Vdigi’s Wii VGA Cable Review
First off, I’d like to thank the good folks over at Vdigi for sending me a review copy of their Wii VGA cables.
So lets cover the packaging. Exciting, huh? The instructions are in garbled English, but are easy enough to understand. Now for the cables themselves.
I was really surprised by how sturdy they feel. They’re thick and solid. You really get the impression youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re dealing with a high quality product. On one end, there’s a plug that goes into the back of your Wii, it fits nice and snug, no problems there. On the other end, there’s a female VGA plug, which means you’ll need your own male VGA cable to go from the female plug on your monitor, to the female plug on Vdigi’s product. No big deal. There’s the standard red and white cables for sound, also included is a small adapter that you can plug into the red and white sound cables, which converts it into a standard headphone jack so you can plug it into your computer speakers; very handy. Another neat feature is a small green video cable, coming off the back of the female VGA port. This cable is used for setting up your Wii to display in 480p if you’re not already doing that.
Alright, so now let’s go into setting it up. First of all, you need your
Wii to be displaying in 480p; otherwise, you’ll just get a pretty black screen. So go ahead and stick the little green cable into your TV’s standard yellow video plug, or if your TV has component input, plug it into the green slot. Now turn on your Wii, and you should be greeted by the familiar Wii menu, but without color.
Click on the “Wii” icon in the bottom
left corner, go to “Wii settings” and click “screen,” then
“Resolution” you should come to a screen like this:
Select 480p, and confirm. Now, my screen looked like this:
Cool, huh? Not really. Anyway, power off your Wii, and unplug the green connector from your TV. Now plug your monitor into Vdigi’s cable, cross your fingers, and power up the Wii and monitor.
I was greeted by this screen:
Well, I guess it works! Let’s try out a game!
Now, I’m using a 22″ widescreen Acer monitor, so I went to the Wii settings, and changed it to widescreen,
so bear in mind, these screenshots are in widescreen.
How about Mario Strikers Charged?
Ok, so I booted it up, everything was fine, jumped into a game, and… everything was black, not pure black,
but dark enough you couldn’t see what was going on. I got out of my seat, and fiddled with the monitor settings.
After turning up the contrast most of the way, it looked great, and the menus (that had looked fine before
I changed the contrast) looked the same.
Here’s a video of the opening strikers movie (sans the sound).
The game looked good. The image on the screen had vibrant colors, wasn’t blurry, wasn’t jagged, and
was crystal clear.
I tried a bunch of different games, including Wii Play, Super Monkey Ball, Godfather Blackhand, Exite Truck, Metroid Prime 3, and RE4. They all looked great; clear images, not blurry, the colors were spot on etc. I did have a small problem with RE4; the screen was really dark, and I could barely see, but I turned up the brightness on my monitor and it was fine. Then I decided to try out Metal Slug Anthology. That’s where I hit a snag, and discovered the deep dark secret about these cables. They don’t support anything that doesn’t display in 480p. Not THAT big of a deal, since most Wii games support 480p. A few games, like Metal Slug Anthology and Heatseeker, don’t, which is unfortunate, but not deal breaking.
The only real problem with the cables is that they don’t support 480i (standard TV) resolution. Now, the Wii’s virtual console games still work fine, but you run into problems with Gamecube games. At first, I thought that no Gamecube games worked at all, but I did a little research into how the Gamecube supported 480p (it calls it “Progressive Scan”) and discovered how to make things all better. What you need to do, is hold the “B” button on your ‘Cube controller when you start your GC game. Your screen will still flicker, just like normal, however, if the GC title your trying to play supports progressive scan, you will be taken to a menu that asks if you would like to enable it. You can’t actually SEE this menu, because it’s still in 480i, but if you hit the “A” button, a message should pop up telling you progressive scan was enabled. This worked fine for me with SSBM, Super Mario Sunshine, and Timesplitters: Future Perfect. So just start the GC game while holding “B,” wait a moment, then hit “A and the game should play as normal. You can find a list of GC games that support 480p HERE; I’m not 100% sure that’s complete, so you may want to do a little research of your own on which games support 480p. Worst comes to worst, check to see if the back of the box says “Supports progressive scan”. It is still somewhat disappointing that games without 480p support are left in the dark (quite literally,) but all in all, it’s not so bad. Here’s just what the cables do when you feed them a 480i signal:
That is the main downfall of these cables. If it weren’t for that, these cables would get a 10/10. They do exactly what they should, and they do a great job; aside from not supporting 480i.
In recap, if you have a good monitor, and want a crystal clear, vibrant image; and don’t really mind not being able to play a select few GC and Wii games then this is the product for you.
Packaging: 6/10 – Nothing special, janglish instructions, but it does the job.
Cable Quality: 8/10 – Solid and thick. The length on the audio cables is a little short, but it’s easy to extend them
Image Quality: 9/10 – This is where Vdigi’s product shines, it looks excellent.
Overall: 9.5/10 – An excellent product, amazing image, solid cables, good price, considering how much a converter box can cost, and almost every Wii game supports 480p, as well as the majority of GC games.
If you’ve been looking for a way to hook up your Wii to your monitor, but have been scared off by converter
box’s costing in the hundreds of dollars, this is the product for you. Go buy them, now.
You can find them at Vdigi’s website HERE
EDIT: PAL users are reporting the cables don’t work very well at all. Please note that I am in an NTSC region, testing this on a NTSC Wii and Monitor. It would apear if you have a PAL (European) Wii, these cables are probably not a good idea.
EDIT 2: A note from the Vdigi staff: “We have both Pal and NTSC Wii consoles, both of the consoles are the same performance, and both work very well. for those pal users, they may trying to play VC games which may not support 480p, please note. thanks”
Maybe the PAL users were simply using poor quality monitors, as more PAL users are reporting it works fine for them. Sorry for the confusion.