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Thread: Anyone know of a USB video to Composite out device?

  1. #1
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    Anyone know of a USB video to Composite out device?

    I am trying to hook my CarPC to a 4" x 11" monitor. It is one of those "Clip on rear view mirror" thingies.

    The only input's it has are a RCA (Composite video) or an S-Video in.

    I want to use a USB graphics card, as I only have a single VGA on my motherboard.

    I have searched like crazy, and can not find such a device. There are tons of USB to HDMI, DVI, VGA ect, but I cant find anything that outputs composite video.

    My thought, is to display gauges on the screen, and embed it into my custom console in the car. It will be behind smoked plastic, so when it is off, it will not even be seen. When it comes on, you will be able to see the gauges on it.

    The monitor uses a "stretch mode" to fill the screen, being it is such a strange dimension. So it stretches the 640 x 480 to something like 2180 x 480. This will not be a problem, as I can simply "squish" the flash gauges in the skin, so when it is drawn, they will be round again.


    The ability also lies in that you could switch the gauges to anything you wanted to send to the monitor... Speed, Temperature, Oil Pressure, Voltage, and even have alerts displayed on it as well.

    Below is the correct aspect ratio of the monitor, with just some random Google images inserted to show what I would like to do.
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    Last edited by JohnWPB; 02-12-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWPB View Post
    I am trying to hook my CarPC to a 4" x 11" monitor. It is one of those "Clip on rear view mirror" thingies.

    The only input's it has are a RCA (Composite video) or an S-Video in.

    I want to use a USB graphics card, as I only have a single VGA on my motherboard.

    I have searched like crazy, and can not find such a device. There are tons of USB to HDMI, DVI, VGA ect, but I cant find anything that outputs composite video.

    My thought, is to display gauges on the screen, and embed it into my custom console in the car. It will be behind smoked plastic, so when it is off, it will not even be seen. When it comes on, you will be able to see the gauges on it.

    The monitor uses a "stretch mode" to fill the screen, being it is such a strange dimension. So it stretches the 640 x 480 to something like 2180 x 480. This will not be a problem, as I can simply "squish" the flash gauges in the skin, so when it is drawn, they will be round again.


    The ability also lies in that you could switch the gauges to anything you wanted to send to the monitor... Speed, Temperature, Oil Pressure, Voltage, and even have alerts displayed on it as well.

    Below is the correct aspect ratio of the monitor, with just some random Google images inserted to show what I would like to do.
    Look around for a VGA to composite adapter. I've also seen them with component (RGB) and composite plugs on the same connector. Should be pretty cheap. Then you just need a usb video adapter with a standard VGA connector on the other end.

    VegasGuy

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    That is one option I thought of, but was trying to avoid. Technically, I dont know if all the pins are active in the USB to VGA, probably are, just not certain. Also, would think that the video would possibly get degraded further converting it twice. Lastly, piggybacking 2 devices would just be bulky, and overkill, if it could be avoided.
    Last edited by JohnWPB; 02-12-2011 at 03:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWPB View Post
    That is one option I thought of, but was trying to avoid. Technically, I dont know if all the pins are active in the USB to VGA, probably are, just not certain. Also, would think that the video would possibly get degraded further converting it twice. Lastly, piggybacking 2 devices would just be bulky, and overkill, if it could be avoided.
    And there you go...pretty much right on the money. It's a miserable hack at best. Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to find a USB video adapter with composite output.

    Good luck!

    VegasGuy

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    Variable Bitrate Zogg's Avatar
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    Several months ago I picked up an eVGA USB-to-DVI/VGA adapter, and one of those VGA-to-S-video/composite adapters so that I could add a second video display connected to the overhead video LCD in my minivan.

    I haven't installed it in the van yet, but I have used it to output video to a TV temporarily as a HTPC extender. It was actually quite watchable on a 35" tube TV. I would think that on a small 4x11 monitor it would work adequately.

    Remember, the big hit is dropping down to TV-quality video so IMO doing it in 2 steps won't really matter.
    Zotac N630I-D-E M/B w/ Nvidia 7100, E5300 cpu, Xenarc 700IDT, M2-ATX, XP, RR & DFX 5.1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zogg View Post
    Several months ago I picked up an eVGA USB-to-DVI/VGA adapter, and one of those VGA-to-S-video/composite adapters so that I could add a second video display connected to the overhead video LCD in my minivan.

    I haven't installed it in the van yet, but I have used it to output video to a TV temporarily as a HTPC extender. It was actually quite watchable on a 35" tube TV. I would think that on a small 4x11 monitor it would work adequately.

    Remember, the big hit is dropping down to TV-quality video so IMO doing it in 2 steps won't really matter.
    The real pain is the fur ball of cabling. Every time I think I've got a plan to finally get everything cleaned up and organized, I wind up pulling something off or adding something in that just starts the rat's nest growing once again. I'm just glad it's all hidden behind the rear seats.

    VegasGuy

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    Just a follow up for future readers of this thread:

    Ok, so I bought a USB to VGA converter. I have a VGA to Composite adapter on the way....

    I am running 2 instances of RideRunner on my CarPC (Dual Core Atom Nvidia HD DFX chipset). I set the primary and secondary displays to 800 x 600. On the secondary display, I have just a single skin with the gauges in it, and the skin set to display at 800 x 284. I had to stretch the gauges out a bit, so they would look round on the odd aspect ratio of the LCD "Mirror monitor".

    So far all is well! I should have the composite adapter in a few days to finish testing, but I am able to have both RR's running, displaying on to monitors and with music playing, the CPU is averaging around 15%.

    I will post more when I finish testing....
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    Variable Bitrate Zogg's Avatar
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    Looks good, John! I agree that using 2 devices is bulky and not ideal but fortunately they aren't TOO big. I just don't like the way that cables plug into 3 sides of the VGA-to-Svideo adapter, but tucked under the seat no one will really notice it.
    Zotac N630I-D-E M/B w/ Nvidia 7100, E5300 cpu, Xenarc 700IDT, M2-ATX, XP, RR & DFX 5.1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zogg View Post
    I just don't like the way that cables plug into 3 sides of the VGA-to-Svideo adapter, but tucked under the seat no one will really notice it.
    It's not too bad actually, this is like the one I ordered:

    Name:  c040yq5.jpg
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    Just about all of the USB to VGA devices, had not so great reviews. Problems with them having a bit of lag, slide show video ect... I purchased one from Tiger Direct, and could NOT be happier! I fired up a 720p Video on the machine, displaying it on the USB VGA adapter played it with no delay whatsoever, at least that I cold tell! I tried to find a nice action sequence, where just about all the pixels were changing in the video, and it looks really good!

    Here is a short video recorded with my iPhone of the video running at 1020x768 on a 15" monitor for testing:

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  10. #10
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    Umm, not to be negative... but I don't think that that VGA-Composite cable would work like you need. If that's the same one you bought, you might be stuck.

    That picture isn't a converter like you would need.. Some video cards support S-Video/Composite from the same connector as the VGA output, but does the conversion on the board. Most USB-VGA adaptors wouldn't have that same kind of conversion circuitry I don't think.

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