Feb 29 2012, 03:25 AM
Hey all, having a weird issue.
I purchased a few months back a modded original Xbox with a Xecuter 3 CE modchip allowing dual dashboard boot via the remote control, boots via the 'select' button to XBMC and via the 'display' button boots into the legit dash (sorry if I sound like a noob at Xbox modding but I am, this was all done for me!).
It also came with the official HD component AV pack from MS and this works brilliantly and even when I run any emulator I have no issues whether it being Surreal 64, coinops etc.
The problem I have is running actual original Xbox games and I have tested this with various games...ones that don't support 480p, ones that do (GTA III for example), ones that support 720p (Soul Calibur 2 for example) and they all have problems when trying to output in high def after booting from XBMC. If I boot with the default settings GTA III is just in 480i/525i, no progressive. If I tweak the settings by disabling "video mode switching" in XBMC via the 'white' button it will then boot in 480p/525p mode but the resulting image is split in half with the game running one side and weird colours and a HUD etc on the other. By doing the same with Soul Calibur which supports 720p and disabling "video mode switching" it will boot without changing the 720p resolution but there will be black bars at the side.
I have looked up various things and also have gone into the MS dashboard and selected 480p within the video settings, held both triggers and clicked in the thumbsticks which results in the MS dashboard being in 480p/525p with no problems. However, the result is exactly the same even if I insert a legit disc via the MS dashboard as I have tried with GTA III and it will run in 480p/525p mode just like it was on the MS dashboard but it still won't have a correct image, just split down the middle. The irony is the side that is displaying the game looks perfect but the fact it is split and not showing the whole game is really annoying! Even during the main loading screen for GTA III it's weird as the picture showing the characters of the game is split in half with the characters perfectly displayed one side and a complete black side on the other yet the loading bar is shown in its entirety!
Edit: ok I just tried disabling video-switching mode to Need for Speed Underground as that game has always booted in 480i/525i and it has just booted in 525p mode with no problems at all regardless of menus, FMVs, in-game. This is so confusing!
Very strange but I know I must be doing something really wrong that's probably really obvious to someone who can help me!
Appreciate the help in advance,
Mar 1 2012, 12:23 AM
I had exactly the same problem as described with GTA III (PAL GTA III/SA double pack) PAL Xbox region change to NTSC using 480p.
Let me guess - you're using a v.1.6 Xbox wiith the Excalibur video encoder.
I was told this was the culprit for the strange display trouble and my own tests with my v.1.1, v.1,2 and v.1.4 Xboxes, which use a different encoder, appear to confirn it.
Whether the other games' display problems are similarly caused I don't know but I'd suspect they are. Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, there is no solution but maybe someone here knows differently.
Mar 1 2012, 02:35 AM
Wow...so there's no 'cure' for this then? lol. Thanks for your reply though, I tried Doom 3 just now and that works fine too...guess it's just the GTA games *sigh*
Hope there's a solution to this, it sounds so simple! Would playing the NTSC version make a difference?
Mar 1 2012, 03:14 PM
I'll have to be careful here as I don't know for sure ie. I've not tested it myself in this specific case or in general. However as far as I know whether you're using a NTSC or region changed modded PAL console playing a PAL, NTSC or even region free version shouldn't make a difference to this problem.
If the game supports 480p or HD then its region should be irrelevant. It is the console where the problem lies in this case.
There are some 'magic' things which, I've read, can be done via game Hex editing. Maybe there is some solution there but I think it unlikely unless I was misinformed about the whole cause of the GTA III display problem. But I know absolutely nothing about Hex editig so you'll have to hope somebody else can help.
Mar 1 2012, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the reply man...I thought it would be a long shot but I did some research and learned that the PAL version of San Andreas didn't support 480p mode which I thought was odd (I encountered the same thing with Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2 as the PAL version didn't have 1080i...PAL always gets screwed!). Anyways I thought "hmmm, maybe the same thing applies to GTA III". So I obtained a NTSC copy and guess what? 480p/525p mode works PERFECTLY now! Really makes a difference too!
Thanks for your replies though mate but yeah anyone who reads this and has similar issues you can try this as it works flawelessly!
Mar 2 2012, 12:31 AM
I was surprised to read that the NTSC version worked properly in 480p, bearing in mind what I read here or maybe it was on some other forum long ago about the cause of the GT III display problem.
However I've been searching back through my own previous posts here on the subject and found one almost exactly a year old. Apologies but I forgotten something - if you still have that PAL version of GTA III try it in 480p with any widescreen dash options turned off.
You should find it displays correctly now.
No explanation then was suggested for this behaviour except the video encoder issue. I've always assumed this was a factor but it now looks like that was wrong if the NTSC version is displaying correctly on the same machine in 480p and in widescreen.
BTW the post I found also mentions GTA: SA and that it can be hex edited to display in 480p. If you're still interested I can post the link (if I can find it again).
Mar 2 2012, 01:21 AM
This is purely hypothetical on my part, but I might be able to explain why the NTSC version worked at 480p. Microsoft didn't have any plans for HD in the PAL region (which is why you need to switch a PAL console to NTSC before you can enable HD resolutions and/or widescreen) so perhaps developers also didn't bother to properly code for this in the PAL versions of some games.
Mar 2 2012, 02:55 AM
I certainly can't believe in the case of PAL GTA III they included NTSC and 480p support but set up 480p so it only displays properly in 4:3 deliberately. Why would they have changed anything from the NTSC master version?
It is fleetingly interesting to speculate about how something like this can happen. No PAL Xbox gamer except those who've modded their machines would even know about it. In short I can only think this was a strange accident of some sort which indeed, as you say, they didn't bother to correct or more likely failed to spot in the testing.
Mar 2 2012, 05:46 AM
It might not be that they purposely disabled widescreen for 480p but rather that they didn't include the proper assets to render in widescreen since a PAL release wouldn't need them, but again, this is purely speculation on my part.
Mar 2 2012, 03:10 PM
That's what I meant ie. it is unlikely to have been deliberate.
Even if PAL GTA III was region free (and I don't think it is - not checked though) I can't think of any logical reason why they would take a decision to change anything in the NTSC support included, As said, except for region free games this stuff is all hidden unless you've modded your Xbox.
No other PAL Xbox game I know reacts like this to WS at 480p. They either support 480p in exactly the same way as the NTSC version or they don't work at all.
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