Standard definition

Napalmhardcore

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Hi

I am a person who still likes to play my older systems (ps2 and original xbox). At present I have a HP w2408h as my only display. For ps3 and pc duties it works great, but being it only has hdmi and vga connections I cannot directly connect my older equipment.

I have tried a composite to vga box which worked ok but the picture quality wasn't great. I then tried composite to hdmi which had great colour but was pretty blurry plus it only worked in widescreen so stretched the image with no option to set black borders for 4:3 aspect ratio (plus even if it did my monitor detects it as 16:9 so it would have borders vertically and horizontally). Lastly I tried a component to vga box which had good quality except the darks displayed too dark (eg: Levels in dark environments were unplayable) which could not be remedied by settings. Obviously I am unwilling to waste more money in this trial error fashion.

I realise that the ideal solution would be a crt, however 1) I haven't much space 2) I am reluctant to buy second hand electronics. So I am now left wondering can I buy a standard definition lcd screen and if so where could I get one? Or are there any hd displays with outstanding scaling?

The Asus vg236h/e caught my attention (yes it's a monitor) as it had 120hz, very fast response time and reportedly good all round performance with the addition of (rare for a monitor) component inputs. The reason this appealed to me was it would be a good upgrade from my current display plus even if I did sacrifice some sd fidelity the sacrifice would be well worth it.

So in summary what would you suggest? A sd lcd (if they sell them), a hdtv with outstanding scaling or the vg236h/e (or something similar if you can recommend a better alternative).

Ps: Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted you to have all the relevant info. Also I'm not sure whether I should have posted here, the monitor section or the hdtv section.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
from what i've seen of monitors they like to automatically stretch an image to fit the screen. changing to a resolution of a different aspect ratio could potentially add black bars but has an equal chance for the monitor to display no signal. my guess is that this is your problem.

i use a 1080p sony bravia lcd for everything and it works fine.
-1920x1080 from pc
-1920x1080 from ps3, also works with sd movies and non 16:9 movies by adding black bars or shrinking image and having a black border all around.
-ps2 image displays fine. the screen has black bars to the side and maybe a small area top and bottom as well. not perfect but definitely playable without issue.

a tv also gives you an option to fit, stretch, zoom, or do nothing which is nice for non-standard video feeds.

now, a ps2/xbox may look best on a SD screen but its pretty worthless to go out and buy one specifically for this purpose. if you get a tv (i would highly suggest staying with a 60hz model) you could use it for multiple purposes such as pc use, ps3 use or movie use. i would get something at least 32" for this so its not the same as your monitor but your choice.

just letting you know mine works fine for ps2 at least.
 

Napalmhardcore

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ssddx Thanks for your reply. My current display is natively 1920x1200 with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has the ability to scale either 1 to 1, full screen (stretch to fit) or to aspect ratio (black borders).

When I mentioned the vg236h/e I guess I was trying to kill two birds with one stone (I didn't want to start a separate thread asking for opinions on it and good alternatives). The vg236h/e does support 60hz as well as 120hz (and 3d as a bonus should I wish to try it, though I am more interested in seeing 120hz in 2d). It in many ways seems an ideal upgrade to my current display and with the component connection would make me think twice about seeking a dedicated display for my older equipment.

Even if I bought a vg236h/e or similar display I would still be curious to know what options are available. I have tried various searches to see if any manufacturers still produce sd displays. All I could find were second hand crt tv's and one place which still manufactured crt displays for use in arcade cabinets, although this was a little while ago and they may no longer exist. I hoping someone might have known of a product specifically tailored towards older equipment (maybe wishful thinking as manufacturers want to push people forward).

I am afraid I cannot select your reply as best answer this being a discussion thread but I will give a thumbs up. Thanks.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
120hz monitors typically use a dual link dvi connection. i would be worried about 60hz compatability. i'd suggest doing some in depth research on this before you make any commitments.

in the SD era, crt screens were the norm. at the end there were lcd screens but they were not very good at all. while this would be the cheapest option, its not going to be of any use for anything but.

the reason i suggested a tv is that it can be multipurpose. its up to you if this fits your usage patterns though.
 

Napalmhardcore

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Would have replied sooner but I didn't get an email (could have sworn I turned on email alert).

I have researched the vg236h quite thoroughly and read both professional and customer reviews. It has dual link dvi, hdmi and component inputs and will definitely support 60hz.

I am aware that early lcd displays were not very good and as I have stated before I am reluctant to buy second hand (which besides my lack of space is another reason not to buy a crt).

If there was a hdtv that had outstanding scaling (and I mean amazing) that had good performance for my other needs it would be a tough decision between that and the vg236h. If I went for this theoretical tv it would have the benefit of both my old and new games being displayed with good quality all in one package but sacrificing the 120hz (and with that the possibility to try out 3d). If I went for the vg236h I would have 120hz, low response time etc but be sacrificing sd quality. If there is a modern sd lcd that displays older games with great quality I would be willing to buy it (depending on price of course) for that purpose only.

As far as I know this theoretical tv with amazing scaling doesn't exist and I am doubting any manufacturers currently make a sd lcd. I posted in the hopes somebody knew something I didn't. At the moment my strongest leaning is towards the vg236h as it will display sd plus will be a good upgrade from my current display. I am grateful for your suggestion of a tv but the vg236h has more benefits for my requirements.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
what do you mean by outstanding scaling? there really is only so much you can do.

-first would be to display at the native resolution. this would appear as a small block on your screen due to the increased resolution over older screens.

-you could then multiply that by an even factor such as two or 4 which while reducing sharpness, preserves the original image quality. keep in mind this may still leave a black area around the image.

-you could also stretch the vertical to fit your tv resulting in black bars left and right. if this is not an even ratio there could be quality lost to the original image resulting in a picture which will look worse then the above but will appear just a tiny bit larger on screen.

-you could also stretch the image to fit the screen. this would not only pull vertical but horizontal as well which would stretch and distort rather bad on SD but works so-so for widescreen formats

-you could also zoom. you may lose a bit of image top and bottom but this will fill more of the screen and can possibly retain an even image scaling.

as you can see, there is only so much that can be done. there is no miracle fix except perhaps the HD remakes they have been creating from old games.

------

the other possible benefit of a tv is viewing angle and possibly color accuracy. i am pretty sure my television uses a s-ips panel (its an older sony bravia) but i have not confirmed it. i do have a wide viewing angle and color does appear to be better than my laptops tn panel.

televisions can also use different panel technology then monitors so there may be more choices for you.

you will have to give up 120hz 2d or 60hz 3d though. personally i'm fine with 60hz and 3d looks gimmicky to me so basically a non issue. i prefer the viewing angle over 120hz anyday but as always we all have to make our own choice on the matter.

----

if 120hz fits your play style then go for it.

i was just trying to let you know of the other possibilities out there and also some of the shortcomings of TN panel technology so you could make a more informed choice.

good luck.
 

Napalmhardcore

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What I meant by amazing scaling was some new type of technology I may not be aware of (like some dual layered lcd tech that allows sd to be displayed natively or something).

I do have a basic understanding of how scaling works. If a tv had an option to scale by 2x, 4x etc I would be interested to see what multiplication would look best (in terms of how much it filled the screen versus image quality) but I don't know of a tv with that option.

I must call in to question your statement about colour accuracy though. I would be surprised if a tv has superior colour accuracy to a monitor given professionals use monitors for their work where colour accuracy is important. But viewing angle I can't comment on.

It is hard to know how something is being said when typed but I hope I did not offend you as I didn't mean to and I appreciate you taking time to help. Equally if I have misread the tone of your reply and you were not offended then ignore this paragraph entirely (apart from me thanking you for your help).
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
-the only technology i know of which can adjust pixel resolution is crt/projection. i'm not aware of any lcd technology which can do as you said.

-it looks like i did not need to go as in depth then. i've been playing a bunch of ps2 games lately on my 40" and generally speaking they look okay. keep in mind that games vary in resolution from 256x224 to 1920x1080 and go from standard to widescreen which affects everything from the amount of scaling to how tv interprets the signal. i havent seen anything which looks terrible though so far.

-if you read my statement i mentioned s-ips panels. most monitors are either tn, va or e-ips which are 6bit. s-ips panel technology is 8bit. this would mean that the s-ips panel is capable of producing more colors and therefore has better color accuracy. a s-ips panel would also have almost a 180 degree viewing angle compared with the rather poor viewing angles on tn panels and the decent viewing angles on va and e-ips.

not all professionals use monitors. some have been known to use televisions. it depends on the company and how color critical there work is. if it truly is important then they would be using 10 bit h-ips panels. i used to be a graphic arts major and for several years actively participated in graphic competitions not to mention i've known people who worked in the field so i do have a good inkling of what i'm talking about. the only assumption i've made is that the s-ips panels are the same in tvs and monitors but they should be (and i own a sony tv with a s-ips panel as well).

-no offense taken. you have every right to question advice and in fact i advise that you do. all i do is state the facts and say what i personally would do. i'm not here to force your hand.
 
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