Difference between RGB, VGA and Component?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by endoverend, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    So I heard than in Europe there's a type of cable called RGB that apparently looks awesome on retro consoles. But why isn't it supported in America? Is it a better or worse picture than VGA and Component? And what do the cable look like?
     
  2. mightymuffy

    mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

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    There's people out there that'll give you a far more technical answer than me :lol:, but the fact of the matter is an RGB cable can only output at a maximum of 480i, thus, for anything recent a vga or component is obviously a better choice, but for retro consoles the picture is superior to s-video. Basically here in Europe an RGB cable for anything up to the N64 is a fine purchase (and vga aside also a good buy for the PS2 & GC - PAL GCs didn't have 480p support)
     
  3. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    So retro game consoles in the US don't have ports for RGB? And the best picture you can get in the US is S-Video? That's not fair... also it doesn't make very much sense.
     
  4. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    RGB = Red, Green and Blue channels are separated - comes in SCART flavour (Europe)
    Component = RGB signal converted into Y (Luma [brightness/luminance] and synchronisation), Pb (difference between Luma and Blue [Y-B]) and Pr (difference between Luma and Red [Y-R])
    VGA = Video Graphics Array, a video standard set by IBM, supports a ton of different video modes.
    They have the exact same ports - it's your TV's that couldn't handle RGB since you've never adopted SCART and skipped straight to Component.
     
  5. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    Wow. Perfect. Thanks!
    And I know it's legit cause you spelled it "flavour". ;)
     
  6. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Top hue. :rofl2: You're welcome.
     
  7. war2thegrave

    war2thegrave GBAtemp Regular

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    Not exactly. many consoles do, but north american televions didn't.
     
  8. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    Aaah, okay. But why not? Are Americans just happier with worse picture or what?
     
  9. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    No standardization. We didn't agree upon a consumer analog 15khz RGB socket.
    On old computer monitors you'll see DIN, mini DIN, small d-sub, large d-sub...
     
  10. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

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    Foxi explained component pretty well and the color-space it uses. I would like to point out that YPbPr refers specifically to an analog signal, while it's counterpart, YCrCb is a digital signal (also, Foxi, you accidentally wrote Py instead of Pr).

    For RGB and VGA, well RGB is actually just a color-space (defined with Red, Green, and Blue components), while VGA is a video standard that uses the RGB color-space to encode it's picture. VGA also uses analog color signals, but also includes separate Horizontal and Vertical syncing signals that tell the display when to move to the next line or the next frame.
    Typically in the context of older consoles, though, RGB is referring to the SCART standard used in Europe.

    Well first off, this is history, not the present. Secondly, back then, we also got 60 Hz refresh rate versus 50 Hz that Europe got, so each region had the superiority to the other when it comes to picture. As for why we didn't use RGB, beats me. TVs use RGB internally, so to use composite they have to separate out the different color signals first. A technically inclined person could feed an RGB signal to their display, but you're not gonna find any standard cables for the average consumer to do it.
    Nowadays, though, everyone's using Component or HDMI HD signals, and Europe now has their PAL 60 to match our refresh rate, so we're pretty much on even footing.
     
  11. war2thegrave

    war2thegrave GBAtemp Regular

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    Could be many reasons.
    The most likely though is that americans are cheap, often to our own detrement.
    We don't flinch at sacrificing quallity for cost and that shortsightedness sometimes
    leads us to paying $2.00 later so we can save $1.00 now.
     
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Whoopsie! Correcting that now. :P
     
  13. GBA rocks

    GBA rocks GBAtemp Fan

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    If we're talking history, both sides had drawbacks
    US: lack of RGB (vs RGB over SCART in virtually every TV sold in Europe)
    Europe: game development in USA/Jap mostly made natively in 60Hz 480i --> hit or miss 50Hz 576i conversions

    If we're talking present (retrogaming CRT niche)
    US: far easier to find HD 1080i CRTs for xbox original, ps3 and x360 gaming (vs HD CRTs never really took off in Europe)
    Europe: far easier to find RGB SD CRT TVs (but this is mostly moot because nowadays CRT gaming aficionados will look for used Sony PVM/BVM professional monitors, which are available both in US and Europe and don't use SCART but RGB/YPbPr over Component-to-BNC leads, and S-video)

    The latter reasoning lead me to import an American (GC bc) Wii because nowadays I consider more valuable/flexible to have Component+Svideo (vs Component+SCART on pal Wii) and perfect support for 60Hz software with nothing to "force" or workarounds.

    Last thing to point out: while Composite (yellow RCA thingy) is unacceptable, S-video is completely fine and clear. Sure RGB is better but the gap is slimmer than Composite vs S-video. Today, I would happily trade SCART RGB with the American privilege of finding 1080i HD CRT TVs in garage sales around the corner. Back in the day, PS1 over SCART RGB on any TV was the thing of wonders. (and still Sony included the shitty Composite cable as the default option in the box, up to ps3 days)

    Fun fact: to save money, on cheap TVs if there were, say, 3 SCART inputs, only 1 of them would have the full pinout with RGB+Composite+Audio, whereas the others would only support Composite+Audio. That's probably why Sony kept including the Composite-to-SCART cable instead of a RGB-over-SCART, to have 100% compatibility with any SCART port and tv set.

    tldr: you can carry RGB (instead of YUV/YPbPr/YCbCr) over Component leads if both ends support it (ps2 can do it if you toggle it in the options browser), SCART is just the "pipe" not the signal, and S-video is fine anyway, compared to the 60Hz to 50Hz pain in the ass conversions in Europe.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    I don't know, but ps2 composite vs S-video never looked that different to me. However, after my S-video cable busted and I went back to composite, I literally couldn't play the damn thing, it hurt my eyes.
    Same goes for Dreamcast.
     
  15. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

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    S-video was certainly a clear difference when it came to 2D games. It got rid of the dot-crawl related to composite. Probably not as clear in early jagged 3D games.
     
  16. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    Not enough pins for a complete image. Component uses 3 pins, standard RGB needs at minimum 4 (red/green/blue/sync).
     
  17. Fat D

    Fat D GBAtemp Maniac

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    Not exactly. Sync pulses happen between the lines of the image, so they can be mixed onto any channel losslessly. Component and S-Video mix it on Y, on RGB you can mix it onto the green channel. SCART does not do so, though, it uses the dedicated composite line to carry the sync pulses, often as part of a complete composite signal.

    Actually, you can feed composite and RGB simultaneously, so that is not the reason. The actual reason is that RGB takes 3 more wires (6 if you want a dedicated return path for each, which is standard for SCART), so wiring just composite is cheaper. Interestingly, I had once used a sony television that had two SCART ports, labeled "AV1/RGB" and "AV2/YC2", with an additional "AV3/YC3" available at the front made up of composite, S-Video and audio. The YC2 port actually accepted S-Video signals over the RGB lines, transmitting Y over composite and C over red.

    One interesting feature of SCART is its bidirectionality. Back in the day, you could connect a television to a VCR using SCART and use a single tuner for both to record what you are watching. The composite and audio lines are duplicated on the connector, with one line going from the television to the VCR and one line going back. Since analog television was broadcast as a composite signal anyway, you did not need the full RGB set to feed into the VCR, you could use composite without loss of quality, whereas direct-to-cassette productions could use the full RGB quality to go straight from the tape to the screen.

    The 60 Hz was balanced by the higher resolution we could fit into a single picture, though. The broadcast systems commonly used in Europe, which by the way have little to do with the color encodings PAL/SECAM/NTSC other than geographical correlations, namely B, C, D, G, H, I, K and L, as well as the overseas K' and N, all support 625 instead of 525 lines, resulting in 576 instead of 480 visible lines while still having more time for a single line than NTSC formats, resulting in finer details to be visible with the same bandwidth. Of course, that was back in the day where slowly-refreshing screens tended to flicker a lot, so the American system M with its 60 Hz had a clear advantage there - though that was due to the higher mains frequency over there.
    The advantage of Y/C over RGB is that you only need two lines instead of three. And even with component, the two color signals can be of lower quality than the Y signal, because the human eye resolves brightness more finely than color. Which is why pretty much every storage and broadcast format uses YUV or a variation.
    60 Hz PAL is not even European. It was originally set up for Brazil, which has 60 Hz mains power and therefore used system M for black-and-white television, but unlike every other M country adopted PAL instead of NTSC. PAL60 is not exactly that though, according to Wikipedia it uses the same color carrier as PAL-BDGKI, instead of PAL-M which uses the same one as NTSC-M. It is just some weird hybrid that some manufacturers came up with to slightly widen the range of televisions that could be fed a signal of 60 Hz field rate. Most televisions that eat PAL60 should also take PAL-M and NTSC-M, though, so there is little gain there.
     
  18. SolarFusion

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    Actually spelling it "F-L-A-V-O-U-R, Flavour" is European/Canadian. Spelling it "F-L-A-V-O-R, Flavor" is American. XD Confusing but neither is wrong.

    SF
     
  19. Sicklyboy

    Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    Relevant, I'm lazily working on building this, supposed to very nicely convert RGB to YUV (usable on almost all Component inputs). Supposed to be a lot nicer than S-Video, obviously straight RGB would be the way to go but that's not feasible for most people.

    Edit - would help if I provided the schematic. http://i.imgur.com/kei1oan.png

    Edit 2 - also, source thread, some absolutely phenomenal information in all of it. http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showth...Component-converter-design-using-the-BA7230LS
     
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  20. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    That's a pretty cool project. I've been trying to buy s-video cables for everything, but it just doesn't make that big of a difference. Keep it up!