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MrZarniwoop

Review for new RetroTINK 5X-Pro notes Atari 7800 S-Video performance

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The first review I've seen of the new RetroTINK 5X-Pro FPGA-powered video scaler includes comments regarding S-Video performance with an Atari 7800:

 

Quote

FJ2ETSrRfHq9UJrbq0gcZBoldbLnfeW-FfBOfXeVublhJJvm6VROqbadDI_ctd4QNfs2NhBYAh6RJfR9s0dm-0uEprKW0nxm7zs3q-pn188Ht3H1i4HrZSC2PbUoXs7F0maqGXZy

[...]

Y/C Filter - A Nice Upgrade 

 

For those of us with consoles outputting S-Video or Composite video, Mike has included the Y/C Filter feature. Unfortunately I was unable to test composite video, but I was able to test out S-Video with my Atari 7800. “Notch” is meant to replicate a CRT television while “4 line comb” is meant to provide a sharper image. In all of my testing, this was one of my most surprising results, as I was genuinely surprised by just how well the Atari’s image looked. Mike even went so far as to say “I didn’t know Atari could look that good.” Neither did I.

 

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The 7800 has the best home port of DK - fight me. 

2GSsBDx-b_jgxWRuEYDywCW7KkxE60MN3VMlEPm0fHAxbn98Hno0h-ZogYAc3hUEw1bXf2VcoVDKVg6FoedtkdNQEDShHah8Tg6IXJ2pvQxS_X6dHLoEhccSDgXhPpYmJoFIl7pK

from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1STdsFD_X0rl8mXjaqmm5uaayWRZPDDnW/view

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Whoever did the “review” needs to try some problematic 2600 games: Activision Starmaster, Atari Battlezone, Parker Bros. The Empire Strikes Back …

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Doesn’t S-Video already separate luma and chroma? I could be mistaken, but why would a comb filter apply here?

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46 minutes ago, dlmartins said:

Doesn’t S-Video already separate luma and chroma? I could be mistaken, but why would a comb filter apply here?

Even s-video sources will frequently have jail bars on them due to interference with other signals in the system. The Genesis/SMS are really bad about this! So the Y/C separate filter is nice as that would minimize or remove those jail bars from being present. My old JVC sx-700 AV selector had a Y/C separate filter in it and it did two things when I was using it. It cleaned up and pretty much provided me with jail bar free signals from my s-video sources. The Genesis still had them as it is that bad on them, but the SMS didn't exhibit any. It does on my Extron. But the Y/C separator also allowed me to output from the JVC just using s-video only as it could strip the luma and chroma from my composite inputs and they would look cleaner through the s-video. However, in nearly all cases, I had the dreaded checkerboard patterns on reds when using this method, so I eventually just use both the composite and s-video outputs and swapped as needed between systems.

 

Although honestly, I see the same results on my 7800 and others I've upgraded with the UAV through my Extron I use now.

 

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Interesting. Admittedly most of my knowledge here is from the laserdisc world, which the signal was already composite. The commonly spouted advice was if the comb filter in the laserdisc player was better than the tv, use S-Video and bypass the television comb filter, otherwise, use composite and let the television use its comb filter. Y/C filter sounds like it is some sort of interference filter. The review sounds like it applies a notch or 4 line comb filter to the svideo signal. 

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Is this kind of information incorrect?


https://www.wise-geek.com/what-is-a-digital-comb-filter.htm

A digital comb filter takes these two pieces of information — color and luminescence — and separates them; this causes the transmission to enter the TV at a slightly slower rate, but it dramatically increases picture quality. Several different digital comb filters exist, with newer ones able to process information with better accuracy and in less time. Such a filter is unneeded, and will not do anything, if the TV is receiving a super-video (S-video) transmission.”

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4 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Whoever did the “review” needs to try some problematic 2600 games: Activision Starmaster, Atari Battlezone, Parker Bros. The Empire Strikes Back …

The RetroTINK 5X-Pro has a triple buffering mode which, when enabled, means it should handle dynamic resolution/scanline changes ok.

 

But curious to see if that's really the case.

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1 minute ago, MrZarniwoop said:

But curious to see if that's really the case.

Indeed. And if it can output a stable 1080p signal with all the oddball 2600 titles out there, without screen jumping and loss of sync, then it'll be a thing worthy of consideration.

 

But so far all I've seen is Sega this and Playstation that and Nintendo the other ... Great for those collectors, but I'm not that guy. I want something that works with my Atari stuff and so far I'm still looking.

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1 minute ago, DrVenkman said:

Indeed. And if it can output a stable 1080p signal with all the oddball 2600 titles out there, without screen jumping and loss of sync, then it'll be a thing worthy of consideration.

 

But so far all I've seen is Sega this and Playstation that and Nintendo the other ... Great for those collectors, but I'm not that guy. I want something that works with my Atari stuff and so far I'm still looking.

I have my OSSC configured where Battlezone is no problem. I'll have to try Starmaster.

 

I haven't figured out how to handle ESB's scanline madness though.

 

I missed out on the first batch of RetroTINK 5X-Pro units by about an hour, so unfortunately can't test anything.

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3 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Indeed. And if it can output a stable 1080p signal with all the oddball 2600 titles out there, without screen jumping and loss of sync, then it'll be a thing worthy of consideration.

 

But so far all I've seen is Sega this and Playstation that and Nintendo the other ... Great for those collectors, but I'm not that guy. I want something that works with my Atari stuff and so far I'm still looking.

This^

 

I have the RetroTink Mini and it's great, except for the odd scanline game incompatibilities.

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Just now, MrZarniwoop said:

I haven't figured out how to handle ESB's scanline madness though.

I have a quick hack that @RevEng put together that makes the game better but not 100% perfect with the RetroTINK 2X-Pro when I mentioned issues with that title in a previous thread sometime last year. 

Star Wars - Empire more VSYNC.bin

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I have the old 2X-Pro, and several games (ie Asteroids) hated screen transitions - it would go black for a second when starting a new game.  Other games that use odd resolutions ie Buck Rogers also had weird screen transitions. There are others too, and that's just what I was able to test.  Atari probably was the worst retrotink experience of any system I tested, so I hope it got worked out.

 

Is there really any advantage to upgrading when one already has a 2X? I also wonder if it hates s-video coming from sega systems modded for it like the old one does. 

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5 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

Is there really any advantage to upgrading when one already has a 2X?

I am interested for two reasons:

  • Scaler, not just line doubler: to get an idea of the picture improvement on digital displays, look up 240p results with OSSC in Line5x mode or Framemeister scaled to 1080p, it's a much better picture that's amazing
  • Triple Buffering, where (on paper) it looks like it should handle, with perhaps 0 frames of lag, the problematic 2600 games with dynamic scanlines that can blank the display due to signal resyncing when used with most "zero lag" digital video converters: Asteroids (copyright screen), Buck Rodgers (between title and gameplay), Moon Patrol (first buggy may crash during blank at start), PlusCart(+) menu transitions, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (when an AT-AT Walker is destroyed), Talvisota (screen shake during gunshots), etc.

It also appears to have much better de-interlacing, although that shouldn't really matter to the Atari 7800.

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In that case, I might go for it in a later wave depending on what is reported about its compatibility with Atari 2600 stuff.

 

But I hope someone here would test an S-Video modded Genesis or 32x with it, those had major issues on the retro tink 2X.

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3 minutes ago, SearsRoebuck said:

In that case, I might go for it in a later wave depending on what is reported about its compatibility with Atari 2600 stuff.

 

But I hope someone here would test an S-Video modded Genesis or 32x with it, those had major issues on the retro tink 2X.

Same here. Just discovered the hard way that the 2x mini is useless with a 32x

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On 5/5/2021 at 11:43 PM, John Stamos Mullet said:

Same here. Just discovered the hard way that the 2x mini is useless with a 32x

Not quite, mine is fine but I HAVE to use it with an HD retrovision cable. 

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On 5/5/2021 at 10:38 PM, SearsRoebuck said:

But I hope someone here would test an S-Video modded Genesis or 32x with it, those had major issues on the retro tink 2X.

You only have a 32x that is s-video upgraded. Your Genesis is not unless you had that done separately since I did your 32x? Having said that...

 

The Genesis with an s-video upgrade does work just fine on the Tink2x classic at least. I've got at least one client that uses a 2x classic with his Genesis that I upgraded to s-video about 2 years or so back.

 

And the ONLY reason that @SearsRoebuck's 32x works with HDRetrovision cables and also has s-video is because I had to modify it to strip the sync signal and route it back to the composite output pin for the HDR cables to work since they rely on composite sync to operate. But you have to kill the actual composite output from a 32x in order for the s-video to work properly. Until recent discussions on the 32x not working on tink2x devices came up, I wasn't even aware this was an issue. I've never had an issue with the s-video on my 32x through the equipment I have in my game room, so it was an unknown to me.

 

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4 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

You only have a 32x that is s-video upgraded. Your Genesis is not unless you had that done separately since I did your 32x? Having said that...

 

The Genesis with an s-video upgrade does work just fine on the Tink2x classic at least. I've got at least one client that uses a 2x classic with his Genesis that I upgraded to s-video about 2 years or so back.

 

And the ONLY reason that @SearsRoebuck's 32x works with HDRetrovision cables and also has s-video is because I had to modify it to strip the sync signal and route it back to the composite output pin for the HDR cables to work since they rely on composite sync to operate. But you have to kill the actual composite output from a 32x in order for the s-video to work properly. Until recent discussions on the 32x not working on tink2x devices came up, I wasn't even aware this was an issue. I've never had an issue with the s-video on my 32x through the equipment I have in my game room, so it was an unknown to me.

 

Jesse, Genesis's that are s-video modded seem to be hit or miss with the retrotink 2x..when I was doing research before I bought a retrotink, a little more than half or so of the (rare) svideo modded genesis users I could find who used it with a retrotink had the same video issues.  But some people don't have this issue, I spoke to the Retrotink creator about this and he had no idea why this was, he didnt do enough testing with it to figure out if it was certain kinds of genesis systems or not.  Unlike with the 32x, which seems to always hate it. 

 

Hopefully the new one doesnt have these problems, but that may be wishful thinking. 

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5 minutes ago, SearsRoebuck said:

Jesse, Genesis's that are s-video modded seem to be hit or miss with the retrotink 2x..when I was doing research before I bought a retrotink, a little more than half or so of the (rare) svideo modded genesis users I could find who used it with a retrotink had the same video issues.  But some people don't have this issue, I spoke to the Retrotink creator about this and he had no idea why this was, he didnt do enough testing with it to figure out if it was certain kinds of genesis systems or not.  Unlike with the 32x, which seems to always hate it. 

 

Hopefully the new one doesnt have these problems, but that may be wishful thinking. 

Well I kinda wish I had known that when I had that Tink2x Pro on loan about 2 weeks back or so. I could have tested one of several Genesis systems I have with s-video installed into them to see. But everything else that can accept s-video has worked fine with my Genesis systems. Then again, the Genesis and Saturn are the ONLY two consoles I have where their 240P signals will actually work without scaling on my Sony Bravia. Everything else is a no go without the OSSC in there to fix them.

 

What is the specific issue with the Genesis on s-video through a Tink2x? Black and white picture? No picture? Scrambled picture?

 

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Some genesises (is that a word?) have trouble with their vanilla, unmodded composite through the retrotink as well.  Mine had a similar result when I took off the 32x and just ran it through the stock composite out.  I've seen a few people who had genesis 2's with a similar result, so it's just not clear if there is a particular set of video hardware that causes it or not.

 

Bottom line, let's hope this new one has better compatibility. 

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Well one thing I was going to mention is that the s-video kit I use on the Genesis has adjustable trimmers for the Luma and Chroma signal output. Because of this I can dial it in on my flatpanel and CRTs before I send them back to my clients. There are also kits that just use stock resistor values that lock in that can't be adjusted and I'm now wondering if that might be where the issue lies? You're 32x doesn't use a trimmer and is just using a standard 3904 to amp the luma output from the 32x to a usable form. The Chroma doesn't have much of anything on it and it just straight off the encoder pin. So that makes me wonder if the reason my Genesis systems and those I've done for others work on the Tink2x without issue is because of the trimmers on those more expensive kits that I can use to dial everything in?

 

Same kit with the trimmers was used on your SMS too.

 

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On 5/2/2021 at 10:29 AM, DrVenkman said:

Whoever did the “review” needs to try some problematic 2600 games: Activision Starmaster, Atari Battlezone, Parker Bros. The Empire Strikes Back …

FWIW, I finally tried Starmaster with my OSSC and it was fine, similar with Battlezone. Even though the OSSC is purely a line scaler and not buffering the video signal (something the RT-5X is designed for), the OSSC on my configuration where I'm trying to get the widest amount of 2600 games to be ok and the video quality in Line5X mode is amazeballs.

 

Interestingly, since I finished tweaking my OSSC, destroying an AT-AT on an ESB is also ok and it never loses sync.

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5 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Well one thing I was going to mention is that the s-video kit I use on the Genesis has adjustable trimmers for the Luma and Chroma signal output. Because of this I can dial it in on my flatpanel and CRTs before I send them back to my clients. There are also kits that just use stock resistor values that lock in that can't be adjusted and I'm now wondering if that might be where the issue lies? You're 32x doesn't use a trimmer and is just using a standard 3904 to amp the luma output from the 32x to a usable form. The Chroma doesn't have much of anything on it and it just straight off the encoder pin. So that makes me wonder if the reason my Genesis systems and those I've done for others work on the Tink2x without issue is because of the trimmers on those more expensive kits that I can use to dial everything in?

 

Same kit with the trimmers was used on your SMS too.

 

Well at some point I do intend to send back my Sega Master system to you to put the pause mod on the second controller port - probably later this year. Should I be sending my 32x too?

 

It could all be a moot point if this new retro tink is a little bit more tolerant of the weird Sega signals because we've established that it does it with composite too in some cases.

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16 hours ago, SearsRoebuck said:

Not quite, mine is fine but I HAVE to use it with an HD retrovision cable. 

Not the Mini. The Retrotink 2x Mini doesn't have Component inputs for the HD REtrovision cables. Just composite and S-Video.

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Ah, yes, I almost bought the mini too - why do I need component? I asked. Good thing I had second thoughts about the mini at the last second.

 

Sounds like you're going to have to upgrade no matter what. 

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