View Full Version : Sega Saturn tech question (About video, no less! First to post gets cookies!)

Genesis Knight
10-20-2007, 07:33 PM
I want to hook my Saturn up to a standard computer monitor just like my Dreamcast currently is with a VGA cable. Is this possible, whether through a hardware modification or an adapter of some kind? If the answer is a plain and simple 'no', try to make your post fancier by calling me an idiot or something.

EDIT: Would this be what I need? http://cgi.ebay.com/VGA-BOX-PC-Monitor-LCD-AV-Input-Converter-Selector-NEW_W0QQitemZ320172811582QQihZ011QQcategoryZ73390Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

10-21-2007, 03:38 AM
There are multiple ways to do it.

The cheap (but inferior) way is to get a device such as the Game Bridge, which accepts composite or s-video and interfaces with your PC to upscale it. That thing that you linked to appears to not require hooking up to a PC, instead just converting the video directly. I'm sure it's the same effect video-wise, although the Game Bridge has some features that are only possible because of the PC hookup (you can take screens, record video, run in a window, etc.). The main problem with both of these devices is that they only take composite or s-video, and so they're upgrading a downgraded image, which makes the quality not the best. But they do work. It won't look horrible, and if you're used to composite/s-video quality it'll be fine. But unlike with the DC, it won't look better or anything. It may look more pixelated at times (similar to the effect of using an emulator).

Another way to do it is to get an external scandoubler/flicker fixer made for the Amiga. These are devices that are made to take the Amiga's RGB signal and convert it for VGA. Since the Saturn does RGB, it'll work for the Saturn too. But you'll have to either make or have someone make a custom cable that connects to the Saturn and has a Commodore-style 15-pin RGB end. This setup will look very nice, but it's both expensive and complicated.

A third possibility, which I am not sure about, is that there might be better devices available in Europe, which convert to VGA from a SCART RGB input. If you can find such a device, it will probably be cheaper than a flicker fixer and it will be just as easy as the device you linked to, but have the quality of the flicker fixer option (since it's the same thing, with a different input). Similarly, I have seen, in America, devices similar to the one you linked to, but with component inputs. I'm not sure if they require 480p component, or if they work with 480i component. If it's the latter, they would also be just as good as the flicker fixer option, but then you still have the complication of getting component from your Saturn (although that is easier to do than 15-pin RGB).

Lastly, I have never seen them, but I've heard of there being, in Japan, VGA converters specifically made for Saturn. If they exist, I would assume that they're just the same thing as an Amiga scandoubler/flicker fixer, just with a Saturn connection rather than an Amiga RGB connection. Good luck finding one, though.

Genesis Knight
10-21-2007, 04:15 AM
Cookie for you, J-Factor. Thanks for the detailed help.

This is the bridge, I assume: http://www.amazon.com/Gamebridge-AVC-1410-USB-Cnct-Xbox/dp/B000DLBAG4/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-6402851-9286218?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1192955281&sr=8-2

10-21-2007, 10:22 AM
If you're lucky to own a monitor that accepts 15KHz Hsync, you can feed some RGB directly to it, but you need to find the H and V sync signals inside the Saturn... I did that to my MD, looks nice as long as you don't switch to PAL.
I'd just use RGB with TV with SCART (like I'm doing now with anything I have that can output RGB).

10-21-2007, 03:21 PM
Genesis Knight: Yes, that's the Game Bridge. I got one at Fry's for $20.

TmEE: We unfortunate souls in North America do not have TV sets with SCART inputs. Multisync monitors do exist here but they're awfully uncommon (and only available used). An RGB monitor like a Commodore 1084 would be a great solution for gaming, too. But none of that pertains to his question. :p

Genesis Knight
10-21-2007, 05:29 PM
A lot of the reviews for the Bridge say that the audio is several seconds off, J-Factor. Has this been your experience?

10-21-2007, 08:15 PM
Yes, I did notice that, but it's easily remedied by hooking up the audio directly to your speakers (or whatever). There's not really any need to put the audio through the Game Bridge unless you're recording. And if you are recording, the audio is (strangely) correctly synched in the video that results.

Still, if you're leaning towards one or the other, I would go with the device you originally linked to if you just want to play games on your monitor. The Game Bridge is nice for recording (and laptop compatibility), but if you have no desire for that, the lag issue is enough to go with the other product. Note that I haven't used the other product, but I would assume that it doesn't have the lag issue since it doesn't involve itself in a computer and run software.

Genesis Knight
10-21-2007, 09:18 PM
Thanks, man. I guess I'll get one of those and then use an AV-to-headphone converter so I can hook the Saturn to my PC speakers.

10-21-2007, 10:44 PM
Hey, just throwing in my 2 cents. WHATEVER YOU DO, avoid the "Vga box method", The one you linked to previously. I have one very similiar to that, and it outputs 100% ASS. Everything is blurred to hell and back, and all pixelated (And it's on S-Video!).

To sum it up! DO NOT get that VGA box.

I never tried the game bridge, but good luck!,