Video Connectors: JohnO's Techie Workshop
JohnO (John Oliphant) treated the PowerPoint newsgroup troops to a very thorough explanation of the various types of video connections and what they're for. I stole it:
This isn't just a connector issue. The signals coming out the S-Video port are completely different than what you'll find at the threaded "F-connector."
This analogy isn't perfect, but it's close enough. S-Video (or composite video, the signals at the yellow "RCA-connector") is like the signal that comes through your headphones from a portable radio. On the other hand, the signal expected at the f-connector is like the signal picked up by the antenna of that radio.
The former is baseband, the 20 Hz to 20 kHz audio we hear normally when amplified. The latter is modulated radio-frequency (RF), say 101.1 MHz. So, connecting s-video to the f-connector is kinda like touching your headphones to the antenna...sort-of... and expecting sound to come out. You're going to need an adapter.
Your S-video out is baseband video, the f-connector at the VCR is probably looking for channel 3 at 63.25 MHz. Maybe Radio Shack has an S-video RF modulator that will work for you. These are the gizmos that connect game systems (Nintendo, etc.) to TVs...not particularly expensive or hard to use.
Yes, there are quality issues, but the majority of them are handled by the time an S-video signal is created in your video card.