Joytech Digital VGA Cable
Joytech XBox 360 Digital VGA Cable
RRP: £14.99 (Official Microsoft AV Component Cable: RRP £19.99)
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When we think of VGA, we think computer monitors, though this type of connection can also be used for HD displays too. This is because the cable sends an RGB (Red, Green and Blue) signal through the (15 Pin) standard VGA connector. For users without a HD setup this cables main use would be to connect your Xbox360 to a compatible PC monitor.
Yet again we are spoiled with the bundled Digital Optical cable, which like the AV Cable, measures at a generous 1.5meters in length. Just like the AV Cable, the optical plugs into the back of the connector which then plugs into the Xbox 360 display port.
The Joytech VGA cable measures 2 meters in length and comes in the same type of weaved material as the AV cable, so tucking it away out of sight won’t be an problem here. Attaching the VGA connector is a breeze and the connector is held in place with the aid of two binding screws.
Once the cable is connected up, you need to set the resolution settings on the Xbox 360 display menu to match the native resolution of your PC monitor or if you have connected up to a HD display you will just need to set the display type to either 720p or 1080i resolutions.
For this review I am using a High Definition 720p/1080i Sanyo Z4 LCD projector, projecting on to a screen size of around 80”-100” at 720p and also on a Hitachi 17” TFT at 1280×1024 and a ViewSonic 20” TFT at 1280×1024 and 1360×768 resolutions.
I find a VGA Xbox 360 connection to a PC monitor an acceptable solution, but it’s not the best experience when compared to using an HD display. Not all of us have the finances to buy a new HD display, so the next best thing is to use your PC CRT or TFT monitor. If your TFT monitor doesn’t display at the native resolution of what your Xbox 360 is transmitting then your display will be slightly blurred. This is due to your image being forced to down scale itself, so you are not getting a pixel for pixel match. Anyway let’s get away from technical mumbo jumbo and find out how it looks.
Connecting the cable to both projector and TFT monitors wasn’t a problem, and all display types picked up the Xbox 360 display immediately. If the Xbox 360 hasn’t been configured before hand you will need to set the resolution on the Xbox 360 to the correct resolution that your monitor or display can handle. Connecting up to a 17” 1280×1024 set to Normal (4:3 ratio) display your view is forced into a widescreen formatted within your display, this means your game is reduced to showing on only ¾ of your screen. On the other scale, choosing a Widescreen (16:9 ratio) you then have a full screen display in games, but you will find on a standard 4:3 ratio (square) TFT such as the test 17” display, your game will be stretched out vertically. So unless you have a widescreen based monitor/TFT your gaming will be somewhat effected unless your happy playing on a restricted area of the screen.
When connecting this cable to a HD display on the other hand, you will not face the problems found with monitors and such. Most HD displays will catch the VGA input and display the correct format accordingly, other people such as myself still needed to configure the Xbox 360 to output to correct 1280×720 to get that all important 720p ratio. Once configured, I was faced with a clear and sharp display, bright colour and contrast as expected with component cables, but with less edge flicker.
So this cable scores differently depending on which display its going to be used with. If you have a HD display then you will receive a signal on par with component cables with good edge detail, bright contrast and with a bundled optical cable to-boot. Should you wish to use this on a CRT or TFT monitor and this was your only display, other than a 14” ‘goldfish bowl’ monitor, then I would recommend this VGA cable to anyone in that situation, as your Xbox360 deserves the best display it can be played on.