Akura VGA To HDMI Box Coming Soon For Dreamcast

Getting the best picture from a Dreamcast has always been a point of discussion in the Dreamcast community. The Dreamcast's ability to output a VGA signal has long been viewed (no pun intended) as the best way to get a crisp and clean image, and I'm not one to argue with that - indeed, when using an old-skool CRT monitor in conjunction with a VGA cable or box, the image quality is positively stunning. Not everybody has the space for a hulking great VGA CRT monitor though, and as time goes by they are becoming harder to find. Not only this, but finding HD or 4K televisions that have a VGA port is becoming more difficult as the standard falls further into the realms of obsolescence.
The options for getting a decent image out of a Dreamcast (and other older gaming systems) are getting narrower with every passing generation and the move away from analogue to digital signals means gamers are coming up with ever more ingenious ways of using classic consoles with newer televisions and monitors. However, the path to achieving a fantastic image is littered with pitfalls - I know first hand from my own recent experiences with VGA to HDMI signal converters just how frustrating it can be.

It appears that creators of the Toro, Kuro and Hanzo range of signal converters Beharbros feel the same way, and have recently unveiled the Akura VGA to HDMI converter for the Dreamcast.

The Akura aims to offer Dreamcast owners a simplified way of connecting their console to a full HD television with a minimum of effort that involves no extra power sources or converter boxes - you simply plug it into the back of the Dreamcast and then run a HMDI cable from the Akura to the TV. On top of this, the Akura also offers a similar scanline generator mode as seen in Beharbros' other devices.

"Our much anticipated secret project AKURA is finally ready for production. It's an HDMI video box for your beloved Dreamcast console. As our other legendary products, it has a scanliner function as well. Just like the Toro or Hanzo, you don't need to modify your console, it's a plug and play solution."
- Berharbros

The Akura isn't available to pre-order just yet, but is anticipated to be in stock from mid January 2017 for a price of around $75 plus shipping. While it's true that there are a myriad of options when it comes to connecting a Dreamcast to a HD television, and a true HD mod that is soldered in to the Dreamcast console is in the works; the Akura aims to fill a hole in the market for those people who want an easy to use, no fuss solution. Furthermore, going from the previous adapters from Beharbros, the Akura's build quality will undoubtedly be of a very high standard.

I contacted Yossi from Beharbros and he supplied the following technical info on the Akura:

"It's not an upscaler, so 480i games can only be played via the VGA trick. It works as 1:1 480p so some games may still not support it. Others may require VGA patching too. Just like Hanzo/Toro it has scanliner function with even/odd width (thickness) and on/off switches for disabling the scanlines. 

There is also the RGB/VGA switch to select the video mode and for doing the VGA trick as mentioned above. It outputs audio through the HDMI or the 3.5mm headphone jack. Other consoles or a PC can be plugged in with an optional scanliner cable just like before (Toro/Hanzo). It will convert any resolution (from 480p to 1080p) to HDMI without upscaling the input resolution (1:1, e.q 720p-720p).

We have a continuous support on our products and it's a lifetime warranty too. So in the event that there are any problems we replace or send the part broken."
 - Yossi Behar

Hopefully we'll be able to secure a unit in the not too distant future and put it through its paces. For now though, here are a couple of images showing the scanline generator working on a HD television with Soul Calibur and Guilty Gear X:
Below is a demonstration posted at Assembler Games showing the Akura in action:

So what do you think? Will you be investing in an Akura or will you be more tempted to wait to see how the true HDMI mod turns out? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion in our Facebook group.

Source: Assembler Games


DCGX said...

I have the VGA box for my Dreamcast running through an HDMI converter already, so I won't be getting this, but it's good to see. Kudos to them for making a more simple hookup option for HDMI only sets.

FlorreW said...

I will probably get meself one of theese , will be perfect together with the upcoming game "In the line of fire" witch ill hope all readers here have supported via their kickstarter 🙃

hoogafanter said...

No upscaling though? I mean this is a great piece of equipment regardless, but does this mean we still have to buy an upscaler attached to make it look decent on big screen tvs? Maybe I'm wrong please correct me if I am...