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Showing posts with label Toro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toro. Show all posts

Hardware Review: Beharbros Akura HDMI Adapter

Beharbros have a pretty solid track record when it comes to releasing display adapters for the Dreamcast. In the past, the self-styled 'artisnal retromodders' have garnered critical acclaim with a range of hand made devices that continue to keep Dreamcasts turning and burning, regardless of how much display technology accelerates away from the natural abilities of the system. The Toro, Hanzo, Kuro, Kenzei and SLR boxes all have distinct features, and while they come at a premium, they all help Dreamcast gamers achieve optimal image quality, whatever their choice of display.
The Akura is Beharbros' latest release and while it retains the familiar aesthetic of the other boxes in the catalogue, it eschews SCART and VGA connections and instead offers an all in one option for gamers who want to hook their Dreamcast up to a HDMI-equipped display. Weighing in at $85 with free worldwide shipping, the Akura requires no external power supply and connects directly to the console's AV port, delivering a native 480p image via the use of an HDMI cable that goes directly from the box to the television or monitor.
Be aware though - the Akura is not an upscaler, it simply chucks out a 480p picture through a HDMI cable (more on this later), and a series of switches on the side of the device yield a number of interesting extra features. First though, before we delve into the more technical side of the Akura and whether this is the box for your needs, lets take a look at the physical design of Beharbros' latest adapter and just what those little switches on the side are all about...

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.

Guest Article: Future Proofing Your Dreamcast

In the second of a series of guest articles from our man in Japan Ross O'Reilly, we'll be looking at how you can pimp your Dreamcast to within an inch of it's life and enjoy most (well, some) of the lovely features a modern games system benefits from. HD output, bountiful storage and online capabilities are all things we take for granted these days and with a bit of knowledge and a fat wallet you can enjoy the same with a Dreamcast right now. Let it be known that I have neither of the aforementioned. Ross, over to you.
So, you want the so called 'Dreamcast 2' (don't get me started on that!), you want a HD Dreamcast, right? You want the ability to play Dreamcast games online? Download DC software and run it on original hardware? Play with a wireless DC controller?

Well, what if I were to tell you that all of those features are available to you right now, today.
Yes, I apologise if I sound patronising to those of you who are regular readers and keep up with Dreamcast developments, but I'm here to tell you anyway, that all of those features and more are available to you already...just so long as you have deep enough pockets to shell out on the numerous devices required.

Let's start from the top...