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Xbox 360, HDTV, cables, resolution.


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#1 Paul Humbug OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:27 AM

So I got myself a new TV after the old tube blew up one morning.

Went to BB. Was looking for a steal. Came back with a Toshiba. 2 HDMI, PC (VGA), 720p.

Connected the box via the old fashioned analog inputs. The TV tells me it is set (or receives a video signal?) of 480p. Are these true 480p? Is it even possible to get HD like this?

Then, I already had ordered a HDMI to DVI cable for some other purpose. If I use a DVI to VGA adapter, I could connect the xbox via HDMI out to PC in. Will this give me 720p?

Will xbox games play more slowly at higher res? Framerate loss, etc.?

Thanks for your input.

#2 onlysublime OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:29 AM

It's a little unclear what you're asking.

With composite cables (RCA), you can't get 720P.

You can use:
1) HDMI cable to hook up the HDMI port on your 360 to your HDMI port on your TV
2) use a VGA cable to hook up the 360 to the VGA port on your TV

I don't see why you would use a DVI to VGA. You can get a cheap authentic Microsoft VGA cable (used) from Gamestop for about $10. Do not go with any cheap imitation cable that may result in problems like ghosting. Now, before you get a 360 VGA cable, you have to see what resolutions your TV can provide over the DB15 port. For example, my old Toshiba can only do up to 1024x768 over the DB15 port. So that made it worthless for the 360. Somebody in the avsforum told me to check it out anyway since instruction manuals can often be wrong as they tend to copy and paste details, but I haven't checked.

in terms of input latency, from least latency to most, it is: composite, VGA, component, and HDMI. Latency is the time it takes from when you do something on the controller to when the movement is actually implemented in the screen. HDMI will have the worst latency because it will tend to have the most video processing. turning on game mode will take away some of the processing but not all.

in terms of picture quality, people have written whole articles on this, and of course the end result is it depends on your particular TV model. if your TV is great at VGA (offers 1080p, has less overscanning, less video processing, etc.), go with VGA. otherwise go with HDMI.

if you are doing timing sensitive games such as karaoke, guitar hero/rock band, etc., go with VGA or component as they have the least input lag. When I'm playing Lips or Karaoke Revolution, my scores will go up when I switch to component cables.

with your HDMI-to-DVI cable, use that cable to hook up your 360 to your PC monitor. That's one of the setups I have (I have 2 360 systems) and it works great.

#3 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:57 PM

So I got myself a new TV after the old tube blew up one morning.

Went to BB. Was looking for a steal. Came back with a Toshiba. 2 HDMI, PC (VGA), 720p.

Connected the box via the old fashioned analog inputs. The TV tells me it is set (or receives a video signal?) of 480p. Are these true 480p? Is it even possible to get HD like this?

Are you talking composite or component signals?

You should be able to set it for higher res with component connection but you have to set the config on your XBOX.
BTW, many 720P sets will down convert 1080i or 1080p to 720p so you can check the higher resolutions on your XBOX.

Then, I already had ordered a HDMI to DVI cable for some other purpose. If I use a DVI to VGA adapter, I could connect the xbox via HDMI out to PC in. Will this give me 720p?

If you have HDMI, stick with it. It offers the best picture.

Will xbox games play more slowly at higher res? Framerate loss, etc.?

I've set games to different resolutions and haven't ever noticed a difference but I wasn't comparing side by side.

#4 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:03 AM

If your TV is 720p, you need to adjust your output resolution on your xbox 360 to 720p. I would use Component cables for that resolution to minimize lag. Component cables are good up to 1080i and HDMI offers no measurable upgrade in picture quality except on 1080p sets. Just my 2 cents.

#5 Paul Humbug OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:30 PM

Thanks @ all for the really useful informartion. I don't know how to distinguish between component or composite. I'm using the ones that came with a 2007 xbox to connect to a standard TV back then. Yellow, red, and white.

#6 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:47 PM

Yeah, you'll never get an HD signal through that composite cable you've described.

#7 Paul Humbug OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:52 PM

Yeah, you'll never get an HD signal through that composite cable you've described.


Not even 480p? Or is this rather old skool standard?

#8 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:55 PM

I guess it's possible to push 480p through a composite cable, but it isn't HD.
You'll want either VGA, Component, or HDMI cables.

Edited by Rex Dart, Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:17 PM.


#9 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:12 PM


Yeah, you'll never get an HD signal through that composite cable you've described.


Not even 480p? Or is this rather old skool standard?

Red, White and Yellow are Composite. It's basically RGB all compressed into one cable, then the signal is decompressed at the TV. It's the standard NTSC format and been in use since the 1950's. But, since the 3 colors are all compressed into one little cable (the Yellow), the signal is only good up to 480i. Now in the age of HDTV, component has become the new standard, but not officially. But if you want to take advantage of today's HDTV's and high def video games, you must at least get component cables, or possibly HDMI. Component has 5 cables in all, 3 just for video (green, blue, red), and then black/white for audio. These give you the range from 480p up to 1080i.

HDMI is nice too, it's the only way to get 1080p in North America I believe. Not only does it offer the complete range of video signal quality, it also carries audio as well, although I'm not an audiophile and there's a whole other world for HD lossless audio that you'd have to research yourself. I use HDMI for my HD DVD player, and Component for my X360 on my 51" Hitachi rear projection CRT and it looks amazing, I've always loved playing Xbox on this thing.

What you have to watch out for with Plasma's and LCD's is that there can be lag with HDMI cables because there's just a bunch of processing that's taking place everywhere. Since those don't use cathode ray tubes (CRT), or lamps, to light up the screen, instead using digital processors, there's just time involved from output device to what you see on screen.

#10 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:13 PM

I guess it's possible to push 480p through a composite cable, but it isn't HD.

Nope. 480i is the limit of what that Yellow cable will output. Not even S-Video could push a progressive signal, 576i being it's maximum.

#11 Paul Humbug OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:23 PM

Well, I might go fo a HDMI cable then. but it already looks good compared to the old tube.

#12 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:34 PM

Yeah, nothing wrong with HDMI, it's top of the line. I will say that sometimes I will get a sync issue with the audio on my HD DVD player though. I'm not sure if that's on the hardware side, or a negative glitch aspect with HDMI cables in general. I'm not the only person to have had audio sync problems using HDMI, I know that.

#13 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:27 AM

Well, I might go fo a HDMI cable then. but it already looks good compared to the old tube.


You'll notice a gigantic difference going from 480i over composite to 720p over HDMI.

#14 Rex Dart ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:42 AM


I guess it's possible to push 480p through a composite cable, but it isn't HD.

Nope. 480i is the limit of what that Yellow cable will output. Not even S-Video could push a progressive signal, 576i being it's maximum.


I wouldn't think so either, but the guy did say that his TV reported a 480p signal.

#15 Metal Ghost OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:31 PM

I have to imagine that some of the HDMI lag issues may actually be TV specific too, or at least dealing with the settings, etc. I have my 360 connected to my 42' Regza via HDMI, and playing Gutar Hero and Rock Band is completely in time with what's happening on screen. But at my friends house, playing Rock Band on Wii via this really nice Sony 55' through either component or composite cabelling, there's absolutely horrible lack. He's actually adjusted his play style to it (he's not really one to play with TV or game settings to fix it) but for me it's bad enough to make it damn near unplayable.

#16 onlysublime OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:30 PM

I have to imagine that some of the HDMI lag issues may actually be TV specific too, or at least dealing with the settings, etc. I have my 360 connected to my 42' Regza via HDMI, and playing Gutar Hero and Rock Band is completely in time with what's happening on screen. But at my friends house, playing Rock Band on Wii via this really nice Sony 55' through either component or composite cabelling, there's absolutely horrible lack. He's actually adjusted his play style to it (he's not really one to play with TV or game settings to fix it) but for me it's bad enough to make it damn near unplayable.


If you want, the least lag experience with an HD picture (because technically, composite is the least lag), then using a PC monitor with VGA is the way to go. PC monitors do no processing because PC monitors have to be used for commercial work. Manufacturers spend the bulk of their image processing work on the HDMI inputs because most of the devices are HDMI now and they want their TV to look beautiful. Since VGA on TVs is meant for computer applications, there's little to no image processing. You are seeing the image as the PC intended.

I wouldn't use Guitar Hero as a latency tool because there is some serious fudge factor in those games (especially the Neversoft ones). Rock Band would be a better way to assess it. As well as Lips or Karaoke Revolution. Lips has an automated tool to measure latency. On my 23" PC monitor with VGA, it was 11 ms. On my Toshiba 65" TV, it was in the high 70s/low 80s via HDMI and in the 50s via component. and this was with game mode on. Game mode eliminates most but not all of the processing. Some TVs allow you to further reduce processing via the hidden technician's service menus but wandering in that territory can be dangerous because you might change a setting that renders your TV unviewable. I haven't tested my LG LCD TV yet. Curious what it would score.

I don't know any manufacturers that process an analog signal through composite so it should be the best in terms of latency. It's just a legacy port that manufacturers put in for the people who live in the lower ends of the bell curve. Rarely would a manufacturer take the time to make the composite signal sing because it's a matter of diminishing returns.




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