Bridging the yawning void between cable tv and a PC monitor

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First, apologies for the relatively wide distribution of this post, but
I couldn't figure out where my problem belongs. So here goes:

I'm switching to a home theater setup where an HDTV projector is
powered by a home-made HTPC.
For unrelated reasons, I was going to buy a new 20" LCD monitor
(Samsung 204T) to use with the HTPC.
The HT room has a cable tv hookup.
The wife strongly indicates that she is not really interested in doing
routine TV wathcing (news, weather, cooking series, etc.) on a big wall
in almost complete darkness.

Since I'm such an accomodating person, I figured that all I have to do
it to somehow connect the cable tv feed to the 204T and have my wife
use the 204T as a tv monitor.  The image quality for this setup is not
much of an issue; VHS quality will suffice.

The problem I encountered is hidden in the "somehow connect" portion of
the discussion: the cable tv coax is connected to an old VCR.  The
VCR's outputs are RF and composite (not component). I also have a
little box that converts composite to svideo.  So, on the output side I
have 3 options.

However, on the 204T side, the inputs are only VGA and DVI-D. OK, I sez
to myself, if I remember any of my high school combinatorics, I have
six different ways to connect the two: composite to DVI, RF to DVI,
svideo to DVI, composite to VGA, RF to VGA and svideo to VGA! Surely
that shouldn't be a problem, right?

Well, surely not.  Unless I'm missing something very obvious, there are
no adapters around that would do even one of the six conversions.  If
I'm wrong, I would really like to know.

But if I'm right, what can be done to fix this? First, there are
various boxes that would perform one or the other of these functions,
but they seem relatively expenseive and an overkill for what I consider
a very simple and limited job.

The other alternative is to junk the VCR and buy an OTA HD tuner; say,
the Samsung (yes, these Samsung guys are everywhere...) SIR T351 or SIR
T451. These tuners have DVI-D outputs, QAM support (so they'll work
with my cable tv service) and, as a fringe benefit, provide access to
OTA HDTV broadcasts.  But, on the other hand, these tuners go for about
$175 or so with shipping (used or refurbished on ebay).  Again, even
with the free OTA HD access, it seems a bit excessive.

Another alternative is to get a different LCD monitor, one with RF,
composite or svideo inputs. Again, I couldn't find another 20" or so
monitor that has these features, regardless of the price.  And going
for a bigger monitor will probably also require a big price jump from
the 204T ($570, including shipping, at zipzoomfly).

And, finally, I guess I could go for a regular LCD TV and use that as
the PC monitor as well.  But then, of course, you have to sacrifice the
resolution.

So there we are, ladies and gentlemen. Dead end, as far as I can tell.
All ideas and proposals would be greatly appreciated.



Re: Bridging the yawning void between cable tv and a PC monitor


I bought a samsung 242mp to deal with that. Now all I need to do is buy the
hd tuner for 250 dollars. the monitor cost 1750. 1920 by 1200.

bob
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