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$400 N64 with UltraHDMI?! Is it worth it?

N64 Nintendo 64 UltraHDMI Metal Jesus

36 replies to this topic

#1 Metal Jesus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:21 AM

About a year ago I got the UltraHDMI kit installed in a N64, which does some things few other mods like this do like capturing video as digital RGB, optionally adding processing like scanlines and crop/fill, producing up to 1080p HDMI output with digital audio. Plus it's anti-blurring process is something that needs to be seen to be believed! This my review of the kit and whether I think it's worth the high cost.

 
 
As a side note, I love how you can output SD video through the normal AV port at the same time, which allowed me to capture both in real time and make this exact comparison possible!


#2 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:41 AM

It was worth it for me! Hard to go back to playing N64 through composite now...though I think I only paid about $250 to have an existing system I owned modded.  Picture of mine below :D

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#3 Thomas83Lin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:53 AM

replying to the last part of your video so you know, newer rgb mods for the N64 also has a deblur option. I've been thinking about going hdmi myself but already having a rgb modded N64 its hard to justify the cost.


Edited by Thomas83Lin, Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:54 AM.


#4 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:07 AM

Maybe I remember different than some, but the N64 has always been blurry, even in the CRT days.  Visiting the store kiosks and seeing Mario 64 vs Crash Bandicoot it was fairly noticeable.

 

I'm waiting on the latest kit batch to ship, and I'll install it myself.  I was using S-Video with the Framemeister, and was considering RGB, but if I'm going to crack the system open to solder it might as well be the best option.



#5 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:16 AM

I am so going to do this... when the day comes I have the money. That day is likely far in the future.

#6 Metal Jesus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:54 AM

It was worth it for me! Hard to go back to playing N64 through composite now...though I think I only paid about $250 to have an existing system I owned modded.  Picture of mine below :D

 

 

Yeah, I kinda wish I would have went for a better base N64...since the mod is so special and awesome! I should have used a Funtastic color


Edited by Metal Jesus, Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:55 AM.


#7 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:12 PM

You have to sub a motherboard from an earlier black 001 N64 but that is easy enough to do. You could always do it with the one you had modded as well, just find a fried funtastic N64 on eBay for cheap :D

#8 Greg2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:22 PM

I have an RGB modded N64, and honestly, playing via component and S-Video (native) are barely distinguishable.  On my CRT TV, not really at all.  I mean, if the HDMI thing does extra stuff like texture smoothing or something, fine, but then you really aren't playing a true N64 at that point.  



#9 GoldenWheels OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:23 PM

Man I really want this but just cannot justify the dollars. This would let me play my 64 on the HD projector with almost no lag. Ugh.



#10 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:36 PM

Let me reiterate it's not $400 these days, $200-$300 can make it happen. And if you play enough N64 I can assure you that it's well worth it.

Edited by travistouchdown, Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:36 PM.


#11 GoldenWheels OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:47 PM

Let me reiterate it's not $400 these days, $200-$300 can make it happen. And if you play enough N64 I can assure you that it's well worth it.

*Considers the prospect of playing WCW/NWO Revenge on a 120+ inch projected image with almost no lag*

 

*checks bank account*

 

*tears*



#12 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:20 PM

 

About a year ago I got the UltraHDMI kit installed in a N64, which does some things few other mods like this do like capturing video as digital RGB, optionally adding processing like scanlines and crop/fill, producing up to 1080p HDMI output with digital audio. Plus it's anti-blurring process is something that needs to be seen to be believed! This my review of the kit and whether I think it's worth the high cost.

 
 
As a side note, I love how you can output SD video through the normal AV port at the same time, which allowed me to capture both in real time and make this exact comparison possible!

 

 

 

It was worth it for me! Hard to go back to playing N64 through composite now...though I think I only paid about $250 to have an existing system I owned modded.  Picture of mine below  :D

 

I sent mine in to get modded by Mobiusstriptech on Nintendoage and he charged $230 with return shipping included. I think $400 for a freshly modded console may be a bit steep, assuming a dusty old N64 still goes for $50 or less. Even with the expansion pack you're barely at $300.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I kinda wish I would have went for a better base N64...since the mod is so special and awesome! I should have used a Funtastic color

Mine is clear smoke with a led strip on the heatsink.



#13 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:22 PM

Nice and all but I'd rather find an affordable solution to happen in the future.  $400 would be well put even in the gaming realm into far more reasonably useful devices for multiple systems.  Everdrives, NeoSD's, Super CD System 3s, and other useful kits come to mind to start.



#14 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:07 PM

Betteridge's law of headlines:  "Any headline that ends in a question mark can usually be answered by the word no." 



#15 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:08 PM

It's definitely a mod I'd eventually like to have done. The picture quality seems quite nice.

#16 NinjaWarrior OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:23 AM

Looks Good, But I'm poor to get it



#17 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:22 PM

The mod is pretty, but it's just too expensive.  Maybe I'm just being stuffy about it, but I put up $100 and got the GC Video 3 HDMI external mod and wow that is a big jump and it shows, but it didn't cost me upwards of $400 either.



#18 Greg2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:29 PM

One correction I'd make is that you can mod an N64 (later versions) yourself to RGB for next to nothing.  I had it done for $45 plus shipping on a console I owned a few years back.  However, you need an RGB/SCART setup if you choose that route.  The smoothing setting on the HDMI is very nice, sort of like what an emulator can do, but again, not worth the $.  If you LOVE the 64 though probably not a crazy way to go.  If you've got ANY CRT though, like with any 240P system ever made, use S-Video.  I use component for many of them, simply because I have RGB wires and mod and such, but truthfully you don't gain much over S-Video.  Not until you get to the DC/Xbox/PS2/GCN systems that run at 480i, or 480p/720p if you have an HD CRT.



#19 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:25 PM

Nice if I had money to burn, if I want high RES N64 I will just play them in emulator using my Adaptoid (hooks up original N64 pad to PC) otherwise it is basic N64 console in standard resolution. 


Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer, Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:25 PM.


#20 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:06 PM

I appreciate the posters who mention that the mod is much cheaper now.  $230 STARTS to be a price that seems like it could be worth it.  I just don't know how many N64 games I would actually play that aren't available for some virtual console or handheld somewhere.  Not to mention emulation (but that has its drawbacks).

 

Great video as always Metal J!



#21 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:32 PM

This mod is a good example of why if you're going to be in the hobby, it's worth the time to learn some soldering.  A nice little soldering station can be had for around $50.  You'll save yourself money down the road.  I've replaced capacitors, modded joysticks, installed RGB kits etc...   A car guy wouldn't be caught without a decent set of tools and a little knowledge, right?  Same idea.

 

At the end of the day, I'm only into the UltraHDMI mod for $150 plus shipping for the kit.  Console is already owned.


Edited by keepdreamin, Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:33 PM.


#22 omegadot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:24 AM

Man, that is steep.  

 

I appreciate the posters who mention that the mod is much cheaper now.  $230 STARTS to be a price that seems like it could be worth it.  I just don't know how many N64 games I would actually play that aren't available for some virtual console or handheld somewhere.  Not to mention emulation (but that has its drawbacks).

 

Great video as always Metal J!

 

 

As the price creeps up for any mod that really becomes part of the equation for me.  N64 has a spotty emulation experience between just buggy experiences and getting things like the dead zone right on the controllers.  But it also has the benefit of great framerates for games like Goldeneye that didn't age unscathed.  

 

This does look super cool, though and I could see talking myself into it.



#23 Greg2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:53 AM

This mod is a good example of why if you're going to be in the hobby, it's worth the time to learn some soldering.  A nice little soldering station can be had for around $50.  You'll save yourself money down the road.  I've replaced capacitors, modded joysticks, installed RGB kits etc...   A car guy wouldn't be caught without a decent set of tools and a little knowledge, right?  Same idea.

 

At the end of the day, I'm only into the UltraHDMI mod for $150 plus shipping for the kit.  Console is already owned.

 

Well, anyone charging $150 to solder is flat out ripping you off, and I would say thanks but no thanks.  Don't think I ever paid even HALF that for the labor on a mod.  The bulk of the cost is always the new hardware.



#24 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:34 AM

 

Well, anyone charging $150 to solder is flat out ripping you off, and I would say thanks but no thanks.  Don't think I ever paid even HALF that for the labor on a mod.  The bulk of the cost is always the new hardware.

 

That $150 I mentioned is the cost of the kit.  I'm doing the install.



#25 wongojack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:21 AM

 

Well, anyone charging $150 to solder is flat out ripping you off, and I would say thanks but no thanks.  Don't think I ever paid even HALF that for the labor on a mod.  The bulk of the cost is always the new hardware.

 

It all depends of course.  I've learned to solder and have done some pretty complicated projects.  But that was mostly just for me to learn how to do it and get a few specific things done.  Now that I know I can do it, the discovery aspect is out of the picture, and I have to decide if it is worth the time to set up my work area, get out my tools, and work through the challenges of getting a project done that I've never done before.  It might be kinda fun, but it also might be worth it to pay someone else to do it who is very experienced and able to get it done right with much less effort.

 

I've actually asked myself how much I would charge to do similar work.  I've never done this job before, but in order for me to stop my life and sit down and bang out some delicate projects like this one, it would take a fair amount.  Its not my full time job, and I'd have to squeeze it in around everything else.  I think it would have to be in the $60 - $80 an hour range to be at all interesting and then that would probably just feel like breaking even for my time.

 

Obviously someone who has this as their actual job can do it at scale and make it more affordable, but above is the type of bargain that I have balance with my own time.







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