Good display for older systems?


Hi folks! I recently purchased a used Xbox (the older one before the 360). A buddy was selling one along with like 20 something games for a good price so I bought it up. I still need to order a replacement controller (my preference is for the smaller ‘s’ controller). One game I’m excited to try to get get for this system is that Street Fighter Anniversary game/bundle that came with 3rd strike (still one of my favorites… I’ve bought the online version for both the 360 and the ps3 when I used to have them.

Any way… it occurred to me that the system might not work properly with the display I’m using (It is an LG monitor… IPS… with an hdmi input). I bought an RCA/s-video to hdmi converter as well as an s-video cable for the system but I’m wondering if maybe I should just invest in an older display that uses s-video or normal rca and can display whatever the xbox outputs?

Any suggestions?


There is several threads on the topic here in Tech talk.
Here is the tiers for analog video quality, going from worst to best

RF or Radio Frequency - Worst image quality, most visual artifacts, heavily prone to interference.

Composite video - Usually uses a single yellow RCA plug for the picture (with separate RCA audio plugs)

S-video - Image is separated into luma (brightness) and chroma (color) normallyuses a mini din connector

Component video (YPBPR or YUV) Component separates the video signals to Luma, the diffrence between Chroma and Blue and the Difference between Chroma and red (green info is extraplated from the other Chroma info). Composite is not RGB video. usually uses 3 RCA plus for video or BNC connectors for commercial grade displays. Supports resolution up to 1080.

RGB or Red, Blue, Green Video. There are two categories here, 15 khz and 31 khz (technically there also a format in the middle but that only used by certain arcade boards).
15 khz RGB video is used by older Arcade Monitors, CGA/EGA Computer Monitors, older Broadcast industry displays (prior to HD) and some Television sets (mostly scart enabled European TV sets and Some Japanese TV sets). RGB Video is the cleanest, purest uncompressed video format capable up to 570i. Although Component can support HD resolutions it can and does supper from some minor image artifacts and is not a clear as RGB.
15 Khz connectors do vary wildly, RCA, BNC, DB9, Din/mini Din, HD15, DB15, DB25 and Scart connectors has been used.

31 khz RGB, most commonly found as ‘VGA’, unlike 15khz 31khz can support HD/ high resolutions. Usually found as a HD 15 connector.

What is scart ? Scart is not a video format, its a multi format cable that can carry multiple signals including Composite, RGB, Stereo Audio, S-Video and Component. Note a Scart cable can not carry Component (YPBPR) and RGB video at the same time, and repossesses the lines for one signal or another. Scart can also be used for a bi-directional Composite video, which is great for European VCRs.

I see you are thinking of a RCA/s-video to hdmi converter, don’t.
Alot like making a photo copy, if you start with a inferior image you going to get just as bad if not worst quality image as your final product.
All the flaws in the low quality RCA (Composite) video is going to get magnified on your HD Monitor.

Your options as of follows

  1. Find a older CRT Display, Something that takes one of the following. Component (YPBPR), 15Khz RGB, or VGA.
    In the US as Scart is almost nonexistent. You have to find a old broadcast Display such as a Sony PVM moniotor, a working and good order older Computer monitor like a Amiga Monitor or a older Non-VGA Apple monitor.
    Another good CRT display is the Sony WEGA HD TV, yes its a CRT HD TV that can accept up to 1080i via the Component (YPBPR) input. Warring the wega Tv is very heavy.
    You have to get a Scart cable for your system and an adapter. Such as Sacrt to BNC for the Sony PVM. There are also Scart to Component (YPBPR) and Scart to VGA adapters.

  2. Keep your HD LCD Monitor. Use a 15hz RGB to VGA (if your monitor supports it) or 15hz RGB to HDMI.
    You Need a Scart cable and Scart to VGA or Scart to HDMI. Converters run from $50 to $400 for some of the better Japanese image up scallers (the XRGB series)

@hawkespur what is your budget for this?


Thanks for the info! I wasn’t sure what to do a search under so I just did ‘display’ and a bunch of non-related topics showed up. I should have done a better search.

I think I’ll go with option #1… I plan to buy a bunch of other older systems and that might be the best way to go; having a dedicated display just for those systems. The monitor I’m using is actually what I’m using for my computer monitor so I’ll definitely be holding onto it.

As far as budget, its still kind of up in the air. As I’m thinking about this stuff I’m also still in the middle of possibly renewing my lease where I’m staying. If I renew then my budget will be on the higher end… like $400. If I don’t renew and plan to move somewhere else I’m going to have to put a hold on getting a better setup for my systems.

Again thanks for the info!


here are some other links that could help


I believe the original xbox released an HD AV cable pack because some games did support some HD output. You might want to get that if you can’t find a crt. It should let you hook up your xbox to your HDTV. Get the HD Advanced one not the regular Advanced one. One has 5 plugs the other only has 3.


Problem with this is not every game supports HD.

If you go shopping for a Original Xbox scart cable make sure it supports RGB video and not a Composite scart cable.
Like this one here

Here is a cheap Scart to HDMI converter if needed

Also I notice the Original Xbox does not do 240p but 480i.


Oh man… new plan. I’m going to go for a Scart cable and scart to vga converter. I’m liking that idea a bit more after reading through some of the links you suggested.


Make sure if you get a SCART cable that it’s standard EU SCART and not JP RGB21. You can always get a component video cable and make a SCART cable from that.

I don’t know what kind of money you’re looking to spend, but I ended up going with an external upscaler for my old consoles. The one I have is the DVDO Edge and it’s wonderful for component sources like the Xbox or PS2. You can also look into the Micomsoft upscaler units such as the XRGB3 or the Framemeister.


JP 21 RGB (same connector as scart but different pin assignment) is not bad per say, you do want to pay attention what up scaller you are using.
Both cables carry voltage, not just video signals but actual voltage to power devices. So plugging a Japanese cable into a European device or vise versa can ruin the console, upscaller and maybe even the display.

If you for the XRGB 1, XRGB 2, XRGB 2 Plus or XRGB 3, they are set for JP 21 pin and will need an adapter cable to change the pin out with use for Euro Scart . Like the one Here - LINK

XRGB Framister Mini inputs via a mini Din connector and comes with a JP21 RGB to Din adapter.

You can order an adapter for Euro Scartfrom Retro Gaming Cables and the eBay seller Retro_console_accessories

I use a XRGB 2 Plus, a JP21 pin to Euro Scart adapter and a Scart system selector Box. Euro Scart switch boxes are easier to find than JP21. There also some cheap RGB Video switch boxes that use BNC connectors. You will need ether to modify the cable or come up with an adapter to use the BNC switch box.

DVDO Edge takes Euro Scart and JP 21 pin will damage it.

If you look up the pinout, you could rewire the connector or make your own adapter.

I am not a fan of working with Component video, I prefer sticking to RGB, as RGB is a lossesless format. Component can suffer from image compression and uses the same compression schemes as Jpeg and Mpeg, often losing a bit of color reproduction accuracy and clarity. I Do use Component video in form of a D-Terminal cable for my Game Cube.