Update brings better VGA picture
For those of you who use VGA to connect your 360 to a display, the Spring update is perfect for your washed out display woes. Included in the Spring dashboard update is a reference levels setting under the displays option, which toggles your interpret black levels to help get those blacks even blacker. The VGA's washed out effect is due to both the VGA cable and HDTV's default black levels not meshing, so the new reference levels setting gives you three options (standard, intermediate, and expanded) to correct the difference. Any VGA users willing to give the reference levels a test and see if it makes your display's picture prettier?
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)
5-10-2007 @ 1:16PM
My 360 is connected to a Westy 37w3 via VGA and I have never had the "washout problem." However, I have found that blacks and colors look somewhat better and richer on my monitor on the intermediate setting, but too dark on the expanded setting. This is definitely a useful update.
5-10-2007 @ 1:18PM
Gabriel Tapia said...
Yes! I definitely see an improvment in my picture quality, and man! It's not a small one neither, it's a huge leap to what it used to look like. I have my setttings on expanded now and the colors, the contrast, everything is vibrant and alive!
I had hoped for this improvment to come sooner or later, and now it's finaly arrived. I so like my xbox 360 much more now..and I'm just dying to play halo3 on it. :) /GT. Sweden ox360
5-10-2007 @ 1:27PM
I have my dell 20inch widescreen monitor that I use for my 360 via VGA and just went in and checked this out. Expanded gives a much better picture, the blacks look great and overal a crisper looking image, like the person above me said this is a very useful update, very happy with the new display output. I can put some pics up of the before/after once I get a chance.
5-10-2007 @ 1:33PM
I saw this on Joystiq the other day. I have a 19 inch viewsonic widescreen that I switch to when I want to keep the ballgame on my tv and play some games at the same time.
I switched to expanded and didn't notice anything while on the dashboard really so I was bummed that it didn't really do much for me....
I then loaded Crackdown to see if I could notice a difference and it looked amazing. Colors were vibrant and rich. I've got a 42" CRT Sony Trinitron HDTV that I run in 720P and the picture was just as good in-game if not better.
I'm not sure if it does much to make the colors in the dashboard look less washed, but when I started playing games it looked much much better than it used to.
Now if they'll get 1440x900 resolution support for 16:10 Aspect Users, I'll be in heaven. When I hook my 360 up to my Viewsonic I'm presently running it in 1280X768 and it looks really nice, but it'd be nice to go native for the monitor.
5-10-2007 @ 1:42PM
Yeah much better
5-10-2007 @ 1:44PM
This works a treat, now VGA beats component hands down, I don't know about HDMI though, I haven't seen the elite in action.
5-10-2007 @ 1:44PM
So does VGA look better than the supplied component cables on for example a 32 inch HDTV?
5-10-2007 @ 1:45PM
Garrett Culver said...
I decided to check it out on my desktop monitor... Samsung SyncMaster 712N. It's nothing special, but certainly better than the RCA TV from 1985 I've been using. :)
Anyways, when playing around on the dashboard I saw no difference, so I have it te ultimate visual "darkness" test from backwards compatibility: Doom 3.
First, let me say, I never thought of my image as being washed out - I never even thought it was too high of gamma or anything else. And I still don't, really. But after playing with these settings, I can see their benefits.
On "Expanded" verything seemed TOO dark - like playing Doom 3 for the first time all over again! On the plus side, the colors were vibrant. Intermediate seems to be just right, but it basically feels like a bit of a contrast adjustment, is all - nothing I couldn't have done using the monitor's own menu.
So, I guess these are nice, handy options - but nothing that a person couldn't do on their own, if they took the time to play with their monitor's settings, instead of just using the "auto" button that we find so handy these days.
5-10-2007 @ 1:45PM
Just as a note, I dont believe these settings affect the dashboard, only movies and games.
Yes, these settings make a big difference in vga output! Now all we need is 16:10 support and all the monitor users will be happy for once.
5-10-2007 @ 1:49PM
they made my dashboard look better lol
and the games
5-10-2007 @ 1:57PM
Okay I got some before after pictures up, showing standard then expanded, taken with a digital camera but you can still see the major difference it makes, believe me tho seeing it in person it makes a huge difference. I'm using a 20inch Dell widscreen monitor via VGA ofcourse.
5-10-2007 @ 2:01PM
Hey Andrewz, I'm using a dell 20 incher too. Are you using auto adjustment, or do you have custom settings? If so, please share your settings! TIA
5-10-2007 @ 2:19PM
Knight Marquise said...
I picked an Elite up just to see what the fuss was all about with HDMI. I hooked it up to all 3 LCD HDTV, a 42, 52, & 66. I could not tell any difference between my componant hooks vs the HDMI in game.
After the update, I haven't checked a game yet, but I can tell you that the vids I stream off PC look absolutely incredible on the Elite, much better then prior to the update.
5-10-2007 @ 2:33PM
I put the images on digg if anyone wants to digg it i'd appreciate it.
5-10-2007 @ 2:33PM
Kevin Sartori said...
I have a Panasonic 50" DLP hooked up via component. I can't customize my display settings per input, but I can customize the presets (Cinema, Standard and Vivid). I've calibrated my TV in Cinema mode using my original Xbox. What has always been frustrating is that when I watch a movie with my 360, the brightness was always too much. Running the calibration DVD on the 360 showed that I had to lower the brightness from 34 to 26 to make it perfect. So I would do this whenever I wanted to watch a DVD on my 360, but then I had to try to remember to put it back, or else the the image was too dark when watching regular TV or using the original Xbox.
Setting Black Levels to "Extended" fixed this! Now my blacks are true and I can stop fiddling with my brightness control when I want to watch a DVD on my 360!
What an unexpected bonus! Nice work, guys!
5-10-2007 @ 3:05PM
This is a BIG improvement for me, I have the Mitsubishi HC5000 1080P Projector on a 133" screen and the colors are much richer now. I had to recalibrate the display since its such drastic difference. Too bad I still can't get DTS in my HD Movies.
5-10-2007 @ 3:57PM
Expanded really does make a difference on my Dell 2007FPW, looking good :)
5-10-2007 @ 4:05PM
My LG 26LX1D does blacks much better now, with this update, but the resolution problem still isn't fixed for it (I can only use 1024x768, widescreen, and not the real resolution of 1360x720).
I'm using it at Expanded, and I can see a very noticeable difference. I will pop in Fearless on HD DVD when I get home and see how it looks.
5-10-2007 @ 4:48PM
this has made me very happy. it makes quite a huge difference to me as my samsung monitor only has one button power/switch inputs/auto adjust. the rest is based in software in windows so this has made quite a difference. especially in DVDs. thanks MS
5-10-2007 @ 5:06PM
Trying to decide on an HDTV for my 360 can anybody help me?