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blainelocklair

Don't Throw Out That Console For Emulation Just Yet

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First, as much as anything, this is a testament to how good the work fellow AA member -^Cro§Bow^- does with his console mods. Much respect and gratitude.

 

I got an Android compatible game controller from Amazon for my 43" Toshiba Fire TV 4K set. I'm using it to control emulation gaming side loaded on the TV through RetroArch Fire TV edition. Everything works great and isn't too laggy or anything like that.

 

My Genesis is a Model 1 VA6 that was s-video and FirebrandX audio amp modded by -^Cro§Bow^- early in the year. It runs through a RetroTINK 2x to HDMI on the TV. Just for kicks, I though I'd do a quick comparison of the RetroArch emulation of Sonic the Hedgehod and the modded Genesis to see how they looked and sounded. Folks, it ain't even close.

 

I've attached four pics below to check out. The first two are from my s-video modded Genesis and the last two from RetroArch. No comparison. Well, ok, it is a comparison since it's a comparison, but the s-video Genesis clearly (pun) wins out. Granted, this is RetroArch running in auto video mode, and better results might be possible with extensive tweaking. The difference in-person is even more stark than the photos. Even my wife picked it up immediately. I loaded Sonic and had her look at the video on the two different inputs. Her response? "Whoa." That said it all.

 

Now, I haven't used RetroArch on other consoles or computers, and I'd imagine the cores chosen, video settings, and type of system used all play into the overall outcome. But for this setup, it's a blowout. The s-video Genesis just looks amazing.

 

I'm all about emulation for its preservation value. Heck, I set up RetroArch, so that says something right there. I was just floored at how great the original console with the s-video mod looked when put up next to the emulation. Night and day. Proud to have such a nice Genesis built by such a great AA member.

 

May our beloved hardware carry on for the generations to come.

 

- Blaine

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My Genesis is a Model 1 VA6 that was s-video and FirebrandX audio amp modded by -^Cro§Bow^- early in the year. It runs through a RetroTINK 2x to HDMI on the TV. Just for kicks, I though I'd do a quick comparison of the RetroArch emulation of Sonic the Hedgehod and the modded Genesis to see how they looked and sounded. Folks, it ain't even close.

 

 

Of course it's not even close, you're comparing the original hardware with specific output tolerances to a software emulator that has to be tweaked on a per-device basis. The developer certainly doesn't have 1000 different smartTV models laying around to test.

 

This is one of the things that most software emulator dev's don't want to understand. If I, the end user are to use something, it needs to work, out of the box, and if it's to replace an existing device, it needs to meet or exceed the capabilities of the device it replaces. Nothing in Retroarch, except maybe 8-bit systems will ever come close to the original hardware in a software emulator environment. And never so out of the box. It's very likely the configuration is setup "out of the box" to run on a Raspberry Pi which has a fixed HDMI codec on it, rather than on a SmartTV device which is running it through a compositor (eg the TV can add UI layers, or PiP the video.)

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Sorry, but this whole topic sounds skewed and fairly unfair.

 

First of all, it's impossible to say anything wothout seeing your config for Retroarch & TV settings, but I'm fairly confident it should be possible to achieve much better results rather easily on a properly configured one. Here's a quick snap from my HDMI-fed PC monitor:

 

sshot-068.png

 

This is Retroarch without any filters. Even taking on board that my IPS monitor is probably bit better than a TV it still shouldn't be as bad as in your example (even though my scr$ here is already softened thanks to probably forum/host compression? On my monitor it has 1:1 sharpness).

 

Secondly, this is of course skipping the issue that to me all these shots look pretty awful (mine included) - that's because old consoles were not designed with modern TVs in mind and used composite artifacts, scanlines and CRT softness as early post processing/antialiasing methods. Therefore the super-sharp, raw output in these scr$ hurts my eyes and looks completely unnatural. And it's especially evident on Genesis and in this particular game too (the famous waterfalls later which use the dithering trick).

 

So personally I stick with CRTs, but I also must admit that the shaders got extremely good in recent years, to the point where, combined with a decent TV, they may even come close to the original look. So if I was you I would definitely want to use Retroarch with shaders, thus - paradoxically - producing the image which is closer to the original than the modded Genesis (which in turn couldn't be beaten on a S-Video sporting CRT TV).

 

This is a shot of a shader-enabled Retroarch. To me it looks zillion times better than any of the no-filter ones, thanks to the mix of bloom/glow and softness. Please note it's just a fast-and-dirty shader without any tweaks - much better results can be obtained.

 

sshot-067.png

 

 

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So we're gonna have another discussion/argument of emulation vs real hardware...

 

This is just like a biweekly event now isn't it?

Quick, call Keetah!

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Hi everyone.

 

A couple of quick things.

 

I didn't mean to upset anyone over this matter. Negativity isn't my thing. I was just hoping to share my passion for keeping our beloved consoles going, which I know many of us share. They are worth the devotion and bring joy to the many folks that still love them.

 

I like emulation. I went to the effort to install RetroArch and buy a dedicated controller for it. It's a remarkable piece of software that was worth the light learning curve to get it up and running, no doubt. My compliments to the team that makes it. I'll look into the settings and see what can be done to make improvements. These were just "out of the box" results. My son and I played some games on it for about an hour yesterday and had a lot of fun with it. I think that's still the whole reason to have any of these things, original or emulation: to have fun.

 

So, was my original post skewed? Yeah, I guess so. I do love the preservation of the classic hardware, for sure. But what I value most of all is the preservation of the culture we have all enjoyed as common experiences around those classics. Whether that be through hardware or emulation, that, most of all, is the thing worth saving. It's what brought us all together here in the first place.

 

Enjoy your day, and happy gaming to all.

 

- Blaine

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I think people shouldn't get upset over stuff like this. If you don't agree, there's plenty more socially skilled ways to address it than shown here. I'm beginning to have to agree with what Thumper's mom said about what to do when you have nothing good to say...except rather than not say anything?...just do your best not to come across sounding like a jerk.

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If you don't agree, there's plenty more socially skilled ways to address it than shown here.

I'm beginning to have to agree with what Thumper's mom said about what to do when you have nothing good to say...except rather than not say anything?...just do your best not to come across sounding like a jerk.

 

Umm, I don't know, I thought I managad to write a fairly balanced post - could you point me to exact quotes which did upset you and prompted this "lack of social skills" / "jerk" angle? While at it, you're also welcome to disagree with anything of real substance that you think is wrong with it - it's mostly technical stuff - and perhaps it'd be a better way to argue than just passing some emotional, unsubstantiated judgements.

 

It's seldom that people can disagree without causing at least a slight amount of ill-feeling but it's also entirely possible, as envisioned in OPs mature reply. On my side, I was neither "upset" nor meant to upset anyone when writing my post - it was simply a reaction to rather strong statements such as "it's not even close!" contained in two first posts . Yep, I did think it's a bit unfair towards the Retroarch side hence my input here. There's a lot of passionate people in this hobby and I totally get where OP is coming from but I also don't see why we shouldn't dispute some misconceptions.

 

 

Is it live or is it Emulex?

 

Emulex ...a decent job though :)

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