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StephenJ

KanexPro RCA/S-Video to 4K HDMI Converter

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Hey everyone,

Since the new TV's are moving to HDMI inputs only, and my old Phillips TV is on it's last leg, I've been on the look-out for an inexpensive AV-to-HDMI converter (the Framemeister just ain't in the budget).

Unlike the inconsistent reviews (some being horror stories) for low-end converters, the KanexPro RCA/S-Video to 4K HDMI Converter had 6 reviews that were all 5's. I purchased mine through NewEgg for $60.

 

I just received the converter today and I thought my AA brethren would find the following tests interesting.

 

I used my Composite/S-Video modded Atari 2600 for the following tests.

- I compared the video quality of the S-video direct-to-the-flat-screen TV vs. S-Video through-the-converter to HDMI. I saw no degradation of the video quality...so far so good.

- Similarly, I compared the composite output (ghack) direct-to-the-flat-screen TV vs. Composite through-the-converter to HDMI. The display from the converter was noticeably sharper...but no dramatic improvement.

 

I decided to do some lag tests. Again I used my modded 2600 for these tests because it outputs both Composite and S-Video simultaneously. See the attached videos.

- In the [First] video, and for a baseline, I have the composite output connected directly to a CRT TV and the S-video output connected directly to the S-video input of a small Insignia flat screen TV (no game mode available).

- In the [second] video, I have the composite output still connected directly to a CRT TV, but this time the S-video output is going through the KanexPro converter...and then to the HDMI input of the same Insignia flat screen TV.

- In the [Third] video, I have the composite output still connected directly to a CRT TV...the S-video output is still going through the converter, but this time connected to the HDMI input of a larger new TV (in game mode).

 

First - No Converter.MOV

Second with Converter.mp4

Third with Converter & New TV .MOV

 

When watching these videos, I did allot of pausing, particularly when the bullets were in-between the rows of aliens, and I've come up with the following conclusion:

- Both the converter and the flat screen TV's seem to introduce similar amounts of lag...roughly a little less than half the height of an alien each. (Hey, maybe I have invented a new measurement-term for lag..the alien scale!)

 

Please take a look at the videos and let me know if you agree.

 

I'd like to add that I left the 2600 (Galaxian in demo mode), and the converter, running for about an hour. The KanexPro only got slightly warm to the touch. For what I spent, I happy with my purchase.

On a side note, I called KanexPro for a support question, and I was able to talk to a human right-away...and a friendly one at that!

 

I hope some of you find this post to be of some value. I've gotten so much help from this forum in the past. I'm just trying to return the favor.

 

All the best,

StephenJ

Edited by StephenJ
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(continued) Sorry about the large file-sizes (particularly in the first video). I tried to replace them with compressed versions but I couldn't edit the post.

 

StephenJ

Edited by StephenJ

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Cool, I may have to pick one up for my aged consoles to talk to my newer TVs. Keep hoping the retron 77 will come out, but its in perpetual limbo, so looks like I'll need to acquire a 2600 and mod that, my system is a Vader and I hear those don't like mods.

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Cool, I may have to pick one up for my aged consoles to talk to my newer TVs. Keep hoping the retron 77 will come out, but its in perpetual limbo, so looks like I'll need to acquire a 2600 and mod that, my system is a Vader and I hear those don't like mods.

 

"...I may have to pick one up for my aged consoles to talk to my newer TVs..."

I have a 21" CRT TV that I like to use for the older systems...but once that goes up...that's it. I checked with a couple local TV shops and they won't touch CRTs.

 

"...hoping the retron 77 will come out..."

Same here. I'm hoping the delay is just Hyperkin working out the kinks.

 

"...my system is a Vader and I hear those don't like mods..."

I have a Vader and it modded OK. Here's the one I installed: http://electronicsentimentalities.com/Assembled%20Mods.html

Maybe there are variants with the Vader motherboards and I just got lucky. You may want to reach out to the tech-savvy folks on this forum.

 

Good luck,

StephenJ

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Any way you could pop it open and see if you can make out the make and part # of the processor they're using? This is one of the first straight to 4K boxes I've seen.

Edited by keepdreamin

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Any way you could pop it open and see if you can make out the make and part # of the processor they're using? This is one of the first straight to 4K boxes I've seen.

Hi Keepdreamin,

There are no visible screws anywhere on the case. I guess I would have to try to peel off the hard-plastic decorative panels from the front and back to get to the innards...but I really don't want to do that for fear I would void the warranty.

I did pose your question to KanexPro by phone. The gentlemen responded (in a gracious manner) that the requested information was indeed confidential.

 

Sorry I couldn't help,

StephenJ

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Hi Keepdreamin,

There are no visible screws anywhere on the case. I guess I would have to try to peel off the hard-plastic decorative panels from the front and back to get to the innards...but I really don't want to do that for fear I would void the warranty.

I did pose your question to KanexPro by phone. The gentlemen responded (in a gracious manner) that the requested information was indeed confidential.

 

Sorry I couldn't help,

StephenJ

 

 

Huh, oh well that's ok. I can't imagine they're using some sort of propriety design. I imagine it's an off the shelf parts you'd find in a normal 4K TV that still allowed for analog inputs.

 

Can you at least tell if it's treating 240P as 480i? or is 240P getting displayed properly as it's own independent resolution?

Edited by keepdreamin

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"...Can you at least tell if it's treating 240P as 480i? or is 240P getting displayed properly as it's own independent resolution?..."

I'm not sure how to test for that. With my svideo-modded 2600 going through the converter...and then to the HDMI input of my Insignia TV, I scrolled through the Resolution options and 720p and 1080p was recognized...both @60Hz.

 

I attached the following downloads from the KanexPro website:

CON-AV-HD4K-Product-Sheet.pdf

843-CON-AV-HD4K-Manual.pdf

 

In case you would like to pose your question to KanexPro directly, here's the phone number:
(888) 975-1368

 

Hope you get your answers,

StephenJ

Edited by StephenJ

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I hate to rain on your parade, but it looks like you may have paid a 2X markup for a repackage job. :sad:

 

There's this one on eBay for half the price. Notice the locations of all the inputs, buttons, functions, LED etc.. compared to the one you bought.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AV-RCA-S-Video-to-HD-Converter-Audio-Upscaler-Adapter-4K-for-DVD-STB-VCR-TV-R0S7-/152577954729

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It certainly may be the the same innards in a different case. But, couldn't the circuit-board be laid-out the same but with different grade components?
I have heard that buying low-cost converters is a real a crap-shoot...even when they look identical.
As I've said in my first post, reviews for other converters are inconsistent at best....with some real bad experiences from the buyers.

 

For the following reasons, I'm satisfied with my purchase:

- I've had good experiences with previous purchases from NewEgg.
- I liked what I read in the all of the reviews for the KanexPro.
- I was able to get it for $60...shipped quickly...and from West Virginia.

- The unit does what is advertised...tested for long periods without getting hot.

- Lag is minimal

- I can talk to a human for Tech support.

 

Bottom line...I'm good!

 

Stephen

 

 

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It certainly may be the the same innards in a different case. But, couldn't the circuit-board be laid-out the same but with different grade components?

I have heard that buying low-cost converters is a real a crap-shoot...even when they look identical.

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

I guess it's possible. You wouldn't really know unless you compared the two side by side.

 

I was looking through their product line and immediately recognized one I've seen sold under probably a dozen brand names.

 

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/770115-REG/KanexPro_HDRGBRL_HDMI_to_Component_Converter.html

"Tensun" https://www.amazon.com/Tensun-Component-Converter-Adapter-Coaxial/dp/B01EMN8FMA/

"E-More" https://www.amazon.com/More-Component-Converter-Supporting-Coaxial/dp/B01E5B69BI/

 

and another

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0AJ3GM5905

"SYBA" at 1/6th the price https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186246

 

So even newegg isn't perfect. A $20 converter, and then a $130 that for all you can tell is exactly the same? I think it's pretty disingenuous for a company to claim to offer "professional" grade equipment, and charge as such for when all you can tell it was simply pulled from aliexpress at 1/6th the cost. If I'm paying a huge premium for what you're offering, I would expect it to be your own R/D.

 

People may balk at the $300 for the Framemeister. But what's inside that case isn't a mystery.

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The KanexPro has gold plated RCA jacks while the SYBA does not, which is a hint that maybe the former has better quality components overall inside. I would be willing to bet functionality is the same though.

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I'm more curious about this mention of heat?! I've got a fairly cheap $40 RCA composite/S-video to HDMI adapter I've used for like 5 years now and the ONLY issues I've had with it is that it doesn't allow 4:3 aspect correction and will present everything stretched. (Corrected by getting a TV that forces 16:9 content into 4:3), and that the really bright blue power LED burned out about 2 years ago on it. That isn't really a complaint though since the other LED lets me know it is one regardless.

 

Is heat an issue with these cheap converters? I've never noticed mine to get crazy hot or anything. Then again, it is only powered one when the rest of the AV system is powered on.

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I'm more curious about this mention of heat?! I've got a fairly cheap $40 RCA composite/S-video to HDMI adapter I've used for like 5 years now and the ONLY issues I've had with it is that it doesn't allow 4:3 aspect correction and will present everything stretched. (Corrected by getting a TV that forces 16:9 content into 4:3), and that the really bright blue power LED burned out about 2 years ago on it. That isn't really a complaint though since the other LED lets me know it is one regardless.

 

 

When I said "...I have heard that buying low-cost converters is a real a crap-shoot...", I took that to mean that the quality is inconsistent...some good...some bad.

I have had read a few reviews where people have mentioned overheating issues.

But it sounds like you got yourself a good-one!

Edited by StephenJ

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EDIT: I made the post below a lot more structured. This post can be deleted.

Edited by keilbaca

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It certainly may be the the same innards in a different case. But, couldn't the circuit-board be laid-out the same but with different grade components?

I have heard that buying low-cost converters is a real a crap-shoot...even when they look identical.

As I've said in my first post, reviews for other converters are inconsistent at best....with some real bad experiences from the buyers.

 

For the following reasons, I'm satisfied with my purchase:

- I've had good experiences with previous purchases from NewEgg.

- I liked what I read in the all of the reviews for the KanexPro.

- I was able to get it for $60...shipped quickly...and from West Virginia.

- The unit does what is advertised...tested for long periods without getting hot.

- Lag is minimal

- I can talk to a human for Tech support.

 

Bottom line...I'm good!

 

Stephen

 

 

 

This is why I am the most interested. Streaming Atari, is rough. Software deinterlacing on fast games like Kaboom! just doesn't look good. I have two s-video to VGA, and two S-video to HDMI converters, all in the super low end range... and none of them work right on my Atari. Constant blanking out about every 30 seconds. I'm so glad I searched for this particular model, and came across this thread.

 

Also, newegg doesn't have it anymore. Amazon does. This is the one you got?

 

https://www.amazon.com/KanexPro-Composite-S-Video-HDMI-Converter/dp/B06WP5MP12/

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I bought one of these so I could connect AV output to a monitor with only HDMI inputs. Works great for me.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B076KPJHGX

 

I have one of those, and the one that's slightly better with s-video.

 

Everything else I throw at it works perfectly fine. The adapter you linked, works if you run an unmodified Atari, through (in my case) a TV that has composite out, and into the HDMI upscaler.

 

Works, but eh... it looks super soft, and quite frankly... if I spent the money on a powered s-video splitter, and went through the trouble of modifying my Atari 2600... I want it in s-video quality.

 

The dazzle likes the signal, but the software deinterlacing doesn't play too terribly well with Atari flicker.

 

So just a heads up, if you have a tv with composite out, and that uspcaler, it works fine.

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This is why I am the most interested. Streaming Atari, is rough. Software deinterlacing on fast games like Kaboom! just doesn't look good. I have two s-video to VGA, and two S-video to HDMI converters, all in the super low end range... and none of them work right on my Atari. Constant blanking out about every 30 seconds. I'm so glad I searched for this particular model, and came across this thread.

 

Also, newegg doesn't have it anymore. Amazon does. This is the one you got?

 

https://www.amazon.com/KanexPro-Composite-S-Video-HDMI-Converter/dp/B06WP5MP12/

I looked carefully at the one you linked to. Appearance wise, it's identical to mine.

 

StephenJ

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When I said "...I have heard that buying low-cost converters is a real a crap-shoot...", I took that to mean that the quality is inconsistent...some good...some bad.

I have had read a few reviews where people have mentioned overheating issues.

But it sounds like you got yourself a good-one!

 

As I said mine is really old at this point and it only takes in comp ans s-vid and outputs to 720p or 1080p via buttons on the front. I'm only able to use the 720p mode from it through my receiver as 1080 gives a no signal condition to the TV. However, if i run the converters HDMI out straight to the TV, then 1080p works just fine. So something in the output 1080p signal my receiver doesn't jive with.

 

To really test the lag with that setup, you need to use a newer console like a dreamcast of Genesis/SNES if you have flashcarts for them and run the 240p suite test. It has a lag tester that you use by connecting the video out to both a CRT and flatpanel at the same time. Then use a still camera with fast shutter speed to take pics of the test while it runs. It displays circles with numbers on them during the test. You figure out the lag using the difference in the numbers between what is on the CRT vs the LCD. In my case, it is about a 4 frames per second differences between my PVM on s-video and the LCD through composite wtih my converter. I bought mine a long time ago from monoprice for about $40 and I think they still have the exact same monoprice labeled version for about the same price today. Very generic looking and I'm sure is a clone of a 100 other clones models but it has done the business quite adequately for all these years.

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Tried to DL & open video on phone with no luck.

 

Is it showing as 4:3 or 16:9? If 4:3, did the device keep the ratio or did you force with TV?

 

Unfortunately, in HDMI my game room LCD defaults to widescreen with no ability to edit. Essentially I need the device to output in 4:3 and not adjust on TV set.

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Tried to DL & open video on phone with no luck.

 

Is it showing as 4:3 or 16:9? If 4:3, did the device keep the ratio or did you force with TV?

 

Unfortunately, in HDMI my game room LCD defaults to widescreen with no ability to edit. Essentially I need the device to output in 4:3 and not adjust on TV set.

Jagosaurus,

My LCD TV defaults to 16:9 for the HD inputs and only allows for adjusting the aspect ratio for non-HD inputs.

The KanexPro displays in 16:9. I tried pressing the Zoom button, but it only made the image a little bigger. It did not change the aspect ratio.

 

Sorry,

Stephen

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I tried the Kanex Pro and wanted to post my results for anyone wishing to play their S-video modded Atari (7800 in my case).

 

I ordered (tried) the following:

 

- Tendak 3RCA AV CVBS Composite & S-Video R/L Audio to HDMI Converter Adapter

 

- Portta PETCSHP S-Video and R/L Audio to HDMI Converter

 

- Kanex Composite/ S-video to 4K HDMI® Converter (Kanex Pro, model CON-AV-HD4K)

 

Tendak: video looked crisp and clear, but would only display black-and-white on my Samsung 55 1080p HDTV. Returned it.

 

Portta: giving a second go with the cheaper converters, this unit displayed color just fine, but the video was plainly awful. Graphics appeared blocky and fragmented. Returned it.

 

Kanex: going with an upper-tier $100 item was a definite win. Color and graphics were brilliant. Adapter unit itself was very nice looking. But there was a significant lag (maybe 500 ms) that I found to be intolerable. Returned it.

 

After trying all 3 of these, I feel I made a valiant effort with my attempts. The Kanex Pro was the definitive winner for color, resolution, and clarity. Having returned every device, I turned to the homebrew scene and purchased the:

 

RETROTINK by Mike Chi, available from RetroRGB (https://www.retrorgb.com/retrotink2x.html).

 

This device was engineered by a professional and video game hobbyist/enthusiast. I was pleased to find that the website recently advertised that parts were in stock, and that theyd be shipping orders within 2 weeks. I got mine in about 1 week.

 

The Retrotink is a remarkable feat of engineering, and produces ZERO lag. It is powered by a microUSB connection and uses mini HDMI out. I hooked up my S-video Atari 7800 and it produced PHENOMENALLY crisp video on 4:3 or 16:9. There is no lag at all, and I can now play my favorite video games with the family on the main OLED flat panel TV.

 

I wanted to give a shout out to Mike Chi and RetroRGB for their great service and winning architecture. The Retrotink simply takes the cake!

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