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So you think you want Hi Def on your xbox? (Hi definition)

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by thebigkung, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    Hi all,

    There seems to be a lot of threads/articles covering this topic but as none have been made sticky or are easy to read I decided to write a guide summarising the things, if’s and but’s to setting up Hi def from an XBOX from my own experience and others on the forum. I hope you find it useful.

    The Xbox is built to cater for the different TV and video requirements that are used in different regions of the world.
    In the UK we use PAL (Phase Alternating Line). In the USA/Japan they use NTSC (National Television System Committee)

    In it’s USA/Japan configuration the Xbox can take advantage of the HDTV (High Definition TeleVision) options that were becoming available to TV broadcasters in the USA at the time of it’s manufacture. As Europe had no agreed standards for HDTV, Microsoft only catered for the current PAL ‘low res’ standard.

    As more and more manufactures are building in global compatibility into their VDU’s (TV’s, plasma’s…etc) we are no-longer restricted to using the PAL output of the Xbox. We can switch it to the USA/Japan configuration to get at the Hi Definition options.

    Here are the requirements:

    1.
    A European/UK (PAL) Xbox that has been Hardware modded.

    This means an Xbox that has been sourced in the UK that has then had a hardware modification (usually by way of a micro chip being added to the circuit board) to enable Xbox games from other sources, e.g., USA and Japan (and others!) to run on the system.
    or
    A European/UK (PAL) Xbox that has had a Software hack applied to it.

    This means an Xbox that has been sourced in the UK that has then gone through a few steps that lets you exploit a loophole in the Xbox programming to allow you to bypass the region checking part of the code and also allow you to run and install non certified software.

    [Instructions can be found here http://www.sbeyer.netfirms.com/gouki/part1.html
    or
    A USA/(JAP) (NTSC) Xbox that has had the power supply adapted to run at UK voltage. This Xbox will run USA/(JAP) Xbox games only.

    2.
    A CD/software that will change the video output from PAL to NTSC (Enigma video switcher). This is sourced from the web.

    3.
    A set of Xbox Hi Def component leads

    Usually Microsoft’s own Hi def Pack available from
    www.lik-sang.com
    www.dvdboxoffice.com
    www.mx2.co.uk

    This lead connects to the Xbox and gives you component out connections, Stereo Phono audio out or, with an additional lead full optical Audio out enabling signals to 5.1surrond sound.

    Although I have head others use the Gamester hi-def pack, but have heard that the picture quality is not as good (ghosting) when using the component output at the higher resolutions.

    NOTE: the is not a UK Hi Def pack from Microsoft. You have to get e US or JAP sourced product.

    4.
    A VDU that will sync to the different output signals.
    (I do not cover the compatibility of different monitors, plasmas, projectors and TV’s as it is out of scope of this document.

    Here is what you have to do.

    a. Switch your Xbox signal output from PAL to NTSC (if needed)
    b. Power on the Xbox without a cd/dvd (this will get you to the ‘Dashboard’, the green screens!)
    c. Enter the date and time if needed, go to settings and video. Choose the type of screen you have, eg 4:3 or letterbox or widescreen and set the resolution 480p, 720p, 1080i to the desired settings. NOTE: unless you have a High Def lead attached, you will not get the resolution options.


    Please let me know if you think anything needs to be adding or amending that will enhance this document. Thank you.


    Small print!
    This information is supplied without malice or warranty and I or others mentioned takes no responsibility for any actions resulting. There is no guarantee of accuracy of this information. Use at own risk.

    Regards,


    thebigkung
     
  2. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    Here are some FQA that I have compiled.

    Q. I only have UK (PAL) games will they output Hi Def?

    A. Yes, but as no PAL game is written to take advantage of the Hi Def options 720p and 1080i PAL games will only play at the lowest res of 480p if the Xbox output is NTSC and 480i if set to PAL. This is still far superior than using the standard PAL output.

    Q. I only have UK (PAL) games will they all work then the Xbox is set to NTSC?

    A. No. Not ALL games will work, although it has been reported that the majority will. It’s just trial and error at them moment.

    Q. Do all games output at the higher definition of 720p and 1080i?

    A. No. Only US/JAP games that have been written to use the higher resolutions. One reference sight for Hi Def games is listed below.

    http://www.hdtvpub.com/productdb/games/index.cfm?platform=xbox

    Q. What does the is the ‘p’ and ‘i’ stand for at the end of the resolution number. E.g. 480p?

    A. I = Interlace. P= Progressive scan. Progressive scan will reduce a more stable picture than Interlace at the same resolution.

    Q. Can I use Xbox Live on a Hardware modded Xbox?

    A. No. Unless you can turn off the mod you will likely get banned.

    Q. Can I use Xbox Live on a Software modded Xbox?

    A. Possible? Some people say they can, some get banned.

    Q. How can I use Xbox Live in high res (I can turn off the mod chip)?

    A. Stitch to NTSC setup Hi Def settings. Turn off the mod chip. Insert Xbox Live game and join.

    Q. I have set my Xbox to NTSC but I cannot find the Hi def options in the menus?

    A. The options only appear when you have the Xbox switched to NTSC AND have the Hi Def pack (lead) attached.
     
  3. DJW

    DJW
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  4. english_bob

    english_bob
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  5. Rob20

    Rob20
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    The link doesn't seem to work. How do you get hi-def without a hardware mod?
     
  6. english_bob

    english_bob
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  7. zedzed

    zedzed
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    Quick question - when outputting xbox to a plasma (480i) it automatically "upgrades" the signal to 480p (as plasmas can't display interlaced signals!). Is the picture that you get from a modded xbox outputting 480p better than what you would get by just letting the plasma do the up conversion? (plasma in question will be a panny PW6 or 7)

    ZZ
     
  8. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    DJW666,

    Sorry, not sure, I can't commit on that one as I have only used the MS Hi Def one. From what I can tell of this lead is that it dosn't have an optical connection so you won't get 5.1 surround output.

    English_bob,

    I do mention that you don't need a hardware mod and there is a working link to instructions. :rtfm: :hiya:

    Zedzed,

    That'll be subjective, as to how better or worse a job the xbox does of encoding progressive scan. I would think to your eye that you wouldn't notice the difference.
     
  9. AML

    AML
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    There is one other simple alternative.
    Buy a US or Jap XBox!

    Personaly I got a US machine since the software available in Japan is poor.

    No need to spend extra money modding your machine.

    Works right out of the box.

    Only problem is you have to buy all US games.
     
  10. pmccurdy

    pmccurdy
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    So since only US games support higher than 480p - I dont suppose there are any shops around the UK (london specifically) that sell these or online is the only place?

    Also, will playing DVD's, output progressive at high res?
     
  11. english_bob

    english_bob
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    Not true, if the games supports PAL60 (i.e. actually outputs a PAL60 signal, like Burnout 3, PGR2 etc) then it will run in the hi def modes.
     
  12. english_bob

    english_bob
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    I was'nt trying to steal your thunder, just offering another link with a proven way to do the softmod. Calm down
     
  13. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    English_bob,

    No problem. I'm cool. :cool:
     
  14. Dextur

    Dextur
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    Nice work thebigkung
     
  15. Dextur

    Dextur
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    ps can anyone recommend a good site for US games
     
  16. english_bob

    english_bob
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  17. Only777

    Only777
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    If Plasmas and LCDs work the same then I'd say yes. On interlaced my xbox looks blurry and leaves trails on my LCD telly but on progressive it's razor sharp.

    The colours are also better on xbox component compared to RGB
     
  18. jasonl

    jasonl
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    i would suppose that outputting the game in 480p and displaying it in a plasma (progressive) would be better than outputting the game in 480i and letting the plasma de-interlace the signal....afaik in the full hi-def setup, there will be no deinterlacing involved as everything is processed progressively

    now the difference on what you would actually see on your display comparing the two will be subjective though

    hth
     
  19. LiquidTV

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  20. eugdog2

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    There are loads of sites that supply mod chips but how do get DVD to switch from PAL to NTSC
     
  21. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    I don't know if this will help but here is what I get using the Hi def kit on my Plasma which is Hidef compatible.

    The the HiDef pack connected to the xbox and xbox set to Pal.

    Option to run Pal 50 (xbox setting 'no' pal 60) or Pal 60.

    Running Pal 50 and Pal game Display sets to 625i (575i)
    Running Pal 60 and Pal game Display sets to 525i (480i)

    Running Pal 50 and NTSC game Display sets to 625i (575i)
    Running Pal 50 and NTSC game Display sets to 525i (480i)

    The the HiDef pack connected to the xbox and xbox set to NTSC with
    480p, 720p and 1080i options set to Yes

    Running Pal game Display sets to 525p (480p)
    Running NTSC game Display sets to 525p (480p)

    Running NTSC game that is 720p compatible Display sets to 750p (720p)
    Running NTSC game that is 1080i compatible Display sets to 1125i (1080i)

    Hi res games used. Soul Calibur II - Fantastic quality graphics at 720p, but it does not run in widescreen.

    Dragons Lair 3D - Crap game - Super Hi res 1080i

    True Crimes - Streets of LA - Fantastic graphics in 720p but driving seems slower.

    Syberia - Again superb graphics at 720p but screen is shrunk. Cut sceens are full screen but lower res.

    Pal games used. Outrun2, Dance uk.

    All pictures when run in NTSC mode were noticeably better than when the xbox was set to Pal.

    Have fun

    thebigkung
     
  22. thfccambs

    thfccambs
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    thebigkung,
    thanks for all that info,just ordered my leads can't wait to get my x-box running in HDTV.
     
  23. djsat2

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    Does anybody know if the PAL version of Halo2 will have hi-def modes built in or will i need to buy a US version to get the best picture?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  24. mark88

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    "2. A CD/software that will change the video output from PAL to NTSC (Enigma video switcher). This is sourced from the web."

    If you have a modded xbox, do you still need this "CD/software"?
     
  25. thebigkung

    thebigkung
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    Mark88,

    Unless your mod changes the dashboard enabling you to switch your Xbox to NTSC output.

    The steps you are going through are all about switching your Xbox from a Pal output to an NTSC output. It is this that allows HiDef output.

    The mod just plays the part in that it allows you to run software (utilities, tools, etc) other than just playing a PAL xbox game.

    Whether you run US ot UK games is not relevant to getting the Xbox to ouput Hi def, it's just another advantage of having a mod.
     
  26. notonmyxbox

    notonmyxbox
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    Can anyone help with getting the Enigmah disc? Got the iso but Nero won't burn it to a DVD (keeps asking for a CD/RW) - burnt it to a CD/RW but my xbox isn't having any of it?

    Also this sounds a lot easier than the soft mod with the copy of Splinter Cell etc - am I missing something? Do they not do the same thing?
     
  27. Waynej

    Waynej
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    My Xbox is running UnleasX and have XBMC working fine. Going over some of the points raised earlier and I would appreciate it if someone could just help me out with the parts I am unsure about.

    1.
    A European/UK (PAL) Xbox that has been Hardware modded.
    or
    A European/UK (PAL) Xbox that has had a Software hack applied to it.
    Check! My console is soft modded!

    2.
    A CD/software that will change the video output from PAL to NTSC (Enigma video switcher).
    Not Checked! Don't understand, can you not just set to 720p from the dashboard with mod and component lead connected?

    3.
    A set of Xbox Hi Def component leads
    Not Checked! Will need to buy this cable, but would like someone to reply about Question 2.

    4.
    A VDU that will sync to the different output signals.
    Just ordered the Hyundai A321, though I don't think it does NTSC.
    The following is from scan.co.uk's site of my TV:
    TV-Function
    • Tuner: 1x Analog
    • jTV System: PAL B/G, D/K,j I,SECAMj B/G, L
    • RF Signal: VHF, UHF, CATV
    • Color System:j PAL/SECAM

    Can the Xbox still do HD with that, with either the US or Jap component lead?


    Thanks.

    Wayne
     
  28. John

    John
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    Its a 2 year old thread , probably written before softmod hi def was widely accepted , I burned an iso with Nero when I hard modded my xbox to enable Enigma .

    John
     
  29. Waynej

    Waynej
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    lol oh sh!t, didn't notice it was old with it being at the top.

    I'm pretty sure in the Unleash X and XBMC video settings I have the option for NTSC. So I'd imagine I won't have any problems for using XBMC in hi-def, which is what I want it for.

    I'm assuming the only benefit this Enigmah thing would give me is being able to turn NTSC on at the main GREEN dashboard with the component cable connected - Thats assuming that if the component cable is connected and that it WON'T let you alter the HD settings on PAL Xbox; am I correct in thinking that?

    Also, as I may want to play the odd HD supported game, as it might not work on my 360 - Where can I get this Enigmah switch and how much is it?

    Do I have to mod(open) my console to install it? :suicide:
     
  30. sc1977

    sc1977
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    ive got a chipped xbox (xecuter2.6) and ive just ordered an official xbox hi def kit are you saying this will not work for me?
     

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