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 Post subject: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:24 am 



Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
I want to improve my set up for the Dreamcast. My current set up is to connect to Dreamcast with my Framemeister via RGB Scart and after soon starting Problems with the Framemeister it is working well now thanks to some info I got in the Forum. :D

But after doing some Research I want to use VGA. It seems that VGA is the best solution for the good old Dreamcast.

According to the WWW the Beharbos VGA boxes seems to be the best.


I found 2 boxes sutiable for my Needs. The Akura or the Toro.

Is it worth to use use Toro Box and the Framemeister to get best possible Image ? Or is the Image Quality of the Akura Box directly hooked up to the TV via HDMI as good as the Image Quality of the Toro Box?

Is one VGA box better than the other?


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:45 am 


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Joined: 06 Feb 2005
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Location: Italy
How are you going to use your VGA box? Directly hooked up to a flatscreen? Or you want to route it through the XRGB?

If you go right into an LCD/OLED with no vga input, get the Akura. Otherwise, get the Toro, but first make sure that the XRGB can take TTL sync on the RGB input, since that's what the Toro outputs from both the vga and the scart port (I don't have an XRGB).

In any case, I found the Toro to have a mediocre build quality, especially the breakout cable. Once you plug it in leave it alone, it won't take long before it starts to act up.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:50 am 



Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
Xer Xian wrote:
How are you going to use your VGA box? Directly hooked up to a flatscreen? Or you want to route it through the XRGB?

If you go right into an LCD/OLED with no vga input, get the Akura. Otherwise, get the Toro, but first make sure that the XRGB can take TTL sync on the RGB input, since that's what the Toro outputs from both the vga and the scart port (I don't have an XRGB).

In any case, I found the Toro to have a mediocre build quality, especially the breakout cable. Once you plug it in leave it alone, it won't take long before it starts to act up.



My TV has no VGA Input, so I have to go either via the Framemeister in case I use the Toro or if I want to connect the VGA Box directly to my Tv I have to use the Akura via HDMI.


The only question is which Option is better. Is the framemeister capable of improving the VGA Signal or not. I have seen seem Reports saying that the FM is not the best Option for 480p Signals. So maybe the result is better when hooking up the Dreamcast directly to the Flatscreen via HDMi with the Akura......?


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:12 am 


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Joined: 15 Jul 2016
Posts: 34
Location: United Kingdom
Here is a good article on what you are asking: http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2 ... i.html?m=1

The Dreamcast outputs a strange 720x480 resolution instead of the standard VGA 640x480, CRT VGA monitors back in the day would treat the wider res as overscan and display the image with the correct aspect ratio, most modern LCD display won’t do this and you will get a slightly squashed image. The Framemeiater will allow you to get the correct aspect ratio using its zoom and picture mode settings, the linked article suggests that the Akura seems better than the Toro in terms of picture quality when passed into the Framemeister. I only have the Toro and it seems fine but I’ll probably get the Akura at some point for convenience. 480p doesn’t scale well to 720 or 1080p, you can 2x and be left with borders or leave it at 480p with nice scaliness for 2d games and let your TV scale it to fill the screen.

I suppose if I had the choice I’d get the Akura and use it with the FM at 480p but with aspect correction.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:20 am 


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Location: Italy
If he gets the Toro the FM should sample the DC video signal (more or less) correctly. With the Akura the sampling from analog has already taken place before the FM. It will hardly matter though.

iceman_0 wrote:
I have seen seem Reports saying that the FM is not the best Option for 480p Signals. So maybe the result is better when hooking up the Dreamcast directly to the Flatscreen via HDMi with the Akura......?

That depends on how well or badly your TV upscales from 480p. You have to check this out yourself - set your FM to output 480p to your TV and then compare it with a 1080p output. Even better, set a PS3/4/Xbox/whatever to output 480p to your TV, and then route that through a FM set to 1080p output. Compare the upscaling. It might be difficult to perceive a difference without a proper test pattern and a side to side comparison.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:03 pm 



Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
Xer Xian wrote:
If he gets the Toro the FM should sample the DC video signal (more or less) correctly. With the Akura the sampling from analog has already taken place before the FM. It will hardly matter though.

iceman_0 wrote:
I have seen seem Reports saying that the FM is not the best Option for 480p Signals. So maybe the result is better when hooking up the Dreamcast directly to the Flatscreen via HDMi with the Akura......?

That depends on how well or badly your TV upscales from 480p. You have to check this out yourself - set your FM to output 480p to your TV and then compare it with a 1080p output. Even better, set a PS3/4/Xbox/whatever to output 480p to your TV, and then route that through a FM set to 1080p output. Compare the upscaling. It might be difficult to perceive a difference without a proper test pattern and a side to side comparison.



Thanks for the info. Then I will do some tests how well my Sony bravia Kdl 43 8305 is able to handle the 480p signal.

Larrs888 Thanks for the Link. I will check it out as soon as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:50 am 



Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Posts: 33
Location: Austria
@iceman I am also the owner of the Framemeister and was asking myself the same questions. After doing same Research I Chose the Akura Box because it is more versatile . I can connect the Akura directly to my TV Via HDMI without using the Framemeister at all.

But I can also use the Framemeister's HDMI port to scale up the Image of the Akura. If I prefer just 480p I can use with without the FM and in chase I prefer an upscaled Image I can just use the Framemeister.

It is perfect. At least for my Needs. If you are interested I can post my impressions here in your thread as soon the Akura arrives at my home.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:38 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Revolver Ocelot wrote:
After doing same Research I Chose the Akura Box because it is more versatile .

I think the same of the Toro box, that it is more versatile, because you can choose which device you want to pair it with. If you're going to an LCD, you can pair it with an OSSC, a Framemeister, DVDO, or just connect it directly to the display's VGA port (if you have one), or you can just connect it to a CRT (if in the US, you'll need a SCART to component converter, but those can be had for ~$80 USD).


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:59 am 



Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Posts: 33
Location: Austria
nmalinoski wrote:
Revolver Ocelot wrote:
After doing same Research I Chose the Akura Box because it is more versatile.

I think the same of the Toro box, that it is more versatile, because you can choose which device you want to pair it with. If you're going to an LCD, you can pair it with an OSSC, a Framemeister, DVDO, or just connect it directly to the display's VGA port (if you have one), or you can just connect it to a CRT (if in the US, you'll need a SCART to component converter, but those can be had for ~$80 USD).


The Toro has some advantages as well, that is for sure but I personally prefer the HDMI solution because it is more future proof. I am going to use it only on an LCD anyway. Thanks to the HMI capability I can use the Akura with or without the Framemeister.

But that's just me. For other people and also maybe for the Orignal Poster the Toro might be the better choice. The Toro and the Akura are same priced so it is all just about personal preference I think...


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:41 pm 



Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
Thanks for the further replies. Well I only have a LCD TV, the Sony Bravia 43 8305 and no old CRT. MY TV has no VGA plug so a VGA box with HDMI connection would be the best bet. I think I will get the Akura as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:43 pm 



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 26
I'd say the Toro is more versatile overall. The Akura is more convenient, but it's not 100% compatible with the Dreamcast library. The Akura won't work with non VGA games.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:31 pm 



Joined: 28 Mar 2018
Posts: 8
Location: Germany
I have thought about it again and I think so too now that the Toro box is the more versatile solution. I will order it tomorrow.

Now I am looking for a decent RGB Scart and a decent VGA cable for the Toro.

Is any RGB and VGA cable a good choice or would you guys recommend some specific cables?


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:36 pm 


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Joined: 06 Feb 2005
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Location: Italy
They (beharbros) sell what they deem to be a good quality scart cable for I think $6. Otherwise get one by Kabeldirekt from amazon.de.

Vga cable - you really need to buy one of these? :) Kaberldirekt sell them too.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:48 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Xer Xian wrote:
They (beharbros) sell what they deem to be a good quality scart cable for I think $6.

Don't buy it. It's crap. :) I was getting a good amount of audio hum with it, so I don't think it has any shielding at all.

If you're in the US, for about the same price, Kabeldirekt has a 10ft one with good shielding on Amazon. I picked up two of these recently and have not had any issues with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:57 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
Xer Xian wrote:
They (beharbros) sell what they deem to be a good quality scart cable for I think $6.

Don't buy it. It's crap. :) I was getting a good amount of audio hum with it, so I don't think it has any shielding at all.

Ah ok. Well, given the quality of their boxes' breakout cables, that doesn't surprise me in the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:43 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 252
Location: Woodinville, WA
Does the Akura still have the issue where the picture isn’t centered initially until after you restart your TV?


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:13 pm 


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strygo wrote:
Does the Akura still have the issue where the picture isn’t centered initially until after you restart your TV?

yes, but you can just change input and back you don't have to restart


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:23 pm 


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Xer Xian wrote:
... but first make sure that the XRGB can take TTL sync on the RGB input, since that's what the Toro outputs from both the vga and the scart port (I don't have an XRGB).


What??? I’ve been blissfully ignorant of this for most of a year if true.
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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:02 pm 


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Location: Italy
My tester picked up ~4.6v on pin 20 of the scart head. I'm not an expert, but I think that's TTL level sync?


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:45 pm 


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Xer Xian wrote:
My tester picked up ~4.6v on pin 20 of the scart head. I'm not an expert, but I think that's TTL level sync?


Also not an expert. But I’m pretty sure all tests without a load are invalid. And sync measurement isn’t absolute voltage but the difference from highest to lowest point on the wave.
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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:17 pm 


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I only really use it as a guesstimate when I'm 100% sure there are no other components inline.

Without load you could put a resistor inline and still get the same voltage result.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:04 pm 


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DirkSwizzler wrote:
Also not an expert. But I’m pretty sure all tests without a load are invalid. And sync measurement isn’t absolute voltage but the difference from highest to lowest point on the wave.

I see thanks, that makes sense. Unfortunately I don't have a scope to take a proper measurement.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure there were no components inline when I tested - I used a plain scart to scart cable.

Edit: Sorry I had missed the point you made with your post Syntax. So if I got it right this time, even if the Toro had the proper resistance in the sync line, I wouldn't be able to realize it without applying load to the line. How do apply the load then :)


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:17 am 


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Joined: 15 Jul 2016
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Location: United Kingdom
nmalinoski wrote:
Xer Xian wrote:
They (beharbros) sell what they deem to be a good quality scart cable for I think $6.

Don't buy it. It's crap. :) I was getting a good amount of audio hum with it, so I don't think it has any shielding at all.

If you're in the US, for about the same price, Kabeldirekt has a 10ft one with good shielding on Amazon. I picked up two of these recently and have not had any issues with them.


Beharbros also sell a very high quality braided and shielded Sony RGB cable, I bought one of these recently to use with my switch box and the it has helped reduce audio hum compared to my old cable. Check out their site under the Toro section and you can buy wither a 1m or 3m version.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:26 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Larrs888 wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
Xer Xian wrote:
They (beharbros) sell what they deem to be a good quality scart cable for I think $6.

Don't buy it. It's crap. :) I was getting a good amount of audio hum with it, so I don't think it has any shielding at all.

If you're in the US, for about the same price, Kabeldirekt has a 10ft one with good shielding on Amazon. I picked up two of these recently and have not had any issues with them.


Beharbros also sell a very high quality braided and shielded Sony RGB cable, I bought one of these recently to use with my switch box and the it has helped reduce audio hum compared to my old cable. Check out their site under the Toro section and you can buy wither a 1m or 3m version.

I had considered buying one of those Sony cables when I bought my Toro, but didn't want to spend the money; and I considered it again after I found the $6 cable to be garbage, but didn't want to wait a month and a half for it to arrive.

I'd recommend it if you're outside the US and buying it with the Toro; otherwise, you can get the 10-foot Kabeldirekt one from Amazon delivered way faster and for about a third of the price.


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 Post subject: Re: Toro Box or Akura Box
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:31 pm 


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FWIW, you can often find high quality HD15 cables in thrift stores.
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