View Full Version : dreamcast VGA Hookup, worth the hype?

June 27th, 2005, 16:24
I just bought a dreamcast of ebay, and was thinking about getting a Computer monitor at a used computer store for cheap and use the dreamcast on it, but was wondering if anyone here has done this and is it worth the trouble or should i just use my TV, the TV is not HD by the way.

June 27th, 2005, 16:36
An HDTV wouldn't help you anyway, the DC doesn't support it... I use a VGA monitor with my DC that I code on and use my other in the living room on my TV. On the games that support a VGA monitor, it's well worth it IMHO.

Enjoy your DC!

June 27th, 2005, 16:37
Well the DC can't support HD anyway so that doesnt matter. VGA will give you better resolution but honestly it doesnt really matter. It's useful for some stuff like DClinux as that won't centre on a normal TV.
I wrote a tutorial on how to make an internal VGA circuit, it's in the hardware board, take a look its a fairly easy mod.

beetroot bertie
June 28th, 2005, 13:16
I'd say it's worth it but I guess it depends on your opinion.

It's not going to make the games any better to play but will improve the crispness of the graphics and may make games run a little smoother due to the way the monitor redraws the screen in comparison to a telly.

I have my PAL DC connected to a 17" Diamondtron monitor with a black VGA box that I got from Play Asia and I noticed quite an improvement in the shapness of the graphics compared to my previous set up which used a scart lead. Soul Calibur looks really good on VGA for instance as does Ikaruga.

I think it depends on whether you feel its worth the cost. I was lucky really as I got the monitor from work for nothing and the VGA Box was quite cheap and I bought it with some other stuff to help cut the shipping costs.

Worth noting is that not all games are compatible. Most are but a few won't work. Out of my collection of about 50 odd games, there's only 4 (all PAL) that don't work: Capcom Vs SNK, Bangia-O, Snow Surfers and Soul Fighter. The others that don't work: Hidden & Dangerous, Hydro Thunder, Tee Off and Gunbird 2 can be tricked to work using a DC-X import player disc or by doing the switch trick which involves moving the switch on the VGA box to the VGA setting when the DC makes an internal beep shortly after putting the disc in. Gunbird 2 suffers from some sort of slow down though which I can't explain.

You may need to invest in some speakers too as the VGA Box I have has a earphone socket for attaching speakers.

June 28th, 2005, 14:02
what is a scart lead as apposed to the vga box?

June 28th, 2005, 15:54
what is a scart lead as apposed to the vga box?
A scart lead is used to plug a DC into a TV, it is the best picture quality available on a TV.
A VGA box is basically an adaptor to tell the Dreamcast to produce a VGA signal to be used on a PC monitor, this will have a higher resolution than a standard TV.

I'm surprised that you dont know what a scart lead is.

June 29th, 2005, 00:03
YOUR SURPRISED! im surprised that you think i should know what SCART meants..... not being saucy but hookups to TV are Svideo, Composite and component video. Oh and Co-axial cable.

SCART? :confused:

June 29th, 2005, 00:36
I definitely think the VGA hook-up is worth it. And most games do work with the "switch trick" at least with the VGA I've got..I've had it soo long I'm not even sure where I bought it. :D

June 29th, 2005, 05:08
there's also the trick of grounding pin 6(???) instead of 7(???) to boot up non vga games like kof 99

and ya I don't know what the hell is the deal with gunbird 2 slowing down so much in vga

June 29th, 2005, 05:37
YOUR SURPRISED! im surprised that you think i should know what SCART meants..... not being saucy but hookups to TV are Svideo, Composite and component video. Oh and Co-axial cable.

SCART? :confused:

Don't worry, SCART is a Euro thing. I don't know, but I think it's the equivalent of S-Video or perhaps component. Since you're not familiar with it, I'll assume your from North America somewhere (as am I).

As I said way up there, VGA is worth it, but I guess it really depends on your setup. S-Vid on a big screen is super sweet too. 20 or 30 bones for a VGA adapter and I don't think you'll be sorry with the purchase.


June 29th, 2005, 10:55
From what i hear SCART is better than what u yanks have...i think metafox said that..

June 29th, 2005, 13:35
I always assume that people are in the UK unless it says otherwise in the Location:, so sorry :)

The quality differance between how you connect your TV with something is minimal, but SCART will be slightly better than most S-Video leads purely because they are so well insulated, ive never seen a well insulated S-Video cable.

Just get VGA, its great for some games but you will notice very little differance on most games.

June 29th, 2005, 16:00
ya, i am from North America actually, forgot that this is a UK forum, couldn't find an American one as good as this. I plan to rig up a self made VGA like the one ptr.lynch made up. But the burning question is, Is the self made vga cable as good as the bought ones? whats the difference. I see the schematic on that other site for a home made vga port but yours ptr.lynch, does without the IC's. That other site tells you how to make it but leaves out the IC numbers. I dunno.

Maybe when i get my Dreamcast from ebay it won't work anyway so i won't have to worry about none of this.

Oh another question, i understand that there are 3 models made of the dreamcast, is the first model considerably louder than the other two? and are these things subject to lazer problems later in life?

June 29th, 2005, 18:24
The DC sends out a RGB signal, so RGB-SCART is always better than S-Video.

June 30th, 2005, 00:16
i have a VGA adapter and love it. You get a nice 640x480 PROGRESSIVE picture. That means twice the picture detail over an interlaced signal. Absolutly the best way to play the Dreamcast.

June 30th, 2005, 13:19
OH NOW HOLD ON NOW, 640x480! my TV is almost that sure. So if i hook his up to my laptop im gunna have a window where the game will play? not a full screen. And if it is full screen, 640x480 ain't nothing to brag about. I gotta see this to beleive it. But will a new monitor work better than an old one or visa versa?

beetroot bertie
June 30th, 2005, 13:37
Dunno if it will work with a laptop unless you have a VGA (in) socket to accept an external signal.

I'd imagine simply due to it's age that a new monitor is likely to look better than an old one - depends on the condition of the monitor and how much use it's had previously.

My set up up is with a Cathode Ray Tube Monitor so maybe there's a difference with that and a LCD type monitor that natively displays at a higher resoulution. Anyone got an LCD setup? If so, what's it like?

If it's anything like my Mac, when I play games on it the monitor goes to 640x480 mode and creates a slightly blurred look as the LCD monitor can only display 1280x1024 natively. Other resolution settings are subject to the same anti aliasing/blurring effect. Maybe the DC using and LCD monitor with do the same? Hopefully someone with a bit more knowledge can help.

June 30th, 2005, 16:09
mxz600, the IC number is given in the diagram.
My VGA circuit will not have as good quality as one bought, the one on DevCast will be slightly better because it has the IC, due to the IC acting as a buffer for the H and V syncs, the picture quality without the IC is however still good.

Basically i wrote a guide for the most basic possible VGA box you could get, its only about one step up from hardwiring your DC straight to the monitor.
So if your that fussed about quality then i suggest you buy one, i don't particularly care for picture quality, obviously if there are scan lines or its blurred then i care, but if the resolution is only slightly lower than an official VGA then i dont care.

My VGA design is basically the DevCast one minus the IC, because on the UK i couldnt find anyone selling them. Therefore alot of credit goes to the DevCast author.