HDTV Gaming

Anyone have their consoles or an HTPC connected to an HDTV setup?

From what I can tell, there are a number of XBox games that support 480P and a few that support 720P. Looks like the PS2 is 480i only, but there are some 16x9 games.

Would love to hear from anyone doing HDTV gaming on the ins and outs, and which systems are really viable for it. If all goes well I’ll have 56" of Samsung DLP goodness in our new house in a month or two…

(Debated whether to put this in Hardware, but I figured this is more about the games than the technology…)

Here’s an incomplete list of the games that support HDTV on the XBox:

I play on my parents’ HDTV setup when I go to their house to do my laundry, I bought a composite adapter specifically to attach to their system and left it there. They have a 56" Mitsubishi and a Denon A/V receiver (I don’t remember the models, I’ll check next time I’m there) and it works fine. Great resolution, DTS sound, it rocks :)

The only real problem is that HD support is somewhat spotty, even in the games that say they support it on the box. A good example is Rallisport Challenge 2, which gets some weird transparency effects when the car is respotted on the track after a big crash or the player goes too far out of the track. It looks. . . grainy, rather than transparent. Kind of hard to explain.

Anyway, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking up a good HDTV system. :)

Ha ha! This reminds of the Genesis vs. SNES hardware arguments, where people debate what is “real” transparency or not. Not saying that it is, but it would be unreal if a game so much more visually sophisticated, with hardware that is basically like the pagan god that a machine like the 16-bit consoles would worship and dance naked around a fire for, like Rallisport is using, acheived some of its transparency effects via the “Genesis cheating” way and it only was noticeable on an HDTV. ;)

But this really isn’t a thread hijacking, seriously! It leads to my question, isn’t it sometimes the case that playing an HDTV game and using its special modes leads to you seeing more of the “seams” so to speak of the game’s graphical limitations, where ignorance might lead to more visual bliss? I always have the impression that the games have the sharpness all the way up and seem more pixellized when I them being used in the stores. And now Tekken 5 is using them to broadcast the tournament, dan rankings and announcements in arcades.

I’m afraid I don’t understand how HDTVs need a setting in games to take advantage of this, which I assume would mean they could also render the same game at a “normal” TV’s way. (Obviously, there’s the different ratios, but beyond that.) Is that the case, do you just kind of flick the HDTV-ness on and off? For comparison, I’m obviously not real knowledgeable about TVs, because all I have is one of those crappy old Sharp Aquos flatscreens.

For such an old piece of technology that’s been around forever (HDTV, that is) its surprising how much I don’t know about it.


I’ll likely have a 50" Sony in a couple of weeks, and I’ve already ordered a component cable for my Gamecube. The cube tops out at 480p, and not all games support that, and fewer still go 16:9… but what the hell. I’ll post how it works once I’ve tried it.

All Xbox games are supposed to support 480p.

The difference in quality that you are seeing in 480p vs NTSC (say s-video) on the Xbox is this: the NTSC output is heavily post-processed (adaptive vertical filtering to avoid flickering, etc). The HDTV output is much closer to the “raw” frame buffer. Games that fake transparency by stippled rendering will look fine on the NTSC output, but bad on the HDTV output.

Btw, lookout for increased latency on HDTV’s - many (most?) buffer up a whole frame before displaying it. For some games, 16.6ms makes a big difference.

There are actually a good number of games on PS2 that do support a 480 progressive scan image, but certainly not enough. Guilty Gear X2 by and large takes best advantage of the feature, mostly for its vivid use of color and extremely crisp line layers. It’s exquisite to the eyes.

Other noteable PS2 releases that support Pro scan are the Socom games(never tried them myself though), Ratchet and Clank 2, and the upcoming Star Ocean 3. A few other games support it, but its very rarely utilized on PS2. (Much like 720p gaming on Xbox)

Most GC games do support 480p these days. It’s usually shocking when a game passes through the cracks that doesn’t pack it on (Tales of Symphonia being a very strange absentee…). Most popular releases always support it, I’d almost argue that the GC features the best looking visual output of the 3 consoles, I almost never see flaws in the image. The Xbox on the other hand tends to have some distracting black level issues for comparison.

I have my xbox hooked up to my hdtv. However I have never tried it any other way. It looks good, and I have never noticed any latency with it. What you do notice is the lack of anti aliasing, at least if you play much on the pc. On a 65 inch screen, the jagged edges can actually be a little distracting.

Xbox hooked up to Sony HDTV here, looks very good. The PS2 is just hooke din via S-video though as I only have two component inputs, one for the Xbox and one for the progressive-scan DVD.

The Xbox is definitely far and away the best for HD gaming. Almost all of their games support 480p although widescreen support isn’t as widespread. As has been noted, the Cube generally offers 480p support in their big releases with a few notable exceptions (Resident Evil 0/1, Tales of Symphonia). The PS2 has a few 480p games but they are defintiely the exception rather than the rule.

I used to have my Xbox and Cube hooked up to my 55" HDTV but honestly didn’t care for it. Very few console games use AA and the large screen magnifies the jagged edges and any other imperfections a bit much for my taste. Some games still looked incredible (Metroid Prime, Star Fox Adventures) and racing games are always awesome but I ultimately ended up moving all of my consoles to the 27" WEGA in my office and I"ve been much happier for it.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of gaming on the DLP, you might want to wait and make sure the issues I mention here are worked out.
There’s a very slight delay while the current DLPs processes the image, which means what you see and what the state of the game is are slightly out of sync. It’s very annoying for timing-based games.

If you’re going to be doing a lot of gaming on the DLP, you might want to wait and make sure the issues I mention here are worked out.
There’s a very slight delay while the current DLPs processes the image, which means what you see and what the state of the game is are slightly out of sync. It’s very annoying for timing-based games.[/quote]

I keep hearing about this, but I don’t see any evidence of it. We play Xbox and PC games on a Samsung DLP, including some that require fairly close timing on the controller – and we don’t see these “delays”.

Apparently if you videotape a DLP and a regular screen playing the same source you can see them go out of sync.
I wasn’t even sure myself until I got one of my friends to come over after practicing Amplitude on his regular TV. He starting playing on the DLP and was missing every single note.
I noticed the lip-syncing was off on some movies as well. I think people AVS forum were speculating that the delay is introduced when the TV has to up-sample an image to its native format.

If possible, I’d recommend bringing your favorite system into the place you’re buying the TV from, to see if they’ll let you test it out.

I have a 50" Samsung DLP and use it mainly for TV, DVD, and Xbox games (I also have a PS2, GCube, Dreamcast and a Biostar mini-PC hooked up to it – bring on DOOM 3! :)) I’m using the component input for the Xbox and after who-knows-how-many-hours of Madden, Tiger, Project Gotham, MVP, NCAA, Spider-Man 2 and others, I’ve never noticed any kind of delays. Not saying it doesn’t exist, but I’ve never noticed it.

Although it’s not technically game-related, I’ll make a recommendation: I’m really happy with the Samsung 1080i DVD player. Some movies look a little dark (even after fiddling with the settings), and the remote sucks, but the LOTR trilogy looks just jaw-dropping on it. Something you might want to look into.

I get the impression the delay thing may be something that depends on perceptive abilities. Some people can’t stand gaming on 16ms LCDs, I have no problem on my 25ms Samsung 191T, even with shooters.

It also appears that it may have been related to an early batch of chips. Some of the discussions on AVSForum indicate that Samsungs manufactured after May have a chip that addresses the delay/lipsync issue.

We sold our house today, so that home theater is one step closer. Anyone want to buy a 32" Sony Wega? :-)

I’m beginning to paint my home theatre this weekend, but my head is spinning with trying to buy a tv for it. I think I want the same thing everyone wants: 50" to 60", something that plays dvds great (with the progressive scan dvd player I guess), something that plays xbox games pretty well, and something that will stand up to the test of time (next 10 years or so) technology wise. Anyone have some model numbers for this thing I seek? I get a 30% discount at Best Buy if I buy in the next month or so (long story). Help.

I said I’d post how my cube works on my new 50" LCD Rear-projection screen. There’s not a lot to say other than I really like it, but I’ll try.

Most games seem to remember if I’ve started them in progressive scan, and ask if I want to use it when I start. Colors look great. The lack of antialiasing is obvious, especially in a cel-shaded game like LoZ:Wind Waker, but I generally forget about it. Fog effects in WW also seem to be done with stippling, so some scenes look kind of like they are rendered in needlepoint, which is odd but bearable. F-Zero and Metroid Prime look terrific. Most of the 4:3 games I’ve tried tend to scale well with my TV’s second “Zoom” mode. In Wind Waker, for for example, it clips the bottom part of the rupee counter but leaves it readable. I don’t think it will work well with a split-screen multiplayer game like Mario Kart, but I haven’t tried it yet.

I haven’t yet been inspired to hook up my PS2, but I’ll try it eventually just to play Gran Turismo 3 in widescreen (but sadly not progressive scan).