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General upscaler thread

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On 1/11/2022 at 4:03 AM, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

After an entire month of gushing over the 5x pro I went back to using a CRT this weekend.. yep, no comparison.  Maybe if I was using the 5x pro on a super high end tv?

There is no true replacement for a CRT, and that will always be the best display to use older game hardware and computers on. I honestly think that CRTs, when calibrated correctly, are far superior to modern flat-panels in every way aside from CRTs being huge and heavy, although some modern flat-panel displays have faster response time than CRTs do. Lack of HDMI for modern things is a downside, as well.

 

Anyway, OSSC Pro is delayed.

 

https://videogameperfection.com/2022/01/14/newsletter-component-crunch/

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23 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

There is no true replacement for a CRT, and that will always be the best display to use older game hardware and computers on. I honestly think that CRTs, when calibrated correctly, are far superior to modern flat-panels in every way aside from CRTs being huge and heavy, although some modern flat-panel displays have faster response time than CRTs do. Lack of HDMI for modern things is a downside, as well.

 

Anyway, OSSC Pro is delayed.

 

https://videogameperfection.com/2022/01/14/newsletter-component-crunch/

I think you might be out of touch with modern flat panel displays, and I don't mean the cheap Walmart ones either. Mid to higher end ones are vastly superior to a CRT on soooo many levels. 

 

 

I use the retrotink 5x with a 65" HDR+/Dolby 4k 120hz VRR QLED TV... my 20" CRT is never gonna compare to sitting in my living type-of-experience, that friends can also enjoy as well. I use the 20" CRT from time to time, for that old aesthetics, but the retrotink 5x is just soo much more convenient.. especially when I'm sitting like 6 feet away from the screen - instead of huddled up against the 20" CRT.

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6 hours ago, turboxray said:

I think you might be out of touch with modern flat panel displays, and I don't mean the cheap Walmart ones either. Mid to higher end ones are vastly superior to a CRT on soooo many levels. 

 

 

I use the retrotink 5x with a 65" HDR+/Dolby 4k 120hz VRR QLED TV... my 20" CRT is never gonna compare to sitting in my living type-of-experience, that friends can also enjoy as well. I use the 20" CRT from time to time, for that old aesthetics, but the retrotink 5x is just soo much more convenient.. especially when I'm sitting like 6 feet away from the screen - instead of huddled up against the 20" CRT.

Agreed.  This past week I just got rid of my three 20+ inch CRT sets because the RT5X works so well.  Modern flat panels are so much better than they were even a decade ago, I remember the lag on my parents' old Sony Bravia was palpable when I hooked anything up to it.  The 4K LG I have now never has a problem syncing with odd refresh rates and has less than a frame of lag. 

 

I've reached the point where large CRTs are too much of a burden to keep around, especially if you're not comfortable with opening them up for maintenance.  I'm keeping the handful of 13/14 inchers I have for my desk.

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I'm in the same boat.  I was CRT-only for the longest time, but modern flat screen TVs are very impressive.

 

I initially had all my consoles hooked up to a Sony PVM in my office, but felt underwhelmed playing N64/PSX/Saturn on such a small screen, and didn't have the room (or inclination really) to get a large CRT.  I ended up picking up a Framemeister just for those three systems, but was so impressed with the quality I ended up moving all my consoles into the living room... now, with the OSSC and RT5x, the quality is even better.

 

I know a lot of people don't like to use the scanline filters with upscalers, but if anyone feels that the image doesn't really "pop" on a flatscreen, I really do recommend playing around with the filters.  The RT5x has a bunch of preset filters that give the image that nice high-contrast consumer TV look and help to make the image look less pixelated and more "natural" like on a CRT.  If you try it and don't like it, that's fine, but it's worth a shot.

 

It's also crucial to tune your flatscreen picture settings to get a good image out of it.  This is true for CRTs, also, but I've found that the default settings for many flatscreen TVs are simply awful.  Whenever I get a new flatscreen, the first thing I do is pop in a calibration dvd/bluray and get to work.

Edited by newtmonkey
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The OSSC Pro was indeed delayed due to component shortages.  i.e. they cannot get anything ordered at this time.  For the price that thing is going to be, really not sure why anyone would buy it.  Yes the fanboys will, but beyond that, forget it.  I was very interested initially until the first price estimates were in Framemeister territory.  The PixelFX Morph will be expensive as it is, and that one is likely to ship this year.  Kudos goes to Mike Chi for opting to rely on the available if somewhat elderly Cyclone 4 to have the Tink 5x pro out there in users' hands.

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On 1/16/2022 at 3:36 PM, turboxray said:

I think you might be out of touch with modern flat panel displays, and I don't mean the cheap Walmart ones either. Mid to higher end ones are vastly superior to a CRT on soooo many levels. 

 

 

I use the retrotink 5x with a 65" HDR+/Dolby 4k 120hz VRR QLED TV... my 20" CRT is never gonna compare to sitting in my living type-of-experience, that friends can also enjoy as well. I use the 20" CRT from time to time, for that old aesthetics, but the retrotink 5x is just soo much more convenient.. especially when I'm sitting like 6 feet away from the screen - instead of huddled up against the 20" CRT.

The Walmart ones are the ones I have the least experience with, actually, as I haven't been there in over a decade. I look through monitors in Akiba every now and then, though I have yet to see anything that makes me want to ditch my current monitor. At least, I did until I became interested in 5x scaling, but finding an HDMI monitor with speakers and a resolution higher than 1920x1080 here is not exactly the easiest thing to do and I am cheap and lazy, so...

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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I'm actually going in the reverse. I've been using scalers and flat panel displays for quite a while now, but I find I just can't get an image that feels as natural as what I get on a CRT. There's simply no replacing those natural phosphors and glow.

 

I totally get why people want to get away from CRTs. They are most certainly less convenient. For myself personally, they are worth the trouble. I've got some good sized CRTs too so there's no "huddling in front" of them. They have component inputs so the image quality is superb.

 

I guess what I am glad about now is that I have the choice to play through either an upscaler or on an actual CRT. There was a point where I pretty much had to be one or the other. I still love that emulator style look I get with my scalers, and sometimes I do just want to sit on my couch and play on my 55" screen. But other days I want that 100% natural look and feel, and for those I play on my CRTs.

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I mostly prefer the CRT's for the lack of lag. In most other respects though, I prefer upscalers on the flat panel without scanlines. It's just sharper, the colors brighter and bolder, making the CRT look dull by comparison.

Edited by DJ Clae
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On 1/17/2022 at 4:51 PM, Austin said:

I'm actually going in the reverse. I've been using scalers and flat panel displays for quite a while now, but I find I just can't get an image that feels as natural as what I get on a CRT. There's simply no replacing those natural phosphors and glow.

 

I totally get why people want to get away from CRTs. They are most certainly less convenient. For myself personally, they are worth the trouble. I've got some good sized CRTs too so there's no "huddling in front" of them. They have component inputs so the image quality is superb.

 

I guess what I am glad about now is that I have the choice to play through either an upscaler or on an actual CRT. There was a point where I pretty much had to be one or the other. I still love that emulator style look I get with my scalers, and sometimes I do just want to sit on my couch and play on my 55" screen. But other days I want that 100% natural look and feel, and for those I play on my CRTs.

I've been there for awhile now.  Especially once the HDR cables came out, I wound up moving most all the retro stuff to the 27" Trinitron.  I got the RT5x for my HDTV mainly just in case, and my old scaler died. 

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Due to space constraints, it is one way for me... flat panels. I don't have a place to put even a modest sized 21-24 inch CRT.

 

I don't mind the sharp look on some of the older consoles, actually. I think systems like the N64 really suffer on flat panel, even with a good up scaler. I could add the PS1 and Saturn to that list (though 2D figures can look fine on a flat panel). 

 

 

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Part of the issue with upscalers to flat panel displays, is that you're still dependent on the display device. In that, it's the last thing in your data path.. and not all LCD displays are created equally.

 

 If it's a desktop LCD for general computer use, it's not going to have all the higher brightness and fidelity of a good quality QLED LCD or OLED "TV". It's not just about resolution and refresh rates, and input lag. I had an older 4k HDR 65" set that I replaced recently, and when I used my OSSC on it.. when calibrated it wasn't very bright. Matter of fact, I used the 20" CRT much more often when I had that setup.. because that LCD TV didn't have the pop or glow, etc. The replacement 4k TV I bought is a world of difference with the upscalers. So much so that I don't really use the CRT anymore. I even have a 20" Sony PVM too, that's in some need of repairs, that I've been putting off because now it's not really important anymore.

 

 So point being, the upscaler isn't going to solve the issues of your display device - so content meant for LCD type device might be serviceable (shows/movies/modern games), doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the most out of your upscaler. And I'm not saying this as a video-phile either, because outside a quick calibration I don't obsessed over minor details anymore. If the upscaler isn't very impressionable, especially the retrotink 5x with the December firmware update, then it's probably your display device.

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I think modern LCD's have gotten far better at displaying old console video.  I myself prefer a CRT because old tech like 3d-glasses and light guns will still work.  Like I said, I was also forced that way because I couldn't upscale most of my systems reliably.  That's really not a problem now if you are willing to spend a few bucks.  Today's cables and upscalers are infinitely better than what I had as options 10 years ago.

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Hmmm....

 

My Framemeister xRGB-mini remote does not seem to be functioning.  I've replaced batteries even though the ones in it are good.  I've seen the Infrared LED flashing by watching it with my phone camera and I verified that I CAN control the Framemeister with my Harmony remote.  Anyone have any idea what the issue might be?  How about where I can get a spare remote?

 

Thank in advance!

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10 hours ago, KylJoy said:

Hmmm....

 

My Framemeister xRGB-mini remote does not seem to be functioning.  I've replaced batteries even though the ones in it are good.  I've seen the Infrared LED flashing by watching it with my phone camera and I verified that I CAN control the Framemeister with my Harmony remote.  Anyone have any idea what the issue might be?  How about where I can get a spare remote?

 

Thank in advance!

I just checked Solaris Japan and Micomsoft's websites and they do not appear to sell the remotes separately.

 

It's possible Micomsoft may respond if someone who knows Japanese reaches out to them directly, but there aren't any on the storefront. Nothing on eBay either unfortunately.

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I went back to using my Toshiba AF CRT and now the retrotink is just a paperweight. I was super impressed at first but I'm not really all that impressed anymore with the 5x pro.

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16 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=135

http://medusa-sc.org/index.php?title=Description

 

Lotharek MEDUSA Retro SCANDOUBLER coming soon, yep, another one!  Rather affordable.

Interesting. Could be a decent option, but the last paragraph on the Medusa wiki page seems to indicate it only does 50hz? Weird. Could be potentially pointless for a lot of us Stateside.

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23 hours ago, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

Actually I kind of take that back.  It's great when I want to play on something bigger than 14 inches.

Well, yeah, at that size...

22 hours ago, Austin said:

Interesting. Could be a decent option, but the last paragraph on the Medusa wiki page seems to indicate it only does 50hz? Weird. Could be potentially pointless for a lot of us Stateside.

Right not a great level of English-language specifications, jury is way out.

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On 1/28/2022 at 9:53 AM, Austin said:

I just checked Solaris Japan and Micomsoft's websites and they do not appear to sell the remotes separately.

 

It's possible Micomsoft may respond if someone who knows Japanese reaches out to them directly, but there aren't any on the storefront. Nothing on eBay either unfortunately.

 

I just wanted to mention that the same thing happened to me - my FM remote just quit working, and I assumed that maybe a battery had leaked or something.  This was probably around 2016 or 17, and I bought a new remote directly from Solaris.

 

I trust Austin is correct if he says they don't appear on the site, but I would still reach out to Solaris and ask about buying one.  Even if they don't list them now, they definitely did in the past.  I remember I had to buy a new English overlay for it.  Good luck!

 

edit to tag @KylJoy

Edited by glazball
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It's a shame someone can't clone the XRGB-mini Framemeister and do a few modern tweaks/improvements, as even with all of the other modern options out there, I still use that one the most.

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Does the Framemeister actually do anything better than the RT5X? The only thing I can think of is that it's a flatter surface, so you can put stuff on it with less risk of it sliding off the top, which is totally not useful at all, but other than that...

 

It does has a D-terminal input, which pretty much everything else lacks, but I don't know how common D-terminal is outside of Japan. Even in Japan, it's not very common anymore. My company recently bought a new projector, and the projector has a few different types of input: composite (lol yes, seriously, composite), VGA/DB-15 (labelled コンピューター. Obviously, this means you are ONLY allowed to plug in a computer. If you plug your Dreamcast into it, YOU ARE GOING DIRECTLY TO HELL!!!! Or something), and HDMI. No D-terminal.

 

I guess that's pretty much it. It's slower than the RT5X or the OSSC, it's about the same price as both of those combined, it lacks YPbPr input, the colors are noticeably worse than the OSSC or the RT5X, which is something I noticed immediately when I tried Dreamcast S-video on my FM, CRT, and the RT5X, and I think there are some other things that it's worse at as well, but I don't remember. It's a good device, the best (only?) option of its time, and an excellent deinterlacer, which is something the OSSC is very weak at in addition to also lacking S-video and composite input, but most modern stuff has outclassed the FM in one way or another, and I am fairly certain that the RT5X is better at basically everything, but I'd have to check again unless someone wants to remind me.

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According to Fudoh's review of the RT5X, it doesn't handle 480i input as well as the Framemeister.

 

For me, the RT5X does look really appealing but I'm not ready to give up my Framemeister yet.  I'm waiting for a RetroTink product that can also handle VGA input (for Dreamcast) and once that happens, it should be the final upscaler I will ever need.

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