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X-RGB Mini (and other scalers).


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51 minutes ago, markpsych said:

 

Looking for a cheaper option at this stage, and just required for SNES and N64 really.

 

Can anyone confirm if these are as good as the one demoed by Adam?

 

 

Do you mean Adan Koralik?

This scaler is meant to be hot garbage with massive latency. 

 

I'd honestly not bother and instead just plug the console straight into your TV. 

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so I've got two PAL n64s in the garage, but no duplicate games with which to perform A-B testing

 

otherwise I'd run one composite, and the other via the hdmi upscaler and then flick AV channels on the telly.

 

maybe a little later down the line... when it's all set up.

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11 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

This scaler is meant to be hot garbage with massive latency. 

 

I'd honestly not bother and instead just plug the console straight into your TV. 

F**k, is it really that bad?

 

Scart to HDMI would be ideal, as only have a couple of HDMI and component sockets on the tele. All the later gen are up and running - just the N64 and SNES outstanding.

 

Is there anything out there for under £50 that will be 'good enough'? 

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7 hours ago, markpsych said:

 

Looking for a cheaper option at this stage, and just required for SNES and N64 really.

 

Can anyone confirm if these are as good as the one demoed by Adam?

 

 

We use one of those cheaper one for RGB content at the moment, I'll let the footage do the talking and let you be the judge:

 

I've not had massive latency issue at all, a lot of latency issues are down to peoples LCD TV, fighting video at the bottom. If it had massive latency it would make games like that unplayable, It really depend on the TV more, so try playing your consoles on that first and see how it goes and some TVs just hate retro console.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for posting those Riven.

 

I think it could look a lot worse so going to give one a try.

 

I think you're right about the type of tv.

 

Bought my son a cheap Techwood 49" smart tv and connectivity is much better than ours as has HMDI, component, scart, and vga. Plugged the snes straight in via a RGB cable and it looked great. Looks dire in comparison via composite on our Samsung.

 

Out of interest, do you know if the scalers can be powered via a tv's usb socket?

 

 

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4 hours ago, markpsych said:

Out of interest, do you know if the scalers can be powered via a tv's usb socket?

 

 

No it can't I'm afraid it comes with it own standard UK power plug, so you will need a spare power socket free. Lead on the one I got with it wasn't very long either.

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Well....I tried one of the unbranded/cheap ones out today, and it doesn't appear to be very compatible with my tv.

 

N64 doesn't look great, and changing the screen ratio makes no difference.

 

Dreamcast obviously looks better, but the worst thing is the amount of static snow I'm seeing....do you get that Riven?

 

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On 05/07/2016 at 00:47, markpsych said:

Well....I tried one of the unbranded/cheap ones out today, and it doesn't appear to be very compatible with my tv.

 

N64 doesn't look great, and changing the screen ratio makes no difference.

 

Dreamcast obviously looks better, but the worst thing is the amount of static snow I'm seeing....do you get that Riven?

 

 

No I don't get that for me the picture quality is the same as in our videos, as they are all live records, sounds like you have a defective unit, I'd send that back. If your TV has an aspect ratio changer it should change the picture from 16:9 to 4:3, the TV I use does this fine, so it indeed sounds like your TV might not like the scaler, so best to get a refund on it.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, so, I now have another fiddly problem with my framemeister. I've (finally) managed to get my US RGB NES back from the modder and am getting no picture! 

So, the mod is this one: Link
I got this guy to do it: Link (who did a great job and was really quick).
So, the cable I'm using is a custom one created by retro gaming cables. The problem is that he didn't have my NES and was wiring blind from this diagram: Link

I am getting sound out of the framemeister. Also, I get a picture when plugged directly into my uk RGB scart input on my panny plasma tv. I think the problem is that the c-sync isn't properly wired. I can manually set the sync level and get a picture, but only if I don't use my scart switcher box. Any ideas anyone? Especially @Kevvy Metal?

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Yes, as @Alexlotl just mentioned, I'd recommend getting an in-built sync-stripper in your SCART to RGB in adaptor. That will erase all sync issues when using SCART cables wiredfor the different Sync methods (Sync-on-composite, Sync-on-Luma.. blah blah). You then only need to care that you're using the right cable for the machine. 

 

https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/micomsoft-xrgb/european-scart-to-framemeister-xrgb-mini-converter-with-csync-lm1881-for-sale

 

mini%20csync%20power%20unit-500x500.jpg

Another thing! I have the NESRGB mod board inside my AV famicom, and it needs a PAL Gamecube SCART cable, or a cable wired up like that (I use a PAL Gamecube cable from Retrogaming cables)

 

Do you have a PAL Gamecube SCART cable lying about? try that!

 

 

 

 

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Annoying I have to order ANOTHER cable. I already bought the passive one. Another £30 on this fucking NES mod. :(

 

Also, the connector is a custom 8-pin thingy and doesn't use the standard snes av cables. I'm surprised you can even get a NES modded to output to the AV connector?

 

Is that a NES mini or something?

 

EDIT: Sorry, not a NES mini. Some variant I don't have at any rate... :blah:

 

Edit EDIT: Ok, looking up the AV Famicom. I don't have one of those. I have a front loading american NES with an RGB mod that adds a new connector and a custom cable for it.

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I bought the active one from the get go on the basis that it doesn't seem to cause any problems, only solve them, and only cost a few quid more. The USB cable is a bit ungainly, but the XRGB is no oil painting anyway.

I also have the AV Famicom, currently running via composite. Still haven't decided if I'm going to do my own NESRGB mod, or send it off to oldskoolconsoles.

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Is there anyway to purchase one of these things in the UK?



Not that I could find, but if you're keen to avoid import duty and long waits, Solaris have an option to ship them from Germany (this does cost more, though).

I haven't seen any reason to worry about reliability/returns, etc - they're fiddly, but apparently robust.
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Finally got a Mega Everdrive for my Jap MD2, and man does it look sweet:

 

IMG_4581.JPG

 

Some persistent crud down the bottom left though, presumably designed to be hidden by the overscan, so maybe I need to investigate 5x options. Which leads me to my next question...

 

How do the scanlines work? I'm running 1080p with scanlines (default settings), and I like the effect a lot. But say I'm doing a 4x scale, then I'd be mapping each pixel to 4 pixels, with some space at the top and bottom (240 * 4 = 960). But how do the scanlines fit into that? Assuming they're at least 1px in size and occur between each scaled pixel, then I'm going to need 240 pixels for those, aren't I? Or does the XRGB effectively do a 3x scale and insert scanline pixels to make up the numbers?

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That's a great question (how does the Framemeister handle scanlines in the 4x and 5x scales). I was using mine at 1080p with a US SNES, Dreamcast and PAL Saturn last night. I toggled scanlines but generally prefer the, on for the SNES. 

 

At 5x scale (how I'm playing SNES) I'd expect maybe 2 rows of scanline and 3 rows of image per 1 240p pixel (if that makes sense) but now that I think about it, it is probably what you suggested at a ratio of 4:1 (image to scanline). 

 

I will do some testing later and get my face up close and count some pixels!

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11 hours ago, Alexlotl said:

Finally got a Mega Everdrive for my Jap MD2, and man does it look sweet:

 

IMG_4581.JPG

 

Some persistent crud down the bottom left though, presumably designed to be hidden by the overscan, so maybe I need to investigate 5x options. Which leads me to my next question...

 

How do the scanlines work? I'm running 1080p with scanlines (default settings), and I like the effect a lot. But say I'm doing a 4x scale, then I'd be mapping each pixel to 4 pixels, with some space at the top and bottom (240 * 4 = 960). But how do the scanlines fit into that? Assuming they're at least 1px in size and occur between each scaled pixel, then I'm going to need 240 pixels for those, aren't I? Or does the XRGB effectively do a 3x scale and insert scanline pixels to make up the numbers?

 

scalines suck at 1080p, I run in 720p and they look better.

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I've heard scan lines look better in 720p, but I'm on a 1080p display and don't want to add any lag or TV scaling artefacts.

Gave it a try yesterday with Sonic 1, and it was only slightly better looking in 720p. My understanding is that 1080p scan lines have improved a lot with firmware revisions since the Framemeister first came out.

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20 hours ago, Rob_Pulsar said:

Is that on a 1080p display Angel?

 

Yeah, a lot of the literature online describes the scanlines on 1080p as rubbish, for a technical reason I don't remember. [edit - remembered, because the lines are drawn smaller]. But they do look good in 720p so I stick to that.  I stick the black intensity quite high too so it gives a really nice effect.

 

I want to run my ps4 at 720p or upwards and add scanlines but it does nothing, anyone else tried? I think it's because you have to output higher to get them, 720p in, 1080p out maybe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got around to trying the PixelPurist profiles. Ho-lee fuck, this looks better.

I think I prefer 4x to 5x mind, despite the reduced screen area. But he's managed to crop out the crud that was plaguing my Megadrive signal, and it all looks pin sharp.

Keeping my scan lines, though.

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On 14 August 2016 at 09:33, angel said:

 

Yeah, a lot of the literature online describes the scanlines on 1080p as rubbish, for a technical reason I don't remember. [edit - remembered, because the lines are drawn smaller]. But they do look good in 720p so I stick to that.  I stick the black intensity quite high too so it gives a really nice effect.

 

I want to run my ps4 at 720p or upwards and add scanlines but it does nothing, anyone else tried? I think it's because you have to output higher to get them, 720p in, 1080p out maybe.

I output a Xbox 360 at 720p then upscale to 1080p via hdmi on the framemeister, for scanlines for shooters/lower res games. Looks fantastic, but probably not accurate. Also take a component signal at 720p for Xbox emulation and upscale to 1080p with scanlines for retro.  You should be able to do it (output 720p on the ps4 and set the FM to 1080p, then add your scanlines).

 

Dont think modern ps4 stuff would look too hot with scanlines though.

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Arghh I need one 

i have no idea if I'd need the USB euro scarf cable for my Japanese neogeo though hmm 



The price difference between the two is less than a fiver from memory, and the USB option doesn't cause any problems if you don't need it. Considering how much you'd be splashing on the scaler, it's small fry.
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18 hours ago, dvdx2 said:

I output a Xbox 360 at 720p then upscale to 1080p via hdmi on the framemeister, for scanlines for shooters/lower res games. Looks fantastic, but probably not accurate. Also take a component signal at 720p for Xbox emulation and upscale to 1080p with scanlines for retro.  You should be able to do it (output 720p on the ps4 and set the FM to 1080p, then add your scanlines).

 

Dont think modern ps4 stuff would look too hot with scanlines though.

 

It wont work for me it absolutely refuses..I don't know what I'm doing wrong :(  Latest FW everything..I cannot get scanlines from any 720p

source.

 

Is this deffo from an HDMI source or component?

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On 13/08/2016 at 10:27, angel said:

 

scalines suck at 1080p, I run in 720p and they look better.

 

On 14/08/2016 at 08:43, Alexlotl said:

I've heard scan lines look better in 720p, but I'm on a 1080p display and don't want to add any lag or TV scaling artefacts.

Gave it a try yesterday with Sonic 1, and it was only slightly better looking in 720p. My understanding is that 1080p scan lines have improved a lot with firmware revisions since the Framemeister first came out.

 

On 14/08/2016 at 09:33, angel said:

 

Yeah, a lot of the literature online describes the scanlines on 1080p as rubbish, for a technical reason I don't remember. [edit - remembered, because the lines are drawn smaller]. But they do look good in 720p so I stick to that.  I stick the black intensity quite high too so it gives a really nice effect.

 

I want to run my ps4 at 720p or upwards and add scanlines but it does nothing, anyone else tried? I think it's because you have to output higher to get them, 720p in, 1080p out maybe.

 

Scanlines! 

 

Yes, basically at 720p scanlines will line up correctly but at 1080p, they won't. But it depends on how you set the SCREEN_SET scaling option! Worth pointing out that the STANDARD setting basically disables the scaling options and scales the image to whatever aspect ration you have, which will blur it all slightly. 

 

You can keep the output at 1080p and just line double! This will leave you with some unused space on the bottom and top of the image but you'll get pin sharp pixels and perfectly lined up Scanlines all at 1080p. Setting the output to 720p and getting your TV to scale that always softens the image and might cause lag yadda yadda. 

 

Selecting SCREEN_SET > SMART_X2 line doubles the image... basically to "960p".. then turn on Scanlines and it all lines up nice.  

Worth pointing out the scanline settings. INT_LINE basically affects how dark the scan lines are and INT_SMOOTH affects the "bloom" on the lit row of pixels. I like INT_LINE on 0 for black scanlines and INT_SMOOTH cranked up a bit to 75 or maybe 80. 

 

I also like using the SCREEN_SET option NORMAL2. This basically scales each of your chunky 240p pixels to take up 5x4 pixels on your 1080p tv! Looks gorgeous and is more like how the image would look on a CRT. CRT pixels are not square, they're wider than they are tall. Scanlines don't line up with this setting.

 

on a side note, I pretty much leave the AUTO_SCALER on GAME all the time. Even with 480i. 

 

Here's another useful Framemeister reference - http://arekuse.net/blog/?page_id=2034

 

 

On 23/08/2016 at 21:44, Alexlotl said:

Finally got around to trying the PixelPurist profiles. Ho-lee fuck, this looks better.

I think I prefer 4x to 5x mind, despite the reduced screen area. But he's managed to crop out the crud that was plaguing my Megadrive signal, and it all looks pin sharp.

Keeping my scan lines, though.

 

The PixelPurist profiles are awesome and useful, but he's going for a 4x4 or 5x5 pixel look, which is kinda.. inaccurate! But they are calibrated well to line up with the Scan line overlay. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

The PixelPurist profiles are awesome and useful, but he's going for a 4x4 or 5x5 pixel look, which is kinda.. inaccurate! But they are calibrated well to line up with the Scan line overlay.

 

I think he corrects some, but not others. Here are the notes in the readme on the Genesis scalers:

 

Note on Genesis profiles below: The 256 profiles are aspect-corrected to match 4:3 ratio, while the 320 profiles are set to square pixels. This is because the vast majority of Genesis games in 320 mode did NOT take into account TV aspect correction. As such, several games that draw planets or spheres in 320 mode will only look perfectly round if the pixels are square in shape. However, if you're a stickler for authentic 4:3 correction, you can change ZOOM_WIDTH value to 50 for the 4x320 profile and 43 for the 5x320 profile.

 

I've only been playing 320 mode games using the 4x scaler (tried 5x, didn't like it) which leaves black at the top/bottom, but think it looks great. The planets at the start of Phantasy Star 2 are round, the scanlines look good.

 

I did try fiddling the settings myself, but found it massive exercise in frustration due to the unclear meanings, the resync lag after every change, and the (to me) counter intuitive way your settings weren't saved if you exited the menu via one button rather than the other. Glad someone else has gone through the pain for me.

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