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Games Entertainment

Console Image Quality Guide 269

Jakub writes "We've posted a comprehensive guide on how to improve your console's image quality. It covers everything from the various connectors through cables to fine-tuning by modifying sharpness and brightness. Though the article uses the prolific PlayStation 2 as an example, it applies equally well to all video devices."
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Console Image Quality Guide

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  • ad for monster (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lubricated ( 49106 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .plahcim.> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:06AM (#4373195)
    This really isn't about improving your image quality. This article is one giant add for monster cable. When you buy monster cable you not only pay for cable you also pay for advertising. There are other good cables out there.
  • by papasui ( 567265 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:29AM (#4373371) Homepage
    I like a little bit of a less than perfect image on my tv because it gives it a little bit of an antialiased look smoothing out some of the blocky edges that you get when you tweak everything. Sure a nice sharp image is great for 2D stuff but just the little bit of blur looks nice for 3D.
  • Useless article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by a3d0a3m ( 306585 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:31AM (#4373380) Homepage
    Ok, here's what the article says in 1 paragraph as opposed to their >5 pages. Use A/V cables over RF, use S-Video over A/V, and use Component over S-Video. Also buy a monster cable if you can justify the expense to your wife/parents. Then, turn down the contrast and sharpness on your TV and PS2 because they do nothing to add to the image. The end. Was any of this a no-brainer to you? It all was for me.
  • Re:ad for monster (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AnimalSnf ( 149118 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:54AM (#4373507)
    I think the author of the article, Alan Dang, misspelled his name. It seems Dung fits him much better since it's also the quality of his article. Couple of points:

    (1) Not a SINGLE comparison is between the same kind of cable. Every single comparison is between the regular RCA and Monster S-Video cable. What's next, comparing an optical cable with RCA?

    (2) The article is completely devoid of any facts other than some really slowly loading screenshots.

    (3) You need a monster cable like you need a lobotomy. Not only do many other cables found in big chain stores are just as good, remember this if you are actually considering buying one: That $20 cable costs about $2 to make, which might explain why other cables sell for so much less.
  • by Godeke ( 32895 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @11:12AM (#4373636)
    Have to agree with you there - if you are concerned about "image quality", console gaming isn't probably where you want to be in the first place. The games are hard wired for an resolution that was last popular in gaming during the 486-early pentium era, and when you buy a modern PC with a modern video card (said video card costing 150% of an entire console, admittedly) you can have "image quality" that console gamers don't even *know they could* dream about.

    (That said, I still play console games because they aren't in my home office, making it *appear* I'm not at the same computer activity I was at for the previous 12 hours working... obsessive compulsiveness I guess.)
  • Cable hype (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dswan69 ( 317119 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @12:41PM (#4374241)
    From the article:
    Designing speaker and video cable takes a lot of science

    This certainly isn't true when it comes to speaker cable - the audio cable industry would impress even PT Barnum, I'm sure he didn't realise just what suckers people are.

    And note the distinct lack of any actual scientific testing of the cable and no comparison amongst S-Video cables. You'll see the same thing in audiophile magazines in their so-called cable reviews. If we're going to use subjective tests then I can say that the picture I get with my cheap S-video cable looks just like the one they're getting with the Monster Cable.

    Reality is that any decent quality cable will give you the same results as a cable that costs thousands of dollars. And when it comes to speaker cable decent grade lamp flex will equal any cable out there unless you happen to have your speakers at least 50m from your amp (differences are only really even significantly measurable at around 100m and up).
  • by JoshMKiV ( 548790 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @01:17PM (#4374561) Homepage Journal
    The article states that "...many Xbox games are in HDTV and progressive scan", and then goes on to put down PS2 and Gamecube because of their lack of such games. However, no HDTV games exist for Xbox. Yes, they have some in 480p, and several in 16:9, but no 720p or 1080i games. TestDrive was rumored to be 1080i, but lets face it, that box is going to have problems pushing that res and a respectable frame rate. On paper it may be possible, but we have yet to see it. The article unfairly puts down PS2 and GC. Cheers, Josh
  • Transducers aren't really everything. Of course, in the case of ear-bud headphones they are, but usually you've got at least mixer, an amp, a power supply, and a variety of filters (including a microphone) between yourself and the sound source.

    Any and all of these WILL add noise to the signal, and they will all almost always cause slight nonlinear filtering effects. So buying more expensive versions of these things are justified, as the more expensive versions can take care of these problems. Cables, however, are just plain linear resistors; they don't really do much to the sound at all - at least not at first.

    As far as the half a mile thing, like I said, the effect is supposed to be very, very slight. Apparently there's a latency issue with low frequencies that can cause some phase shift. This effect is supposedly discernable at no less than half a mile.

    Fortunately for sound, phase is not really important - or rather, the only important thing is that everything is in phase. There are now digital devices that can realign the phase after a very long signal transfer.

    Note that this effect (phase shifting) will have the following results:
    1) Everything will sound a little quieter than it would have otherwise
    2) Instruments with very different ranges (such as Piccolo and Tuba) will not blend as well.

    Note that phasing is a common side-effect from nearly every sound system component.

    Phase effects are also canceled by reflection - that is, when they hit a wall and bounce off, or something like that. Also, if you've got enough sound sources, the amount of phasing due to this effect should be miniscule compared to the natural amount. Don't bother with worrying about this if you are using it to listen to rock music. You won't know the difference.

    Now I'm STILL not sure I buy the fact that cables produce nonlinear phase-shifting, but it does seem possible. Like most people, however, I run a max of about 100' of cable to my speakers, so I don't EVER have to worry about those effects (and I don't get to check and see if the cable people are lying about that, too).

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer