Scanline thread

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by nimmers, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    I've picked up a few Sony PVM's over the last few months and have been doing some retro gaming.

    Picked up a 1 chip Japanese Super Famicom and built a groovymame box.

    So far Ive finished:
    Shadowrun (SNES)
    Crono Trigger (SNES)
    Super Mario World
    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
    And played heaps of SF2: Hyper Fighting and DoDonPachi in groovymame


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Anyone else out there hooking up old consoles to CRT monitors via RGB?
     
  2. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    I already posted in the retro activity/acquisitions threads, but I recently scored a Teac 68CM CRT TV with RGB SCART and S-VHS inputs.
    I got it home and it had a pincushion problem - the sides were collapsed inwards in the middle, while the upper and lower parts were stretched outwards.

    Turned out to be a dead bipolar electrolytic cap in the horizontal deflection circuit, so once that was replaced everything came good.

    I've picked up RGB SCART leads for my Master System, SNES, Megadrive, N64 and PSX and have been enjoying heaps of retro gaming lately. The images really do look sharp and clear, and colours are very vibrant.
    So far I've been playing - Sonic, Wonder Boy: Dragons Trap on SMS
    Super Mario World, Seiken Densetsu 3, Final Fantasy 2 on SNES
    Sonic 1 and 2 on Mega Drive.
     
  3. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Awesome! Next on my list is Castlevania SOTN on PS1, just waiting for my RGB cable to arrive.
     
  4. Grant

    Grant Member

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    That's the point though, the color output of 8-16-bit consoles was tuned to take that into account. So a lot of people load up an emulator and think it's okay, but what they'd seeing is too bright compared what it should be. Then they turn on scanline generation and the game suddenly just looks "right" and now you can't live without them.

    Scanlines also help reduce the blockiness of the large pixels of those kinds of games, then there's the other qualities of CRTs that are different to LCDs...
     
  5. Urbansprawl

    Urbansprawl Member

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    I've gone the other way to get to console scanlines due to space constraints at my place. Per my thread I'm using a Nanao MS2931 hooked up to a PC running CRT_EmuDriver. CRT_EmuDriver generates lists of resolutions needed for games and then adds these to Windows as supported resolutions. You then need to find an emulator that is happy to run games at full screen native resolution - this is more or less difficult depending on what system you want. It is also hard to get the emulator to switch resolution the way some original systems did as well (SNES using high resolution for menu screens etc).

    I'd love to get a PVM/BVM and consoles (and started collecting in that direction) but it is just too much space - I'm in an apartment and choices have to be made :)
     
  6. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    The image is:


    Click to view full size!


    Point taken I guess if you played nes over composite as a kid. Your c64 would not have looked like that if you had the commodore monitor, and the games at Timezone definitely didn't look like that. It's an image from 4chan, says it all really.
     
  7. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    If you want to be semi accutate, the c64 monitors back in the day were around 600 tv line 14" monitors with RGB/S-video and composite inputs. The c64 did S-Video natively.

    I have 2 14" PVMs, a 500 line PVM-14N6 (1998) and an 800 line PVM-14L5 (2005).

    Here are some screens of both with my real childhood c64 attached via S-Video:

    On the N6:

    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    On the L5 (obviously being from 2005 this is not period correct, just here as porn):

    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Pretty visible scanlines on both. Even on my crappy iphone5 camera.

    I'm not too sure how the 1998 PVM 14N6 compares with the commodore monitors from the 80's but the N6 has less TV lines. The truth is probably somewhere between these two.

    Perhaps as kids our parents couldn't afford the things in the computer store showrooms (mine certainly couldn't) and we went home to play them over RF on the family woodgrain HMV telly and were super happy. It's also fun as a grown up to be able to play them like they were in the showroom.
     
  8. zebu

    zebu Member

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    I don't recall seeing it ever discussed on here

    whats peoples thoughts on the cheaty effects developers used that relied on colour bleed/etc on a composite output

    for example the transparency of Sonic's shield

    http://imgur.com/a/JS63b


    does a legit RGB monitor with the original hardware scanlines produce the effect?
     
  9. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Nah I saw a video comparing it somewhere, it looks cooler via composite.
     
  10. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    Really, scanlines aren't really a big thing for me. I don't even really see them because I sit far enough away from the TV. (And before anyone asks - yes I can still see a clear difference between composite and RGB from where I sit, I've tried).

    You might say that everybody played their consoles over RF back then, which is true.... I didn't know anyone that hooked up speakers and a sub to their TV in the 90's but I've gone and done that as well...

    For me its more about having the systems I wished I could have afforded, and having them the best they can be... I've gone over why I don't think emulation and LCD's are the go in this forum before so I won't repeat myself.

    But yes, that bloke that adjusted his PVM to get bigger scanlines is taking it a bit far :wired:

    Yeah, I noticed this on my RGB TV- looks exactly like the lower picture, and it rotates around Sonic. Better, worse? I dunno, its just an effect. I'd rather have the sharp pixels then the mushy composite soup regardless of the shield effect!

    I know that Sierra did this with some of their early Quest games - if you had CGA Composite video, it would use the artifacts to show more colours than was normally possible.
     
  11. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    https://youtu.be/IPbDvqFdjG4 skip to 17:30 and you can see the comparison. Personally I prefer RGB.
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    So here's a curveball.

    I've got a couple of TVs that do component YPbPr input. Theoretically "as good" as RGB to the naked eye. One is a whopper 80cm (31") 4:3 beast.

    I've considered for ages opening these up and modding them for RGB input. Plenty of examples of this around the Internet, with varying degrees of success depending on the model of TV - oddly enough, the "cheap and nasty" Chinese model TVs often work best due to their very simple chassis and jungle IC design.

    But then I came across this:

    http://www.tg16pcemods.com/rgb-to-component-converter-v-20.html

    Simple, cheap, RGB to YPBPr converter. Just converts colour space, doesn't do anything else magical (no scaling, effects, or other stuff done by high end devices like the Extronn do-dads or the Open Source Scan Converter).

    They sell two models, one for the TG16 (from what I read, it had a rather weak RGB out, so there's a small amp in there too), and one for SNES/Genesis with a LM1881N sync stripper built in to clean up the sync.

    I bought myself one a short time ago. Waiting for it to land from the US. As soon as I get it hooked up, I'll try and grab some shots of it in action, and attempt to do a compare/contrast on a few different inputs on this particular TV.

    I'm absolutely not expecting PVM quality. But I'll be interested to see if it betters S-Video by a noticeable margin or not.
     
  13. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Set it up and post the results.

    I'm a unit dweller, the couple of 14" and 20" monitors I use take up as much space as I have.
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I fired up my Chinese made "Megalo City" candy cabinet tonight. Monitor is a 29" (huge!) Mexican tube with a Chinese chassis. Not the clearest thing in the world, but still pretty bloody amazing considering how cheap the whole cabinet (including screen) is.

    This has had various things in it over the years. Most recently a Playstation 2 with hacked controls so I could play my Japanese copy of Street Fighter III: Third Strike on an arcade machine. However my wife a few years ago bought me a real Sega Versus City with SF3:3S CPSIII board, making the setup redundant. I played with a couple of other things on PS2, but over time they've all been emulated by MAME, and the PS2's mostly interlaced output sucks.

    So tonight it's got GroovyArcade + GroovyMAME in it. "World Rally" has been released to the public domain, and comes as a nice test to see how things look.

    A couple of photos here:
    http://imgur.com/a/JALro

    Hard to get stills with fast moving images, but so far so good. Very little tweaking needed on my behalf compared to last time I tried this with AdvanceMAME years ago it was a royal pain. Now, it was about 5 minutes of following wizard-driven setups, and it was working.

    The monitor needs tweaking every time new modelines fire up (vertical rolling is a pain between different 59.9Hz and 60.0Hz modes), but that's the price to pay for accuracy, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  15. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Oh cool, I paid almost double that for an asian eBay SCART RGB->component converter. I get a clear picture with it, but I also get a blue hue over everything - from what I've seen it's a pretty common board and there's a few potentiometers in there to adjust the colours, but I haven't cracked it open yet.

    My problem is my TV (a mid 2000s Sony CRT) does a pretty darn good job at composite, and it's almost not worth the effort...
     
  16. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Yar I use a little 14" Sony CRT and I think its composite image is amazing :cool:
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Composite can be half decent depending on the combination of you source, cable and screen.

    I work for a media company, and I've seen some great quality broadcast gear (PVMs, and the far superior BVMs, etc) that, combined with high quality gear generating a picture, can certainly make for decent composite signal (RGB still beats the pants off it, but it's not terrible).

    Compare and contrast to noisy consumer equipment though. It doesn't matter how good the display and cable, something like a Raspberry Pi always makes for blurry composite output, which saddens me. (It also doesn't help that they force an interlaced picture, which is half the problem).
     
  18. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    For me, even S-Video is leagues ahead of Composite - the former is much sharper, with better colour definition. In fact there is more of a difference between S-Video and Composite, than S-Video and SCART-RGB.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And then you get cockups like the PS2, where the YPbPr circuit is packed full of unnecessary filtering, and ends up looking worse than S-Video - like someone smeared Vaseline all over your screen.

    I thought for years my CRT had a faulty YPbPr input until I realised it was my PS2 itself. And eventually discussions on GamesX and AssemblerGames both confirmed that I wasn't going crazy.

    One day I play to crack open one of my PS2s and see if I can fix that. If it's all inside the IC though, then there's no hope.
     
  20. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    The newest console I own is an N64 which just looks like the screen was smeared with vaseline regardless of which output you use :lol:
     

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