Understanding the video modes on your OpenBox

First note: If you are in a HD mode (YUV) DO NOT EVER TOUCH THE VFORMAT BUTTON ON THE REMOTE! The VFORMAT button only cycles thru PAL HD modes. In analog (RGB) operation it will go thru 480i NTSC and 576i (PAL) only.

The above screen is where all resolution changes should be made. Reach it by pressing the MENU button on the remote, then navigate to System Setup (the two gears) and select TV System.

It is important to understand that the OpenBox is primarily designed for the European market where they use PAL type TV. PAL starts at 576i instead of our NTSC 480i resolution. It also operates at 50Hz instead of our 60Hz. 99% of North American TV’s won’t do any PAL mode. You will get either a rolling black and white picture or no picture.

Video terminology
It certainly does not help that both the “average joe” and China use somewhat incorrect terms for video modes. Here is what each means.

NTSC. The North American television standard. 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i are the modes, all at 60Hz.

PAL. Standard used in Europe and most other parts of the world. The PAL standard is 576i. Extended PAL supports 576p, 720p and 1080i, all at 50Hz. Most North American TV’s do not support any PAL mode.

RGB. For purposes of the OpenBox, RGB is analog mode. In this mode which you receive your OpenBox there is only 480i NTSC and 576i PAL selectable. Only the composite and HDMI ports work in this mode. True RGB is what computers and a few other devices put out and there would be 3 wires, one each for Red, Green and Blue components. DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH THE COMPONENT (Y/Pb/Pr) OUTPUTS ON YOUR OPENBOX AND TV. Component outputs do not function when in “RGB” mode on the OpenBox.

CVBS & Composite This is the yellow (analog) RCA video output on the OpenBox. The maximum resolution is 480i NTSC or 576i PAL. Progressive modes are not supported. This output only functions correctly when the OpenBox is set to “RGB” mode at 480i.

YUV For purposes of the OpenBox this is the HD mode. The analog/composite output does not function in this mode. Component (Y/Pb/Pr) functions along with HDMI. For North American TV’s select 480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i modes at 60Hz only. The other modes are all PAL 50Hz.

Component (Y/Pb/Pr) output. This is often incorrectly referred to as RGB because of the Red, Green and Blue RCA cables used. Component can carry 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i signals. This mode only operates on OpenBox if “YUV” is selected. Component outputs do not carry audio, so you must hook RCA audio from the OpenBox into your TV, or use the S/PDIF (coaxial) audio output if your TV/stereo supports it.

Choosing the best mode for your setup
If you have an ancient analog only TV you are stuck using the composite. The mode we ship your OpenBox in is the correct one, 480i RGB. Ask Santa for even a 32″ HDTV for Christmas, because if you have to use the 480i output you are missing out on the great picture the OpenBox produces.

For HDTV’s the mode and output you use depends on your TV and its maximum resolution. HDMI is best and carries the audio with it. Select YUV mode in the OpenBox and choose either 720p or 1080i 60Hz modes depending on your TV’s maximum resolution. The OpenBox will automatically upconvert lower grade signals such as SD/480i to your maximum set resolution.

Other options on this screen
Aspect Mode. “Auto” normally will work fine. If not, flip thru the modes to find the one that fits the picture to your TV the best.

Digital Audio Out. This only functions with HDMI audio or the S/PDIF. “LPCM Out” sends formatted digital audio and allows full adjustment with the OpenBox remote volume controls. “BS Out” sends raw data and should be used if your TV/stereo won’t work with formatted digital audio. In the “BS Out” mode AC-3 outputs at a fixed volume, standard audio can still be varied with the remote. LPCM should work with most equipment.


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