude D600.  There seems to be a problem with the automatic detection of the video signal on the Radeon 9000 video card.
Please have a look at this thread:


The Omega driver mentioned isn't really practical if I can't BOTH laptop and projector output at the same time. You'll have to read all the thread and my reply at the end to understand the contect of that statement.  

2. We were trying this setup with 2 Epson projectors:  When I was able to get seignal, output to one projectore was OK but the other was real fuzzy.  Keep in mind the setup allows me to hook up to 1,2,3, or 4 projectors simotaneously.  Input was the wall jack I was using and output was being directed to 2 projectors.  Both projectors are hung the same distance from their screens, but everything runs back to a A/V rachk in the closet and I have no idea if one run is LONGER than the other.  And I couldn't access the other tow porjectors or other wall jacks because room was partitioned off, and part of it was in use. Unfortunately, I never tried directing output to just one projector OR the other. I didn;t think of that until this morning.
So, laptop (s-video)  ----------->s-video to rca converter------>A/V Rack
To verify the OPTICS were't messed up in the fuzzy projectore, connection to either projector wirelessly results in good signal.  

So, is there some sort of signal degridation going on that causes one output to be clear and the other out of focus? Both projector settings were identical and no amount of focusing via remor ot focus ring on the other would bring it into focus.  This can;t be the result of some sort of LOSS in signal stregth can it??

Any ideas?? I really appreciate your input (no pun intended)
"So, is there some sort of signal degridation going on that causes one output to be clear and the other out of focus?"

Absolutely.  There is not enough power output by the VGA out on any laptop to drive two projectors, after the first, the signal is pretty much gone.  There are several ways to compensate.  

1.  First make sure all the extension VGA cables you are using are the thick black type, which can carry a VGA signal over about 25', but that is the max.  If there is any of the thin, beige colored cheap asian cables, they lose signal quality dramatically, often giving a fuzzy display.  Replace them with the thick black type, all of which have a large "bubble" at one end, a signal focusing ring.
2.  If this doesnt work, you will probably have to put a short cable from the laptop into a VGA extender box with its own power connector.  This will amplify the signal.  Then the longer cables going out to the projectors.
3.  TO my knowledge, there shouldnt be a separate video driver for the VGA than there is for the regular VGA to the laptop.  However, for the sake of projecting, you might want to set the montior type in advanced display properties, to the SuperGVA 1024x768 setting.  This is universal setting that all monitors (and projectors) understand.

Try all them, and definitiely just one projector at a time.  If you have to run multiples with long runs, you will have to get a powered VGA extender box, search google with "discount price" and VGA extender box, see what you can find.

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MixmangleAuthor Commented:
Excellent.  Thanks so much.  Your help has been great!!!
Hope you get it sorted out.  Best luck.
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