Upconverting S-video to HDMI

I need a new A/V receiver to replace my non-HDMI Denon AVR-3805. Among my source devices are two JVC S-VHS VCRs, so I hope to find an AVR with at least one S-video input that is upconverted to HDMI. What would you recommend for under $1000?

Stan Sexton

AVRs with S-video inputs are becoming as rare as hen's teeth, especially those that upconvert those inputs to HDMI. The only ones I know of are from Denon; the models with this capability in your price range are the AVR-1912 ($550), 2112CI ($650), and 2312CI ($850). We haven't reviewed any of these models (the 1912 is in the works), but we have been universally impressed with all Denon AVRs we have reviewed, including the AVR-1612 ($350, reviewed here), which has an S-video input but no upconversion to HDMI. I'd say you probably can't go wrong with any of the models mentioned above. Perhaps some of our readers know of other AVRs that can do this; if so, please let us know in the comments!

Another option is using an outboard S-video-to-HDMI converter, such as the Gefen Composite-to-HDMI Scaler or Atlona AT-HD520 (seen above), both of which accept an S-video or composite input and upscale it to HDMI at any resolution up to 1080p. They also accept Toslink or L/R analog audio and merge it into the HDMI datastream and send it separately as well. DVIGear also makes a similar product, but it only upscales to 720p or 1080i, and the 1080i output is only doubled 540p, not true 1080i. This is not an inexpensive option—all of these products sell for around $300—and I don't know how good their upscaling is.

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EVOnix's picture

The Onkyo 3009 and 5009 will do it, but those are above the price limit. I don't know about their lower price offerings.

TheMattGosselin's picture

The NR-709 with Qdeo processing will upconvert S-Video to HDMI, and retails for under $1000. The new ones have eliminated S-Video, so go for the ones that are being phased out. Usually this means you'll get a discount, too.

joes theater's picture

Upconverting is never perfect, almost all have visible artifacts, especially at the entry level. If your TV has s-video inputs I would connect your VCR's direct to the TV.

mailiang's picture

Just my 2 cents, but have you ever considered converting your video tapes to disc? Your JVC's may have been great in their heyday, but maybe you should consider investing in the latest technology, rather then in something that compensates for a format that is obsolete.


CJLA's picture

I like Ian's thinking. What about going a step further and using video software to convert the file from tape to a hard-drive? Then you could pull it up to the TV via DLNA, AppleTV or other streaming device connected to your network. You might even be able to send it to a 'cloud' and then to a mobile device... Just a thought.

rr52's picture

DVDO makes a product called the Edge which up converts just about everything from composite to HDMI to 1080p. I have one; it is a terrific product. It originally sold for $1k but it is now selling new for $499 on Amazon. RR52

mailiang's picture

I think you've posted on the wrong forum. This is Home Theater, not Ladies Home Journal.