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Guest Mark 2000

Are Lcd Tvs Killing Retrogaming As We Know It?

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Guest Mark 2000

Even though the NES has been emulated perfectly for nearly 10 years now I was still buying NES carts. The reason was because NES games look horrible when displayed in accurate, sharp, pixel perfection that a computer offers. The CRT TV adds an amount of blurriness to the image that somehow gives it depth, smooths out jaggies, and makes dithers look more like solid colors. After all, the programmers knew the display they were designing for and they took advantage of it with tricks and methods optimized for an interlaced CRT display. Same goes for any 8 and 16 bit system.

I have a 20" LCD screen now as my only television (so I can port it easily to any room) and I attached my NES to it awhile back. It looked just like the computer. What's worse the low rez of the NES did not translate well onto the 640x480 LDC display. Some lines were repeated, others were skipped. It just wasn't a Megaman I could recognize easily.

So now I ask, as we throw our bulky CRTs out the door, what becomes of retro-gaming? Is it forever ruined as it was intended to be seen? I laughed as a sold my 90lb 23" CRT for an unprecedented dollar per pound. I did hand springs and I lifted my 18lb LCD up with one hand and placed it on a credenza in my living room that would have bent and crack with a conventional monitor on it. I nearly split my pants when I saw how bright and sharp Jerry Sienfeld's teeth were now. But as I type this I have anxieties that my glorious 70+ carts and multitude of stupid controllers are going to forever gather dust because the experience on TV is no better than experience just 5 feet away on my computer. I worry that I'll never see that fuzzy, well rounded Samus sprite again, rather I'll be shedding tears onto a Logitech dual action as a skinny, jagged Samus runs her pixilated ass across a sharp, monochromic cave.

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I personally dislike scanlines a lot.

As for the NES, I seldom break out my collection, preffering to emulate on my Dreamcast. I get the comfort of being infront of the TV, but the image is a proper sharp RGB one.

From what I can tell, you therefor hate playing games with an RGB scart cable, and prefer an RF lead? Because the RGB makes things crisp.

Erm... please don't be offended as a new user here. But I must say:

WTF?!

(please tell me you've at last tried RGB gaming. Because you know what they say, once you go RGB, you never go back)

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I have kept my old 14" TV specifically for using my Spectrums on, and as for my Amiga and ST, decided to go the hog and get the monitors to go with them, hate scan lines and emulation (only where needs must), BUT I have the luxury of having the space to have them all setup side by side in my own games room (or as the misses calls it my "geek" room).

I will be updating my main TV to a plasma in the coming year, but the old one will be moved to the otehr room for the SNES/NES and N64 to grace <_<

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(please tell me you've at last tried RGB gaming. Because you know what they say, once you go RGB, you never go back)

To my knowledge, the NES doesn't do RGB. It reads like he is still using his NES and the TV is at fault; it'll look balls no matter what he is playing on, mostly because the NES resolution is tiny compared to even the DC emulation (which, I think, outputs 640x480 so must do some resizing before hand; you're not getting the 'original' picture, probably why scanlines look crap).

Me personally, I don't rate LCD TVs. I thought the higher range sets were capable of resizing the display to fit, nicely? I guess the old NES is just too 'small' a resolution to do it well. At least 'newer' consoles are OK, for the most part. I dunno, I've run my MSX on my plasma, PC Engine too and they look pretty nice. I can't use my lightguns though <_<

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Yeah, the NES can't do proper RGB, which is why emulation on the DC makes them look so nice. I still use V.03, which just doubles the resolution to fill the screen.

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I can't use my lightguns though ;)

In that respect though we're going back to the old days of the Menacer and the Scope. Lightguns that work with LCD and other HD formats use something to sit on you TV like those other guns did.

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This is the exact same reason i have my emulators run with an interpolation filter to give them that lovely slightly blurry/smooth/pixelated look they had on the TV screens they were orginally intended to be displayed on

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I don't think it's such a big threat at the moment - we can all keep hold of our portable tellies for now (or big 'uns!). What Mark 2000 should possibly be worrying about is that with the push towards making and getting everyone to use plasma HDTV tellies and stuff like that, CRTs may go completely out of manufacture...

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Yeah, older consoles' games look terrible on non-CRT displays.

Scanlines are vital for sprites and background images to look as they were intended, i.e, good.

Yoshi's Island looks fantastic though. Love playing that on my modded xbox.

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Yoshi's Island looks fantastic though. Love playing that on my modded xbox.

Visually that game is exceptional though.

I'd guess those Rare-produced Donkey Kong Snes games would also probably benefit from sharper displays and graphics filters.

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Personally i can't stand LCD's for any sort of gaming. And as for filters on emulators - they're pretty handy to have and to fuck around with... but none of them come close to a real RGB display.

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Zsnes has a load of filters to give you the look your after, it can make the game more pixaled, smoothed, AA, blurred etc etc. try it out and find the one which works best on your monitor.

Ah yeah, you can push the resolution higher too, to fit an LCD display. At least one a PC you can, I assume the same of an Xbox. Given a proper VGA/Component lead, you're laughing!

...but none of them come close to a real RGB display.

Which, using a PC/Xbox or whatever, you'd be doing. RGB lead required :P

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Visually that game is exceptional though.

I'd guess those Rare-produced Donkey Kong Snes games would also probably benefit from sharper displays and graphics filters.

No - DK Country games suffer from it, imo. The 'blur' from a CRT-display TV smoothens the games, as does the Scanlines filter in Snes9x (amongst others).

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CRT TV's will always be around. Just buy one of those for your retro gaming.

Personally, I like a sharp image. I used to mess around trying to make game sprites a few years ago and find the way the pixels are arranged to create images really facinating. There's so much sensational detail in old 2d games. You could make really expressive, charismatic characters with a handful of pixels. I think that's something that 3D animators and modelers are really stuggling to recreate this generation. Just look at the woodeness of the characters in Tekken 5 compared to Street Fighter 3.

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I think that's something that 3D animators and modelers are really stuggling to recreate this generation.

Aye, I agree with that. There was some study into this kind of thing while I was at university and it is interesting to note that the closer we do get to a more realistic looking human, face or expression, the more zombie-like and emotionless it becomes having the exact opposite affect.

At least with 2D stuff, there's this level of escapism and cartoon violence that kind of makes sense.

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