Ok, today I received a small parcel with the brandnew SLG3000 inside
Thanks again to Jochen and Winni for the opportunity to give it a try!
Today's small, initial test run included a XRGB, a Dreamcast, a XBox360 and one of the many HDBoxPro clones around. Tomorrow I'll try it on a DVDO processor and early next week I'll test a Faroudja-based standalone linedoubler (Omega HDP) and a nettop PC with a bunch of emus.
The SLG3000 does not require a PSU, at least not with any of the sources I tried today. The SLG3000's output was connected to the input of an Extron RGB interface with one of the interface's outputs connected to my TV (Sony 52" HX900) and the second output to one of my computer Displays (21" NEC). All the sources I tried today are running at 480p output, so the DIP settings of the SLG are supposed to remain unchanged during the test.
The SLG's knob for setting the scanline intensity is a bit on the heavy side and I'll probably develop a blister from turning it a hundred times today, but hell, after having it set for a certain display it usually remains untouched. The scanlines can be disabled 100% by turning the knob completely to the left. Another way of disabling the scanline emulation is to shorten the two screw terminals (I haven't tried this though).
First I installed the SLG3000 behind the XRGB. The XRGB-3 can only overlay scanlines when the input signal is 240p. In order to make the XRGB work with the SLG the VERTICAL SYNC POLARITY of the XRGB has to be inverted in the menu. If the sync polarity isn't inverted, the SLG won't show scanlines, no matter which DIP switch settings. First I tried a 240p title (Fantasy Zone II DX) and the SLG's scanlines look just as good as the ones of the XRGB. They're applied pixel-perfect on every second line (unlike those overlay scanline effects in a bunch of emus). While the density knob only has a range of about 180°, it's very easy to set the desired scanline density. FZIIDX allows to switch between 240p, 480i and 480p on the fly and no matter which settings I choose, the scanlines remain solid - excellent!
Next I tried two 480i-only titles on the PS2, the Metal Slug 3 Single release and Sengoku Ace II in the second Psikyo collection. Both titles look very nice, but due to their emulation in 480i rather than in 240p, the XRGB was not able to show them with scanlines in their full glory. The SLG changed this! Both titles were running in B1 with disabled scanline emulation and both titles looked stunning - actually every bit as good as native 240p title running through the XRGB. On Metal Slug 3 I found a small flicker to be visible after the scanlining process, but this could be completely eliminated by changing the DIP settings on the SLG3000. Instead of darkening every odd line, I had the SLG darken every even line. On Sengoku Ace 2 I had to re-invert this setting, but that's something I can live with....
On the Dreamcast I had a short intermezzo with SFIII 3rd Strike and on the 360 I played a round of DDP DFK. Both systems yielded very nice results. On the 360 I tried to up the resolution to 854x480, but this caused weird interference on my TV set and the SLG3000 wasn't able to properly work it's magic. So back to 480p it was.
To see how the cheaper upscaling solutions work with the SLG3000 I re-got myself a HDBoxPro clone to try it with the SLG's scanline emulation. And it sure does work great! The HDBoxPro doesn't offer completey artefact-free 240p and 480i deinterlacing as the XRGB does in B1, but it's a still a bargain for what it costs (about 45 EUR). I connected a PS2 and gave it a try with the same titles as above (FZIIDX, Metal Slug 3, Sengoku Ace 2) and with the motion detection level set to 0 the results were very nice. While FZIIDX was treated as 480i and thereforce exhibited some deinterlacing errors here and there, MS3 and Sengoku Ace II looked very nice on this setup as well.
Overall the SLG3000 initially performed gloriously. It's a wonderful little gadget which does exactly what it promised to do. The fact that no additional power supply is needed, makes the SLG3000 easy to install and easy to forget (over the test run with the XRGB I tried a few times to lower the scanline setting using the XRGB's remote while it was "hard-set" using the SLG). It works perfect with the sources I tried so far and shows no delay or picture degradation whatsoever.Who doesn't need the SLG3000 ?
If you're not interested in Scanlines whatsoever, the SLG3000 is nothing you need.Who can use the SLG3000 ?
Anybody with a display supporting VGA input at 31khz. There's nothing to gain with the SLG3000 when using a 15khz tube and there's nothing to gain with higher resolutions like XGA. While the SLG supports higher resolutions, the scanlines get tiny and don't resemble the typical 15khz low-res effect anymore.Yoko vs. Tate ?
Just like on the XRGB the scanlines always have horizontal orientation. So, if you want arcade-perfect presentation from your 360 shoot'em ups, you still need a rotateable display. The SLG3000 directly works with every system supporting VGA output, e.g.
- PCs for Doujin and emu playThe SLG3000 needs to be chained behind a linedoubler or upscaler when used with systems like:
- PC Engine
- Mega Drive / Genesis
- Super Famicom / SNES
- Playstation 1 / 2The SLG3000 needs to be chained behind a transcoder with systems like:
- Playstation 3 (to play Neo Geo or PCE games)to be continued...
(Screenshots: PS2 -> 480i component -> XRGB-3, B1, scanlines disabled -> SLG3000 -> display)