VGA to TV convertors: How long until they wear out?
I use a VGA to TV convertor in my work at my church as putting sermon outlines, music lyrics, and such on our mere 40" TV screen (sad, think?). Well a few weeks ago I noticed it started to make waves on the TV screen. Like some parts of it shook horizontally, and some stayed the same. Also the little box that has the control buttons on it gets REALLY warm.
The box gets warm, and it has been doing that since we started doing this in February. But that isn't the problem. It's either our video switch (however I notice no problem with DVD player...) or the convertor. And those things are expensive, about $120 each.
I'm a bit worried about it being distracting tomorrow morning, but I can press the "freeze" button which freezes the screen (in case the computer goes crazy or something), and then it doesn't move around. It's just.. frozen. The problem is I will have to keep my finger on that button for the entire hour, after I move to each new slide in PowerPoint.
I don't understand why it is doing this, it is powered by USB, hooks into the VGA out port, uses an RCA-type connection to go into the switch, which then is also an RF modulator to convert that into a standard cable which goes to our cable splitter, and goes to the long wire into the ceiling to go to the big TV.
On Monday I am going to contact the manufacturer to see if it does eventually wear out after a lot of use, and if we will have to buy a new one. But it has only been used, about 3 times a week for the past... 20 weeks, which is, about 2 hours each time, about 60 hours (more than that though, if you count special events) of use.
Anyone else been in this situation or have some kind of an idea on what I can do to fix this??
Without seeing is myself I would guess this is really a 50/60Hz hum caused by power interference. Power "hum" looks like lines in the screen that are an inch or two apart and are evenly spaced horizontally across the entire screen.
If it is a 50/60hz hum to get rid of it you need to get rid of all power cables near it. when you most run power near it make sure you cross power over the signal like a cross. Never run power and signal side by and when it MUST be run like that do it in as short distances as possible. Also remove any extra jumpers or cables that arent really needed.
If this is really a power/signal problem you need to figure out what changed in the building from the time it worked to the time it didnt.
Electricial changes can cause it. New appliances can introduce hum and noise in the system. Other video objects can cause it. Grounding issues, lifted grounds. The list goes on and on. Take a good look at what you have and figure out what is different.
Anyway this could as simple as a bad coverter. However electronic devices tend to work or not work. Not sorta work.
It's made by StarTech.com, and its product number is VGA2NTSC. It's about a year old, so it really shouldnt be doing anything like what it is doing.
I noticed this morning that it got really warm within 20 minutes of being on, so I put it right in front of a fan and then it cooled down, and stayed cool the entire time. So I think it's a cooling issue, for it only has four small holes for heat to get out.
I'll try to move some things around and see if that helps. The convertor is around two computer monitors, and two TVs, and the video switch. But the problem is that there is very little space, and if I do move things around it will still be by the same screens except not around all the power strips and cords.
The visual equipment, although we have an extension cord going into another room, I think is on the same circuit as our audio equipment - the amp and the mixing board and such. When we first started doing this I used the computer to play our music I would get a noise whenever nothing was playing, requiring the volume on the mixer to be down whenever switching songs, and I was told that the computers (I was using two) could not be on the same circuit as the board and the amp. So since then we have been using an extension cord to go into another room... which has since fixed that problem.
Actually, I could extend the RCA cable for video and have it go along the wall or ceiling so that power doesn't interfere with it. A trip to radioshack may be in order... which would then prepare us for the new projectors I would like (when our stage is redone) to upgrade to, which require the RCA-type cables. Also, would this same problem happen with a projector? Or would it not be able to be seen?
Thanks for your help!!
Last edited by AdmiralSpock; 07-17-2005 at 09:59 PM.
RCA is consumer level gear and if budget allows you should try to get over to the BNC format. If you must use RCA I would suggest getting the expensive stuff. Radio shack.... e nope. Also keep RCA runs as short as possible to avoid interferance.
As a general rule all items that are connected together should all be on the same circuit. So if your computer is sending audio to a mixer and to a TV , the computer, audio system, tv and anything else its connected to should all be on the same circuit. In many cases this is not possible because of the amount of power they use. In this situation they should all be on the same electrical panel. Never "lift grounds" to get rid of noise unless every other option has been explored. Its a quick fix but will cause problems down the road.
Lighting that is dimmable, and anything with a motor in it should never be on the same circuit as audio/video.
If it where me I would take the computer and all needed gear and move it to the monitor and use a very short RCA cable and see if it disappears. Also make sure you diconnect everything that is not needed, including audio.