Dreamcast HDMI Cable Review – 100% Plug & Play – No mod needed!

– Hey guys, Metal Jesus
here, now one of the goals of my game room is to try to
connect as many of my old, retro gaming systems
using HDMI as possible. Well recently, the
company Pound Technology released an HDMI cable for the Dreamcast. Now that if that company sounds familiar, it’s because they are the same company that released the HDMI cable for the Xbox, and that was very well received. So in this video, I’m going
to review the HDMI cable for the Dreamcast, as well as
talk about some of the gotchas that you need to know
about. Let’s take a look. (lively metal music) Alright guys, we’re going to
start with a quick unboxing. And you’re gonna notice that
this was purchased from Amazon. So they sell exclusively from
Amazon, which is really nice, if you have any problems
and you need to return it. And you’ll notice that
it’s a fairly simple cable. One side connects to the
Dreamcast through the AV port, and the other goes into
your HD television. So let’s go ahead and try out some games. We’re gonna start with the big one – we’re gonna start with Shenmue. And like the other videos that I’ve done, where I review these types of cables, we’re gonna start with
what is arguably the most common way of connecting,
which is composite. That’s where you have
one yellow video cable and it typically looks
something like this. Now this is captured through the Elgato, so it looks a little
bit worse that it would if you were connecting
to an old school CRT, but let’s go ahead and switch
over to the HDMI cable. And you’ll notice that
it is noticeably sharper. Yeah, it looks definitely better. And then let’s go ahead
and go back and forth between composite and the HDMI cable, and as you see here composite
is definitely softer, more blurry, where the HDMI cable
is pretty much the same colors, maybe a little more contrast,
but definitely sharper. It’s at this point I want to mention that I also have one of
these dedicated VGA boxes, from a company called Retro-Bit and so what we’re going to do is
compare all three of them and I think you’re going to be
very surprised in the results. So getting back to composite again, this is the single, yellow cable. Now, here is the Pound HDMI
cable – definitely sharper. But check this out, this is the dedicated VGA Box from Retro-Bit, and I gotta say, this looks
fantastic. This is definitely the best video quality that
I can get from my Dreamcast. And again, keep in mind,
this is the same Dreamcast, the same game, I’m just
swapping out the cables. Alright, let’s go ahead and
check out some other games, including Soul Calibur,
this is a fighting game, that’s fantastic on the Dreamcast. Let’s go and see how it
looks with composite. Okay, yeah, soft, not impressive. Here is the Pound HDMI
cable, definitely better. And then we’re going to switch
over to the Retro-Bit VGA. And again, it just
looks that much sharper. Now, if you’re not seeing
the difference on your screen make sure that you’re not
looking at this on a small phone. You’re gonna want to look
at this on your television, because the differences
can be subtle between the Pound HDMI and also the VGA Box. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Well why don’t I just go out and buy this dedicated VGA Box?” And
you definitely can do that, although, there are
some caveats with this. I just want to mention,
the biggest one being, is that, well, if you bought
an HDMI television like I have, in the past year or so, it
may not have a VGA input. Mine definitely doesn’t and so, that provides it’s own challenges. So what I end up having to
do, like with this video, is that I actually had to
convert the VGA over to HDMI to be able to capture that footage, using it’s own dedicated box, so again, the solution here, while very impressive, definitely has it’s
own challenges as well. But it was important for
me to mention it because, you are trading a little bit
of quality for convenience. But let’s go ahead and move on, and test some more games here. Here is Sega GT and like
before we’re gonna show the crappy composite video here, just for, kinda, dramatic effect I guess. And then here is the Pound
HDMI cable, definitely better. And then we’re gonna switch
over to the Retro-Bit VGA. Now again, look how sharp that is. Notice how when we go back and forth between the HDMI cable and the VGA Box, you can definitely see
a difference in contrast and also in colors. Again,
not a huge difference, I guess but, just be
aware it’s doing that. It’s definitely there and I
think it’s kinda noticeable. Now let’s play something
a little bit different. This is Mars Matrix
which is a really awesome shoot ’em up and this is
only using 2D sprites. We’re starting with
composite, which of course, is the crappiest way to play it. And then let’s go ahead and
move on to the HDMI cable. Definitely an improvement, but then, here is the VGA and again, notice that the number and the text at the
top is just really sharp. So this is definitely
the best way to play it, but the Pound isn’t bad. Moving on, let’s go ahead a
check out one of my favorite shoot ’em ups on the Dreamcast, Gunbird 2. But check it out, when
you pop the disk in, it throws up an error message
saying it will not work with a VGA cable and there’s
nothing you can do about it. Now this is very important because there are a small number
of Dreamcast games that just won’t work
with this type of cable, no matter what brand it is. Now I was curious if
I could get around it, because you can go on the Internet and burn these Dreamcast Boot Discs that will try to trick the
system into booting it anyways. And, yeah, sure enough it
actually launched the game. So again, here is the original
composite video for Gunbird. And then here is the HDMI cable version, again using that third
party funky boot disc thing. So I was actually pretty
pleased, I was like, “Oh okay well this is awesome!” However, when I got to
level two it was struggling. It was actually getting
massive amounts of slow down. It was very disappointing because I thought I was gonna be
able to trick the system. I even tried my copy of Hydro Thunder. Now, Hydro Thunder there
are a couple different release versions on the Dreamcast and this one won’t display anything. It boots up, it acts like it’s gonna play but nothing showed up on the screen. So again, you just need
to be aware that this is something that collectors of the Dreamcast have to kinda deal with. Next I was kind of curious if it was going to work with a Japanese Dreamcast. And here, of course, is
my Hello Kitty Dreamcast. And let’s go ahead and pop in the Japanese version of Power Stone. We’re gonna start with composite which of course is our base and then move on to the Pound HDMI cable. And yes, it looks great,
definitely an improvement. Also I didn’t notice any
lag, it played just fine. Actually I was finally starting
to kick some butt in this round, and I was feeling pretty good about it, love this game. Let’s go ahead and move
on to a 2D fighter. And again, I’m trying to
mix up the genres here and the style of games to
give people a good idea of what it looks like
when you buy this thing. Here is the composite and then we’re gonna move over to of course the HDMI cable. Yeah, looks and feels fantastic. So again, I’m not feeling any lag and I wouldn’t really expect to because this is not upscaling,
it’s simply just converting the VGA signal over to the
HDMI, so it works as expected. Let’s go ahead and check out
a couple more Dreamcast games. This is Jet Grind Radio
and it’s really funny because doing these videos
I just have a stack of games and I just get sucked into
playing all these again. I absolutely love this game, so much fun. And so, this of course
is the Pound HDMI cable. Again running and looking
as you would expect. And because the Dreamcast has
so many awesome racing games and you guys know that I
do love my racing games, so I had to check out Speed Devils. So I’m playing that here, again
using the Pound HDMI cable. Looking for any noticeable
lag or slow down, or anything like that and I definitely
didn’t feel it, very fun game. (Car accelerating) (video game music) As I mentioned in the video overall I’m pretty happy with this cable. I mean it’s very convenient
and it only costs 30 bucks. But there are a couple caveats, and the first one being not
every game supports VGA. And that’s a real bummer but
if you know that going into it, you won’t be surprised and it’s certainly not the fault of this cable. The second one being, of
course, as I mentioned that, it’s just not quite as sharp
as the Retro-Bit adaptor which is a little bit of a bummer. But again, because it’s so
convenient I’ll let that slide. And the third caveat being
that something I actually ran into myself with
an older HD television. See a couple years ago when
I first took my Dreamcast and tried to connect it via VGA, using this Retro-Bit right
here to an older HD television the TV itself didn’t know
what to do with that signal and actually skewed the
display way over to the right. And there was nothing
that I could do about it. So, it’s something that you
need to be familiar with or at least aware of, if
you have an HD television that is older because again,
you are sending a VGA signal to a TV that may not know
what to do with that. And it may just skew it
way over to the right. So if you read reviews of
either the Retro-Bit, or this Pound technology, HDMI cable, and they’re claiming that, it’s not the fault of the cable itself, it’s actually the HD television. And as you can see my newer
HD television right here, and also the one I have upstairs,
had no problems whatsoever. Again you just need to be aware of it. Now if your interested in
checking out this cable, I’ll put a link down in the video description below to Amazon. The nice thing about Amazon is, is that if you buy it and you
happen to have that problem, or really any other, well
you can always return it. That’s very, very nice. Love to know what you
guys think about this, please let me know down
in the comments below. As always I want to thank
you for watching my channel. Thank you for subscribing, take care. Thanks for joining me on my endless quest to get all of my consols upgraded to HDMI. Although I have to be honest, I would like to see these cables also include upscaling, if posisble. Now I know that adds
a level of complexity, also lag and expense but I do feel like the Dreamcast kind of needs it
and it would be cool to see. So maybe in the future, I don’t know. I don’t know how complicated that is.

96 thoughts on “Dreamcast HDMI Cable Review – 100% Plug & Play – No mod needed!

  1. The VGA Box has fewer fps. HDMI looks way smoother. Too bad there is no way you can do an fps test on both cables. I prefer higher fps over looks.

  2. There are aprox 99 games (out of 800) that don't work with VGA/HDMI. 50 of those can be forced to work. 49 you are out of luck.

  3. I love this cable, Simplicity at the right price

    The simplicity and price make it a winner, I do not agree that it needs to be upscaled, It's a 1999 Console. 480p is more then enough. I am actually OK with composite on CRT but for a modern IPS monitor composite looks muddy if you happen to even have that option as most new monitors do not have composite.

    PS: I do not have the issue with picture skewed on my TV but I am told if you turn on the dream-cast first then TV it fixes it for some people.

    Shenmue also basically stops playing using the VGA after the opening sequence. Basically when you try to leave the house, the game will show load screen for outside with music, but it won't load. I got to town once but then it again stopped reading the disc.

  5. I got the VGA box, the HDMI converter and got nothing. Zero, zip, nadda. A caveat that wasn’t examined is that VGA even with a converter won’t work for shit on some televisions.

  6. Too much sharpness makes the game look worse to my eyes, frankly.

    I prefer a high quality CRT, native resolution personally. Too sharp makes the texture imperfections too visible, same with PS1.

  7. I have a Gekko for my Dreamcast and was thinking about buying Gunbird 2. Does this mean the Gunbird 2 won't work with the Gekko? Thanks.

  8. Why does the VGA cable kill Soul Calibur's framerate? It shouldn't be the VGA signal, since the HDMI cable uses the same signal, and it shouldn't be the VGA box itself, since the other games you tested weren't affected the same way SC was. But SC definitely looked silky smooth on HDMI, while super choppy, like 15fps or something on VGA.
    As for the VGA cable looking better than HDMI, I guess it's a matter of taste. Watching the video on my PC monitor, the sharpness isn't that noticeable, but the difference in contrast and brightness is, and the VGA footage looked a bit washed out to me, but that's more subjective than anything.

  9. I used to play my Dreamcast and other game consoles on an old as sin 80s 21 inch tv with the wood grain and had to daisy chain RF connectors. To think that now we have such quality cables that can show details that I never could have seen is amazing.

  10. Anyone else experiencing problems with the Hyperkin cable? My television knows something is plugged in but its getting no signal. I can't seem to find a solution. Hyperkin themselves say it might be because my machine is PAL. Shame because the Wii cable works like a dream (pun intended).

  11. Dreamcast had better graphics memory over the ps2 . That’s why ps2 games had so many issues. Look at Soul Calibur on Dreamcast compared to PS2 or Dead or Alive. Ps2 couldn’t do no more than component. Dreamcast can connect VGA and HDMI

  12. Hyperkin also released one of these recently, for the same price. They also released one for the Wii, as well.

  13. Have you ever compared composite to coaxial hook up? I recently hooked my Dreamcast back up and for some reason my HDTV would not work with a composite hook up and I was forced to use coaxial. I think it looks pretty good, but I don't know if it's better or worse than composite. Just wondered if you've ever considered comparing the two?

  14. How much does a Dreamcast cost nowadays!
    These videos are making me want to go back and re visit my childhood!
    I don’t really game anymore but if i do i do on emulators!

  15. What about plasma sword, KOF 99 evolution? , games that are Not VGA cable compatible, how those games look with hdmi cable

  16. I have Composite Box to HDMI bought for $25, it works 90% of the time and upscales the signal. Works great with Dreamcast, Xbox, PS2, etc. At the time Sega released the DC, the console was ahead of its time.

  17. Too much nonsense with all these extra cables and shit when emulator will already give you the best quality.
    Also CRT are not better for old games, a LED TV with native PAL resolution of 576p will look superior, you can also get LCD TV's with 240p resolution, they scale perfectly like with CRT although the CRT scaler is much better of course but CRT have their own issues.

  18. This is just a completely awesome video, so carefully thought through, researched, and demonstrated! You rock MJ. I recently bought a HDMI Dreamcast cable on the recommendation of others, but watching this motivated me to dig out my VGA box, and SO glad I did. You are absolutely right, the HDMI is just for convenience, it's NOT on par with the VGA box output. SO glad I picked up a late model TV a few years back that still had VGA input on it! Now if ONLY Plasma Sword wasn't incompatible 🙁 It's a dumb, weird fighter, but I love it for some reason (and loved Star Gladiator on PSX). Guess I'll have to hook up the composite cables to play it a couple of times a year. Thanks again for this video, keep up the great work!

  19. I actually went out and bought one of the last consumer capture cards to take a VGA signal and it looks amazing. I bought a cheapo VGA -> HDMI box and it looks god-awful.

  20. I bought these cables and they look great but one thing I noticed on mine is that it cuts off a little bit of the screen on the right hand side. Did you get that in any of your games? I tried it with Capcom vs. SNK.

  21. Totally off-topic question, but since you dig Dreamcast racers, did you get to play Wacky Races on Dreamcast? I always thought it was a great sleeper hit. Hard as hell though!

  22. Test an other dreamcast is useless..all dreamcast will work like the first one. Just to show your hello kitty version… how old are you -_-

  23. My tv from 2011 has VGA and it works GREAT with a Dreamcast VGA cable (no box). Unfortunately my newer tv does not have VGA.

  24. Great video! I was searching for an VGA cable, but I need a VGA to HDMI converter… Finally I prefer to buy this cable.

  25. dont know if it is your vga box or capture software but on soul calibur the framerate is lower than the HDMI.

  26. I really dont get the obscesion of getting your old consoles through HDMI.
    Right now, it is easier and cheaper to get a VERY GOOD 4:3 television, or in this case, a 4:3 PC monitor.
    And notice i didnt specify CRTs, but actual early 2000's 4:3 flat screen lcd TV's and 4:3 LCD monitors. I know it cause i got a Sony Wega KLV-21SR2 for freaking $20. And the HP monitor was $10.
    On that tv i have my snes (s-video), sega cd (s video modded), ps2 component, og xbox component and retro compatible wii (gamecube games, component). Believe it guys, the games look awesome, in their original aspect ratio and with awesome colors. Amd was very, very cheap. Plus it is a solution to not just 1 console like these cables.
    Oh, and the DC? I have it plugged to that HP 4:3 LCD monitor via VGA box. Gorgeous. Looks gorgeous. Dont need that HDMI crap.
    Check our prices for early 2000's tvs and monitors guys. You will love it plus, thats the way consoles were meant to be played.

  27. I have a question. Have you experienced that the image is very dark?
    They say that with the Pound cable for DC it gets dark compared to vga boxes or a build in hdmi port.

  28. The power cable looks really good on the PS one and PS to add no problems with it so far old video games or 90s and I really joyed it and I picked it up for eBay really cheap $30 underneath 30 and I really like the 8 o’clock $25 arm I’ve got the drink last one that does look very nice of VGA retro one is so sort it doesn’t work out my 4K TV has a problem with it but it’s an 5A normal TVDear my TVHDTV and what

  29. I have the same vga box and i try the hyperkin câble, it's suck i stay with my vga box with crt pc monitor.

  30. I just got my dreamcast 🙂 let the collecting begin! … Looks to me that the sharpness is about the same but the colours are SO much cleaner on the VGA box that it makes everything just look better. With elgato Game Capture HD it over saturation the colours a bit so that could be a small part of the issue for what I'm seeing, its more what you saw on the actual TV as the passthru doesn't get affected by the Elgato. Mind you the way VGA sends the signal makes sense for it to be cleaner signals for everything as they are sent down their own wires.
    Would also love a suggestion for what games are Must haves … besides Shenmue & Skies of Arcadia, as those are the top of my list ATM.

  31. See, I'd like to use my VGA cord because it works great on my 2011 tv, but my newer tv doesn't have VGA so I feel like I should just get the Pound cable.

  32. I bought a generic dreamcast hdmi cable from ebay for less than $20 and it works amaaaaaazing! 😁

  33. wow. the vga box is a huge mess in terms of framerate! It looks less than 30 fps! HDMI ftw keeping the 60fps alive!

  34. one thing I DID notice using my retrobit vga box for dreamcast is crazy taxi is almost unplayable with slowdowns now… It is outputting at a higher resolution, I feel, when using VGA. Perhaps that's why some games didn't support it? Because it slows down WAY too much. So the best way to keep quality and frame rate is… S-Video?

  35. The video output of the Dreamcast has pure VGA output without need for any conversion. That's standard computer monitor output. The difference is mainly in the connector. If you need to convert VGA to HDMI there are cheap USB-powered converters.

  36. The best way to play is with a CRT computer monitor. People are dumping high-end ones left and right. The added advantage is that YOU CAN PLAY LIGHT GUN GAMES.

  37. You can buy good quality VGA2HDMI boxes on Ebay for literally no more than 5 bucks. They work great and don't add any additional lag.

  38. The "Hot New' version of Hydro Thunder should work in 480p as they added the feature to that new release of the game. The Hot New release is a revised release with the added 480p support. The original release is one of the few games that can not be forced into 480p mode.

  39. Dreamcast will always be the best looking and most solidly made console ever. Deserved to succeed and SEGA must still scratch their heads as to why a console way ahead of other machines at the time didn't rise to the top where it deserved to be. I am absolutely a Nintendo fan and was at the time but the Dreamcast offered so much more at the time than all the other consoles. Crazy Taxi and so many other Dreamcast games were amazing back then and a very real arcade experience visually. Still have my Dreamcast and won't ever sell it.

  40. Im so glad you mentioned the lag, that's what im most curious about, I want to play my dc and cant really so thanks for the review.

  41. Since I am European, and here we usually use RGB cables with a SCART plug, not RCA Composite, I would be interested how the HDMI cable compares to that, and whether it would be worth buying.
    RGB, while still being an analog connection, certainly has better quality than composite already.

  42. If I have a modded dreamcast that can play all regions without boot discs, can I play every dreamcast game (even the ones that normally dont support vga) with the hdmi cable? And how can I get this hdmi cable in germany? german amazon doesnt have it.

  43. It seems weird to send video through two converter boxes to get the best video. I guess I'd just go with the Pound if I got into Dreamcast.

  44. Hey @MetalJesus where can I get that 3rd party boot disk? And is using VGA to hook up a Dreamcast better than using the Retrotink 2x you mentioned in your other video?

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