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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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  • by ilsie ( 227381 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:19AM (#4373294)
    If you want to get your TV perfectly calibrated, hire a professional. Second best thing to do is pick up Avia's Video Essentials []. I would definitely take this "guide" with a grain of salt. They gloss over one of the most important issues of video calibration, which is that you have to calibrate it with the amount of ambient light that would normally be present with normal usage.

    Also, they could HEAR the difference between two different TOSLINK cables? Gimme a break. Sounds like a sponsored ad for Monster cable, whom audiophiles know is a rip-off anyways.
  • by delay ( 134063 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:35AM (#4373414)
    In the past I also believed that I could improve my VCR's image quality by using chinch or scart instead of the antenna-cable. It appears to be common knowledge that by using better cables the image quality improves. However that is just the theory. I read an article where a german electronics-magazine (was it "Video"?) really checked the signal's quality using all kinds of cables. They let both human testers rate the quality, and they also checked it with expensive gadgets. The result was surprising: Neighter the human testers, nor the devices would see any difference. The quality was the same, so matter whether they used the antenna-input, chinch, scart or even rgb-cables.

    I believe that the "screenshots" in this article are fake. A little blur in Photoshop helps them to sell their expenisive cables.

    There's a real cult around expensive cables, especially amoung the audiophile croud. It's simply ridiciculous that some people who have a 5000$ stereo spend 1000$ on the cables. There is no difference in sound. A copper-cable's resistance is the same, no matter wheter you payed 20$ or 300$ for the cable.

    Please slashdoters. Don't believe that crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:46AM (#4373471)
    The result was surprising: Neighter the human testers, nor the devices would see any difference.

    I can tell you that the difference between RCA and RGB SCART is pronounced and very, very clear. Even on my old 14" portable its imediatly obvious when I switch between the two.

    As it happens my Cable TV box can be switched between Composite and RGB outputs (SCART has seperate lines for each, no problems). Composite output removes the snowing and ghosting interference you can get with RCA, but the colour is about the same. However, when you switch between Composite and RGB....the colours are cleaner, sharper and brighter. Edges are well defined. There is no colour smearing. The picture is steady.

    In conclusion : RCA sucks. Composite sucks too. RGB SCART kicks your Composite ass from here to next Tuesday, steals your lunch money and throws your gym kit over the fence. Its that good.
  • Re:ad for monster (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Boone^ ( 151057 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @10:58AM (#4373539)
    There's a guy here who's incredibly proud of the fact that he's "had to" spend $150 on cables to connect his bp2002 fronts. He claims that with cheap $75 cables he wouldn't be getting the same sound quality and he'd be wasting his speakers.

    Nothing irks me more than people who believe that the money:quality ratio is constant. It just isn't always the case... for instance, based on pure horsepower, I'd take my $700 AMD box over a $1500 Mac.
  • Nifty S-Video trick (Score:3, Interesting)

    by droopus ( 33472 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @11:01AM (#4373552)
    Ok, we know S-Video is better: I use it from the HP P3 500 (movie box) I have behind my big screen to the TV's S-Video input.

    But buy S-Video cables? Hey they are 'spensive. But there's a great substitute, and you probably have one in your basement right now.

    Old-style Mac ADB (printer/modem) cables are perfect as S-Video cables: same pin arrangement. (Sound of 5,000 /.'ers running for the box o' old cables in the basement)

    Funny that in my house, a PC is connected to a Toshiba projection screen via an old Mac cable. B) Yep, Apple just keeps on giving.
  • filtering.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @11:48AM (#4373856) Homepage Journal
    could have done something to it.. the zoomed images are a bit sketchy, and come on, tv card in for video comparision? come on, besides, if he's using tv-card for playing console games he would be using dscaler and it's filters if he had brains.

    the article just boils down to this: "svideo is better than composite". now really, IS THIS A GUIDE???

    where's RGB??

    and some better guide would have mentioned things like getting a vga adapter or rgb connectors where possible..(dreamcast has some vga thingy at least)
  • Rabbit Ears (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @12:08PM (#4373999)
    What about those of us with rabbit ears and bow-tie connected to the two screws? I ain't runnin' out to get a fancy new TV just to get an "rf connector", when my TV still works!
  • Re:ad for monster (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dododge ( 127618 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @12:58PM (#4374387)
    There's a guy here who's incredibly proud of the fact that he's "had to" spend $150 on cables to connect his bp2002 fronts. He claims that with cheap $75 cables he wouldn't be getting the same sound quality and he'd be wasting his speakers.

    Bah, $150 is chump change. If he just wants some expensive cables, he can get a pair of Opus MM [] speaker cables for around $23K. And don't forget the $1000 power cables [] for each component. Not to mention high-end power outlets and/or regenerators. You mean your outlets use steel screws to connect to house wiring instead of brass? Ha! They're useless! :-)

    And this isn't even close to being the absurd stuff. This guy [] sells a pen that he claims will improve the sound quality of CDs by writing affirmative messages on their jacket covers. I have seen audiophile discussion boards where making fun of such products will get you flamed; "how can you say it doesn't work if you haven't tried it"?

    Nothing irks me more than people who believe that the money:quality ratio is constant.

    I generally just build my own cables these days. For example I've found Belden 8281 (a 75ohm coax normally used to wire broadcast studios) for as little as $0.10/foot from folks who just want to get excess spools out of their warehouse. The tools and terminators easily end up being more expensive than the cable itself. I've also tried a few more exotic things like DIY braided power cords, which did reduce a ground loop I was having at the time but are mostly just a fun project even if they don't make a noticable improvement.

  • Composite CGA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @01:01PM (#4374419) Homepage
    About the cheapest image upgrade you can do, if you don't mind a small image, is almost any composite CGA monitor. The image quality is much higher than almost any non-HDTV TV set.
  • Tron (Score:3, Interesting)

    by interstellar_donkey ( 200782 ) <pathighgate@hotm ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @04:58PM (#4376494) Homepage Journal
    I was pleasently surprise to discover one of the bonus features on the Tron DVD was a pretty comprehensive utility that you can run through to improve the image quality on your TV.

    From what I understand, a good portion of poor image quality has to do with improper television settings. After I ran through that utility, the picture quality on my TV was dramatically improved.

    I wonder why more DVDs don't do this, or even video game consols. It just seems like such a good idea to improve the quality of the experience.

  • This is what I use: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits ( 437 ) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @08:35PM (#4377935) Homepage

    My setup [] that I have made a year ago, is relatively cheap (the only non-computer expensive component is Proxima Ovation, an old LCD projection panel) and nice enough to displace a TV from my living room. Original version used composite video from PS2 to the TV capture board instead of S-Video, and image quality was pretty terrible. VCR's tuner happened to be better than one built into the capture board, and I didn't care much for improving audio quality beyond a reasonable level, so audio goes through rather cheap components.

    LCD panel, projector and PC produce more noise than what I would prefer, and adjusting image on a projector was a pain in the neck (Proxima's bit depth sucks), but in the end image quality ended up being far superior to a TV. I have found out that in this configuration xawtv works better with Xv disabled, and many games look terrible if blown to a full 1024x768 screen, so I keep them at the NTSC resolution. DVDs are played with Ogle on a computer.

    Proxima Ovation has S-Video and composite inputs, however the scaling algorithm that it uses for them, is absolutely horrible.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.