Jump to content
bfollowell

Finally! An Atari ST HDMI All Resolution Solution!!

Recommended Posts

Andrew Armstrong had posted on Facebook several weeks ago about a new product he had coming out that would allow us to use our Atari STs with a modern HDMI monitor or TV in all its glory with all three resolutions.

 

I've ordered mine.

 

£107.15 to the states, or about $135-$140 USD.

 

Check out his video here:

https://youtu.be/85n3ucITO34

 

He still has kits for the STE available. ST/STF/STFM/Mega kits are sold out, so you'll have to pre-order and wait for him to make more, but you can order or pre-order here:

https://backofficeshow.com/

 

Edited by bfollowell
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be much more careful if I were you. There is a long thread on AF where various aspects of such adapters are discussed. Most of the cheap China-made ones are just "pass trough" circuits, i.e. you LCD must support 15 kHz horizontal refresh rate.

 

Then there are well proven solutions like Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC) which work well but are quite expensive.

 

Everything inbetween has offered inferior quality and/or had issues for overscan resolutions (demos, games). Not saying that this is the case here but judging from his YT comments (where he admits he hasn't tested it with ANYTHING ELSE than a few games) I would be very catious to spend $100+ on this.

 

EDIT: start reading here: http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=20971#p346101 (see especially evil's posts with his results and test prg).

Edited by mikro
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mikro said:

I would be much more careful if I were you. There is a long thread on AF where various aspects of such adapters are discussed. Most of the cheap China-made ones are just "pass trough" circuits, i.e. you LCD must support 15 kHz horizontal refresh rate.

 

Then there are well proven solutions like Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC) which work well but are quite expensive.

 

Everything inbetween has offered inferior quality and/or had issues for overscan resolutions (demos, games). Not saying that this is the case here but judging from his YT comments (where he admits he hasn't tested it with ANYTHING ELSE than a few games) I would be very catious to spend $100+ on this.

 

EDIT: start reading here: http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=20971#p346101 (see especially evil's posts with his results and test prg).

Well, this one isn't just a pass-through and it doesn't require 15kHz, according to the creator. Supposedly, it will work with any modern HDMI capable display. That being said, I'm sure he hasn't checked it with every known display, but if he's checked it with enough to make that claim, I'm pretty sure we can rule out it requiring a 15kHz compatible display, because those are getting more and more rare.

 

I'm not overly worried about overscan. I'm sure some games use it, but I think most software that uses it are demos, and those don't interest or concern me in the slightest.

 

Mine is already on the way anyway. I'll probably look into doing a review video when I get it, so if I wind up getting something that wasn't worth it, I'll let everyone know. If you have some good sample games and demos that use overscan that you could suggest, and where to find them, I'll check them out with it. I'll look at the thread you linked to and look for evil's test program as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to retract my comments. I would not recommend anyone order this and, if you've already ordered, or pre-ordered, I'd try to cancel.

 

It looks like this is just a rebranded $5 Chinese part with a RGB to VGA switch and a stereo adapter cable added in. Super, price-gougingly over-priced. I'm all for people making money, but this is insane.

 

Check out this thread here:

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2301&start=20#p28448

 

and you can buy the part here, without the stereo cable or the RGB to VGA adapter for about $10USD:

https://www.dhgate.com/product/special-offer-wholesale-vga-male-to-hdmi/438579466.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok regardless of what this product is/isnt, I will say that Andrew at Backoffice refunded my preorder within 10 minutes and if he's located in the UK its pretty late over there.  So I cant bash the guy too much but hope a product like this can come to fruition in the future as Id love to use my Mega 2 ST more in all resolutions since I like my Spectre Mac emu, but unfort it appears this product isnt the silver bullet.

 

I used PayPal BTW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's offered me a full refund, less shipping both ways I'm sure, if I send mine back as well. I should get a decent chunk of my money back. If I didn't already have a Best Electronics RGB to VGA cable, and I needed to purchase one, or the RGB to VGA switch adapter he provides, I'd probably consider keeping it, as it wouldn't be nearly so overpriced. Since I don't need that $40 part, it seems as if I'm paying $120 just for the adapter itself that I could buy from ebay for less than $20 shipped. And I'm not convinced now that it will work with anything other than a 15kHz compatible display, which I already have and would defeat the purpose of buying the device in the first place.

 

He's asked me to check it out upon receiving it, even if I want to send it back, because he wants honest feedback on it. Again, I can't fault him for that. It's just that, considering what I already own, and the questions that have now been raised about the device, it just seems way over priced for me.

 

Andrew himself has been nothing but polite, respectful, and professional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be great if you could test it and report back here.  I have a box that does low/med via VGA on LCD monitors but Id really like to have a mono solution as well.  HDMI is an added bonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that problem with this devices (converters of old video signals to modern standards) is low volume manufacturing. That results in high prices.  And prices are high when compare them to prices of new TVs of smaller size (which are best for use as monitor).

I'm sure that price could be in range of 20 bucks with mass production. 

Like case of USB card readers - bought for some 10 Euros very good one last year. It has 7 different connectors for diverse card types, even now barely used xD.

Only all those connectors would cost more for some low volume manufacturer.

 

I see as better solution to get some new TV, with Scart input. Prices are around 100-130 Euros. Or some multisync monitor, especially in USA. Can get used one for really low price. Then need only proper cable.  Some may say: place . Yeah - and some may say: I need 2 monitors for efficient work, fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ParanoidLittleMan said:

I think that problem with this devices (converters of old video signals to modern standards) is low volume manufacturing. That results in high prices.  And prices are high when compare them to prices of new TVs of smaller size (which are best for use as monitor).

I'm sure that price could be in range of 20 bucks with mass production. 

Like case of USB card readers - bought for some 10 Euros very good one last year. It has 7 different connectors for diverse card types, even now barely used xD.

Only all those connectors would cost more for some low volume manufacturer.

 

I see as better solution to get some new TV, with Scart input. Prices are around 100-130 Euros. Or some multisync monitor, especially in USA. Can get used one for really low price. Then need only proper cable.  Some may say: place . Yeah - and some may say: I need 2 monitors for efficient work, fun.

I agree, for now, but I "modern" solution does need to be developed. Finding a "new" device that is 15kHz compatible is EXTREMELY rare here is the U.S., though it does occasionally happen. People do occasionally win the lottery too, but I'm not betting my retirement on it! So, that leaves us to finding old, and likely used multisync devices which will start to get more rare over time due to failures and scarcity.

 

As far as the low volume driving high price, I get your point, but I'm not sure if you're referring to the OSSC and retrotink or the device I originally posted about. If you were referring to the device I originally referred to, there was no development cost to the seller. He just bought them pre-made from China for £6-£8 apiece and marked them up a couple hundred percent. If you were referring to the OSSC and retrotink, then yes, I agree and point taken.

 

Oh, and thanks to ggn and CyranoJ for mentioning retrotink. I've never heard of those, but they have some nice looking, and sounding, devices that I need to research a little more. That's the key for me now. Lots of research. No more 4am impulse buys!

Edited by bfollowell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have any of you actually used the RetroTINK-2X with an ST/STE? Does it work for the ST line? I'm used to seeing RGB to VGA cables. How would we go about getting the component output need to drive this from the ST? I can't recall ever seeing an Atari ST component cable, but I guess it would be easy enough to make one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have any of you actually used the RetroTINK-2X with an ST/STE? Does it work for the ST line? I'm used to seeing RGB to VGA cables. How would we go about getting the component output need to drive this from the ST? I can't recall ever seeing an Atari ST component cable, but I guess it would be easy enough to make one.



I have. I didn’t buy the Retrotink with the intention of using it with the ST (I already had an OSSC) but since I had a SCART>Component video converter, I tried the two together. The results were quite good.
From memory, it worked out slightly cheaper than an OSSC only, but it’s a lot of cables and devices being daisy chained for the same result.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I have. I didn’t buy the Retrotink with the intention of using it with the ST (I already had an OSSC) but since I had a SCART>Component video converter, I tried the two together. The results were quite good.
From memory, it worked out slightly cheaper than an OSSC only, but it’s a lot of cables and devices being daisy chained for the same result.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I’ll also add - the Retrotink is a line doubler. I definitely prefer the OSSC at 5x mode.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to retract my comments. I would not recommend anyone order this and, if you've already ordered, or pre-ordered, I'd try to cancel.
 
It looks like this is just a rebranded $5 Chinese part with a RGB to VGA switch and a stereo adapter cable added in. Super, price-gougingly over-priced. I'm all for people making money, but this is insane.
 
Check out this thread here:
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2301&start=20#p28448
 
and you can buy the part here, without the stereo cable or the RGB to VGA adapter for about $10USD:
https://www.dhgate.com/product/special-offer-wholesale-vga-male-to-hdmi/438579466.html


As soon as I saw the device on the video, I knew this wouldn’t work unless the LCD accept 15khz signal via HDMI. I went down this path a couple of years ago after watching another YouTuber claim the same (he actually made a follow up video with the correction, but I had already made the purchase from China).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, vattari said:

 


I’ll also add - the Retrotink is a line doubler. I definitely prefer the OSSC at 5x mode.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

It sounds like the OSSC is probably the main device of choice for displaying old systems like the ST on a modern HDMI compatible non-15kHz compatible display. I have a couple of questions about it.

 

First, how does the OSSC handle ST high resolution, or does it?

 

Second, I see a lot of OSSCs on eBay, but a lot of those are coming from China. Is there any benefit to purchasing from a domestic vendor and paying a large markup over ordering from China? I'm sure that's where they're all coming from anyway. Heck, my wife and I will be spending three weeks in Shenzhen around Chinese New Year to visit our grandson. Maybe I can buy one while I'm there and bring it home myself.

 

Thanks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, first of all, I believe all that needs to be said about the device in general, has been said, so I'm not starting this up to get that going again. I did however tell everyone, including the seller, that I would check out the device upon receipt and offer my honest opinions.

 

Well, my honest opinion is that the device itself, the device that is supposed to do the converting, does not work with anything other than a 15kHz compatible display for color resolutions, and only marginally works for high resolution.

 

I checked my ST with nine different displays using this device. This was a combination of three monitors and six televisions. The color resolutions worked with none of them. Not a single one. The high resolution mode worked on some of them, and never well. It had a splotchy, grainy image at best. Not a nice, clear picture like I get on my old NEC MultiSync monitor. From what I have seen and read over the years, TVs that will accept a 15kHz signal have always been more plentiful in the U.K. and Europe. They have always been extremely rare in the U.S., and have only gotten more so over the years. I daresay, that it's doubtful any televisions manufactured in the past six to eight years for the U.S. market will have such a feature, planned or otherwise.

 

So, much like everyone tried to tell me, and it took me far too long to come around, this "solution" is way, way over-priced and just won't work for most people, especially in the U.S., and, as such I cannot endorse this product in any way.

 

For thoroughness, these are the displays that were checked. I consider these nice, but common displays, typical of what the normal user of this "solution" may use. None of them have any great or outstanding features except for maybe the LG OLED, and none are lacking in any features, other than lacking in 15kHz signal compatibility, that would keep them from working.

 

The monitors checked were:
Asus PG279Q ROG Swift 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz Monitor
Asus VW246H 24.0" 1920x1080 Monitor
Samsung LC27F398FWNXZA 27.0" 1920x1080 60 Hz Monitor

 

The TVs checked were:
LG OLED65C8PUA
Samsung UN55HU8550
Samsung UN50KU6300
Samsung UN32M5300
Samsung UN32J4500
Samsung LN22C450

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, to his credit, Andrew issued me a full refund and told me to keep or discard everything as I saw fit. He said he's contacted everyone that has purchased one from him and has taken down the video and removed the item from his store.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow.. that flamed out.. feel sorry for him. Other stuff he has done has been great.  Tough one.

 

SO did he not know that what he was selling was a rebranded $10 item? maybe someone sold him a bill of goods?  no idea....

 

James

Edited by Bikerbob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look at it this way - I believe the total items were $20 USD - and I think he did some massaging to add the sound output as well?  SInce there was some labor on his part - not just slapping a label on something he should be entitled to some markup.  Whether you agree that $100 was too much or not depends - if it did what he claimed it to do then Id pay the $134 tomorrow again.

 

You also have to give him some props for not walking away with everyones money on this which is how alot of this stuff ends up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...