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newtmonkey

General upscaler thread

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On 8/19/2021 at 7:28 AM, Steven Pendleton said:

Oops, I forgot some stuff and I don't think I have enough time to edit.

 

First, there is no option to crop the image like the OSSC has. This means Mega Genesis Drive games will have the border and the RetroTINK can't do anything about that. I think it would be really great to have that option.

 

Second, fake scanlines. They are mostly just okay... except for the aperture grille. That one is not okay. It's excellent. It looks very close to my Trinitron's scanlines if I put my face within about 2 inches of the Trinitron. The only real difference is that the red, green, and blue phosphors are not there on the RetroTINK for obvious reasons. There's a new option for a thing that's basically hybrid scanlines, but I think it looks kind of weird. Overall, I think the OSSC's fake scanlines are better in general unless you use the aperture grille, which looks way nicer on the RetroTINK than trying to mimic that look on the OSSC. This probably might depend on your display and your line multiply mode, so maybe you might have a different experience.

 

I also forgot to mention that my monitor actually can handle the 5x multiply mode on the RetroTINK, as well, unlike on the OSSC, but I don't use it, as I still prefer the 4x 1080 mode since that guarantees that noting gets cut off. Yes, overscan areas exist, but that doesn't prevent me from wanting to see everything given the option to do so. Nothing in a resolution higher than the 1080 (OVER) mode works, probably because that exceeds my monitor's max resolution.

Do you mind taking some pictures of the scanline options so I can see an example?

 

My setup is pretty particular so my OSSC hasn't been very useful. I've been thinking about getting the 5X and selling my OSSC and DVDO VP50. I'm all for simplifying my chain and getting rid of some of the gadgets now.

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7 hours ago, Ricdeau said:

Do you mind taking some pictures of the scanline options so I can see an example?

 

My setup is pretty particular so my OSSC hasn't been very useful. I've been thinking about getting the 5X and selling my OSSC and DVDO VP50. I'm all for simplifying my chain and getting rid of some of the gadgets now.

My camera's resolution is too low and my photography skills are not good enough and everything will turn out blurry as hell, so take a look at RetroRGB's pictures instead: https://www.retrorgb.com/retrotink5x-new-scanline-features.html

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11 hours ago, Ricdeau said:

Thanks for the link, just what I was looking for. Now I need to sell my OSSC and DVDO VP50.

There are things that the OSSC still does better than the RetroTINK, so I am keeping mine, especially since it makes a great backup just in case. First, OSSC has less lag. RetroTINK-5X Pro has around 0.25 frames of lag (4.1675 milliseconds at ~60Hz or something like that) in frame lock and about 0.25 to 1.25 frames of variable lag in triple buffer mode, but only occasionally, as I believe I read somewhere that in triple buffer mode it repeats a frame on occasion or something like that, which is when you'll have lag. Not sure of the specifics on that and that might even be completely wrong and I don't know if you'd be able to detect that much lag, but I can't detect the lag on the Framemeister, which has way more lag, so the lag on the RetroTINK does not bother me at all because I can't tell it's there, even though I know it is. OSSC has only several microseconds of lag (0.61 milliseconds or something).

 

OSSC can also crop the borders on Mega Drive/Genesis games. RetroTINK can't do that, so if the overscan areas annoy you, use the OSSC for that system. You'll still have to put up with resolution changes on the OSSC, though; RetroTINK's triple buffer completely prevents loss of signal in all situations that I have personally encountered and it's amazing because of that.

 

OSSC also has better video quality with optimal timings, but I think the RetroTINK's generic 4:3 looks better than the OSSC's generic 4:3, and unlike on the OSSC, the RetroTINK's generic 4:3 is actually so good that I'm considering not even using the optimal timing modes and just using the generic 4:3 unless I encounter something that is in widescreen like PSP games.

 

Still, if you want to get rid of the OSSC, that's your choice, especially since the RetroTINK isn't in stock right now.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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I don’t even use my OSSC because it doesn’t play nice with my display to be honest. It hasn’t been plugged in for like a year and a half. I’d rather get it in the hands of someone that can make better use of it and offset my eventual cost of a RetroTINK or one of the other scalers on the horizon, like the Pixel Morph FX, that should fit my particular needs better.

 

The lag isn’t an issue for me. Thankfully I’m not overly sensitive unless it’s unusually high. 1-2 frames I don’t even notice really.

 

I can crop straight from my display if it comes down to it. I would be surprised if it’s not added as a feature though. I would think that shouldn’t be a difficult thing to add, but I could be making a bad assumption.

 

I just want something easy at this point. The more plug and play the better. I do not have the time or patience to fiddle with settings these days like I would when I was younger.

 

I appreciate the feedback you and others have given.

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Just got an email from RetroTINK, as I'm apparently signed up to receive email news stuff from them. RetroTINK-5X Pro back in stock on August 28 at 0900 Pacific/1600 GMT. Yay~ Go forth and buy one for great justice or something.

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Anyone have Thunder Force VI and the RetroTINK-5X Pro? I just learned that this game has support for progressive scan mode and the RetroTINK is supposed to support 480p, but it seems this game's progressive scan mode doesn't work at all on the RetroTINK. Interlaced works fine, though.

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I managed to get in on the latest RetroTINK-5X batch today.  I'm not expecting to replace my OSSC with it (I am VERY happy with the image quality and aspect ratio of the OSSC... and being able to set the OSSC to 224 vertical lines is a KILLER feature).  My intent instead is to use the 5X as a neater way to handle the consoles that don't have native RGB output (i.e. FC, PCE, N64).  I currently use a Frankenstein's monster of a solution consisting of a RetroTINK 2X Pro connected to an HDMI-component converter to hook those consoles up to my OSSC; it works pretty well, but it's an eyesore and I think it's introducing some noise into the signal.

 

I'll also probably use the 5X for my PS2.  I have a Framemeister and it handles that system particularly well (the deinterlacing on the FM is quite impressive), but I think the 5X will end up giving me less lag and a nearly as good image.  It should be fun to compare the two.

 

Anyway, it will be some time before I get my hands on it (possibly not until the end of next month), but when I do I'll put it through its paces and put some images up.

Edited by newtmonkey

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42 minutes ago, newtmonkey said:

I managed to get in on the latest RetroTINK-5X batch today.  I'm not expecting to replace my OSSC with it (I am VERY happy with the image quality and aspect ratio of the OSSC... and being able to set the OSSC to 224 vertical lines is a KILLER feature).  My intent instead is to use the 5X as a neater way to handle the consoles that don't have native RGB output (i.e. FC, PCE, N64).  I currently use a Frankenstein's monster of a solution consisting of a RetroTINK 2X Pro connected to an HDMI-component converter to hook those consoles up to my OSSC; it works pretty well, but it's an eyesore and I think it's introducing some noise into the signal.

 

I'll also probably use the 5X for my PS2.  I have a Framemeister and it handles that system particularly well (the deinterlacing on the FM is quite impressive), but I think the 5X will end up giving me less lag and a nearly as good image.  It should be fun to compare the two.

 

Anyway, it will be some time before I get my hands on it (possibly not until the end of next month), but when I do I'll put it through its paces and put some images up.

I didn't expect to replace my OSSC with it. I replaced my OSSC with it.

 

I miss the cropping feature on the OSSC and I will miss not having VGA if I get a new monitor that does not have VGA if I ever get a VGA box for my Dreamcast, but other than that...

 

I still have the OSSC, but I basically see absolutely no reason to ever use it ever again unless my RetroTINK breaks or if I want to line multiply Dreamcast VGA out instead of putting it directly into my monitor.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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I'm curious why Framemeisters are still selling on average for over $300. There have been a few sold for less, and a few sold at higher prices, but $300-ish seems to be about the going rate. While I still rock my FM and don't plan on upgrading, I don't understand why anyone new to this would go out of their way to get one in a time where the TINK 5X exists.

 

 

fm.png

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On 8/23/2021 at 11:26 AM, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

fake scan lines are like fake boobs

 

So you mean.. better than no boobs?

 

 

 I also tried out the retrotink 5x.. and will be mostly retiring the OSSC.. at least for PCE.

Edited by turboxray
retrotink
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2 hours ago, Austin said:

I'm curious why Framemeisters are still selling on average for over $300. There have been a few sold for less, and a few sold at higher prices, but $300-ish seems to be about the going rate. While I still rock my FM and don't plan on upgrading, I don't understand why anyone new to this would go out of their way to get one in a time where the TINK 5X exists.

 

 

fm.png

Two more probable cases are availability of the Retrotink 5X and information out in the wild being another. It's still still new and when people are searching for info they are likely to find more about the Framemeister.

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Well, I have the official Sega

On 9/25/2021 at 7:27 PM, Steven Pendleton said:

VGA box for my Dreamcast

coming in the mail soon. Time to test the OSSC with the Dreamcast's VGA output with the supposed best VGA box there is.

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On 9/28/2021 at 2:39 PM, turboxray said:

So you mean.. better than no boobs?

 

 

 I also tried out the retrotink 5x.. and will be mostly retiring the OSSC.. at least for PCE.

I imagine far more would be happy with an A cup than obviously bolted on oranges under the skin that would be fake scanlines. :P

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Here is something I don't think anyone has shown yet: Dreamcast + official Sega VGA box + OSSC (2x + optimal-ish timings + DTV mode). My camera is not good enough to pick up the heavy dithering that the Dreamcast's VGA output has, but it's there in person and quite ugly. Sakura Taisen doesn't officially support VGA, but you can do the thing with the switch to make it run in VGA mode anyway.

 

Pic_1003_800.thumb.jpg.c831aaeb7a5808bb9fabde93fef70a71.jpg

 

Now here is the exact same scene on Saturn with RetroTINK 5x Pro set to 1080p (under) and HD Retrovision. The difference in visual quality between the Dreamcast and Saturn versions is incredible. Check out the text, the folds of Sakura's clothes, and the outline of her entire portrait. Kanji with higher stroke counts are much easier to read on Dreamcast, and Sakura looks more like a typical video game sprite on Saturn and more like she was drawn by hand on paper on Dreamcast.

 

RetroTINK Saturn 320 mode + Saturn + HD Retrovision

Pic_1003_804.thumb.jpg.6d52a9f9f1a5055e22a119facf424164.jpg

 

RetroTINK Generic 4:3 + Saturn + HD Retrovision

Pic_1003_802.thumb.jpg.c15a4f447e44a57c433085b9233c36f9.jpg

 

Finally, Dreamcast + official Sega S-video cable + RetroTINK (generic 4:3 because there are no Dreamcast presets + motion adaptive deinterlace)

s-video.thumb.jpg.fd4a86c081bb52b2ffc40d43701de341.jpg

 

As you can see, there is some variance in aspect ratio depending on your settings, and the Dreamcast's S-video, while noisy, soft, and interlaced, still actually looks quite good through the RetroTINK, but S-video still looks much better on a CRT. I don't really feel like plugging my Dreamcast's VGA box directly into my monitor's VGA port, as my camera isn't really good enough to show the difference between that and VGA + OSSC, but using the OSSC gives a slightly but noticeably sharper picture than just plugging it directly into the monitor.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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I received the RetroTINK-5X Pro today and spent an hour or so with it (Famicom connected via composite).  The convenience of having a single device supporting everything from composite to RGB & component video is very nice.  The comb/notch filters also really make composite sources look fantastic.  Some of the scanline filters look fantastic also—I settled on the "intensity modulation 50%" setting, which looks quite like a consumer CRT.

 

I'm not really in love with the device though.  I found nearly every output resolution to be horizontally off-center to some degree or another, and there is no way to correct this with the RT itself.  The 1080 FILL mode, which I was planning to use, ended up pretty disappointing as it appeared to be something like 8+ pixels off center horizontally.  The 1080 OVER setting was more centered, but cuts off too much of the image vertically for my tastes.  I settled on 720P, which was mostly centered (and honestly looks better for composite sources than a higher resolution imo), and did an all-directions zoom with my TV to approximate setting the image to 224 pixels vertical, and this looked fine.

 

It would be REALLY nice if a future FW update let you adjust the horizontal position, like you can do with the vertical position.  It would also be nice if left/right edge masking could be added.  This would give you a lot of flexibility in adjusting the aspect ratio, etc. in conjunction with TV settings.

 

It's a fun device, and I'll use it for consoles that only natively support composite and s-video, and possibly for the PS2 (to replace the Framemeister).  For RGB, I'll stick with the OSSC which imo looks absolutely stunning when setup correctly and offers lots of flexibility for centering your image and correcting aspect ratio (somewhat).

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Follow-up: My SCART RGB input seems to be defective.  I tried using my SFC and MD via quality RGB SCART cables, but just get a nasty image covered with horizontal blue lines flickering all over the screen.

 

DSC_0619.thumb.JPG.23e58d865b39807a284d1930bc9a09d7.JPG

 

I tried downgrading the FW to see if the latest FW might be the issue, but I get the same issues.  I'm sure Mike Chi will replace it if I contact him, but that of course means another 50 USD to send it back, then another 90 USD (60 USD DHL shipping, plus the infamous 30 USD DHL "tax", even though neither the US nor Japan charges any kind of import/export tax on things like this), so now I am looking at a total cost of 530 for this thing.  Not pleased.

Edited by newtmonkey
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I'm no RGB expert, but do know there's a variety of styles of RGB cables thanks to things like composite sync and sync-on-luma. Might not hurt to contact Mike Chi to help you troubleshoot it first, just in case it's an issue with the style of RGB cable rather than a Retrotink 5X issue.

 

I believe what's known as TTL CSync in particular can be problematic and can even damage components since the voltages are much higher than with the other methods. And in fact the product page for the Retrotink 5X strongly warns against connecting a RGB source using TTL CSync.

 

Seems unlikely to be a compatibility issue given that it's happening to both your MegaDrive and Super Famicom, but it couldn't hurt to inquire before initiating the repair process and biting the bullet on all of those silly fees. I've seen him remotely solve some issues before that at first glance sure looked like a defective product.

 

And let's say the first RGB cable you plugged it did use TTL CSync and sadly damaged a component inside your Retrotink 5X. You'd sure want to know that rather than find it out the hard way when your repaired Retrotink 5X returns and the same thing happens again. 

Edited by Atariboy
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I really want a retrotink now. I wish I just went and bought one of those instead of all the stupid little random cables over the years for each system.  I saw someone mention a vga dreamcast box.. I was digging around through my stuff recently and saw that I never sold that along with my dreamcast collection and I have no use for it.  (i doubt i'll use a dreamcast on a vga monitor ever in the future.. just a crt if i decide to get another one).   It's a clear little blue box if anyone here wants it.  If it's even worth mailing, they are probably like a dollar on ebay i;m sure, but if not, i'm willing to mail it out to anyone to get rid of.

 

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I did a lot of testing last night.  Unfortunately, RGB SCART and component simply do not work properly, so I contacted Mike Chi and he indicated he would replace the unit.  I briefly considered just using it as is for composite/s-video only, but I'm worried that whatever is wrong with my unit could cause future failure/damage, so I have decided to have it replaced.  I figure 500+ USD for completely working unit is better than 400 USD for one that only partially works.

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22 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

Follow-up: My SCART RGB input seems to be defective.  I tried using my SFC and MD via quality RGB SCART cables, but just get a nasty image covered with horizontal blue lines flickering all over the screen.

 

DSC_0619.thumb.JPG.23e58d865b39807a284d1930bc9a09d7.JPG

 

I tried downgrading the FW to see if the latest FW might be the issue, but I get the same issues.  I'm sure Mike Chi will replace it if I contact him, but that of course means another 50 USD to send it back, then another 90 USD (60 USD DHL shipping, plus the infamous 30 USD DHL "tax", even though neither the US nor Japan charges any kind of import/export tax on things like this), so now I am looking at a total cost of 530 for this thing.  Not pleased.

Before you spend the money to have it shipped/replaced, I would try it on a newer TV set. That looks a lot like what my OSSC was doing to my HDMI capture card (i.e. there are quite few different "color" modes for a HDMI signal, as well as color 'ranges' full/limited and color profiles like 601, 701, 2021, etc). I would try that, and difference res modes too. Not just color mode, but there's also a flag for the type of video signal (OSSC also gave me headaches in this area), and maybe he's inadvertently using a different mode for RGB/comp than Y/C. Because from the pic you posted, it's clear that it's not as simple as missing green or red. I can clearly see the brightness of the pixels in that image, which suggests the output is YUV not RGB (again, color modes).

Edited by turboxray

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On 10/6/2021 at 2:40 PM, newtmonkey said:

I did a lot of testing last night.  Unfortunately, RGB SCART and component simply do not work properly, so I contacted Mike Chi and he indicated he would replace the unit.  I briefly considered just using it as is for composite/s-video only, but I'm worried that whatever is wrong with my unit could cause future failure/damage, so I have decided to have it replaced.  I figure 500+ USD for completely working unit is better than 400 USD for one that only partially works.

Quoting myself here to update the situation.  Mike took good care of me and I have a fully working Retrotink 5x now. :)

RGB looks great indeed, but I will probably still use my OSSC for most systems due to how tweakable it is.  I will use the RT5x for my composite/S-video systems, and PS2.  Time to retire the good old Framemeister!

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