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Video connector adaptors

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Tim Barber:
I am a drooling infant when it comes to video, so I hope this isn't a silly question.

Our church's ancient video system uses a re-purposed VCR for switching and distribution. It has a coax output that is driving several tvs in the overflow rooms. It also has an RCA composite video out which is feeding our projector in the main sanctuary.

I have the chance to purchase a Kramer ProScale VP‑728 for cheap and and am considering replacing the VCR with it. The Kramer only has UXGA and HDMI outputs. Can I just use adapters to mate the outputs to our existing cabling, or is this the part of the map where it says "here there be dragons"?

TJ (Tom) Cornish:

--- Quote from: Tim Barber on June 19, 2018, 01:05:54 pm ---I am a drooling infant when it comes to video, so I hope this isn't a silly question.

Our church's ancient video system uses a re-purposed VCR for switching and distribution. It has a coax output that is driving several tvs in the overflow rooms. It also has an RCA composite video out which is feeding our projector in the main sanctuary.

I have the chance to purchase a Kramer ProScale VP‑728 for cheap and and am considering replacing the VCR with it. The Kramer only has UXGA and HDMI outputs. Can I just use adapters to mate the outputs to our existing cabling, or is this the part of the map where it says "here there be dragons"?

--- End quote ---
HDMI != VGA != composite.  I'm not sure if "coax" in your description refers to RF-modulated video like over-the-air broadcast or if you're doing composite video over RG6 or something like that, but I think it's fair to say that "here be dragons".

Figuring out what protocols you are using is the first step.  From there we can figure out if there are adapter boxes that get you where you need to go.  Also it would be helpful to know what distance the runs are, as well as if your TVs and projectors can receive any other types of input than what they're currently using now.



Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Tim Barber on June 19, 2018, 01:05:54 pm ---I am a drooling infant when it comes to video, so I hope this isn't a silly question.

Our church's ancient video system uses a re-purposed VCR for switching and distribution. It has a coax output that is driving several tvs in the overflow rooms. It also has an RCA composite video out which is feeding our projector in the main sanctuary.

I have the chance to purchase a Kramer ProScale VP‑728 for cheap and and am considering replacing the VCR with it. The Kramer only has UXGA and HDMI outputs. Can I just use adapters to mate the outputs to our existing cabling, or is this the part of the map where it says "here there be dragons"?

--- End quote ---

TJ is correct.  Coax is a cable type, it can carry all sorts of signals. From audio to video to rf antenna and on and on.  In your case the VCR could be outputting a rf modulated standard def signal on an f-type coax (like a tv antenna or cable/satellite signal).  You could also be getting composite video out.  I have a feeling composite video is what youíve got feeding your projector since those usually canít take a rf signal.

Iíd ask two questions.  First: What problem are you trying to solve/fix?  Second, since this sounds like a pretty old and cobbled together system would it be better (or even possible) to just rip it out and join the 21st century? 

Budget speaking youíre actually at a really good point in time to upgrade a system as old as yours.  High def video has never been cheaper for acceptable quality.  No-name HD TVs are dirt cheap.  If your TVs are HD (have a HDMI input) then upgrading your distribution (and using a HD source) will show immediate benefits.

Tim Barber:
The coax output is not feeding the projector, just the TVs. They are mostly old CRT sets. The problem I am trying to fix is that the VCR is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced with something that can do the switching duties. I suppose I could find another old VCR and call it good.

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Tim Barber on June 19, 2018, 06:25:10 pm ---The coax output is not feeding the projector, just the TVs. They are mostly old CRT sets. The problem I am trying to fix is that the VCR is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced with something that can do the switching duties. I suppose I could find another old VCR and call it good.

--- End quote ---

Ok, the VP-728 might be able to function as a switcher for your setup.  The manual does refer to "RGB
HV/Comp/YPbPr Output Signal" specifications.  This leads me to believe that the HD15 output port can be used with a 5 wire breakout cable and then configured to output a 480p signal via composite video.  The next question would be if you are feeding the TVs a RF modulated signal.  If you're connecting to the TVs via the antenna connector then that's a yes.  In that case you'll need a RF modulator.  Another clue is if you have to tune the TVs to a particular channel in order to view the content.  My guess would be channel 2 or 3.  Fortunately Blonder Tongue analog RF modulators (BAVM series) are super cheap on ebay these days, under $100 for sure, maybe even under $50.  You'd need a composite video DA to split the signal between the modulator and the projector.  Also super cheap on ebay for a quality rack mount unit.

Now if you go this route keep in mind that just because you'd have HDMI inputs doesn't mean they would work for you.  You still have HDCP to contend with and any source that had HDCP encryption on it won't output through the analog output.  Also, while the unit will scale high res down to whatever your output resolution is it may not be pretty.

This isn't particularly hard.  It'a fairly simple signal flow. I'm an audio guy who's managed to master video world as well.  It just took a lot of study and patience.  If you want to get it figured out and if you're a competent audio plumber then this should be completely in your capability.

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