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Old 10-21-2005, 02:53 PM   #1
bapenguin
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XBox 360 Wal-Mart Kiosks Incorrectly Setup

So I stopped at my local Walmart (Phillipsburg, NJ) on the way home from work today to check out the 360 Display they had set up. I brought along the memory card I got from the recent NYC show I attended to see if there was any downloadable content as well. The first thing I noticed when I got there was the output on the XBox was setup wrong. It was outputting a 480i 4:30 image on the screen! The picture quality was horrible! While the colors were still vibrant, the jaggies on the screen were atrocious. This was NOT the quality of the picture I saw in NYC. To make matters worse, there was no way to fix this in the Dashboard, as the version of the dashboard on the system is a very limited dashboard with information prompts instead of actual functionality.

I plugged the memory card in to the system to see what I could download. At the current time the only downloads are 4 dashboard themes.

I really hope Microsoft straightens their reps out and gets these displays hooked up correctly. I've heard of other instances of the displays being set up incorrectly as well. Has anyone seen a display that's displaying a TRUE HD picture?
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:20 PM   #2
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I read something from a guy who played at his Wal-Mart and he was quite un-impressed with the graphics. Could be the same problem.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:26 PM   #3
Mason
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Hang on, even if the games are running at low resolutions, why don't they have antialiasing? Are next gen titles really going to have jaggies on conventional televisions?

I thought we'd buried that corpse.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:31 PM   #4
rein
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I remember seeing some jaggies on the sytems I played in vegas last month. I stopped by my walmart today and they had their kiosk/controller sticking out of the display case set-up. It has a jaggie problem too. That being said, it is no where near the jaggies you see on the PS2. Aside from that CoD 2 looks excellent, it may be my first 360 title.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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The 360 Wal-Mart kiosks are supposed to use HD sets, some of which (hell, most of which) don't handle 480i all that well. I doubt it'd look that bad on an actual 480i television.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:35 PM   #6
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If you put a 480i image over an RCA cable on an LCD flat panel screen, it's gonna look pretty crappy. I don't know what kind of cable they're using, but if it's not outputting at the 720p native resolution that I believe those TVs have, it's gonna look pretty crappy.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:42 PM   #7
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umm FSAA is free on the system AFAIK.
the only reason youd see jaggies is if the software wasn't set up to use it.
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Old 10-21-2005, 03:49 PM   #8
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No matter the resolution there should be some kind (4x) of AA always going on. Weird.
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
the only reason youd see jaggies is if the software wasn't set up to use it.
Displaying a 480i image on a monitor not properly calibrated for that resolution will often result in deinterlacing artifacts that look pretty much the same as jaggies. If iamkevin is right and these displays have a native resolution of 720p, that would explain it -- they're trying to display an interlaced signal on a progressive-scan television, which is dumb.
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:02 PM   #10
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gah, you guys might want to look into what AA actually does, and what "jaggies" actually are. At 480i, you're going to have "jaggies" no matter what level of AA you're running at. You're seeing them because the resolution is ridiculously low. Run a game at 640x480 on a nice lcd screen, and don't be suprised if it looks like crap.

there. red hot mama beat me to it.
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:26 PM   #11
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Yeah, I get a similar problem on my LCD screen, which is a gorgeous 1600x1200 while my graphics card is a Radeon 9600, so I can't get the optimum resolution by a long shot. If I go for 1024x768 or 1280x1024 it isn't a direct downgrading of the pixels for the screen, so the picture looks kind of fuzzy. I don't get this on 800x600 (1600/2=800, etc.), but then, it's 800x600...

Anyway, if these LCD monitors have a native resolution of 720p then it's not an even division and so in addition to the interlacing problem it's fudging the pixels.

Last edited by Busted_Astromech; 10-21-2005 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:53 PM   #12
DoubleUranium
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Pretty stupid of MS to let these kiosks go out improperly configured. Whose job was that?
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleUranium
Pretty stupid of MS to let these kiosks go out improperly configured. Whose job was that?
The problem is...they technically weren't supposed to go out yet...but once ONE store let the cat out of the bag, the rest followed.

And I'll echo what other comments said, I don't think it's the system that's causing the jaggies, rather the stretched 4:3 image on the LCD that's causing jaggies.
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:32 PM   #14
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jaggies or not, high-def or not, i was not impressed with the display i saw at my walmart. some kids were playing call of duty on it. i stood back and just looked for a few minutes at what was going on...and someone coulda told me it was a regular xbox or PC game and i woulda said "oh..cool."

i was not blown away by the graphics at all. like i said, it coulda been any old fps running on a pc or something. many people don't have big high-def tvs to hook up their brand new 360's on, including me. so i'm just gonna see a regular picture anyways. and if you do have a badass tv to showoff these amazing graphics that the 360 is sposed to push out, hook up your regular xbox to that tv and i'm sure you'll see games like far cry and doom looking damn pretty as it is.

anyways, i really hope my snapshot impression is flawed. but it is the first time since i was little that i stepped up to a 'next-gen' system for the very first time with wide eyes and walked away very unimpressed. i guess i'll need to actually play it myself and try some other games before i pass judgement though.
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:36 PM   #15
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This is news? This could have easily been a post in the other Xbox 360 thread...
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:38 PM   #16
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Oh My God!!! Oh My Friggin' God!!!!!!
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borys
No matter the resolution there should be some kind (4x) of AA always going on. Weird.
A lot of the launch games aren't using any AA, let alone 4x AA. I don't believe there is any launch period game that is using 4x AA -- only 2x AA or other effects (motion blur type effects or other things that help alleviate noticeable jaggies).

Apparently the cost of the AA isn't necessarily free in one sense, a game engine has to be set up to tile its scenes -- otherwise AA just doesn't work at all (it isn't a check box like on the PC). On a hardware level it is almost completely free, on the software side you have to set up your engine to do it Xenos' way or the highway. The cost of adding tiling can be upwards of 10% penalty, just to start tiling things, if the engine isn't built with it in mind (which seems to be the case for all launch games). Since Xenos didn't get to most devs until pretty recently they didn't really have any way of planning for the tiling (so it would seem), so it was either added after the fact (and not built from scratch this way) or not added at all, like PD0 (no AA, but motion blur was added instead, apparently). The entire 2x AA requirement by MS was not really true (more likely a misunderstanding) -- MS wants some form of aliasing hiding, be it AA (preferably, since Xenos was made for it), Motion blur or something else.

The main reason for the jaggies would be the resolution, although I don't believe LCDs can even output Interlaced, I'm pretty sure they'll convert to a progressive scan. 720p image will look a lot better, even without AA, though.
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:46 PM   #18
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I haven't heard good things about these displays either. Haven't ventured out myself to see them (Wal-Mart scares me), but I may have to do it soon.

Still, from what I've heard...this system isn't quite living up to the massive hype about the HDera and all that yadda yadda.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:04 PM   #19
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I went to see one after work today. King Kong looked like crap but that's because it's a crappy game. Kameo's graphics were a tad better looking than current Xbox games but there was a lot more characters/action on the screen than current gen allows. CoD2 looks significantly better than current gen games. And I do have one of those new fangled HD TV's at home to tell the difference.
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Old 10-21-2005, 06:06 PM   #20
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Setting up your Xenon to work with your HD LCD isn't as simple as it would seem. Especially for numbnuts who don't understand the basic terminology and technology. I can see how this would be a major problem for MS with their kiosks.

For instance, on the system>console settings>display menu you have the option of the following resolutions:

640x480
848x480
1024x768
1280x720
1280x768
1360x768

Then you also have an option for screen format with:
Widescreen
Normal

Now if you are joe-average retail employee what the hell are you supposed to set it to? This is an extremely un-user friendly system. Not to mention that anyone that walks up to it can change the settings. It is going to be a nightmare to keep these things set up correctly. It was a tremendous oversight by MS.
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