Scan Converter FAQ’s

  1. Do I have to install the software? *
  2. What is the software for?
  3. How do I use the software?
  4. Why do I get a software installation error telling me to change autoexec.bat?
  5. Do I have to change my display adapter (video card driver)?
  6. Why do I have to change settings in my computer? *
  7. How far can I run a cable to the TV?
  8. How many TV’s can I use with my scan converter?
  9. Why do I only get a black and white image on the TV?
  10. Can I use the scan converter with my laptop computer?
  11. When I use my laptop I can only see it on the TV or the laptop but not both.*
  12. How do I get my laptop into this CRT mode?*
  13. My laptop has built-in TV - is this a problem?
  14. Why can’t I get the scan converter to connect to my TV?
  15. Why do I only get snow on my TV?
  16. Why do I only get a blank blue or black screen on my TV (or connected to a VCR)?
  17. Why don’t I hear the computer on my TV – or how do I get sound?
  18. Do I have to attach a monitor?
  19. Why does the TV look fuzzy or blurry?
  20. How do I install for Macintosh (MultiPro CTV, MultiPro Plus, and ProPC/TV 1 only)
  21. Can I use my scan converter in DOS mode?
  22. How do I use my scan converter with a PAL TV?
  23. Why is there a pin missing in my VGA connector?
  24. Parts

* (Does NOT apply to MultiPro Plus)


Do I have to install the software?    

NO! No, software is required to use any of AITech's scan converters.  The software is NOT a driver - it is a screen control utility that allows you to do some screen positioning and sizing only.  If you install the software do not do the "Update Driver Now" option - continue using the default "Update later" option.  The only time you will have to install the software is if you want to use the scan converter in a PAL country.  When you install the software you will need to configure it for PAL.  See also How do I use my scan converter with a PAL TV?

What is the software for?  

Your scan converter software gives you the ability to adjust the position of your screen resize the screen if necessary.  It is NOT necessary to install  this software to use your scan converter. If you install the software do not do the "Update Driver Now" option - continue using the default "Update later" option.  The only time you will have to install the software is if you want to use the scan converter in a PAL country.  When you install the software you will need to configure it for PAL.  See also How do I use my scan converter with a PAL TV?

How do I use the software?     

The software will install the control dialog box card TV OUT in your Display Properties (see below).  In most cases you will not need to use these controls. Refer to your manual on using these positioning and other buttons.  It is not necessary to use the TV OUT button as you will make the settings manually so you can change them back when you need to.

 

The software will also install a listing in your START/PROGRAMS menu (see below). If you decide that you need the sizing option to make your image fit better on your TV you can use this option.  When you click on Update Display Driver your setting of 640x480 will be changed to 600x440 to better fit the image on your TV screen.   See also the document on Screen Sizing Considerations.  Some display drivers do not like the non standard display size and you may see a message telling you that your display driver is not supported.  If so, you have the option of loading the Windows Standard Display Adapter (VGA). If you do this you will be limited to 16 colorsDO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO YOUR SYSTEM UNTIL YOU WRITE DOWN THE CURRENT SETTINGS.  It is recommended that you keep your native driver and work around any sizing issues you may have - please refer to separate document Screen Sizing considerations.

 

Why do I get a software installation error telling me to change autoexec.bat?

Part of the installation process is making an entry to your autoexec.bat file.  If this file is write protected or does not exist you will get an error message saying the system could not open the file and telling you to add the movescr.com instruction to the autoexec.bat file manually.  In most cases this is because your system does not have an autoexec.bat file.

The easiest way to create one is to open your Note Pad (or any standard text editor) and create a new file with nothing in it.  Save this file to your root directory autoexec.bat (c:\autoexec.bat).  Once this is done your software will install with out the error message.

Do I have to change my display adapter (video card driver)?   

NO! It is recommend that you DO NOT change your display adapter to the Standard VGA driver.  This will limit you to only a 16 color display and cause more problems for you than the sizing limitations.  This will also cause many of your programs that require higher color settings (256 or 16 Bit colors) not to run.

Why do I have to change settings in my computer?    

The scan converter requires that these settings be made in order to produce a display on the TV. The two basic settings that you must make are the screen area (640x480) and the scan rate setting, which MUST be set to 60 Hertz (Hz). The scan rate or refresh rate is provided by the computer (not the scan converter) and must be 60 Hz in order to get a stable display on the TV. Many video card drivers do not provide a place to set the scan rate. In the case that you have no place to set the scan rate you must make two other settings. The first is your color – set this to 256. Secondly, set your monitor type to ‘Standard VGA 640x480’. These two settings along with the 640x480 screen size will generally get your video card in a 60 Hz mode. See also the page on General Setup and Troubleshooting for specific instructions on making these changes. Refer to General Setup and Troubleshooting.

Before you make any changes to the settings in your computer write them down.

For setting the 60 Hz scan rate look for a tab in your display properties that says scan rate, refresh, or the name of your video card like Diamond, Chips, etc. Look for the 60 Hz setting. If you are using Win95 OSR2 (release B), look for a drop down box on your Adapter card in Advanced properties. There may be a listing of scan rates, choose 60 Hz or if no listing select Adapter Default (not Optimal).

How far can I run a cable to the TV?    

There is a practical limit of about 20 feet between the scan converter and the television. We have received reports from customers that they have achieved distances up to about 50 feet using good shielded cable using the composite output (RCA) connector. We have also had reports of up to 100 feet using expensive Monster Cable on the S-Video output.

Please note that AITech will NOT troubleshoot nor support installations with cables longer than the stated 20 feet. If you have in installation with a cable longer than 20 feet and you need technical support for you scan converter please install the requisite 20 foot cable before calling us. If you need a long run from the scan converter to the TV it is recommended that you purchase a video amplifier and use this to drive your long cable. You should be able to find one of these amplifiers at any good video supply store.

How many TV’s can I use with my scan converter?      

The scan converter you have was designed to send a signal to a single TV but should be able to drive two TV’s without using an amplifier. You may be limited to a total of about 20 feet of cabling (to both televisions). Note that you have two outputs on your scan converter. These outputs are the composite (RCA) and the S-Video outputs. There is no reason that you cannot use both outputs at the same time. If one TV has an S-Video input use that for one TV and the composite (RCA) input for your second TV. If you need to drive many TV’s it is recommended that you purchase a video distribution amplifier for this purpose. You can get one of these from a good video supply store.

Why do I only get a black and white image on the TV?   

The scan converter you are using needs to be reset. This happens now and then during installation or after first booting the computer. There is a very simple fix for this. You need only remove the power connector from the rear (or side) of the scan converter for a few seconds and then reinsert it. You should have a sharp color display after doing this. If you do not have a sharp color image on the TV, the settings made in Windows may not be correct.

Can I use the scan converter with my laptop computer?    

Yes. There is no practical difference at all between using a desktop computer and a laptop. The main difference is in the monitor connection. Since you are using a laptop you will likely not be attaching a standard CRT monitor to the scan converter.

notebook-scuba-tv.jpg (25228 bytes)

When I use my laptop I can only see it on the TV or the laptop but not both.    

This is a function of the hardware design of the laptop. In most cases you will probably not be able to see both displays at the same time. The reason for this has to do with the way a TV operates and the fact that the scan rate is dependent on the computer. When the laptop is in the simultaneous mode the computer switches the signal back and forth splitting it between the LCD display and the CRT display (where the scan converter is attached). You must switch your laptop to the CRT (or external monitor) mode in order to see a stable display on your TV. You will know you are in the CRT mode when the laptop screen goes black. When in the simultaneous mode the TV gets its signal chopped up and you get a chopped up image on the TV. If your application requires a local display we recommend that you look into purchasing the MultiPro Plus.

How do I get my laptop into this CRT mode?     

Most laptops have a hot-key combination using the Fn key (lower left corner of the keyboard) and one of the function keys at the top of the keyboard (F1 … F12). You should see an icon of a monitor on one of these keys or the lettering LCD/CRT or something similar. Hold the Fn key and press the associated F# key. This is usually a three mode switch – it rolls around between LCD, Simultaneous, and CRT modes. You will usually have to press this key combination two times to turn off the laptop screen. Please refer to your user’s manual on how to do this. There is an associated page in this technical support section that gives you a listing of many laptop brands, the hot key combinations and what you should expect to see on that key. Note that this compilation does not cover every laptop in existence nor does it specify models.

My laptop has built-in TV - is this a problem?

If your laptop has built in TV output it may cause a problem with your scan converter.  Be sure that this feature is turned off in your laptop. You may have to do this in your system BIOS. The VGA output may be changed by the laptop to adjust for its own internal TV converter. This may cause very strange output to the TV.

Why can’t I get the scan converter to connect to my TV?   

There are two types of connectors available with our scan converters, the composite video (RCA) and the S-Video connector. In order to use the scan converter you must connect it to a matching connector on your TV or VCR. All VCR’s have at least one set of video input connectors on the rear (newer units have one set on the front). This is to allow for recording from an external camera. Most newer TV’s have these same RCA connectors for direct video input. Some newer and more expensive TV’s and VCR’s also have the S-Video input. If you have both types of connectors on your TV, use the S-Video for a sharper image on the TV.

If your TV does not have an RCA connector for direct video (composite) input you will not be able to use your scan converter in its current configuration. You will have two choices at this point. You can use your VCR if you have one or purchase an RF Modulator. The RF Modulator changes the composite video signal to an RF signal. The RF Modulator attaches to the TV using the F connector – the screw on coax connector where your antenna or cable-box cable attaches. You can purchase an RF Modulator from Radio Shack for about $30.  You cannot use a simple adapter that changes the RCA cable connector to the F connector.

If you attach the scan converter to your VCR you will have to set the TV channel to the one used in your area for VCR’s (channel 3 or 4). You will then have to switch your VCR to its External Video Mode. See the next entry for how to do this.

Why do I only get snow on my TV?   

Snow on the TV screen (the random gray screen with the sound of rushing water (white noise)) is an indication that the TV is expecting to get input from its tuner via the antenna or cable box. In most cases you will need to manually switch your TV to its video mode. There are a few TV models that have an automatic switching mechanism. Please refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on switching your TV to its video mode. See also the associated article in this section listing many TV brands and their method of switching. In most all cases you will need to use the remote control that came with your TV to make this video mode change. Many so-called universal remotes do not include some of the special functions like this one. See also the section below on switching a VCR to its video mode.

Why do I only get a blank blue or black screen on my TV (or connected to a VCR)?    

Your VCR (as well as some newer and more expensive TV’s) has a video blanking feature that will not allow the loud white noise and ‘snow’ to be displayed on the TV when it does not get a normal TV signal. The above section describes the setting of a TV to its video mode. Setting the VCR is very similar and usually requires the standard remote control to switch to video mode. Like the TV, the VCR requires you to switch it to its external video mode. Please refer to your owner’s manual for how to do this and see also the associated article in this section listing many VCR brands and their method of switching.

Why don’t I hear the computer on my TV – or how do I get sound?  

Your scan converter is a video conversion device – it converts the computer’s VGA signal to an NTSC composite video signal (or S-Video) that can be used by your TV. This device does not do any audio – conversions or connections. If your application demands the use of sound at the TV or if you are taping your presentation and desire sound on the tape, you must connect an audio cable from the LINE OUT connector on your sound card to the audio input connections on your TV or VCR. You will need a suitable stereo or mono cable and an adapter from the 3mm stereo jack in the sound card to stereo RCA jacks. Both of these items can be purchased at Radio Shack or any stereo supply store.

Do I have to attach a monitor?    

It is not required to use the VGA pass through to use the scan converter - as in using this device with a laptop - a VGA monitor may not be wanted nor available.  If you are experiencing a problem with your VGA monitor attached to the VGA pass-through on your scan converter, there is something wrong with the unit. You should be able to view your monitor just as you did before the scan converter was attached. Return it to your vendor for a replacement.  There is no need to call technical support because the technician will tell you the unit is not functioning properly and to return it to your vendor for a replacement.

Why does the TV look fuzzy or blurry?    

You are probably looking at the very fine text that is under the folders and icons on the Windows Desktop. This text is about the finest text you will find displayed in Windows.  A TV does not have the capability of displaying fine text clearly on the screen.  If it did we would all be using cheap TV's on our computers instead of expensive VGA monitors.  What you see displayed on your TV screen is a function of that TV.  Some TV's are better than others, and this is not always a function of the cost of that TV.  There are several controls in the TV that can enhance the display you see.  Adjusting for color, sharpness, contrast, and brightness can help enhance the image coming from the computer. 

The TV does not have the ability (band width) to make the changes that would allow you to see fine text clearly. You can opt for using large text within Windows.  In most cases this display ability will not be a problem for you.  Most likely you will be using this for presentations using applications like PowerPoint, or you will be playing games, showing pictures, working with graphics, or surfing the web.  For these applications your scan converter will work well for you.  It is only in the applications such as word processing, databases work and the like that you will have a problem with the fine text.  This can be corrected by choosing large block or bold fonts for your presentation.

There are several things you can do to enhance the fonts on your system if you need to make presentations with programs that have smaller fonts. 

Internet Explorer

You can select a larger font for displaying the Internet pages you are showing on the TV.  Click View - Fonts - and select a larger font to your liking.  Note that Medium is the default font size for the normal screen view.

 

Windows Desktop

In Windows you can specify the font you use for the different areas of the Windows Desktop. To get to your Display Properties just right click a blank area of your desktop - click Properties at the bottom of the menu - and click the Appearance tab at the top of the dialog box as shown below.

 

Please note the graphic above that show you how to set the font for the different areas of the Windows.  Note the Item list shown immediately above.  This list will allow you to change the appearance of virtually all areas of your desktop.  For the purpose of these instructions you will only be interested in changing the font size for the Icons.

 

 

The graphic above shows you how to change the size of the font.  Select the size you think will work and click the Apply button.  If this setting is not suitable for your needs choose one higher or lower that you like better.   Note that the default font size is 8 point text. Standard printed text is 12 point. The list goes up to 18 point text but this setting may be too large.  Click the OK button when you find a font size that you like.

Macintosh Installation

Installing the scan converter on a Macintosh requires the use of the two supplied adapters. Note that one is longer than the other. The longer adapter is connected between the Macintosh and the scan converter (#1 below); the shorter adapter connects between the Mac monitor and the scan converter VGA output connector (#2 below). Note that some Macintosh models may not require the use of both of these adapters.

  1. Connect your encoder cable to the VGA Out side of the shorter adapter. The Mac In side of this connector attaches to the monitor connection on your Macintosh computer.

 

    Figure 1 - Showing how to connect the Macintosh input adapter to the scan converter. The Mac In side of this connector connects to your Macintosh VGA (monitor) output connector.

     

  1. Connect the VGA IN side of the longer Mac adapter to the side of the scan converter on the VGA Out (VGA connector). Your Macintosh monitor cable then connects to the Mac Out side of the longer adapter.

Figure 2 - Shows how the Macintosh output adapter attaches to the VGA Out connector on the scan converter. Connect your Mac monitor to the Mac Out side of the adapter.

 

Can I use my scan converter in DOS mode?     

The simple answer is yes.  Usually the default state of the video card is 60 Hertz in the DOS mode.  In some cases you may have to run the program on your install disk called movescr.com.  This program will stabilize your DOS refresh rate at 60 Hz.  You can add this file to your DOS (or any) folder and make an entry in your autoexec.bat file so it will run whenever you go to DOS mode.  You can also create a shortcut and run it manually whenever you need to work with your scan converter in DOS mode.

How do I use my scan converter with a PAL TV?

You will have to install the software if you want to use the scan converter in a PAL country or with a PAL TV or VCR.  When you install the software you will need to configure it for PAL. Follow the general instructions on these pages and in the installation guide but change your scan rate to 50 Hz (not 60 Hz).

Why is there a pin missing in my VGA connector?

There is nothing wrong with your scan converter VGA connector.  The VGA connector on most of AITech's scan converter cables has pin 9 missing deliberately.   The VGA connector was made with this pin missing because some VGA cards have the pin 9 connector hole plugged.  This comes from a specific manufacturer that has gone its own way with non-standard parts implementation.  Please note picture below.

Scan converter VGA connector showing missing pin 9.  This pin is deliberately missing - there is nothing wrong with your scan converter nor the connector.

 

Parts

Replacement "Encoder Cables" may be purchased from http://store.yahoo.com/aitech/accessories.html.
Replacement power supplies may be purchased here - http://store.yahoo.com/aitech/powersupplies.html.
Our Sales Department can also assist you with finding replacement parts.  Please call 1-408-991-9699. 


Last update 06-10-01