Product Review (November 2001) - Key Digital Systems

KD-CTCA2 Component-to-VGA Converter

KD-VTCA1 VGA-to-Component Converter


      There 
      was a time when consumers didn't have to worry about video compatibility 
      issues when connecting products such as a VCR 
      or cable box. Nothing more 
      than a composite video signal was required to get a picture on your television. 
      Year's later, s-video connections were introduced to carry the chroma and 
      luminance signals separately to improve picture quality from better quality 
      sources. More recently component connections have been introduced 
      to maximize picture quality from component-based sources such as DVD and 
      DirecTV set-top boxes. While many manufacturers chose to put component input 
      and outputs on their products, others decided to use RGB connections. This 
      incompatibility between products introduced a problem for many consumers. 
      There became an immediate need for products that would allow you to convert 
      from one format to the other. 
      

A company called Key Digital Systems (www.keydigital.com) recently introduced two useful adapters that address this interface problem facing many consumers today. The first product is the KD-CTCA2, which converts component signals to a pair of RGB/HV signals. For this review, we were only able to test the now obsolete KD-CTC which is the single output version of the KD-CTCA2. Both the single and dual output versions are otherwise identical. The KD-CTCA2 comes with its own power adapter that converts wall power into 6VDC. A series of DIP-switches are used to select the video format (i.e. 480p, 720p or 1080i) and whether composite sync or horizontal drive output signals are desired on the RGB/HV signals. In addition, positive or negative syncs are selectable giving the user maximum flexibility. There's even a small trim to adjust the horizontal position of the image. We found this converter to work very well with virtually no video degradation in the 1080i or 480p modes. The compact design makes it a snap to hook-up and leave dangling behind the display. Our test included the Panasonic TU-HDS20 set-top box along with a Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD display.

The second product we tested from Key Digital Systems was the KD-VTCA1, which converts RGB-HV signals to component video. We tested this adapter using an RCA DTC100 interfaced to a high-definition Mitsubishi Diamond series display (WS-65908). The converter worked flawlessly and generated an incredible image on our high-definition Mitsubishi display. We operated the KD-VTCA1 in the 1080i mode only, so we cannot comment on the 480p performance. This adapter also includes a trim for adjusting horizontal position, which proved to be handy during our tests. The KD-VTCA1 is compatible with 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i video sources.

Both products offer a solution to an otherwise troubling interface problem facing many consumers today. The retail price for these adapters is lower than what we've seen from other manufacturer's. These compact adapters offer excellent performance, are easy to use and offer the flexibility needed to get the picture right.
- Kevin Nakano

Review System:
Display 1: Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF Calibrated)
Display 2: Mitsubishi WS-65908 Diamond Series 65-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF Calibrated)
Dish: RCA DSA8900E DirecTV Plus Elliptical dish
Set-top Box 1: Panasonic TU-HDS20
Set-top Box 2: RCA DTC100



Review - At a glance

Key Digital KD-CTCA2 Component to VGA adapter

  • Manual Mode: 60 Hz refresh: 480p, 1080i/540p, 720p
  • Auto Mode: Sensing for 50 Hz or 60 Hz refresh: 480i, 576i, 480P, 576P, 1080i/540p, 720p
  • Horizontal centering adjustment for manual mode
  • 120 MHz video bandwidth
  • Positive or Negative Sync selection
  • RGB+CS signaling capable
  • Three RCA connectors for component inputs
  • Dual VGA (DB15 connector) outputs to drive VGA monitor or HD display
  • Wall plug power supply included

    Size: 2" x 4 3/4" x 3/4"
    Weight: 1 lb.
    Price: $329

    KD-CTCA2 User's Manual

     

    Key Digital KD-VTCA1 VGA-to-Component adapter

  • DTC100 timing compatibility for artifact free display
  • Compatible with Sony and Panasonic Displays
  • Manual Mode: 60 Hz refresh: 480p, 720p, 1080i/540p
  • Auto Mode: Sensing for 50 Hz or 60 Hz refresh: 480p, 720p, 1080i/540p
  • Horizontal centering adjustment for manual mode
  • 120 MHz video bandwidth
  • Positive or Negative Sync selection
  • Three RCA connectors for component outputs
  • Wall plug power supply included

    Size: 2" x 4 3/4" x 3/4"
    Weight: 1 lb.
    Price: $179

    KD-VTCA1 User's Manual

    Company Information
    Key Digital Systems, Inc.
    314 West 231 Street, Suite 504
    Riverdale, New York 10463, USA
    Phone: 718-796-7178
    Fax: 718-796-6664
    Email: info@keydigital.com
    Website: www.keydigital.com

    Source: Manufacturer Loan
    Warranty: 2 years parts and labor

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