Xbox VGA

Reading about the XBox’s video output, I’ve decided to build an adapter that will allow use of a VGA monitor, such as a fine new LCD. There are a number of hurdles involved related to video sync signals, but the Xbox-Linux wiki comes through again, detailing how to (among other things) use the Xbox’s internal sync signals and external red, green, and blue connections to build an adapter which provides a perfect display. It’s noted that this is the most difficult to build, but I’ll surely document it along the way for others to follow. My intent is to build everything inside the Xbox, secure the circuitry under the DVD-ROM, and have only a simple VGA connector showing on the back. Any recommendations or deals on a new VGA LCD?

Update: For reference: detailed Xbox AVIP Pinout (local copy)

Xbox VGA

5 thoughts on “Xbox VGA

  1. You really can’t get a better LCD deal these days than the Dell 2005FPW (20″) & 2405FPW (24″). I have the 2005FPW myself and use it with my PowerMac G5 as well as my Xbox and iBook. It’s so awesome that I’m thinking of getting a second one or perhaps upgrading to a 2405FPW.

    At first you may scoff and ask why would I want a Dell display, it’s probably a POS. However, the awesome part about the 2005FPW is that it actually uses the same 1680×1050 resolution LG panel that the Apple 20″ Cinema display does which look really nice and clean. Check out for an extensive review and comparison of both.

    As far as why I think the 2005FPW is great here’s a breakdown:

    1) The price is right: if you shop around and buy at the right time you can get it for about half as much as a 20″ Cinema Display. It hit something like $370 this summer and regularly dips under $400 (Dell is always playing with their prices). Dealmac usually has the scoop on the price drops and you can set it up to email you when they post a deal with a keyword (like 2005FPW) in it. The last deal I could find for the display was about a month ago but it should drop down there again.

    2) It has a great assortment of inputs: VGA, DVI, Composite, & S-Video which you can switch between. So I have my PowerMac going to the DVI, Xbox to the S-Video, and iBook to the VGA. The Xbox looks great doing widescreen on the S-Video connection (no stretching on the wide aspect ratio), and I’m sure it would even better with a VGA connection. You can easily switch between each input and even do stuff like side by side views or picture in picture. It also has an integrated 4 port USB 2.0 hub. So the cool thing here is that you could use the display with your computer as well.

    3) It’s got a nice stand that has height adjustment and allows for 90º rotation between landscape an portrait mode.

    Check out this discussion on Engadget for other perspectives, most of this post was modified from my post there:

    If you want to splurge, you might think about going for the 2405FPW. It has all the same awesomeness as the 2005FPW but adds:
    -A multi-format card reader
    -An additional component video input
    -1920×1200 (slightly higher than 1080i) resolution (same as the 23″ Cinema Display)

    Anyway, best of luck with the VGA mod. If it’s successful, I’ll be interested in trying it on mine. Here’s to hoping it won’t be too difficult for a modding novice like me to copy.


  2. Wow, after reading through that review, the 2005FPW sounds like a *great* display! Normally, I lean towards Apple hardware by default (this is a Mac-oriented site, after all), but with the same LCD panel and extremely similar color/brightness/contrast specs, I think I’m sold on the Dell display.

    I also really like that it can do picture-by-picture, as this would make Xboxcomputer connections easy, with all video within one display. Have a Mac/PC on one side, and an Xbox on the other.

    I did as you suggested and set up a DealMac keyword email alert for the Dell display and will pick one up in the near future.

    Thanks for the details, Nick!


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