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newtmonkey

General upscaler thread

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8 hours ago, cybercylon said:

Interesting point about the FM zoom feature and the Game Boy Player. I'll have to give that a try just to see how well it looks.

Yeah, it works quite well. Best with the Game Boy Interface (HF or SR) software where the default screen size is even smaller.

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23 hours ago, Austin said:

Nice! I will have to look for that option. Thanks for the heads up.

I just fired up my FM and the option to check is:

 

STATUS > FULL_STATUS > PAGE 3

For example, with my Sega Saturn I get

720p: 1.59ms

480p: 1.03ms

 

Not a huge difference in this case, but the amount of lag seems to vary from system to system.

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Here are some N64 shots.

 

The N64 is a tricky console to get looking right on modern displays.  It has built-in anti-aliasing that gives the N64 a very smooth yet sharp look when displayed at native res (240p) on a CRT, but can look terrible on a flat-screen.  There are options out there (Gameshark codes for some games, or an expensive high quality digital HDMI mod) that can disable the anti-aliasing for a sharper look on flat-screens, but I personally am not a fan of this kind of ultra-sharp "emulator" look.  Instead, I prefer a softer look for the N64.  With a scanline filter, it can look pretty close to the intended effect on a CRT.

 

The first couple of shots are of Mario 64, comparing output of the Framemeister and RetroTINK-2X Pro.  First off, the scanlines look much different between the two, and I probably should have disabled the effect for these shots!  These are all off-screen shots taken under less than ideal lighting conditions, so they don't represent how the consoles look in person.

 

2m64fm.jpg

Mario 64 scaled to 720p on the Framemeister (note: I tried setting it to 480p for a better comparison but it honestly didn't look much different and the aspect ratio needed tweaking, and I got lazy). This is basically as good as it is gonna get on the FM, and required extensive tweaking.  One of the most important things to calibrate to get good picture quality from the FM is the analog/digital conversion setting (MANUAL A/D), which can be tricky to set (too low, the image will be washed out and lack "oomph;" too high, and the image will be oversaturated with crushed detail).

I'm not 100% happy with the results.  The FM seems to add some artificial sharpness or interference between colors even though I have sharpness set to 0... this is especially noticeable between red and other colors.  Look also at the strange black artifacts on Mario's left arm and on the left sides of the bomb guys—those are not supposed to be there!

 

1M64RT.jpg

Mario 64 scaled to 480p on the RT.  Now this is interesting!  There are some noticeable differences (other than the different scanline filters).  First, the strange black artifacts seen in the FM are gone!  The softer quality of the 480p image also handles the anti-aliasing of the N64 better imo, for a much smoother image that is closer to how an N64 looks on a CRT than what the FM puts out.

 

WP.jpg

Wonder Project J2 scaled to 480p on the RT.  Just a bonus image showing some quality N64 2D artwork for a change!

 

---

 

Now, having badmouthed the FM a bit ( ;) ), I think my next post will be some shots taken of the FM scaling Sega Saturn over RGB to 720p (spoiler: it looks awesome).

 

Edited by newtmonkey
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My monitor is extremely susceptible to temporary burn-in from the OSSC's bob deinterlace. I literally only got this for the deinterlace so I can use my PS2. I'm going to have to pass it through the OSSC to convert it to HDMI to use on the Framemeister's HDMI input, so I'm not sure how that will work...

 

I can also finally use my MSX2+ because I have this, though, so I am looking forward to finally playing that system as well.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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It took me like 20 minutes of searching through the Framemeister's menu to find the damn brightness setting so I could actually see what the hell is going on... then I remembered to use the brightness switch on my cable and it looks perfect!

 

This was done on with the OSSC's stock generic setting but with the 480i set to passthrough and then whatever the hell settings my friend that I bought the Framemeister from (same guy I got my MSX2+ from, actually) but set to natural mode since junkerhq recommends that setting for general use with interlaced content + FM forced to 4:3 since the OSSC put it through in 16:9 for some reason.

 

Naturally, there's that one game that I literally bought the Framemeister to play, a game that I bought 2 copies of over 10 years ago when I couldn't understand Japanese in the hope of playing it one day. Now that I have all of this expensive hardware, enough Japanese knowledge to understand the game, and the confidence from playing other games in Japanese, it's finally time to play the best Tales game, Tales of Destiny Director's Cut.

 

The title screen and the options menus were a jumpy, flickering mess with just the OSSC by itself, but not anymore

 

Pic_0829_394.thumb.jpg.c0f0f37091c1bcce88da8631d6f3b56b.jpg

Pic_0829_393.thumb.jpg.7ed6219b06334208f54ef086df7a3f0a.jpg

 

In game looks nice, but this was the only picture I took of it because I was too busy enjoying the game

 

Pic_0829_395.thumb.jpg.db94e19d7c9d008727b9055b4b3224f8.jpg

 

and Stan looks great in the now deinterlaced cutscenes

 

Pic_0829_397.thumb.jpg.32223448362ed897f43277f3867ed70c.jpg

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Here's a couple things you might want to check:

- You want to make sure that AUTO_SCALER is set to VIDEO rather than GAME for 480i.  If you had to change IMAGE_MODE from PICTURE to NATURAL, you will likely have to change this as well:

  • 240P = Image_Mode: PICTURE, Auto_Scaler: GAME
  • 480i = Image_Mode: NATURAL, Auto_Scaler: VIDEO

- The only other thing you should probably check is HDMI_SET > OUTPUT_RANGE, and make sure it's set to whatever your TV outputs (full/standard [0-255] or limited [16-255] range RGB).  Selecting the wrong option will either crush blacks or cause the image to be washed out, hiding details in the picture that are meant to be seen.

Edited by newtmonkey

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One thing that I need to do is to create an OSSC profile that is optimized for PS2 and still interlaced, which will then go over to the Framemeister to be deinterlaced. I'm using the OSSC's generic settings for it right now, but those are not as sharp as optimized settings are. Once I put the optimized video into the Framemeister, I imagine it will look really good.

 

I hate messing around with the sampling phase on the OSSC and sometimes it's not possible to find a sampling phase setting that is perfect in my experience, but generally I've had good experiences aside from the 32X, even if some of my settings are not 100% perfect. Hopefully I can find a nice sampling phase for the PS2 so I can play R-Type Final and stuff but deinterlaced. The best option would be to get a Japanese PS3 that can play PS2 games, of course, and from what it sounds like, I will have one of those very soon as well.

 

Maybe I should have waited for the OSSC Pro later this year, but the Framemeister's compatibility with basically everything and also its support for composite and S-video make it still useful, I think.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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I think the FM is worth having due its nature as the "swiss army knife" of upscaling.  Everything I've thrown at it works great, and you don't have to worry about looking up timings, etc. to get the image perfect.  In most cases, just setting Image_Mode and Auto_Scaler to the right settings depending on whether the game is 240p or 480i results in a fantastic image—especially true if you scaling to 720p.

 

It's unfortunate that it's no longer being produced, but we're fortunate there's some great alternatives out there now (that are much cheaper!).

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Time to do some more OSSC + Framemeister testing. I've also finally updated to the most recent OSSC firmware so I can try the PSP go with the new automatic PSP optimal settings. You could say that I...

 

kept you waiting, huh?

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Okay, well, it seems that my monitor does not like the PSP optimized OSSC setting in the newest firmware unless I put it in interlaced mode, no matter what settings I change on the PSP or on the OSSC. Progressive gives me OUT OF RANGE every time.

 

It also seems that using optimized OSSC settings to put interlaced video into the Framemeister makes it look super ugly no matter what I change, so I just have to put the OSSC into passthrough and let the Framemeister do everything. It does some really strange crap sometimes, though, like shift the image to the left while also cutting off the left side even though there is plenty of space left on my monitor after a resolution change.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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I haven't really tried to have the OSSC pass through a Framemeister to let it (the FM) do the processing. I've only passed the signal through to get the upper line doubling modes to work with my Elgato HD 60.

 

I have meant to post more here... but time hasn't been on my side. 

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I just watched it... good intro on how to use it. Step #1... updating the firmware assuming I can find a suitable micro SD card. There has got to be one hidden in the carpet somewhere....

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On 9/4/2020 at 6:49 AM, Steven Pendleton said:

Okay, well, it seems that my monitor does not like the PSP optimized OSSC setting in the newest firmware unless I put it in interlaced mode, no matter what settings I change on the PSP or on the OSSC. Progressive gives me OUT OF RANGE every time.

Welcome to the pain-in-the-ass that is the OSSC. In time I think you'll find your investment in the Framemeister to not entirely be a waste of money.

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Had to throw the old 42" plasma flat TV down the drain after 14Y of service, it had 2 HDMI, 1 YPbPr, 1 mixed YPbPr/RGB+HV (with support for sync-on-green ... I used it for the PS2-Linux), 2 SVideo and 2 composite inputs. The old sucker still worked ... sometimes but it was getting hard to have it turn on (such and such blinking led this and that about the plasma display ... aka it was on it's last leg).

Albeit only 720p (and 1080i but c'mon) it had an array of inputs for my old consoles now unmatched.

I bought a modern Samsung TU700D (43" LCD, 4K) and it only has 2 HDMI, no component, no SVideo, no composite.

 

So I decided to buy a RetroTink 2X-M to recover some of those inputs in the hope it'll work well.

I am also looking at a RetroTink 2X-SCART (I do have the cables for many of my old consoles so why not?) and eventually the RetroTink 2X-mini (I don't think I care about scanlines and at 70 USD it seems cheap enough to be in "impulse buy" territory).

 

Note that I do have a Framemeister already if I want to use it (and an adapter with an LM 1881 that helps a lot with a few pesky consoles I have like my SMS and my AES ... for some reason they are hard to sync on without it).

 

I picked the RetroTink 2X-M instead of the 2X-Pro because of the 480p pass thru (I would like to play me some Wii or really progressive GC via Wii as my GC has no digital out) and hoping it will get better as times goes by wrt 2D sources. I expect the 2X-Pro to be better on component input but given none of my consoles pre PS2 have such an input and I don't fancy buying those special cables I hope that SVideo and Composite upscaling looks same/better on the 2X-M than on 2X-Pro. Anyone cares to comment?

 

Is the RetroTink 2X-SCART overkill? I do have cables for SMS/Genesis/SNES/AES/GX4000/Saturn/Jaguar and to be honest aside slowwwwww transition 240p<->480i in Saturn games (and a few PS1/PS2 games) the Framemeister works just fine. Should I ditch this?

 

Wrt to RetroTink 2X-Mini I want to use it for the plug-n-play "collection"  ... I used not to care too much about quality on those (aka direct TV connect was mostly just fine) but with the total lack of any composite on my new TV I don't have much of a choice ... once more the Framemeister works wrt SVideo and Composite input but not being particularly targeted at those likely the RetroTink 2X-mini may be a better option.

 

What do you think? Is 3 RetroTink 2X devices too many? Should I just give the Framemeister a chance to shine? Or is the RetroTink 2X-SCART good enough wrt not needing the 2X-mini? (given the 2X-M already shipped I can't really change my mind on that) Does the 2X-SCART even work on composite sources? ( ... yes SCART can carry composite only sources, not sure the RetroTink 2X-SCART has any support for those.)

In general do the RetroTink 2X devices work well over SVideo and composite sources? (I read that the 2X-M has better composite support than the 2X-pro but it's all hearsay).

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12 hours ago, Austin said:

Welcome to the pain-in-the-ass that is the OSSC. In time I think you'll find your investment in the Framemeister to not entirely be a waste of money.

Yeah, I have been simultaneously praising and damning the thing for about a year now to one of my friends who didn't get one until recently (actually the same dude I bought my MSX2+ and Framemeister from), and I definitely agree that the OSSC can be extremely annoying and frustrating. The OSSC definitely has enough things about it to consider the Framemeister in addition for sure, even if you only want it for interlaced signals.

 

The biggest problem with the OSSC is that sometimes it literally just does not work because of the display that it is connected to. I've known that the OSSC's 5x mode does not work on my monitor for some time, for example, but seeing that the special PSP mode doesn't work at all in progressive is extremely disappointing, as I was really looking forward to it. I could try it in interlaced, especially since that should work perfectly for PS1 games, which is mainly what I want it for since my PSP go is hacked and I can do basically whatever I want with it.

 

junkerhq also has some notes about what to do if your display does not support the special PSP mode, so I'm going to try that as well to see what happens. If it still doesn't work, I'll try making an optimized profile with the regular OSSC settings to see if it's something to do with that specific automatic PSP mode.

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@phoenixdownita

I would recommend the RetroTINK for any systems that support composite video only, as it has a nice comb filter that really makes systems like the NES and PC Engine look great.  These systems also do not benefit from the crystal clear upscaling provided by the Framemeister (or OSSC I assume), imo.  If you have RGB mods for them, you might as well use the Framemeister for them, too.

 

On the other hand, systems that support RGB natively look awesome on the Framemeister, as they really benefit from crystal clear upscaling to 720p or 1080p.  The PS2 also looks great on the Framemeister due to its excellent deinterlacing.

 

You might want to check out the RetroRGB video on the RetroTINK 2X-M:

 

He compares it with the PRO and it's quite clear from the comparison shots that the PRO is better suited for 240p sources due to the bilnear filter used by the M.  However, enabling scanlines results in a very similar image between the PRO and M for 240p games.

 

If your display has a game mode, the added lag of the Framemeister shouldn't really account for much, so there's no reason not to use it for your RGB SCART systems.

Edited by newtmonkey

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@phoenixdownita - RetroTINK is kind of redundant if you already have a Framemeister. Composite/S-Video image quality through the FM (upscaled to 720p or 1080p) will be of higher quality than through the TINK.

5 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

The biggest problem with the OSSC is that sometimes it literally just does not work because of the display that it is connected to. I've known that the OSSC's 5x mode does not work on my monitor for some time, for example, but seeing that the special PSP mode doesn't work at all in progressive is extremely disappointing, as I was really looking forward to it. I could try it in interlaced, especially since that should work perfectly for PS1 games, which is mainly what I want it for since my PSP go is hacked and I can do basically whatever I want with it.

Yeah, that's my biggest issue with the OSSC--the incompatibility with various devices and displays. When it works, it's amazing, but it playing nice with varying displays is a crap shoot. It played hell with my capture card (Elgato) and on my last HD TV before my upgrade last week, I could only get it to display at Line2X, which sort of defeats the purpose of the device for me. I ended up selling it since like Newt said, the FM has been the Swiss Army Knife for me and it just works. I am looking forward to the OSSC Pro though and will probably get one when it's available. It sounds like it may make the FM mostly obsolete, which honestly doesn't bother me.

Edited by Austin

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44 minutes ago, Austin said:

Yeah, that's my biggest issue with the OSSC--the incompatibility with various devices and displays. When it works, it's amazing, but it playing nice with varying displays is a crap shoot. It played hell with my capture card (Elgato) and on my last HD TV before my upgrade last week, I could only get it to display at Line2X, which sort of defeats the purpose of the device for me. I ended up selling it since like Newt said, the FM has been the Swiss Army Knife for me and it just works. I am looking forward to the OSSC Pro though and will probably get one when it's available. It sounds like it may make the FM mostly obsolete, which honestly doesn't bother me.

Yeah, I'm really looking forward to the OSSC Pro. This time it even has proper audio input! It does seem like it was designed to make the Framemeister completely obsolete, as well, but I think the OSSC Pro lacks native composite and S-video support, unfortunately, which is a really attractive feature of the Framemeister.

 

I've heard that the OSSC is actually not compatible with the best RGB mod for the Intellivision, for example, (although I do not know a whole lot about this mod or why it's not compatible with the OSSC) and I've been considering getting an RF -> composite adaptor for mine since my Japanese TV doesn't seem to like the American RF signal, so if I decided that I want to play some awesome Intellivision games on my flatscreen, I'd still end up using the Framemeister anyway.

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RetroTink Pro M arrived and it is good with a little bad (no fault of the RetroTink).

As I said above I have a Samsung TU700D 43" just bought that only supports HDMI.

 

I only had time to test Jakks Pacific, Radica, Namco-Bandai, Capcom (PAL) and a couple more of assorted plug-n-play units via composite (reason I bought it was a "better handling of composite" compared to the Pro) ... it works but I figured out those plug-n-play are not 240p at all, they are 480i so it's somewhat neither there nor here. Unsure if the Pro in Blocky mode would look any better on those. And the Pro M docs state "better handling of composite 240p" no mention of any better handling of 480i.

 

Now for the fun part, the Samsung TU700D has a game mode that according to the doc cuts latency from about 30msec to 10msec or so .... and the result when playing 1080p content (but I suspect also 720p) looks good .... now onto 480p RetroTink Pro M .... epic fail, the middle of the screen is a little mess of flashy blocks and duplicated B&W ("ghosts") images .... playing Pacman like that was no fun ... it took me a while to detect it was the game mode of the TV as I thought I got a faulty RetroTink instead ... sometimes the TV "latches" properly and those artifacts disappear (I thought the game mode is supposed to remove all that processing crap but apparently something is still being done ... poorly) but they will reappear.

Once game mode is disabled I also have to disable "Signal Plus" or whatever magic the TV thinks it's doing because the image gets too blurry/fake/soft ... but I can disable some of it so it's alright I guess.

 

As I was tinkering with the RetroTink I noticed this TV gladly accepts 480i pass thru over HDMI (it's actually in the manual too) ... it looks OK as far as I can tell but the game mode processes it the same messy way .... unfortunately the COVID wfh situation had my actual 240p consoles in tupperware that is not immediately reachable to me for testing how the RetroTink Pro M handles actual honest-to-god 240p via composite and via S-Video.

None of my pre-PS2 consoles have mods or cables supporting component output but a good chunk have SCART cables and almost all of them SVideo (mods or cables) .... wish the 2M supported SCART too but ehhh they do sell the RetroTink SCART which just for handling fast 240p<->480i transitions in Saturn games may be worthy, that is a very sore point for the Framemeister, granted I can test the Pro-M against the Saturn SVideo output and see if that's good enough (some consoles do really have nice and clean SVideo). 

 

So to conclude, it works over composite, I wish there was a "blocky" mode like the Pro (in addition to the bilinear filtering) ... I will update if/when I get to test real 240p old-school content ... 

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2 days ago, I bought an Asian Mega Drive and Mega Drive 2 from a friend, along with a bunch of other stuff, including the legendary Japanese 60GB PS3 (it legally plays more games than any other home console ever released, including the North American one!), so now I have no reason to ever use my Japanese PS2 ever again.

 

Anyway, I mentioned before that I could never get my Japanese VA4 Mega Drive and Super 32X to give me a good picture through the OSSC. I tried the Asian Mega Drive and Mega Drive 2 with the 32X just now, and they are both way better with the 32X than my Japanese one. I'd heard before that there is something about the VA4 that doesn't seem to like the 32X + OSSC combination, and I now believe that. Not sure what revisions these new Mega Drives are since I have not opened them yet, but when used without the 32X, the Japanese VA4 has nicer video than the Asian Mega Drive by far and also the best audio by far of all 3. The Asian Mega Drive's jailbars are so bad that they show up on black screens and the Mega Drive 2's audio has terrible distortion but it has the best video.

 

So yeah, I guess don't use the Japanese VA4 Mega Drive + 32X + OSSC. Not sure if a VA4 Genesis, PAL VA4 Mega Drive, or Brazilian VA4 Mega Drive have this problem, though, or if PAL and Brazil even got that revision.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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The RetroTINK-2X MINI is now out:

 

https://www.retrotink.com/post/introducing-the-retrotink-2x-mini

 

RetroRGB impressions:

 

$69.99 and it includes everything you need in the box, including a bundled SNES/N64 S-video cable.

 

Compared with other RetroTINK products, it supports only composite video and S-video, and doesn't have a scanline generator.  However, that makes it a perfect budget option if you just want to your composite/S-video only consoles (NES, PC Engine, N64) or micros (C64, Atari 400/800) hooked up to a modern flatscreen, and aren't interested in modding your systems for RGB.

Edited by newtmonkey

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