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Author Topic: 360 HD-DVD playback over VGA **NOW WITH TEST RESULTS**  (Read 4886 times)
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jblank
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« on: November 30, 2006, 03:29:08 PM »

http://www.majornelson.com/archive/2006/11/30/dashboard-update-aka-the-1080p-fix.aspx

New update includes:

The next time you sign into Xbox Live, you’ll be prompted for a dashboard update. The update contains:

Improved support for HD video output over VGA, including 1080p resolution
Improved plug and play performance for wired headsets when being used with wireless controllers 
Changes made to recently played games list to improve accuracy
This update is being rolled out across the world, so you may not get it exactly at this moment, so be patient.


According to my peeps at AVS, this fixes the Sony XBR2 VGA/360 issues, as well as the 1080p VGA problems. Most importantly, it fixes the problem most of us had, where games, HD-DVD's, and DVD's over VGA, looked very muted in color, forcing us to just stick with Component. This is a welcome update!!!!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 11:10:17 PM by jblank » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006, 03:33:05 PM »

I hope it fixes the aspect ratio problem on non-widescreen monitors but I really doubt they care.
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2006, 03:33:47 PM »

I'm kinda hesitant to update.. last one killed alot of 360's  paranoid
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2006, 03:34:50 PM »

News item. Thanks for the heads-up, man. You just made the front page. icon_cool
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 03:35:43 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on November 30, 2006, 03:34:50 PM

News item. Thanks for the heads-up, man. You just made the front page. icon_cool

Thanks man, I appreciate that! icon_biggrin
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 03:37:11 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on November 30, 2006, 03:33:47 PM

I'm kinda hesitant to update.. last one killed alot of 360's  paranoid

I'm scanning forums now and nobody is mentioning any issues with that. One guy is having problems selecting a VGA resolution that works with his plasma, but thats the only negative I am seeing.
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2006, 03:43:50 PM »

I wish they'd add some more native LCD WS resolutions but fixing the color problem is great.  I had no idea MS had even really acknowledged that issue.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2006, 03:58:43 PM »

Quote from: jament on November 30, 2006, 03:43:50 PM

I wish they'd add some more native LCD WS resolutions but fixing the color problem is great.  I had no idea MS had even really acknowledged that issue.

There is a guy at AVS that is a member of the 360 "team", so he feeds us a lot of information, and posts info before it hits the 'net. He confirmed to us weeks ago they were working on improving VGA input performance, and as such, with this second "update", it looks as though it has finally been improved enough that you can tell the difference.
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 04:12:57 PM »

*sigh* A day after I switched back to component.  Ah well, if it lets me free up a component input, I'll give it another shot
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006, 04:20:57 PM »

Quote from: Laner on November 30, 2006, 04:12:57 PM

*sigh* A day after I switched back to component.  Ah well, if it lets me free up a component input, I'll give it another shot

If you guys want me to, I will be more than happy to test both of the connections and take photgraphs and post them here. Anyone be interested in me posting and talking about my results?
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2006, 04:24:28 PM »

Yeah, that'd be great smile
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2006, 04:26:05 PM »

Quote from: Laner on November 30, 2006, 04:24:28 PM

Yeah, that'd be great smile

Ok, I will post my pics and results this evening then.
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2006, 04:41:28 PM »

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 04:20:57 PM

Quote from: Laner on November 30, 2006, 04:12:57 PM

*sigh* A day after I switched back to component.  Ah well, if it lets me free up a component input, I'll give it another shot

If you guys want me to, I will be more than happy to test both of the connections and take photgraphs and post them here. Anyone be interested in me posting and talking about my results?

Agreed - post it up!
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 06:35:54 PM »

as I feared they still have done nothing to help those of us with non-widescreen monitors frown
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2006, 06:42:25 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on November 30, 2006, 06:35:54 PM

as I feared they still have done nothing to help those of us with non-widescreen monitors frown

Sorry to hear that. I think a lot of their VGA effort is going to be focused on TV's, since thats where the vocal complainers have been (rightly so), but don't give up hope, you never know whats in store down the road.
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2006, 06:53:58 PM »

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 04:20:57 PM

Quote from: Laner on November 30, 2006, 04:12:57 PM

*sigh* A day after I switched back to component.  Ah well, if it lets me free up a component input, I'll give it another shot

If you guys want me to, I will be more than happy to test both of the connections and take photgraphs and post them here. Anyone be interested in me posting and talking about my results?

sure, definitely

just to be clear though, since I don't have the VGA cable myself yet, are you saying that ever since it's been out there has been a problem with playing games over it too?  I thought back at launch, everyone who got the VGA cable said it was noticeably sharper and better than component, for games
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2006, 07:11:48 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on November 30, 2006, 06:53:58 PM

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 04:20:57 PM

Quote from: Laner on November 30, 2006, 04:12:57 PM

*sigh* A day after I switched back to component.  Ah well, if it lets me free up a component input, I'll give it another shot

If you guys want me to, I will be more than happy to test both of the connections and take photgraphs and post them here. Anyone be interested in me posting and talking about my results?

sure, definitely

just to be clear though, since I don't have the VGA cable myself yet, are you saying that ever since it's been out there has been a problem with playing games over it too?  I thought back at launch, everyone who got the VGA cable said it was noticeably sharper and better than component, for games

There is a known issue with the color contrast and brightness being MUCH more subdued over VGA, than it is over Component, even with games. As far as sharpness goes, its a wash between the two, but I definitely noticed on HD-DVD playback that it was better over Component, and much more detailed. This update is supposed to narrow that gulf though and make VGA perform a lot closer to Component.
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2006, 07:37:29 PM »

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 07:11:48 PM

There is a known issue with the color contrast and brightness being MUCH more subdued over VGA, than it is over Component, even with games. As far as sharpness goes, its a wash between the two, but I definitely noticed on HD-DVD playback that it was better over Component, and much more detailed. This update is supposed to narrow that gulf though and make VGA perform a lot closer to Component.

hm, that's kind of strange... so are you saying even if this fix equalizes the color/brightness specific issue between the two, then all that will do is make VGA the same as component right now?  if so, what's the point of spending 40 bucks on the VGA cable for a HDTV?

I was just about to order one myself, because usually VGA is a noticeably better connection than component in general, and like I said I thought the general feeling from 360 owners was that it looked crisper, sharper, and better (other than the color issue which I read about in passing recently)
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2006, 07:40:16 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on November 30, 2006, 07:37:29 PM

hm, that's kind of strange... so are you saying even if this fix equalizes the color/brightness specific issue between the two, then all that will do is make VGA the same as component right now?  if so, what's the point of spending 40 bucks on the VGA cable for a HDTV?
a) to free up component inputs
b) to upscale DVD/HD-DVD content to 1080p
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2006, 07:48:56 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on November 30, 2006, 07:37:29 PM

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 07:11:48 PM

There is a known issue with the color contrast and brightness being MUCH more subdued over VGA, than it is over Component, even with games. As far as sharpness goes, its a wash between the two, but I definitely noticed on HD-DVD playback that it was better over Component, and much more detailed. This update is supposed to narrow that gulf though and make VGA perform a lot closer to Component.

hm, that's kind of strange... so are you saying even if this fix equalizes the color/brightness specific issue between the two, then all that will do is make VGA the same as component right now?  if so, what's the point of spending 40 bucks on the VGA cable for a HDTV?

I was just about to order one myself, because usually VGA is a noticeably better connection than component in general, and like I said I thought the general feeling from 360 owners was that it looked crisper, sharper, and better (other than the color issue which I read about in passing recently)

Well, for a lot of people, they only have 1 Component input on their TV, so there is a trade off there if a DVD player or HD cable box is in the mix, plus it will upconvert over VGA.

I have been unable to find a consensus on this issue, but a lot of people will tell you that regardless of what Microsoft does, Component is going to be what looks best on the majority of TV's out there. In my experience, the image may be a BIT sharper over VGA, but I hesitate to call it "better" overall. My tests tonight should be able to confirm whether this update makes VGA a winner for me, but in the end, though I would prefer to use VGA, I am not going to use it if games or HD-DVD playback suffers.
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2006, 07:58:06 PM »

ah ok Laner and jblank, yeah I forgot about the whole DVD upconversion feature.  and good point about the input numbers issue, I didn't think about that because my DLP has 3 components/1 DVI/1 VGA

I guess I was just a little annoyed to hear that there isn't a general improvement in image quality for the 360 VGA cable, other than the color issue
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2006, 08:01:45 PM »

Wait, what?  Do a lot of TVs have VGA inputs, or is this mainly for monitors?  I will check my TV when I get home but I don't think it has one.
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2006, 08:03:40 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on November 30, 2006, 08:01:45 PM

Wait, what?  Do a lot of TVs have VGA inputs, or is this mainly for monitors?  I will check my TV when I get home but I don't think it has one.

well a lot of HDTVs do, not regular TVs

<edit>  well maybe not a 'lot', but a good percentage of them do.  out of all the people with HDTVs I know personally, I'd say about 30-40% of theirs have a VGA input
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2006, 08:15:17 PM »

Of those 30-40% though, not all support 1080p over VGA input. Most are limited to less.
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2006, 08:17:39 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on November 30, 2006, 08:15:17 PM

Of those 30-40% though, not all support 1080p over VGA input. Most are limited to less.

well yeah, cause most of them aren't 1080p HDTVs to begin with  :smile:
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2006, 08:18:52 PM »

Quote from: Hetz on November 30, 2006, 08:15:17 PM

Of those 30-40% though, not all support 1080p over VGA input. Most are limited to less.

1080p or not, its still nice to have another input that will accept the equivilent of 720p.
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2006, 08:20:25 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on November 30, 2006, 08:01:45 PM

Wait, what?  Do a lot of TVs have VGA inputs, or is this mainly for monitors?  I will check my TV when I get home but I don't think it has one.

Like Kepow said, its probably in the 1/3 range. The two Sony HDTV's we have, both have VGA, in addition to Component and HDMI, and its always nice to have additional options.
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2006, 08:52:15 PM »

So between VGA, Component, and HDMI, which gives the best display?
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2006, 08:54:13 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on November 30, 2006, 08:52:15 PM

So between VGA, Component, and HDMI, which gives the best display?

HDMI- it's the only all digital signal path of the bunch.  VGA and Component are analog.  However, if you have decently shielded cables, the difference often isn't perceptible.  I like HDMI more for having one thin cable rather than three thick ones to deal with. 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 09:12:23 PM by Kevin Grey » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2006, 09:02:22 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on November 30, 2006, 08:52:15 PM

So between VGA, Component, and HDMI, which gives the best display?

Theoretically, HDMI, and its certainly the most convenient (carries audio as well as video), but I would challenge you take a good HDTV, a good HD signal, and be able to tell the difference between HDMI and Component.

The "experts" at AVS will bite your head off if you try and say that HDMI is the best, and their reasoning behind it is very convincing, but like Kevin said, HDMI, being a digital connection, SHOULD be better in most situations, it certainly is the most convenient. Just don't be shocked if you can't tell the difference, it is hard for me to tell and trust me, I am picky about the way stuff looks.
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2006, 10:10:25 PM »

Interesting - one of the 360 launch team guys posted on the xbox forums that this update started reading and using the EDID settings directly from the TV.  Some people are reporting that their 360's now will not boot when connected to their displays.  The launch team thinks this may be due to some displays incorrectly reporting their EDID settings.

Here's the Wiki on EDID: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_display_identification_data

The Wiki says there is a limitation with EDID: "A major limitation of EDID is that it cannot express the native resolutions of the most common wide screen flat panel displays and liquid crystal display televisions. The number of horizontal pixels must be a multiple of 8. The number of vertical pixels is calculated from the horizontal resolution and the selected aspect ratio. To be fully expressable, the size of wide screen display must thus be a multiple of 16×9 pixels. For 1366×768 pixel Wide XGA panels the nearest resolution expressable in the EDID syntax is 1360×765 pixels. Specifying 1368 pixels as the screen width would yeld an unnatural screen hight of 769.5 pixels."

That's the part that's giving some people with plasmas trouble.

Another user reported that MS may be releasing another update around Dec. 4 to address that issue.  I wonder if they'll just strip the EDID use back out?  If so, the VGA benefits of this update may not last long.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 10:22:39 PM by jament » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2006, 10:48:18 PM »

Having just bought a new HDTV with a VGA input and 1080p capability, I've been bouncing my 360 back and forth between component and VGA all week long. I mostly wanted upconversion on my standard DVDs so I'm sticking with the VGA input. I haven't really noticed any problem with it, but I'm glad to hear they're improving it with this patch.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2006, 10:51:54 PM »

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 09:02:22 PM

Theoretically, HDMI, and its certainly the most convenient (carries audio as well as video), but I would challenge you take a good HDTV, a good HD signal, and be able to tell the difference between HDMI and Component

well on my HDTV, I can see a noticeable difference between DVI and component, for my HD cable box.  not saying it's a huge difference or anything, but I could tell in a blind test (had my friend test me because he didn't believe I would be able to).  I don't know about other types of HD sources yet, because I don't have anything else that connects by DVI other than my laptops, but they don't have component out of course so I can't really compare for that.  but I'm sure you know that it's all dependent on the specific HDTV itself

when I get a 360 VGA cable, I'll report back if I can see a difference
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2006, 11:06:24 PM »

Ok gentlemen, the test is complete and I have results. First to the pictures:

Photos taken with my Fuji Finepix A500 5.1 Megapixel camera, on a tripod. TV is a Sony Bravia KLV-S26A10. Component is performing at 720p, VGA at 1360X768.


Component


VGA


Mission Impossible HD-DVD


Component


VGA

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07


Component


Component


VGA


VGA


CONCLUSION:

While it looks like the VGA input color output has caught up with Component (for the most part), the image is STILL very soft and less detailed, than Component. Cruise's face really shows this off, as you lose most of the detail in his cheek with VGA. On the bright side, VGA produces less aliasing, and on games, doesn't appear to be THAT different; still, the image is a bit soft, and the loss of jaggies isn't enough for me to give it the nod.

Component wins due to its performance in showing fine detail, and for having crisper text output.


« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 11:11:10 PM by jblank » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2006, 11:22:53 PM »

thanks for all the work jblank.  and yeah, I agree with your conclusions

I have one more request for you... can't you post a comparison between a regular DVD movie on component (and therefore limited to 480p, right?), and on VGA with it upconverted to 720p (or 1080p, not sure what HDTV you have).  I'd like to see how good a job the 360 does with upconverting through VGA.  thanks
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2006, 11:26:00 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on November 30, 2006, 11:22:53 PM

thanks for all the work jblank.  and yeah, I agree with your conclusions

I have one more request for you... can't you post a comparison between a regular DVD movie on component (and therefore limited to 480p, right?), and on VGA with it upconverted to 720p (or 1080p, not sure what HDTV you have).  I'd like to see how good a job the 360 does with upconverting through VGA.  thanks

Give me a little while (wife is about finished with dinner) and I will.

Thanks for commenting.
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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2006, 11:57:41 PM »

Wow. I've been using the 360 on VGA for a long time now and I didn't really know the colors were that much weaker.

Unfortunately.. I'm stuck in that situation because I only have one component input and it's reserved for my DVD player.

One of these days I'll get an upconverting player and use one of my TV's two HDMI inputs for that, but at the moment I don't have much of a choice frown
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« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2006, 12:01:33 AM »

Quote from: Thin_J on November 30, 2006, 11:57:41 PM

Wow. I've been using the 360 on VGA for a long time now and I didn't really know the colors were that much weaker.

Unfortunately.. I'm stuck in that situation because I only have one component input and it's reserved for my DVD player.

Well...you could always use your 360 as your DVD player.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2006, 12:26:15 AM »

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 09:02:22 PM

Quote from: Ridah on November 30, 2006, 08:52:15 PM

So between VGA, Component, and HDMI, which gives the best display?

Theoretically, HDMI, and its certainly the most convenient (carries audio as well as video), but I would challenge you take a good HDTV, a good HD signal, and be able to tell the difference between HDMI and Component.

The "experts" at AVS will bite your head off if you try and say that HDMI is the best, and their reasoning behind it is very convincing, but like Kevin said, HDMI, being a digital connection, SHOULD be better in most situations, it certainly is the most convenient. Just don't be shocked if you can't tell the difference, it is hard for me to tell and trust me, I am picky about the way stuff looks.

Yeah, I have trouble differing between HDMI and Component.  One of the main reasons I ended up with a DVD player with HDMI was so I could free up one of the component connections for my DVR, and my DVR will also be getting a HDMI cable so I can free up the connection again for the Wii.  My 360 may end up connected via the VGA port to free up that component connection if I ever get a PS3.  And here I thought 2 HDMI, and 2 Component connections (there's composite but that's relegated to the PS2) would be enough.
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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2006, 12:27:25 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on December 01, 2006, 12:26:15 AM

Quote from: jblank on November 30, 2006, 09:02:22 PM

Quote from: Ridah on November 30, 2006, 08:52:15 PM

So between VGA, Component, and HDMI, which gives the best display?

Theoretically, HDMI, and its certainly the most convenient (carries audio as well as video), but I would challenge you take a good HDTV, a good HD signal, and be able to tell the difference between HDMI and Component.

The "experts" at AVS will bite your head off if you try and say that HDMI is the best, and their reasoning behind it is very convincing, but like Kevin said, HDMI, being a digital connection, SHOULD be better in most situations, it certainly is the most convenient. Just don't be shocked if you can't tell the difference, it is hard for me to tell and trust me, I am picky about the way stuff looks.

Yeah, I have trouble differing between HDMI and Component.  One of the main reasons I ended up with a DVD player with HDMI was so I could free up one of the component connections for my DVR, and my DVR will also be getting a HDMI cable so I can free up the connection again for the Wii.  My 360 may end up connected via the VGA port to free up that component connection if I ever get a PS3.  And here I thought 2 HDMI, and 2 Component connections (there's composite but that's relegated to the PS2) would be enough.

I see a switch box in your future. icon_biggrin
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