Original Xbox – VGA vs Component?

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  • #26835
    shawly
    Participant

    With flashing a custom BIOS and a VGA cable, you can get RGBHV from the OG Xbox.
    I’ve read that this is the best signal you can get from an OG Xbox, but how does it compare to component when connected to the OSSC?

    Would one notice the difference? Are there any comparisons out there?

    #26843
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    If you’re tapping RGB after the encoder, I think it depends on which revision console you have. My understanding is that the earlier-revision consoles with Conexant encoders (v1.0 to v1.3) have good YPbPr but meh RGB, and the later models with Xcalibur encoders (1.6) have better RGB, but meh YPbPr (as well as the occasional glitch that you won’t find with earlier hardware).

    And then, in order to get separate sync, you need to pick two lines on the AV port that aren’t being used (or that you won’t use), wire up horizontal and vertical sync to them, and then custom-build a DE-15 cable that taps those lines.

    Personally, I really don’t like putting myself in a position where I effectively have a one-off configuration that no longer works with off-the-shelf cables. If I had to get RGB from my v1.0, I’d rather use a custom BIOS that output RGsB, use either the HD AV pack (which I have) or one of those Monster cables with the TOSLINK port built-in, and then either connect that to my OSSC or use an Extron RGB interface to get RGBS.

    Right now, I just use YPbPr output with an HD AV Pack, because it’s easier overall to integrate into my setup. I have an Audio Authority 1154A, which automatically switches both component video and digital audio, so it’s straightforward for me to run YPbPr component and TOSLINK from my Xbox and two PS2s into the switcher, and then YPbPr into my OSSC and TOSLINK into my AVR, all without modifying anything.

    If I went RGB, I’d need all of my devices going through that component switcher to be RGsB; I could do that for the Xbox, but the PS2s would need RGBS for the vast majority of its content (which is limited to 15kHz video), so RGsB is impractical for me. I also don’t want to spend $120-$250 on an automatic SCART switcher, plus another $100 in cables, so RGBS for everything is out.

    #26848
    shawly
    Participant

    I got one crystal 1.4 and a black 1.2. So what about the Focus chip on the 1.4?

    When using RGB the Xbox is limited to outputting 480i, which is the reason why I want to know if there is a visual difference between YPbPr and RGBHV from the Xbox.

    In the end I’m just curious, since I wanna play on the OSSC and on my consumer CRT which only supports RGB. Because of that I came up with a solution where I can switch between RGB and YPbPr without using any converters. I’m just going to solder a little dip switch on the AV cable which grounds pin 17/18/19 when closed and only 18/19 when open, that way I can switch easily without unplugging cables.

    But since I got a second Xbox I’m still kind of interested if there is a notable difference when using RGBHV and YPbPr.

    #26852
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    I tried RGBHV vs Component on my Crystal years ago and there was no difference I could see whatsoever, plus I found the VGA output glitched in some games.

    #26854
    shawly
    Participant

    Alright then, thanks for your input!

    #26857
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    When using RGB the Xbox is limited to outputting 480i, which is the reason why I want to know if there is a visual difference between YPbPr and RGBHV from the Xbox.

    When I say “RGB”, I don’t specifically mean RGBS (sync-on-composite) from a stock system using a SCART cable, which is indeed limited to 15kHz. Assuming proper shielding, it doesn’t matter whether sync is separate, composite, or muxed on green–RGB is RGB.

    What I was saying is that you could use a modified BIOS that forces the console to output RGsB full-time, which would get you RGB over regular Xbox component cables, which you can connect directly to your OSSC (AV2-RGsB). If you get a 3x RCA to DE-15 adapter (Or a custom, componentless Xbox->DE-15 cable), you could connect the Xbox to an Extron RGB interface, use a 4x BNC to SCART adapter/cable to connect that to your CRT, and then use a DE-15 to component cable/adapter to connect the loop-out to the OSSC. That would let you have both displays connected simultaneously, and you’d only need to shut off the CRT when using a video mode it doesn’t support.

    (Other approaches are available, too, such as using a component video splitter to split video before the RGB interface, which might save you a little money on cables.)

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