Sega Dreamcast VGA BOX, exrernal box, cable..what??

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by Metoroid0, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Dreamcast looks stuning in vga, its no debate. But did sega bothered to make vga out? No! Why its beyond me.

    There are a lot of tutorials on internet on how to make ine, but they have some things in common, they are contradictionry...some say it works, some say it wont. Some say simple viring without resistors etc works some it wont work with resistors..there is NO definitive guide on how to make dreamcast vga out and with all the warnings, variations revisions of consoles and their differences...

    But the reason i made this thread is because i want to make one, but i dont have money to wasre so im cautious!!!

    Also i want to know werry well what im about to do before i do it.

    Ok so, this is label of my console..can you help me based on that because....

    [​IMG]

    Bexause here is contradictions i found and i dont know wht there are contradictions in the first place. I would love someone with more knowledge in tech stuff and dreamcast hardware to help me...

    First this dude, showing vga cable that looks like regular cable for dc but with vga end instead of scart or rgb..


    Second is this..
    Now why would i use so much complicationsof buying or building this thing when i can use regular dc cable and connect it to vga end...
    [​IMG]

    Thisd is this....this is internal vga box that i wanted to do.. i mean i still do but..just read....
    http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/dreamcast-internal-vga-mod/

    This is what confused me a lot, this and that plain simple cable i posted abowe.
    Now listwn to this guy!


    My dreamcast is also revision 1 as his...does that mean recision 1 dreamcasts dont need BOX things, just a simple reviring??

    IM OFFICIALLY CONFUSED!

    Can someone clarify this thing once and for all, please?!
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The box looks like a standard VGA box. It takes a composite (sometimes component) signal in and converts it via chips and whatever to VGA. Newer ones will do HDMI instead in many cases.
    It is just the same as using a VCR to take in a SCART connection or something if your TV did not have it. There may be some benefit in quality owing to the way things work but it is certainly not going to be a true VGA mod as most people playing in electronics would understand it.

    I am not sure what that cable is, it might be a VGA box in a cable (I have seen it done for other things) or it might be using signals the DC puts out to get something a VGA monitor could maybe decode. For a lot of devices there may well be further options enabled if you pop the case as a lot of the video chips had functionality that was otherwise unused -- the N64 RGB mod being a good example of this. All this may well be the source of the differences and claimed results in the final approach.

    VGA mods on the consoles I have seen, and despite you providing links I have not yet seen the DC stuff and find myself completely unfamiliar with the DC approach to the world here, actually tap signals on the motherboard and output the signal in a way that VGA monitors might be able to decode in some/many instances (VGA is simple enough but not all monitors are made equal). It is for the xbox but covers a lot of good info, much of it may even apply here
    https://web.archive.org/web/20100617004143/http://www.xbox-linux.org/wiki/Xbox_VGA_HOWTO

    Why Sega did or did not do I have no idea. Generally though console makers have not been seen to keep with the times and VGA was not common in TVs for many years after the DC released and died -- in 2001 we might well have been seeing "flatscreens" appear but they would have been flat CRT (plasma screens were in the consumer market but they were the many many thousands of dollars at the time). Not to mention screen makers themselves had some interesting approaches to the world but that is a rant I am not up for this evening. Not to mention even today console makers seem reluctant to put up drivers and tools to use their controllers on a PC -- some might say it is not technically possible and if you believe it would not have been trivial to add support for a common method I have a bridge to sell you.
     
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  3. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I used to have one of those VGA boxes for my Dreamcast. It plugs in to the Dreamcast's proprietary AV connector and provides both a VGA and a composite output. I believe the reason that the composite is provided is because not all Dreamcast games support VGA output.
     
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  4. Daggot

    Daggot GBAtemp Fan

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    Damn a ton of Dreamcast questions around here lately.

    Dreamcast VGA boxes are usually of high quality and have extra features like a switch that allows you to switch from VGA to composite(because due to incompatibilities even nowdays when we can patch VGA support into DC games not all games play well with it), onboard sync combiners(in case you plan to use a high end scaler like the framemeister), scanline generators in the box and etc. When people want quality VGA boxes most buy from beharbros which should run the average gamer around $80. To be honest though the Dreamcast scene is evolving in terms of cables and options so you have multiple things to wait for and multiple things you could get now. A standard VGA cable will serve your purposes well(if it's not defective and you can usually find new retrobits for $10-15 on ebay) usually people get Retrobit/Tomee cables and ignore the low quality Hong Kong ones. A good VGA box won't hurt you but for around the same pricerange as the higher tier ones several options are appearing. The easiest would be the Akura, its from beharbros but it outputs HDMI with little to no lag apparently, comes with scanline generator too if that's your thing. It's priced around $85 which is the same a Toro VGA box run will you but we don't know anything definitive yet as it won't release until march I think. Next is the OzOne Dreamcast HDMI addon thats being developed. It's been in development for years but it's finally entering the final prototype stages, it's an FPGA in the Dreamcast that replaces the AV port with an HDMI port that functions with no lag and adds minimal WIFI support(no online games but downloading saves and DLC from the browser) as well as support for the GDEMU(previous test models had issues). This one is special because like the HDMI solutions for other retro consoles that have come before it OzOne's board pulls a clean digital signal directly from the DC motherboard with no conversion or lag. Last I heard they were aiming to keep the price of the board at around $100. The final option I know fo is the one that's farthest off. Apparently HD Retrovision has found a way to create component cables for the DC. From the few pictures they've posted of the their work it seems to already be up and running and be able to run games in 480p that wouldn't work even with the VGA pacthes. The last update for the cable was last year which was just a confirmation that they've been fiddling with the design ever since 2014 and it's still being perfected.

    So no if you don't want a VGA box you don't have to get one to get VGA out if the console and all Dreamcast revisions are capable of this.

    Sorry for dumping massive walls of text but there was quite a bit more to type out than I expected.
     
    Last edited by Daggot, Feb 19, 2017
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  5. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    The short version is that Dreamcast supports native VGA in hardware.
    When the console detects the presence of a VGA cable, it internally sets its own video output to VGA.

    BTW, yes. Composite and s-video on VGA boxes is an official feature. Sega's Japanese first-party HKT-8100 has them. http://segaretro.org/Dreamcast_VGA_Box
     
    Last edited by Lumstar, Feb 19, 2017
  6. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I think there is a patch for the games that dont support VGA to make them support...

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I didnt knkw tgere is official thing..maybe there is no vga out so sega could sell that box xD
    Anyway, thanks for info, ill try search for one.
     
  7. Heran Bago

    Heran Bago Where do puyo come from?

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    There are a couple great games that do not support the VGA cable. Bangai-O comes to mind. If you use backup loaders or cheats, some don't, but there is always a solution.

    Random tip:
    http://segaretro.org/List_of_Dreamcast_widescreen_codes

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    For all games? Link for Bangai-O please.
     
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  8. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    The one I used to have was the 3rd party one shown in your OP and it worked just fine, btw.
     
  9. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    So far i think cable is the best option for me, but i really want to make that internal vga box, but i heard on samsung tvs lcd tvs picture is off center, and i happen to have samsung one lol
    I heaed something about synchro buffer, but i thought it would be a simple and pretty mod, straight forward, but i just ended up being more and more confused.
    Cable seems great, and i dont want to drill my dc if i dont need to, but it would be sweet to have that vga box, but also that internal looks like nice thing, just that offscreen thing and those contradictions are so confusing...but than i thought why not do it, i can always undo it if it doesnt work.....and its cheap mod...also i want to play a little :)

    But dc bow official one does sound sweet...
     
  10. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Try it, maybe it will work with Bangai-O (try all regions)

    How to patch non vga games to vga mode:


    -open the iso in a hex editor.
    -search for the string "KATANA"
    -at some point nearby you should see "JUE" followed by some numbers
    -change the number string after "JUE" to "0799A10"
    -save the file and burn
     
  11. Daggot

    Daggot GBAtemp Fan

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    Sadly Bangai-O is famous for not working with VGA. It does work with RGB though and it's one of the few DC games that can be forced into native 240p with a certain button combination.
     
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  12. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    About the VGA mod....

    I'm collecting parts, but i'm tad confused, so if someone can help me i'd appreciate it....
     
  13. Metoroid0
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    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Why would some schematics like this, use this chip?? "74HCT244"
    Its pretty cheap, like nothing, but why, only few i saw use it in schematics, like this one:

    [​IMG]