It still baffles me how Nintendo didn’t join its other two rivals into the High Definition arena with its Wii console. With the digital switch-over already taking place here in the UK and with High Definition LCD screens becoming the norm, it is frustrating when you switch on your Wii console to be faced with the blurry mess of the Wii’s display, especially when viewed through our beloved LCD HD TV screens.
If you are not an audiovisual enthusiast you will most likely not be equipped with up-scalers or HDMI convertors, so the next best thing we can do to sharpen up this blurriness is to feed a component signal from your Wii console. Today we are looking at the Snakebyte Wii Premium Component Cable from German publisher Sunflex.
Snakebyte’s goal is Prime quality at a fair price, so retailing for a recommended retail price (RRP) of £14.99, the Wii Premium Component Cable will suck out the best the Wii can offer your LCD display at a fair wallet friendly price. Using the official stock composite/scart cable that comes bundled with the Wii is probably the worst you can get from the Wii. What I had personally done different is to feed this signal through a DVD Recorder, which up-scales it to 1080i and into my 46” Samsung LCD TV. Still, all this up-scaling hasn’t put it at all close to what I am used to on the 360 (VGA) and PS3 (HDMI) consoles. Will the prospect of a high quality component cable from Snakebyte help with this? Let’s see…
Like most peripheral makers, Snakebyte have decided to package this product in the usual, hard to open while cutting your self in the process type of packaging. Aesthetics of the plastic packaging is clean and simple, no doubt influenced by the clean style of the Wii console itself.
Cutting open the plastic packaging reveals the two-meter component cable. On first impressions of the cable itself you get to witness the quality of materials used in the product. The cable’s material can be also found in similar products I’ve reviewed, with the shielded cable sheath being made from a tough plastic texture. The solid copper wire cable feels very durable, making the cable feel that it is unlikely to kink under the stress of tugging them back and forth from behind your entertainment setup. Similar to the stock cable from Nintendo, the Wii side of the cable uses a standard plastic connector. Over on the other side you will find some simply styled component connectors, featuring RGB and two separate Left and Right stereo audio connectors. Each of the Metallic connectors are encased with rubberised grips, crucial for easy plugging in and out of your LCD display. Inside the connectors themselves you will find Anticorrosive gold plated contacts to help keep an ideal signal quality. So that is enough of the cable itself, lets see what it can deliver when plugged in.
Going from scart to composite should show some signs of improvement. On connecting up the Snakebyte Wii Premium Cable you do see a slight improvement but nothing really obvious as we are still dealing with an analogue signal here. So now is the time to get the camera out and compare some still shots.
Below are two photos, one taken of my composite/scart up-scaled to HDMI 1080i signal and the other showing the display from the Snakebyte Component Wii Cable.
Composite/Scart – Up-scaled to 1080i:
Snakebyte Wii Component Cable:
Well, the proof here is certainly in the images. Looking at a specific area of the images, such as the “Photo Channel” area, you can see we are getting quite a boost in sharpness and clarity with this cable, even over an up-scaled image. You can also see that you also get a much higher contrast display, giving you a richer colour compared to the slightly washed-out composite/scart signal. With this component cable you can also utilise the Wii’s ability to output an interlaced signal, which can be ideal when playing arcade Virtual Console titles such as Streetfighter 2 and the like.
So, it is clear from the images above that the Snakebyte Wii Premium Cable certainly delivers results over the stock Wii cables. Sadly this cable falls short in its length when you compare it with the alternative official and other third party brands. But what this cable does make up for against other brands though is with its build quality and its Apple AV like metallic connectors. If you are running your Wii console via composite/scart into your HD display then for less than £15 RRP it is worth the small expense to squeeze this kind of enhanced clarity from your Wii console.