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Old 04-20-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
aperez
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Default Review of No-name S-Video/composite NTSC to HDMI@720p Video scaler unit

EDIT: Review is in:
The quality of the output is respectably good. The composite A/V cable which ships with the unit is garbage, no shielding etc, so you've been warned. Use a decent cable. I tested the unit both in S-Video and Component video input modes (there's a switch to select which input is to be used) and drove my Sony CRT HDTV capable of both 1080i and 720p with the device, followed by a Sharp 1080p LCD TV. Both worked great, the audio is digitized and sent out via the HDMI cable, which is cool, and there's also an additional 1/8" headphone sized pass-through analog audio output. I tested with my A1000, a Nintendo Gamecube in S-video mode, and a Sega Saturn in composite video modes. They all worked flawlessly. The only downside is that this device does not output video which either of the LCD monitors I had access to were able to sync to. I tested using a known-working HDMI to DVI cable, but no dice. There *are* likely LCD monitors in the wild which are capable of syncing true SMPTE 720p video, but neither of mine are in that boat.

Today, I received a device made by Chinese company called Lenkeng, which scales either composite or Y/C aka S-Video to to 720p over HDMI. I picked up the adapter, eBay Item 330319132803 for $70 (best offer) from a US seller with operations out of Florida, solely to do an eval. I disassembled it in short order, and while there are a couple of ICs which have no markings (they appear to have been shaved off, which is pretty common for cheap, unbranded chinese stuff of this variety), When the board is out of its aluminum container, it's actually about the size of my hand, and runs off of 5VDC. The package included both a gold-plated one-meter-long HDMI cable as well as an A/V composite video/stereo-audio cable, in addition to the 5VDC North American power adapter.

The only two chips which were identifiable on the PCB were a Silicon Image HDMI transmitter, SiI9034CTU, and a Techwell TW9919, which is an NTSC/PAL/SECAM Video decoder.

Most importantly, the manufacturers' product-brief for this chip states that it evidently supports SCART RGB input. Additionally, the TW9919 supports "flexible pixel inter face. It outputs YCbCr (4:2:2) data stream over a 10-bit or 20-bit data path. It also supports both free-running
clock and line-locked clock output." which leads me to believe it *may* be possible to actually pick up the Amiga sync output and genlock the slave.

While this may not be the ideal solution for AGA-based Amigas, it may be a very viable option for the A1000/A500/A600. Additionally, it offers you the option to use it with other video devices, such as game consoles (or other retrocomputing devices) and the like.

It should also be pointed out that the same eBay vendor also has a straight SCART to HDMI@720p scaler, which is manufactured by the same Chinese company, but costs $90+shipping. It's a Lenkeng Model LKV360. I elected not to get this one since SCART isn't in use in the states, but it'd be great if someone else wanted to bite the bullet and hook their A500 or A600 with SCART leads up to one of these adapters and give a review, assess the quality of the output, etc.

[img align=left]http://home.comcast.net/~imagecenter08/rcahdmi.jpg[/img]
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Review of No-name S-Video/composite NTSC to HDMI@720p Video scaler unit

Nice one!!
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Review of No-name S-Video/composite NTSC to HDMI@720p Video scaler unit

I couldn't find another one like that, but I found this one.

Ebay# 260381971820

I'm actually excited about this prospect.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Review of No-name S-Video/composite NTSC to HDMI@720p Video scaler unit

Nice find.

Manual for the SCART version you mentioned can be found at:
http://www.converters.tv/manuals/scart_to_hdmi_converter_476_238.pdf

Appears to support RGB/CVBS.

Reasonable price from that U.S. outfit.

Just bought one through their Epay store.

Will write a review when it arrives, if noone beats me to it.

Cheers,
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