On forums on many sites one topic that has been touched on is how do people connect their Xbox to their PC monitor?
Such devices do exist and are finally becoming more readily available for Xbox users. Logic 3 are now presenting their VGA Box which cannot only take Xbox signals and convert to a PC monitor, but other consoles, video players and regular TV signals.
Connection to your PC monitor is very simple. Using a pass-through method, a cable from your monitor which would usually plug straight into your Graphics Card now goes into your VGA Box. Then you are given another cable to go from the VGA Box to your PC meaning you have the VGA Box controlling your video inputs and no more crouching down under your desk swapping wires in a dark area and banging your head on the way back up to your comfy chair.
With the pass-through comes the first problem with this device. The picture quality on your monitor for your PC Input becomes blurry and text especially is difficult to read. This is a big problem for the device as the whole point is to be able to control video inputs from the device. You will instead likely ignore the bypass function and have to go down behind your PC and swap wires again.
The device though does have some nice features. You can have 4 composite video connections all plugged in to the VGA Box with a stereo cable for that device. On the front of the unit is a button to toggle the video input you want to use so it is quite possible to have your Xbox, TV, PC, DVD Player and VHS player plugged into the unit all at once and toggle through them to display on your PC monitor.
Here comes the second problem. Some PC monitors have quite a dark picture and you have to tweak your software settings to up the brightness and gamma settings. By using this device however you do not have the luxury for altering the inputs for the four composite devices meaning a dark display is presented on screen. Also the nature of the connections is a problem. Composite is a very raw signal not providing the quality S-Video or a RGB Scart can produce. This means colours can bleed into one another and there isn’t much sharpness in the picture quality.
The device does have some good ideas in particular the video/audio input switcher between so many devices all at once, but the picture quality and bad PC pass-through display makes this unit only a good idea if you are a student where you are in a small room and certainly doesn’t have room for a large screen TV and you want to be able to view your electrical entertainment items through your PC to save a lot of space.
Although good on paper, the unit does offer some nice ideas but display quality is quite poor certainly for the PC connection which will put many people off. Instead I would recommend a direct connection from your Xbox to your PC maintaining the RGB signal which this device doesn’t do.
Rating: 3 / 5