I bought some of these converters from Monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=104&cp_id=10430&cs_id=1043001&p_id=4119&seq=1&f...=2#description) and there is some serious picture quality degradation going from composite to S-video. I've been looking for another solution and found these: http://www.cablestogo.com/product/13058. The reviews seem like these converters should work, but I wanted to see if anyone had tried these or had another suggestion for hooking up composite video to S-video inputs. Thanks!
Just in case, I know I'm not going to get S-video quality, but the converters I have now give worse than composite quality.
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I have something similar, they do an OK-ish job if I'm really desperate (i.e. no other connections available).
As you said, you will never recover true S-video quality from a composite output.
Are you seeing a lot of dot crawl or herringbone noise? Those passive converters don't separate the luma and chroma signals well. You need a real composite to s-video converter with a 2d or 3d comb filter. Or you can try to filter the noise out with software. VirtualDub and AviSynth have such filters. But most capture cards have at least a 2d comb filter so you might as well just capture the composite signal.
So it sounds like I'm not going to be able to easily go from composite to S-video without some picture degradation. I guess I'll just have to use composite. Not ideal, but I can make it work. Thanks for the help!