Using HDMI to VGA adapters on modern consoles

Not sure what you mean? Can you post an image?

Also, which one of the adapters? HDMI or VGA?

Either way the colour ramps appear as smooth consistent gradients.

Happy to dog out the links when we confirm we’re both on the same page.

I don’t have any pictures of my screens, but basically the HDMI>VGA adapters I’ve tried tend to crush black detail, making the darker extremes of the image all blend into black/dark grey.

It is with adapters like this, very cheap.

I understand. If there was black crush the colour ramps would be black at one end with the colour situated off centre? That’s not the case for me.

Whilst my adapter was also very cheap, £3, it’s not shaped like that but rather inline.

Of course I’m also using a second adapter (Wii HDMI) that could also mess with the colour.

Difficult to take good photos of this but you can see enough to confirm my description. I set a white balance that let you see the darks (and therefore blows out the light colours)

Reading around,

My adapter is at bottom and “not recommended” as some examples have been found to crush blacks whilst others have not. If true, I guess I am lucky. Would buy another but they are now sold out.

When plugged into a PC the chipset of the “HDMI display” (that the adapter presents itself as) is shown in Windows Display prefs. Will note details later on.

I have a Tendak on that page and can recommend that for the most part. Biggest thing that bugs me is it’s powered off HDMI and some stuff doesn’t provide enough power, like I found my RAD2X cables don’t work and my unpowered HDMI switches don’t work.

Yeah this one won’t work through my little square HDMI switch.

Here is my years-long journey to 1:1 native VGA output on Wii (and others) on an LCD.

The result is a better image than I’d ever expected: it’s been a revelation. The image challenges my PVM for fidelity.

For an LCD to look its best requires the resolution of the output image to match the native resolution of the display. If it’s a little off it looks bad, if it’s a lot off then it looks shit. This is our real challenge! We’re trying to get the image into 640x480 with as little scaling and processing as possible.

Why Target VGA?

640x480 resolution is a good fit for a wide range of consoles: from those that output 240p, through those that maxed out at 480p, to newer consoles quite capable of higher resolutions that still have an option to output at “low” 480p.

VGA on TV?

As a reminder we are using VGA on TVs for a number of reasons:

  • well supported “standard” connection
  • no image processing!
  • no overscan!
  • we can control positioning/size precisely

Basically we’re using the TV as if it were a computer monitor.


Dreamcast, Original Xbox, Xbox 360

  • use a VGA cable (official or third-party)


  • use a VGA cable (third-party)
  • or use a HDMI to VGA adapter

Other Consoles with HDMI and 480p option

  • use a HDMI to VGA adapter

Other Consoles without HDMI

  • use cables and adapters to work around it


  1. 640x480p capable display
    • needs VGA (or DVI?) input
    • LCD TVs are mostly 20"
    • Small LCDs ~5" (Raspberry Pi)
    • prefer: IPS type
  2. Console to HDMI adapter
    • quality varies
    • prefer: one that specifies 480p output
  3. HDMI to VGA adapter
    • quality varies
    • prefer: one that has no black crush


  • lag ~25ms (~1.5 frames)
  • limited sound output options
  • black border

Future Experimentation

  • widescreen @ 800x480p
    • plasma?
    • raspberry pi screen?


There’s a hardware VGA mod for Wii, but it requires very fine soldering skills and a specific CFW software setup. It’s the only internal way to get VGA output, if you can handle the soldering and software.

That said, we’re going to get VGA using a much different approach. A bit of a hack/workaround.


  • Wii > HDMI > VGA > Display

the following software setup trick is the key discovery in all of this!


  1. Set the Wii to 480p and 4:3
  2. Launch the Not64 emulator to its menu
  3. Auto Adjust the VGA input of your TV

That’s it! Quit and enjoy native 640x480 output on your Wii.


  • although the Wii outputs 480p it’s a little more complicated than that
  • the maximum internal resolution of the Wii is 704x480 (true EDTV) and the active area a game chooses to use can be anything up to that size (example: the Wii System Menu uses only the centre 686x456 pixels)
  • the reason we use Not64 is that it has been confirmed to use the full 704x480 area
  • therefore: after setup, in most games, you’ll notice varying degrees of black border on the top/bottom or left/right of the image, sometimes both, that’s normal and to be expected
  • Auto Adjust sets the correct vertical and horizontal size and position for the image

Adjusting to anything other than a full area is something you can get away with on a CRT (in fact it’s mostly automatic), but on an LCD this will result in an uneven, scaled image that is not pixel-aligned.

Exceptions that require their own Auto Adjust
240p Test Suite: Auto Adjust to get the correct results (you can force 480p by editing the settings file)
Emulation: Auto Adjust per-game for emulated titles, eg. Metal Slug Anthology, or RetroArch.

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Couldn’t you also use a component to dsub-15 adapter? Most VGA stuff will take ypbpr over dsub and if not there are transcoders. This way you avoid sampling phase issues of doing digital (console) -> analog -> digital (hdmi adapter) -> analog -> digital (display)

Sadly this VGA TV (20PFL4122) doesn’t support component over VGA. No idea why.

My other VGA TV (20PF4121) does support component over VGA, but it applies scaling and overscan.

Interested in a transcoder. Any recommendations?

I’ve heard good things about this one from an ebay seller in NZ:

He designed them for VGA CRT monitors.

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Thanks! I’ll put one of those on the shopping list.

Here’s what it looks like with Wii > HDMI > VGA

(click to zoom, obv)

M2’s ESP RaDe port looks incredible on a VGA monitor if you dial in certain display settings in the game’s option menu.

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Will have to wait for lockdown to get one of those transcoders.

Until then I’ve switched from Wii > HDMI > VGA to Component > KVM switch > Extron > VGA.


  • Marginally cleaner signal
  • Marginally less lag
  • One solution fits all


  • No 240p support
  • Requires manual switching


  • Zoom for IPS chevrons :heart::green_heart::blue_heart:

Thanks for writing up these instructions, I feel the Wii ones are particularly important given the system’s software’s inconsistent approach to rendering its image, I’ve been gobsmacked by some of the photos you’ve shared of the pixel perfect output! It’s an eye-opener after years of upscaled blurry 16:9 component cable output from my 768p Bravia, much of which isn’t even correctly scaled due to third parties doing weird things (No More Heroes returns a squished image in widescreen…)

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I eventually ended up at the following Combo:

  1. GBSC (as scaler and deinterlacer)
  2. KVM (as VGA+Audio switch)
  3. Extron DVS 304 (as input selector; and most importantly for output sync consolidation so my VGA display only needs one global sync setting )

480p out of a DC is different spec than 480p out of a Wii, in terms of sync and position. So passing these through unmodified means that after every input select I would also need to go into my TV menu and do an “adjust” so that it displays the image correctly. This gets annoying very quickly.

So I use an Extron to take care of that automatically: the single output always has the same sync and position regardless of the properties of the input signals. I never have to touch my display menu!

I have PS2 on Component into the GBSC. Output from the GBSC into the KVM along with DC, PC and 360. That means a single switchable source into the Extron.
Wii and Xbox join at this point straight into the Extron component input, only because they don’t really require scaling or deinterlacing. And I often have the Wii and PS2 powered on the same time.
Resulting single output is unified 480p over DVI to my display.


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Hey Matt have you tried PS2, Xbox and GameCube on that EDTV? I would love to see some shots of your results even if they aren’t that great :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  • PS2 a lot
  • GC only through Wii
  • Xbox a bit (I don’t keep it plugged in all the time because it’s too big for my TV cabinet)

There are photos on here from myself and @Gravitone (who has the same TV), I’ll try to take some more soon.

But they are all pixel perfect (image centred with black borders depending on the game active area).

Dreamcast is full screen. Even though Wii is 480p games don’t use the whole area.

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You can check out some of the shots I made in this thread:

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Scroll through my Instagram to see some videos and photos of games running on this display. I can share the original files if there’s anything of interest.

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