S Video not working. Can they fail?

March 10, 2012 at 11:14:58
Specs: Windows XP
S Video is connected to RCA. I've been using it for approximately 5 years, once or twice a month (for Karaoke graphic display). The video plug, on the TVs tend to become loose. I thought that was the problem, when it stopped working because when I would wriggle the cord, sometimes it would come back on. Now it does't work at all. I have tried two other TVs and a different laptop...with the same S Video adaptor. Is it possible, despite the extreme care used and no bent or broken pins (7), that the adaptor has simply worn out?

Thank you so much for your help.

See More: S Video not working. Can they fail?

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March 10, 2012 at 13:57:26
Not worn out, just a broken wire in the plug. Five minutes with a soldering iron would fix it.


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March 12, 2012 at 12:37:06
Cord bad? ??

A Pit Bull is like a gun you can pet. And there is no safety on it.

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March 12, 2012 at 13:46:40
For any computer in XP, XP has only ONE display enabled by default.

If you're using both a monitor and an S-Video connection, if the S-video connection is not working when Windows is loading, or if it' is working but the display of it has not been enabled, you get only ONE display displaying video.
To fix that, wih a working S-Video connection....
RIGHT click on a blank part of your main desktop screen, choose Properties, then Settings.
Hold your cursor over the two display icons, one at a time - one will display "Not Active" - RIGHT click on that icon and activate that display.
Windows will retain tjhe second display as long as the S-Video connectyion is working while Windows is loading.

For laptops, you have a second option - at least some laptops have a key combo that you must press to toggle the display to external video only / built in display video only / sometimes both - see the Owner's or User's manual for the model.

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Related Solutions

March 12, 2012 at 13:52:53
Thank you for your replies.
I tried a different cord, too. No success. My S video adaptor is the original Dell Inspiron. I can't see how a wire could break, as it's quite protected. But, if it is, I see no way to get to it. I'm hoping that purchasing another S video adaptor will do the trick. I just can't imagine what else it could be.

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March 13, 2012 at 07:32:11
Are you sure you're plugging the RCA cable into the right female RCA jack on the TV (yellow) ?
The TV must be set to the video input the RCA cable is connected to BEFORE you boot the laptop.

Your problem is a lot more likely to be with the cable you're using with the S-Video adapter has a problem.
People often unplug the cable by pulling on the cable rather than pulling on the connector on the end of the cable, and in that case eventually the wires inside the cord near the connector are broken inside the cord.

If the TV has a S-Video port, a standard S-Video cable (4 pins on each end) can be used with the 7 pin "S-Video" port on the laptop.

If you do get a S-Video adapter, it doesn't have to have 7 pins - one with 4 pins will work too in the 7 pin "S-Video" port on the laptop.

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March 13, 2012 at 08:10:37
Thanks again for the help. I'm always careful to pull on the plug, not the cord. I've been doing Karaoke for over 10 years and just never had a problem with the graphics not showing on the screen. That's why I'm so baffled. I'm hesitant to spend the $30 for the new S video adapter , just to discover it wasn't the problem. I went to Radio Shack, Staples and Walmart and none of them sell them, nor do they sell the male to male RCA cable. Staples told me they don't make them anymore. Hmmm. I find myself looking on EBay. I didn't even see the quality RCA cable, that I've been using all these years. I saw a lot of "simple" ones; very inexpensive. Do they work as well? Oh my. Suppose I don't have a choice.

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March 13, 2012 at 08:39:16
In store.
RadioShack® RCA to S-Video Cable (6-Ft.)

The standard legacy S-video plug has 4 pins - S-Video needs only needs 4 pins - it will plug in and work fine with the 7 pin (hole) socket your laptop has.


Radio Shack Web only
Cables To Go 13058 Bidirectional S-Video-to-RCA AdapterModel: 13058 | Catalog #: 55010621


Radio Shack Web only
Cables To Go Value Series 12-Ft. S-Video to RCA Adapter


Also has audio cables.

Local smaller places that have lots of computer parts and build custom computers probably have the S-Video gender adapter - it only needs 4 pins, it will work in the 7 pin (hole) socket.

However, there's probably nothing wrong with the one you have, unless there is / are (a) pin(s) broken broken off !

Local "dollar" stores often have male to male RCA cords, but likely a pair for audio (red and white) or a triple set - for audio (red and white) and video (yellow). Someimes the triple cord set has a thicker cord for video, or all three are thicker.

Or Radio Shack probably has the dual or triple cord set in store for more money.

The fatter RCA cords are sheilded better and a lot less likely to pick up outside interference, but a skinnier RCA cord may work fine
If you have any spare dual RCA audio cables, try one of the cables with your S-Video adapter.

I'm assuming you're in the US because Radio Shack no longer has any physical stores in Canada, at least they don't anymore where I am in western Canada - they were taken over by Circuit City's "The Source" outlets.

Is there a Circuit City "big box" store where you are ?

In stock at Circuit City

Cables To Go 40454 12ft RCA Composite Video Cable


These found by searching for: RCA cables and then looking on MANY pages of the results to find them ....

Cables To Go Value Series Bi-Directional - Video cable - S-Video / composite video - 4 pin mini-DIN (M) - RCA (M) - 25 ft - double shielded coaxial - black


Cables To Go Value Series Bi-Directional - Video / audio cable - S-Video / composite video / audio - 24 AWG - 4 pin mini-DIN, mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm (M) - RCA (M) - 6 ft - double shielded - black


They also have really high quaity cables in those listings that have the same connectors, but they're much more expensive.

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March 19, 2012 at 08:59:35
Well, I've concluded that it was the video receptor on the 13"TV (the loose one). I purchased another SVideo adaptor and hooked up another 13"TV. After some figgeting...there was the picture on the TV. The adjusting was with the TV, not my computer. I still don't know how I did it. I switched back to the original SVideo adaptor and it works too.

I wouldn't have had a problem, at all, if I understood how the TV itself needed to be set. I have 4 more TVs (back ups). They have all been used, at one time or another, for Karaoke. I assumed they were still "set up"; that I only needed to hook them up.

The question, now, is...what does the TV need to be set on? I think it finally worked when I set it to "Text 1". I don't even know what that means. I know it requires being set on channel 3; I think...and something about Video 1 or Video 2. Does anyone know, for the next time I need to switch TVs?

Thank you to everyone. I appreciate your help.

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March 19, 2012 at 10:49:35
See response 5

If there is a problem with the reliability of the connection, your problem is a lot more likely to be with the cable you're using with the S-Video adapter has a problem, NOT the S-Video to RCA jack gender adaspter.

If there is a problem with the relability of the connection and it's not working when you boot the computer, or if you don't have the TV set to the appropriate input BEFORE you boot the computer, there will be no display on the TV.

You must set the TV to the appropriate input source BEFORE you boot the computer.
That could have all sorts of labels - e.g. Vid1, Vid1, Comp1 or 2, S-Video if you use an S-Video cable without the adapter if the TV has S-Video port, whatever. Things you won't see on an older TV is PC or Computer or VGA or DVI or HDMI.

READ the manual for the TV if you need to.
Or if you don't have that, tell us the model of the TV - that's on a label on the back of it - and we may be able to dig up a manual for it then be able to ell you what to set it top, or you could read the manual yourself at a link we find.

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