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Dreamcast VGA Box

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(Redirected from Dreamcast VGA Adapter)
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Fast facts on the Dreamcast VGA Box
Manufacturer: Sega
Made for: Sega Dreamcast
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
JP
¥7,000Media:DreamInformation Vol01.pdf[1] HKT-8100


The Dreamcast VGA Box (ドリームキャストVGA ボックス) is a peripheral for the Sega Dreamcast which allows the system to connect to a monitor supporting the VGA video standard.

Using a VGA box is considered by enthusiasts to be the definitive way of playing a Dreamcast, as it allows the system to output a 480p video signal without the graphical compromises. Though VGA support has been a feature of the Dreamcast since 1998, the standard was at the time, somewhat impractical, as most televisions lacked a VGA port to interface with the console. This means all Dreamcasts shipped with RF or composite video cables, which, although functional in sending a picture to a screen, are unable to deliver the clearest possible picture.

Today televisions and computer monitors have converged, meaning the use of VGA is no longer as uncommon. The Dreamcast's support for VGA is often considered ahead of its time, as many models of the PlayStation 2 and GameCube cannot output a comparable video signal (without modifications).

Not all Dreamcast games are compatible with the VGA Adapter, namely SNK ports such as Garou: Mark of the Wolves. The majority of games can be forced to use the VGA box by using software such as the DC-X. Given these issues (and that on its own, VGA also only deals with video, not audio), the VGA box has extra ports, doubling up as a way of displaying composite audio/video and S-Video should the need arise.

Despite hinting at a western release, Sega only released its official Dreamcast VGA Box in Japan, although the device is compatible with all versions of the Dreamcast worldwide. Third-party alternatives are therefore far more common in North America and Europe.

Component Video

The VGA adaptor is an equivalent to Component (YPrPb) cables in that it allows a higher resolution progressive scan video output, including 480p and in some cases and consoles 720p. Despite VGA being popular in computers and indeed computer monitors could be used in conjunction with the VGA adaptor, it was not a common standard on old HD TV sets compared to component and all though similar in nature the two standards are not compatible without conversion which in turn could lead to quality loss. VGA is also arguably a higher quality output compared to component as other consoles at the time although in a lot of cases it would be indistinguishable. The Dreamcast did not have native YPrPb component output (although SCART/RGBS can sometimes be considered component output), VGA being a byproduct of the shared platform between the Dreamcast and the NAOMI arcade system. It should also be noted that the GameCube did not have native component output, requiring a cable with active electronics to convert the digital signals to the analogue YPrPb format.


Compatible Games

Physical scans

Dreamcast, JP
VGABox DC JP Box Front.jpg
Cover

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 File:DreamInformation Vol01.pdf, page 12
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