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Multiplatform VGA Adapter


Romier S
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Found this in my travels:

 

http://www.vdigi.com/index.php

 

The VD-Z3 is a multiplatform VGA adapter. It works with all versions of the Xbox as well as the PS2 and GC.

 

vdz3_4.jpg

 

Here is a review from TeamXbox:

 

http://www.teamxbox.com/article.php?id=724&t=h

 

Also another review from a different source (not sure of the source):

 

VDigi VD-Z3 Review

 

Before you read this review I would just like to point out that the VD-Z3 is not Xbox-VGA adapter. It can be used to convert an HDTV signal from an Xbox to a CRT (just like an Xbox VGA adapter), but it can be used for so much more.

 

Presentation

VDigi does such a great job putting together this whole package. The colorful box is very small which opens up to reveal an even tinier transcoder unit. Each package contains:

 

? A VD-Z3 Component to VGA Transcoder adapter

? A Power Supply adapter

? An Xbox Component Cable (Generic)

? An Audio Y-cable adapter

? A Xbox to USB Adapter*

? Package of Manual, Reference Card, Packing Slip

 

*The Xbox to USB Adapter was a promotional item that was available at time I ordered this product. You have to contact VDigi to inquire whether or not the promotion is still being offered.

 

Everything seems so professional, which is quite surprising from a company that?s practically unheard of here in the United States. The VD-Z3 actually features a sleek product design compared to other VGA adapters/component transcoders. The unit features two LED indicator lights, an orange one for power (which is always on if you use the built-in VGA switch) and an alluring blue light (similar to the one on Playstation 2 consoles) for a YPrPb connection. The component input and VGA input/outputs are separated to cause not a huge mess with wires. The config switch and the video input selector are conveniently located on the side. Setting up the unit using the config switch maybe a problem if you have big fingers and/or short nails, but the real problem is trying to adjust the brightness on the unit which is located right next to the DC in and the component inputs?your small fingers/long nails aren?t really going to help you with this one, just hope you have something small to stick in there.

 

What?s really impressing is the well-planned out manual. Everything you wanted to know about the VD-Z3 is explained in the manual. There are a few grammar mistakes here and there, but it?s understandable considering they?re a company located in Hong Kong. The Quick Reference Card is very useful for having to change the settings on the config switch or if you need a visual diagram for setting up your Xbox to the unit.

 

Video Quality

This is really the only thing that matters when searching for a product like this. No matter how innovative, what features are included, or anything else?if the transcoder can?t convert signals properly it just isn?t worth the money. And I knew what to expect when I got the VD-Z3. I?ve spent countless hours in front of a huge HDTV back at my parents? house. I wasn?t going to accept some cheap line-doubler (which the VD-Z3 is NOT). I tested out the VD-Z3 on two monitors: a Trinitron flat-screen CRT and a new, high-end LCD monitor.

 

CRT Impressions

Using the VD-Z3 on a CRT produced great results. The picture was unbelievably sharp. In fact, it seemed too sharp and I found myself lowering the contrast settings on my monitor. However, after a few hours of playing time I got used to sharpness. I had the same feeling when I played Xbox on an HDTV for the first time, and I did find myself configuring the settings on the TV, but after lots of playtime I was really pleased with the picture, especially when I when I played using a composite connection at a friend?s house and really realized how superior HDTV is to standard composite RCA. The colors were perfect on my monitor, and I didn?t find any need to play around with the config switch, except to enable 480i Setup Mode. The best thing I can recommend to deal with the extra sharpness is to sit a few feet back from your monitor; you have to this when using a real HDTV to ensure the highest quality picture. However, games with Anti-Aliasing like Project Gotham Racing 2 look absolutely GORGEOUS. This simply has to been seen to be believed.

 

LCD Impressions

Hideous is the word that comes to mind. Nothing is wrong with the VD-Z3 itself as it is LCD technology. LCD?s can only display their native resolution really well, and everything else doesn?t look as great. Most Xbox games are displayed natively in 480p, which transcodes to 640 X 480. Since most LCD?s have their native resolution to be much higher than 640 X 480, games are going to look blurry. The VD-Z3 produces a really sharp image, and unfortunately the bold sharpness and the blurriness don?t cancel each other out?instead it produces a mess. By all means avoid using an LCD with this product if you plan on hooking it up to a game console. I found composite video to look superior than a console with the VD-Z3 hooked up to an LCD. Keep in mind this was a high end LCD, which is surprisingly good for PC gaming in its native resolution and features no ghosting whatsoever. I can?t imagine how much worse the picture could look with a mid-range or a low-end LCD.

 

But when displaying FMV, the LCD seemed to display a better image than the CRT. If you plan on hooking up a progressive-scan DVD player or another sort of device besides a game console to the VD-Z3, than an LCD would be suitable.

 

As an Xbox VGA Adapter

As stated before, the VD-Z3 is not a specifically made Xbox-VGA converter as the Neoya X2VGA Adapter. However, it is currently being bundled to work with your Xbox right out of the box.

 

Everything you need to plug your Xbox to your VGA monitor is included in the box: An Xbox component cable and an audio Y-cable adapter as well as nifty Quick Setup Reference Card for Xbox users. The component cable that is included is generic, and does not support digital audio as the official HDTV pack from MS or the ones Monster Cable manufacture. But since most people are more than likely going to use this with standard PC-speaker sets, the component cables hooked with the Y-adapter should suffice. With the X2VGA, no video cables are needed since it plugs directly to the audio/video output on the Xbox console, which creates less clutter as opposed the extra cables that the VD-Z3. However, with the audio Y-adapter and the VGA selector switch (which is built-in with the VD-Z3) that Neoya is now bundling with new X2VGA orders, there?s just as much clutter if not more with that ugly VGA selector switch taking up space on your desk.

 

But what it really comes down to is this: Which VGA adapter produces the better picture quality? From my understanding, both adapters produce high quality HDTV signals similarly with neither one having an edge over the other. There have been a few reports of incompatibilities with the X2VGA with newer Xbox models because of different (cheaper) video chips inside of them, but Neoya has already addressed this problem with a newer version of their product.

 

The only thing where the X2VGA really shines over the VD-Z3 is the better 480i viewing mode. Neither adapter nor any component-to-VGA converter can produce a 480i signal fully compatible with a VGA adapter, but Neoya?s 480i?s EasyView is superior to VDigi?s 480i Setup mode, simply because of the ability to scroll through the image. The image is cropped and fitted with the VD-Z3. Though this is okay with the Dashboard, it could cause some problems with other products in the future. However, since the X2VGA is designed for the Xbox console, and accessibility to the Dashboard is a necessity for Xbox owners, the VD-Z3 was designed for converting HDTV from any source, so 480i support is not on the top of priority list for HDTV enthusiasts.

 

So when it comes down to strictly Xbox, you can?t go wrong with either adapter with the VD-Z3 being a few dollars cheaper.

 

Conclusion

I first heard of the VD-Z3 from an Xbox messageboard. Being in the market for a component to VGA adapter for all my consoles I was very intrigued by this product. The sales representative answered all my questions completely and quickly. My order was processed within twenty-four hours, and it only took a week from the day I ordered for the product to be shipped USPS to my parents? house (Mail services were closed at my college dorm during the winter where I was living).

 

Since I?ve been so used to HDTV for so long, I needed a way to experience that in my college dorm without spending hundreds of dollars on an HDTV. This is simply the best adapter available for any kind of component to VGA converting. It?s compatible with every game console (with games that support HDTV), every progressive-scan DVD player and any other device you have lying around that displays in high definition. There is no need to waste more money on a device specifically designed for one product. If you?re an Xbox gamer and you don?t have an HDTV, but have a decent CRT, you owe it to yourself to order one of these and experience what your Xbox is capable of.

 

It?s just painful to go back to anything else that?s not HDTV once you use this product.

 

 

The adapter is currently on sale for only 49.99! Take a look here:

 

http://www.vdigi.com

 

Suffice it to say, I've ordered one ;)

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