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Upscalers, CRTs, PVMs & RGB: Retro gaming done right!

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Mega

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Looks good! I'm having a guy do the mod here in Canada but I can also disable AA (at least somewhat) on the Everdrive using that patch that came out earlier in the year. It's definitely an improvement for some games.

Oh, I know about that one but figured the person asking about N64 modding was looking at the simple RGB mod with the THS7314 amp. The one that can do de-blur is an expensive, complicated system mod for N64s that don't have the internal components to do RGB.


Easy enough add, and most VC games output 240p right? Or should I put something in the notes for that?

I believe only some do and it's on a per game basis. Someone who knows more about this can chime in.

Edit: Retro emulators on Wii Homebrew output 240p and have low lag.
 

Fuzzy

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storafötter;218430221 said:
Mmm I guess I didnt think about that. Never used it with component before, only composite. So I need to switch then? Hope I find some composite cables.
Just looked it up for you to do it blind.

To get the PlayStation 2 into YPBPR mode do the following.

Start up the PlayStation 2 without a game in it.
Wait about 20 seconds.
Press Down.
Press X.
Press Down three times.
Press X.
Press Left.
Press X.

Bingo! It should now spring back into life. Huzzah!
 

storafötter

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Thanks guys for the help! Now it works. I managed to snag some old composite cables. Now I just gotta play with the settings as the letters are a bit blurry.

edit:

This is so much better than playing directly on a HD set. Got some weird graphical glitches but other than that it works very well. I cant wait to try with pixels eventually.
 

Peagles

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I can add that too, its the 2000 and 3000 models that can do it right?



I did not know that about the Gamecube and N64. SNES can do S-Video on PAL though?

*edit* looking it up it seems like PAL N64's supported S-Video but the cable is different than an NTSC one. Though it looks like some models had it removed.

Yup on the SNES. As far as I'm aware, the special cables that can do S-Video on the PAL 64 are effectively shifting the mod from the system to the cable, so I'm not sure I would say PAL 64s therefore have support for S-Video.
 

IrishNinja

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man, i am so lazy...AAA batteries in my XRGB remote died out, and i haven't needed to hit the grocery store yet (might today or tomorrow though!) so the timing of my CRT finally looking right has been perfect, haha

it's been all 8 & 16 bit on that thing so far though, looking forward to being able to play parappa/lammy again soon
 

dubc35

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta


I know this thread mostly focuses on video but do we see value in adding unmodded and modded audio columns? Just a thought
 

Khaz

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Got a good deal on an original Xbox as well with component cables (I need those From and Sega exclusives :p). Do people generally prefer to play on CRT via component or HDTV's for xbox stuff? I guess it depends on which games support 720p, etc.

I'm having mine on a widescreen HD CRT but yeah being able to display 480p and up means it will look a lot less ugly than an SD source on a modern display. Gotta be careful with the traditional pitfalls of modern displays though, like input lag, postprocessing, upscale, stuff like that.

Outrun is so awesome on a CRT in 480p still <3
 

4444244

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta



I think you need to split the Neo Geo up.

Neo Geo Home Cart System: Most systems (approx 75%) output Poor RGB and need modding. (only the very early models had good RGB, due to a decision to boost composite signals on later units, at the expense of the RGB signal).

Neo Geo CD System: RGB great with no funny business.
 

Khaz

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta

Cool list!
Maybe add that the RGB cable can be different between regions (Saturn and SNES come to mind)
Are we sticking to consoles only or should we include all the 8bit and 16bit computers that used 15kHz display as well? I admit the list could become much longer if so.

I like the table in the OT, very readable but also very outdated. having columns and a colour code makes makes it a good reference.
 

Shin Johnpv

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Yup on the SNES. As far as I'm aware, the special cables that can do S-Video on the PAL 64 are effectively shifting the mod from the system to the cable, so I'm not sure I would say PAL 64s therefore have support for S-Video.

Ahhh one of the threads I found discussing had made it sound like it was just a difference in brightness that needed to be accounted for. Though I wonder what it's modulating into S-Video. If someone knows of a link with more info on it, I seem to not be finding the right stuff that would be awesome.

I know this thread mostly focuses on video but do we see value in adding unmodded and modded audio columns? Just a thought

I'm not as knowledgeable about audio stuff, maybe a separate chart for it though if someone wants to tackle that.

I think you need to split the Neo Geo up.

Neo Geo Home Cart System: Most systems (approx 75%) output Poor RGB and need modding. (only the very early models had good RGB, due to a decision to boost composite signals on later units, at the expense of the RGB signal).

Neo Geo CD System: RGB great with no funny business.

The chart has already gotten pretty big, I don't know about separating the AES out by serial number ranges. Plus I've read a lot of debates on the actual ranges, and the actual differences in output. I can put something in the notes section though.

Cool list!
Maybe add that the RGB cable can be different between regions (Saturn and SNES come to mind)
Are we sticking to consoles only or should we include all the 8bit and 16bit computers that used 15kHz display as well? I admit the list could become much longer if so.

I can add some of that into the notes section. I forgot to even add that it seems the Model 1 and Model 2 Saturn need slightly different cables. As far as 8bit and 16bit computers, maybe see that as a separate chart like the audio section. I really know very very very very very very little about those computers if someone has better knowledge of that, that could maybe tackle that.
 

Peltz

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta



I could have sworn I read that the Famicom Titler does RGB with a simple mod.. or natively? I also thought the Famicom Twin was RGB moddable?
 

Kiddy Dong

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta



Nice! You could probably add the Wii (Component) to that list.

Unrelated: this has been a legendary thread. Definitely one of the most insightful hubs of retro gaming AV tech discussion anywhere on the internet. I've lurked through the majority of it, but maybe that will change in OT2.
 

RadarScope1

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Unrelated: this has been a legendary thread. Definitely one of the most insightful hubs of retro gaming AV tech discussion anywhere on the internet. I've lurked through the majority of it, but maybe that will change in OT2.

Indeed. I just searched and my first post here was #186 back in July of 2013! I've come a long way since then -- mainly just in the last 8 or 9 months.
 

entremet

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Oh, I know about that one but figured the person asking about N64 modding was looking at the simple RGB mod with the THS7314 amp. The one that can do de-blur is an expensive, complicated system mod for N64s that don't have the internal components to do RGB.




I believe only some do and it's on a per game basis. Someone who knows more about this can chime in.

Edit: Retro emulators on Wii Homebrew output 240p and have low lag.

NES, Genesis, SNES, and NeoGeo do.

Haven't tested SMS games.

TG16 does not and looks a bit blurry.
 

televator

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I made this as a quick reference image for the next thread's OP if you guys like it. Also any missing systems or info, or if stuff is unclear let me know and I can update/fix. (like making sure I have etim's name consistent etc) so here's v1.0 beta



Xbox can do RGB stock, but is limited to 480i and terribly filtered. I'm also not entireley positive that it isn't upsampled from 4:2:2 (lossy color space) like the Wii and Gamecube. That's a mouthful so I guess just say "optimum picture quality in 480p+" next to component. lol
 

Mega

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I joined this thread in July of last year. A major stumble in the form of a shipping-damaged PVM almost made me quit this little endeavor. That $20 PVM saved my life!

I'm primarily gathering up these posts in one place for myself as a reminder of where I started.

I'm in the process of obtaining a 1chip SNES and a good Genesis model 2, plus an AV Famicom which will have to wait for a future RGB mod. I understand both 16-bit systems natively support RGB. They will be connected to a PVM-14L5 that's also on its way.

I want to be certain. What cables should I get for each (Scart)? And is there a recommended box for connecting multiple systems so I don't have to keep swapping consoles from the monitor's one set of RGB plugs? Thanks.

Yeah, I appreciate speed's advice but noticed RetroRGB recommended different cables, third party ones. I went ahead and grabbed the ones linked to a reputable ebay seller.

I also grabbed a Hama 100s scart switch and a male scart to BNC cable. A bit pricey and wish it had a couple more inputs but it seems highly recommended and I had trouble finding anything else that wasn't crap or really expensive.

I got a Sony PVM-14L5 yesterday. I hooked up my Wii to try some VC games. Picture looked very dull but I managed to tweak the basic settings so that games looked more like they should.

I have one problem. When the screen is bright in the menu or colorful games like Super Mario World, the bottom left has a reddish hotspot. In fact the left third of the screen has a duller overall color, like a gradual desaturation as you view the screen from right to left. This is most obvious in World's overworld, where the left has muted grass and water and the right has rich color.

Is there anything in the settings that can be done to fix this? I tried the degaussing button once and peeking at some confusing service settings before calling it a day.

So the PVM-14L5 I recently purchased is definitely messed up, likely permanently and definitely before it got to me. I tried some Wii VC games and the 240p test suite and was really disappointed. The colors are uneven and poor, there are a few hot spots of distorted color, almost the entire left side looks desaturated and the overall screen had subtle, coarse vertical streaks like the screen was grimy. I tried cleaning it and realized it was not the glass. It's like the display is dying. It's a pretty recent 2005 model so whoever had this unit really screwed it up. I'm returning it soon.

I did careful research and bought "good" versions of several retro consoles that are on their way and thought I had made a big mistake getting into this CRT gaming stuff. Even with the 14L5's imperfections, I had tweaked the service menu settings where I figured it should look at least partially decent in a few games, but it did not. Where were the wonderful scanlines (too faint) and the amazing picture quality I was seeing from others in the scanline thread? Were those pics exaggerated? RetroArch on the big TV looked so much better.

Well, I found a PVM-20M4U locally, $20 untested but with receipt and guarantee I could return or exchange it for another monitor. I wouldn't have passed it up at that crazy low price even without the return policy. I tested it out back home and feel relieved and elated that the picture looks undamaged and fantastic. My doubt about all of this CRT gaming is gone. I ran the suite again. All the obvious stuff but a bit of upper right corner geometry was tweaked to near-perfection as my eyes saw it. Super Mario World through 240p component in Wii VC looks very sharp and vibrant. The scanlines are prominent enough to add that charm everyone talks about and the screen size itself is perfect compared to the 14" model.

I own a quality plasma and still this looks so uniquely different in a really good way. It feels much more responsive with the instantaneous display and input response that playing on the best emulator on the plasma looks and feels so gross in comparison. I just got started but it was definitely worth the investment.
 

Mega

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Reading through old posts, found this interesting. Dark10x had this figured out over a year ago.

Question. What effect does the Wii U going through HDMI have on Wii mode? How does it compared to using an upscaler? What is the effect on 480p software and Virtual Console games? Thanks.

It produces a rather blurry image in my opinion. It's clearly being filtered by the system.

When I play Wii software I prefer to stick with an original Wii + XRGB which can provide a much much sharper picture.

For some background, Wii U vWii is indeed worse. Visibly nasty as seen in direct captures.
 

purdobol

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For some background, Wii U vWii is indeed worse. Visibly nasty as seen in direct captures.

Does this apply to 480i and 576i modes? Through non HDMI connection?
I was trying to figure out the way to make Wii U A/V to VGA cable. In order to have 480p on PC monitor. It would've been possible (RGB + Composite video -> sync stripper -> CSync) except there's no way to set progressive mode through non HDMI connection. So I've got a feeling that setting does not go through filtering/upscaling chip Wii U has. Anyone tested IQ of Wii vs Wii U interlaced? Would do that myself but don't have Wii :p
 

Shin Johnpv

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Would it be a good idea to include notes about weird quirks in cable specifications? For instance, the model 2 Saturn needs a SCART cable wired for luma sync, otherwise the picture gets jacked up.

I have Csync Model 2 Saturn cables. They don't need to be sync on luma, you just need to add a 220uF capacitor to the sync line on the cable and csync will work. Both retrogamingcables.co.uk and retro_console_accessories offer versions of the cable like this.
 

saveweyard

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May 19, 2012
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My first post, not in this thread but the Retro-GAF thread, was actually about how great a thread like this would be:

Great thread! An upscaler/how to make your old games look awesome thread would be much appreciated. I've actually been doing a bunch of reading on the topic but I don't own an upscaler myself, so I'm probably not the most qualified to make a thread about it.

Turns out I was right! And now I'm sitting here with a setup that includes a framemeister, an extron crosspoint, and multiple systems hooked up through RGB. And cables. So. Many. Cables.

I haven't been as active in this thread as I wanted to be, but I'm trying to change that going forward, giving advice wherever I can.
 
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I have Csync Model 2 Saturn cables. They don't need to be sync on luma, you just need to add a 220uF capacitor to the sync line on the cable and csync will work. Both retrogamingcables.co.uk and retro_console_accessories offer versions of the cable like this.

Well, sync on luma works too, my point being that it may be important to include that the cable type matters.

There may be other consoles that have similar hangups like this where getting the particular cable is something to be noted.
 

Shin Johnpv

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I added to the notes that different cables are needed for model 1 and 2, and like SNES PAL vs NTSC. I didn't go into detail about what those cable differences need to be just that there are different ones.

Reference guide 1.5.2 Beta

 

Ashby

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DBGrafx isn't the only way to get RGB out of the PC Engine. There's also a simple cable sold by fidde_se on Ebay.
 

Shin Johnpv

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I'll add it to the chart I didn't know about that. I think there was also an AV booster released in Japan like the US one but I'm not sure the name of it still need to do research on that.
 

Peltz

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FYI Wii also has a third party VGA cable that does 480p as well as a third party adapter for HDMI.

The VGA cable is particularly important to include because it's so rarely mentioned anywhere yet it allows people to play GCN and Wii games in native 480p resolution on common old school CRT monitors.

They should definitely be on the chart.
 

Conezays

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Looks like you got the last one! I hope that seller is going to be making more, it's a very convenient solution.

Yeah, they only seem to be available one (maybe a handful in some cases?) a a time. I definitely had to watch like a hawk to grab this and the gscartsw, lol.
 

Mega

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Do you have any links so I can add it for sure

There was a Gaffer not long ago selling a Fami Twin with NESRGB installed. I remember seeing another one on eBay too.

Here's the post: http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=193485099&postcount=10261

Does this apply to 480i and 576i modes? Through non HDMI connection?
I was trying to figure out the way to make Wii U A/V to VGA cable. In order to have 480p on PC monitor. It would've been possible (RGB + Composite video -> sync stripper -> CSync) except there's no way to set progressive mode through non HDMI connection. So I've got a feeling that setting does not go through filtering/upscaling chip Wii U has. Anyone tested IQ of Wii vs Wii U interlaced? Would do that myself but don't have Wii :p

If Wii U can't do 240p, I would assume that means no 15KHz in general and therefore no 480i either. I'll do Wii U vWii capture over Component one of these days. I recently got the AV Component adapter for my plasma.

 

purdobol

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If Wii U can't do 240p, I would assume that means no 15KHz in general and therefore no 480i either.

Just tested this. And Wii U (PAL) does 15kHz. 480i and 576i work just fine on composite cable + CRT TV. S-Video on the other hand have issues. The image is in black and white and does not sync. Don't have component cables so cannot test that.
 

Peltz

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I think you guys might be trying to get a little too detailed for this chart, and a little too granular. I can't fit every possible good video connect.
VGA and HDMI for original Wii really should be there.

Wii U shouldn't really make the list at all in my opinion.
 

Khaz

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Just tested this. And Wii U (PAL) does 15kHz. 480i and 576i work just fine on composite cable + CRT TV. S-Video on the other hand have issues. The image is in black and white and does not sync. Don't have component cables so cannot test that.

Rolling picture in black and white is typical of trying to display a PAL or NTSC signal on a display that can only do the other. Many TVs could manage foreign colour encoding through one of their port only, which in your case would be Composite.
 

dubc35

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Sweet! I won an auction for a 19” PVM (1954Q)! I first spotted it about 2 months ago.

Three years ago I was working a project at work to surplus old, underutilized equipment. Once something was identified it got shipped to a holding area before being put on ebay for auction. Two months ago or so I was walking through the area and spotted a PVM. I was like, wtf!? I was able to make some calls to keep it off of ebay and put it on the company’s auction page. Thankfully the auction listing didn’t list it as a PVM and the photos of it were terrible, lol.

Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow. I’m trying to keep my expectations in check since I don’t know anything about its use in the past. Given the stupid prices of these on ebay I could probably sell it ‘for parts/repair’ and make a profit, lol.

I also find it comical that my current PVM (1351Q) is a similar model and I kind of stumbled into both of them. Keep an eye out, you never know when you might see one.

While on the subject, anyone in the Seattle/North Seattle area quote this post for a couple 13" PVM’s for sale.

 

Mega

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Just tested this. And Wii U (PAL) does 15kHz. 480i and 576i work just fine on composite cable + CRT TV. S-Video on the other hand have issues. The image is in black and white and does not sync. Don't have component cables so cannot test that.

Wii U can do 480i.

Thanks for the correction. Forgot about the 480i menu setting.

But what prevents Wii U from doing 240p when paired with a 240p-capable CRT? I always see it described that 240p is a hack of 480i, running at the same scanning frequency too. I understand if there's a Nintendo-mandated limitation with official stuff like the Virtual Console roms, but 240p emulators in vWii Homebrew?
 

PumpkinSpice

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Thanks for the correction. Forgot about the 480i menu setting.

But what prevents Wii U from doing 240p when paired with a 240p-capable CRT? I always see it described that 240p is a hack of 480i, running at the same scanning frequency too. I understand if there's a Nintendo-mandated limitation with official stuff like the Virtual Console roms, but 240p emulators in vWii Homebrew?

240p is the same as 480i except it you don't send a pulse every other field telling the crt gun to shift down slightly. That's the only difference.

I think it's down to how they control the graphics chips. If the chip itself supports the 240p output mode, they would need the display "driver" to tell it to do that. If there was enough control over Wii U system software that that could be triggered then maybe it could do 240p.

I imagine the reason they didn't do it in the first place is that too many TVs hate 240p over component and completely reject it. Rather than deal with support calls, just tear it out completely, and avoid some QA work while you're at it.
 

Einhandr

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Time to dig out my PSP Go cradle and component cable. Would my best results on a DVDO VP upscaler to just use the component inputs?
 

Laevateinn

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hmmm This is one I'm not sure how to improve. Basically I'm making it in Google docs spreadsheet and screen shotting it, then cropping it down to just the chart. Any thoughts?

Looks great on the Dreamcast browser!

Maybe you can include a link to the Google doc or copy and paste it into a code block?
 

Peltz

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240p is the same as 480i except it you don't send a pulse every other field telling the crt gun to shift down slightly. That's the only difference.

I think it's down to how they control the graphics chips. If the chip itself supports the 240p output mode, they would need the display "driver" to tell it to do that. If there was enough control over Wii U system software that that could be triggered then maybe it could do 240p.

I imagine the reason they didn't do it in the first place is that too many TVs hate 240p over component and completely reject it. Rather than deal with support calls, just tear it out completely, and avoid some QA work while you're at it.

Such a ridiculous and boneheaded decision, especially when the Gamepad could access the options even without the help of a functioning TV.
 

PumpkinSpice

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Such a ridiculous and boneheaded decision, especially when the Gamepad could access the options even without the help of a functioning TV.

I think you're underestimating how much support calls with something like "Muh teevee is black and I don't know what to do!" annoy everyone.
 
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