The original Xbox was launched at an interesting time in video game history. The HD era was still a few years away from becoming a standard in the industry. But the Xbox also was a system that was clearly designed to take advantage of HD gaming. 4×3 CRT displays was still mostly commonplace in the household, and the original Xbox at its base did not support 240p, instead utilizing the rather dated-looking 480i interlaced mode. On most consumers CRT TVs, this was probably not much of a difference visually. But if you pair it up with the broadcast display like a Sony PVM, you can clearly see the noticeable flicker of the interlacing in action. With the emergence of high-definition displays that supported 720p and 1080i, the original Xbox had you covered. With the HD AV Pack, you could boost your resolutions to these screen modes, if the game supported it. There are only a handful of titles that ever ran at 1080i and about 40 original titles that supported 720p. The Xbox also supported widescreen mode via simple “16:19 Widescreen” option in the dashboard. The homebrew community also embraced 720p and 1080i HD signals, with software like XBMC. And many emulators were upscale to take advantage of these high resolutions. Just like all retro consoles, getting a good video image out of an original Xbox, in 2019, onto a modern display can be tricky. We saw last year, in 2018, the release of the Pound HDMI and the Hyperkin HDMI solutions. But, unfortunately, both of those cable solutions offer subpar image quality. So, the HD AV Cable by Microsoft is still the most desirable and the best one to use. But, unfortunately, it’s starting to creep up in price with cables approaching the $65-$70 mark. Now, it’s certainly not GameCube Component Cable status yet, but it is going up in price, simply because they offer the best image quality. But, fortunately, there is a new player on the market, and it’s a cheap open-source alternative to the official Microsoft HD AV Pack. The XOSVP, or the Xbox Open Source Video Project, is an open-source alternative to the Microsoft HD AV Pack. Its goal is simple: to provide the best video quality for the original Xbox at a cheap price. The way that this works is simple: it matches the same impendence levels and cabling used from the original Xbox. It also uses a high-quality video filter to remove all artifacting and noise without modifying the source signal. And it also includes optical video out for the best audio quality. It comes with high-quality shielding, which is something that the cheaper cables are lacking, including the HDMI solutions from Pound and Hyperkin. The XOSVP can be built from kit form, or it can be bought preassembled. The kit cost $15 U.S., and the complete assembled version is $35 U.S., much cheaper than the official HD AV Cables. So, let’s go ahead and take a look, and see how well the XOSVP actually performs, especially when we compare it to the officially licensed Xbox Panorama Hyperkin HDMI cables, as well as a cheap set of $7.99 component cables from Amazon. And finally, we can’t really do any testing, unless we compare it with the official HD AV Pack from Microsoft. The XOSVP is a simple adapter connected up to your Xbox, as you normally would. But keep in mind, you would still need a good-quality component video cable, which is not included. I recommend the Monster, or Monoprice, cables. They are built using RG-59 coax and are thicker and harder to bend. But, if you just end up using a cheap set of Generic cables, then you won’t see any benefit from the XOSVP at all. I’ll leave a link to the Monoprice cables and all other cables and adapters I’ve used in the Amazon links below. Now, for the audio, you will need a TOSLINK cable. Since it’s digital, you can use any one you like. It won’t really matter. If you don’t have a way to output digital audio, or are using a component-enabled CRT, then you’ll need a Digital to Audio Converter, or DAC, to manage this for you. These will set you back about $20, or so, on Amazon. But keep in mind, you will be getting the absolute best audio quality coming out of your Xbox. Now, with everything connected up, let’s take a quick look at some gameplay captures and see how everything looks. First impressions are excellent. The XOSVP looks and sounds fantastic, the colors pop and the audio is great. Here’s a quick sample. Games that render at native 720p, such as Soulcalibur 2, look nice and crisp. And the XOSVP also handles 1080i interlacing exceptionally well. And The Matrix looks great, running at this resolution. One of the biggest criticisms are here with the original Xbox are the black levels particularly at 480i and 480p, which are quite high. Now, unfortunately, the XOSVP won’t fix this problem for you. This is something you’ll need to adjust on your HD television or monitor output settings. So, yes, first impressions look good. But how does it compare with the official Microsoft HD AV Pack? If we use Soulcalibur 2 as our test once again, both look almost identical to each other. In fact, blowing up the screen resolution, I can’t notice any differences here at all. It’s great stuff. The XOSVP is advertised to provide the very best video quality, as compared to the official HD AV Pack and based on my tests. It does exactly this. It’s very impressive and you can tell that care and attention has been put into every facet in the design of this hardware, especially as it’s a cheap open-source project that you can build from parts off the shelf for cheap. So, what about the other alternatives? Last year, we reviewed the Pound HDMI cable on the channel, and while it certainly wasn’t terrible, it lacked some quality control issues for really making it a viable solution. If you recall in my experience with these cables, they are hit and miss. Some users have a great experience with them, while others like myself never got them to work correctly. In fact, I’ve used three different revisions of this cable with different levels of success using different Xbox revisions. And my summary was: it’s not worth the headache. I had a whole slew of things, including random noise, glitches, D-Syncing and other issues. Attempting to capture gameplay through these cables was an exercise in frustration. Now if you have one of these cables and they work for you, then that’s fantastic. But for me, it’s not the case. So, with the Hyperkin Panorama HDMI cable, which is supposedly officially licensed by Xbox, it looks suspiciously similar to the Pound cable. So is it any different? And is it any better? The good news is that this cable, at least for me, works much better than the Pound cable. I think the rule that this cable is just a rebranded Pound cable, seems to be accurate, but it looks like they’ve at least fixed some design issues. I can capture and use this cable just fine and I’ve tested it on a 1.0, 1.1 and 1.6 Model Xbox, and it certainly works much better. But again, and I must stress that this is my experience with this cable. Reading some reviews on Amazon seems to indicate that users are still having the same problems that they’ve had with the Pound cable. So, your mileage may definitely vary here. Now, when we compare the video quality of the Hyperkin HDMI to the XOSVP, the image quality is pretty good. But you can clearly see a lack of visual quality with the image overall looking a little duller. There’s also a slight color palettes difference I noticed, too, which is a byproduct of these cheaper cables. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but it’s definitely noticeable. The XOSVP is quite simply a better solution overall than the Hyperkin Panorama cable. And, then, we come down to the cheap Generic component cable. I wouldn’t recommend this cable to anyone. You’re better off using an official composite or S-Video output over something like this. But let’s test it out, anyway. As you can see, the noise levels of this cable are just unacceptable, with the entire image looking quite blurry, with each pixel showing artifacting and green noise. There’s also a line of green shadow on the left side of the image. Overall, it’s just a bad cable and definitely not recommend it to anyone that wants a good-quality image from the original Xbox. But hey, I thought it was worth checking out, anyway. Cheap component cables definitely fall into the category of you get what you pay for. So, in summary, the XOSVP provides the same level of video quality as the official Microsoft HD AV Pack, for up to 1080i HD resolutions. Overall, it’s a fantastic product. It’s open-source cheap, and it just works. Now, there are some extras that you’ll need to purchase, in order to get the very best out of this cable, including a high-quality set of component cables and a digital audio converter, if you don’t possess the ability to output digital audio. But both of these extras don’t really add too much to the price. And with the Microsoft official HD AV Pack, continuing to creep up in value, I can easily recommend the XOSVP to anyone that’s looking for superior image quality out of their original Xbox. So, in conclusion, I love the XOSVP for $15 in kit form and $35 preassemble. It’s an awesome piece of hardware. It really stands up and goes toe-to-toe with the official HD AV Pack. They are pretty much the same as far as image quality is concerned. I can’t tell any differences at all, in fact. In some instances, the image seems cleaner to me on the XOSVP. And I can only recommend this product to someone that is looking to get the best possible image quality out of the original Xbox. But it certainly doesn’t want to pay the $65-$70 ridiculous prices that are going on eBay with the official HD AV Pack. This is a fantastic product, and I do want to thank Darren Thompson for sending me out one of the units to try it myself on the channel and review for you, guys. I really appreciate Darren. Thank you so much. Well, guys, I hope you enjoyed this video and the XOSVP review. Let me know what you thought about it in the comments below. If you liked this video, you know what to do, leave me a thumbs up. As always, don’t forget to Like and subscribe, and I’ll catch you, guys, in the next video. Bye for now.