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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:35 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
Bahn Yuki wrote:
Out of curiosity what hdmi input are you guys using on your vizios? Hdmi 1-4 is Lot more friendly with pc resolutions. Worth a shot...


I gave it a try tonight. I actually saw the opposite behavior. I'm not getting a signal on HDMI 4 whereas things work on HDMI 5. I double-checked to be sure. I'm not sure why.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:48 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
orange808 wrote:
Use a scaler that was designed to handle computer graphics. It's cheaper and easier.

Buy a Kramer vp-719ds and a cheap Chinese VGA to HDMI box. It outputs 720p right out of the box and that's fine. It does custom outputs and it has the raw power to do 1080p. Just key in the timings as a custom output resolution.


I was able to pick one up for $32. I'm connecting it through the Sewell Manta I referenced earlier and the image is still blurry. I've ordered a $6 converter to see if that helps. I think part of the problem is that I've been unable to get the Kramer to output 720p. The option is grayed out on the 719DS and according to the manual is only available on the 723DS and 724DS.

I assume you're referring to the "User Defined Resolutions" to customize things? Any tips on values you recommend?

Thanks again for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:53 am 


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strygo wrote:
orange808 wrote:
Use a scaler that was designed to handle computer graphics. It's cheaper and easier.

Buy a Kramer vp-719ds and a cheap Chinese VGA to HDMI box. It outputs 720p right out of the box and that's fine. It does custom outputs and it has the raw power to do 1080p. Just key in the timings as a custom output resolution.


I was able to pick one up for $32. I'm connecting it through the Sewell Manta I referenced earlier and the image is still blurry. I've ordered a $6 converter to see if that helps. I think part of the problem is that I've been unable to get the Kramer to output 720p. The option is grayed out on the 719DS and according to the manual is only available on the 723DS and 724DS.

I assume you're referring to the "User Defined Resolutions" to customize things? Any tips on values you recommend?

Thanks again for your help.


Select 1280x720. If you want to use DTV timings for 720p or 1080p, you can google them. You shouldn't need to, your display should handle 1280x720 as 720p.

If you are in Windows running at 1024x768 (the defacto standard resolution for desktop and gaming on Windows 98), you might want to use 1366x768. This should also be recognized as a "720p" input by your display.

Adjust the sharpness on the scaler. You will want to increase it.

Also, you may need to adjust your display.

If your display normally scales low resolution signals poorly, you can try adding 1080p or 1200p as custom resolutions.
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Last edited by orange808 on Sun May 21, 2017 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 3:43 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
Let me first say - thank you for all the info and pointers. It is very much appreciated.

I've had a chance to do some more testing. The 719DS is definitely more robust than the Manta alone, but I do think the Manta may generally be interfering with things. For example, I can't test the 1280x768 resolution without the Manta forcing a resolution of 720p or 1080p. I'll know more once the cheap converter arrives. I also have the Gefen scaler on the way so I'll be able to do a side-by-side comparison.

I'm having a bear of a time with the user defined resolution settings. I've been unable to configure any value that is displayed. I'm likely being obtuse, but when I try to enter the various values, nothing works. The refresh rate may be the problem, but I don't have a baseline to start from. According to the manual, a newer version of the firmware has a way to start from a pre-defined one.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:13 pm 


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Quote:
I also have the Gefen scaler on the way

did you order the DVI or HDMI one ? If you got the DVI one, I would use a DVI to HDMI cable (if you need HDMI) instead of using a DVI to HDMI adapter plus HDMI/HDMI cable. The later combination gave me some trouble on the DVI Gefen.

Definitely let me know how that comparison turns out! Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 5:54 pm 



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Posts: 68
Fudoh wrote:
did you order the DVI or HDMI one ? If you got the DVI one, I would use a DVI to HDMI cable (if you need HDMI) instead of using a DVI to HDMI adapter plus HDMI/HDMI cable. The later combination gave me some trouble on the DVI Gefen.


I went with the DVI one. It was more readily available. I got a small passive adapter. Thanks for the heads up - if it doesn't work, I'll go the route you suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:41 pm 


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Quote:
I got a small passive adapter. Thanks for the heads up - if it doesn't work, I'll go the route you suggest.

the problem I had with using an adapter (DVI to HDMI) was that 1080p gave me horizontal sparkles throughout the picture, while 720p and VESA resolutions were fine. Definitely a cable bandwith issue somehow amplified by the adapter.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 11:54 pm 



Joined: 18 Sep 2014
Posts: 82
If you have a spare PCI slot could you use a graphics card with DVI out, like a Radeon 9250? It has Win 98 drivers.
It would mean less cabling at least, and they are available for not much cash.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 1:02 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
I was actually looking at the GeForce FX 5200 for this precise purpose. It has DVI-I output.

Apart from the cabling benefits you mention, does this give me any other or better options for upscaling apart from the Gefen or Kramer?


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 7:40 am 



Joined: 18 Sep 2014
Posts: 82
Modern driver software can scale an image before output to match the native resolution of the monitor but you'd have to check the documentation for specific driver suite of the card you're looking at to see if the Win98 compatible drivers had this feature. It wouldn't work in pure dos mode I'm sure.
You still need your TV/monitor to accept the refresh rate.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:06 pm 


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RocketBelt wrote:
Modern driver software can scale an image before output to match the native resolution of the monitor but you'd have to check the documentation for specific driver suite of the card you're looking at to see if the Win98 compatible drivers had this feature. It wouldn't work in pure dos mode I'm sure.
You still need your TV/monitor to accept the refresh rate.


Which W98 cards support gpu scaling and what kind of quality can a person expect?
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:55 pm 



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I don't know that any do. You'd have to check the driver documentation.
ATI PCI or AGP cards with DVI for Win 98 will be Catalyst 6.2
The only benefit for sure is that you wouldn't need a vgi to hdmi converter in the chain.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:03 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
I've had a chance to do some more testing on a few devices.

Kramer VP-719DS + Chinese VGA2HDMI
This combination works much better than the Kramer and the Manta. Much of prior distortion I had been seeing was due to the forced 720p/1080p scaling of the Manta. The picture is stable but somewhat blurry. No amount of adjusting of sharpness, etc. has gotten the quality of the picture to where I would like.

Gefen VGA to DVI Scaler Plus
I initially had some trouble with this device. It requires a 2.6A 5V DC adapter and the one it came with was only 0.5A. Once I tracked down the proper adapter, the initial problems I'd been seeing went away. Its onscreen display is certainly simpler than the Kramer and it is easier to use. The picture output from this device is clearer but less stable. In many resolutions, there is a visible vibration to the image both when I output via DVI-A to VGA (to my main monitor) and via DVI-D to HDMI (to my Vizio LCD). If anyone has any ideas on why this is happening, I'd love to hear them. Otherwise, the device is nice.

Extron RGB-HDMI 300 A
Based on suggestions from this thread, I've been looking for the Extron RGB-HDMI device but haven't found one for sale. I discovered a cheap (~$30) 300 A device and figured I might as well give it a shot. Overall, this device seems to work best for my needs. It scales all of the resolutions I throw at it, has a mostly clear image (definitely not on par with say the Framemeister, but the best I've seen so far), and no vibration like the Gefen. My only issue with it is that if I select an output resolution my LCD can't display, I have to cycle power on the Extron so that I can get the OSD back. The fact that it can handle audio via HDMI (I haven't test this yet however) is an added bonus.

As an aside, I've been using a Gefen 1:4 VGA distribution amplifier with my testing and it has done a great job allowing me to route to both my CRT monitor and LCD display. I have a Kramer VP-724DS on its way that I'll be testing with and I've been looking to track down an Extron VSC 300/500 based on recommendations in this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:30 am 


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I'm sorry the Kramer made you unhappy. :( Did you manage to get 1080p or 1200p keyed in?

------

I had an​ Extron RGB-HDMI 300 A and I think Fudoh bought it. I bet he has some insights to share.

I sold it because of lag, but I don't remember the exact number (sorry). I can say that the difference in latency between the RGB-HDMI 300 A and the processors I keep (like the Kramer 719ds) was enough for me to sell the Extron.

I remember ringing when I dialed up the sharpness.

Extron claimed it has full end to end 4:4:4 processing. I was not convinced, but it might.
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:33 am 



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No, I wasn't able to enter a custom resolution. I haven't had a chance to play around with it more, but I wasn't sure if I simply entered it incorrectly or if the refresh rate was wrong. If you (or someone) could provide working values (or a screenshot) that would help me.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:35 am 


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strygo wrote:
No, I wasn't able to enter a custom resolution. I haven't had a chance to play around with it more, but I wasn't sure if I simply entered it incorrectly or if the refresh rate was wrong. If you (or someone) could provide working values (or a screenshot) that would help me.


Ok. I'll get some pics of the timings for you and post them.
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:46 am 



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Posts: 68
Sweet, thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:49 am 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
I should also add that I picked up a GeForce FX 5200 that has DVI-I output and is compatible with Win98. I need to do some testing to see whether that produces better results than my current Voodoo 3 3000 (with only VGA output).


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:16 am 


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This should work with most any display that supports 1080p. Let me know how it works out. :)

1080p output timing

HT: 2200
HW: 42
HS: 238
HA: 1920
HP: -

VT: 1125
VW: 26
VS: 19
VA: 1080
VP: -

OCLK: 148.5MHz
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 8:25 am 



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Cool, thanks. That worked!

So far, the Extron RGB 300 seems to do a better job of jumping between resolutions and maintaining the appropriate aspect ratio for a given screen. The others tend to go haywire when switching, including various delays and weird image offset problems. For example, in the case of the user-defined resolution on the Kramer, the image is both offset and partially clipped.

One thing I've found is that the Extron also does seem to behave better outputting at 1024x768 than 720p.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:05 pm 


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strygo wrote:
Cool, thanks. That worked!

So far, the Extron RGB 300 seems to do a better job of jumping between resolutions and maintaining the appropriate aspect ratio for a given screen. The others tend to go haywire when switching, including various delays and weird image offset problems. For example, in the case of the user-defined resolution on the Kramer, the image is both offset and partially clipped.

One thing I've found is that the Extron also does seem to behave better outputting at 1024x768 than 720p.


Does Windows look better running directly to the display at 1024x768 @ 60Hz?

You may only need to use a scaler for DOS.
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 1:24 am 



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I had a chance to compare the 1024x768 setting and the 720p/1080p settings. Each set seems to have its pros and cons. The 1024x768 setting is nice because it is 4:3, so any PC resolution I send it is by default displayed with the correct aspect ratio. The Vizio handles this resolution well enough, so that's nice.

The 720p/1080p settings look a tad clearer on the display, but because they are assumed to be 16:9, every new resolution I encounter needs to be adjusted to have the correct aspect ratio and centered. It remembers this, so it's not too bad.

The pixels look good from sitting distance but are still exhibit a slight vibration if I look carefully. I spent some time tinkering with the input signal options, but I'm having a hard time trying to marry up my observations with the VGA timings. On the device, I'm able to adjust total pixels in a line, horizontal start, vertical start, active pixel width, and active pixel height. I've tried to specify values taken from http://martin.hinner.info/vga/timing.html when at the command prompt and with Doom and the results don't match my expectations. I'm operating under the assumption that there is a "right" value that is optimal, but with so many knobs I end up going in circles. For example, I found a group of settings that cut down on vibration dramatically, but at the expense of proper aspect ratio. Does anyone have any experience with this or know of any resources? Am I wrong in thinking there is a right set of values for a given resolution?


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:09 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
Posts: 68
In search of a better signal, I learned way more about how VGA works than I was expecting. I discovered that although DOS/Doom use an effective VGA resolution of 640x400x70, VGA has a concept of overscan that Doom (and apparently other games) takes advantage of. On my CRT monitor, I noticed that Doom colors this border depending on the character state (hurt, beserk, etc.), so I tried to effectively capture this in the signal I see on the LCD. When I account for 16 pixels on the left and right, I'm able to get a picture that looks great and is super stable. Here are the settings I've used:

    Total Pixels: 832
    Horiz. Start: 98
    Horiz. Active: 688
    Vert. Start: 126
    Vert. Active: 417

The calculator at https://arachnoid.com/modelines/ was useful for arriving at these values.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:13 am 


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Fudoh wrote:
as ZellSF stated, your main problem is that low-res dos games are not running at 320x240p60 but are instead running in a linedoubled 320x200p70 (-> 400p70) mode. And the same is true for bios/dos text modes which is 720x400p70.


That means old Dos PC games don't display scanlines on an old CRT VGA PC monitor? I really can't remember.

Will a modern PC running Dos box, outputting to an CRT VGA monitor display the Dos games correctly?


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:55 am 



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I got a VP-724DS for very cheap and I see consistent behavior between it and the 719DS. The Windows resolutions are fine, but anything else doesn't work very well at all. Although it can detect the DOS resolutions correctly (as listed on the status screen), it doesn't render them properly. The screen is zoomed in and clipped. I've searched for a setting that might be causing that, but I haven't found one. Also of note, when the Windows login/logout screen is displayed, it is completely scrambled. The Extron on the other hand seems to handle all of this without issue.

As somewhat of a tangent to this thread, I played around with using this device to display my consoles on a CRT monitor via component and got decent results. Compared to a GB-8220 I borrowed from a friend a while ago, the image was much more stable. If I had a SLG, I imagine the results would be even better.

The next device on my list to test is a VSC 500. I wouldn't mind testing with a VSC 300 but so far an affordable one hasn't surfaced.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:44 pm 


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strygo wrote:
I got a VP-724DS for very cheap and I see consistent behavior between it and the 719DS. The Windows resolutions are fine, but anything else doesn't work very well at all. Although it can detect the DOS resolutions correctly (as listed on the status screen), it doesn't render them properly. The screen is zoomed in and clipped. I've searched for a setting that might be causing that, but I haven't found one. Also of note, when the Windows login/logout screen is displayed, it is completely scrambled. The Extron on the other hand seems to handle all of this without issue.

As somewhat of a tangent to this thread, I played around with using this device to display my consoles on a CRT monitor via component and got decent results. Compared to a GB-8220 I borrowed from a friend a while ago, the image was much more stable. If I had a SLG, I imagine the results would be even better.

The next device on my list to test is a VSC 500. I wouldn't mind testing with a VSC 300 but so far an affordable one hasn't surfaced.


The VSC 500 only outputs 480i.

The vp-724 added a picture in picture option. The vp-719 has no PIP and latency varies between frames (due to frame rate conversion), but it often dips below a frame. That leads me to believe the vp-724 would have more lag to implement PIP.
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:11 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
The VSC 500 only outputs 480i.

The vp-724 added a picture in picture option. The vp-719 has no PIP and latency varies between frames (due to frame rate conversion), but it often dips below a frame. That leads me to believe the vp-724 would have more lag to implement PIP.


Yeah, fair. I'm still interested in tracking down a VSC 300. I'm assuming/hoping that the VSC 500 will still be representative of how the VSC models handle resolution changes. Your earlier shots are promising.

As for the VP line: I agree. Both units behaved consistently poorly for me though, so I won't be using them for this purpose. :)


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:02 am 


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strygo wrote:
orange808 wrote:
The VSC 500 only outputs 480i.

The vp-724 added a picture in picture option. The vp-719 has no PIP and latency varies between frames (due to frame rate conversion), but it often dips below a frame. That leads me to believe the vp-724 would have more lag to implement PIP.


Yeah, fair. I'm still interested in tracking down a VSC 300. I'm assuming/hoping that the VSC 500 will still be representative of how the VSC models handle resolution changes. Your earlier shots are promising.

As for the VP line: I agree. Both units behaved consistently poorly for me though, so I won't be using them for this purpose. :)


The VSC 300 is softer than the Kramer vp-719. I have the benefit of my Vizio; its output is very sharp. If the vp-719 disappointed you, I'm certain you won't like the soft VSC 300 output.

I keep the VSC 300 because it is a quick and dirty way to get an image on most displays, but you'll probably be happier looking at a different machine.
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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:19 pm 



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Fudoh, I have seen you speak positively of the DVS 304 in some other contexts. Any thoughts on it vs. the VSC models in this context? It has the advantage of having a DVI out and its age is somewhere between the RGB300 and the VSC models.

Its price has come down somewhat so I am wondering it is worthy of experimentation.


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 Post subject: Re: 90's Era PC to HDMI
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:28 pm 


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I never had a VSC300 unit and all other VSC units just output in 15khz.

While I did try the DVS304 for 31khz VGA sources, I didn't compare to any other machines for any of other possible PC output resolutions (like 400p70). It's OK I guess. If you want to try it, pay attention to what you buy: the DVS304 is available with analogue only outputs as well and only a later revision of the unit featured DVI output.

What surprised me a bit is that you have stability issues with the Gefen. I can't say that I ever noticed anything like that and I would suspect that it comes down to manual sampling controls.


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