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Dreamcast VGA Box

From Sega Retro

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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.

Hardware

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 any 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 games 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.

List of compatible games

Physical scans

Dreamcast, JP
VGABox DC JP Box Front.jpg
Cover

References


Sega Dreamcast
Topics Hardware Comparison | History (Development | Release | Decline and Legacy) | List of Games
Hardware Dreamcast consoles in Japan (Special) | Overseas
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third Party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third Party)
Controller Connectors DC Tsunaident 123 | Dream Connection 2 in 1 | Dream Connection 4 in 1 | Dream Connection II | Super Converter 3 | Total Control | Total Control 2 | Total Control Plus | Total Control 3 | Total Control 5
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Treamcast | Third-party
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora