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Getting Better Image Quality with Composite A/V?


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#1 Silverfleet ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:25 AM

My apologies if this topic has been beaten to death.  :)

 

Recently, I made a big change in my little game room. I went from this:

NM2GMLWl.jpg

 

 

To this:

PL3inmSl.jpg

 

 

We got a new living room TV, so I wanted to try out having the old one (a 2010 Panasonic Viera 42" 1080P Plasma) in there. Obviously, there are some good and bad things about HDTV's and retrogaming, like the loss of light gun functionality, but I really wanted to get something in there so the late 1990's-up stuff looked better and so I could see the damn text on my 360 games. It has a number of inputs: 3 HDMI, 2 Composite A/V, 2 Component A/V, and a coaxial, not to mention a digital out for sound. My CRT only had two Composite A/V inputs and a coaxial, so this is a big upgrade. PS2 and up look FANTASTIC on this thing when hooked up via Composite, and obviously, HDMI-connected stuff looks great. 

 

The problem is with Component A/V-connected consoles, AKA the yellow wire with the red and white stereo sound wires. 

 

The TV has a 480 mode and displays in the right aspect ratios (which are also fully adjustable and have a variety of filtering options), but anything connected via that yellow cable seems to get a slightly dirty, fuzzy signal. My Genesis is by far the worst; it looks like I'm playing it through an RF modulator in a thunderstorm.

 

Aside from modding all of my classic consoles, is there a way to clean this up? Would a better quality cable with more shielding help? I don't get interference with any other form of input. It's annoying to the point where I might just play old games on my modded Wii or Retropie.  :lol:  



#2 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:09 AM

Good quality sheilded video cables may help but I wouldnt get a bunch of them maybe one at goodwill and try it out to see if its worth it

Generally that is the picture quality with composite crt's were just better at hiding it

#3 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:40 AM

Composite and component are two entirely different things.

Composite video is a signal where all colours, luminance, sync etc are mixed together. Usually it is the lowest form of video output before going to RF antenna input. The wire usually is yellow.

Component video consists of three signals divided into yellow (IIRC) and relative difference to red and blue. It is a much newer form of signal, though even the old TMS 99XX video chips from the TI-99/4A and Colecovision era used to have such signals internally. The wires usually are green, red and blue. No yellow wire is involved here.

Stereo audio consists of red and white connectors, and will be used with both composite or component video, so in order to get component video with stereo sound you would plug in a total of 5 wires.

I'm not sure if you just are mixing up the terms, or are trying to feed a composite video signal as part of the component video signal, which probably won't work as expected.

#4 Silverfleet ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:46 AM

Composite and component are two entirely different things.

Composite video is a signal where all colours, luminance, sync etc are mixed together. Usually it is the lowest form of video output before going to RF antenna input. The wire usually is yellow.

Component video consists of three signals divided into yellow (IIRC) and relative difference to red and blue. It is a much newer form of signal, though even the old TMS 99XX video chips from the TI-99/4A and Colecovision era used to have such signals internally. The wires usually are green, red and blue. No yellow wire is involved here.

Stereo audio consists of red and white connectors, and will be used with both composite or component video, so in order to get component video with stereo sound you would plug in a total of 5 wires.

I'm not sure if you just are mixing up the terms, or are trying to feed a composite video signal as part of the component video signal, which probably won't work as expected.

 

Sorry, I mixed them up. 

 

Composite: yellow wire (this is the problem)

 

Component: Red, Green, and Blue wires (these work great)

 

I'll fix my post. 



#5 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:52 AM

You can use a component cable for composite + audio and they typically are sheilded on all three wires (so its overkill for the audio signal but whatev) if you juat want to try a better cable

You can always tell the sheilded cables as they are pretty thick

#6 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:08 AM

But the same cable is OK when you connect it to your old CRT? Also if it is a custom cable from e.g. a Genesis, it isn't so easy to use another, generic cable. The majority of consoles actually have custom cables.



#7 Silverfleet ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:14 AM

I forgot to mention that these Composite A/V consoles are routed through a multi-switch. I've used it before, and it worked ok on the CRT. 



#8 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:17 AM

Are your wall jacks grounded, and in that case, are all devices connected to the same jack or at least fuse group to avoid creating a ground potential (I think the term is called) between units?



#9 Taijigamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:08 PM

Composite will look crap through newer digital TVs. Especially consoles which output 240p natively. U can get RGBS cables for those consoles or, if u live in a country where RGBS isn't common then u can get a OSSC or Frameister (recommended) to turn RGBS into upscaled HDMI for your TV.

#10 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:43 PM

yeah, if you're playing real hardware the OSSC or Framemeister are the only way to go. There are cheaper options that do okay, but systems that natively do 240p look kind of weird on those. I have this contraption and it does pretty well with my Saturn but I can't really recommend it for the non-interlaced content. 

 

I happen to be selling my OSSC and a SCART switch if you want to go that route. But it doesn't matter how you get into RGB, it's not for the faint of heart. :lol:



#11 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:42 PM

Just looking at your bottom photo:

 

The Genesis outputs RGB stock, which can be processed through mentioned upscalers to HDMI OR converted to analog component video (the red,green, blue RCA) either by HD retrovision cables or a stand alone RGB to Component transcoder. 

 

The same is true for the SNES.

 

Dreamcast should be hooked up via VGA, a lot of older HDTVs had a VGA connector.  You might not need anything, other than a DC VGA box. If no VGA connector, there's VGA to HDMI converters. (OSSC also accepts VGA)

 

N64 outputs s-video stock.



#12 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:11 PM

snes will output component with a simple mod, but your tv has to be able to input 240p on component, and not all will

 

edit and yes it looks glorious 


Edited by Osgeld, Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:14 PM.


#13 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:33 PM

snes will output component with a simple mod, but your tv has to be able to input 240p on component, and not all will

 

edit and yes it looks glorious 

 

He's got a large SNES, RGB is already connected up to the multi-out.  There's no mod required, only the cables.

 

 https://www.hdretrovision.com/snes/



#14 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:45 PM

and a damn near 400$ framemister 



#15 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:09 AM

and a damn near 400$ framemister 

 

If his TV accepts 240P via component, all he needs is the cables and can plug the SNES directly to the TV set.  The TV has component inputs already



#16 Silverfleet ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:17 AM

I know all about the Framemeister and what that magic box does, but I can't swing $400+ on something like that. I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with a cheaper solution aimed toward the classic gaming market. I was hoping better quality cables, or maybe native Component support from some of these consoles, would do the trick. I'll look into the SNES/N64 Component cables. 

 

One thing this TV does not have is S-Video input. I wish it did, but I've never seen a flat panel HDTV with one. Also, this doesn't have a VGA input. I do have a VGA adapter for the Dreamcast (and one for the 360 strangely). Maybe I can cobble together some sort of VGA-to-HDMI adapter for that. 



#17 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:39 AM

RGB from the SNES/Genesis (which the systems are outputting right now to the very ports you have composite cables currently plugged to).  Is easily converted to component video with a simple transcoder.  These devices have been around for ages.

 

https://www.ebay.com...me/273178172012

 

Oh, and right now in Atari Age's market place.  A user is offering an OSSC bundle, with a scart switcher, hdmi cable, scart cables for $170.  Which is cheaper than the OSSC sells for itself.


Edited by keepdreamin, Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:43 AM.


#18 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:23 AM

No need for a Framemeister; get component cables for everything you can. Look into HDRetrovision cables. Expensive, but not nearly as bad as buying a Framemeister. All my systems that can accommodate them have them. Get a powered component switch box. Use as little composite as possible. 

 

Pound sells a decent HDMI cable for the Dreamcast (it's like 30 bucks on AMazon), so you don't need to bother with a VGA to HDMI solution if you don't want to. They might have one for the OG Xbox, as well. 


Edited by dj_convoy, Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:25 AM.


#19 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:26 AM

 

 

Pound sells a decent HDMI cable for the Dreamcast (it's like 30 bucks on AMazon), so you don't need to bother with a VGA to HDMI solution if you don't want to. 

 

The Dreamcast doesn't output HDMI.  So whatever this cheap cable is, it's still a VGA to HDMI solution.



#20 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:32 AM

 

The Dreamcast doesn't output HDMI.  So whatever this cheap cable is, it's still a VGA to HDMI solution.

Yes, I'm aware. He doesn't need to buy a VGA to HDMI adapter. Just get one thing. 



#21 keepdreamin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:38 AM

I'd be leery of super cheap all in one options for one console.  Even just the cheap Dreamcast VGA cables are known for having poorly built connectors.

 

Reading the reviews on Amazon, there's plenty of people who aren't that impressed with the end result.  Shimmering picture, alignment issues etc...



#22 dj_convoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:14 AM

I have one, which is why I recommended it. 



#23 Taijigamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:34 PM

Running a component signal (Y, Cr, Cb or RGBS) into an old CRT is fine as it is expecting 240p or 480i. But running the same signal into a HDTV doesn't work as well because the Tv needs to upscale the 240p/480i feed into 1080p. Most HDTVs don't do this very well. This is why the OSSC and Frameister are a must for retro consoles on HDTV.

#24 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:39 PM

For Dreamcast, just wait for the HD Retrovision component cables. It'll have a switch on it as well so you will no longer have to worry about VGA compatibility issues or patch games as a workaround.

Something else to consider is once you start buying various sets of HD Retrovision cables, the prices start to add up quickly. Consider the Retro Tink for your composite and S-Video needs, assuming you don't want to upgrade higher than those. The HD Retrovision cables are awesome, but if you have a lot of systems you are probably going to want a solution that's going to work with everything you have.

Personally I'd do the Tink if you are sticking with composite/s-video, and a OSSC if you want to dive into RGB. Framemeister if you have an ungodly amount of consoles with a wide range of outputs, but that doesn't sound like the OP in this case.

Price-wise the HD Retrovision component cables are good for people that only want to plug straight in with a few systems and that's it. Any more than that and you're basically at the price of a decent scaler or line-doubler, so you might as well go with that for better flexibility.



#25 John Stamos Mullet ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:19 AM

A couple of comments here:

 

The Framemeister is good. Picture quality is fantastic. However, it introduces noticeable input lag on most retro game systems. For a Device that goes for upwards of $400 - this is completely unacceptable. Honestly, the Framemeister is really intended for converting old VHS videotape and other low res video recordings up to HD scale, but it's not really designed for fast paced button mashing retro gaming.

 

There are dozens of affordable devices on this market that will upscale your retro consoles to HD resolutions with far less input lag than the Framemeister, and with completely acceptable to excellent results, for far less money.

 

In particular, the Enko line of HD upscaling devices are excellent for this purpose. I have this one:

 

71raQIL4BxL._SX355_.jpg

 

and it does an excellent job. They retail online for $35-$40. I'm sure some purists will say "there's no way this thing will touch the quality of The Framemeister". to which I would reply: Try it.






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