Getting HDMI to work on the Xbox 360 in 1080P

30 12 2008

I have tried to get a 1080P image from an xbox 360 onto a 1080P television.  However the resultant image doesn’t appear to be of an appropriate quality.  After some playing around I got the image to display reasonably on an LG 42LB9DF LCD in 1080P mode.  However, when using a HDMI cable and when I select the optimal settings it defaults to 1360×768 and this does indeed appear to display the best image (or at least better than the image produced when using 1080P).  What I don’t get is why this is so.  The monitor is 1080P and when the xbox is set to output 1080P it doesn’t produce the best image (that is 1360×768 appears superior).  I’ve done some subsequent tests (including with other equipment) to try and determine what might be happening in this situation.  I’ve completed numerous tests with different content but in general I’ve compared quality in Halo 3 and that produced by the xbox 360 console OS GUI.

I’ve also tested the image on alternate monitor and it appeared to produce similar output to the LG in 1080P (when uisng a HDMI cable) and raised some another seperate group of questions.  So I’m not certain whether I am getting the best image I can or whether I’m missing out on some quality. Perhaps the xbox 360 just doesn’t render well when outputting to 1080P.  My tests would suggest that 1360×768 is the best resolution an xbox can produce.

One slightly annoying aspect of this testing is that the xbox 360 GUI is fairly dumbed down.  Which is generally quite a good idea but when trying to diagnose these types of issue the provision of further details in the GUI OS might be helpful.  The particular aspect of this which I am referring to is what appears in the display settings.  The choices change dependant on the connection and device it’s connected to.  For example when I have used HDMI to connect to two 1080P capable monitors the options vary.  When connected to the two monitors ( an LG 42LB9DF LCD and a Samsung SynchMaster 2493HM) only when connected to the LG monitor is the "optimal settings" options a possilbe choice.  When connected to the Samsung monitor this option simply doesn’t appear so it’s not possible to set the output to 1360×768 when connected to the Samsung to compare with the equivelent settings on the LG.  Clearly the xbox 360 is communicating with the monitor to provide the list of choices.  However, I’ve got no idea how and why the xbox determines that the 1360×768 settings are the best when it is connected to the LG monitor.  Further the frequency settings (ie 50Hz and 60 Hz) can only be manually set when the composite cable is used instead of the HDMI cable and when the switch on the cable is set to TV.  It’s not clear whether the frequency settings made with the switch are maintained when the HDMI cable is subsequently pluged in or whether the settings are simply dynamically set when the HDMI cable is used.  It would be very helpful if this information could be provided, because I’m not sure whether an issue exists with my monitor(s), xbox or even the HDMI cable and further information might assist with this. 

I have placed a call with Microsoft and the case has ref no. 1088962143 and I discovered a few things but the issue has not really been resolved.

I have used a HDMI cable to connect an Xbox 360 to a Samsung SynchMaster 2493HM monitor and while it appears to work the quality of the image does not appear quite right (ie not of the quality I was expecting and not as good as a lower resolution on an alternate monitor).

The xbox 360 settings indicate that it is sending a 1080P signal and the 2493HM monitor provides the following when the information settings are displayed onscreen "HDMI 67.5kHz 60Hz PP 1920x1080P".  Hence both the sending device and the monitor all appear to be operating at 1080P.

The query I have is that when the monitor is operating in this 1080P mode there is no black band at the top and bottom of the image. As the monitor is a 1200×1920 monitor I would have thought that there should be a band of 80 pixels (40 top and 40 bottom) for a 1080P video to be displayed on a 1 to 1 pixel basis.  What I’m thinking is occurring is that the 1080P is stretched vertically to the 1200 pixels.  Doing so would incur some interpolation and potential loss of quality, but I can find nothing in the monitor settings to adjust this default behaviour (ie 1080P stretched to 1200).  Can someone confirm whether the 1080P is being stretched to 1200 to fill the entire screen and if so whether there is any way to adjust this behaviour?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: