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CollectorVision Phoenix Kickstarter is now live!

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"You should never argue with a crazy man" - Billy Joel

 

I'm sticking with this advice.

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Thank You for posting that captured footage. I think it would be a good idea to add it to the kickstarter page.

 

You're welcome. I'd like to work on getting a better capture that doesn't stretch out the screen. Maybe Brian has a solution or my equipment just isn't good enough. Like I said, I'm just here to help. I wanted to champion the system through our Facebook pages which is why I was sent a prototype system. And with my background in game development and hardware development it probably wasn't a bad idea to have me at least look at the system and give some feedback which I am also doing.

 

I'll re-group with him after he gets back from PRGE and we can see if there is a better way to capture footage. But to be honest, the captured footage that is in the video on the Kickstarter page looks exactly the same as what comes out of the Phoenix so I'm not exactly sure if it would make much of a difference.

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I brought up what I considered flaws well before the kickstarter launched. I told them multiple times they should at least implement 720p before continuing on because I truly believe it would be an issue for a lot of people. This wasn't just brought up recently.

 

And as a proud owner of AVS, Super NT and soon Mega SG you're darn right I'm going to speak highly of them, because they are currently the gold standard of FPGA devices. There is nothing wrong with comparison, its perfectly reasonable. As I said before, 4 yrs ago this project would have likely got fully funded, but people have certain expectations now and you just can't get away with selling an FPGA system at the same price as others and not offering similar features like HD output. I'm sorry if that bothers you but its just the way it is. Its really the pricinpal of the idea, even if 480p is perfectly playable.

Can you expand on the benefit of 720p? I understand it's evenly divisible into 2160, but 1080p and 720p televisions will still require scaling. And there is no guarantee that a 4k TV will scale a 720p picture with low latency nor will it be consistent between different television models. If 480p is perfectly playable with a good picture and is already implemented in f18a, what's the urgency for 720p.

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LCD picture just doesn’t look right. It doesn’t look same as original CRT. Reminds a lot playing games with emulators with PC or Mac. HDMI is a nice option these days but just like original Colecovision experience. It’s nice that there is coming expansion for analog outputs. But expansion is always expansion. It’s not as compact if it already had those connectors itself.

It reminds me a little bit of Ultimate 64 that’s also FPGA based Commodore 64 system. It also has analog output not only HDMI and I am sure people wouldn’t be too happy if it was only HDMI.

LCD pic just look wrong.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Mika73

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LCD picture just doesn’t look right. It doesn’t look same as original CRT. Reminds a lot playing games with emulators with PC or Mac. HDMI is a nice option these days but just like original Colecovision experience. It’s nice that there is coming expansion for analog outputs. But expansion is always expansion. It’s not as compact if it already had those connectors itself.

It reminds me a little bit of Ultimate 64 that’s also FPGA based Commodore 64 system. It also has analog output not only HDMI and I am sure people wouldn’t be too happy if it was only HDMI.

LCD pic just look wrong.

Sadly, this console isn't for you, Mika.

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Will people at PRGE get to actually use the system? I hope so, it could make all the difference if some big YouTube person gives it their stamp of approval. How many prototypes exist?

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J727AZ using Tapatalk

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The system will be out and playable at Prge. We have already talked to several people about stopping by and checking it out.

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I've just pledged for the console with boxed Sydney Hunter. Would have done earlier, but wanted to make sure I have the funds.

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I still don't get this 720p. 256 x 192 original resolution on a crt. Doubled is 512 x 384 which fits nicely inside 640x480 vga or 480p.

 

The system is almost 40 years old it doesn't do a higher resolution than that. All it would do is quadruple the same lines and still make more or less the same sized picture.

 

I'm not mad about it I just don't get why it would matter to anyone. I have f18a modded colecovision. I use it through vga on a lcd tv. looks great to me.

 

To be honest … I prefer the crt though with the original output but I have an adam hooked up for that option anyways.

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I don't even understand comments like this. I currently have it plugged into a 48" HDTV and it looks absoultely fantastic.

 

Look, the best I can do to satisfy your concern is compare the CollectorVision Phoenix and the Nt Mini. To be honest they BOTH look great. And if you just want to play the legacy games and the homebrew ROMs that have been released, then play on the Nt Mini. But if you want to play your original cartridges, and have a system that has been tailor made for the ColecoVision Fan, then by all means help us make the Phoenix happen.

 

The F18a chip has been around long enough that is has quite a bit of respect from this community and absoultely enhances the look and quality of even standard ColecoVision games. And that is not me doing "damage control" that is me just being 100% supportive of this project since I've been using an F18a modded ColecoVision for the past 3 years now and I would love to see it be made more readily available to people without having to crack open their 1982 system and do a fairly complex modding job.

 

Maybe I'm just "content" knowing that the Phoenix is an "all in one" version of my daily use ColecoVision and I know that system with all the mods I've put into it is about $400 so I look at the Phoenix at $199, even $299 as an absolute "no brainer." It's plug and play and it does everything I need it to do, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

 

Here's what Donkey Kong looks like paying via the Nt Mini...

attachicon.gifdonkey kong mini nt.jpg

 

Here's what Donkey Kong looks like paying via the CollectorVision Phoenix...

attachicon.gifDonkey Kong Phoenix.jpg

 

Those photos have not been altered in any way other than to reduce the size of the photo.

 

I hear you complaining endlessly about the video output and I just don't get it. But maybe the difference here is I'm looking at the system on my screen and you are not. And maybe if you were looking at it on your screen, your complaints and suggestions would go away. I don't know. But this is the best I can do to help convince you.

 

For what it's worth I think the image via the Collectorvision Phoenix looks much better . Nice Fairchild btw :grin:

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Ideally you'd do a 5x internal vertical scaling at zero lag and output a 1080p signal for a 1080p display. Then a 1080p display can do a pixel to pixel mapping to minimize lag. I don't understand how 720p helps here, unless the TV can scale 720p significantly better than 480p.

 

Edit:

I'll add that showing a camera video of the system playing with the controller in the video is what I was expecting to see. Showing the flashcart working is good too. I think the videos are great. I can see how a direct video/audio feed can be used to evaluate the output quality. It looks like the system's aspect ratio is more 1:1 than 4:3 however.

Edited by mr_me
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I'm not mad about it I just don't get why it would matter to anyone. I have f18a modded colecovision. I use it through vga on a lcd tv. looks great to me.

 

This really is my thought exactly. When I look at it on my screen, it's exactly the same image as when I have my 1982 ColecoVision modded with the F18a hooked up. And that has been just fine for years and perfectly acceptable by this community since Matthew introduced it in 2012. Why is it all of a sudden now an issue? What I posted during last nights exchange perfectly sums up my thoughts:

 

Maybe I'm just "content" knowing that the Phoenix is an "all in one" version of my daily use ColecoVision and I know that system with all the mods I've put into it is about $400 so I look at the Phoenix at $199, even $299 as an absolute "no brainer." It's plug and play and it does everything I need it to do, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

 

Maybe some people just don't quite understand that 720p isn't a "must ship with" feature but a "could ship with" feature. And if it makes it into the final release, that's awesome! Go dev team! And if it doesn't, the whole point of this console being "open source" is so features like this could be added later if there was a demand for it.

 

My guess is that people are going to connect it to their HDTV screens and go... "OH! That looks GREAT!" and then have no need for anything further.

 

This is what it looks like connected to my 65" 4K HDTV in my living room...

DK 70 inch.jpg

 

I just do not understand why people need anything more than this... What am I missing here?

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In regards to the 720p request. I have been told that 720p is better due to tvs blurring when scaling pixel graphics at 480p.

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I never even thought about 720p but I guess it would be cool if it was supported. No big deal to me though. This ad that was placed on Twitter shows how great of a deal this system is for $200. The only question to me is how many Colecovision fans are still interested. The SGM alone is worth $150 and is part of the system! The SD rom support is worth another $100 instead of buying the Coleco SD cart!

 

 

post-25646-0-87036900-1540047755_thumb.jpg

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WTF... am I missing something here with all this 720p bull crap! I didn't hear any kid complain back in the early 80s about the video quality thru RF output and having to deal with crappy TVs and overscan, snow, ghosting, crackiling audio, screen rolling, fighting your siblings for the TV, father coming home from work early and feeling how hot the TV was to see if you were playing games or doing your homework, etc., etc.

 

Want, want, want, want, want! How about strap on a set and deal with it or take your ball and go home alreaady.

Edited by NIAD
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I just realized a huge plus for me in the snes controller port.. I have the snes super advantage arcade style controller, so I could use that to play all my CV favorites. I can't believe I didn't think about that before. I have been on the fence about getting one of those awesome arcade controllers for the CV, but this could tide me over until I decide on it.

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It looks like the system's aspect ratio is more 1:1 than 4:3 however.

 

Here is a video I originally posted to my ColecoVision Fan Facebook page over two years ago (I just re-uploaded it to YouTube today so I could embed it):

 

I'm not sure exactly what aspect ratio the F18a is, that's probably a good question for Brian or Matthew to answer, but what I see on my screen with the Phoenix looks exactly like what I shot in this video in May 2016 with my F18a modded ColecoVision output to VGA and then converted to HDMI. I was under the impression that whatever the aspect ratio of the F18a was is completely "acceptable" by the ColecoVision community.

 

It looks amazing to me, and yes, not as "wide" as a stock ColecoVision, but is that a bad thing? Honest question here only because ever since I got my first F18a modded ColecoVision I have been nothing but impressed by it. The colors are more vibrant, the sprite flicker is gone, and at least in my opinion, I prefer the aspect ratio that is displayed on the screen.

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It looks amazing to me, and yes, not as "wide" as a stock ColecoVision, but is that a bad thing? Honest question here only because ever since I got my first F18a modded ColecoVision I have been nothing but impressed by it. The colors are more vibrant, the sprite flicker is gone, and at least in my opinion, I prefer the aspect ratio that is displayed on the screen.

 

I suspect that the aspect ratio differences are likely down to how your TV has been set to scale for each input and is not down to the CV or F18A. On my TV each input can be set to scale/stretch differently and it remembers the settings for each one of those inputs. Although some inputs and resolutions have more limitations than others.

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I suspect that the aspect ratio differences are likely down to how your TV has been set to scale for each input and is not down to the CV or F18A. On my TV each input can be set to scale/stretch differently and it remembers the settings for each one of those inputs. Although some inputs and resolutions have more limitations than others.

 

That's a good point. Here's another test I did using a good 'ol fashioned "vanilla" ColecoVision. No mods. Hooked up via RF. And also the CollectorVision Phoenix. I didn't make any changes to my TV settings at all. And you can see the side by side differences.

 

Vanilla RF ColecoVision:

CV DK 1.jpg

CV DK 2.jpg

 

CollectorVision Phoenix:

CV DK Phoenix 1.jpg

CV DK Phoenix 2.jpg

 

Actually, let me do one more test. Here's my F18A ColecoVision for one more comparison:

 

ColecoVision w/ F18A:

DK f18a.jpg

DK f18a 2.jpg

 

And while we're at it, let's add in that image I took last night on the Nt Mini to show that even if this was 720p or 1080p it wouldn't make a difference:

 

ColecoVision Core on Nt Mini:

donkey kong mini nt.jpg

 

Looking at all four of those, I'm not sure what "magic" people are expecting. What you see is what you get. A ColecoVision. Seriously... It's a ColecoVision! Personally, I think all four of those actually still look GREAT to me! What the Phoenix offers over the other three, at least IN MY OPINION is the following:

 

- New hardware that's not 30+ years old and should extend the shelf life of the system overall.

- Output is higher quality than RF or A/V (this should be obvious to anyone, right?)

- Enhances the quality of ALL games (no sprite flicker, more vibrant colors, IMO just looks 'sharper.')

- Plays original game carts

- Plays ROMs

- No stupid huge power supply BRICK

- Connects via HDMI (For those of you who want A/V to connect to a CRT just got an HDMI > RCA converter. They are ten bucks on Amazon!)

- You can use a SNES controller! (This is actually a huge WIN for me!)

 

I spent easily more than $400 on my current F18a modded console and it doesn't even do all of that stuff.

 

And once again, this is not me doing "damage control" or me being a "salesman" this is me just being 100% psyched about this system because I truly do feel that it is what every ColecoVision fan should have: A simple plug-n-play ColecoVision console that will play everything you need it to play.

 

The last two pages of discussion make my brain hurt because I simply, honestly, just do not understand why anyone would need anything more than what is listed above or shown in the pictures.

All I am asking is that people support this project. If I am asking too much, I apologize. But I don't think I'm asking too much.

 

Thank you for hearing me out and putting up with my passion for this console! :-D :thumbsup:

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I think the earlier system like the colecovision , 2600, intellivision, etc are absolutely fine over hdmi, The systems were composite is needed for proper visuals are the genesis/snes/neo geo, where the games where clearly designed to take advantage of the blurring effect.

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Most of my tv, monitor, projector support just scart, s-video, composite and vga. Also like how CRT looks better than LCD. HDMI is nice option, but it shouldn’t be only option.

 

I been told that there will be expansion to connect old monitors. I like to have more info about that.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Mika73

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Most of my tv, monitor, projector support just scart, s-video, composite and vga. Also like how CRT looks better than LCD. HDMI is nice option, but it shouldn’t be only option.

 

I been told that there will be expansion to connect old monitors. I like to have more info about that.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

$10 on Amazon

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I just do not understand why people need anything more than this... What am I missing here?

You know what an OCD is, right? Imagine Adrian Monk playing with a CollectorVision Phoenix, pausing the game he's currently playing, approaching his face close to the large TV screen and squinting and obsessing over how the pixels are not perfectly square, or about this little bit of vertical anti-aliasing on the 56th scanline which he struggles to find an explanation for. It's funny when you watch Monk do it, because he's a fictional character.

 

But such people actually exist in real life, Robb. They bitch and complain about screen resolutions, automatic scaling (which every stinking modern TV does differently anyway) and every little screen artifact their eye catches as they're playing. This is a textbook example of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

 

And yes, I find it sad too, because the only way these people can enjoy video games is if they use a time machine to travel back to 1984, sit on the floor of their parents' 70s-decorated living room and play on their crappy CRT TV (which they remember today with pink-tinted glasses). That's long before they started experiencing power switch problems, failing RAM chips, and all the difficulties we have to worry about today. Those are the people who watch Stranger Things on TV and say "Yeah, the eighties... Those were the days.".

 

I've personally seen TV screen rendering worth complaining about, like how the display gets distorted on my own bedroom TV when I play a Game Boy Advance game on my Super NT with a Super Retro Advance adapter. The result is downright blurry, but it's probably my TV doing a bad job processing the input via the A/V cable. Chances are I'll have better luck on another TV (I haven't tried it yet).

 

The point is, complaints are sometimes warranted, but when I start reading people rambling on about 240p, 720p, 1080i, 3487dshty, 294385739457pptba and whatnot, my eyes just glaze over and my brain pushes me to skip to the next post in the thread. Really, I just ignore those people, and I say to myself "Those people should just enjoy gaming as it is, just like they did when they played games 30 years ago."

 

The bottom line: The CollectorVision Phoenix is fine as it is now. There's always room for improvements here and there, but personally I'm not asking for anything more than what is offered in the context of this Kickstarter campaign. The only thing I hope for is that the HDMI output will be integer-scaled for nice clear pixels. That shouldn't be a problem, right?

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