Review: Xbox 360 Elite & VGA vs. HDMI

UPDATE – Xbox 360 Spring Update “Reference Levels” explained.

Received an updated reply from Microsoft that further clarifies the reference levels enhancement included in the Spring Update. The reply is from Microsoft’s John Rodman, Senior Product Manager, Xbox Global Platform (followed by the original post):

Q: Any chance one of your tech contacts could explain in layman’s terms exactly what VGA level referencing is and how it affects 360 users who connect with VGA?

A: We added a new feature to the 2007 Xbox System Update which is actually fairly common among consumer electronics devices. You may know it by a variety of names; Reference Levels, Output levels, Black Levels, Blacker than black, Enhanced Blacks, Setup, PLUGE -all of this is talking about roughly the same functionality. In Xbox 360 we call it
“Reference Levels” for those using HDMI or VGA cables and “Black Levels” for Component or Standard cables.

At a very high level, this feature is here to accommodate the different methods that TVs use to receive a video signal. More specifically it addresses the different ways that “black” and “white” can be represented in that video signal. If you want to dig a little deeper, the easiest way to think about this is to imagine a scale from 0 to 100. 0 is the dark end and 100 is the light end of the scale.

Because of the multiple “standards” put out by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) there is some confusion around what the term “Black” actually means. Some TVs expect black to be 0 while others expect it to be at 7. So, if the Xbox 360 outputs 7.5 as “Black” and it is connected to a TV that expects “Black” to be 0, it will result in a washed out colors. Conversely, if the Xbox 360 outputs 0 as black and the TV expects to get 7.5, it will end up with a very dark picture.

If video from your Xbox 360 looks too bright or too dark, you should try each of the settings and see what works best for your particular TV. If you are happy with you’re the video from your Xbox 360, then don’t bother changing it. 

(Original post, April 29, 2007):

Got my Xbox 360 Elite this morning. I went to Walmart first, found a woman in the electronics section, and asked where are the 360 Elites. She looked at the flyer in her hand and said “They ain’t out yet.” I said they’re shipping today, and asked if she’d check the computer for me, to see if they’re in back. “They ain’t here, I tol’ you – some people axed the same thing yesterday, we ain’t got none.” I said okay, told her to have a nice day, and she said the same in return.

I figured I’d go to Circuit City or Best Buy and wait till they open at 10. On the way there I noticed Target was already open, and on a whim went in to ask if they had the 360 Elite. The nice young guy in the games section said he thought so, he’d go check. He came out with four 360 Elites, selling one to me, and two to another guy who showed up.

I opted for the 3-year warranty for $29.99, bringing my total receipt to $544.62.

At home, I unpacked the 360 Elite and was bummed to find that the rumored transfer cable/kit was not included. I did a search to find out what was up, and learned that even if it was included, using the transfer cable would wipe out whatever new stuff was on the 360 Elite’s drive – not that any of it is very interesting. (A downloadable coupon in the support section entitles 360 Elite owners to a free transfer cable kit.)

I decided to transfer my stuff using the 64 MB memory card I had on hand. One look at the size of some of my saved stuff – like more than 1 GB for Oblivion alone – gave me pause. The I realized that for that game, and most others, I needed to transfer only the actual save game files, which were rather smallish; the rest, such as the 1+ GB Shivering Isles expansion pack I bought a few weeks ago, I could re-download once I was all set up. I also transferred over Arcade games like Uno, Wik, Worms and some others. The back and forth process from 360 to 360 Elite took about 45 minutes.

Now, for my most burning question: Would the HDMI connection be noticeably better than the VGA connection I was already using?

In a word: No.

An email to my Xbox press contact, asking for clarification, received this reply:

As you mention, the console can output 1080p resolution video over both VGA and HDMI. There may be very, very subtle differences depending on a consumer’s display, but we wouldn’t expect many people to notice.

There will be a difference between HD DVD video played over component and that played over HDMI. The content protection policies of HD DVD allow a maximum output of 1080i over component, so if you have HDMI (or VGA for that matter) you will get the full 1080p resolution.

In the end, by supporting HDMI we are giving our customers who have HD displays another option in the case their display doesn’t support VGA, plus they get the benefit of audio and video over a single cable.

In fact, others have reported that the HDMI isn’t noticeably better than the component video connection, either. On that, I disagree – switching from component to either HDMI or VGA is considerably different, and I notice a dramatic improvement with the Xbox 360 dashboard, in games, and when watching DVD movies.

My second biggest curiosity was noise, and whether the 360 Elite would be quieter than my original 360.

In a word: Yes.

When the DVD drive isn’t spinning, the 360 Elite is quieter than my original Xbox 360. When playing a game it is also quieter. Others have reported the drive isn’t actually quieter, just different in tone. That may be the impression for those who are comparing the old and the new in a large office environment, but in my bedroom, the new is quieter than the old. Perhaps that’s because my original Xbox 360 was the earliest of early units – shipped to me a few days before the 360 was released to the public. It’s that “old.”

But is it whisper-quiet? Nope. It’s still a pretty noisy product.

Bottom line: If you’re HDTV or monitor has an available VGA port, use it (by purchasing the optional VGA cable) with your existing Xbox 360 and enjoy video as good-looking as the 360 Elite’s. If my HDTV had only HDMI and component connection, I would definitely buy the 360 Elite for the sharper picture it delivers when connected that way. As for the hard disk, I had at least 8 GBs available on my old 360 and I don’t see filling this one up fast. My media lives on my MacBook (which I can tap into via the 360 with the add-on program 360Connect), and as far as downloading movies, which I do quite often (last night I watched The Parallax View, a 70s conspiracy theory film starring Warren Beatty that I highly recommend), I watch them then delete them, since they’re only viewable for 24 hours once you start watching. Still, others may want a bigger hard disk for their stuff, and the 360 Elite satisfies on that front (albeit at a pretty high price when compared to the GB-per-buck ratio found on PC add-on drives).



72 Responses to “Review: Xbox 360 Elite & VGA vs. HDMI”

  1.   1

    very nice review! how does the audio hookup when using the VGA cable?

  2. 2 Joe Hutsko

    Hey, Greg. When hooking up with the VGA cable you use the red/white RCA audio plugs that hang near the end of the cable, close to the VGA connector. From what I’ve subsequently read online, the Spring Update will include important color correction (if I’m not mistaken) fixes for VGA, and should make VGA resolution even better. Thanks for the comment, Joe

  3.   3 SesMan

    I enjoyed reading your review of the Elite. Looks as though I’m not missing much. Doesn’t make me want one any less though.

    In reference to what was stated in your comment to Greg, the differences that I noticed between the graphics for the VGA and Component were that the Component on my Samsung DLP was better than the VGA on the SOYO. While the SOYO LCD appeared more crisp, there were certain graphical elements that did not come across like they should have. So, it is nice to see that there may be an update that will improve VGA resolution.

  4. 4 Joe Hutsko

    Interesting about the component and VGA issue with your Samsung and SOYO. Meanwhile, I left out the fact that I connected the HDMI cable from the Elite to my monitor using an HDMI-to-DVI cable, as DVI is what I have on the back of my Gateway monitor. So those with DVI ports on their HDTVs can also connect the 360 Elite using that kind of cable – or, as I summed up, go with VGA and existing 360 for excellent picture quality, providing your HDTV or monitor has a VGA port. Thanks for the comments, guys! Joe

  5.   5 Daniel Miller

    Well, that’s good news. I have my 360 on my VGA & my PS3 on my only HDMI and was worried I would have to buy an Elite and then spend money on some sort of switch.
    Now I don’t have to buy anything!
    1080p; I really can”t tell the difference between it and 720p, but I’m sure glad I have it!

  6.   6 Chris Staines

    Thanks, Joe! You answered the only question I had: VGA or HDMI? With the audio not being an issue, thanks to the optical option on the 360, you’ve pretty much made up my mind to stick with the current, white 360 and skip on this iteration.

    Once again, thank you for being blunt, and not skirting the issues in your review.

  7.   7 Dave Cooley

    I have the 360 prem + a samsung 1080p dlp when i hook up the vga cables the picture looks a little fuzzy and washed also it is alot smaller than the regular component cables which to me look crisper and a noticably larger pciture for games and hddvd’s. I was hoping the hdmi would solve this. any comments

  8.   8 Dave Cooley

    Any response on why the standard component cables look crisper than the vga cables at the 1080 setting. Thank you

  9. 9 Joe Hutsko

    Hey, Dave, thanks for the comment. My short answer is I’m not sure. Have you adjusted the the video settings on the 360? Seems unusual to me, and maybe another reader can comment…? Thanks again for posting. Joe

  10.   10 Dave Cooley

    I have the settings on 1080p on the 360 and say rainbow six looks great on the component cables and the vga cables the video is smaller it still fills the screen but smaller and not as crisp maybe im just expecting too much but the vga cables just dont look crisp. Thanks for the respponse

  11.   11 Gray


    Is your display 1080p? Which model is your TV?

    I have a 40″ Samsung M86 and it won’t accept the 1920×1080 via VGA, even after the Spring 07 update and using ‘expanded’ reference levels….

    So i am stuck with component til i can get an Elite in the UK

  12.   12 Dave Cooley

    My tv is a samsung 56 1080p dlp. I just read a review on and they say that the hdmi video quality is steller compared to the vga as most large screen rear projectors do not fair well on vga cables.

  13.   13 DevlArmz

    To my personal extended study of hdtv’s and cables, I would have to point out that the 360 bottome line looks best on flat panel lcd tv’s.The reason is that its basically a huge computer monitor and handles 1;1 pixle mapping.If you have this cable be sure to set the resolution to the native resolution of your tv for the best image, my tv is 1366 x 768 wich with the vga is ideal with 1360 x 768(i think thats the right res anyway).

  14.   14 GotGrizzle?

    I have a Sony Bravia 40″ 1080p running an XBOX 360. VGA looks amazing; I compared my roommate’s elite HDMI and can see no difference between the two. Do some research on your television to make sure that its VGA connection is able to push the max resolution of 1920 x 1080, some TV’s cannot even push that resolution even if they are 1080p televisions. You are only able to achieve this resolution through HDMI.

  15.   15 DevlArmz

    I got a Westinghouse W4207 flat panel lcd(42″).Comparing vga to component…VGA wins by a landslide and i know why.VGA is made for lcd tv’s, not that u cant use it on a dlp or plasma, but lcd tv’s just intergrate better with vga.So if your thinking about getting a vga cable, make sure you try out both component and vga.For some reason component just looks a little washed out for me, also it looks like objects have these white lines around them, kinda like when you turn your contrast all the way up.The only thing left for me to try out is the elites hdmi……to push my tv to 1080p of course.Bottom line like i stated many times, VGA loves LCD, Component loves PLASMA DLP.

  16.   16 Andrew

    i have a polaroid 46 inch 1080p paid 1,398 looks fucking amazing dont fall for that main stream bull shit of sony and samsung 5,000 money trap thats all they are got the up dates every game is like you can jump in and play your self your still watching the game video only your playing yes you can tell a huge diffrence from the scars and hair fallacoles of the guys of gears of war to the reflections of spiderman in the windows of newyork city

  17.   17 james

    can some one tell me whether i can use an hdmi-to-dvi cable (because i only got a dvi port at the back of my tv) and i will stip benefit the quality of hdmi

  18. 18 Joe

    Hey, James. Yep, sure thing, you can use HDMI to DVI cable or adapter to cable, with no change in digital video/signal quality, however you won’t get the audio normally sent down the HDMI cable, and will have to use the supplied adapter that comes with the 360 Elite to route the audio from the console do your audio gear/speakers. I was using this arrangement for a few weeks till I moved from he Gateway widescreen (with DVI) to the Westinghouse 37″ LCD I’m currently testing, which has an HDMI port (and two DVIs, so I could stick with that, but used that for the PS3 instead). Anyway, to repeat, sure thing, you can do it. Joe

  19.   19 Daniel

    I have a 40 inch Samsung LCD

    PS3 on the HMDi works
    Wii on the Component great
    Xbox on the VGA erm;… not at any HD resolutions…

    samungs are telling me this is an xbox issue BUT i also have a 24 inch dell and the xbox outputs to the dell 24 no problem. Also when i use a PC onthe vga that does 1080p with no problem. IS anyeon else havign these issues?

  20. 20 Steve

    Hello, I have been scouring the net for an answer on this, I have a samsung 61″ 1080p tv that will only accept a 1080p connection via the vga. So my question is I currently have a PS3 HDMI to the tv, but will it be a better resolution (hopefully 1080p) if I were to go component out of the PS3 to vga on the tv? Is there a better way to go to vga out from the PS3? I would appreciate anyones help on this matter, it may seem that my tv is already taking the 1080i signal and converting it to 1080p, so maybe this wont matter, just wondering what would be the best picture.

  21. 21 Joe

    Hi, Steve. Thanks for your comment. I don’t have answers to your questions, but I’m hoping someone else reading the thread will reply with the answers you seek. I myself was wondering if there was a VGA cable/adapter for PS3, so with luck we’ll both find out. Stay tuned. And thanks again for writing. Joe

  22.   22 Josh

    I have a 360 and I am now in love with my VGA Cable. It delivers full hd to my 42′ Olevia LCD HDTV for my hd dvds and looks terrific. As the “rumors” that VGA looks faded out, I say they are complete lies as my vga input is more filled with color than my component input.

  23. 23 Joe

    If I’m not mistaken the Spring Update corrected any “dim/faded” VGA issues, and I agree, I see the same quality between HDMI and VGA since the Spring Update. Thanks for the comment, Josh. Joe

  24.   24 dave

    I agree with your review. Unfortunately my White 360 broke and is being repaired. I went about 1 week before complete break down and purchasing an Elite. I will sell one or the other when I get it back on Amazon… For my white box I purchased the VGA cables to output to my DVI Samsung 46″ HDTV (note is is only 1080i) and it looks better in 720p. I use a HDMI to DVI conversion cable for my tv. Once I got my Elite all set up, I went back and forth about twice, and seriously I couldn’t tell any difference. BUT I do completey agree that the VGA (or HDMI) is MUCH better than component.

  25.   25 deneem

    well for those that didn’t know vga and hdmi/dvi looks better than component on 1080p is because component can only support 720p/1080i

  26.   26 kenny o

    to SAMSUNG 1080p owners concerned with the vga connection on their xbox 360. the best way to fix the washed out issue is to set the reference level to the one that best matches your hdtv, most likely “expanded.” secondly, in the samsung menu, go to “setup” and set “home theater pc” to on. i promise you it will be a vast improvement

  27.   27 daveeg

    Hi! I have the premium 360 at the moment. I am going to be purchasing a Samsung 40″ M86 1080p TV this week. I was told you can get a cable adapter to take you from VGA to HDMI, will this still give you the 1080p display or will the adapter reduce visual quality?


  28. 28 Joe Hutsko

    Hmm, I’m familiar with DVI to HDMI adapters and/or cables, like the one I use to connect my PS3 to my HDTV, but not VGA to HDMI. Will the new HDTV have a VGA port? If so, that offers great resolution that MS says is equal to HDMI, but it doesn’t carry the audio signal, which isn’t a big deal. Or do you mean you bought the brand new Premium that comes with HDMI, like the one I got the other day and wrote about this week? Doing a search I found this thread, which may be helpful:

    Best, Joe

  29.   29 Doug Lord

    You seem pretty knowledgable, so I thought maybe you could help. I have a normal XBox 360 and the HD-DVD addon. I also have a 65″ DLP TV capable of 1080p. Problem is the TV does not do VGA. Right now I am hooked up with components.

    Couple of questions:

    1. What is the best way to go VGA to DVI/HDMI?
    2. If I do #1, will I be able to play games in 1080P?
    3. More importantly, if I do #1, will I be able to use the built in upconverting of the HD-DVD add on to take normal DVDs and see them in 1080P (or at least 1080i)?

  30. 30 Joe Hutsko

    Hi there. I’m not familiar with a way to go from VGA to HDMI/DVI. I know the Mac mini, for instance, comes with an HDMI to VGA adapter, which lets you use the mini with a VGA monitor, but I’m not sure if an adapter like that can go the other way around, and send the signal as VGA to HDMI/DVI. I guess you could try it, or maybe someone will pipe in here with more knowledge. Apologies that I can’t provide an immediate answer, Doug. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Joe

  31.   31 Lee Reeevell

    Hi, I have just got an Elite today in the UK and I’ve hooked it up to my Toshiba Regza 42WLT66 which can only output 1080p over HDMI (hence why I got the elite), however 1080p is greyed out in the display options – I can only choose upto 1080i which is what my old premium xbox could do over component input! Unfortunatly the TV does not accept 1080p on VGA on HDMI, does anyone know why 1080p is not available on the elite’s system setup?

  32. 32 Joe Hutsko

    Hi, Lee. No 1080p showing up sounded strange (it appeared on mine just fine, when connected to a Westinghouse 1080p set I’m currently testing), so I did a search and according to CNET, your set does not support 1080p.

    Below is an excerpt from the article as well as a link. I found it by Googling “42WLT66 1080p” – hope this helps answer your question. Sorry it doesn’t sound like good news, man.

    ‘Full HD’ resolution LCD TVs – Television Round-ups at
    Toshiba’s 42WLT66 is incredibly affordable for a high-resolution screen, although it won’t support 1080p signals.,39030219,49285156,00.htm

  33.   33 Joe Cezaleo

    Hey Joe,

    I’m trying to decide wther to get the Mitsubishi WD-65733 or the 732 model, the 732 model as a DVI-I input, while the 732 does not. The 733 is a little newer & a bit brighter thats about it…

    Anyway, I have a regular white 360, and am praying there is a way I can somehow get tru 1080p resolution. What kind of cable could I use to get that? I belive there is a cable slated to come out by XCM that goes from the old 360s to HDMI but I dont trust that it will be true 1080p.. what should i do??!

  34.   34 Joe Cezaleo

    sorry, to clarify, the 733 (newer) doesnt have any DVI-I input while the older model does.

  35. 35 Joe Hutsko

    To get true 1080p from your original Xbox 360 you can use the optional VGA cable and connect to the HDTV’s VGA port – if it has one. I am not familiar with a cable that will allow the original, non-HDMI Xbox 360 to connect to an HDTV with HDMI to give it 1080p, but maybe I’m mistaken. Anyone else heard of this? Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment, Joe. Best, Joe 2

  36.   36 Joe Cezaleo

    It has a dvi-I port… so can i use a VGA cable w/ a DVI-I converter to get 1080p or will such lose the 1080p signal

  37.   37 Joe Cezaleo

    such as these cables:

  38.   38 Lee Reeevell

    Hi Joe C,

    Thanks for the information about the Toshiba WLT66 TV, the article makes it clear on CNET where as other reviews lead me to belive the set was 1080p.

    Strangely though the set was advertised as one of only two full 1080p sets availble in my local “Currys” electronics store back in January of this year.

    Needless to say im not too happy about this as I was lead in paying a premium for this set at the time as it was “one of the 1st affordable 1080p sets” available. I can vividly remeber the display stand with 1080p above the set.

    Other reviews claimed ‘Full HD’ with a 1920×1080 resolution – which I read as 1080p.

    Im not sure where to take this now, I guess the store will plead ignorance as the set is no longer in production and they have had no stock since May 07. I might try my luck!

    Thanks again for clearing this up.

  39.   39 jordancasbeer

    Anyone know how to setup up PIP with the Elite? Had it working on the luck with the new machine

  40.   40 mr_spatula

    vga vs hdmi is def more dependent on the tv/monitor than anything else. on my 22 inch gaming monitor the vga is just as clear but the hdmi’s color is uber sweet. the vga just isnt anywhere near as vibrant

  41.   41 assassin151

    umm thanks for the review but u are all mostly talking bout tvs what i wanted to know is hows vga compared to component compared to hdmi/dvi on a computer lcd monitor like the dell 27″ 1920×1200 which can support 1080p

  42.   42 Wood Splitter

    I just upgraded too the Elite . useing the HDMI i notice that when the screen is black or when its a dark sceen i can see vertical noise lines on the screen I have a 42in dlp . I dont have this problem with my HD cable reciver with a HDMI hook up . both my HDMI cable are top of the line $124.00 a pice. and what should i set my Reference Levels im thinking that could be the problem

  43.   43 Wood Splitter

    samsung 42 dlp 720p 1080i

  44.   44 Black Zuki

    So i’m still rocking the xbox pro with no HDMI connection…but heres my take…I just purchased a new TV, the Samsung 46″ lcd 720p…and let me tell you when I first hooked it up I was amazed of how beautiful the games and videos have improved from my samsung 30″ slimfit hdtv. Next I bought a VGA cable for my xbox about 6 months before I bought the TV and I was gonna use it for my pc monitor and just never ended up hooking it up. I made sure with my new TV that it had a VGA hookup. So I saw the wires sitting there not being use and decided to hook those badboys up, and what do you know…it was just like heaven! I have never seen anything so clear, and I couldn’t believe I have been playing Halo for the past 3 years and not ever experiencing this type of beauty. I shit you not I have noticed details on things I have been viewing for years and have just noticed with this new setup. So if anybody out there has a VGA hookup..please try it out. The clarity is unbelievable and the colors are so rich. I have never experienced HDMI but I just don’t see anything looking better then VGA. Simply Amazing!

  45.   45 LA-dog

    Is there an hdmi to s-video connector for the 360? I’m trying to use the 360 on my old TV. A guy at the store said I can do this.

  46.   46 Gman75

    I have the new 72″ from Samsung 1080P and have the 360 hooked up through VGA and looks amazing.. When I tried using component cables the only thing that got better was the colours. They were alot more vibrant, but with that said I did some adjusting to the colours and was able to acheive the same vibrance through VGA. I will tell you right now that when using a rear projection like DLP or LCD you will not be able to tell the difference between VGA and HDMI as far as resolution goes (sharpness). The good thing about VGA and HDMI is that it will upconvert your regular DVD moviesto 1080i. When using component it will not. I’ve tried it so I know this is true.. and let me tell you that the difference when watching your movies through a upconverting DVD player is HUGE.
    Theres only really to noticible advantages when using HDMI are
    1. One cable connects audio/video, but unless you have a AV reciever that has HDMI inputs then you still have to use 2 seperate cables anyways.. HDMI and an OPTICAL cable to achive DOLBY DIGITAL..
    2. That the only way to get TRUE DOLBY DIGITAL HD which is uncompressed audio is through HDMI cable. Note not all movies have TRUE HD sound but I’m sure its just a matter of time. AV recievers with TRUE HD are new to the market.
    As for the guy asking about S-VIDEO to HDMI don’t bother just use the XBOX S-VIDEO connector straight to the TV.

  47.   47 Carl

    hey i tried to connect my 360 useing vga to my 60″ sony i bought a couple months ago and when i use it, it wont fill up the screen totall and when i try to stretch it withthe tv optiions it still dont fill up the screen and wont let me select 1080p any thing i can to or is there a connector to go from vga to hdmi that isnt to much money thanks

  48.   48 Gman75

    My samsung did the same thing it showed the picture with a black border on it.
    The only way to eliminate it is only if your TV has the option to. My had a preset called “PC WIDE” which eliminated the black border.. As for the 1080p problem, if your TV is not capable of recieving 1080p through VGA then it won’t be able to display it 720P is you’re only option. Using a VGA to HDMI converter can be costly. The only way to get rid of the black border and receice 1080i is through component, but it won’t upconvert your movies. If you want to get 1080P looks like you’re gonna need the ELITE or the HALO edition XBOX as long as your TV is cable of it as well.
    Hope this helps

  49.   49 Ryan

    Great review on the elite!

    For some of you guys that are having trouble with VGA filling the screen, I had the same problem too. I was then jsut going through my tvs menu (Akai 27″) and found an option to stretch and align my screen, may your tv’s have it too

    just my 2 cents…

  50.   50 Vicky

    My 12 year old son wants an xbox 360 for Christmas/ I’ve read a number of reviews about the elite systems release.
    After 6 months on the market… Have things changed with the elite?

    Which would you reccoment?

  51. 51 Joe Hutsko

    Hi, Vicky. The biggest difference is the “Falcon” chipset in newer model Xbox 360s. There are a number of sites that explain how to find out if the Xbox you’re buying has Falcon chips in it; the Falcon chipset and overall 360 run cooler and are reportedly less likely to suffer from the dreaded RROD – red ring of death – that plagued early model 360s. I believe the Halo 3 Xbox 360s are Falcon chipset, and a guy at EB Games said the new Arcade edition is Falcon, so it’s only a matter of time before all 360s use the Falcon chipset. Search on how to find out if your Xbox 360 has Falcon and you’ll find additional help. Happy upcoming Holidays! Joe

  52.   52 Daniel

    Hey, it was nice to finally get an answer to the hdmi vs vga question. Thanks for not beating around the bush. After reading all this, I got vga and compared to hdmi and component. I have a samsung LNS4096D. After comparing the 3 connections, VGA looked better than component, and equal to hdmi in gaming. HOWEVER, when putting planet earth in HD on, it sitll looked as sharp as HDMI and sharper than component, but the black scenes in the film looked “bleedy” when compared to component or HDMI. What I mean by bleedy is that the blacks were not AS consistent as HDMI or component, and they weren’t as black. Nothing major, but that’s the only difference I noticed, in everything else, the VGA made colors pop much more than on HDMI, and had deeper blacks in still frames. Such as when I’m viewing pictures.

  53. 53 Joseph

    I am having the same problem as Wood Splitter (42) When I am using the Elite HDMI on my 40″ 720 Samsung LCD, it leaves black shadows on screen while in dark scenes. Playing the demo for bioshock was horrible. Some one suggested I had a cheap HDMI cable, but thats not the case at all. It works just fine on my smaller Samsung hd. No shadows at all.

  54.   54 Pranav Prasher

    This is probably an obvious question but do you know if the new update supports 1680×1050.

  55.   55 michael

    I was wondering if you can take the xbox 360 elite and hook it up to the dvi side of your computer and still get windows to work as well. for when i take off my dvi cable from my computer it does not show windows, all i get is a balnk screen black on the monitor and the green light goes red.

  56. 56 Joe Hutsko

    I’ve used both PS3 and Xbox 360 on DVI ports on Westinghouse 37″ HDTV. I used an HDMI/DVI cable, with HDMI plugging into the 360 or PS3, and the DVI into the TV. The tricky thing, on my set anyway, is that one DVI works fine with the PS3 at 1080p, the other does not. I recall reading something about two different kinds of DVI on my set, so I’m not sure about yours. You could simply try it using the same kind of cable, or get an HDMI to DVI adapter if you don’t have said cable. Good luck!

  57.   57 VOLT

    Hi all,
    i have a 50″ Samsung DLP but with only VGA and DVI in and i got an issue with my 360 where its connected through an HDMI cable through a DVI adapter. as im trying to watching a dvd through the HDMI/DVI cables, i get a HDCP bubble. i didn’t have this problem when i used Microsofts HDMI cable through a DVI adapter. is there anyway around this issue? my only other options are to either go with a VGA or the HDMI kit from MS.

  58.   58 VOLT

    *update* bought the MS HDMI (again) cable but i’m still having the same issue. could it be the DVI adapter? the first adapter that i bought (then returned too much $$$) was a Monster brand along with the MS cable. Now i’m using the on that i bought from and even after using both HDMI from MS and from Monprice its still giving me the HDCP code. any clue why i’m getting this?

  59.   59 teejay

    My question would relate to the VGA cable. I havent bought one yet, but am going to soon. Would there be a difference in buying the Target brand vs. the Microsoft version? Other than the $25 savings?

  60. 60 Joe Hutsko

    Honestly I can’t imagine there would be a difference in video quality, and what with Target’s liberal return policy, you could always get your money back if you’re not satisfied. Thanks for taking the time to visit the site and comment,

  61.   61 jerrod

    i have a question about hdmi-dvi hookup.i have a tatung p42hsmt which is dvi-hdcp.i get sound through my stereo through an optical cable and when i put in a game it plays just fine,actually its awesome.but my problem is when i put in a dvd all i get is the 360 logo on my display.the movie is playing but no picture just the logo,so is it something i need to change in the video settings on my xbox?

  62. 62 Joe Hutsko

    That’s weird, I don’t have an answer right off the bat but I’m hoping other readers will step in to reply. Do you know the max resolution of your HDTV? I’d check that first, then match it with the resolution on the Xbox 360. I believe it is possible to up your Xbox 360 setting to higher HDTV resolution even if your TV isn’t that, and it down converts, but a DVD might not play nice with such a setting. Check your HDTV and find out what the exact max resolution is, and if it’s 720p set your Xbox 360 to that, then try the DVD. Curious to hear how you make out. Joe

  63. 63 Eric

    I thought that 1080p meant that you have 1080 vertical lines, so on a 24″ monitor, 1080p fill the entire screen at its native resolution of 1920×1080. Since the xbox can only output up to 1366 x 768 doesn’t that mean it’s closer to 720p than 1080p?

    When connecting the xbox 360 to a 24″ monitor with hdmi (like the dell 2408), is the resolution 1920×1080?

    Thanks in advance! I’m considering buying a 360 and connecting it to a 24″ monitor, but the ones with hdmi are still really expensive. So, I’m wondering if there’s a resolution difference between hdmi and vga.

  64.   64 jerrod

    ok i found something new it might help,when i go to xbox live and try to watch vids from ther it says “unable to secure hdcp”.i am wondering if the hdmi-dvi cable isnt supported.i read that the xbox hdmi output is i think a 1.3 and this cable i bought might nnot be what the xbox needs.

  65. 65 Joe Hutsko

    Hi there. On a story deadline so I’m going to point you to the excellent Wikipedia explanation on this one. Best, Joe

  66. 66 Eric

    Aah thanks for the link Joe. So my reading of the wiki article is that most games only output at 720p anyway, in which case the VGA cable would be outputting the max resolution of the game.

    Do I understand this correctly?


  67.   67 Joe Breezy

    Guys relax the VGA and HDMI are the same
    infact the VGA can handle more than the HDMI
    although both of these have not yet reached their limits
    which will be times 2 what we have now!
    thats 2160p
    …maybe even better
    but the question is ‘Will it matter?’
    our eyes cant tell between 1080 and 2160
    unless u have your nose mushed up against your television set

    Email me!

  68.   68 Simon

    I am using original Xbox 360 and connected it to my Benq 24″ monitor using a Monster VGA cable and the pictures are beautiful and crystal clear. In the Display setup, i chose 1920 x 1080.
    The option below the screen resolution is greyed out and i cannot choose 720p, 1080i, 1080p, as it say’s i need a HD Av cable. Is this normal?
    Since i am using 1920 x 1080 resolution, is this the same as using 1080p?
    Does anyone else have this problem where that section is greyed out?

  69.   69 G

    Ok…here is the deal. I have a DLP 67″ Samsung (HLR6768WX) TV. I purchased a 360 Premium with the HDMI output about 7 months ago. I was frustrated to find out that my TV was not a true 1080p capable via the HDMI inputs(Even though it has 1080p labeled on frame of the TV itself). I did find though I could achieve a 1080p resolution via the VGA input(1920×1080 @ 60hz). Color looks better with VGA then compared to HDMI, the color with HDMI seems to be grayed out almost and I also noticed with COD4 for example the gun in hand seems to have less detail as well. The VGA however appears to have the colors bleeding into another, it is not as sharp. I did mess with some of the setting with the TV on the pc mode, but nothing seemed to improve the color bleeding. Has anyone seen this before? I don’t think the XBOX is the problem, I believe the inputs on my TV that are source of the problem. I wanted to see if anyone had come across this problem and had a solution to correct the color bleeding.

  70.   70 Gman75

    Hello G I have the Samsung 72″ HL-T7288W There is no reason for you tv not to produce 1080p through you HDMI cable espacially if it can be done through your vga, not to mention if it says 1080p on you tv. Heres some reviews from people that have the same tv as you claming that they are getting 1080p thourgh HDMI,9936019sortby,retailer/reviews.html

    Have you checked your specs on the outputs of your TV. I’ve tried both cables on my TV and found no visible difference except that HDMI has a more accurate colour reproduction.

  71.   71 Joe Cezaleo
  72.   72 Rob

    Bro, thanks a bunch for writing this up. I’ve got a 720P projector that I’ve been using with the VGA connection for some time now and it’s always looked great, but I’ve been tempted lately to get a newer 360 with HDMI because the projector also has a HDMI input.

    After reading this I’m not going to do it since you say it doesn’t look noticeably better. You saved me a bunch of $.

    Also, thanks for the heads-up on 360Connect and The Parallax View. You’re not the first to recommend it and I’ll get it from Netflix ASAP.

    Thanks again!

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