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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Use LCD for Gaming Console?


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cjay

 
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First off apologies if this inappropriate but it's the Anything Goes board.

I have a generic 19in lcd with 2 vga/1 dvi inputs, native res 1440 by 900 that I use with my Mac via dvi. I'm buying a 360 so which input + cable + setting should I use for maximum viewing and gaming pleasure?

I don't own a Standard def TV so I'm hoping this lcd will work. Hopefully I can use my Mac and the xbox 360 on one screen.

Anybody using their computer lcd's for console gaming it'd be good to hear from you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjay
First off apologies if this inappropriate but it's the Anything Goes board.
No worries. All taken care of. :black:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y
No worries. All taken care of. :black:
Thought of posting it here. :black:
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Hulk_SMASH
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You'll need to buy the VGA kit for the 360. You'll also only be able to display at 720p because the 360's max resolution is 1920x1080 (1080i). Believe me though, 720p is NOTHING to scoff at. Games look like a regular Xbox on SDTVs but at high-def, they're just WOW! I use t component cables on my 360 which are analog like the 15-pin connector and I use analog audio. IT looks spectacular at 1080i for me. I personally don't think there is that big of a difference between the analog and digital (DVI and optical audio) kits to warrant going that way unless you have a mega-system and a PC-monitor and speakers are DEFINATELY not a mega-system. Since it'll be near you MAC, do yourself a favour and get the controller-charging kit so that when you're not playing your 360, you can plug your controller into the USB ports of the Mac to recharge. ANy other questions? Just ask :black:
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cjay

 
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Hulk you da man. So what's the difference between 720p and 1080i? I just plug component into the vga socket of my lcd and I'm good to go right? Thanks for your help. I'll probably get a 360 this weekend can't wait any longer for the Wii.
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trpnmonkey41

 
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480i - The screen is divided into 480 horizontal lines, "scan lines" that are interlaced, that is, the screen refreshes half the scan lines at a time. This is a fairly low bandwidth signal, by that i mean that (relatively) little information is being transmitted.

480p - Same number of scan lines, but here we have moved to a progressive refresh, this means that the entire screen, all the scan lines, are refreshed at the same time. This leads to a smooth, higher quality picture. "Progressive-scan" dvd players are outputting 480p. Also of note here is that generally 480p signals have a different aspect ratio than 480i, whereas many/most 480i singals are 4:3 aspect ratio, 480p can go with a 16:9 (roughly) aspect ratio. The bandwidth needed in comparison to 480i is roughly double.

720p - Welcome to the wonderful world of High definition signals. Here, we have upped the vertical resolution (# of horizontal scan lines) to 720 and are understood to be using a 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio. Again, our signal is progressive at 60 frames per second, so the end result is a sharper, smoother picture than what we had before.

1080i - Another "HD" set of standards, here we have 1080 horizontal scan lines for an even higher resolution, but now we are back down to interlaced, "painting" the screen a half at a time.

---An Interlude: 720p v 1080i ------------
So these are two seemingly competing HD formats, which one is the best? Might as well ring the bell and get Buffer to scream "lets get ready to rumble" because the argument here is fierce. I make no judgements, i will just pass along the facts as best i can:

While 1080i is of a higher general resolution than 720p, it is interlaced, and thus the screen is actually dividied into around 540 "fields" that are refreshed. Thus the human eye (perhaps the greatest video/image processing chip ever made, wish i'd gotten the patent) or a chip has to de-interlace the signal for display. The upshot is that a static image, you will have a seemingly sharper picture with 1080i, but when alot of motion is introduced, you'll begin to notice blurring and artifacts in the image. 720p thus provides a smooth moving image. This makes 720p the choice for many sports broadcasts (ESPN, ABC, and Fox all broadcast 720p, subjectively, i think NBC is broadcasting the NFL in 720p as well based upon my own viewing, but i haven't checked to back this up).

Thats all fine and dandy, but what about gaming? Well, first things first.. .what is native for your display? An LCD,Plasma, or DLP display is natively a progressive display, the pixels that constitute the image on the screen are either on or off. Thus, they output an hd signal of 720p regardless of the input given them. They must de-interlace and scale the incoming signal to get it there... so obviously if your game device of choice offers 720p output, thats the way to go.

Likewise, rear-project CRT televisions are happiest with a 1080i signal, and are going to have to take a 720p signal and interlace and upscale the signal for display, so feeding them a native 1080i signal is the optimal solution.

If you are one of those lucky people who are looking to buy an HD television and arent worried about 1080p, then what would you rather have for gaming? its a personal choice really. The only system that really takes full advantage of HD is the xbox 360, the ps2 and xbox are just feeding you a 480p signal that you'll be upsampling regardless of what you get. When the PS3 rolls out, it will support HD resolutions... so which way to go?

Well, as we said before, it is fact that 1080i offers a higher resolution and thus a sharper image with a static image. It is also fact that 720p offers a "smoother" moving image because of its progressive nature. By these facts one can infer that if you are into games that have alot of action on screen at once, such as sports games, shoot em ups, fighting games... it makes more sense to go 720p. If you are into more static games... such as Action/Adventure, RPG, or Oldschool/arcadish stuff (Frogger in HD ftw), perhaps 1080i is the better direction to head.

----------Interlude End-----------

1080p - this is the newest "High def" standard featuring 1080 scan lines, now progressive for that silky smooth picture we all love so much. 1080p capable consumer displays are just starting to hit the market at "affordable" prices; Theaters have been using 1080p projectors for hi-def films for a while now. There are currently no broadcasted 1080p signals. Reasons? Well the highest standarized ATSC format for 1080p is 1080p30 which is 30 frames per second. Even then, the amount of bandwidth needed to broadcast the signal is significant, and thus standard MPEG-2 compression wont get the job done. Thus "new" codecs like H.264/Mpeg-4 must be used. The vast majority of consumer displays in use, now and in the near future, dont understand these new codecs and so it would be ncessary to broadcast multiple streams, and there simply isnt the bandwidth available for that in the broad consumer market. Currently, the PS3 is the only videogame console that will feature 1080p output, although there is a good bit of rumor that the xbox 360 is capable of the trick.

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cjay

 
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Mate that is one of the best posts I've seen. I can't thank you enough. I'm interested not just because of the gaming related question but also the whole issue of HDTv, lcds, dvd players etc. It's really getting confusing especially when you just want to know what to connect with what and how to get the best quality.

Like I said I don't own a standard def tv so I get by with my lcd. However I feel I'm not getting the highest quality picture and have been thinking about buying a plasma. The info you gave is really going to help. Cheers.
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I made that post on another forum along with a few other sections. I will post an HDTV FAQ in one of the subforums with more information

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HDTV Tutorial and FAQ's

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Thanks for the link.
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trpnmonkey41 you da man~!
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Apparently Microsoft will be releasing an update to the 360 to allow it to output 1080p signals soon.

So you might want to consider that when picking a monitor.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjay
Hulk you da man. So what's the difference between 720p and 1080i? I just plug component into the vga socket of my lcd and I'm good to go right? Thanks for your help. I'll probably get a 360 this weekend can't wait any longer for the Wii.

You can't plug component cables into the VGA 15-pin interface. You'll need to purchase for $40-$50 the VGA kit and then plug it into your monitor. The 360 (premium) comes with component cables for TV hookup.

Also, don't bother with the $299 360, you get shortchanged on soooooo much ie: backwards compatibility (on select titles), hard drive, component cables and wirless controllers that it's pretty dumb to not just plunk down the extra $100 and get the full-blown system.

On the 360 running at 1080p.... That is for HD-movies only and via an HDMI cable. You'll have to buy the 360 HD-DVD drive for both of these (coming soon) for $200. Also, since movies are 24fps, 1080p is useless for movies as they don't need the 60fps that is the main difference between 1080i and 1080p. Don't believe the hype about the scan-lines and refresh rates as the human eye cannot detect the difference.

Also on Plasma... I wouldn't go that route, Plasma TVs have not been the greatest and have not lasted very long. They've been looking for ways to replace Plasma almost since its' introduction. It looks like SEDs and Laser-TVs will be out next year and both better and cheaper than Plasma. If you want to buy now then I suggest LCD or DLP.
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I reckon I'll wait a bit before buying a new screen and just run the 360 through my lcd monitor for now. It's great that you can use VGA. I wonder if the Wii will have the same thing. No way I'm buying the core system just not worth the money and besides Christmas packages should be coming out hopefully with a price drop too. We get shafted here in Australia as opposed to the US.
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Fly to Japan? They've dropped the prices there nearly $100US
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