NTSC SMS in the land of PAL

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by badmofo, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I'm full of questions today - as an alternative to modding my SMS to do 60Hz, would it be possible to simply buy an NTSC unit and use that instead? My telly (a composite only Sony Trinitron) does NTSC from what I can tell.

    Would Bob be my uncle?
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    should be fine, only the PSU may be an issue.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Ah I'd assumed that I'd be able to use my AU SMS PSU, which is 9v from memory. Will have to look into that.

    My telly does NTSC 4.43 and 3.58 according to the OSD - would a US or Japanese console be my best bet? They use different NTSC standards from what I read.
     
  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Different revisions of consoles, even within the same model, have different voltage requirements. Match your volts exactly, and get a power supply that meets or exceeds the amp draw specified on your console.

    You'd be surprised at what matches up. An Australia SNES, for example, requires AC input at low voltage, which is the same as an Australian NES. But a Japanese Super Famicom takes the same input as an Australian Megadrive. Go figure.

    Just read the specs on the bottom of the console, and take that as gospel per unit. Don't assume any two units are alike, and double check every time you plug something into power.

    There's no difference from an output point of view between a Japanese Mark III and a US Master System. They'll produce exactly the same picture (NTSC 3.58).

    NTSC 4.43 is a less common format used very rarely.

    There's also no region locking on the Master System, so games will work in any console from a software point of view

    *** BUT *** the Sega Mark III cartridge pin count is different. I think the Mark III is 50pin, versus the Master System 44 pin? You can get converters cheap either way, as they're just straight wire through with no extra magic.

    If you've got a large library of Master System games, a US Master System is likely your best bet. If you've just got the one flash cart, a Japanese Mark III and a converter isn't a bad way to go, as then you get the FM sound as well for the handful of games that support it.

    I'll be in Japan early next year, and will see if I can pick myself up a Mark III and some 3D glasses, as both are on my wishlist. I'd also love an SG1000, but there's so much on my shopping list, I might not get all of it. :)
     
  5. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    Easy to find, just need the money.
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And space in my luggage. :)
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    just post it to yourself :D
     
  8. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Hrm... wonder what that would cost. Good idea if it's not crazy expensive.
     
  9. Bion1c

    Bion1c Member

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    i had a super famicom back in the day and it worked fine with a local TV that could do NTSC 3.58.

    I got a US SNES recently and am looking for a CRT TV that can do NTSC at the moment. Could i ask what model trinitron you have?

    Probably a dumb question but if i'm using component input, is that still encoded PAL/NTSC?
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Actually, not a dumb question at all. I had to look this up.

    YPbPr (the analogue standard used in component) is one standard, with a defined co-efficient for the colour calculations. So whether you send 25p/50i, 29.97p/59.94i/59.97i, or 30p/60i, it's all colour encoded the same way. Makes sense, as you can get RGB to YPbPr converters that don't care at all about the console you've got attached.

    S-Video and CVBS use per-standard coefficients, different for PAL, NTSC and SECAM.

    So answering directly, no, YPbPr is not PAL/NTSC encoded, but rather it's own standard. Makes sense, as YPbPr was designed for equipment plugged into displays, rather than broadcast over a fixed radio spectrum per country.
     
  11. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Thanks for the great answers guys, great detail as always elvis :thumbup:

    Might be an option then - masses of SMS mark 1's on U.S eBay for reasonable money despite all the literature I've read claiming that the SMS was a bust in the U.S of A. Just a massive market I guess.

    @Bion1c - it's a little 14" kv-pg14p10. Only composite in but it's still a really nice image at that screen size. I'm unreasonably attached to it actually, not looking forward to the day it kicks the bucket.
     
  12. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    From what I understand, Sega put Tonka (the toy truck manufacturer) in charge of advertising in the US for the Master System. End result was a shambles of a job, and Nintendo more or less walked in to an open market with no competition.

    On top of that, Nintendo were *very* smart. The US was in prime "video games are the devil" mode. Nintendo took very deliberate steps to market the NES. They included

    1) Making it look like a VCR, and not a video game system. This played into America's love of TV.

    2) Shipping it with a lightgun, because Americans love guns.

    Call them blatant stereotypes if you like, but the NES dominated the 8 bit market in America for precisely the reasons above.

    I'm listening to the back catalogue of "Retronauts" at the moment, and it's very clear North Americans born in the late 70s and early 80s pretty much experienced gaming as exclusively Nintendo products across their childhood. Even their attitude is one of "anything Sega make sucked", despite there being an ample volume of great titles on early Sega hardware.

    It wasn't until the Megadrive/Genesis era when Sega took back their advertising, and pushed hard with sports titles and advertising filled with "teen attitude" that they wrangled some of that market share back from Nintendo, who made the fatal mistake of being a little bit too PG-13 with their games for a US audience.

    Compare and contrast to South America, who have a deep love of all things Sega, even today.

    Those rates are quite impressive. No wonder Australia Post is hurting.
     
  14. Bion1c

    Bion1c Member

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    Thanks elvis. very helpful. it's the answer i was hoping for :) if i get a local trinitron with component i should hopefully be ok with my US SNES.. should hold me over till i can eventually get a decent PVM/BVM
     
  15. power

    power Member

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    a mate of mine had a US tele and I used a PAL Saturn on it through SCART no worries. Good TV's are pretty forgiving unlike a lot of shitty modern LCD's.
     
  16. ShaneHm2

    ShaneHm2 Member

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  17. Krumm

    Krumm Member

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    Postage from Japan is very good with small packages being quite reasonable, used to get bigger stuff shipped via sea which took about 7-8weeks but was quite economical.
     
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I know the PVM/BVM hype is enormous at the moment thanks to people like RetroRGB and My Life In Gaming. But honestly, don't let this guide your purchasing. A good quality RGB TV is a great way to experience old consoles, and Trinitrons are right up there. (I'm talking all-analogue models here, not the 100Hz/digital units that came later).

    A PVM/BVM more or less has the dot pitch of a PC monitor, but takes standard def inputs. If you're emulating games on a PC, you can actually send 240p @120Hz to a PC monitor and get just as good a picture (maybe even better) compared to a PVM/BVM running something like a PiSCART or similar emulation setup.

    PVMs and especially BVMs are razor sharp, and in my subjective opinion almost too sharp. Low res pixel art does well to get a bit of natural softening that regular screens provide. Consider too that all arcade monitors were of the same dot pitch as consumer TVs, just using pure RGB inputs. So playing home consoles on regular SCART TVs is as good as the arcade experience.

    Again, highly subjective. But as an owner of several PVMs, I actually prefer playing 8 and 16 bit consoles on consumer SCART TVs. If you can find a newish SCART TV that was made in the all-analogue era, they're fantastic. Hell, even a late model Chinese TV with YPbPr inputs, as long as it's an analogue chassis, will produce an amazing picture even when compared to a PVM with 30k hours on it.

    RGB/SCART is raw RGB, no colour encoding whatsoever. The only thing your TV needs to support is the different vertical syncs (i.e.: refresh rates).

    But even some really old TVs that support RGB have a vhold pot (dial) at the back that lets you adjust them for different region inputs.

    Great guide, but incomplete. I have at least 2 PAL MegaDrive 1 consoles that don't conform to the standard "10V 1.2A" spec. They've got weird model/serial numbers on them which, according to Google, came from late model runs for the European market, and somehow made their way over here.

    As always, make sure whatever you're shoving into your console matches what's physically stamped on it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  19. ShaneHm2

    ShaneHm2 Member

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    Yep I always do make sure to triple check. Also they forget to mention when its required to use a stepdown convertor or to check when needed.

    Cause a few systems that was released only in Japan or USA would have just 100v~110v such as the PC-FX just to mention one.

    Also I agree with PVM/ BVM being overrated. However personally I think the best option for people with limited space and/ or who don't have a native RGB CRT TV already if they got the $$$ to get a fraimeister or OSSC. However the OSSC isn't really that friendly from my own experience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think the best options for people hard up on space are:

    * 21-25" CRT TV with either SCART inputs, or YPbPr inputs (free/cheap), and a Shinybow SCART to YPbPr converter: (around $100 shipped):
    http://www.ani-av.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=220

    * 19-21" PC CRT VGA monitor (free/cheap) with an arcade line doubler (this is one example, there are hundreds of different ones):
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/CGA-EGA-...053900?hash=item4d5c6bda4c:g:Ch0AAOSwbopZQIE1

    You're looking at sub-$100 options there.

    If you can get a PVM for the same money, great. But I see PVMs going for stupid money lately, thanks mostly to YouTube hype. I scored quite a number of PVMs free years ago when people were throwing them out. Goes to show what a couple of YouTube videos can do to get people frothing at the mouth.

    With that said, you can sometimes find LG, Ikegami or Mitsubishi pro-grade monitors for cheap, because brand-worship people don't see "PVM" or "Trinitron" written on it.

    And if you've got the skills, RGB modding a consumer TV is also a great option. Again. plenty of these things free on the side of the road or on Gumtree.
     

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