We’re a very fickle bunch when it comes to graphics. On one hand you have the PS3 owners boasting superiority and on the other the Xbox 360 owners shouting out over them. With the introduction of HD consoles, it has never been more important to ensure that you have an up-to-date television which is capable of displaying hi-def graphics. Sure, you can opt for the posh makes, the Samsung’s and Sony’s, or you can like myself opt for the cheaper option, a Beko 32 inch HD television. It works; it looks gorgeous, so what if it was £230 and not a grand!
It is all good and well having a television that can display the HD graphics, but crucially cables are an important piece of kit. Like me initially you are probably wondering what is wrong with the bog-standard HD Composite cable supplied with Premium and Elite 360’s.
Of course this is Microsoft quality and unlike the numerous problems with consoles, Microsoft’s accessories tend to be durable and ultimately bring out the best in the console. So what is a VGA cable? If you have a TFT monitor or flat screen for use with a computer, you’ll most likely not have the ports required for HD cables and scart as supplied with the Xbox 360. A VGA cable is capable of displaying the high-resolution graphics that you can experience with a HD telly.
Admittedly, I’m not the most technical person and I’ve never noticed much difference in the battle between PS3 and Xbox 360 graphics, along with the Composite vs. HDMI vs. VGA debate. Without making this review a technical no-go zone for beginners, I’ll try and keep it simple.
The Snakebyte Xbox 360 Premium VGA cable is a great alternative to the methods on offer I’ve mentioned thus far. You could always opt for the official Microsoft VGA cable, sold at slightly inflated prices in a game-store near you. Or you could alternatively purchase this cable for around £14.99 – decent for what is on offer.
Once you’ve destroyed the air-tight plastic packaging which we all love-to-hate, inside you’ll find a flexible but durable cable. It is 2m in length, so if for some reason you have the Xbox 360 located that far from the telly, you’ll have plenty of room to stretch it across.
The cable is secured with a hard-wearing multi-layer shielding which means even the biggest of dogs will have a job chewing through this one. It will also save any hassle if you run the vacuum over it (yes I have managed that before), and chewing the cable up in pieces.
The ends of the cable are gold-plated and those in the technical know-how will already know that this is the best quality of connection money can buy. This ensures you get the best signal quality from the cable and connection to the Xbox 360 itself. The VGA cable itself will screw into the monitor to provide you with a sturdy connection to optimise the true HD quality this cable offers.
For those connecting the VGA cable up to a monitor, there is the option to use a 3.5mm stereo jack as most won’t have a generic red and white scart port. If you are using a television however, the other option is there for you; a nice touch.
On testing the device, the Xbox 360 gave me a variety of monitor sizes to pick from, essential depending on the size of the screen. It is best to test each one (this can vary from screen to screen) to ensure the size of the screen displays correctly. It can be fiddly initially, but you’ll soon find which is the best quality for you. As for someone who has never picked up on differences between graphics before, I was very impressed at the quality the cable offered when playing games. GTA IV looked far better and brighter, with the effects from the sun really shining through (excuse the pun) on-screen. Even the singing sensation that is Microsoft Lips looked far better than on the previous composite connection with the lyrics being displayed clearer and the videos visually looking more impressive.
That was just a few of the highlights and games I used with the cable, but suffice to say it is now my permanent choice of connection. The display is on-par with 1080i HD connections (sadly I don’t have a 1080p compatible television to compare), but it certainly offered an impressive alternative.
For the price and the quality on offer, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the cable. If this is your first venture into HD graphics, then it is a must. If you want a simple upgrade, perhaps think about purchasing a HDMI cable if you can, but alternatively this wins hands down. It’s out with the dreary colours and refresh rate of my composite cable, and in with the crystal clarity of the Snakebyte Premium VGA cable.