Ok, I know that you guys have heard me preach about RGB till the end of time. Most of you are sick to death of it. But, I have discovered something, that is very important for Retro lovers who also happen to have a HDTV. Most of you guys who have old school systems, and you play them on your HDTV's, have seen my RGB posts, and might have had mild interest, but you knew that ultimately, you were going to continue playing your games on your HDTV, even if it isn't the best idea from a visual standpoint. Why go through all the hassle of getting a specialized analog RGB 15kHz monitor, and specialized cables? Your entertainment center and everything is on that HDTV, and you just don't have room in your house for a seperate RGB setup.
Well, there is an outstanding solution available.
The combination of a XRGB2-plus and a Audio Authority 9A60 VGA to Component adapter is a marriage made in heaven for HDTV owners that don't have a VGA input on their HDTV's. If you have a VGA input on the back of your HDTV, then that is even better, because you don't even need the Audio Authority thing, and that saves you some money. But if you are like me, and your HDTV only has component inputs, then you have to roll with the combo.
What this combo does, is take a native 15kHz RGB signal, and converts it to a 640 x 480 VGA signal, and then the Audio Authority adapter allows you pass that signal to a HDTV that just has (480p or better) component inputs. This is a pretty sensational combination, because the resulting video image is so damn close to native RGB signal being displayed on a 15kHz analog RGB monitor, that it's almost a moot point. In fact, some people will actually prefer it to natural RGB because they won't miss the loss of the scanlines that are inherent in a interlaced signal.
The big news on this whole thing, is that you can indeed get a XRGB2-plus working just fine on a HDTV that doesn't have VGA inputs. I can't believe I didn't try this earlier. I've had this XRGB2 unit for some time now, but I only recently got the Audio Authority 9A60 unit, so I haven't been able to use the XRGB2 on my living room HDTV till just now. I hooked my Playstation up to it, and was totally amazed at how clear and crisp a game like Bubsy 3D looks. (I know that Bubsy 3D sucks, but it's a good game to use to compare the video quality). I mean, it looks so close to native RGB that it's almost not even worth the extra trouble of finding a real 15kHz analog RGB monitor. Believe me, it pains me to say that. I really thought that "natural" RGB would still be quite a bit better, because it's not going through all that extra processing, but the XRGB2-plus apparently can work some minor miracles. Just last night I hooked my TG-16 up to the XRGB2-plus and was playing it in RGB on my big HDTV in my living room. The results were stunning. I basically turned my 51 inch Sony HDTV into a giant 15kHz RGB monitor. Bonk's Adventure looked absolutely fabulous. I've seen that game many times on a regular analog RGB monitor like a Commodore 1084, so I know exactly what it's supposed to look like in RGB, and the differences were basically non existent!!! Pretty amazing if you ask me.
Now, there still is the issue of widescreen HDTV's vs. a regular 4:3 RGB monitor. I must say that I will probably still prefer to play my systems on a 4:3 RGB monitor, just because all the old school games weren't designed to be on a widescreed TV, so you either have to see them in a stretched mode, or with the black bars on the sides. (I prefer the stretched mode by the way). Seeing the game in a stretched mode usually isn't that bad. But with SNES games, and Genesis games and stuff like that, it was really made to be played on a 4:3 TV. So if you have a HDTV that isn't widescreen, then that is actually even better. I don't happen to have a non-widescreen HDTV, so that doesn't help me. Also, there are some older HDTV's out there, that are 4:3 and have a VGA input too. This is ideal, cause then you are playing the game in the proper aspect ratio, and you also don't need to purchase the Audio Authority 9A60 unit. Some of these older non-widescreen HDTV's are quite cheap too. Especially if you find one on Craigslist locally.
The bottom line with all of this, is that if you have a HDTV that you primarily use for your gaming needs, and you are a huge fan of games from the very late 80's and the 90's, then you really owe it to yourself to check out the XRGB2-plus. I got mine off Ebay for about $115 shipped, which is actually a pretty good price. Sometimes these puppies can turn into a major bidding war, so getting it for less than $150 shipped is actually a very good deal. The Audio Authority 9A60 unit can be had for $105 shipped with no taxes or shipping charges via http://mythic.tv/index.php?manufactu...a1d256c5464430 . That is where I bought mine. Sometimes you can find these Audio Authority things used for like $60 or $80, if you are lucky. Sure, it's a pretty expensive deal to get both a XRGB2-plus and a Audio Authority 9A60 unit, but ultimately, I think it's worth every penny and then some. Of course for the various systems that you have you also have to get the respective Japanese RGB Scart cable. You have to make sure it's the Japanese one, and not a European one, cause although the connector looks identical, the pinouts are different. Places in Hong Kong and Japan that sell old school Japanese gaming stuff, usually have some of these cables for the various systems as well, for like $15 or so each. Definitely a good way to go, if you want to experience your old school games in the best possible way.