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  1. I have an old tablet with a 4:3 display. The video settings are limited to maximum 1024 x 768. Now I want to connect it to a modern TV via VGA because the PC lacks HDMI port. Does this mean that, with a VGA to HDMI converter, I wonít be able to get a higher resolution than 1024 x 768 on the TV?

    I have many new videos on the old computer that are in full HD. But they wonít display in full HD on a full HD TV due to the limitations of my computerís video card?

    Is there any VGA to HDMI adapter that has its own video card and so can display the higher resolutions? Or is it time to get a new computer?

    Thanks for any help.
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    "I have an old tablet...blah, blah, blah...is it time to get a new computer"?

    Short answer, YES.

    Scott
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  3. There are upscalers and converters that can do just that, yes.
    Not sure if I can post links but there are quite a few on Amazon e.g.
    This one takes your exact input of 1024 x 768 as preferred input.
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  4. Using a VGA to HDMI converter will let you see the tablet's display on the TV -- but it will still be 1024x768 resolution. Those converters often suffer from other problems like a fuzzy picture, screen tearing when there's motion, aspect ratio problems (the 4:3 VGA picture stretched to 16:9), etc.
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    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Is there any VGA to HDMI adapter that has its own video card and so can display the higher resolutions?
    You could get a VGA to HDMI converter and scaler but as jagabo mentioned, the resulting HDMI output may look distorted or fuzzy.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Or is it time to get a new computer?
    Yes.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd Oct 2021 at 11:47.
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  6. Thanks for the replies. I want the TV to display the aspect ratios exactly same as they are on the computer. So if I have a 1024x768 vid, i want it to display at same aspect ratio on the TV. But I also have many 1920x1080 Full HD vids and I want those to display at their native aspect ratio. I donít want any of them stretched or distorted when I view them on the TV.

    I guess on my 1024x768 (4:3) tablet screen I am not getting the full benefit of my 1920x1080 (16:9) vids and I must be seeing them at a lower resolution. But they are not distorted or stretched, so I guess my video card knows how to handle other aspect ratios.

    When I buy a new computer (probably a mini PC), will the graphics card know how to handle whatever native resolution the vid has when I display it on the TV via HDMI or other means? I mean, can the average graphics card these days sync to many different aspect ratios (even old ones like 4:3) and display them correctly?

    I will probably be using the TV as my primary monitor.

    Thanks again.
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  7. Be sure to view the following images with pixel-for-pixel mapping.

    Starting with a 1920x1080 video:

    Image
    [Attachment 61429 - Click to enlarge]


    If you view this pixel-for-pixel you will see that the the grey boxes in the middle have alternating black and white lines and checkerboxes, single pixel and multiple pixel. Most real-world video will not be this sharp.

    Your tablet will take that 1920x1080 video, downscale it to 1024x576 to keep the aspect ratio, then letterbox it to fill out the 768 line display:

    Image
    [Attachment 61430 - Click to enlarge]


    Note that the letterboxing here is very dark grey so you can (hopefully) distinguish it from the black background in the original video. The letterboxing will likely be full black on the tablet. See how the alternating black/white lines in the center are now grey and full of moire artifacts. Since most real video won't start out as sharp as the video I started with it will usually show less of such artifacts. The smaller text is pretty much unreadable.

    Then, if you're lucky, the VGA-to-HDMI converter will upscale the 1024x768 frame to 1440x1080 to maintain the aspect ratio, and pillarbox it to 1920x1080:

    Image
    [Attachment 61431 - Click to enlarge]


    Again the letterbox and pillarbox bars added here are dark grey but will likely be full black in the final display. And in practice the scaling may not be as clean because of the analog to digital conversion. The smaller text is still unreadable.

    If you're unlucky the VGA-to-HDMI converter will simply stretch the incoming 1024x768 frame to 1920x1080, distorting the picture:

    Image
    [Attachment 61432 - Click to enlarge]


    There is some possibility that you can configure the tablet to output 1920x1080 to prevent all these losses. But the details depend on the graphic device, drivers, and OS.
    Last edited by jagabo; 24th Oct 2021 at 20:35.
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  8. Jagabo, thanks, that was fascinating. For some reason, your first picture looked okay on my tablet screen. I could see the details, and could read the smallest lines of text when I zoomed in.

    The other pictures looked much less detailed, as per your explanation.

    So I don't know what I was really looking at. But I take from this discussion that HDMI to HDMI will work much better than VGA to HDMI.

    I still don't know what to expect with whatever video card comes with the mini computer I will buy. Being new, I assume it would know how to deal with latest formats like full HD and hope it can auto-sync to old formats like 1024 x 768. Will confirm this before buying if possible.

    Thanks again everyone for the help.
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    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    I still don't know what to expect with whatever video card comes with the mini computer I will buy. Being new, I assume it would know how to deal with latest formats like full HD and hope it can auto-sync to old formats like 1024 x 768. Will confirm this before buying if possible.
    A modern mini PC should be able to output 1920x1080 resolution via HDMI but if you want some opinions about it from VideoHelp's membership you should post the make and model of the mini PC so we can take a look at its specs.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Oct 2021 at 23:57. Reason: fix typo
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  10. Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Jagabo, thanks, that was fascinating. For some reason, your first picture looked okay on my tablet screen. I could see the details, and could read the smallest lines of text when I zoomed in.
    Yes, of course you can zoom in to see all the detail. But you can't watch a movie that way, you'll be missing a large part of the picture.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    The other pictures looked much less detailed, as per your explanation.
    Yes, once the picture is messed up it can't be fixed.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    I still don't know what to expect with whatever video card comes with the mini computer I will buy. Being new, I assume it would know how to deal with latest formats like full HD and hope it can auto-sync to old formats like 1024 x 768. Will confirm this before buying if possible.
    All modern graphics cards and integrated GPU's can output 1920x1080. And newer ones have hardware decoding for the most common codecs like h.264 (AVC), h.265 (HEVC), VP8, VP9, etc. (so you don't need a monster CPU). Even lowly Celeron processors have it:

    https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-Compact-Graphics-Component-GB-BLCE-4105/dp/B07DMM7Z7N/
    https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/uhd_graphics/600

    Note the amazon link isn't a complete system. It requires memory, a boot drive, and O/S.

    I mentioned this earlier but it may be possible to run the VGA output at 1920x1080. Either as a second display, or as a mirror of the tablet screen. In mirror mode the main display would act as a 1024x768 window into the 1920x1080 display. What's possible depends on the hardware, drivers, and O/S. But even with the VGA output running at 1920x1080 the VGA-to-HDMI converter may not work well.
    Last edited by jagabo; 27th Oct 2021 at 22:01.
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  11. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    I still don't know what to expect with whatever video card comes with the mini computer I will buy. Being new, I assume it would know how to deal with latest formats like full HD and hope it can auto-sync to old formats like 1024 x 768. Will confirm this before buying if possible.
    A modern mini PC should be able to output 1920x1080 resolution via HDMI but if you want some opinions about it from VideoHelp's membership you should post the make and model of the mini PC so we can take a look at its specs.
    thanks usuallyquiet. I haven't started searching for a mini PC yet so can't give the specs.
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  12. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Jagabo, thanks, that was fascinating. For some reason, your first picture looked okay on my tablet screen. I could see the details, and could read the smallest lines of text when I zoomed in.
    Yes, of course you can zoom in to see all the detail. But you can't watch a movie that way, you'll be missing a large part of the picture.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    The other pictures looked much less detailed, as per your explanation.
    Yes, once the picture is messed up it can't be fixed.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    I still don't know what to expect with whatever video card comes with the mini computer I will buy. Being new, I assume it would know how to deal with latest formats like full HD and hope it can auto-sync to old formats like 1024 x 768. Will confirm this before buying if possible.
    All modern graphics cards and integrated GPU's can output 1920x1080. And newer ones have hardware decoding for the most common codecs like h.264 (AVC), h.265 (HEVC), VP8, VP9, etc. (so you don't need a monster CPU). Even lowly Celeron processors have it:
    (snip)
    I mentioned this earlier but it may be possible to run the VGA output at 1920x1080. Either as a second display, or as a mirror of the tablet screen. In mirror mode the main display would act as a 1024x768 window into the 1920x1080 display. What's possible depends on the hardware, drivers, and O/S. But even with the VGA output running at 1920x1080 the VGA-to-HDMI converter may not work well.
    Thanks for explaining, Jagabo. Actually, my tablet has a Celeron processor. So does that mean it is capable of outputting 1920 x 1080? But I don't see any settings for that. Here are the specs from Speccy:

    CPU
    Intel Celeron @ 1.20GHz 52 įC
    Sandy Bridge 32nm Technology

    GRAPHICS: Name ?? PnP ???? on Intel HD Graphics Family
    Current Resolution 1024x768 pixels
    Work Resolution 1024x738 pixels
    State Enabled, Primary
    Monitor Width 1024
    Monitor Height 768
    Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
    Monitor Frequency 60 Hz
    Device \\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0
    Intel HD Graphics Family
    Manufacturer Intel
    Model HD Graphics Family
    Device ID 8086-0106
    Revision A
    Subvendor Unknown (1BCF)
    Current Performance Level Level 0
    Driver version 8.15.10.2455
    Count of performance levels : 1
    Level 1 - "Perf Level 0"

    I wonder what the "Performance Level" has to do with its capabilities. I know this system is obsolete. I only keep using it because I love the 4:3 aspect ratio, which is pretty impossible to find in new tablets, notebooks or displays.
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  13. I'm pretty sure a Sandy Bridge Celeron's integrated GPU can output 1920x1080 at 60 Hz.
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  14. Your source (i.e. graphic card) read something called DDC (and later after introducing extensions called as EDID) from your display where probably small EEPROM exist and where information about maximum 1024x768 resolution is stored, this is read by your CPU trough DDC channel - HDMI use extended DDC version where side to few DDC "VGA" resolutions, a lot of new, mostly TV like resolutions was added. It is up to your TV (acting as HDMI Sink) to output information about supported video modes and up to VGA to HDMI converter to understand EDID from your Sink and output information to your PC.
    Some of VGAtoHDMI converters support only few pre-encoded PC like resolutions (mostly 4:3) but some can be more flexible on this. Essentially VGAtoHDMI converter should have 3 analog to digital converters, some HDMI transmitter and some small uC to control both blocks.
    Use this https://www.galvinpower.org/best-vga-to-hdmi-converters/ as some guide with pros and cons but from my perspective at some point you may need to risk and buy different VGAtoHDMI converters until finding something that works for you - luckily they are not so expensive even if they use technology that decade ago cost few hundred/thousand $ .
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Image
    [Attachment 61621 - Click to enlarge]


    This image has sections of comparative resolution in vertical stripes, designated by the text at the bottom.
    Put this image on your device in full screen mode and DON'T ZOOM IN. Get up close enough to your normal viewing distance using that device. What section of the image SHOWS visible pixelation? The section(s) that shows pixelation is BELOW the overall resolving capability of the system. The section(s) that don't show pixelation is AT or ABOVE the overall resolving capability (at your current viewing distance - remember, you are part of the equation). That border then is where your system capabilities lie. Higher resolutions than that border are not more beneficial to you, because your system cannot fully resolve them anyway.
    You can use this comparatively, as you also could with those test patterns. See which stage you are at with the existing setup with VGA conversion, etc. Then see what stage you would be at with straight HDMI.

    (ignore iterim edit, it was a glitch on my browser's part, fixed by refreshing)

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 4th Nov 2021 at 11:08.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I'm pretty sure a Sandy Bridge Celeron's integrated GPU can output 1920x1080 at 60 Hz.
    I guess the next question is what OS is running on the tabled and what kind of display settings does it allow for a secondary monitor?
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  17. Thanks Pandy, that was very helpful. But even with an excellent adapter, I would still get a better picture on the TV if I connected a new computer with HDMI output to the TV, right? It all seems like too much trouble and I should probably just buy a new PC, especially since this old one has a dead battery that I can't get a replacement for, and its USB ports have become unreliable through overuse...
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  18. Thanks Cornucopia. That image is blurry at 120 and 240, marginal at 480, and 720, 1080 and 2160 all look about the same.
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  19. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I'm pretty sure a Sandy Bridge Celeron's integrated GPU can output 1920x1080 at 60 Hz.
    I guess the next question is what OS is running on the tabled and what kind of display settings does it allow for a secondary monitor?
    Windows 7 pro and the only option I see for a second monitor is under "connect to a projector" and it still shows 1024 x 768 as highest resolution for second monitor. Maybe it would show different options if I actually connected a TV to it, but can't do that now because I don't have a cable.
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  20. Hmm.. I wonder if there's a way to connect computer to the TV via the computer's ethernet port...?
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  21. Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Hmm.. I wonder if there's a way to connect computer to the TV via the computer's ethernet port...?
    You can use a USB 2 graphics adpater like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Wavlink-Graphics-Display-Multiple-Monitors/dp/B01AL6IBF8

    I can't attest how well they work. Search the reviews for "movies." You'll see quotes like " This adapter is not suitable for gaming or watching movies." A USB 3 adapter would work better but I doubt your tablet has a USB 3 port. I've never seen a similar device that uses ethernet rather than USB.
    Last edited by jagabo; 6th Nov 2021 at 09:12.
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    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    It all seems like too much trouble and I should probably just buy a new PC, especially since this old one has a dead battery that I can't get a replacement for, and its USB ports have become unreliable through overuse...
    You definitely need a new computer... Copy any files that you want to save to some form of external storage ASAP.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Hmm.. I wonder if there's a way to connect computer to the TV via the computer's ethernet port...?
    Maybe, if you have a smart TV and both the computer and the TV have an Ethernet port. A smart TV may have the ability to see shared folders on your computer and play at least some video files streamed over a network. Most smart TVs have an Ethernet port for wired networking or connect to a wireless home network. (If connected to each other directly via Ethernet the TV and computer would be on their own network. You would need to set up the computer and the smart TV to use that network.)
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  23. Oh, I forgot his USB ports weren't working well. So a USB graphics adapter won't work.
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    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I'm pretty sure a Sandy Bridge Celeron's integrated GPU can output 1920x1080 at 60 Hz.
    I guess the next question is what OS is running on the tabled and what kind of display settings does it allow for a secondary monitor?
    Windows 7 pro and the only option I see for a second monitor is under "connect to a projector" and it still shows 1024 x 768 as highest resolution for second monitor. Maybe it would show different options if I actually connected a TV to it, but can't do that now because I don't have a cable.
    Since it's running Windows 7 Pro, the tablet probably would show other options if you were able to connect it to a TV and set up the 2nd monitor (TV) as an extended desktop or turn off the tablet display and only use the TV. [Edit] I can't predict what would happen using some kind of converter to make the connection.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 6th Nov 2021 at 12:12.
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    Something doesn't just "use Ethernet" anyway. For any format compatibility and support there has to be very distinct and commonly defined set of specifics, in electrical, port/channel/address, protocol and datastream.
    Your opportunity is determined primarily by the common capabilities of your least capable device - in this case it is both the tablet and the tv, but normally it is probably the tv.

    Examples of Ethernet usage of video:
    1. Proprietary
    2. HDbaseT and variants (DTP, XTP, DM...)
    3. Other data formats encapsulated in ethernet via transcievers (e.g. USB/UVC)
    4. Standard IP streaming (RTP/RTSP/RTMP, HLS, MMS...)

    Not only do I not think your TV is up to receiving those kinds, I am pretty sure that your tablet would baulk at trying to transcode in realtime to one of those formats, especially in HD or above.

    Time for a new computer.


    Scott
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  26. Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Thanks Pandy, that was very helpful. But even with an excellent adapter, I would still get a better picture on the TV if I connected a new computer with HDMI output to the TV, right? It all seems like too much trouble and I should probably just buy a new PC, especially since this old one has a dead battery that I can't get a replacement for, and its USB ports have become unreliable through overuse...
    Well, everything as always is a trade off - it may be true that your tablet will not support native TV resolution but also it may be opposite and it will support dual output and native TV resolution. More important is to decide if from your perspective searching for solution that may work or not is worth time and money, perhaps it will be easier and at some point not so expensive to buy something that for sure will work correctly and may provide you additional functionality and/or provide usage comfort. We may advice and suggest but at some point you will take final decision and only you will be beneficial or not from this decision. Do some pros and cons list, evaluate your goals, set priorities and take decision.
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  27. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Hmm.. I wonder if there's a way to connect computer to the TV via the computer's ethernet port...?
    You can use a USB 2 graphics adpater like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Wavlink-Graphics-Display-Multiple-Monitors/dp/B01AL6IBF8

    I can't attest how well they work. Search the reviews for "movies." You'll see quotes like " This adapter is not suitable for gaming or watching movies." A USB 3 adapter would work better but I doubt your tablet has a USB 3 port. I've never seen a similar device that uses ethernet rather than USB.
    Thanks, that's a great idea. But you're right, I only have USB 2.0. Also, this device won't work with Linux, and I intend to change my OS to Linux soon.
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  28. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    It all seems like too much trouble and I should probably just buy a new PC, especially since this old one has a dead battery that I can't get a replacement for, and its USB ports have become unreliable through overuse...
    You definitely need a new computer... Copy any files that you want to save to some form of external storage ASAP.

    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Hmm.. I wonder if there's a way to connect computer to the TV via the computer's ethernet port...?
    Maybe, if you have a smart TV and both the computer and the TV have an Ethernet port. A smart TV may have the ability to see shared folders on your computer and play at least some video files streamed over a network. Most smart TVs have an Ethernet port for wired networking or connect to a wireless home network. (If connected to each other directly via Ethernet the TV and computer would be on their own network. You would need to set up the computer and the smart TV to use that network.)
    I already have a HDD attached to a USB port and I save everything on that. But often, if I even touch the USB to HDD cable, I lose the connection and my HDD disappears from the system and I have to replug into the USB. That's what I mean when I say my USB ports have become too loose and unreliable. I've already used various methods to tighten them, but they always loosen up again.

    As for Smart TV, my lifestyle limits me to whatever TV comes with the apartment I rent, and they're unlikely to be smart TVs.
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  29. Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Originally Posted by gumbygum View Post
    Thanks Pandy, that was very helpful. But even with an excellent adapter, I would still get a better picture on the TV if I connected a new computer with HDMI output to the TV, right? It all seems like too much trouble and I should probably just buy a new PC, especially since this old one has a dead battery that I can't get a replacement for, and its USB ports have become unreliable through overuse...
    Well, everything as always is a trade off - it may be true that your tablet will not support native TV resolution but also it may be opposite and it will support dual output and native TV resolution. More important is to decide if from your perspective searching for solution that may work or not is worth time and money, perhaps it will be easier and at some point not so expensive to buy something that for sure will work correctly and may provide you additional functionality and/or provide usage comfort. We may advice and suggest but at some point you will take final decision and only you will be beneficial or not from this decision. Do some pros and cons list, evaluate your goals, set priorities and take decision.
    Right, the main thing is I won't know if it will work until I buy an adaptor of some sort. And the mini PCs are not very expensive. So I will probably buy one.
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