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RGB to Component

What- no RGB inputs on your TV to match your new digital set-top box? Don't sweat this low cost unit instead.

By Jim Rowe

Click for larger image
The unit is easy to build, with all parts installed on a double-sided PC board to eliminate internal wiring. It simply connects between the video source (eg, a set-top box) and your TV set or video projector.

IF YOU LIVE in an area where either pay-TV or digital FTA (free-to-air) TV signals are available, it’s well worth investing in one and/or the other service because of their better picture and sound quality. However, to achieve the best possible picture quality, you have to use the component video signals from the pay-TV or DTV set-top box and feed these into the matching inputs of your TV set or video projector.

The big catch here is that some set-top boxes of European origin only provide RGB video signals, with separated red, blue and green outputs. In most cases, these signals are made available via one of the large 20-pin SCART sockets or Euroconnectors.

This doesn’t suit most of the latest large-screen (and widescreen) TVs and video projectors sold in Australia. These are usually designed to accept Y/Cb/Cr (or Y/B-Y/R-Y) component video, the same format as provided by the latest DVD players.

Unfortunately, you can’t feed RGB signals directly into these sets or projectors. But you can convert the RGB signals into Y/B-Y/R-Y form, using the simple converter unit described here. It simply connects between your set-top box and your TV set or projector.

As shown in the photos, the complete converter fits in a small instrument box. It runs from a 9V AC plugpack supply, drawing less than 50mA – ie, less than half a watt of power.

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