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RGB Pi - "Authentic" CRT retro gaming without burning a hole in your pocket

Jun 10, 2020
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I've been thinking about getting into CRT retro gaming for a long time. I grew up with the SNES myself and have long dreamed of 2D CRT nostalgia. A few weeks ago I was able to get my hands on a Sony Trinitron Wega and now I wanted to start my journey by looking at all the relevant YT channels (MyLifeinGaming, Retro RGB etc.). Unfortunately, such a project is very expensive and time-consuming. Flash cards like The Everdrive series make a lot easier, but the periphery and region locks (especially here in Europe) still make it a complex undertaking, and I didn't want to mod consoles or buy expensive hardware like the Framemeister.

That's why I was looking for a middle ground and found RGB Pi.
https://www.rgb-pi.com/
  • Pixel Perfect 240p
  • CRT Low Res Menu
  • ROMS / Homebrews / Fanmods
  • Comparatively cheap

I realize that emulation is never considered "authentic" for many here, but I am very happy about such a niche solution and look forward to the result.

So GAF what is your opinion?
 
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Jun 15, 2019
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If you're in Europe one option is VGA to SCART with a PC. In general emulation on PC is going to be more accurate because less hacks have to be used to get stuff running acceptably. There's a few options commercially available but you can also just make your own with an off the shelf VGA cable and SCART head. You can then buy an inexpensive HDMI to VGA adapter off Amazon, hook the CRT up and...profit?
 
Jun 10, 2020
224
403
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If you're in Europe one option is VGA to SCART with a PC. In general emulation on PC is going to be more accurate because less hacks have to be used to get stuff running acceptably. There's a few options commercially available but you can also just make your own with an off the shelf VGA cable and SCART head. You can then buy an inexpensive HDMI to VGA adapter off Amazon, hook the CRT up and...profit?
So HDMI to VGA adapter and then a VGA to Scart? Sounds good, but is pixel-perfect and without shimmering. Also, what about the input delay due to these two adapters? :goog_unsure:
 
Jun 15, 2019
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So HDMI to VGA adapter and then a VGA to Scart? Sounds good, but is pixel-perfect and without shimmering. Also, what about the input delay due to these two adapters? :goog_unsure:
It is pixel perfect indeed! It can be a bit of a pain to get set up PC side though since neither adapter does any scaling so the PC has to output 480i/240p directly. Also no lag because no framebuffer!
 

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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Jun 10, 2020
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It is pixel perfect indeed! It can be a bit of a pain to get set up PC side though since neither adapter does any scaling so the PC has to output 480i/240p directly. Also no lag because no framebuffer!
How about HDMI to Scart adapters like this ? How are the menus represented? Do i need a second regular monitor to start/navigate the retroarch?
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Member
Dec 8, 2019
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Oh yeah, that’s what his wife would’ve killed him for (15:22 in), not the rest of that room, lol.

I didn’t know this existed and it’s very interesting. In my opinion, a good thing about CRTs is that you don’t really need quality one to enjoy old games. If it doesn’t have glaring geometry problems, it’s perfectly playable even if it’s not a hi-res PVM or another one of those fabled monitors.
 
Jun 15, 2019
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How about HDMI to Scart adapters like this ? How are the menus represented? Do i need a second regular monitor to start/navigate the retroarch?
Adapters like that are a mixed bag. Some are RGB but some are composite unfortunately. As for the menus there's an option (I forget what it's called) that's perfect for this use, it's simple and low resolution, though you probably want another display to get everything set up at the very least (navigating Windows 10 at 480i is not terribly easy, the OS just isn't made for that).
 

cireza

Member
Jun 1, 2014
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I brought my CRT for some repairs recently. Really looking forward to getting it back.

Having a modern solution outputting a good 240p RGB signal is great. I play with old consoles, but I find that it is a great solution as retro consoles and games have become really expensive.
 
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