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 Post subject: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:17 am 



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I thought it was pretty neat back when Dreamcast was made available and people who bought the vga box would experience 480p in true progressive scan for the first time. Of course when that system was buried, everyone was forced to migrate onto Sony, who didn't give as much of an opportunity because developers didn't see the format as a priority and we were pretty much stuck with interlaced signals. This didn't change until the other two main competitors (GCN/Xbox) arrived later and made the ability for games to display in progressive scan again available, thus helping the tv marketplace to adapt. EDTV became the next standard as a result.

Personally I never got to play on one of these sets as most of my brands didn't have progressive support as I'd have hoped, so like everyone else I ended up picking up one of those crappy HDboxpro type converters to upscale on my monitor. I think the real issue was when this format was new, it would be pretty hard for a lot of people to make that jump from interlace to progressive only because of how expensive these tv's were and I've always considered it to be another gap like when the government finally switched us all to digital. Gaming changed on this standard and in the following years we would be migrating to HDTV's with horrendous input lag, while lcd's were just getting a foothold.

Does anyone have an EDTV handy or do you have any experiences on it? Currently the only way I know to truly enjoy 480p now before crt's are gone is to hook the ossc up to a computer monitor. It's also sad because crt's are getting rarer and no longer an available option on newer consoles. We need to focus on the fact that enjoying it as it was meant to be seen (scanlines and all) is becoming a fading opportunity.

480p is officially the newest retro.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:11 am 



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DC VGA looks damn purdy on my arcade monitor.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:05 am 



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I don't think Dreamcast was meant to be played on EDTV's that much. To give a timeline, Dreamcast was released in Q3 1999. It was discontinued in North America on March 31, 2001 - so it was a VERY brief time it was available.

Back then computer CRT monitors was where 480p was at - pretty much all of them took a 480p signal over VGA. I don't have a timeline on EDTV's or HDTV CRT's - but those were pretty rare to everybody I knew (not a single person owned one), and we lived in a pretty uppity part of the country (i.e. people liked to drop money on the newest thing all the time). For comparison, computer LCD/LED monitors didn't outsell CRT variants until Q3 2003. LCD/LED TV's only outsold their CRT counterparts in Q4 2007 (these dates are from old archived news articles).

SO, what I'm getting at is there was a LOT more CRT VGA monitors around back then, and I think that's what they were envisioning the Dreamcast being played on - not so much EDTV's.

Anyway, to answer your question, I play Dreamcast (and GC, and some of the rare PS2, and OG Xbox games in 480p) on my Sony multiformat PVM and BVM's in 480p. Still looks absolutely beautiful on those, and I've been on a quest lately to mirror that experience on my 4k flatscreen with a variety of upscalers...still doesn't hold up I'm afraid to say. Acceptable, even nice looking on occasion, but there's something those CRT's do with 480p that just doesn't translate to our modern displays.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:35 am 


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VGA from the DC was more of a novelty for me back in the day. I remember trying it mid 2001 or so on my PC VGA monitor and not being all that impressed. It certainly looked sharp and the colors popped, but I could still see the rough edges around everything, actually, worse than I could when playing on a consumer television in 480i. The thing is, I was playing PC games at 1024x768 and higher at the same time on the same monitor, so going from that to the DC's 480p via a VGA box was still a step back. I suppose if I had a consumer display that supported progressive modes it would have been different, but I didn't.

Thinking about it again, if I can get my hands on another PC VGA CRT monitor, I wouldn't mind trying the DC's VGA connection again. Maybe I'd appreciate it more now.

As far as the DC on an arcade monitor, hm... I need to look into getting that rigged up in my cab. I bet it would look pretty good there.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:24 am 



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You were right about there being more PC monitors back in the day and it made me wonder why we didn't have the technology "back then" to just convert our signals without having any of the bull**** processing of later tv's?

I had a crappy HDBoxPro years back because my trinitron kicked the bucket and I didn't have the money, nor room for another set. We couldbn't just get around to a simple signal converter, but oh we had to wait something in the area of 15 years for an ossc to be available. Hell while I'm at it, figures we just now have hdmi to vga adapters all widespread when HDFury wanted something around $200 for their shtick. :roll:

I would have loved having that 23 inch monitor I saw a good deal on and had a device that allowed everything to run on it. RGB, YbPbPr component, proper de-interlacing support and 240p, etc.....
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:08 pm 


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Dreamcast on PC crt is a beautiful thing. I'm guessing that's how people experienced it's 480p output back then; and NOT on EDTV. I mean, people already had the PC crt lying around. so no need for an EDTV in this case. Just use what you already have.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:33 pm 


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Austin wrote:
As far as the DC on an arcade monitor, hm... I need to look into getting that rigged up in my cab. I bet it would look pretty good there.


I did this on my last monitor. It's pretty nice... basically how Naomi games were experienced in the arcades.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:01 pm 


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I used to think native 480p on a crt wasn't anything special... until I hooked my DC to an NEC XM37+.

I almost feel out my chair when I saw Guilty Gear X, then RE : Code Veronica, then Soul Calibur, then...

Totally shocked by the picture and how it benefited the graphics



I used to believe native res on crt only benefited 240p. That with 480p, you're "way better off with an lcd anyway".

I was wrong...


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:37 pm 



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Trying 960p mode with scanlines is interesting as it clears up any pixel placement issues and delivers a purer picture then I realized. Also with ossc being a bridge gap to the other consoles, getting component to look as good as native VGA is really something as well.

For an lcd to look as good, 960p is a required must on most sets so that any filtering doesn't kick in. However I'm still dealing with those dang moir issues, but sometimes vertical scanlines really surprise me once I get the whole setup right. There's a few games that are absolutely perfect for this and they remind me of those older arcade raster monitors.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:20 pm 


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It's not still a thing? ;D The Wii was 480, right? Oh, I guess that's a long time ago already :o 2019, huh... weird.

I remember seeing the DC on VGA for the first time. Holy crap, that was amazing. I mean, PC stuff was doing that and higher for a bit, but the DC delivering that silky smooth no-jitter amazing-arcade-game-artists-worked-on-this kind of stuff right to your monitor was incredible at the time.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:58 pm 


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I thought 480p on Dreamcast carried over to from the NAOMI arcade system. Both systems were near identical, there wasn't a reason to remove the option I guess?


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:45 am 


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Coming from the PC (where "480p" VGA picture was nothing special) as the major gaming platform of mine, I've never thought much of Dreamcast's 480p (compared to interlaced RGB via Euro SCART from the same console on a CRT). While the notorious lack of deflickering in early Hi-res console games bothers me, interlacing as such (when handled nicely, i.e. deflickered) is fine with me. I don't mind seeing it on my GBA SP either.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:10 am 


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Interlacing is cancer.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:56 pm 


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I loathe interlacing


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:13 pm 


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My suspicion has always been that the high esteem DC's VGA 480p seems to be held in by American people was due to the colour definition superior to systems commonly used by American TVs at the time, rather than progressive scan in itself (seeing how "SD" consoles in anime shows are typically hooked up via only three CINCH plugs, I can only guess Japan was largely the same in this regard).
To be fair, when I got to see DC's signal output on a VGA CRT, it was a fairly burnt out one, whilst my RGB CRTs - not quite as weary yet. Nevertheless, at that point it was merely the 3dfx Voodoo3 kind of graphics I'd seen many times rendered in much higher resolutions, also on VGA CRTs, cel-shaded even (word is, XIII used the first Unreal Engine, already "vintage" in its time), so I couldn't help wondering what the enthusiasm of yesteryear was all about.
Today's equivalent of that disappointment, to me, are the first "HD" gen console games, which - without up- and/or downscaling - won't run in correct proportions on a "HDTV", so in fullscreen they ALWAYS look less sharp than any old PC game rendered without any scaling on the same LCD.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:42 pm 


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For my part, it's not even about finally having RGB, being in North America. I mean that was part of it back then. But I'm speaking of today. what's impressive about the DC VGA signal today is :

-The huge support for progressive scan. Interlaced looks quite a lot softer than progressive scan. Especially 480i vs 480p. And interlaced gives you nasty combing artifacts on fast moving stuff... I just hate that res, even displayed via RGB. 480 progressive scan is a godsend.

-How clean and crisp to signal is, even compared to most other consoles' RGB. A lot of consoles have little hiccups here and there in their RGB signal. The DC's is just on point. It's perfect. And thus it tends to look a little bit cleaner than some of the other consoles' RGB


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:49 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
For my part, it's not even about finally having RGB, being in North America. I mean that was part of it back then. But I'm speaking of today. what's impressive about the DC VGA signal today is :

-The huge support for progressive scan. Interlaced looks quite a lot softer than progressive scan. Especially 480i vs 480p. And interlaced gives you nasty combing artifacts on fast moving stuff... I just hate that res, even displayed via RGB. 480 progressive scan is a godsend.

-How clean and crisp to signal is, even compared to most other consoles' RGB. A lot of consoles have little hiccups here and there in their RGB signal. The DC's is just on point. It's perfect. And thus it tends to look a little bit cleaner than some of the other consoles' RGB


Even on arcade cabs it made a big difference. It was always a step down when you came across a NAOMI cab on a low res display, or arcade machines that were high res 3d but interlaced it (I remember some of the Namco cabs being this way..?). Interlaced Virtua Tennis is definitely not as nice. Even something like Zombie Revenge, as bad as it looks today, was a treat still in 1998 just because of its sharpness and fluidity-- it still wasn't a given that even an expensive arcade game would be 480p! Well, hmm.. Google says it was a 1999 release. But I swear I played it long before I heard about the Dreamcast (I wasn't up on the latest console news during that period). BOOLETS!
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:58 pm 


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louisg wrote:
FinalBaton wrote:
For my part, it's not even about finally having RGB, being in North America. I mean that was part of it back then. But I'm speaking of today. what's impressive about the DC VGA signal today is :

-The huge support for progressive scan. Interlaced looks quite a lot softer than progressive scan. Especially 480i vs 480p. And interlaced gives you nasty combing artifacts on fast moving stuff... I just hate that res, even displayed via RGB. 480 progressive scan is a godsend.

-How clean and crisp to signal is, even compared to most other consoles' RGB. A lot of consoles have little hiccups here and there in their RGB signal. The DC's is just on point. It's perfect. And thus it tends to look a little bit cleaner than some of the other consoles' RGB


Even on arcade cabs it made a big difference. It was always a step down when you came across a NAOMI cab on a low res display, or arcade machines that were high res 3d but interlaced it (I remember some of the Namco cabs being this way..?). Interlaced Virtua Tennis is definitely not as nice. Even something like Zombie Revenge, as bad as it looks today, was a treat still in 1998 just because of its sharpness and fluidity-- it still wasn't a given that even an expensive arcade game would be 480p! Well, hmm.. Google says it was a 1999 release. But I swear I played it long before I heard about the Dreamcast (I wasn't up on the latest console news during that period). BOOLETS!


Wasn't the reason why 240p and 480p was big is because of how smooth and crisp they were compared to 480i?

I know scanlines were a thing but having a smooth picture was important as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:28 am 


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I was surprised to find out that AC Popeye uses an odd interlaced resolution (512 x 448i). I prefer non interlaced, but I was impressed by the detailed sprites for the time the game came out. Sky Skipper seems to use the same resolution with detailed sprites and simple background objects, which wouldn't be a surprise since it uses the same hardware.


Last edited by BrianC on Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:14 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
Interlaced looks quite a lot softer than progressive scan.

If it's - again - deflickered, with RGB or YPbPr colour, on a CRT, I am quite fond of this soft image effect. When I took a serious interest in consoles (PS2 days those were), I would consider it a major reason why console games looked different from computer ones. Even multiplatform titles, technically decent on PC (ports from consoles were typically BAD way back then), not necessarily looked better to me, prog-scanned in 1024x768 or so, than otherwise the same (textures, models, even framerates) games on a console, interlaced. As a rule of thumb, rough screenshots taken from hi-res consoles I saw printed in magazines looked nothing like those very games viewed on your average RGB CRT (the former looked embarrassing to me). What else than SDTV blur was easing off their roughness?

That being said, a degree to what said small mercy applies depends largely on a given game (vast majority of PS2 games looked not nearly as tidy as MGS2 or BG: Dark Alliance on my telly, DC and GameCube were quite consistent in that respect, whereas Wii clearly marks the point at which some devs didn't even bother checking how their games look on a humble 3:4 CRT - all three "Operation Rainfall" titles making for the most bewildering examples).
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:46 pm 


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^^^^^^
I'm talking about 480i on a crt too

Allright, different strokes for different folks I guess. I really don't like that the ps2 has such a huge proportion of 480i titles. And I also don't like how those titles look (and I'm a huge Sony fanboy, mind you) considering they could look much better. But it's fine if you do

(I had a multisync crt here and could test ps2 games that support progressive scan in both it and 480i on the same tube, and let me tell ya : 480p looks so much more solid)

It's pretty frustrating to know we could be having those titles in 480p on PS2... but are stuck with 480i

This is why DC's almost 100% support for progressive scan is so awesome


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:17 pm 


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Re: the PS2: Wasn't it some kind of video RAM limitation, like in a lot of cases they only had enough for a half-resolution framebuffer and interlaced it manually (rendering one image for one frame, rendering the other image for the next)? This would be as opposed to rendering both even and odd lines and the hardware itself using a filter to smash them together, smoothing out the transition between odd/even. Anyone know for sure what the scoop is there? Cuz there was always a bit more harshness on that system, kind of like when the Saturn tries to do high res in Virtua Fighter 2 and you can see the lines in the bricks flashing on and off with each frame. It's been a long time since I broke out the PS2, but I remember games using digital blur to try to reign in the aliasing and interlacing bounce (could it be part of why devs tended towards more desaturated textures? or maybe this was just the style). DC and GC were always pretty smoothed out on interlaced mode by contrast. XBox 1 is weird because somehow I remember it looking like it was squeezing an even higher res image onto a 480i display, but that could also be me misremembering too.
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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:24 pm 


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louisg wrote:
Re: the PS2: Wasn't it some kind of video RAM limitation, like in a lot of cases they only had enough for a half-resolution framebuffer and interlaced it manually (rendering one image for one frame, rendering the other image for the next)? This would be as opposed to rendering both even and odd lines and the hardware itself using a filter to smash them together, smoothing out the transition between odd/even.

could very well be, I also don't remember the specifics of it


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 Post subject: Re: Remember when 480p was a thing?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:09 am 



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FinalBaton wrote:
This is why DC's almost 100% support for progressive scan is so awesome


I can say the same for Xbox and GCN as well.

louisg wrote:
Re: the PS2: Wasn't it some kind of video RAM limitation, like in a lot of cases they only had enough for a half-resolution framebuffer and interlaced it manually (rendering one image for one frame, rendering the other image for the next)?


To be honest 480p wasn't really in the ball game yet and we had just introduced the YUV component format. They might have done this to help with gaming performance, but we had to wait until progressive scan started becoming the norm with competing systems before it was even a consideration. Even then some dev's were ignorant to the concept and kept their games interlaced, including ports from over a decade ago.
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