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Greg
06-11-07, 09:21 AM
I tried out some VGA cable on my XBox 360 today. The latest update with the 3 new options made a great difference. I was able to configure contrast similar to component, but with a greater range of color. I also like getting an extra 15% screen space with VGA as component clips away loads of border.

The strange thing I noticed thought was that the VGA image was blurry. I tried an official XBox VGA cable (borrowed) and a Joytech cable (bought for $10 less than MS version). Both produced the same image quality and both were slightly blurry. I plugged a Notebook PC into the TV and the image was crystal clear and pixel perfect. It appears that the XBox outputs a blurry signal, since cables make no difference and a PC produces a perfect image.

I just googled and foung this post which demonstrates the effect on another (presumably high quality) Sony TV.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=765470
Note that some of these phots are obviously blurred when comparing screen border and logo, but the VGA does appear to be consistently softer, not just contrast-wise.

My TV is a Samsung LCD similar to this:
http://www.samsung.com/Products/TV/LCDTV/LNT375HAXXAA.asp
(Note that this is similar to the Samsung monitors used by MS to promote the 360 at launch.)
I tested at 1366x768 resolution as 1280x720 would not work with XBox VGA.

Edit:
I saw this cable review here:
http://www.xbgl.com/reviews/Hardware/Mad-Catz-XBOX-360-Cable-Lineup/36/2/
Where another brand of cable (both component and VGA) is apparently burry. The reviewer blames the cable and has others to compare with. I will do some more tests myself. I notice his screenshots show blurring and slight ghosting like I see.

Edit2:
I borrowed a MS Cable again for new comparison with photos. The MS cable barely shows any blur or ghosting, the Joytech is quite extreme.
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=26152&stc=1&d=1181642944
I would ignore the extra brightness of the bottom image, it's the ghosting that is most important.

hordaktheman
06-11-07, 10:44 AM
I've heard about people complaining over the image being washed out, but blurred is new to me. My 360 looks razor sharp over VGA, to the point of 1:1 mapping. My best guess would be trying to tune the phase setting, and possibly some of the other (whose names escape me) in combination with that.

ENU291
06-11-07, 10:45 AM
Greg, have you tried to look at the sharpening options for your VGA input on your Samsung? (VGA is analog so you should be able to adjust it).

tornadog
06-11-07, 11:42 AM
I had the same problem with Call of Juarez, the images were very soft and the text was blurred to the point that I couldnt make out the letters untill I went right in front of the TV. I am using a cheapo vga cable bought from play-asia, but havent noticed problems before this game.

Lyme
06-11-07, 03:05 PM
Greg what you should do is plug your 360 into your computer monitor/lcd and see if the problem still exists. If that seems to resolve the issue you will want to try playing with the settings on the 360/tv to improve the signal. One thing that may be making things blurry is if you have your 360 set to a resolution that is anything other than your tv's native resolution.

Greg
06-12-07, 05:15 AM
Thanks for your thoughts folks. I've borrowed a MS cable for new comparison with photos, and updated the original post. It appears the Joytech cable is just plain crap compared to the MS one, dispite the gold plated plugs and shielding listed on the packaging.

ENU291
06-12-07, 07:01 AM
Thanks for your thoughts folks. I've borrowed a MS cable for new comparison with photos, and updated the original post. It appears the Joytech cable is just plain crap compared to the MS one, dispite the gold plated plugs and shielding listed on the packaging.
It's not a good idea to cheap out when it comes to analog cabling like VGA, Component etc. Pure digital connections like DVI or HDMI are a different story thought.

Lyme
06-12-07, 04:58 PM
Thanks for your thoughts folks. I've borrowed a MS cable for new comparison with photos, and updated the original post. It appears the Joytech cable is just plain crap compared to the MS one, dispite the gold plated plugs and shielding listed on the packaging.

Odd that, I'm using a cheap cable off play-asia and it is pretty sharp.

ENU291
06-12-07, 05:22 PM
Odd that, I'm using a cheap cable off play-asia and it is pretty sharp.
How big is your screen?

Lyme
06-13-07, 01:15 AM
How big is your screen?

44"

If you want I can take a photo, however when it comes to blurry-ness there are a lot of factors involved: The source circuitry, the destination circuitry, the cabling, the electrical noise in the area, etc.

Greg
06-13-07, 04:26 AM
I would thing this issue must not be universal or there would be 100% returns on the product. Having said that, I can't guess at what the cause is beyond faulty or flawed product.

3DBrad
06-14-07, 11:50 AM
Check the display options, there's an option for "Reference Levels," see if setting it to "Expanded" helps, if not, try the other two options.

SeriTonin
06-14-07, 12:39 PM
I'm using the vga cables from microsoft, hooked up to my 22" dell CRT (still refuse to go lcd) and my image is fantastic 1280x1024 with the 3rd color level option enabled (from the spring update) and everything looks fantastic. Especially with the 3rd option enabled, makes a nice sharp picture for me that resembles digital vibrance w- nvidia cards, I love it.

Sectus
06-14-07, 01:02 PM
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-de-77-3-49-en-15-vga-70-16s8.html - I'm using this cable for my CRT 21" monitor. And as far as I can tell the quality is perfect. I compared Hitman: Blood Money on my 360 using this VGA cable and playing it on my computer. They looked completely identical.

Greg
06-15-07, 12:02 PM
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-de-77-3-49-en-15-vga-70-16s8.html - I'm using this cable for my CRT 21" monitor. And as far as I can tell the quality is perfect. I compared Hitman: Blood Money on my 360 using this VGA cable and playing it on my computer. They looked completely identical.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm currently trying to get some support from JoyTech on the matter... no response so far. I will also try to return the product. Failing that, I will definately consider this cheap and likely reasonable quality piece of wire.

Greg
06-15-07, 12:03 PM
Check the display options, there's an option for "Reference Levels," see if setting it to "Expanded" helps, if not, try the other two options.
Yes, excellent new options, allow nice contrast like component cables. Does not help with the blurr issue though.

hordaktheman
06-15-07, 10:33 PM
Have you tried setting the 360 to 1024x768 and putting your TV into 4:3 mode? It might be a stretch, but if it manages 1:1 pixel mapping at that resolution then you might just be dealing with signal degradation. If your TV supports it, you might also want to try 1280x768.

Other than tweaking vertical/horizontal alignment and twiddling with the phase settings, or the possibility that your 360's VGA output is simply borked (you've tried connecting it to a regular monitor?), the above is the only thing I can think of. If your laptop manages 1:1 pixel mapping over VGA there's really no reason why your 360 shouldn't.

Greg
06-17-07, 04:08 AM
Have you tried setting the 360 to 1024x768 and putting your TV into 4:3 mode? It might be a stretch, but if it manages 1:1 pixel mapping at that resolution then you might just be dealing with signal degradation. If your TV supports it, you might also want to try 1280x768. ...
I did make sure PC and XBox were running 1:1, even though the xbox frame buffer would be 1280x720, causing at most 1 pixel of interpolation. I tried other modes to see if it helped or not.

Greg
06-17-07, 04:10 AM
Conclusion...

I returned the JoyTech cable today and replaced it with a MS one for a few dollars more. The MS cable works perfectly. JoyTech never replied to my support query on this issue.