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

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IrishNinja

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She had that "out of town" status on Ebay for a while. Initially said it would end sometime in February I believe. Think it's likely now that she's posted sales that she'll disable that message. You might've just been too quick lol.
ah, you might be right - says she's off till the 8th on the header, but then there's this:

Please also note that as I am going away on a cruise on the 8th March, that my use of the Internet is going to be limited at sea and I almost certainly will not be able to handle the high volume of emails I get beyond those who have problems with previous purchases.
Good point about light guns. I suddenly want a GunCon.
oh yeah, those always looked cool...never forget that era when my roommate imported DC guns cause they wouldn't sell them here, haha
 

Coda

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I posted my own thread but I thought someone on this forum might be knowledgeable about this.

I recently bought the pcb of Lucky and Wild because I had some of the fondest memories playing this game. I'm interested in just playing the game with either a Gamecube or PS2 dual analog controllers. I know eTokki sells a PS2 to jamma converter but how would one do button mapping with the game. I know that I need some kind of supergun to play it but does anyone know if it would be playable with a controller with the right converter and configuration?
 

SOME-MIST

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I wouldn't want you to waste your money (I'm not sure if it'll work with a PS2 controller), but getting a reco jamma pcb should allow you to remap your controls.
I've used one on my astro city and it's worked perfectly, but not sure how well it will work with your setup since I never tested it on my supergun with a ps2 > neo geo adapter.
http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45870'

btw.. nice pink sweets avi ;)
 

Coda

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I wouldn't want you to waste your money (I'm not sure if it'll work with a PS2 controller), but getting a reco jamma pcb should allow you to remap your controls.
I've used one on my astro city and it's worked perfectly, but not sure how well it will work with your setup since I never tested it on my supergun with a ps2 > neo geo adapter.
http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45870'

btw.. nice pink sweets avi ;)
Hmm alright that seems like it may be an option. I guess the hardest part with this game is the configuration itself being that there is a steering wheel, gas pedal and light gun. All I'd want to do is configure the steering on either the d-pad/analog stick, gas pedal on an analog trigger, fire on the right analog trigger and then the target reticle using the right analog stick. I just don't know how possible that would be though.
 

baphomet

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Hmm alright that seems like it may be an option. I guess the hardest part with this game is the configuration itself being that there is a steering wheel, gas pedal and light gun. All I'd want to do is configure the steering on either the d-pad/analog stick, gas pedal on an analog trigger, fire on the right analog trigger and then the target reticle using the right analog stick. I just don't know how possible that would be though.
None of that would be possible as far as I know. Youre going to have to wire up a jamma steering wheel and have a lightgun array for anything to work other than the buttons.
 

Coda

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None of that would be possible as far as I know. Youre going to have to wire up a jamma steering wheel and have a lightgun array for anything to work other than the buttons.
Would I need a lightgun array if I was outputting the video to a CRT?
 

Vespa

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Mario Sunshine pics:



Zelda Wind Waker pics:



it's interesting how different these look compared to TV.
You guy's don't mind the chromatic aberration the WiiU introduces when playing Wii games? I haven't tried Nintendon't but I can see it in those GC shots too.
 

dhonk

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I see the X-Capture 1 suggested all the time but the problem I hear about the "100 percent CPU usage" absolutely makes it useless to me because I use a laptop mainly these days.

I mean, it would turn my computer into a boiler anytime I used it?
 

Aeana

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I see the X-Capture 1 suggested all the time but the problem I hear about the "100 percent CPU usage" absolutely makes it useless to me because I use a laptop mainly these days.

I mean, it would turn my computer into a boiler anytime I used it?
I don't have an X-Capture 1, but I do have the PCI-E version, the SC-512N1-L/DVI, and it suffers from a similar problem. It's an easy fix. I wrote a batch script that I use to launch AmarecTV that handles it for me:

start amarectv
timeout /t 5
powercfg -restoredefaultschemes
powercfg -s 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c
powercfg -s 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e
powercfg -change -monitor-timeout-ac 60
powercfg -change -standby-timeout-ac 0
Basically, whenever the driver is engaged, it turns on a flag in the power profile that makes it use 100% CPU. It doesn't need that at all, so you can immediately disable it by going into the control panel and restoring your current power profile to default settings. My script above resets it back to default and then sets my preferred settings (monitor off in 60 minutes, never automatically go on standby) after the fact so I don't have to keep going into the control panel and doing it manually. It's stupid that it's even necessary, but with an automated solution like this, it doesn't bother me. Note that the values used in -s might be unique to my PC, I'm not sure... but they're easy to query using powercfg. They're the internal names for the high performance and balanced plans.

Granted, I don't know if the reported X-Capture 1 issues are due to the same thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are.
 

Timu

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I see the X-Capture 1 suggested all the time but the problem I hear about the "100 percent CPU usage" absolutely makes it useless to me because I use a laptop mainly these days.

I mean, it would turn my computer into a boiler anytime I used it?
Upgrading to Windows 8 gets rid of that issue.
 

baphomet

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Hmm okay, seems like I'm kind of screwed in terms of making this somehow playable in the home setting. Any other advice would be helpful.
I really don't know of any way to get that running at home that wouldn't be a huge amount of work. First thing would be to try and find the pin out for the controls. Then just go from there.
 

Bancho

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Did a little bit to my "Mobile" retro centre today. Added some casters to the cube. I can now wheel this bad boy about. Just need to add a 2nd shelf on it is as there is a lot of wasted space at the bottom and attach a multi-socket plug so its self contained.

 

sixteen-bit

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Did a little bit to my "Mobile" retro centre today. Added some casters to the cube. I can now wheel this bad boy about. Just need to add a 2nd shelf on it is as there is a lot of wasted space at the bottom and attach a multi-socket plug so its self contained.

that's adorable.
 

D.Lo

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Hey guys, what's the general run of the land regarding posting something from your own blog here? Who could I ask?

I started a blog to post about retro projects I work on, so I can create longer-form posts about retro stuff without it being a massive post.

Stuff like this thread I created:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=899984

For example: I recently created an external RGB amp cable for my Sega Mark III. No way it can justify a thread, as I reckon only 15 people would be interested, but it would be a very long post. So I would post about it here (and on the Master System thread) and link to the site as a longer form of that post.

It's just a wordpress site, I won't get any revenue from it.

Help appreciated, I don't want to get banned for trying to provide a resource people might like!
 

Mafia Films

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anyone seen that group like HD retrovision putting out all these RGB and how to videos, then they had a kickstarter to make component cables for various old systems.

still waiting for a cable lol been months, EASILY can make my own
 

dhonk

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I don't have an X-Capture 1, but I do have the PCI-E version, the SC-512N1-L/DVI, and it suffers from a similar problem. It's an easy fix. I wrote a batch script that I use to launch AmarecTV that handles it for me:



Basically, whenever the driver is engaged, it turns on a flag in the power profile that makes it use 100% CPU. It doesn't need that at all, so you can immediately disable it by going into the control panel and restoring your current power profile to default settings. My script above resets it back to default and then sets my preferred settings (monitor off in 60 minutes, never automatically go on standby) after the fact so I don't have to keep going into the control panel and doing it manually. It's stupid that it's even necessary, but with an automated solution like this, it doesn't bother me. Note that the values used in -s might be unique to my PC, I'm not sure... but they're easy to query using powercfg. They're the internal names for the high performance and balanced plans.

Granted, I don't know if the reported X-Capture 1 issues are due to the same thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing. :)

Upgrading to Windows 8 gets rid of that issue.
Oh? Im running Win 8 so maybe it would be alright.
 

Peltz

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anyone seen that group like HD retrovision putting out all these RGB and how to videos, then they had a kickstarter to make component cables for various old systems.

still waiting for a cable lol been months, EASILY can make my own
Yea, we spoke about them a few months ago in this thread. They weren't received very positively among us because their component cables make little sense.

A lot of HDTV's can't even accept 240p over component. You'll still need a scaler. For the HDTVs that do accept 240p over component, I cannot imagine that it would look acceptable being blown up to 1080p using the tv's internal scaler. Plus, the price makes no sense for their limited use. They make RGB to Component transcoders that do the same exact thing but work with every RGB console.
 

Khaz

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Damn, I'm about to get an HD CRT very soon. I just need to get it from the other side of the country and I'll soon understand what all the fuss is about these modern consoles in 480p / 1080i. The beast has a 81cm wide screen and weight 54kg, I have no idea how I will move it on my own.
 

Pancakes R Us

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Damn, I'm about to get an HD CRT very soon. I just need to get it from the other side of the country and I'll soon understand what all the fuss is about these modern consoles in 480p / 1080i. The beast has a 81cm wide screen and weight 54kg, I have no idea how I will move it on my own.
Start doing some bench presses and take a few 'roids, mate.

Just kidding. Please make sure you get someone to help in order to avoid an injury.
 

BONKERS

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You guy's don't mind the chromatic aberration the WiiU introduces when playing Wii games? I haven't tried Nintendon't but I can see it in those GC shots too.
gotta be something wrong on your end somewhere. I'm incredibly sensitive to and am able to detect CA within seconds. And i've never not once noticed it on the Wii U on Wii Games

Maybe I should look closer
Yea, we spoke about them a few months ago in this thread. They weren't received very positively among us because their component cables make little sense.

A lot of HDTV's can't even accept 240p over component. You'll still need a scaler. For the HDTVs that do accept 240p over component, I cannot imagine that it would look acceptable being blown up to 1080p using the tv's internal scaler. Plus, the price makes no sense for their limited use. They make RGB to Component transcoders that do the same exact thing but work with every RGB console.
The main problem was the naming and marketing of the cables. Otherwise they are a godsend if they are of quality for the many CRTs out there that have component inputs that accept 240p
 

Huggers

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Damn, I'm about to get an HD CRT very soon. I just need to get it from the other side of the country and I'll soon understand what all the fuss is about these modern consoles in 480p / 1080i. The beast has a 81cm wide screen and weight 54kg, I have no idea how I will move it on my own.
I lift 4 times a week and have for years. I don't have a bad back. I can't move my bvm on my own for shit
 

Vespa

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gotta be something wrong on your end somewhere. I'm incredibly sensitive to and am able to detect CA within seconds. And i've never not once noticed it on the Wii U on Wii Games

Maybe I should look closer


The main problem was the naming and marketing of the cables. Otherwise they are a godsend if they are of quality for the many CRTs out there that have component inputs that accept 240p
Yeah me too, instantly noticed on testing DKC:R on the WiiU on both a dell ips monitor and my projector, my eyes jumped to it in Madao's shots:



Don't have time to take my own shots but you can see the red and green chromatic aberration in these crops. What WiiU did you take these on, Madao? I'm using a Pal WiiU.
 

televator

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Overall I still prefer the harder edges on the GC and WiiU. I didn't notice the CA before, but I do see it now... Hmmm. So this is present in both the GC and WiiU?

There's a GAF thread on this where it seems people generally accept that it's an intentional effect. Don't know what to really think of it right now...

How does it look on the Wii sans FM? Could it be something that the FM is cleaning up?
 

IrishNinja

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This, and a normal good quality Scart cable. I looked for a coupler with Audio in/out but couldn't find one, only male/female with audio in/out. You'll have to get something like this and play Lego with your cables. I'm not sure what you're trying to do with your sound but it should cover it anyway.
okay, so i bought the female to female coupler (cheaper on ebay) but meant to ask: ive got an extra retro_console_accessories cable about, think i bought it back when i was thinking about an AES - any idea if i can just use that as an extender cable? figure it's already got her quality wiring, shouldn't matter too much if i use it to get NES/SNES/Genesis etc over to the PVM's BNC/SCART cables yeah?

also im over on monoprice trying to figure out a Y splitter or something to let me feed a mono line back to said PVM, the red/white stereo cables are currently into the receiver just fine but id still like to use that thing's speaker as a backup
 

Timu

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Chromatic Aberration? I took screenshots of Soul Calibur II on the Wii U and don't see any on my shots or even recordings of Gamecube games as well. Here are my shots:



Also I hate Chromatic Aberration.
 

televator

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Can you try it in the same games? Zelda WW, Mario Sunshine, and Metroid Prime.

Those game make obvious use of filters. Heat waves, distance effects, and the visor effect in MP. It may really be an artifact of the games themselves.
 

Madao

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Yeah me too, instantly noticed on testing DKC:R on the WiiU on both a dell ips monitor and my projector, my eyes jumped to it in Mado's shots:



Don't have time to take my own shots but you can see the red and green chromatic aberration in these crops. What WiiU did you take these on, Mado? I'm using a Pal WIiU.
i did notice this but had no idea what it was.

i used a NTSC Wii U with HDMI. output was 1080p.
 

Khaz

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okay, so i bought the female to female coupler (cheaper on ebay) but meant to ask: ive got an extra retro_console_accessories cable about, think i bought it back when i was thinking about an AES - any idea if i can just use that as an extender cable? figure it's already got her quality wiring, shouldn't matter too much if i use it to get NES/SNES/Genesis etc over to the PVM's BNC/SCART cables yeah?
I suppose you'll have to draw me a picture because I have no idea why you would want to use a console Scart cable as an extender. The idea was to use the coupler to change one end of a male/male Scart cable into female to act as an extender.

also im over on monoprice trying to figure out a Y splitter or something to let me feed a mono line back to said PVM, the red/white stereo cables are currently into the receiver just fine but id still like to use that thing's speaker as a backup
You could try and it may work, but you're supposed to use specific circuitry apparently. I'd have done the same thing as you. If your PVM doesn't have a stereo input to do the mixing itself, I suppose it's better to just feed it with one side of your sound. I'd say because you are using essentially the same source in stereo there is little risk in just using a cable splitter. But don't hold me responsible if your console or PVM blows up.
 

Dunnymeister

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Heyas! I've finally decided to try and improve the quality of the image on my retro games, but there's a lot to take in! Since making the wrong decision is going to be costly I was hoping I could tap into RetroGAF for some help :)

Since I've currently got mostly PAL NES/SNES/N64 games, and a bunch of Famicom games, I've settled on the XRGB-Mini as my first purchase. When I started looking up pricing online I came across two models listed on Amazon. One has model DP3913547 and the other DP3913515. The DP3913547 is cheaper, but why...?
 

Peltz

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So, on Monday night I went to an arcade for the first time since I've started collecting PVMs and broadcast monitors.

Even the PVMs at 600 lines of resolution seem to have thicker scanlines and a more razor sharp picture (via RGB) than most of the cabinets I was seeing. Almost all of the games were pre-1990s.

I was slightly shocked to see such a soft picture on the arcade cabs. It seems like the games were not nearly as lossy as I've seen via the best composite connection, but not near as razor sharp as a PVM via RGB. They are somewhere in between. It could have had to do with the type of pixels in those old monitors.
 

brainpann

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Heyas! I've finally decided to try and improve the quality of the image on my retro games, but there's a lot to take in! Since making the wrong decision is going to be costly I was hoping I could tap into RetroGAF for some help :)

Since I've currently got mostly PAL NES/SNES/N64 games, and a bunch of Famicom games, I've settled on the XRGB-Mini as my first purchase. When I started looking up pricing online I came across two models listed on Amazon. One has model DP3913547 and the other DP3913515. The DP3913547 is cheaper, but why...?
There shoukdnt be any difference, afik. Im not sure why the different price because its the same seller.
 

antibolo

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So, on Monday night I went to an arcade for the first time since I've started collecting PVMs and broadcast monitors.

Even the PVMs at 600 lines of resolution seem to have thicker scanlines and a more razor sharp picture (via RGB) than most of the cabinets I was seeing. Almost all of the games were pre-1990s.

I was slightly shocked to see such a soft picture on the arcade cabs. It seems like the games were not nearly as lossy as I've seen via the best composite connection, but not near as razor sharp as a PVM via RGB. They are somewhere in between. It could have had to do with the type of pixels in those old monitors.
Keep in mind that all of these monitors probably have insane amounts of operating hours on them, so they're probably no longer performing anywhere near their best. It's actually amazing that they're still alive at all in 2015.
 

Peltz

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Keep in mind that all of these monitors probably have insane amounts of operating hours on them, so they're probably no longer performing anywhere near their best. It's actually amazing that they're still alive at all in 2015.
Can CRT monitors lose sharpness with age? It'd make sense based on what I saw.

Out of the 20 cabs I played/viewed, it seemed like no two machines had the same CRT. It was really cool to see all of this stuff I never noticed before about since I started reading this thread. It made my first arcade visit (since joining GAF) a very memorable one.

Plus the fact that I was on a date with a cute girl who kicked ass at frogger and TMNT didn't hurt.

P.S. At her request to "watch me play" a game (she knew I was a gamer) I highscored the Ms Pacman machine to start off our date. It was my first high score ever. It was a great feeling.
 
Overall I still prefer the harder edges on the GC and WiiU. I didn't notice the CA before, but I do see it now... Hmmm. So this is present in both the GC and WiiU?

There's a GAF thread on this where it seems people generally accept that it's an intentional effect. ...
Well, I don't think it is an intentional effect unless one wants to mimic
some old-school effects. On a more technical level; it looks like a bad
filter (choice) having a non-linear phase around the higher frequencies. On
transient color changes (high frequency color) the filter delays (known as
group delay) the many frequency components of the color transient differently
leading to those colored edges on the examples given, i.e. some frequency
components of the color signal will be delayed differently.

For example, within the yellow region (hair) there is a slight change in color
to dark yellow (an edge). The frequency of the color signal in this region is
very low and the chosen filter within that frequency range seem to have good
linear phase resp. constant group delay, delaying all frequency components
within that range equally. The delay seems to be short, less than a pixel,
no artificial colored edges, contrary to the higher color frequencies around
the hair's silhouette where we have about 2 pixels delay at least.

How to get rid of it? Either choose a better filter with a linear phase
(within a given region of interest) and short group delay, or damp down the
higher frequencies of color beforehand (color filtering, reducing color
detail). Basically, if you desaturate all the colors a bit, the picture will
contain less high frequency color. Now look at the pictures again esp. at
those having (almost) non artificial colored edges and look at the color's
saturation level. They are reduced.


Insert 2¢ for making another guess... ;)
 

KC-Slater

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P.S. At her request to "watch me play" a game (she knew I was a gamer) I highscored the Ms Pacman machine to start off our date. It was my first high score ever. It was a great feeling.
The stakes were never higher to perform! That made me think of this story I came across a while back... Great anecdote!
 

Peltz

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The stakes were never higher to perform! That made me think of this story I came across a while back... Great anecdote!
Well, to be honest, I didn't really play that well and I think the high score of that cabinet was reset recently because I only advanced to stage five or six-ish. I'd be shocked if it was still the high score. But she doesn't need to know that :)

She said never saw someone clear more than 1 level on 1 credit before so the illusion will hold that I'm some sort of Ms. Pac-Man genius. If I end up dating her long term, I'll remember never to take her back to that cabinet, haha.
 
So, on Monday night I went to an arcade for the first time since I've started collecting PVMs and broadcast monitors.

Even the PVMs at 600 lines of resolution seem to have thicker scanlines and a more razor sharp picture (via RGB) than most of the cabinets I was seeing. Almost all of the games were pre-1990s.

I was slightly shocked to see such a soft picture on the arcade cabs. It seems like the games were not nearly as lossy as I've seen via the best composite connection, but not near as razor sharp as a PVM via RGB. They are somewhere in between. It could have had to do with the type of pixels in those old monitors.
Every standard consumer CRT isn't as sharp as it could be! They are always
slightly defocussed to reduce the scanline effect. You get a sharper picture
on a production CRT. It is more in focus so to speak. Hence, you will see the
scanlines much better but also some moiré patterns because the low-pass
filtering effect of the image due to the scanning beam is much reduced now
(leading to some aliasing). With a production CRT you get the sharpest picture
to see every detail there is. On a consumer CRTs it will only get worse, i.e.
blurrier. So on a consumer CRT one will miss some picture detail so to speak,
but you won't see the scanlines (from the design viewing distance, as well as
no moiré pattern due to the raster).

Back in the days of designing the "CRT standard" for the living room, it was
agreed upon (after having made many tests) to defocus the beam slightly such
that the scanlines weren't visible at the design viewing distance.

It's very likely that the arcade CRTs are even more defocussed than standard
consumer CRTs due to the closer viewing distance with respect to the CRT
within the cabinet. As such the picture will be less sharp. But you won't see
scanlines (most likely).

Well, you can get some pronounced scanlines with any standard CRT by simply
tinkering around with the focusing lense. But listen. By doing so, and without
any experience, you may ran the risk of not being able to adjust the focus
again properly.

Can CRT monitors lose sharpness with age? It'd make sense based on what I saw. ...
They can. The vacuum becomes slightly dirty over time influencing the beam.
Another issue is when the cathode (the gun) starts to wear out and you start
to compensate for this loss. Basically, whenever the electrostatic and/or
magnetic field within a tube moves away from its designed operation point
(due to outside forces/wear or wear within the tube itself), you are prone to
loose picture quality on many levels.


... Plus the fact that I was on a date with a cute girl who kicked ass at frogger and TMNT didn't hurt. ...
Pix or... ;)
 

Peltz

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Ohh you!

Thanks missile.

I assumed the CRTs in arcade cabs were more well made than consumer sets. Is that an incorrect assumption?
 
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