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Bonkey Kong

What is the best HDMI cable for Dreamcast?

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Has anyone used any of the HDMI cables for the Dreamcast?

 

I am thinking about buying the Hyperkin version and curious if anyone here has used it that might know if it is a smart buy or not?

 

Hyperkin HD HDMI Cable for Sega Dreamcast - Gametronex.com

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If you want the best HDMI from a DC you have to save up the bucks and get a DCDigital installed. While I've not used this exact cable with a DC, I do have one of their Genesis HDMI cables and was not impressed as the image was darker, softer and introduced lag that wasn't present when using my HDRetrovision cables with my Genesis setup.

 

In fact, it might even be a better image to go with a VGA cable set for the DC and then get a VGA to HDMI converter to use from there.

 

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If you're looking for a cheap HDMI output for Dreamcast, I recommend the cable by the brand LevelHike.  It is head and shoulders above Hyperkin and most other offerings in terms of brightness, clarity, and such and is usually available from StoneAge Gamer.  I got the Hyperkin cable first and did not like it very much at all.  

The LevelHike is about $30 and though it's not ultimate, the lag isn't too bad and the picture is very good (especially in comparison to the Hyperkin and other inexpensive offerings).

If you search for reviews that include LevelHike, you'll see it comes out on top vs the other cables of that sort.

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Posted (edited)

Hyperkin, LevelHike, Pound, and all of that is the same exact thing: garbage. Those things are horrible. They cause lag, the picture quality is not great, and the ones that handle 240p systems treat the signal as 480i instead of 240p. They're all essentially the same generic product, as they all use basically the same low-quality components. They are mass-produced in China and different companies buy them, put their names on them, and sell them, but they're all more or less identical.

 

You have a few options: DCDigital is literally the highest-quality option. It requires cutting your Dreamcast's case, so be aware of that. It is the single best option on the market as long as you don't mind cutting the case.

 

Other than that, there are a few other options. VGA to either OSSC, RetroTINK 5X-Pro, or Framemeister is probably going to be the next best thing. After that is probably something like a Dreamcast HDMI box. I have the Akura from Beharbros. It's okay, but it uses the same VGA to HDMI converter that those cheap cables use, so the image is slightly distorted and off-center, which is a problem that apparently affects the Pound/LevelHike/Hyperkin cables.

 

Now I have never used the Pound/LevelHike/Hyperkin Dreamcast cable, but I did have one of them (I think Hyperkin) for the Genesis/MD and it didn't work at all on my monitor, my friend's monitor, or my friend's TV. Just know what you're getting if you do decide to buy one of those.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
Punctuation is nice to have. Apparently I forgot that for a moment.
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All of what Steven Pendleton says above is correct regarding what is better than what; I am working on improving my DC output as well.

Just keep in mind that the LevelHike / Pound etc cables are $30ish…

 

The OSSC is around $130-$200 iirc

The Retrotink5x is $300

The Framemeister is going for $1200 currently on Amazon (!)

 

And in that light, I again recommend LevelHike if your budget is in the $30 range.  If you want the best and can afford it, the Retrotink5x is getting the best reviews all around.

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Akura looks great on my set. $85. Mind you, it is not an upscaler but my Panasonic Plasma works great with this box and the output is quite pleasing. 

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Thanks to all the suggestions.

 

I like playing my disc games so not wanting do the digital thing.

 

I am going to look into the Akura and LevelHike as I have not heard of those before.

 

Since you who have tried them say they are not the best, I guess I may just stick with original cables that I have.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Bonkey Kong said:

Thanks to all the suggestions.

 

I like playing my disc games so not wanting do the digital thing.

 

I am going to look into the Akura and LevelHike as I have not heard of those before.

 

Since you who have tried them say they are not the best, I guess I may just stick with original cables that I have.

Alright. I'd also seriously consider S-video + Framemeister/OSSC/RetroTINK if you have one of those, as S-video is still good and has 100% compatibility with the entire Dreamcast library, unlike VGA. S-video will give you interlaced video for a lot of games, unfortunately. OSSC's bob deinterlacing is not great and can cause image retention on some screens like my monitor, but the others, or anything else with good deinterlacing, should be fine.

 

Also, if you don't care about fake scanlines, consider the Gekko instead of the Akura, as the Gekko is the same thing but cheaper and the only difference that I can remember is that the Akura has optional fake scanlines. The fake scanlines look okay, but I've seen better. I just checked and the Akura also has analog audio output. Other than that, no real differences.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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2 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Alright. I'd also seriously consider S-video + Framemeister/OSSC/RetroTINK if you have one of those, as S-video is still good and has 100% compatibility with the entire Dreamcast library, unlike VGA. S-video will give you interlaced video for a lot of games, unfortunately. OSSC's bob deinterlacing is not great and can cause image retention on some screens like my monitor, but the others, or anything else with good deinterlacing, should be fine.

 

Also, if you don't care about fake scanlines, consider the Gekko instead of the Akura, as the Gekko is the same thing but cheaper and the only difference that I can remember is that the Akura has optional fake scanlines. The fake scanlines look okay, but I've seen better. I just checked and the Akura also has analog audio output. Other than that, no real differences.

I'd second the Gekko, my TV has VGA in an looks good with a cheap VGA cable but when I gave an extra DC to a friend I got him a Gekko. We gave it a run on my 1080p BenQ 2150ST and it looked great even blown up to 150".  It isn't perfect and I think the DC Digital internal mod would be the best you could do but it is MUCH more expensive.

 

Watch this for more detail:

 

DC Digital

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, aarthurn said:

I'd second the Gekko, my TV has VGA in an looks good with a cheap VGA cable but when I gave an extra DC to a friend I got him a Gekko. We gave it a run on my 1080p BenQ 2150ST and it looked great even blown up to 150".  It isn't perfect and I think the DC Digital internal mod would be the best you could do but it is MUCH more expensive.

 

Watch this for more detail:

 

DC Digital

 

 

 

The Gekko seems to be the one that I am most interested in since I am just looking for HDMI out that will look good on a modern big screen.

I am not wanting to mod my console though and also want to be able to continue to play my Dreamcast discs.

 

Thanks again for all the awesome suggestions.

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I wouldn't even consider anything from Hyperkin, LevelHike, or Pound, as they are pretty much all the same exact thing (garbage) in a different enclosure.  They might be "okay" (i.e. they work) for Dreamcast games that run in VGA and I doubt they would add any lag since they are likely just functioning as simple analog-digital converters receiving VGA and sending 480p over HDMI, but they don't seem to work with 240p/480i games.  I would be more concerned with their use of cheap components, which would likely degrade the image quality.

 

The Beharbros products (Akuma/Gekko) are more expensive but use decent components and don't have problems with non-VGA games.  The Gekko looks to be 65 USD now, which is quite a bit more expensive that the cheap garbage you can find on Amazon, but I think it would definitely be worth spending the extra $$$ on a quality product that works properly.

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On 8/20/2021 at 4:27 AM, newtmonkey said:

I wouldn't even consider anything from Hyperkin, LevelHike, or Pound, as they are pretty much all the same exact thing (garbage) in a different enclosure.  They might be "okay" (i.e. they work) for Dreamcast games that run in VGA and I doubt they would add any lag since they are likely just functioning as simple analog-digital converters receiving VGA and sending 480p over HDMI, but they don't seem to work with 240p/480i games.  I would be more concerned with their use of cheap components, which would likely degrade the image quality.

 

The Beharbros products (Akuma/Gekko) are more expensive but use decent components and don't have problems with non-VGA games.  The Gekko looks to be 65 USD now, which is quite a bit more expensive that the cheap garbage you can find on Amazon, but I think it would definitely be worth spending the extra $$$ on a quality product that works properly.

Yes the Gekko is $65, I will watch some reviews on it before I decide to get it or not.  I would rather spend $65 on something good then $20 on crap.

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@Bonkey Kong

Good idea, but just be careful when watching Youtube reviews.  There are a lot of shills out there with channels just so they can get free stuff from manufacturers, so a lot of the reviews on Youtube can't really be trusted.

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