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Alexander

Halo 1: Play in 480p - Lagless

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TLDR: LAN OG Halo 1 in 480p with this legit VGA cable. Do it! H1 is boss.
 
Locals and I recently ran a solid 12 hour LAN session OG Halo 1. Everyone had a great time and we plan to make it a regular thing. We played on 20'' CRT tvs with component cables everything played fine but 20'' CRT tvs are 480i and bad blurry. 
 
The only CRTs that support 480p are 27''-32'' which are over 100lbs and most are laggy because they post-process the signal. So I did  some research on possible solutions. Here are my findings.
 
Goals for the solution:

  • Lagless or near-lagless (Un-noticeable)
  • Can't weigh 100lbs. It's just not practical for Lan play.
  • Support 480p.

Option 1: BIG ASS TVs


My fist solution was to find 480p CRT tvs that don't post process the component signal and don't weigh a 100 lbs. I had very little success with this. Everything on the market/Craigslist is huge/heavy unless you can find RGB monitors. These were used for video production in the 90's-00's. They are hard to find, expensive and heavy. As well, you have the problem of connecting to them because most of them use BNC connectors. You can read up on them here: http://retrorgb.com/rgbmonitors.html
 
RGBMonitorsPage.jpg

 
Results: 480p tvs are hard to find or laggy or too big/heavy to be practical.
 


 
Option 2: CRT PC Monitors


Fat Old school PC monitors are CRT, typically 15''-19'' and support 480p no problem. So it meets all my requirements. It's lagless, weighs about 40-50 lbs, and supports 480p. There are only 3 problems with this solution. 1. Can you find them. 2. They don't have sound. 3. How do you connect the OG Xbox to them, they only have VGA inputs.
 
Assuming your can find a good one that is a good size, the sound problem is solved with a cheap set of pc speakers. The serious problem is how to connect the Xbox to them. This became a huge problem, I did a ton more research on this and found a great solution. Scroll down to VGA Input Solution.
 
o9etk7.jpg
 
Results: This is a very solid option. Only problems are setting up speakers at a LAN, connecting the Xbox to the VGA input and finding these old ass monitors. Ultimately this is a very good option for lowest input lag and great picture quality. *NOTE* NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.
 

 

Option 3: Low-Lag LCDs


Modern LCD monitors. Everyone's concern is LAG. So I started researching input lag and found that plenty of people have already done all the work for me. Specifically the fighting game community. 
 
They conducted input-lag tests on 2 of the fastest monitors available. MLG Benq RL2455hm, and the ASUS VH236H. Using CRT monitors as a reference lag of 0.00 ms. These LCD monitors lag between 1.99 - 2.03 ms. That is equal to 0.1 of a single frame. IF connected with a legit VGA cable from your source and there is no in-between device slowing things down. Like a capture card.
 
Here are some great articles on their findings: 
http://www.meleeitonme.com/this-tv-lags-a-guide-on-input-and-display-lag/
https://smashboards.com/threads/work-in-progress-perfect-setups-tv-monitor-console-capture-device.355292/
 
 
So the lag is ~1/10th of a single frame and the xbox plays at 30fps. So the lag is effectively 1/300ths of a second behind CRTs. If you find yourself complaining about the lag, it's more likely CPU lag on the xbox or network lag on your switch. 
 
Results: This is probably the solution I will go with. LCDs are light weight, support 480p, lag is negligible and these units have built in speakers. The only issue is getting a legit og xbox VGA cable. *NOTE* LCDs are NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.
 


 
VGA Input Solution


Connecting the OG xbox to a VGA input is a messy problem. There are many converters out there, but I do NOT recommend any of them. They all create significant display lag. 
 
So my first solution was to purchase a component to VGA connector (NOT converter). This device will work, IF your monitor supports sync-on-green. If it does not support S-O-G, there will be no image. Most Monitors do NOT support SOG.
 
178535.jpg
 
Then I started searching for Official OG xbox VGA cables. MS never made a VGA cable. So the modding community made their own and for years they were produced and sold. But now they can't be found. A 3rd party company made a product called x2VGA that worked but I personally think it's a converter that creates some lag. They are no longer produced either.
 
So I did more searching and found a custom Xbox designer in Germany that makes these cables. They are direct Xbox VGA cables. They take the YPbPr signal from the video port and route the signal to the correct VGA pins to produce a RGB signal that ANY monitor can see. Best of all it's lagless. No conversion. 
 
If you want one PM me. I'll get you in touch with the creator. This one cost me 37 Euros - shipping included. 
 
 
mtxefFw.jpgOUbTVRp.jpg
 
There is 1 major problem! The Xbox was never made to show it's colors in RGB mode, so all the colors appear with a severe green tint.
JhPOeuz.jpg
 
There is a good solution. You must have a modded xbox and use the Frosty VGA boot disc. It tells your xbox to boot into RGB mode and corrects all the colors. PM me and I'll send you a link to dl it. You can also use a VGA bios but I didn't want to mess with that because you run the risk of messing up your xbox. Plus if you want to LAN on component cables all you do is take out the boot disc.
 
rbbnKjq.jpg


 
Capture/Live Stream a VGA connection


So now the problem is, how do we capture VGA video for streaming and game recording? This answer is also complicated. There are VGA capture cards, but they are expensive and crappy and they will create more input lag. You could duplicate the VGA signal then convert 1 signal back to component and capture with the HDPVR or other component cap card.
 
Also Avermedia makes a VGA to HDMI converter so you could duplicate the VGA signal, use the converter then cap the HDMI signal.
 


 
*NOTE* I have not had a chance to LAN with the LCD set-up yet. So I can't say for certain how it feels. PM me for details on the VGA cable and where to find the VGA boot disc.
 
(Lets go Atlanta boys, time to LAN.)
 
 
UPDATE - Input lag alone might not be the problem. Input lag + Motion Blur is likely the issue.

 


There might be another solution to handling input lag on LCD screens. BlurBusters.com is a site devoted to making LCD screens play and feel like CRT monitors. Their research shows that LCD monitors are plenty fast for the task, but the problem is not 1ms of input lag. 
 
Instead they show that motion blur is the problem, and can add as much as 16ms of visual lag in addition to the input lag. See the details here:
 
http://www.blurbusters.com/faq/60vs120vslb/
 
 
Motion Blur Problem:
Motion blur is created when the image being displayed is continually updated and your eyes never stop seeing the movement. So you brain sees ghosting effects. 
 
Motion blur & CRTs

Blur was never a problem on CRT tv's because CRT technology causes the image to flicker or go blank for a split second before the next frame is visible. The effect on your eyes is that the next image is completely different from the prior image, so if there were any movement (ex: player strafe) it would appear as a new single frame. Effectively you see 0 ghosting effects.
 
So why are LCDs different? LCDs use a persistent backlight to light up the screen, the problem is LCD backlight are always on and never flicker or goes blank so you are always seeing frame after frame processed with no blank frames between each refresh. The result is that anytime there is movement on the screen it appears to have a ghosting effect. So when a player is strafing, it appears that he is lagging around the screen because your eyes put every frame together.
 
Motion Blur Solution:
The blur problem was solved a couple years ago by accident. Nvidia made a technology called light boost it was intended to support 3d with a faster refresh rate and reduce motion sickness while playing 3d games. BenQ developed their own tech called motion blur reduction. 
 
How it works: 

The tech is simple. To create flicker or refresh, the LCD monitor's backlight is quickly turned off for a split second just before the next frame is visible. Here is a video showing the result. Without the flicker you can see ghosting/blur, with flicker, the blur is almost non-existent.

 

This reduces input lag by ~16ms.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5gjAs1A2s

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Another solution is to use an Elgao Game Capture HD or Avermedia LGP capture card, which will convert the Xbox's component (YPbPr) signal to HDMI in a practically lagless fashion. Then use any "lagless" monitor.

 

That is that the Super Smash Bros Melee players are using, and that game is much more sensitive to slight lag than Halo is.

 

Evidence:

- Original testing (w/Avermedia LGP)

- Follow-up by the same guy, confiming, inter alia, that the Elgato card has similar performance.

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A 3rd party company made a product called x2VGA that worked but I personally think it's a converter that creates some lag. and where to find the VGA boot disc.

 

The x2VGA does not create lag.  I have several of them and have done manual lag tests and have lanned against regular tvs.  Also, they are made with basically the same schematic in the following link.

 

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?/topic/213487-quick-guide-for-high-def-output/

 

Also, if you want to capture with vga, you'll have to split the signal.  This is what I use.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BKMWNWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

However you're method of using the hdmi output on your monitor might work too.

 

Nice write up btw.

 

 

480p makes camo too easy to see. Not worth.

 

Camo is only too easy to see on 480P monitors if the brightness is turned down.  When you crank it up to normal, or basically what everybody is used to, then it washes out the contrast.  It is easier to see, but definitely not too easy.  480P is not high definition.  BTW, 2 of the 5 stations at my next lan will be on vga monitors.  You should come check 'em out. 

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Another solution is to use an Elgao Game Capture HD or Avermedia LGP capture card, which will convert the Xbox's component (YPbPr) signal to HDMI in a practically lagless fashion. Then use any "lagless" monitor.

 

That is that the Super Smash Bros Melee players are using, and that game is much more sensitive to slight lag than Halo is.

 

Evidence:

- Original testing (w/Avermedia LGP)

- Follow-up by the same guy, confiming, inter alia, that the Elgato card has similar performance.

 

 

Good stuff. I didn't know that follow up article existed.

 

I did know about the Avermedia LGP device. In fact I purchased this device: https://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-Converter-Convert-Component-ET113/dp/B00TQ6ZCF2

 

I figured it uses the same low-lag conversion method as the Avermedia LGP capture device. I have tested it on my VH236H. It works very nicely. Didn't notice any lag, But havn't got to LAN test it yet. It was only $35. 

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I also have done some research on this. Let's get down to it:

 

Option 1: BIG ASS TVs

 

 

My fist solution was to find 480p CRT tvs that don't post process the component signal and don't weigh a 100 lbs. I had very little success with this. Everything on the market/Craigslist is huge/heavy unless you can find RGB monitors. These were used for video production in the 90's-00's. They are hard to find, expensive and heavy. As well, you have the problem of connecting to them because most of them use BNC connectors. You can read up on them here: http://retrorgb.com/rgbmonitors.html

 

RGBMonitorsPage.jpg

 

 

Results: 480p tvs are hard to find or laggy or too big/heavy to be practical.

 

 

 

Can't comment on this unrealistic option, pockets not deep enough.

 

Option 2: CRT PC Monitors

 

 

Fat Old school PC monitors are CRT, typically 15''-19'' and support 480p no problem. So it meets all my requirements. It's lagless, weighs about 40-50 lbs, and supports 480p. There are only 3 problems with this solution. 1. Can you find them. 2. They don't have sound. 3. How do you connect the OG Xbox to them, they only have VGA inputs.

 

Assuming your can find a good one that is a good size, the sound problem is solved with a cheap set of pc speakers. The serious problem is how to connect the Xbox to them. This became a huge problem, I did a ton more research on this and found a great solution. Scroll down to VGA Input Solution.

 

o9etk7.jpg

 

Results: This is a very solid option. Only problems are setting up speakers at a LAN, connecting the Xbox to the VGA input and finding these old ass monitors. Ultimately this is a very good option for lowest input lag and great picture quality. *NOTE* NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.

 

 

 

Can you show me exactly where you see that there is 20-30 ms of lag with a component > VGA powered converter? Keyword: "powered". I haven't seen any comparisons between different splitters with actual numbers attached.

 

Option 3: Low-Lag LCDs

 

 

Modern LCD monitors. Everyone's concern is LAG. So I started researching input lag and found that plenty of people have already done all the work for me. Specifically the fighting game community. 

 

They conducted input-lag tests on 2 of the fastest monitors available. MLG Benq RL2455hm, and the ASUS VH236H. Using CRT monitors as a reference lag of 0.00 ms. These LCD monitors lag between 1.99 - 2.03 ms. That is equal to 0.1 of a single frame. IF connected with a legit VGA cable from your source and there is no in-between device slowing things down. Like a capture card.

 

Here are some great articles on their findings: 

http://www.meleeitonme.com/this-tv-lags-a-guide-on-input-and-display-lag/

https://smashboards.com/threads/work-in-progress-perfect-setups-tv-monitor-console-capture-device.355292/

 

 

So the lag is ~1/10th of a single frame and the xbox plays at 30fps. So the lag is effectively 1/300ths of a second behind CRTs. If you find yourself complaining about the lag, it's more likely CPU lag on the xbox or network lag on your switch. 

 

Results: This is probably the solution I will go with. LCDs are light weight, support 480p, lag is negligible and these units have built in speakers. The only issue is getting a legit og xbox VGA cable. *NOTE* LCDs are NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.

 

 

 

I've used this solution and it's playable. A huge step up from using a flatscreen TV or similar. However I can't confirm with certainty that the lag is as negligible as you (and that smashboards article) make it seem. Again, need hard data about powered component > VGA converters.

 

VGA Input Solution

 

 

Connecting the OG xbox to a VGA input is a messy problem. There are many converters out there, but I do NOT recommend any of them. They all create significant display lag. 

 

So my first solution was to purchase a component to VGA connector (NOT converter). This device will work, IF your monitor supports sync-on-green. If it does not support S-O-G, there will be no image. Most Monitors do NOT support SOG.

 

178535.jpg

 

Then I started searching for Official OG xbox VGA cables. MS never made a VGA cable. So the modding community made their own and for years they were produced and sold. But now they can't be found. A 3rd party company made a product called x2VGA that worked but I personally think it's a converter that creates some lag. They are no longer produced either.

 

So I did more searching and found a custom Xbox designer in Germany that makes these cables. They are direct Xbox VGA cables. They take the YPbPr signal from the video port and route the signal to the correct VGA pins to produce a RGB signal that ANY monitor can see. Best of all it's lagless. No conversion. 

 

If you want one PM me. I'll get you in touch with the creator. This one cost me 37 Euros - shipping included. 

 

 

mtxefFw.jpgOUbTVRp.jpg

 

There is 1 major problem! The Xbox was never made to show it's colors in RGB mode, so all the colors appear with a severe green tint.

JhPOeuz.jpg

 

There is a good solution. You must have a modded xbox and use the Frosty VGA boot disc. It tells your xbox to boot into RGB mode and corrects all the colors. PM me and I'll send you a link to dl it. You can also use a VGA bios but I didn't want to mess with that because you run the risk of messing up your xbox. Plus if you want to LAN on component cables all you do is take out the boot disc.

 

rbbnKjq.jpg

 

 

Can you elaborate on this? Specifically "modded xbox" and "Frosty VGA boot disc." Why is the DL link and vendor of the connector private? Is there any more information about this? Is a hard mod required?

 

Capture/Live Stream a VGA connection

 

 

So now the problem is, how do we capture VGA video for streaming and game recording? This answer is also complicated. There are VGA capture cards, but they are expensive and crappy and they will create more input lag. You could duplicate the VGA signal then convert 1 signal back to component and capture with the HDPVR but I don't suggest this.

 

My suggestion is to use this monitor. The BenQ RL2460HT. This monitor is super fast just like the other BenQ and has a HDMI pass-thru. It will output your xbox VGA video signal to HDMI. Now you can capture your games with no additional lag since the video goes to the monitor first then is passed to the capture card.

 

http://gaming.benq.com/gaming-monitor/rl2460ht

 

conventional-output.png

 

 

 

*NOTE* I have not had a chance to LAN with the LCD set-up yet. So I can't say for certain how it feels. PM me for details on the VGA cable and where to find the VGA boot disc.

 

(Lets go Atlanta boys, time to LAN.)

I can confirm that the BenQ RL2460HT's HDMI output only works with HDMI input. So you cannot do VGA > HDMI output. I have this model. Incidentally it has the same performance as the older Benq RL2455hm.

 

I've gotten good results with my BenQ RL2460HT using a powered Startech VGA > Component converter:

 

https://www.startech.com/ca/AV/Converters/Video/YPbPr-Component-to-VGA-Converter-with-Audio~CPNT2VGAA

 

It's expensive but it seems to the job. I found out about it at the bottom of this article:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/comments/1q487p/got_my_new_lag_testing_setup_aka_the_best_smash/

 

Here's more data:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/wiki/lag (scroll down to the Adapters/Converters section)

 

Now, all this being said, I spoke with some high-level Smash players in Montreal, and the general consensus is CRT or bust. High-level CE players will tell you the same, with some exceptions. I consulted Pacmayne on the matter last year and he told me that he used a CRT monitor with an X2VGA and it didn't lag at all. He said he had tried some other solutions as well but this was best.

 

Meanwhile, this is my setup:

 

unknown.png

 

The difference between S-video and component 480i is negligible in regards to visual quality, and s-video splitters/wires/etc are cheaper than their component counterparts. Also, s-video inputs seem to be more common than component inputs for CRT TV's, from what I've seen.

 

There may be a near-perfect solution for playing CE on 480p but experiments on this subject are costly and accessories aren't getting any easier to find. I can't imagine the community adopting 480p as a new standard, especially if it requires ordering rinky-dink connectors from Germany and changing the soft-modding process that everyone uses.

 

I'll be keeping an eye on this. If there's a simple solution that means I don't have to transport my 150 lb Sony Trinitron CRT's, I'm all ears.

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The x2VGA does not create lag.  I have several of them and have done manual lag tests and have lanned against regular tvs.  Also, they are made with basically the same schematic in the following link.

 

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?/topic/213487-quick-guide-for-high-def-output/

So to get the correct colors on the x2VGA you still need the VGA Bios right? I thought the x2VGA also converted the color scheme, that is what made me think it was a converter and not a legit cable.

 

 

 

Also, if you want to capture with vga, you'll have to split the signal.  This is what I use.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BKMWNWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

After you split the VGA signal how do you capture it? What cap card?

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After you split the VGA signal how do you capture it? What cap card?

As long as it's after the split, it doesn't matter what cap card you use. The only time that matters is if you're using a cap card as a passthrough.

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@sunt_man: I think your assertion that Smashers say "CRT or bust" does not fit well with the facts.
 
Firstly, the convincing technical proof that the delay for an Component -> HDMI conversion induces less lag than many CRT screens. There is thus no difference in lag that can be scientifically measured. Any perceived difference must therefore come from elswhere, e.g. that players fell more at home with interlaced images.
 
Secondly, LCD monitors was even seriously considered for Evo tournaments as far back as in 2014. However, it was dropped due to risk of random blackouts (not lag) with the Avermedia LGP. Whether LCD setups have been used at Evo 2015 and 2016 I don't know. But the point is that the very top smashers in 2014 actually approved of the LCD setups.
 
The smashers you are talking to must then be either (a) not as good as they claim, or (b) of a particularly superstitious kind...
 
tl;dr: There is a foolproof option, and that is to use an Elgato/Avermedia and do component->HDMI conversion, then connecting to a lagless monitor. Those who claim that this is more laggy than an LCD refuse to accept scientific evidence. (Bonus: this setup will also make you able to stream & record.)

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Nice work. 

 

 

Can you show me exactly where you see that there is 20-30 ms of lag with a component > VGA powered converter? Keyword: "powered". I haven't seen any comparisons between different splitters with actual numbers attached.

I found it searching other SSMB articles. I don't have a link now. I'll see if I can find it.

 

I've used this solution and it's playable. A huge step up from using a flatscreen TV or similar. However I can't confirm with certainty that the lag is as negligible as you (and that smashboards article) make it seem. Again, need hard data about powered component > VGA converters.

I agree some testing on the converters is probably worth a look. But It seems like even powered converters will have some level of lag compared to a direct VGA connection.

 

 

Can you elaborate on this? Specifically "modded xbox" and "Frosty VGA boot disc." Why is the DL link and vendor of the connector private? Is there any more information about this? Is a hard mod required?

The VGA boot disc isn't completely legal, it has some MS .xbe files so it can be found on xbins. PM me I'll get you the link. No hard mod required. Reg softmod works fine. You just have to boot the xbox into VGA color mode. The old method was flashing the BIOS to a VGA bios. But I prefer the boot disc because no BIOS flash is necessary and its simple to switch between YPbPr and VGA, if you get to a lan and want to play on TV's instead.

 

 

I can confirm that the BenQ RL2460HT's HDMI output only works with HDMI input. So you cannot do VGA > HDMI output. I have this model. Incidentally it has the same performance as the older Benq RL2455hm.

 

I've gotten good results with my BenQ RL2460HT using a powered Startech VGA > Component converter:

 

https://www.startech.com/ca/AV/Converters/Video/YPbPr-Component-to-VGA-Converter-with-Audio~CPNT2VGAA

 

It's expensive but it seems to the job. I found out about it at the bottom of this article:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/comments/1q487p/got_my_new_lag_testing_setup_aka_the_best_smash/

 

Here's more data:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/wiki/lag (scroll down to the Adapters/Converters section)

 

Now, all this being said, I spoke with some high-level Smash players in Montreal, and the general consensus is CRT or bust. High-level CE players will tell you the same, with some exceptions. I consulted Pacmayne on the matter last year and he told me that he used a CRT monitor with an X2VGA and it didn't lag at all. He said he had tried some other solutions as well but this was best.

 

 That sucks that the RL2460HT does not pass the VGA signal through. I was concerned that might be the case.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, this is my setup:

 

unknown.png

 

The difference between S-video and component 480i is negligible in regards to visual quality, and s-video splitters/wires/etc are cheaper than their component counterparts. Also, s-video inputs seem to be more common than component inputs for CRT TV's, from what I've seen.

 

There may be a near-perfect solution for playing CE on 480p but experiments on this subject are costly and accessories aren't getting any easier to find. I can't imagine the community adopting 480p as a new standard, especially if it requires ordering rinky-dink connectors from Germany and changing the soft-modding process that everyone uses.

 

I'll be keeping an eye on this. If there's a simple solution that means I don't have to transport my 150 lb Sony Trinitron CRT's, I'm all ears.

 

We'll see, I plan to try this setup at our next lan. I'll get the guys opinions and maybe video some of the game play.

 

There is no need to specially mod the xboxes. a regular splintercell softmod will work. The only extra work needed is the VGA boot disc.

 

Also I've read that the BenQ RL2455HM supports sync on green. So you could use it with just a component/VGA connector. just $5 shipped. All you need to do is use the VGA boot disc. This is a cheap and lag-free solution since there is no conversion at all. Its literally just connecting the YPbPr signal to a VGA connector. Try this on your RL2460HT. You can find them on ebay for almost nothing.

178535.jpg

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As long as it's after the split, it doesn't matter what cap card you use. The only time that matters is if you're using a cap card as a passthrough.

Right, I know that. I was just wondering how Dman captures the VGA signal. What cap card. Unless you convert the VGA signal back to a component or HDMI format, VGA capture cards are called "Frame grabbers" and are typically $300+

 

Personally I would use the Avermedia ET110 to convert the VGA into HDMI then use a HDMI capture card.

 

http://avertv.avermedia.com/product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=599

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@stunt_man: I think your assertion that Smashers say "CRT or bust" does not fit well with the facts.

Fair enough, but my main point is more about how accessible & inexpensive an analog/CRT setup is compared to the equivalent LCD setup, with only a minor loss in visual quality (480i vs 480p).

 

Firstly, the convincing technical proof that the delay for an Component -> HDMI conversion induces less lag than many CRT screens. There is thus no difference in lag that can be scientifically measured. Any perceived difference must therefore come from elswhere, e.g. that players fell more at home with interlaced images.

Still need to consider the fact that Halo and Smash are two different games. Yes, Smash requires frame-perfect precision to pull off combos, but Halo requires a different kind of precision. I don't know how to put it mathematically, but is it not possible that the "feel" of the right stick's input (aiming) might be influenced by the "negligible" lag the the test results show from that article?

 

It should be noted that I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here. I'm not claiming that the research is wrong or anything like that, but from what I've seen from the articles you posted and from my own findings, negligible lag is present in setups involving an LCD. What's up for debate is whether or not this negligible lag can actually be perceived by the player.

 

Secondly, LCD monitors was even seriously considered for Evo tournaments as far back as in 2014. However, it was dropped due to risk of random blackouts (not lag) with the Avermedia LGP. Whether LCD setups have been used at Evo 2015 and 2016 I don't know. But the point is that the very top smashers in 2014 actually approved of the LCD setups.

 

The smashers you are talking to must then be either (a) not as good as they claim, or (b) of a particularly superstitious kind...

To be fair, the article you just referred to doesn't contain any data, just reported player endorsements about the setup. The first article you posted is far more relevant. It'd be the equivalent of McDick saying that Legend and Patch both played on an LCD setup and said it feels OK.

 

On a sidenote, a few posts down there's a reply about a Neoya Wii2hdmi converter. That's the same company that used to make the X2VGA. Shame they discontinued it.

 

tl;dr: There is a foolproof option, and that is to use an Elgato/Avermedia and do component->HDMI conversion, then connecting to a lagless monitor. Those who say otherwise refuse to accept scientific evidence. (Bonus: this setup will also make you able to stream & record.)

The only scientific evidence I see is that there is negligible lag compared to a CRT setup. Again, the question remains: can this negligible lag be perceived by players? I would argue that the testing method used in the first article doesn't necessarily apply to CE aiming.

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Right, I know that. I was just wondering how Dman captures the VGA signal. What cap card. Unless you convert the VGA signal back to a component or HDMI format, VGA capture cards are called "Frame grabbers" and are typically $300+

 

Personally I would use the Avermedia ET110 to convert the VGA into HDMI then use a HDMI capture card.

 

http://avertv.avermedia.com/product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=599

Or you could split the component signal before the VGA converter/connector and use a normal component cap card.

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On a sidenote, a few posts down there's a reply about a Neoya Wii2hdmi converter. That's the same company that used to make the X2VGA. Shame they discontinued it.

 

 

The x2VGA uses the LM1881M sync separator schematic to separate the H-sync and V-sync signals. But this is actually inaccurate because they pull the h-sync signal from the composite line on the xbox connector.

 

The cable I purchased from Germany is very similar to the x2VGA except it uses LMH1980 schematic. Basically is separates the h-sync & v-sync signal from component green line. (480p)

 

This cable is essentially the x2VGA with a slight change in the sync separation.

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On the anecdotal evidence from Evo 2014 prep: I know it is insignificant. But since you pulled out your anecdotal evidence, I pulled out mine. I do agree with you, though, that it should be ignored. At the end of the day data must be king here. Because the differences (lagwise) are imperceiveable. Too bad it is not possible to do a double-blind randomization test.

 

What neglible lag that is not present with every other CRT? As the MIMO test shows, also CRTs can be laggy: https://smashboards.com/threads/work-in-progress-perfect-setups-tv-monitor-console-capture-device.355292/page-7#post-21307864

 

More importantly: we are talking about fractions of a frame of lag at worst for the LCD setups with Elgato/Avermedia converters. It is inconceivable that this can be noticed, since that would require players to actually know when each frame (of the 30 per second) starts and begins. This is because the frames constitute sections of time within button presses are registered. Two button presses spaced out evenly may therefore give different results depending on when in the first frame the button is pushed. Read (and study) the section entitled Console "Lag" in the MIMO piece, where Fizzi eloquently explains frame-based lag.

 

The only potential (but implausible) reason I can see for why some good players allege that LCD setups "feel wrong" would have to be that there is something other than lag that matters. The only other technical difference between CRTs and LCDs I can think of is the interlacing. That should not be a negative, but I guess some may not like it. Other than that, I am at a loss.

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On the anecdotal evidence from Evo 2014 prep: I know it is insignificant. But since you pulled out your anecdotal evidence, I pulled out mine. I do agree with you, though, that it should be ignored. At the end of the day data must be king here. Because the differences (lagwise) are imperceiveable. Too bad it is not possible to do a double-blind randomization test.

 

What neglible lag that is not present with every other CRT? As the MIMO test shows, also CRTs can be laggy: https://smashboards.com/threads/work-in-progress-perfect-setups-tv-monitor-console-capture-device.355292/page-7#post-21307864

Now we're talking. Good find. The CRT's that I've seen used by the majority of the community are likely "Flat late-era CRT TV's" which are listed as having "heavy lag". However, there are models such as the Sony Trinitron (certain generations/models #'s) as well as some Samsung's that have been reported to "feel" better than others. Again, anecdotal evidence, but when multiple people are reporting the same discrepancy between models it's worth considering.

 

More importantly: we are talking about fractions of a frame of lag at worst for the LCD setups with Elgato/Avermedia converters. It is inconceivable that this can be noticed, since that would require players to actually know when each frame (of the 30 per second) starts and begins. This is because the frames constitute sections of time within button presses are registered. Two button presses spaced out evenly may therefore give different results depending on when in the first frame the button is pushed. Read (and study) the section entitled Console "Lag" in the MIMO piece, where Fizzi eloquently explains frame-based lag.

 

The only potential (but implausible) reason I can see for why some good players allege that LCD setups "feel wrong" would have to be that there is something other than lag that matters. The only other technical difference between CRTs and LCDs I can think of is the interlacing. That should not be a negative, but I guess some may not like it. Other than that, I am at a loss.

Again, as far as the testing method goes, I stand by my point that measuring button presses might not be relevant to CE. No one's missing double-melee's because of screen delay, it's just not that type of game. A different testing method ought to be used to measure responsiveness in right-stick movement, if it's even possible.

 

EDIT: I'm not hard to convince but the rest of the LAN community will be. It might seem like I'm nitpicking but I find it hard to swallow that people's apprehensions about LCD's have been unfounded all this time. Granted, a typical "lag-less" LCD setup is pretty specific and may only have a niche-sized userbase.

 

I'm not going to be investing in any further experiments but I'd be interested in seeing some top players do a side-by-side comparison of the ideal setups. As anecdotal as it may be, it's those players that need to be convinced.

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I'm not going to be investing in any further experiments but I'd be interested in seeing some top players do a side-by-side comparison of the ideal setups. As anecdotal as it may be, it's those players that need to be convinced.

 

That is my plan at our next lan. Have 1  station with CRT tv and LCD-VGA setup. Play a few series on NHE and see how everyone feels about it. If games are split, we'll know there is little difference.

 

If CRT screen wins disproportionally then we'll have some data to pull from. But you still have the skill issue. So we'll likely switch up teams on both set ups and compare.

 

Also, if your monitor supports SOG then you don't need a vga cable just a $5 adapter. I'll test this on G-uint's RL2455HM and update this post.

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That is my plan at our next lan. Have 1  station with CRT tv and LCD-VGA setup. Play a few series on NHE and see how everyone feels about it. If games are split, we'll know there is little difference.

 

If CRT screen wins disproportionally then we'll have some data to pull from. But you still have the skill issue. So we'll likely switch up teams on both set ups and compare.

 

Also, if your monitor supports SOG then you don't need a vga cable just a $5 adapter. I'll test this on G-uint's RL2455HM and update this post.

You should also consider the fact that off-host XBC or off-host on a bad LAN setup has a similar feel to a laggy TV. The point being that a good player might still win on the LCD setup just because he's better at playing off-host than the player(s) on the other team. So not necessarily proof that LCD and CRT are equal. You can get a more accurate result by doing a round-robin and making sure all players have played on both setups, I suppose.

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Agreed. If you are testing back-to-back with LCD/CRT, you will probably need to rely on the anecdotal evidence of how players fell, rather than the result.

 

I guess a scientific test could perhaps have been construed if HDMI and composite signal delay devices exists. Then one could add delay to some CRT and LCD setup and double-blind test whether people actually react to the delay, or if its all just prejudice.

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Agreed. If you are testing back-to-back with LCD/CRT, you will probably need to rely on the anecdotal evidence of how players fell, rather than the result.

 

I guess a scientific test could perhaps have been construed if HDMI and composite signal delay devices exists. Then one could add delay to some CRT and LCD setup and double-blind test whether people actually react to the delay, or if its all just prejudice.

 

That is an interesting idea. But I also wonder if the frame lag isn't the real or only issue.

 

A couple ideas are:

480i vs 480p. Since 480i is interlaced, technically the image draws the lines from top to bottom quickly then fills in the other lines after that, so it would appear that the image is ready slightly before it's actually finished drawing. Where a progressive image would be laggy for the bottom screen player because the image is drawn line-by-line from top to bottom.

 

Or does it have anything to do with refresh rate. Technically the CRT and LCD refresh at 60hz. But I wonder if the speed at which the LCD does that function causes a mental delay, even though technically it is not behind on the frames.

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A source of discontent with LCD setups could also be the thing I noticed the first time I played on a (lagless Elgato) one. Namely that 480p seems very rough around the edges due to the insane aliasing such a low progressive resolution entails. An interlaced signal (480i) displayed on a CRT monitor gives smoother, but more blurry images. In a sense, the technology has built-in antialiasing. 480p is, on the other hand, crisp but very blocky.

 

The CRT may be said to give more viewer comfort. Blocky looks can be disturbing. But the blocky monitor is crisper, and e.g. camo is easier to see as pointed out above.

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In my experience, HD CRT TVs lag.  I've owned 7 in the past.  All of them lagged.  The only ones that do not lag are the very first ones as those did not have post processing to improve the picture.  They're hard to find but they're out there.  A big problem for me is that the smallest ones are 27 inches.

 

LCDs and converters are hopeless too as both introduce lag.  From what I understand, Legend and McDick played on 1 ms benq monitors and found it unacceptable.  They said it looked great but they couldn't shoot on them.  BVMs/PVMs and PC monitors are the only way to play in 480P on a 20" monitor.

 

@@Alexander, this is the vga capture card I use.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013TPPCVY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

BTW, I only have x2vga+ model adapters which uses separate H/V sync.  I use Softmod Installer Deluxe to softmod my xboxes for VGA.  To do this I choose "Standard for HD" instead of the "Standard" mod.  My hard modded xboxes work on them too.

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The other thing is crts are usually free. Even if they are heavy you can't beat that. It is more plug and play as well. No fumbling with trying to set up all of this extra stuff, passing through capture devices or using different cables that cost 40 dollars and require more modding. Simplicity counts. I appreciate the effort into trying to find the best possible setup for the best picture though.

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The other thing is crts are usually free. Even if they are heavy you can't beat that. It is more plug and play as well. No fumbling with trying to set up all of this extra stuff, passing through capture devices or using different cables that cost 40 dollars and require more modding. Simplicity counts. I appreciate the effort into trying to find the best possible setup for the best picture though.

 

I agree. Right now it appears that we can connect to the BenQ monitor with $5 adapter and a free VGA boot disc. This looks like the cheapest and simplest solution to play in 480p. Just need to test the lag.

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