Analogue video output options for OSSC

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Getting analogue video from your OSSC

The OSSC can be adapted to output analogue video simply and affordably by using any standard DVI/HDMI to VGA adapter. There are no special requirements for this adapter and pretty much any model on the market will suffice. This allows the unit to be used with high quality analogue only displays, such as PC CRT monitors, CRT projectors, etc.

Although this page was created with the OSSC in mind, there's no reason why these adapters couldn't be used with other processors or digital video equipment, but keep in mind that HDMI devices that use HDCP copy protection may not be compatible with adapters like these.

Tested HDMI/DVI to VGA adapters

Gunstar and Xer Xian from the Shmups forum (original thread [1]) have very kindly tested a number of HDMI/DVI to VGA adapters with the OSSC. Their findings are presented here. The community is encouraged to add to this page as other converters are tested.

For the converters tested by Xer Xian, all the screenshots in their original resolution (plus 1080p Pixel perfect) can be downloaded from http://www.mediafire.com/file/x998mhca1k5ly4n/DACs_shootout.rar

Note that the capture device used for the image comparisons was not fully calibrated and consequently the grey ramp in the source picture is not spot on. This doesn't invalidate the testing, as long as you evaluate the DACs' grey ramps by comparing them to the source, any deviation means the DAC is not neutral. Any artefacts present in these images were there to begin with and are most likely the fault of compression applied by the capture device. Remember to take into account your own monitors calibration (or lack of) when viewing the captures too.

Extron DVI-RGB 200:

Extron-dvirgb200-sm.jpg

  • Discontinued, but often appears on eBay.
  • BNC outputs
  • DVI input ideal for OSSC 1.5 or older
  • DVI passthrough output available
  • PSU required for all resolutions

Image comparisons

Source:

Extron:

Overall a decent performance but nothing here that makes tracking down one of these units a high priority.

Gefen DVI to VGA

EXT-DVI-2-VGAN MAIN-10.jpg

  • Cost around £300/$400/€310 as of September 2017
  • DVI input ideal for OSSC 1.5 or older
  • Female VGA output
  • HDCP not supported
  • PSU required for Line x5 modes

Image comparisons

Source:

Gefen:

Nothing special here and rather pricey, there are better value options.

HD Fury 1

Hdfury-small.jpg

  • Discontinued
  • Male VGA output
  • PSU required for Line x5 modes

Image comparisons

Source:

HDFury 1:

Accurate enough to use out of the box with no extra tweaking. Reference quality image, an oldie but a goodie.

HD Fury 2

Hd-fury-2.jpg

  • Discontinued
  • Male VGA output
  • PSU required for higher resolutions

Image comparisons

Source:

HDFury 2 (RGB mode):

Surprisingly poor performance from this device in this test. It is possible that other firmware versions perform better.

HD Fury 3

HDFury3.jpg

  • Cost around £220/$284/€260 as of April 2017
  • Audio out
  • Manual horizontal image shift control
  • Dual female HDMI inputs
  • Outputs to YPbPr or RGBHV
  • USB powered
  • Female VGA/D-Sub15 output

No black crush and some some useful additional features such as picture shifting/positioning and the ability to expand the RGB range (I couldn't get this to work). Nevertheless, this adapter appears to add a slight ringing/halo effect to the image, as can be seen in the screenshots below.

Tendak-example-halo.jpgHdfury-example-halo.jpg

It is difficult to see in these screenshots but the reticule has additional pixels around it that are of a darker value. When using the HD fury 3 they're not visible and the image looks a little softer.

HDFury Nano GX

Nano-gx.jpg

  • Cost around £79/$90/€79 as of September 2017
  • Audio out
  • Gamma boost
  • No external PSU required

Image comparisons

Source:

HDFury:

Accurate enough to use out of the box, with little or no further calibration. Recommended.

MECO female HDMI to male VGA

Meko-hdmi-to-vga.jpg

  • Cost around £9.60/$12.40/€11.37 as of April 2017
  • Audio out
  • Male VGA/D-Sub15 output
  • No external power supply required

Did not work/would not send a signal through to the CRT monitor (possibly a faulty unit).

Tendak female HDMI to male VGA/DSUB

Tendak-hdmi-to-vga.jpg

  • Cost around £13/$16.80/€15.40 as of April 2017
  • Audio out
  • Male VGA/D-Sub15 output
  • No external power supply required

Does not crush black detail, readily available, affordable and comes with a manufacturer warranty. Build quality is acceptable, the case is plastic and it feels fairly light. Overall this adapter is recommended.

Tendak-example-black-crush-halo.jpgUnbranded-example-black-crush-halo.jpg

No crush on the grey ramp test:

Tendak-example-black-crush-ramp.jpg

Unbranded DVI to VGA

Unbranded-dvi-to-vga.jpg

  • Cost around £3.36/$4.34/€3.98 as of April 2017
  • No external power supply required
  • Female VGA/D-Sub15 output

Crushes blacks, as shown in the pictures below. Avoid these type of adapters.

Unbranded-example-black-crush-ramp.jpgUnbranded-example-black-crush-halo.jpg

Unbranded female HDMI to female VGA

Female-hdmi-to female-vga.jpg

(Branded version shown)

  • Cost around £5/$6.50/€5.92 as of April 2017
  • Audio out
  • No external power supply required
  • Female VGA/D-Sub15 output

Quality of these adapters tends to vary. Some crush blacks while others work perfectly. Not recommended since you cannot be sure of the quality of the unit you're getting.

Black detail comparison

The gif below shows the differences in quality between the adapters. As you can see, the amount of black crush on some adapters is significant.

http://i.imgur.com/iVoqIve.gif

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