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View Full Version : Big screen makes games look like cack! how can i get a better picture?


student_trap
May 24, 2006, 08:45 AM
hi there,

i recently picked up a HiDef 40in LCD and have been getting back into gaming of late (mostly due to buying a cube completely by chance). Anyway, my problem is that most games look awful on my screen compared to how they used to look on my 28in tube TV.

i bought an S-video cable for my DC and the picture now is astonishing, so much better.

I also have a Gamecube and PS2 connected via composite? (with the red yellow and white cables?), and the picture is now super terrible compared to the DC.

My TV only has onle S-video-in so i cant go down that route, what is the best way to get higher quality on my screen? (i am especially interested in getting the GC's quality up as i don't really play the PS2).

Also, what are the relative consoles outputting to the TV...hi-def? its just that the dreamcast picture really is good now, and i was wondering whether all consoles supported HiDef?

Dagless
May 24, 2006, 08:54 AM
Component for your Cube. Though if you have a UK one you're screwed beyond all belief. You're stuck at 480i with composite only output. Not even s-video. In which case it will look bad on a 40" LCD. Hark! all is not lost (at least not forever). The Wii outputs a 480p signal through component/VGA. So you will eventually get a much better image (by better I mean none of those wavy lines that plague LCD's on composite).

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Free_UK_Delivery/6-Channel_Audio_Video_Switcher_Hub___33162/6-Channel_Audio_Video_Switcher_Hub___33162.htm

I'm after one of these Scar Hubs. You can plug scart, composite and S-Video cables into it and have it out put to 1 cable (or set of). Works with audio too. Remote control so you can easily switch the source. Just so I don't have to keep unplugging my Cube or Xbox when I want to play the other on the monitor and the amp.

Haoshiro
May 24, 2006, 09:02 AM
If you only have A/V and S-Video then you don't even have HD input on that TV.

It also must have pretty bad A/V if the DC looks better (since S-Video is only marginally better).

Here are the best inputs for those systems afaik:
Dreamcast - VGA
GameCube - Component (on 1st gen models, others have removed it so S-Video is your best option)
PS2 - Component

Xbox supports Component as well (R, G, B) and 360 does VGA and Component.

If all you have is S-Video you may look into getting a switchbox that will let you hook all them to the one input.

student_trap
May 24, 2006, 09:11 AM
If you only have A/V and S-Video then you don't even have HD input on that TV

i dont think i am making myself clear:o

My TV has hdmi, a few scart, VGA, but only one composite imput, which makes connecting a cube and ps2 by composite a pain, as i have to keep plugging and unplugging!

Questions:

What is the best cable i can get for my UK Cube bought a week ago?

What is the best cable i can get for my slim PS2?

Is my DC outputting 480p?

Also, does my cube support RGB scart?

Haoshiro
May 24, 2006, 10:18 AM
i dont think i am making myself clear:o

My TV has hdmi, a few scart, VGA, but only one composite imput, which makes connecting a cube and ps2 by composite a pain, as i have to keep plugging and unplugging!

Questions:

What is the best cable i can get for my UK Cube bought a week ago?

What is the best cable i can get for my slim PS2?

Is my DC outputting 480p?

Also, does my cube support RGB scart?

The cube should support RGB Scart, you can't get the cables directly from Nintendo but you can from Kelkoo (UK) (http://shopping.kelkoo.co.uk/b/a/ss_gamecube_rgb_scart.html) and other places.

Do you know if you have any Component inputs? Those are generally the best and should work for your PS2 (but not Cube since you have a UK model).

Your Dreamcast will only do 640x480 VGA at best (essentially 480p) and only with a VGA Box. Otherwise you are getting an analog 480i signal only.

Keep in mind that the cables themselves matter a lot. Gold plated is best, and the higher gauge wire and better shielding can make a dramatic difference. For very nice, but very expensive, cables try Monster Cable (http://www.monstercable.com/).

weldon
May 24, 2006, 01:29 PM
My TV has hdmi, a few scart, VGA, but only one composite imput, which makes connecting a cube and ps2 by composite a pain, as i have to keep plugging and unplugging!
Composite or component?

Composite is video on a single video cable. Component is video carried over three cables and is capable of HD resolutions.

You can make a cheap component switcher by using a Radio Shack a/v switch (http://www.radioshack.com/entry.jsp?source=PE&entry=2049645) and using the three jacks for the three component video cables. Because the cheap switches are mechanical, there is no interference or bandwidth issues that you might see on the more expensive electronic switches. The three jacks are normally labeled video, R audio, and L audio but they are just wired straight through to the other jacks so you can just use it for component video only.

This is what I do to switch between my HD DVR and the Xbox because I have three HD devices and only two inputs on my TV. In theory, there could be some signal degradation from the additional connectors, but my picture is so close to identical with the switch in the signal path that I don't see the difference.

[Edit: there is also a two-way switch for $15, but 4-way for $20 is probably a better move]

Haoshiro
May 24, 2006, 03:37 PM
^^^

There is also the Pelican HD System Selector (PL970) (http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=126035&WT.mc_n=4&WT.mc_t=U&cm_ven=COMPARISON%20SHOPPING&cm_cat=GOOGLE&cm_pla=DATAFEED->PRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=4) which I use and works great (even has a built in ethernet hub).

jdechko
May 24, 2006, 04:19 PM
You can make a cheap component switcher by using a Radio Shack a/v switch (http://www.radioshack.com/entry.jsp?source=PE&entry=2049645) and using the three jacks for the three component video cables. Because the cheap switches are mechanical, there is no interference or bandwidth issues that you might see on the more expensive electronic switches. The three jacks are normally labeled video, R audio, and L audio but they are just wired straight through to the other jacks so you can just use it for component video only.

That's a great Idea... you rock, weldon!

MacRumorUser
May 24, 2006, 04:22 PM
OP is a UK customer with current gen consoles, best picture quality you can get is with an RGB - 21pin Scart Cable. Then buy a scart switcher about 10quid in Argos, best picture quality for your TV and far better than S-Video or Composite.

Hope that helps.

crachoar
May 24, 2006, 04:33 PM
Keep in mind that the cables themselves matter a lot. Gold plated is best, and the higher gauge wire and better shielding can make a dramatic difference. For very nice, but very expensive, cables try Monster Cable (http://www.monstercable.com/).

This is only true for analog connections. When it comes to anything digital it doesn't matter.

Haoshiro
May 24, 2006, 05:16 PM
This is only true for analog connections. When it comes to anything digital it doesn't matter.

You sure about that? Are you saying that digital signals are not subject to interference at all? And higher quality wiring won't effect the signal either? Even more prone to damage?

Not that it matters, the OP *is* dealing with analog signals so my post remains accurate for the OP.

MacRumorUser
May 24, 2006, 06:48 PM
This is only true for analog connections. When it comes to anything digital it doesn't matter.

But thats rubbish because most tv's dont have gold plated connections, so whats the point of having one connector gold and the other not? WOT!

Haoshiro
May 24, 2006, 07:05 PM
But thats rubbish because most tv's dont have gold plated connections, so whats the point of having one connector gold and the other not? WOT!

Gold should still be more conductive, so it should still help even if the TV does not have them... just not as much as if they did. :)

GFLPraxis
May 24, 2006, 07:12 PM
hi there,

i recently picked up a HiDef 40in LCD and have been getting back into gaming of late (mostly due to buying a cube completely by chance). Anyway, my problem is that most games look awful on my screen compared to how they used to look on my 28in tube TV.

i bought an S-video cable for my DC and the picture now is astonishing, so much better.

I also have a Gamecube and PS2 connected via composite? (with the red yellow and white cables?), and the picture is now super terrible compared to the DC.

My TV only has onle S-video-in so i cant go down that route, what is the best way to get higher quality on my screen? (i am especially interested in getting the GC's quality up as i don't really play the PS2).

Also, what are the relative consoles outputting to the TV...hi-def? its just that the dreamcast picture really is good now, and i was wondering whether all consoles supported HiDef?


Only like one game on the PS2 can actually do HD, but both the GameCube and PS2 are capable of progressive scan in some games (also known as 480p). You'll need special cables though, not just the red/yellow/white ones. And the GameCube component cable is very rare and hard to find these days, and the newer GameCube's don't even have the port for it.

The Wii should have component cables widely available, if it's any consolation.

crachoar
May 24, 2006, 07:17 PM
You sure about that?

Yes.

weldon
May 24, 2006, 07:39 PM
Gold should still be more conductive, so it should still help even if the TV does not have them... just not as much as if they did. :)
The real advantage of gold connectors is that they don't tarnish or corrode over time and maintain their conductivity. Bare copper wire will corrode, obviously, as will the cheap metal connectors. So while the conductivity is fine to begin with, they tend to lose it over time due to corrosion.

Abulia
May 25, 2006, 12:29 AM
Well, garbage in, garbage out I'm sorry to say. :(

Not sure if the PS2 supports anything higher than 480i (?), and not all Gamecubes support 480p. The picture will look a little better if you can get 480p working.

Best quality picture on your set would require you to jump up to the next generation of consoles (360, PS3) if you want HD gaming.

GFLPraxis
May 25, 2006, 01:01 AM
Not sure if the PS2 supports anything higher than 480i (?),

One PS2 game supports 1080i, some support progressive.

TheMonarch
May 25, 2006, 01:17 AM
One PS2 game supports 1080i, some support progressive.


You sure? PS2's max res is 1280x1024


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS2#Technical_specifications

MacRumorUser
May 25, 2006, 01:55 AM
GUYS look at where the original poster is from.

ENGLAND


Therefore there's a pretty sizeable chance all his machines are PAL

Pleae stop telling him to use component. 480p

Xbox & Cube DO NOT output component on PAL machines.

Best signal for PAL machines is RGB Scart.....

student_trap
May 25, 2006, 08:28 AM
GUYS look at where the original poster is from.

ENGLAND


Therefore there's a pretty sizeable chance all his machines are PAL

Pleae stop telling him to use component. 480p

Xbox & Cube DO NOT output component on PAL machines.

Best signal for PAL machines is RGB Scart.....

yeah all my machines are PAL, its rubbish that they have to sting the PAL consoles.

It seems like my best option would be RGB Scart then, anyone know where i could actually get one in london? Amazon have them for 20, but with a six week despatch time, which to me suggests that they wont be able to get hold of one.

Anyone know where i could pick one up?

mrgreen4242
May 25, 2006, 08:40 AM
Keep in mind that the cables themselves matter a lot. Gold plated is best, and the higher gauge wire and better shielding can make a dramatic difference. For very nice, but very expensive, cables try Monster Cable (http://www.monstercable.com/).

Don't EVER EVER EVER EVER BUY MONSTER CABLES. Talk about the biggest rip-off in the known world... ESPECIALLY for a digital connection (DVI/HDMI), but any in general. You can get equally nice cables for about 1/10th the price from monoprice.com. 12ft, 22AWG, 5 wire (for audio) gold connectors, component cable from monoprice: $7. Monster: $72, and it's only 8ft. And I think it's just 3 wire (video only).

The quality is the exact same. Go over to avsforum.com and talk to the guys who spend $10k+ on TVs to see what they think about Monster cables.

EDIT: For the OP... sorry, no suggestions for a PAL machine. For the prices of all the extra cabling and converters or whatever you need, have you looked at the price of importing a US GCN (and selling your PAL unit)? You can get component cables for the US version (a bit pricey, but available at least) and I would guess your HDTV will take an NTSC signal?

Haoshiro
May 25, 2006, 08:45 AM
Yes, monster is a huge ripoff, never said they weren't. Stores around here tend to crap, and then Monster. If someone wasn't shopping online they would be screwed.

benpatient
May 25, 2006, 11:34 AM
Gran Turismo 4 is 1080i.

well, it claims to be.

And just to show you how this is at least in theory possible, consider the facts:

PS2's max resolution is 1280x1024, as you said.

That's constant (progressive) pixels, though.

interlaced, that resolution is up to 1280x2048 (because the vertical frames are interleavened one after another).

In practice, this resolution could probably only be output at a very, very low frame rate and with minimal screen elements on your standard PS2.

But what about the pixel width being only 1280 and not 1920? Non-square pixels.

So with some rectangular pixels being sent to a 1080i display over component cables, the PS2 can send a 1080i signal.

The reality of Gran Turismo 4 is that while the picture is a great deal better in 1080i mode than it is in 480p mode, it still looks like a PC game running at something like 800x600 with low-resolution textures and no anti-aliasing to speak of. The dreaded PS2 jaggies are alive and well on GT4 at 1080i. I'm pretty sure the resolution being sent over component in "1080i" mode is actually more like 1024x500...possibly 800x500...so the interlaced equivalent is probably more like 1024x1000(i).

But it does look a lot better.

DougTheImpaler
May 25, 2006, 12:13 PM
1920x540 = 1036800

1280x1024 = 1310720

1080i is only 79% as many pixels as 1280x1024, because the i stands for Interlaced, and that means half as many vertical pixels.

I think that's what benpatient is trying to say.

Haoshiro
May 25, 2006, 12:19 PM
1920x540 = 1036800

1280x1024 = 1310720

1080i is only 79% as many pixels as 1280x1024, because the i stands for Interlaced, and that means half as many vertical pixels.

I think that's what benpatient is trying to say.

It would be a mess though... as 1280 is still less horizontal pixels then 1920.

I recall having old VESA cards tha were "capable" of 1280x1024... but performance was so bad it was pretty much useless. Just like the GeForce FX 5200 is "capable" of Pixel Shaders 2.0... but performance is so terrible that actually enabling that feature makes a game unplayable regardless of resolution...

Capabilities, in the end, are pointless. This is what I've liked about Nintendo, they always report "real" numbers and now raw theoretical performance. (Like the PS2 specs were reported as raw poly performance, GameCube's specs were listed as Colored, Textured, Lit, in-game poly performance... which made them look worse but was much more truthful.)