Xbox 360 VGA Support Update... Any real fixes?

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Acert93, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    It has been a while since VGA support on the 360 has been reviewed. Over the last couple years MS has slowly been tweaking VGA support and at E3 announced they would be adding 16:10 aspect support over VGA and HDMI and 1440x900 and 1680x1050 resolutions.

    Of course not all is perfect, even as of last fall, where a game like Halo 3 had poor VGA support. Many games "letterbox" 720p games on 1280x1024 displays to give the appearance of a 720p widescreen image without stretching; alas a number of MGS published games (PGR3 also comes to mind) don't play friendly with the MS certified accessory!

    So those with VGA cables and non-widescreen displays, would you mind giving us an update on the general experience with HD VGA cables? Also specific games of note that have problems and workarounds you have found (like squashing the the vert. image on a CRT).

    I am curious if the situation has improved (or will with the update) or if MS is expanding support while sweeping the issues (even if a minority; but sadly in a couple big games) to the side.

    Btw, this is a problem with add-ons, extras, etc that often their value is "down the road" as they mature but rarely are reviews/updates offered through the press to give consumers an idea of how useful a feature has become. Hence you are left to audit the experience of early adopters through less official channels.

    Note: Lets keep out comments about getting a new display with pixel mapping, better non-native resolution support, etc. The point of VGA cables is to get an HD image on existing hardware because in most cases the person cannot afford a new HD display.
     
  2. Hazuki Ryu

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    What you call poor VGA support I think it's really a matter of opinion I guess I prefer playing halo 3 on a 4:3 monitor in full screen rather than only using half the scree with 2 huge bars as long as the game's proportions are the same just cut the sides tweak it a little bit but that's just my opinion on that.

    On the other hand 16:10 format I really hope they use some small bars because they won't be significant and I think it will look really nice.

    Other thing I've noticed in VGA on the xbox 360 is that the contrast isn't half as good as when I use component cable no matter the display the experience is always the same even in extended settings.
     
  3. infinity4

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    I have 1280x1024 hooked by HDMI-DVI cable to my Elite.
    Games display in two ways:

    1) 1280x720 letterboxed into 1280x1024 - This is 100% HD
    2) Other 4:3 resolutions stertched to 1280x1024 - this is just an upscaled image so it's not HD I can assure every 360 gamer.

    Obviously 1) is better than 2), any game in 2) will have significant amount of jaggies - PGR4 and Halo 3 were lego block games for me.

    This is a very important matter to me, the first thing I look at when I am buying the game is whether it supports letterbox or not. Don't be surprised poor resolution support was the only reason I chose not to buy Halo 3, PGR4, Call of Duty 4 etc. I don't care how they play, I am not wasting my money down the sink for a non HD game.

    I honestly hope MS change this trend, they might be able to fix all games by forcing 1280x720 letterbox mode for any game. They did it for all movies at least.
     
    #3 infinity4, Jul 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2008
  4. Hazuki Ryu

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    I don't really understand what you are talking about, those game's native resolution is the same no matter what resolution they are scalled to they are still sub 720p games.

    I just tried halo 3 on the same monitor with the following settings.

    1) non widescreen 1024*768
    2) non widescreen 1280*1024
    3) widescreen 1280*720

    I couldn't see a difference in jaggies at all and I don't think I should because the native resolution is the same (or so I think).
     
  5. infinity4

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    I meant the games' resolution is not 1280x1024, it is something else stretched up to 1280x1024. I don't have any knowledge on computers so maybe I used the term native resolution wrong.
     
  6. Hazuki Ryu

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    What I mean is that those games will be stretched to 1280*720 too because their native resolution is still lower, no matter if they are in letter box or widescreen Halo 3 for example will always be 1152*640, unless I'm missing something here.
     
  7. infinity4

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    I am not sure on that one but the point i am making is that you are getting same treatment as those that owns High Definition TVs with 1280x720 or 1366x768 who will get best image quality as games are designed for 720p. It is better for games to be 1280x720 (or 1152*640 stretched) than to have 640x480 etc stretched to 1280x1024 as I have tried out games on monitors with 1:1 support.
     
  8. Hazuki Ryu

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    Is there such a thing as games that run at 640*480 on the 360 (apart from the first xbox games)?
     
  9. kyleb

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    There are a few that do for 480 line outputs at least. Back when I played CoD2 I'd turn my 360 down to 480p for better framerate. I've never used 1280x1024 output though, so I can't say if any render at 640x480 for that. I'd hope not.
     
  10. Hazuki Ryu

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    I've tried many times I have never seen it happen in any of my 30 360 games so unless I'm really lucky it doesn't seem to happen.
     
  11. infinity4

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    Anyway, I think the solution for this problem would be allow us to choose game resolution separately from dashboard resolution, for example you want 720p outside games like dvds, marketplace movies, videos etc, but for game resolution you might want 1080i.

    Settings tab when using VGA or DVI cable would look like this.
    - System > System settings > Resolution
    - Under resolution would be Game resolution and off game resolution
    - Off game resolution has a range of VGA resolutions.
    - Game resolution: Default(same as off game resolution), or any resolution you would want.

    This can unify game resolutions in 1280x1024, as if you choose 1280x1024 for dashboard and then choose 1280x720 for games, you are guaranteed to get letterboxed 16:9 Glorious HD, instead of developers forcing us to stick to what they have used.

    You can argue why not choose dashboard resolution as game res, but I have to say not all displays have 1:1 or fixed aspect ratio support. Why not make this happen by the software?

    But of course I would never bet on this happening, because most people have a 720p tv that would never have this sort of problems, and that minor group is always ignored in this world.
     
    #11 infinity4, Aug 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2008
  12. user542745831

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    very good thread here.

    yes, that's a pity for sure.

    would like to know how the announced 16:10 support will be handled.

    will be likely 16:9 letterboxed, won't it?

    some time before, there was already a dashboard update which added 5:4 1280 x 1024. and from what i read some games didn't work (properly) with this new added resolution. is this true?

    if yes, wouldn't it be likely possible, that there will be some incompatibilty with some games when trying them with the new added 16:10 resolutions as the games weren't supposed to work with those resolutions before?

    i hope not so.

    this would be a pity, too.

    have there been some patches for the games for the 1280 x 1024 issue, if it is true?

    i asked this question in another thread, but it was never answered:

    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?p=1188805#post1188805

    maybe it fits better here and maybe some of you can answer it.

    does some of you know why 1920 x 1200 wasn't announced for the update?

    it's likely because 1920 x 1080 is the maximum resolution supported by the Xbox 360, isn't it?

    or maybe it is, because many 1920 x 1200 displays support 1:1 support for 1920 x 1080.

    what do you think?

    another question regarding the reference levels:

    is "standard" RGB 16-235 and "expanded" RGB 0-255? if yes, what is "intermediate"?

    and another thing:

    has someone tried out, if you can get an anamorphic resolution?

    let's say 1024 x 768 and setting to widescreen?

    so that you could drive a 1024 x 768 16:9 plasma for example pixel by pixel with correct aspect ratio?

    just curious about that.
     
  13. infinity4

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    - some time before, there was already a dashboard update which added 5:4 1280 x 1024. and from what i read some games didn't work (properly) with this new added resolution. is this true?

    A: Yes there are some games that doesn't support properly, for example PGR3 and Oblivion stretches everything up and down... you can expect what it is like if 1280x720 is stretched to 1280x1024. Oblivion however works fine on 1024x768 where it letterboxes, I think PGR3 does it as well?

    - if yes, wouldn't it be likely possible, that there will be some incompatibilty with some games when trying them with the new added 16:10 resolutions as the games weren't supposed to work with those resolutions before? i hope not so.
    this would be a pity, too.

    A: Agreed poor support is worse than nothing I mean, what is point of supporting poorly if it doesn't satisfy everyone?

    - have there been some patches for the games for the 1280 x 1024 issue, if it is true?

    A: YES!!! Gears of War had problems on 1280x1024, people complained at Epic Forums, and Mark Rein did say how he understood people prefer letterbox to low res stretch, and of course they fixed it so everyone gets glorious 1280x720 letterboxed

    I also saw your other thread about Orange Box, I would say it is 1024x768 stretched to 1280x1024, for two reasons:
    - narrower fov. I measured by taking same screenshots and observed which one has more side views.
    - Game looks poorer on that res than 1280x720, but not poor enough to be criticised for.
    They are only my assumptions though. If you look at the menu settings, it says 1280x1024p, but the thing is it copied directly off 360 dashboard, you can't change it which sucks.

    I answered every question with passion, because I don't want to spend 200 quid for a display, I need money to buy games, and of course a new 360 with 65nm GPU.
     
    #13 infinity4, Aug 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2008
  14. user542745831

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    thank you for your detailed answering of some of the questions :smile::wink:.

    seems as if the support for other resolutions than 720p, 1080i and 1080p isn't the best so far. unfortunately.

    it's very cool though, that microsoft gives users the opportunity to use pc or vga resolutions, or whatever you want to call them, over VGA/HDMI/DVI to use their computer displays.

    something like this would be very nice for PS3, too, i think. it's a pity that the PS3 doesn't support it. could imagine that a huge ammount of users would appreciate it. but PS3 even requires HDCP when using HDMI while playing and isn't able to scale every game to every resolution you can choose from. so far, atleast. unfortunately.

    i think a feature to use usual computer displays should be on any new console as they are now supporting high definition resolutions. even the successors of Xbox 360 and PS3 should have it in my opinion.

    sorry, i didn't quite/completely understand what you meant there :???::eek::grin:.

    anyway, there are some questions to be still answered. if some of you could explain, feel free to post :smile:. i would appreciate it.
     
  15. infinity4

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    well I was saying it is something that I care a lot, because I don't want to spend more money to ensure I get HD in all games. Which is the case because MS forgot to force devs. I am short on money especially when I am spending around $250-300k for tuition fees at uni, it just doesn't help does it.
     
  16. user542745831

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    anyway, now i understand what you meant.

    and you are right, it's a pity if an official feature, which is an important one if you are using it, isn't supported properly.

    it's even more a pity, if it works on some games and on some others it doesn't :eek:.

    which means, that it normally shouldn't be that hard to implement it correctly on every game.
     
  17. user542745831

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    Can someone already report about the new NXE support of 1440 x 900 and 1680 x 1050 resolution?

    http://forum.beyond3d.com/showpost.php?p=1233885&postcount=124

    Are the two new resolutions 1440 x 900 and 1680 x 1050 working well on a 1440 x 900 or 1680 x 1050 display?

    And are games displayed letterboxed (16:9 image on 16:10 display)? Or how does it work?
     
    #17 user542745831, Oct 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2008
  18. Rockster

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    According to posters on Neogaf 16:10 displays will have thin black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. The new resolutions maintain the correct aspect ratio and do not stretch.
     
  19. Hazuki Ryu

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    That's awsome news to me.
     
  20. user542745831

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