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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:32 pm 


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I hooked up my composite NES to the KV-25XBR and took comparison pics between stock front-loader and NESRGB with Composite palette. It was really hard to capture just how dull the RGB palette is in person on it. My phone keeps wanting to make the sky much deeper blue than it actually is with a higher overall contrast. Again, I'm not saying the TV's composite is more accurate, just that its sweetening the composite signal and giving it a more colorful picture that some like myself may be more accustomed to.

Composite / RGB

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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:03 pm 


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Is that the palette that is meant for crts? If so, wtf? I thought it was supposed to look identical.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:11 pm 


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tjstogy wrote:
Is that the palette that is meant for crts? If so, wtf? I thought it was supposed to look identical.


See: the discussion of the hue setting on the previous page.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:16 pm 


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Yeah I saw that, but the crt palette is supposed to take account whatever it looks like in composite on a crt including whatever hue shift was there.

bobrocks95 wrote:
tjstogy wrote:
Is that the palette that is meant for crts? If so, wtf? I thought it was supposed to look identical.


See: the discussion of the hue setting on the previous page.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:18 pm 


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tjstogy wrote:
Is that the palette that is meant for crts? If so, wtf? I thought it was supposed to look identical.


NTSC has no built in way to track Hue and Chroma unlike PAL, so each brand has different defaults for them. You can control the Hue and Color on the TV with the knobs for Composite sources, but on RGB inputs they have no effect and you're stuck with whatever you get. If you put the Composite RGB palette on a properly calibrated PVM I'm sure you'd end up seeing the same thing he saw, but with consumer sets anything goes. So there's not really any one single palette that will look like a composite source will on every set.


Last edited by nakedarthur on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:22 pm 


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tjstogy wrote:
Yeah I saw that, but the crt palette is supposed to take account whatever it looks like in composite on a crt including whatever hue shift was there.

NTSC composite is gonna look different from one NTSC crt model(read : decoder) to the other. Thus is the nature of NTSC.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:44 pm 


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So is FBXs description inaccurate?

This is the perfect palette for CRT users. It will trigger virtually the same reactions to the CRT phosphor as a real NTSC NES front-loader does. I obsessively cross-referenced each and every color by using the Analog Nt mini hooked up to a PVM alongside an original front-loader NTSC NES. Each palette entry was then tweaked until it triggered near identical phosphor reaction to that of the NES NTSC signal itself. This is a critical advancement in palette accuracy as capture cards cannot do this. Effectively when you use this palette on a CRT, you will get the same experience as a real NTSC NES console, only with the benefit of a clean RGB picture and sharper pixel edges.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:56 pm 


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well it's not wrong. It's just that his PVM won't decode NTSC colors the same way another brand/model would.

I'm sure he got his PVM's NTSC colors right.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:13 pm 


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Well that sucks


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:18 pm 


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This was the cause for concern early on in FBX's attempts. He's made a big improvement to the default palettes if you want accuracy, but it will inherently never be perfect thanks to NTSC.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:36 pm 


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bobrocks95 wrote:
He's made a big improvement to the default palettes if you want accuracy, but it will inherently never be perfect thanks to NTSC.

Yep. well said


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:19 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
bobrocks95 wrote:
He's made a big improvement to the default palettes if you want accuracy, but it will inherently never be perfect thanks to NTSC.

Yep. well said


I'd also like to point out he took a pic of SMB overworld, which has the blue sky color I mentioned SEVERAL times cannot be replicated in analog RGB. The voltage is out of range, so it gets clipped in a 0-255 scale. I already have the blue channel maxed at 255 on that entry so what can you do? Lowering the other red and green channels makes the color too dim.

Edit: Also keep in mind whatever saturation level he has NTSC set to cannot be carried over into analog RGB. On my PVM, it was calibrated and centered.

Edit 2: And yeah, does anyone actually believe those bricks and the title screen are supposed to be that red? Not by a long shot. He's got some intense saturation levels going on there.
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:12 pm 


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I wrote a new log entry explaining the issues that affect the NTSC Hardware palette so everyone can get a sense of what's going on when it doesn't match their TV set's composite video picture. Here's a transcript of the log entry:

I've changed the description to clarify the intent of the NTSC Hardware palette since there's been some confusion about the implied accuracy. The problems between your CRT's NTSC picture and RGB picture are as follows:

1. Saturation (& other user-side customization dials). This can be user-defined typically with dial knobs on CRTs when using RF or Composite NES feeds. However, analog RGB is fixed and you're not able to adjust saturation levels on that type of input. So in my case, I used a Sony PVM monitor with proper calibration and saturation centered to neither be overblown nor muted. So if you're seeing the RGB picture look particularly dull compared to the composite NES feed, it's because your TV isn't properly calibrated and your saturation is too high. Remember that an RGB palette cannot be made to approximate your TV set's saturation without it being inaccurate to the NES in general (and everyone else's TV set). Consider how close the NTSC Hardware palette looks to that of the Composite Direct palette, and you can see this was where the colors in fact should be.

2. The Super Mario Brothers "blue sky color". In this case, the voltage level on the blue channel sent from the original NES consoles falls outside the range of analog RGB. A maximum RGB value of 255 on the blue is only about 75% of the strength of the blue needed to reproduce the color you see from the composite NES feed. In this case, there was no choice but to set the blue channel at 255, and approximate the hue and brightness with the remaining red and green channels. This color will always look dull compared to composite NES, and there's no getting around that. It's either retain the brightness of the color as best as possible, or lose the brightness level in favor of saturation, in which case, the color becomes considerably darker than it is supposed to appear. There are a couple of other color entries right near this blue color on the NES palette that suffer from the same out-of-range blue voltage, but the effect is considerably less noticable.

When capture cards are put to the same task of translating the NTSC composite signal into RGB values, they simply clip the out-of-range color values. This results in the Super Mario Brothers blue sky having a puple tinge. You don't see this tinge on the CRT's composite video feed because the intense blue voltage simply drowns it out. It is there, you just can't see it. As I've often made an example of, Nintendo themselves used the direct-capture clipping method on their own NES Classic palette, which resulted in the same purple sky that everyone else gets when they direct-capture the NES video output.

So I hope this clears up the confusion. You can get the RGB feed to look 98% like the NES feed on your CRT, so long as your TV isn't a piece of crap and can be calibrated to NTSC standards. Then you adjust the saturation to match the RGB feed, and you should find the two source look virtually identical (save for the SMB sky issue of course).


An here's the clarified palette description:

This is the perfect palette for CRT users. Analog RGB was fed into a calibrated Sony PVM monitor, and then meticulously aligned on each color entry to match as closely as possible to the NTSC feed from an original NES. If your CRT display is properly calibrated and the saturation isn't overblown, the RGB feed should look nearly identical. The only major exception is the blue sky color as used in Super Mario Bros. The blue voltage is out of range of analog RGB, and cannot be reproduced as a result. The color will look more 'dull' on RGB because even a maximum value of 255 in the blue channel is not enough to reproduce the same color as seen from the NTSC NES.

Remember: We know the PVM calibration was very precise, because the palette looks very similar to the composite direct capture (with the exception of the approximated SMB sky value versus the direct-capture clipped value). Thus, brown bricks are not supposed to be red, they are supposed to be brown.
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:40 pm 


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nakedarthur wrote:
I hooked up my composite NES to the KV-25XBR and took comparison pics between stock front-loader and NESRGB with Composite palette. It was really hard to capture just how dull the RGB palette is in person on it. My phone keeps wanting to make the sky much deeper blue than it actually is with a higher overall contrast. Again, I'm not saying the TV's composite is more accurate, just that its sweetening the composite signal and giving it a more colorful picture that some like myself may be more accustomed to.

Are you actually using the Composite Direct palette instead of the NTSC Hardware palette? If you are using original hardware (Such as a CRT) your meant to use the NTSC Hardware palette, not Composite Direct.

Also your CRT composite picture does kind of look over-saturated to me :? (Like how stores often have their TV's set to the "Vivid" or "Dynamic" picture preset, even though thats not how the picture is meant to look)

Plus the issues FBX mentioned above 8)


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:00 pm 


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Link83 wrote:
nakedarthur wrote:
I hooked up my composite NES to the KV-25XBR and took comparison pics between stock front-loader and NESRGB with Composite palette. It was really hard to capture just how dull the RGB palette is in person on it. My phone keeps wanting to make the sky much deeper blue than it actually is with a higher overall contrast. Again, I'm not saying the TV's composite is more accurate, just that its sweetening the composite signal and giving it a more colorful picture that some like myself may be more accustomed to.

Are you actually using the Composite Direct palette instead of the NTSC Hardware palette? If you are using original hardware (Such as a CRT) your meant to use the NTSC Hardware palette, not Composiite Direct.

Plus what FBX mentioned above - your CRT composite picture does kind of look over-saturated to me :? (Like how stores often have their TV's set to the "Vivid" preset, even though thats not how the picture is meant to look)


I tried out both, they're almost identical as FBX said (and as you can see from screencaps on previous page). For people like me hoping to put those on a CRT and magically have a colorful and vivid image they remember, you will probably be disappointed. I don't know why he's acting like I said my TV's composite input is accurate though when I clearly said the opposite. I have two 80s Sony CRTs for reference that look almost identical on default settings with a stock front-loader, and an early 2000s Toshiba that also leans the same way. Anyway, I'm working on a new palette that reflects the more vibrant colors and hues from those CRTs, but not as neon feeling as the FCEUX/Improved palettes. I'm not claiming any sort of accuracy though, just going for a pleasing nostalgic picture I can live with. FBX has done good work capturing a raw composite signal, but personally I want something that looks like what I'm used to.


Last edited by nakedarthur on Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:11 pm 


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nakedarthur wrote:
I tried out both, they're almost identical as FBX said (and as you can see from screencaps on previous page). For people hoping to put those on a CRT and magically have a colorful and vivid image they remember, you will probably be disappointed. I don't know why he's acting like I said my TV's composite input is accurate, when I clearly said the opposite. I have two 80s Sony CRTs that look almost identical on default settings with a stock front-loader, and an early 2000s Toshiba that also leans the same way. Anyway, I'm working on a new palette that reflects the more vibrant colors and hues from those CRTs, but not as neon feeling as the FCEUX/Improved palettes. I'm not claiming any sort of accuracy though, just going for a pleasing nostalgic picture I can live with.

I think with these new palettes FBX is going for accuracy, and since your used to the more saturated default CRT presets these new palettes are going to look too dim for you (Plus the fact that RGB just doesnt have quite the same color range as NTSC)

Have you tried out the Unsaturated V5 or V6 palettes? I seem to recall they were tweaked slightly and perhaps might be more what your looking for? Beyond that I hope you manage to create a palette that more closely matches what you prefer.

Unfortunately NTSC lives up to its nickname "Never Twice the Same Color", so I dont think theres ever going to be a way to please everybody.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:39 pm 


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Link83 wrote:
I think with these new palettes FBX is going for accuracy, and since your used to the more saturated default CRT presets these new palettes are going to look too dim for you (Plus the fact that RGB just doesnt have quite the same color range as NTSC)

Have you tried out the Unsaturated V5 or V6 palettes? I seem to recall they were tweaked slightly and perhaps might be more what your looking for? Beyond that I hope you manage to create a palette that more closely matches what you prefer.

Unfortunately NTSC lives up to its nickname "Never Twice the Same Color", so I dont think theres ever going to be a way to please everybody.


I was actually looking back for links to compare those older ones, but they appear to be gone. And yea, there's never going to be a single palette or firmware that pleases everyone. You can see it as a curse, but I think it's also kind of cool that we all experienced the NES differently and there's no one right way since every CRT TV treats it differently.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:36 am 



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I did some testing using FBX's previous palette set plus another, (haven't gotten to the newest yet) and agree there will never be a perfect palette for everyone. after switching back and forth between a Sony Trinitron KV-13FM12 and a Sony PVM-14L5 I came to the conclusion for my taste the best palette seems to be the SONY CXA2025AS palette that is supposed to look the most like the colors from a sony consumer CRT.

I wanted to thank FirebrandX for all the work he has done with this, it is a really good palette and is probably as close to an unmodified NES that you'll get with RGB.

Here are some pictures I took to compare the Original Hardware (FBX) palette to an unmodified NES on the PVM-14L5. One thing I did notice that when the composite out from an unmodified NES was displayed on the PVM it did have a slight blue tint not purplish for me, but overall it seemed very close.

Composite out from an Unmodified NES on PVM-14L5
Image

Composite out from Tim's RGB Board using Original Hardware (FBX) palette on PVM-14L5
Image

RGB out using Original Hardware (FBX) palette on PVM-14L5
Image






edit:

here is the SONY_CXA2025AS_US palette on PVM-14L5

Image


Higher res images

edit2: also have a few shots of the Trinitron KV-13FM12 in the link above, I didn't even like how the unmodified NES looked on that thing might try to pick up an older sony consumer TV if I can.


Last edited by tacoboy42 on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:33 am 


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Wow thanks for posting those pictures. Huge difference between pvm and consumer tv colors. I wouldn't mind an option for that Sony consumer tv palette too. I wonder what snes looks like through pvm vs consumer tv? Does it do crazy stuff to the colors like that as well?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:55 am 


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tacoboy42 wrote:
edit:

here is the SONY_CXA2025AS_US palette

Image


Higher res images


Nice, that looks VERY close to my set! Unfortunately my camera wasn't getting anywhere near what I was actually seeing. Now we just need to get it on an NESRGB firmware :) I wish I had known about that palette. I already started on a new palette that matches my CRTs closer, and here's what I got so far:

FBX NTSC Hardware / FCEUX (aka Improved) / nakedarthur
Image

I've been doing most work on my IPS monitor, but then testing on my CRT in RGB through Nestopia and fixing colors as I go. Not too shabby so far and seems to match the Sony palette, but maybe actually a bit duller.

Edit: Very interesting reading up on that Sony decoder matrix that the Sony palette is based on. Turns out its Sony's NTSC decoder itself that's altering the colors, not just the user hue adjustment. I remember reading a while back that TV makers sweetened the NTSC signal to make their sets stand out in the showroom, for instance to enhance flesh tones and make colors more vibrant. This must be why all these sets are different, as the hue alone doesn't seem to account for the differences between manufacturers.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:52 pm 


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It seems that the SONY CXA2025AS decoder palette is based on the actual equations of the color decoders used in US NTSC Sony CRT's, and in that sense it's as every bit "authentic" to most people who grew up on a Sony consumer CRT. Whoever made it is a genius, and that link to the article you posted was very interesting as well... For authenticity's sake I think this Sony palette deserves a spot on the NESRGB, alongside FBX's PVM palettes, as they really cover all of the bases.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:45 pm 


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*Some Sony CRTs. My set certainly doesn't look anything like that. They must have phased it out of later sets.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:25 am 


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Sorry, but the SMB bricks and title plate are supposed to be brown, not red. The entry is in the brown swatch, not the red one. Any set that shows those bricks as red is simply wrong.
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:02 am 



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nakedarthur wrote:
I remember reading a while back that TV makers sweetened the NTSC signal to make their sets stand out in the showroom, for instance to enhance flesh tones and make colors more vibrant. This must be why all these sets are different, as the hue alone doesn't seem to account for the differences between manufacturers.

This is exactly correct. It was very common for consumer CRTs to have an intentional "red push" that made red far more saturated than blue or green.

Anyone who tried to adjust such a set using test patterns and a blue color filter would find that they could get blue and green close to standard, but then red would always still be way too red.

This isn't something we should try to recreate in an NES palette, in my humble opinion...


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:25 am 


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First time trying to update the color palette here. I got the USB Blaster with the 10-pin cable yesterday but guess i need to make a custom connection for the JTAG holes on the NESRGB board. Will these work as a temporary solution by holding it in place (not soldering anything)?

Dupont pin cables female to male
https://www.kjell.com/se/sortiment/el-verktyg/elektronik/arduino/tillbehor/luxorparts-kopplingskablar-40-pack-hane-hona-p87900
6-pin female header
https://www.kjell.com/se/sortiment/el-verktyg/elektronik/arduino/tillbehor/stackningsbar-stiftlist-4-pack-p87899#ProductDetailedInformation

USB Blaster > Pin cable > Pin header > JTAG holes

Edit: Worked just fine! :D


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:11 pm 


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I'm surprised there isn't more excitement about finally having an accurate composite NES palette :shock: Or does everyone just have their own memories/interpretation of what the NES palette should look like?

From reading the above posts it seems at least some people prefer the changes that the SONY CXA2025AS TV decoder makes to the picture? I dont seem to be able to find any information about who made the SONY_CXA2025AS_US palette, or how they obtained the initial NES palette values.

Would it not be more accurate to convert the composite direct palette using the CXA2025AS conversion formula?
http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/sh ... ber=353026
Trebor wrote:
For those interested, the conversion formula (RGB --> YIQ) for this particular decoder matrix is as follows:

Code:

R = Y + 1,630 * I + 0,317 * Q
G = Y - 0,378 * I - 0,466 * Q
B = Y - 1,089 * I + 1,677 * Q


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:09 pm 


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Link83 wrote:
I'm surprised there isn't more excitement about finally having an accurate composite NES palette :shock: Or does everyone just have their own memories/interpretation of what the NES palette should look like?

From reading the above posts it seems at least some people prefer the changes that the SONY CXA2025AS TV decoder makes to the picture? I dont seem to be able to find any information about who made the SONY_CXA2025AS_US palette, or how they obtained the initial NES palette values.

Would it not be more accurate to convert the composite direct palette using the CXA2025AS conversion formula?
http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/sh ... ber=353026
Trebor wrote:
For those interested, the conversion formula (RGB --> YIQ) for this particular decoder matrix is as follows:

Code:

R = Y + 1,630 * I + 0,317 * Q
G = Y - 0,378 * I - 0,466 * Q
B = Y - 1,089 * I + 1,677 * Q


I've been working on the palette I mentioned above and it's almost done. Took way way longer than I expected, but I'm pretty happy with the results. You can see a ton of comparisons on the site. Still trying to get a hold of Tim for a NESRGB firmware..


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:41 pm 


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NTSC = Never The Same Color ..

I've had fun playing around with some of the FirebrandX and Wavebeam palettes on my Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW using NEStopia. Really interesting to see all the potential interpretations of color given the NES's lack of reference and everyone's idea of how the colors "should" look like.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:59 am 


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Great news, just heard back from Tim and the NESRGB firmware is ready! It contains Wavebeam, Sony CXA2025AS, and Hardware Direct (FBX). You can grab it now over on the site.

FBX - sorry, I hope you don't mind your palette on there, I meant to ask for your permission first if it was going to be used. I put forth a few suggestions for what could be used for the third option and didn't know what I'd end up with. If it's a problem just let me know and I'll try to get it swapped out for Nestopia YUV or something similar.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:23 am 


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nakedarthur wrote:
Great news, just heard back from Tim and the NESRGB firmware is ready! It contains Wavebeam, Sony CXA2025AS, and Hardware Direct (FBX). You can grab it now over on the site...

Thx nakedarthur. I like the combinations of palettes in your release. So I am able to get the accurate by FBX and the Sony one.


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