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Q: Exploring New Use for VGA Monitors ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Exploring New Use for VGA Monitors
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: thurston-ga
List Price: $14.50
Posted: 04 Mar 2003 13:13 PST
Expires: 03 Apr 2003 13:13 PST
Question ID: 170599
I have recently explored recycling my old computers, but don't want to
get ride of the monitors.  I have three, and they all still work
perfectly.  I was wondering if there is an inexpensive way to use the
monitors for other viewing.  Let me explain.

It would be most ideal to watch TV with them, but I realize that would
not be a possibility, as they do not actually have a TV tuner in them.
 My next thought, and the one I would like information on, is the
possibility of using the three monitors for DVD/VHS viewing by
connecting my player to them.

So, I need a few answers.  First, is there an inexpensive way to
convert the VGA signal to composite? Second, Can I simultaneously
broadcast to all three monitors, from one DVD player (by way of some
kind of hub)?  Third, what are your suggestions for overcoming the
lack of audio in the monitor (i.e. Is there a device that handles
this, etc.)? Lastly, is there any other helpful information you can
provide regarding this use of VGA monitors?

Thank you in advance for your help! 

P.S. - I apologize if you feel this question doesn't quite fit the
category, I had some trouble locating one I felt appropriate.
Subject: Re: Exploring New Use for VGA Monitors
Answered By: sycophant-ga on 05 Mar 2003 05:30 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Thurston,

Interesting question, most people want to do it the other way around.

The answer is, yes, it can be done! The inexpensive part, however, is
subjective, I would say, yes, sort of.

I have been unable to find any details on how you would create one,
however an Australian company sells a video-to-VGA converter, and if
their site is to be believed, it's a great device. It retails for
AU$149 which is about US$92.

In my experience, Allthings is very responsive to email, and will be
able to answer any questions you have and provide an estimate for cost
in your currency including shipping.

As for splitting the signal to multiple monitors, that is also
achievable, and actually quite easy. However, it will cost again. You
need to get a VGA splitter - there are a number of options at this

I believe it is possible to simply splice a number of VGA cables
together, but I do not think it works very well. In fact it may damage
the monitors.

For the sound, you would be best to use external speakers. The
video-to-VGA converter will pass an audio signal, which you can then
easily use to power simple speakers, perhaps PC-style ones - there are
a number that are designed to attach directly to the monitor.

I am afraid I can't really think of any other information about the
use of VGA monitors.

Search Terms:
Composite to VGA
Video to VGA
VGA splitter


Clarification of Answer by sycophant-ga on 05 Mar 2003 05:31 PST
I seem to have deleted the link from my post - sorry about that. The
device in question, from AllThings, is here:

thurston-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
This answers all of my questions! I am a little sad as I can't really
swing upwards of 300 dollars for all the equipment I need. 
Reagrdless, this is a great answer, and at least let me know this was
possible, and gave me a device to go e-baying for.  Thanks!

Subject: Re: Exploring New Use for VGA Monitors
From: sycophant-ga on 05 Mar 2003 20:07 PST
I did a little more digging and I really haven't been able to find
anything else that seems to do the same as the AllThings product.

Also, it shouldn't cost $300 - you only need one converter and one
splitter... That is about $175 by my reckoning, $100 for the
converter, and $75 for a 4-way VGA splitter.

Obviously the speakers are another issue, but simple ones can be had
for $20 or so, I imagine.

Thanks for the feedback.

Subject: Re: Exploring New Use for VGA Monitors
From: thurston-ga on 06 Mar 2003 17:05 PST
Your right - I was thinking it would be put together the other way
around, I  don't know why.  I love learning new things!  Hopefully I
can get this working right!  I am excited!


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