Retro display solutions (monitors, TVs, CRTs, flatscreens, upscaling, calibration)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. MrMaestro

    MrMaestro Member

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    Damn, those photos are beautiful.

    I already have an M4 PVM so I'm not looking to drop hundreds more on something else, not unless it was an absolute bargain.
     
  2. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Mike Chi, creator of the RetroTink (Raspberry Pi HAT for high quality analogue output) and RetroTink2X (zero-lag, standalone Component/YPbPr -> HDMI converter) is working on a SCART/RGB to Component/YPbPr converter:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/retrotink2/status/1142648567674228736

    m.jpg

    He says it should come in cheaper than the popular Shinybow SB2840 which is currently the most reliable converter (based on colour quality and adherence to video specs).

    Mike has a reputation for being quite pedantic about quality and specs, so this ought to be the perfect device. If you've got an old CRT lying around with component video in, this could be a far cheaper than buying HDRetroVision cables per console, or a far safer way of adding SCART/RGB support for old consoles than RGB-modding your TV.
     
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  3. power

    power Member

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    oh nice, plenty of people will be interested in this. there is a market for sure.
     
  4. Camm

    Camm Member

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    I really don't get the point of a RGB to YPbPr converter. HDMI is the standard on modern displays, and RGB better matches CRT's guns. I can get going from YPbPr to RGB if your CRT doesn't handle the conversion well, but I'll admit I'm completely lost on going from RGB to YPbBr.
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    in the US most if not all CRT's had no SCART, this is what this device is for nothing more nothing less.
     
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  6. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    This product is not for modern displays.

    Great. So what do you do when you find a consumer CRT television that doesn't have RGB inputs (i.e.: most of them)?

    My collection of CRTs is over 40 now. I collect *weird* CRTs like arcade and industrial monitors, and still less than 25% of my collection has native RGB input.

    For most people picking up TVs off the side of the street, YPbPr is going to be the most common high-quality input. Very few consumer TVs outside of Europe had RGB inputs.

    [edit] Didn't see power 's response. Wot he said.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. Camm

    Camm Member

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    There is the whole plenty of LCD's have component plugs thing which was what I aiming at with the modern display comment.

    And yeah, I forgot about the US market and its lack of SCART. Most of the later gens of CRT's in Australia had either native component or SCART on them though (and the ones generally held by gamers rather than CRT collectors), hence why I was a little confused. Not belittling your collection, but most of those are a niche upon a niche in the first place.
     
  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    HDMI as spec can have both digitally encoded RGB and YCbCr (the digital equivalent of YPbPr).

    The colour science of YPbPr is complex, but the gist is that despite having trichromatic colour cells (the "cones" in your eyes), human colour perception actually uses a secondary comparison of colours, very similar to the 'Pr and 'Pb parts of that colour space. Additionally, the luminance detecting cells in your eyes (the "rods") work similarly to how we encode the Y/Luma section of light.

    This is why people can be red-green colour blind, despite the wavelengths affecting the trichromatic cells being so far apart. Despite accurately reacting to the different wavelength stimulus, the secondary 'Pr comparison ("colour difference" check) fails, and the brains of those people can't determine the delta. (This is also a factor in how we perceive consistent colour even when ambient light changes around us).

    Anyways, that's all by the by. HDMI as a digital spec can carry several different colour space encodings. Quite often devices will send digital YCbCr and not digital RGB. Additionally digital YCbCr can do chroma subsampling, which is designed to abuse certain limitations of the human eye to apply a lossy compression to a fast moving image with little perceived quality difference.

    First up, you've got two different technologies there. SCART traditionally uses RGB signals. Component traditionally YPbPr.

    However, SCART also can send CVBS (composite / yellow plug low quality video) and S-Video too. Most old model Foxtel boxes with SCART connectors ARE NOT sending RGB! They're sending very low quality composite video over a SCART plug.

    Secondly, by the numbers, here in Australia SCART was exponentially lower in volume. Yes, high quality European brands like Loewe, Gang and Olufsen, Grundig and others often had SCART in their high end models. But you'll also find many had the SCART plug removed (you'll see a blank template in the shape of a SCART header in the plastic shell on the back).

    And beyond that, good quality Euro/German brands like that made up 10% of the market or less. Far more common were the cheap Chinese and lower end of the Japanese market - even good quality Sony Trinitrons for the Asia-Pacific region had RGB removed (mostly because Japan uses JP21 - a SCART shaped plug but with the RGB pins moved about, so it was cheaper and easier to just remove these for our region).

    So the weasel word in your post there is "most". No, "most" later gen TVs DID NOT have SCART. They existed, yes. But as a vast minority of devices.

    Even component (i.e.: YPbPr, which is not RGB despite the red/green/blue plugs you see) was lower in volume than CVBS/S-Video even in later models, although this did ramp up slightly with the explosion of cheap DVD players (DVD stores it's information in digital YCbCr, which will now make sense if you put all the pieces of this post together). Still, component was much higher in volume than SCART/RGB (by a factor of 10 easily), and wrapping this whole topic up, precisely why an RGB->YPbPr converter is so useful to retro gamers who want to use CRTs but can't afford the insane asking prices for Sony PVMs.

    The nicheness of my collection was my point. Even I, as someone who knows what to look for, only has 25% of my stuff as native RGB.

    Pick up a consumer CRT TV from a tip shop, eBay, Gumtree, or side of the road today, and there's a 95% probability it WILL NOT have SCART/RGB. Again, this is why a RGB->YPbPr converter is so damned useful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  9. Camm

    Camm Member

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    That was an overkill post that reeked of paternalism elvis and was bluntly not needed.

    And we are long past the point of dumpster diving for CRT's, those who are in the game are generally only picking up those that are native or can be modded (as they aren't hard to find, and are generally cheap to free to boot).

    There's always an edge case, sure (such as you and your mountain of CRT's attests).
     
  10. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Stating that SCART CRTs were rarer than Component ones in Australia is paternalism? By all means, please post your counter argument and figures.

    Please, show us a cheap/free 15KHz CRT with native RGB in today. There's at least a dozen folks following this thread who are after one, and you'll be doing them all a huge favour.

    This "discussion" started because you couldn't understand the need for an RGB to component converter. There is a need - this thread documents it, so does at least two other running threads (search for "Shinybow" if you want to find the others). You're still insisting RGB CRTs are cheap and plentiful. I'm telling you: they're not. If you can disprove that with a local supplier, post it up and help this little community.
     
  11. Camm

    Camm Member

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    Literally crt scart into gumtree will always get you something under $200.

    Just now there are a couple of Loewe's with a full set of inputs for $50. Sure, it might take a little while for a model to come up in your city, but again, they aren't difficult to find.

    And I'm out, rage against the computer monitor all you want, but if you are having issues with finding a unit in Australia that is good or convertible out of the box, you aren't looking very hard.
     
  12. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    brisbane CBD + 500km on gumtree only has 1 listing. A wanted ad.

    Maybe the southern states are spoilt.
     
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  13. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I have email alerts on various sales sites set up for anything within 100KM of me. Nothing under $250 in years (there was a boom maybe 2-3 years ago, but in my area it's dried up now).

    I find capital cities are worse. Regional areas tend to have a few more hits, for whatever reason.

    Got a link? There's one 16:9 I can see, but it's a 3 hour round trip from me (might be good for a local if it can do manual 4:3 adjustment, and isn't a 100Hz unit that ads lag to 15KHz games).

    Zero rage here, friend. If you find them, post links to help your fellow OCAUers out. Many have asked me in PM and on these forums for the same.

    I'll do the same when Mike Chi's new device lands, as I know a lot of folks who are in need of it.

    I think you're right. Folks like RGB Rob down south seem to find a shitload of these things. We certainly don't have that volume up here. Even so, I notice his channel is slowing down a lot, which might indicate his find rate is too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  14. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Is there anyone taking the input side of a retro system's video encoder chip and using that to feed a HDMI signal, skipping the analogue section entirely? That's basically what FPGA clones do, though it'd be harder to get a "canonical" audio signal because synth chips generally have the DAC built into them.
     
  15. MrMaestro

    MrMaestro Member

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    The Hi-Def NES and UltraHDMI mods do that, no analogue to digital conversion.

    I spent a few hours on the weekend hooking up my PVM to my PC. On Saturday I bought a CIB 7800 GTX from this cool 80-year-old gamer on Gumtree and it came with a TV-out breakout cable. I have other plans for the 7800 but I've got a spare 4850 with the same port, so I spent a few hours putting that into my main desktop and setting it up with Windows 7 (Win 10 lacks driver support).

    Now I can watch videos on the PVM and it's pretty awesome. Old video content is cool from a nostalgia perspective, and it does a great job hiding compression artifacts on low-res content. Modern HD digital content is just different; obviously you lose detail but it gets a really cool CRT-look.

    9B4103C6-B2BD-460B-8EA2-8F0F38C3FA17.jpeg

    8E9C796D-ED00-4870-8633-5E8DA2B93F63.jpeg
     
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  16. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    In addition to the above post, the DCHDMI, GCVideo and WiiDual all so this. Direct tap of digital signals (pre-DAC circuit), into a custom FPGA, for pure digital-to-digital output.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  17. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Great news on the Raspberry Pi 4 - unlike previous Pi hardware, the new GPU allows for completely unlocked pixel clocks. This means any arbitrary resolution is possible to recreate. No more "super resolutions" required to approximate modelines.

    Combined with the extra CPU grunt, the Pi4 will be a very nice solution for analogue display fans of heaps of PC, console and arcade platforms.

    I don't know yet if the original RetroTink is still compatible (Pi HAT that allowed for heaps of analogue out options), but the GertVGA666 appears to be still.
     
  18. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Does it have analogue video outputs? That's something I really like about previous Pis.
     
  19. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    still has composite out on the 3.5mm port
     
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  20. Camm

    Camm Member

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    Its also generally compatible with previous HATs from the Pi 3, so you should be fine with some research.
     

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