Spring Update and VGA - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-10-2007, 04:10 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Default Spring Update and VGA

In case you're wondering what the "Reference Levels" setting actually changes, i found this article at Dailytech.com

www . dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=7216


Xbox 360 games now look better than ever in VGA

Although the new Windows Live Messenger integration and improved Achievements system are the more widely advertised new features of the Spring Update, a little known new feature has crept its way into the latest Dashboard version – improved image quality when using the Xbox 360 VGA output.

A long-standing complaint of the VGA output on the Xbox 360 is its “washed out” picture quality, where colors on the screen would not appear as bright and vibrant as compared to running the console to the TV using component cables.

The culprit for this problem is the difference between how HDTV and PC displays interpret black levels. A correctly calibrated HDTV typically expects a black level to be at 7.5 IRE (with anything below that to be “blacker than black”), while a PC display has its black set to zero. The Xbox 360, which is tweaked for televisions, has its IRE tuned for the HDTV norm of 7.5 IRE.

However, due to the fact that most HDTVs manufacturers expect that VGA inputs are for use with PCs rather than the Xbox 360, most televisions have its IRE for VGA at zero to accommodate a PC video card’s output. The result of this is that while the Xbox 360 is sending out a 7.5 IRE for calling for black, the HDTV is interpreting that as a call for something less than black, like a pleasant shade of grey.

The Spring Update adds a new feature allowing users to tweak the IRE setting that the Xbox 360 sends out to the television. “Both Xbox 360 Elite and current Xbox 360 units will have a spring (console) update which adds support for different video levels for VGA output (“7.5 IRE vs 0”) ... using this setting you should be able to use computer monitors in addition to TVs with resolutions all the way up to 1080p with high fidelity and no issues with HDCP handshaking,” explained Amir Majidimehr, VP of Microsoft’s Consumer Media Technology Group. “So for current users, I highly recommend trying this update with your VGA connection to see if it does the job for you. Note that this is a console update and will work for both games and of course, HD DVD.”

Surprisingly, instead of giving the user direct control of the IRE setting, the Spring Update added three non-descriptive options to the Xbox 360 display settings – standard, intermediate and expanded – with no indication of which setting represents what level of blackness. DailyTech decided to put each of the three levels to the test. Presented in the images to the right is a comparison of each of the three reference levels using Need for Speed Carbon as the test game and King Kong as the test HD DVD. “Standard” appears to retain the same black level setting (7.5 IRE) as it was before the update, and the “expanded” setting looks to present the blackest blacks (0 IRE), with the “intermediate” setting being somewhere in between.

While the increased richness and color in Need for Speed Carbon is noticeable, the more appreciable difference of the new IRE settings comes when watching movies. In all parts of King Kong, but especially the dark scenes where accurate black levels are essential, the new “expanded” reference level produced images that were far richer and less washed out, providing a significantly improved picture.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:54 AM
DustoMan's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,007
Default

Thanks. I kinda figured that's what this setting was about. I may experiment with this setting tonight. Never had an issue with colors over VGA, but it can't hurt anything.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-10-2007, 11:03 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Default

I didn't really have an issue either but i must admit there is a distinct added richness when set to "Expanded" and i can now set my TV brightness up a touch higher without greying out the blacks. Nice!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-10-2007, 11:41 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,107
Default

hmm. that's interesting. i'll have to try out this feature tonight. i've been using the component cables over the vga (even though i have 1080p) because i didn't like how the picture looked, but if this makes it look better, then i'm all for it.

where do you find these settings where you can change from enhaced to intermediate and such?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:28 PM
DustoMan's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by forsho01 View Post
hmm. that's interesting. i'll have to try out this feature tonight. i've been using the component cables over the vga (even though i have 1080p) because i didn't like how the picture looked, but if this makes it look better, then i'm all for it.

where do you find these settings where you can change from enhaced to intermediate and such?
With the VGA plugged in, go to the system blade and the click on Console Settings -> Display. It's the third menu option.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-10-2007, 02:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,107
Default

thanks alot. i'll look into it later on tonight. it was fun looking into the new options available like the "let the system keep on running while you let it finish the download" option. it works well.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-10-2007, 02:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,107
Default

i also noticed i'm making it up the hdd leaderboard. still need alot of points though
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-16-2007, 11:04 PM
Mobius's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 183
Default

Awesome bit of news as I just hooked up my 360 via VGA for the first time. I had no idea what those settings were but thought expanded looked the best on my TV.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-17-2007, 03:56 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
Awesome bit of news as I just hooked up my 360 via VGA for the first time. I had no idea what those settings were but thought expanded looked the best on my TV.
yeah same here. i never really liked the vga connection before, but it seems to work and look nicer than component.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-17-2007, 06:52 AM
jonathan.morris's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 263
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by forsho01 View Post
yeah same here. i never really liked the vga connection before, but it seems to work and look nicer than component.
As far as I'm aware the xbox only upscales regular DVDs when your using VGA so DVDs should look a lot better than component
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (KR, Kim Ki-duk) kannisto Blu-ray Imports Subforum 4 02-26-2015 11:40 PM
YouTube and Netflix Apps for TiVo Premiere in Spring Update – Xfinity Rollout Begins TheDickWard Home Theater Gear 0 04-05-2012 02:17 AM
MS to Delist XBLA Titles that suck. And no Spring update confirmed. KTA Gaming Smackdown 46 05-23-2008 01:02 AM
VGA vs DVI-VGA feed. Will there be a difference? Blinx123 Home Theater Gear 2 01-30-2008 07:09 AM
Xbox 360 Spring Update Improves VGA Image Quality Aodh Gaming Smackdown 16 05-15-2007 02:26 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off