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Thread: Clean resolution & refresh rate on CRT TV using HDMI out?

  1. #11

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    The S-Video port is not capable of outputting 480p. Only 480i. This is an interlaced mode (vs a progressive one like 240p or 480p) and interlaces two fields, one with odd lines, one with even lines, to make one frame. So instead of the standard 60Hz framerate you can only get 30, and this 30 is drawing lines in different places (odd then even) so it flickers. (There's not much you can do about this over S-Video without spending a lot and learning a lot, I'd guess.) See the section with the couple of equations in my post above. 480p is 31kHz, but an old TV needs 15kHz.

    Natively, the SNES runs at 256x240, I think it is. Either way, when you disable scaling a 240p mode, possibly a super resolution, will work nicely and look better. Right now you're using 1024x768, so even with integer stretching (scaling at a whole number ratio) the image is blown up, and then shoehorned into the 480i mode from the S-video port. It probably looks ok for the reasons given further above - the higher the number of overall pixels the more evenly whatever you stretch will fit, and thus the more even the image is that you're trying to fit into 480i.

    HDMI downscaling isn't terrible. But I'm betting you won't be able to get a unit that is all three things: cheap, fast, and high-image-quality. Even then fast is probably a relative term. Upscaling is slightly better, but even then there are issues if you want digital output - which is normally the point.

    Re: the SNES issues - there are a number of things that could contribute or go wrong

    Is this your original old SNES cable, or one acquired on fleabay? The PAL SNES cable is different to the NTSC one, and expects a 75R resistor between the Video and Ground lines. This could be missing, or possibly broken off. It sounds like this is the case. If this is your original cable, you may be able to, carefully, split the console-end plug and have a look. If it's not that, well, composite is an inferior picture anyway, and the CRT you're running things on isn't new.

    There are certainly Component mods for the SNES out there, but the SNES can output RGB natively (again, the PAL cable is different) so in theory, if you can get an adapter or make a cable, you could use the transcoder solution. However, if you get into tinkering, an arcade monitor that takes RGB natively might be a better bet, and something like a JPac to connect to it if you don't want to build an amp. That's as good a picture as you can get.

  2. #12

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    Okay there we go - thought I had email notifications turned on for this thread, I didn't. Now I do.

    Ok well I've got some options to consider for the future then, I'm looking forward to tinkering in the long run, after it's set up in it's current state.

    Well the SNES AV cable is actually a "special" one, refurbished maybe? All I know is the "Computer Traders" store in Chermside was selling new AV cables a few years ago, I vaguely remember they were newly made or something - the bottom line is, they are gold plated, so it should be the best signal quality you could get from composite - it's new, and it's gold plated.

    Everything about my SNES should be "PAL" as it's the very same SNES me and my brothers grew up with The only new thing is the cable.

    So you're saying the picture quality over composite could be better? I could take a photo of it to see what you think.
    Last edited by Domarius; 19th February 2017 at 08:41 AM.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius View Post
    Well the SNES AV cable is actually a "special" one, refurbished maybe? All I know is the "Computer Traders" store in Chermside was selling new AV cables a few years ago, I vaguely remember they were newly made or something - the bottom line is, they are gold plated, so it should be the best signal quality you could get from composite - it's new, and it's gold plated.
    Got a multimeter? Set it to resistance x1, put one probe on the inside pin of the yellow lead, other probe on the outside ring of the same lead. Disconnect the AV cable entire from both the SNES and the TV. The meter should read 75 ohms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius View Post
    So you're saying the picture quality over composite could be better? I could take a photo of it to see what you think.
    Errr, yes. RF is worse than composite, but any other signal type is better. The above comments were more based on the fact that you stated the composite picture from an actual SNES was washed out, and that a PC S-Video signal looked notably better. That shouldn't be the case, given the scaling on the S-video signal. At absolute best you'd be getting something about the same quality. So there's probably something wrong with your composite setup - possibly the TV itself, but easier to rectify if the cable is at fault.

    And passivated zinc is not gold

  4. #14

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    Sorry for the late response.

    Wow ok, I guess it's possible there's something "wrong" with the composite setup. I did as you said with the multimeter, and it stayed at 100% resistance (1). I'm not an expert though, but I'm pretty sure I did it right. I even followed the steps here, https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+To+...ltimeter/25632, My multimeter has a resistance mode testing cd10f22f3fcfacf01ac4ce3d7a21e32f.png at least, I'm pretty sure what that means. But I even tried skipping to step 6, setting it to 200 ohms (horseshoe symbol), still no dice. The thing always stayed at 1 until I touched the probes together or touched them to the same pin or housing of course.

    Ok I didn't know it wasn't truly gold, but I guess gold is easier to say than "passivated zinc" and people still know what I'm talking about

    Edit: it's been a week, just tagging @buttersoft

    Also I have to admit, I can appreciate scanlines now after I got a refurbished Sega Master System and have been comparing the emulation with the real thing. Scanlines hide every 2nd row of pixels and "round things off", especially chequerd patterns. The clouds in Rastan on the original hardware look amazing. But in the emulation you can see the pixelated chequer pattern. The other thing is my refurbished SMS fills the WHOLE SCREEN, while the emulation output wants to have a border of some sorts. But the Windows desktop and the Retroarch interface fills the whole screen, so there must be some emulation settings I can play with...

    Well, as I said in a previous post, I will be looking into trying your ideas for these 15kHz modes, like I said, it will start to eat away at me, and it is I think I would prefer the scanlines in other emulation too, not just SMS, eg. SNES, Amiga, it's just that I never noticed it till now till making comparisons with the direct simplicity of the SMS games.

    I noticed your 15kHz solution is for Mame (GroovyMame). Do you think it's possible with other systems that Mame doesn't emulate? eg. Sega Master System, Super Nintendo...
    Last edited by Domarius; 2nd April 2017 at 08:19 AM.

  5. #15

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    Sorry, completely missed the post!

    YEah it sounds like the SNES cable is causing the image to be washed out. A proper, functioning cable has that resistor.

    Once you've installed 15kHz modes, any emulator can use them (assuming it's been coded for a 1:1 mode. You'd be either turning off all scaling and stretching (for a 1:1 mode) and going fullscreen, or if using a super resolution, which is handy, making sure you have the right resolution (vertically) for that system. The horizontal just stretches out, but if you re-read my post on page 1...

    You simply add the modelines you want, to the "user modes + super.ini" or whatever it's called in the same folder as crt_emudriver and VMMaker. Install as per the guides i linked. SNES is 240p, i believe. Which means 240 pixels high.

    Not sure about most others, but the Amiga can be a pain. Every guide I've seen uses a 288p mode, but that doesn't work for me. I'm using 262p. And 272p for PPSSPP, and 242p for PCFX so i can play with that modes as nothing else really uses it.
    Last edited by buttersoft; 5th April 2017 at 09:37 AM.

  6. #16

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    @buttersoft Thanks man, that's awesome news, I look forward to enabling this for all my emulated games...

    Ok, regarding the cable, how do I know which one has that resistor? Which one should I buy?

    I also just did the same test on my N64 cable which is the same, still get 1 for resistance.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius View Post
    Ok, regarding the cable, how do I know which one has that resistor? Which one should I buy?

    I also just did the same test on my N64 cable which is the same, still get 1 for resistance.
    Hmm, it should test the same as the SNES cable, i believe, at 75ohms. Yellow-ended cable plug, one probe on centre-pin, one on outer ring. The meter reads zero when you touch the probes together? And... something, maybe about 10Mohms, just not zero or 1/OL when you touch a probe with each finger?

    Any PAL N64 cable should do fine. However, if you get on Facebook there are at least 5 or 6 dedicated nintendo retro gaming buy & sell groups. That way you could go for an original Nintendo cable.

    You should be able to use the N64 cable in the SNES. Does it do anything different on that TV? What about the SNES cable on the N64? If the N64 is the same, and the SNES is the same, it might not be the cables at fault. Then again, the SNES isn't necessarily outputting the same levels as the N64 - they'll be close, but they don't have to be identical.

  8. #18

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    @buttersoft - I'm back again you can expect me to be dipping into this when I have time & when it frustrates me not having it. I have a new reason bearing down on me - the very cool retro 4:3 style games made in modern times on steam (Towerfall Ascension, Shovel Knight, Shantae Risky's Revenge, etc.) run too slow or not at all on my extremely old S-Video card! But I have a ATi Radeon HD 5670 ready to go - it just doesn't output S-Video or Component of course, and so won't work on my CRT TV.

    So I'm looking into your suggestion for a VGA to Component transcoder (using a DVI to VGA adaptor of course). When I look for this kind of thing on eBay, I get these things, around $30. Is this it, or is this some cheap thing that won't actually convert the signal properly?
    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/vga-to-component-converter

  9. #19

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    Your link is HDMI-to or HDMI-from converters. You don't want HDMI anything You want a VGA-to-YPbPr or VGA-to-Component transcoder. Or a SCART-to-Component/YPbPr one. VGA is probably easier, as the cable is just your run of the mill VGA cable.

    I've been keeping an eye out and something like this is probably ok - http://www.ebay.ca/itm/VGA-to-Compon...-/192116647418

    Model number is there, so see if you can find it, or something like it, for cheaper mb. Shipping would be a bit of a bitch.

    Note the important bits of the description:

    The Retrotek VGACTV1 is a transcoder solution that can completely passively convert any RGBHV or RGBS video into component video with a 100% scalable resolution input/output range from 240p to 1080i. The transcoder does not process any synchronization timing into any discrete steps or apply any or signal processing so ANY resolution will be properly converted to component video output, including all of the non-standard arcade resolutions. This transcoder can handle ANY incoming HV Sync or Composite Sync, both of any polarity or even if the HV sync is of opposite polarities. All incoming sync signals will be properly converted to an accurate negative sync tip for component video with correct timing and voltage. This makes this transcoder virtually guaranteed to work with all types of RGBHV or RGBs inputs you can throw at it! Comes with converter box and accompanying power supply, so everything is ready to go on arrival!
    VGA is RGBHV (R,G,B, Horizontal Sync and Vertical Sync)

    This device does not have 15kHz protection though, so the PC has to be outputting 15kHz-only because your monitor is 15kHz. Once crt_emudriver 2.0 is installed, Windows only has access to 15kHz resolutions so you don't have to worry. But the PC will still be using 31kHz or more during boot unless you go the Atom15 route i mentioned on the previous page. Or just wait until you've booted to Windows before turning on the TV.

    EDIT: actually, there's another thread right now about building your own RGB-to-YPbPr converter, but it's not complete. Not for the faint of heart right now
    http://www.aussiearcade.com/showthre...ip-Subscribers
    Last edited by buttersoft; 3rd May 2017 at 09:43 AM.

  10. #20

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    So @buttersoft - would this work with an arcade PCB's RGBs output?


    Sent from my iPhone using Aussie Arcade

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