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HDMI not so HD


By Blackwalt - Posted on 20 September 2007

Not with Rainbow Six Vegas anyway.

So I have used HDMI on my Xbox Elite before. To watch DVDs, not play games. I used it this weekend to watch Casino Royale and was impressed by the quality of the picture. It was sweetness and light and I stared at the TV mesmerized.

The TV in question is a Viewsonic 37" LCD 1080i with a resolution of 1360x768. With HDMI in case you were wondering.

I couldn't wait until I tried gaming through HDMI. Couldn't wait.

Until I tried it that is.

Last night with Rainbow Six Vegas we went into a level that we had just played the night before on my Samsung 22" LCD monitor.

It was a dark level with tunnels. It was visually brutal. The colours were clashing. Bright in some areas, dark in others, the type was blurry (readable but blurry) and I couldn't see anything to play properly. "Arrghhh!!! Kill me now!" Whoops, friendly fire is on - damn HoC teammates! Once you finish this level I am rebooting to switch video inputs.

Pulled the HDMI and Audio Dongle. Inserted VGA adapter. Rebooted.

Ahhhhhh.... Back to sweetness and light. And being able to see things again.

I don't get it. It should be better. HDMI is digital isn't it?

Well, I didn't play with any settings on the TV and I should probably confirm that the Xbox 360 is set at 1080i but I think the issue is a meshing of resoutions.

720p is a resolution of 1,280 x 720.

1080i is a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 interlaced.

The TV is 1360 x 768.

When 1080i is selected there has to be some interpolation at the TV set to mesh up the resolutions and I suspect that is what is messing up the colours and sharpness.

However, with vga I can select the exact resolution of 1360x768 matching up to my TV perfectly.

And looking perfect and crystal clear.

I was excited about the HDMI in my Xbox but I suspect I will be sticking with the vga adapter while gaming from now on.

It may be possible to change Xbox 360 or TV settings to get a better HDMI picture but when the vga picture as good as it is, why bother.

I'll stick with the old and busted and skip the new hotness for now thanks.

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