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Using my monitor for HD gaming? - Part 2, help me with this cable!

EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
edited August 2007 in Games and Technology
For the longest time, I've been too stubborn to get a new television, mostly because for most of my needs my cheap 23" thing is more than adequate. However, I'm starting to seriously reconsider this - a lot of newer games and consoles are starting to give me trouble, particularly with the text. Some games are almost unreadable on a standard def television... For example, my girlfriend plays Viva Pinata regularly, and neither of us can actually read most of the menu text because it's just too small and too fuzzy.

I have a big, clunking monitor that I use for my PC - a Samsung SyncMaster 243T. It's really nice and perfect for all of my needs, and works great for gaming. I suddenly started wondering the other day if it were possible to hook something like my Xbox 360 up to this thing to improve my gaming. I don't know anything about the arcane arts of television resolutions or HD or any of that, and I've really no idea where to start.

The monitor's native resolution is 1920 x 1200, and I have no idea if that's even compatible with what the Xbox can spit out. I've seen solutions like this cable but I'm not sure if that would even work - if it forces my monitor to a lower resolution I doubt it'd be much of an improvement over the crappy results I'm getting on a TV.

I really don't want to buy a new television right now. Living at college means I don't have any desire to shell out the money for a nice television that my flatmates will probably shit all over. I'd appreciate help or suggestions!

Ein on

Posts

  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You can use a VGA cable with a 360 to output a wide variety of resolutions to a computer monitor. I did this for a long time till I upgraded to a screen with HDMI.

    Any higher resolution will probably look sharper than your TV, since most televisions run at about 640 x 480.

    The full list of resolutions the Microsoft VGA cable supports is here:

    http://hardware.teamxbox.com/reviews/xbox-360/40/Xbox-360-VGA-HD-AV-Cable/p1/

    Simply scroll down. Note also that 1920 x 1080 was added since that article was written. Hope that helps!

    brynstar on
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  • EvangirEvangir Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I don't know if it'll work perfectly, but I can tell you my experiences at the very least.

    I run my 360 on a 22" BenQ monitor, with a native resolution of 1650x1080 or something like that. I have my 360 doing 720p (which is something like 1364x768 or some strange number like that) over VGA. It looks absolutely perfect. I haven't had a single issue with using the non-native resolution.

    Evangir on
    PSN/XBL/STEAM: Evangir - Starcraft 2: Bulwark.955 - Origin: Bulwark955 - Diablo 3: Bulwark#1478
  • Bob SappBob Sapp Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    According to the link you gave us, your monitor takes DVI. I would think you'd want to hook the 360 up through that.

    Bob Sapp on
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  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Evangir wrote: »
    I don't know if it'll work perfectly, but I can tell you my experiences at the very least.

    I run my 360 on a 22" BenQ monitor, with a native resolution of 1650x1080 or something like that. I have my 360 doing 720p (which is something like 1364x768 or some strange number like that) over VGA. It looks absolutely perfect. I haven't had a single issue with using the non-native resolution.

    Is this with that cable I linked to?

    Also, Bryn, it says that 1920x1080 was recently added in the October 2006 update. Due to the way my college network is set up, we're prohibited from using the Xbox on Live, which means the thing's never really been online. I don't know if I actually have this update they're referring to - do recent games also update the Dashboard? I remember when I put Crackdown in it asked about updating some software...

    If I run it at 1900x1080, do I get black bars, or does the image just stretch?

    Ein on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Bob Sapp wrote: »
    According to the link you gave us, your monitor takes DVI. I would think you'd want to hook the 360 up through that.

    If he wants to do DVI, he'll have to have a 360 with an HDMI output or some kind of way to convert from VGA to DVI. At that point, he'd be better off just using VGA I would think.

    brynstar on
    Xbox Live: Xander51
    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Bob Sapp wrote: »
    According to the link you gave us, your monitor takes DVI. I would think you'd want to hook the 360 up through that.

    I would, honestly. I use the VGA right now for my PC as it gave me an ungodly amount of trouble trying to get the DVI output working. Are there any DVI cables for the 360?

    Ein on
  • EvangirEvangir Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yes, that is the cable I'm using.

    As for the update, you could always take your 360 to somewhere that does have Xbox Live access just to download the update. It doesn't take longer than a couple of minutes.

    Evangir on
    PSN/XBL/STEAM: Evangir - Starcraft 2: Bulwark.955 - Origin: Bulwark955 - Diablo 3: Bulwark#1478
  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    brynstar wrote: »
    Bob Sapp wrote: »
    According to the link you gave us, your monitor takes DVI. I would think you'd want to hook the 360 up through that.

    If he wants to do DVI, he'll have to have a 360 with an HDMI output or some kind of way to convert from VGA to DVI. At that point, he'd be better off just using VGA I would think.

    How.. can I tell if my 360 has an HDMI output? Is it a hardware thing? I'm really stupid when it comes to such things.

    Really, I just got Bioshock, and my current mentality is that I'm not going to play it until I get a decent screen on which to do so. :)

    Ein on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Evangir wrote: »
    I don't know if it'll work perfectly, but I can tell you my experiences at the very least.

    I run my 360 on a 22" BenQ monitor, with a native resolution of 1650x1080 or something like that. I have my 360 doing 720p (which is something like 1364x768 or some strange number like that) over VGA. It looks absolutely perfect. I haven't had a single issue with using the non-native resolution.

    Is this with that cable I linked to?

    Also, Bryn, it says that 1920x1080 was recently added in the October 2006 update. Due to the way my college network is set up, we're prohibited from using the Xbox on Live, which means the thing's never really been online. I don't know if I actually have this update they're referring to - do recent games also update the Dashboard? I remember when I put Crackdown in it asked about updating some software...

    If I run it at 1900x1080, do I get black bars, or does the image just stretch?

    Recent games will indeed update the dashboard.

    As for the black bars, it depends entirely on how your monitor scales non-native resolutions. That monitor probably has a decent scaler so I'm guessing you'll get black bars, but the image will look completely awesome.

    If you have an HDMI output, it'll be a little port right below the normal 360 video output port. It has a little HDMI logo next to it. Only the elites and the newest premiums have it right now.

    brynstar on
    Xbox Live: Xander51
    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • BacklashBacklash Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    brynstar wrote: »
    Bob Sapp wrote: »
    According to the link you gave us, your monitor takes DVI. I would think you'd want to hook the 360 up through that.

    If he wants to do DVI, he'll have to have a 360 with an HDMI output or some kind of way to convert from VGA to DVI. At that point, he'd be better off just using VGA I would think.

    How.. can I tell if my 360 has an HDMI output? Is it a hardware thing? I'm really stupid when it comes to such things.

    Really, I just got Bioshock, and my current mentality is that I'm not going to play it until I get a decent screen on which to do so. :)

    If you bought an Elite or a premium in the last month or so, you probably have HDMI. Otherwise probably not.

    Backlash on
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  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Boo!

    360back1copy.jpg

    Looks just like that. No HDMI for me, I guess. I was hoping it was on the premium ones from release, since I splurged then, but I suppose I'll be left in the dust for a while.

    Alright, with that in mind, I suppose I'm stuck looking for some sort of VGA cable? If that's the case, I'll probably give the one from my OP a go, unless anyone has other recommendations.

    Ein on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Boo!

    360back1copy.jpg

    Looks just like that. No HDMI for me, I guess. I was hoping it was on the premium ones from release, since I splurged then, but I suppose I'll be left in the dust for a while.

    Alright, with that in mind, I suppose I'm stuck looking for some sort of VGA cable? If that's the case, I'll probably give the one from my OP a go, unless anyone has other recommendations.

    I just realized I linked the same article as you, sorry about that! I would definitely recommend that cable. There are a few third party ones, but the Microsoft one is quite nice and if you ever need support for your 360 they won't try and blame it on your cable.

    brynstar on
    Xbox Live: Xander51
    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I recommend getting the official Microsoft VGA cables from a store or online, they are $40 retail, though you might find them cheaper. My friend bought a 3rd party VGA cable, we both have the same HDTV, and playing the same games, and his looked terrible, the colors were of less quality, the edges not as sharp.

    Other than that, you'll get 720/1080 on your monitor with the VGA cables, and once you do that, you will NEVER plug your 360 in a regular TV through composite again.

    DHS Odium on
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  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Thanks a lot guys. I'm going to see if any of my local game stores carry this cable. I could order it off something like Amazon, but I'm moving in to school soon and my address is going to be changing, so I don't want to deal with all that hassle. ;)

    Ein on
  • mescalitomescalito Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Evangir wrote: »
    I run my 360 on a 22" BenQ monitor, with a native resolution of 1650x1080 or something like that. I have my 360 doing 720p (which is something like 1364x768 or some strange number like that) over VGA. It looks absolutely perfect. I haven't had a single issue with using the non-native resolution.

    Hey, I run my xbox 360 through VGA and a Benq 22 inch monitor

    stop copying!

    mescalito on
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  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Okay dudes, here's where I'm at

    I just got this VGA HD AV cable from my local Gamestop and I hooked it up. I basically plugged it into my 360, then hooked the VGA up to my monitor and the audio up to my computer speakers. It's showing my xbox just fine and dandy on the screen, so I go to up the resolution.

    I set it to 1900x1080 and hit OK, and when I do, the whole screen scales vertically for some reason. What this means is that it's filling up the entirety of my monitor (1920x1200 native resolution, as a reminder for those of you who might not have been around) and there's bits off the left and right edges of the screen.

    I was thinking maybe I could fix this by going into the Screen Format option, but it's greyed out and says 'You need an HD AV cable to configure high definition modes' which is confusing me because I thought that's what I just bought.

    What's going on with it? I would be fine if I could get the black bars at the top and bottom to straighten out the resolution issues, but it doesn't seem to let me into the Screen Format options.

    Ein on
  • tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    google is your friend ;-) , search for your resolution +xbox 360 vga

    tracertong on
  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    tracertong wrote: »
    google is your friend ;-) , search for your resolution +xbox 360 vga

    I... have. It's not really fruitful.

    Ein on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    tracertong wrote: »
    google is your friend ;-) , search for your resolution +xbox 360 vga

    I... have. It's not really fruitful.

    You can't set a screen format for 1920 x 1080, it's always going to be 16:9. You either need to mess around with your monitor's scaling settings, or use a lower resolution. Hope that helps!

    The screen format settings are only there for resolutions which can use either 4:3 or 16:9 output.

    brynstar on
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    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • EinEin CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    After messing with it for a while, the best I seem to be getting is 1280x1024 in widescreen. 1920x1080 just stretches horizontally off the screen, and despite my best efforts I don't seem to be able to reign it in as it doesn't give me screen formatting options. Searching around on the net isn't very productive, as I've spent a while digging around and haven't found anything indicative of a solution. I was honestly hoping I could just black bar the resolution into working, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to with my monitor.

    Still, I guess it's an improvement over standard def tv.

    Ein on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    After messing with it for a while, the best I seem to be getting is 1280x1024 in widescreen. 1920x1080 just stretches horizontally off the screen, and despite my best efforts I don't seem to be able to reign it in as it doesn't give me screen formatting options. Searching around on the net isn't very productive, as I've spent a while digging around and haven't found anything indicative of a solution. I'd appreciate any help.

    Again, as I just mentioned, you can't set screen formatting for 1920 x 1080. You'll have to play around with your monitor if it's not scaling right. It could also be possible that your monitor doesn't support that mode over VGA, though given its cost and quality it's probably not the case.

    Does your monitor have any sort of scaling options? You want to set it to something like 1:1 or Wide mode, if that at all sounds familiar.

    brynstar on
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    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
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