Non HD 360 looks pretty bad

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by artois, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. artois

    artois
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    Hey,

    I'm just back from the 360 hour show in glasgow and I have to say that I was impressed but not astonished by the new system.

    One worrying thing though is the whole Hi definition subject.

    I was playing NFS most wanted in my first half hour session and thought it looked gorgeous. I went back in for session 2 and was puzzeled as to why it looked so bad, I looked at the machine next to mine and sure enough the picture was superb.

    I asked the guy what the difference was and he said that the hd cable on the machine I was now using was broken and it was just displaying at 480p.

    I was really worried when I noticed the difference. Its unreall when you actually see them side by side. There were 2 hi def versions playing on either side of me and this just looked terrrible.

    I have a vga output on my plasma acreen and although its native resolution is not Hi definition, it does support both 1024x768 and 1280x1024. If i try any other resolution between these the signal just drops out back to 640x480.

    I have heard that the 360 will have be able to scale numerous resoulutions so does anyone know if my plasma will be able to take the 720p signal as I know that it accepts the slightly higher 1280x1024.

    On a more positive note though, all you lucky folk out there who are HD ready are in for a real treat. Best graphics at the show would have to go to King Kong, all though there wasnt particularly anything there that stood up and shouted, I am a next generation game.

    If you have a better idea about how the whole resolution thing will work with this resolution I would really appreciate putting my mind at rest as I cant afford to upgrade to HD yet and to be honest, playing at 480p after seeing the console in action doesnt quite cut it.
     
  2. mal60908

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    I play xbox at 480p and you do notice the jaggies.
    It might be better when the game is finished as it may not have been running full screen AA, standard def will probably look worse on a HD screen than a SD screen anyway.
     
  3. Colgate7110

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    Artois, I wouldn't worry too much - I think you're just suffering from the fact that you saw so it running in HD then SD and HD side-by-side. I'm sure if your first and only impression had been of the game in SD it would have been fine! I don't think 360 games will necessarily look bad in SD - MS can't expect everyone to have an HD set on day one - but it obviously looks better when viewed at 720P. I'm in the non-HD boat just now as well and while I'm not expecting to get the visuals the system is fully capable of, I'm not expecting to see anything worse than what we currently get.

    We don't know exactly what the final supported resolutions of the 360 will definitely be, but a screenshot in the FAQ definitely shows it supporting both 1024*768 and 1280*1024 over VGA so you should be fine assuming you use that connection.

    As for your comment about nothing screaming out as being next gen, I know what you mean. I think we're passed the point now where the leap between generations at launch is so obvious. The Spectrum to the Amiga was huge, the SNES to the N64 saw the shift from 2D to 3D and changed platform games overnight and PlayStation came along and decided that everything should be 3D whether a genre fitted it or not... Now 3D graphics are at a point where the effort needed to move them on is so unbelievably massive in terms of hardware complexity and asset creation that for us to see the next level of realism, we've probably got a long, long wait ahead of us.

    All that being said, I think the improvements in this coming generation are more subtle than straight visuals and I think that's what was lost on us during our brief session at the 360 Hour Tour - improvements in game design (rather than just visual design), more realistic environments through attention to real-world behaviours rather than increased textures, better animation if not necessarily more detailed characters, more convincing soundscapes etc.

    I'd suggest that games technology advancements are more evolutionary than revolutionary these days, i.e. every console gets progressively more impressive games as it moves along its lifecycle until the final wave of games are so superior to the first wave that you'd struggle to think it was the same platform. As each generation of hardware improves, the gap between the last wave on the previous generation of hardware and what's seen in the first wave of titles on the next generation now diminishes. We're not going to see a shift of the scale of, say, a plumber running along a 2D screen to a fully textured 3D dinosaur again for a while. It doesn't help when Sony band about stunning yet ludicrously non-realtime videos such as the "PS3" Killzone and Motorstorm videos...

    Now, the 360 games a year from now or even two years from now? They might be something really special :)

    Cheers,

    Colin

    EDIT: I had a look at NFSMW and thought it looked a bit naff actually :) Unless I saw it running at SD too on the Saturday, it had awful framerate issues and asides from a more realistic colour palette (i.e. gritty and dull), I thought it was one of the weaker games on show!
     
  4. artois

    artois
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    I totally agree Colin, I guess the HD just looked superior when next to the standard screen, Supposedly it was at 90% complete which was a bit worrying though.
     
  5. Zacabeb

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    If the HD cable was broken, they may have reverted to composite video and 480i output, letting the display decode and upscale it the best it could. I can't see how they could revert to 480p component in place of 720p if the cable was faulty.

    The video scaler/encoder of the Xbox 360 is probably an evolution of the Xcalibur video scaler/encoder for the current Xbox, which was in many ways an improvement over the off-the-shelf chips used before it. Those were designed to output PC desktop graphics and not games, meaning they employed very aggressive filtering.

    Worst of all, for SCART output they would pick up the RGB signal after it had passed through the filters required for composite output, brutally decimating resolution and color definition. Since the Xcalibur was custom made for the Xbox, it didn't suffer from this problem. It also had a more appropriate degree of flicker filtering.

    I doubt the video output of the Xbox 360 will fall short of the original Xbox even when using standard definition, but composite video will always be rubbish, if that's what they were using after the HD cable broke.
     
  6. Colgate7110

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    That makes perfect sense Zacabeb - the HD AV cable has the composite connector built in too so it's the most likely fall back. Wow, composite images just shy of 2006? :)
     
  7. Scotty306

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    A friend of mine is running his nice new slimline ps2 on an RF convertor because his TV hasn't got scarts.

    He gets very confused looking at all my red,green & blue connections :D
     
  8. DanH

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    It also doesnt help that the 480i signal was then being upscaled to the Samsungs native res, (1366x768? not sure on the 23" model) which will make that composite signal even worse.
    Those without HD ready displays wont have the same issue of upscaling, and wouldnt use the composite either, so it should look alot better in theory.
     
  9. artois

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    Thanks for clearing that up, you guys sound like you know what your talking about. What cable should a NON HD TV owner use to get the best out of their xbox 360.

    I have just discovered that my panel has a native res of 853x480 and supports 480p. What cable do you recommend I use. I was gonna get the vga??
     
  10. ChrisAllenFiz

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    The stock component cable that ships with the non-core will be just as good as VGA at 480P
     
  11. artois

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    Thanks for the info,
     
  12. mal60908

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    PS2 owner - say no more :D
     
  13. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    To be honest I think that it's a terrible waste playing 360 on a SD set as the picture is just so much better on my normal X-Box when I knock it up from 480p to 720p. I guess if you avoid seeing the 360 running in 720p anywhere then you may be able to cope with the 480p image but the difference is quite staggering.

    I guess if I had the choice of playing the 360 on an SD set or not at all then i'd still go for the SD set option but the way I see it is that you are missing out a lot on the 360 experience without a HD set.

    I've not actually seen the 360 running in SD though and am just using the original X-Box as the source of my views.
     
  14. Colgate7110

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    True CAS, but it's probably pretty safe to say that those of us playing a 360 on an SD set aren't really doing that through choice :(
     
  15. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Indeed Colin and as stated I would still chose to go 360 even if I didn't have HD. I guess i'm in a similar boat with my sound as I still have a lousy DPL system in my games room and really need a 5.1 set up but am struggling to find the pennies at the moment. The only way i'm able to afford a 360 is because i'm getting cash for my B'day, have sold my Gamecube and games to my bro and have sold my old K700i phone. I've still got my arcade cab and am tempted to sell that to try and raise funds for a decent sound system.
     
  16. Kopite4Ever

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    :eek: CAS a lovely Z3 720P display and still in the stone age of DPL :eek: even if its a total low end setup id still have to go with :dd: 5.1. with the 'higher definition' of sound from the next gen consoles your doing it a dis-service by having 720p visuals and DPL :smashin:
     
  17. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    I've got a lovely 5.1 set up down stairs but that's connected to the 32" 16:9 CRT :( . I'm left with my consoles going through my old technics hi fi in DPL upstairs and it's crap to be honest. I really need to invest in a 5.1 set up in the office/games room, especially with the 360 coming as it will detract a lot from the experience if I don't.
     
  18. PioRow

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    Surely everyone here has at least a 17" monitor? Use this to run your xbox in hi def, buy the vga cable.
     
  19. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Indeed, i'm hoping to have the 360 set up to my Z3 PJ and my 21" PC monitor so that I can just swap leads depending on what I want to play on. I'm not sure if i'd dabble on a 15"-17" monitor as the picture would be pretty small but 19" or above should be pretty good. :thumbsup:
     
  20. Colgate7110

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    I'm not sure it's worth the effort PioRow - after seeing the 360 running on 23" HD displays at the 360 Hour Tour, I wasn't that blown away by the image. It's not that it was a bad image - I just think the HD benefits will become more pronounced as the image is scaled up to a larger screen. Given the choice of playing PGR3 on a SD 32" CRT with a 5.1 system on a comfy sofa versus playing it in stereo on a 19" TFT in HD at my PC chair, I reckon I'll take the SD option :smashin:

    I suppose it depends on what sort of screen people are hooking it up to. If you're running a "portable" TV (hate that term - how often do you lug a 14-17" screen around???) then a CRT/TFT monitor is a great option. I'd suggest that you'd get a more immersive experience out of a 28"+ widescreen TV however than a 17" monitor although that's purely my opinion. I suppose in CAS's case as a projector owner, it makes sense to have the monitor as a backup option.

    As for your surround sound "deficiencies" CAS, it's hard to feel sympathy for the man with the 100" Pro Evo pitch stretched out in front of him ;) :devil:
     
  21. artois

    artois
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    You do have a point there, I have a 42" plasma (Non HD) and theres no way i'll be plugging my 360 into my 17" lcd to play PGR3 after experiencing Forza on this scale. I do get 480p which is techniically HD I suppose but I have never seen it running with games to know if there is any difference between that and standard tv res.
     
  22. booth1976

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    Yep, got my gamecube going into my Sammy 26inch LCD via scart-in, and my Xbox going in through component (480p) and it's a massive amount of difference in quality. Xbox looks pretty good - some games look amazing. Gamecube is almost unplayable yet on my old Wharfedale 28 inch CRT telly the gamecube looks pretty damn good through scart - almost no difference from my Xbox. If you put an interlaced SD feed via composite into a HD display device, chances are it's gonna look awful because it's upscaling it, so adding information and because the picture is crystal clear you see all the flaws and artifacts in it. An SD display will be more forgiving because you are seeing less because the picture isn't as clear.

    So I'm sure people still in SD land will be fine running an Xbox360 via scart through their old CRT tellys (interlaced).
     
  23. artois

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    Good news all round then :clap: :clap:
     
  24. emporer

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    well, as i have a lurvly 42pv500 then i'll be doing the 360 in hi def :thumbsup:

    after experiencing all things hi def from my linktheater and my old xbox then anything else just ain't enough for me
     
  25. Monty Burns

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    So ... and im a n00b to hidef ...

    I have a projector that supports up to 1080i (component) or 1280*1024 (vga), which one should I use on the x360?

    (assume all modes above are supported/used)


    Cheers!
     
  26. gavan

    gavan
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    Of course not - because at the end of the day, all the new system is going to offer most people is slightly prettier graphics. It really is being overhyped here.

    Over the long term the increased power should offer new possibilities to developers and I'm sure that in time we will see some great games that would just never have been possible to satisfactorily do on the XBox, but it's just not the sort of leap that the Playstation was over the SNES. Think of it more like Dreamcast->Xbox. A nice improvement, but nothing mindblowing.

    Hi-Def support is the one thing that is going to make the next-gen boxes worth having ... but only for those of us with HD capable sets. Which means that the vast majority of households out there aren't going to see much return in spending around 300 quid on a new games console when they probably have a PS2 and an old Nintendo knocking about anyway.

    IMO, MS are killing off the XBox too early but I can see how they don't want to be late to market again like they were with the original Xbox, giving the competition an unassailable lead....


    Gav
     
  27. Trist

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    That's what I'm planning to do… my monitor is only 17" it probably isn't worth it.

    I haven't ordered a SCART for the Xbox 360 yet. Do you think there's a difference between the…
    Joytech XBox 360 Digital AV SCART Cable [£11.99]
    http://www.play.com/play247.asp?pa=genbrw&page=title&r=X360&title=741482

    And the

    Official XBox 360 Advanced AV Pack [£17.99]
    http://www.play.com/play247.asp?pa=genbrw&page=title&r=X360&title=719755
     
  28. gavan

    gavan
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    If I wanted to do that, I'd be playing PC games which (on a good system) are already running in resolutions greater than HiDef and with fantastic amounts of polygons.

    For me, the whole point of having a console is to kick back in front of a big screen (or projector) on a comfy seat. It's the same reason I wouldn't consider watching DVDs on my PC.


    Gav
     
  29. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    True, but sound does make a great difference to the gaming experience and I sometimes hook up the X-Box downstairs to my 32" CRT just so I can enjoy the benefits of 5.1. I personally would rather have better visuals than sound if I had to choose (which I guess I have as I couldn't afford a PJ and 5.1. system) but sound is highly important in a game.

    To make you feel a bit better, I have no sofa to longe back on upstairs either and have to make do with gaming on my leather office chair which isn't the most comfortable option. See, I go to great pains for my 100" Pro Evo pitch :D /
     
  30. Trist

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    :eek:
     

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