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 Post subject: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:24 pm 


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Location: Liverpool
Hi,

I'm looking to get a 240p display (on a very average 14" CRT) out of a 360. I understand that if I just buy an official RGB SCART cable for the console it'll output at 480i, but I'm not sure if I need some kind of scaler or if my best/only option is to source a PC CRT and use a VGA cable instead. I figure plenty of people here would have been playing their 360 shmups on CRT when the console was new, so if anyone can remember how they hooked things up, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!

(I've always had it hooked up to low-latency LCD monitors of around 21", so I'm prepared to accept I should just stick to that...)


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:31 pm 


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The 480i looks great in-game, menus will be flickering more noticeable though, using the Advanced Scart cable from Microsoft. If you get the official VGA cable and can source a downscaler like the UVC, you'll lose the flickering and get a closer to arcade-look. It all depends on how much time and money you're willing to spend on something many people won't even get hung up on.
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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:37 pm 


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Thanks, emph! You make a good point - a lot of people used to talk with utter disgust about PS2 ports displaying in 480i, but they rarely looked bad on my TV. I was playing the Mushi port the other day - a notorious offender - and it still looked lovely, tbh. :)

If Futari looks alright at 480i, that's good enough for me.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:12 pm 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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The most direct (non-postprocessing) method for actual 240p would be 360 > RGBS cable > Extron interface > RGBS cable > 15khz RGB TV. Some Extron interfaces allow 480i > 240p, which is what one'd prefer for original 240p games such as Death Smiles' original mode, which normally displays at 640x480. Note that the original graphics should be free of filters - I'm not sure if the 360 always uses an anti-flicker filter when the system outputs at 15khz.

For remade Cave graphics (and others with a 640x480 option) the best possible display is a PC CRT and the official VGA cable though. Maybe there's now a VGA cable/device which adds black lines every other scanline (Beharbros?) for line-doubled graphics, though the resulting picture will be less natural than actual 240p.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:27 am 



Joined: 07 Jan 2017
Posts: 355
You can output 480p and downscale to 240p using a DVDO iScan.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=53807
It's not as good as native 240p of course, but at least the intended effect is displayed and you get very nice, natural-looking, vertical scanlines on tate mode.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 1:11 am 



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Most consider this the best for downscaling to 240p (also when talking about availability too):

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=63226
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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:11 am 


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Gbs control also does nice downscaling. Does not work with the rgbhv input, but does work with rgbs or ypbpr. 480i or 480p on either.

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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 9:27 am 


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Thanks very much, all! I'll definitely give your thread a read, Dochartaigh - I don't know anything about scalers so it'll be a great lesson.

Bassa-Bassa, for the setup you mentioned (360 > RGBS cable > Extron interface > RGBS cable > 15khz RGB TV), would I need a 'male-to-male' cable for the second RGBS?

Thanks again, everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:00 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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Quote:
Bassa-Bassa, for the setup you mentioned (360 > RGBS cable > Extron interface > RGBS cable > 15khz RGB TV), would I need a 'male-to-male' cable for the second RGBS?


Well, it's a quite simplified diagram. The Extron 203 R, for instance, only has female D sub inputs and female BNC outputs, so when I mentioned "RGBS cable", I was not taking connector types in consideration. SCART into D sub 15 (male) adapter should be easy enough to find, for BNC into SCART, this one (with the output config., I guess). I myself never tested this particular setup, keep it in mind. It may fail in the end because these interfaces are sometimes tricky to set properly, and the scan offset they do for 240p is not guaranteed to work well enough. Add to all this that they output 5V so your TV set may suffer with the time and most people will tell you to attenuate it somehow before.

So, in theory, it's the cheapest and most "correct" method since it's the only one without post-processing. Any scaler you'll find will process the signal so some latency is always added, but it's supposedly pretty minor with the best devices, however those aren't cheap. At the same time, if you're using a low-end 14inch TV set it likely isn't worth the hassle. At that size and specs, black lines are hardly visible with a sane distance, so I'd actually start with getting me a better display.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:32 am 


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Thanks so much for this. Yeah, that's definitely something I'm interested in - I'd like a bigger Trinitron or something of similar quality, but I don't drive so I'm largely reliant on eBayers being willing to package and post things, which they almost never are (in the UK, at least).


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 1:46 pm 


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Just a reminder that Extron interfaces do *not* convert 480i to 240p - they just produce a very good flicker filtering type of effect. It’s still gonna register as 480i if you were to plug it into some other gear. For actual 240p you’d want one of the other devices mentioned thus far, GBSC units being the most affordable at this point.

Kinda wish it was more clearly defined that the Extron RGB interfaces aren’t truly removing the interlace from a SD signal, it’s just… not true! Heh. Again, it does provide a very stable and effective look that’s kinda *close* to 240p, but if you put it side by side with actual 240p with the same source on the same two types of CRT the difference would be easily recognizable.
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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:22 pm 



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Quote:
Just a reminder that Extron interfaces do *not* convert 480i to 240p - they just produce a very good flicker filtering type of effect.


Is that really the case? As they're not processing the signal in any way, how can they do anything else than just an offset of the second field of lines (also called "double strike", I think)? The time we tested it (with a PC), the result was not different to the deinterlacing the same Trinitron TV did via service settings. Are you sure you tried it with clean line-doubled graphics? If those were filtered like many high resolution consoles do at 15khz you indeed get what you describe...


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 4:46 pm 


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I could never get a good looking faux-240p from an Extron RGB, I always had issues where like one field out of every 10 would land in the wrong spot and give a blurry/flickery look to the whole picture. And that was the best case scenario. Some of my Extrons would just turn the picture into a scattered mess of semi-interlacing.

But if you do luck out and find an Extron RGB that works well with your CRT, you should know that they also work with YPbPr if you enable Sync on Green on the Extron.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 1:12 am 


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+1 (or negative one?)
The Extron RGB trick doesn't work very well. Probably shouldn't bother with it.

I'd use one of the downscalers suggested above.
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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:12 am 


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Just to clarify: the Extron interfaces change the 1/2 line offset on top of each frame, which is signaling the TV "this if interlaced" or "this is non-interlaced". The picture isn't processed in any way. This was really ever only meant for 240p content running in a true 480i mode without filtering, so it's far from being an universal 240p solution for all 480i sources.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:46 pm 



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Thanks for confirming my thesis. That's why asked kitty666cats about his source. With a PC, getting a clean, unfiltered line-doubled 480i picture is trivial, but has it been confirmed that the 360 is able to output 480i without the usual anti-flicker filter for 15khz? I'm not sure even if the DC is able to do that (with or without softmod).


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 3:47 pm 


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Quote:
but has it been confirmed that the 360 is able to output 480i without the usual anti-flicker filter for 15khz?

yes, but it depends on how processed the game's graphics are. You can get PERFECT results using games that run in their native 240p resolution (though mapped to 480i) - like Futari or Muchi Muchi Pork, but using games that have natively been programmed for 480p (almost all other Cave ports) won't look this hot, since the alternating fields just were never meant to be displayed right on top of each other.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 5:14 pm 



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Sure, I mentioned getting a VGA CRT and the official cable for those - gorgeous looking, specially those with everything remade and not just the sprites. The games running with their original 240p graphics may still get filtered by the hardware in order to avoid flickering at 15khz, though (and only at 15khz). That gives us two slightly different fields for every frame, which usually has that "240p look but not quite", which still can be better than plain 480i (I understand calling those "faux 240p").


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:10 pm 


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I give up on Extron devices to get 240p from 480p/480i:

Emotia units will provide a horrible solorization effect and the "240p" Extron RGB units trick is horrible also.

In the past I had also MIMO Genius II Box and is not optimal to configure if you change your input device a lot.

Best would be the modded GBS or a compatible Corio 2 model. But you will probabbly get more VA use with the GBS, for upscaling also, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:45 pm 


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Well, it still was a quite a journey, wasn't it? That first review and overview of the Emotia units was published in 2006, so 16 years ago.

I still wish somebody would create an UVC follow up. Something with the quality of the Retrotink X5, but limited to downscaling and at half the cost.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:14 pm 


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Yeah, the gool old Ultracade UVC. Bought mine from you exactly on this month ten years ago! That's a great small piece of hardware. Not very pratical on a setup that you constantly change the input devices, but works flawlessly. Unfortunately it's very difficult for someone to find it now.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:09 pm 


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Not specifically mentioned here and often forgotten: the Corio2 has the option to perform a simple line double for deinterlacing and the ability shift individual fields. The end reault is identical to the Extron trick. It's a "double strike"; that means: you can write both even and odd fields to the same output scanline. Naturally, 240p displayed at 480i without flicker filtering will "downscale" to a perfect 240p.

With the analog C2 machines, you can get zero lag passthrough by turning off the C2 power. It's easy to park it in front of your CRTs. Turn it on when you want to downscale. Leave it off otherwise and it's "invisible" in your video chain.

It's too bad the Corio2 is such a mediocre scan converter. Would have been great if it was a complete 15kHz solution. It would be great if there was machine that could downscale to 240p like the C2 and output 480i like the Extron VSC series. Bonus points if the user interface replicates Extron's generally excellent and intuitive use of knobs for front panel controls. The Extron VSC machines are a joy to use; it's so easy to set them up.
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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 12:29 am 


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I should also mention that, since it's usually only a handful of games you need to do this with, you could always go the emulation route instead, and output to a CRT.

Like there are few games on Wiiware that are supposed to be 240p but run in 480i. Like Mega Man 9 and 10, and Castlevania and Contra Rebirth.

So what I do is, on my PC with CRT Emudriver installed, I make a 256x240 resolution for Mega Man 9/10, and 320x240 for Castlevania and Contra Rebrith. Then I run Dolphin with "stretch to window" scaling, then use Special K's Latent Sync for vsync, with delay bias set as far as I can without dropping frames.

This gets me native resolution for those games, with very close to console input lag. I might actually be able to get lower than console with Castlevania and Contra since they can skip the extended frame buffer copy or whatever it is.

Spoiler: show
Image


Because if you think about it, a lot of these games are either emulated, like arcade ports on the 360, or high-level software that's simulating some lower-spec hardware, like with the Wiiware games listed above. So there aren't a lot of benefits to playing on "original" hardware.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:32 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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Yeah. I guess the Cave games can get as close to the originals as most 360 ports do with a good %CPU/blitter setting in Groovymame. Some times even better. The biggest miss would be the Raiden Fighters series, still too glitchy with Mame, it seems.

Which GPU power does Dolphin expect when using such low resolutions and no effects? I'm not sure it's even worth trying with the old Radeon I have for 15khz...


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 6:20 pm 


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I use a Radeon HD 5450, a very low end GPU, in DX11 mode.

It's fine for these low res 2D games. Not sure how it would handle more typical games.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:11 pm 


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There's a patch for Mega Man 9/10 on Wii to remove the filtering it does to the graphics and output 480p.

Dolphin should benefit from that too.


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 4:44 am 


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Rulumi wrote:
There's a patch for Mega Man 9/10 on Wii to remove the filtering it does to the graphics and output 480p.

Dolphin should benefit from that too.


When I run it at 256x240 I don't perceive any filtering. Nothing is patched


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 Post subject: Re: 240p display from an Xbox 360
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:24 am 



Joined: 12 Mar 2019
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Maybe the filter is disabled for being a hardware thing and the Radeon lacks the instructions which make it possible or something, or only applies with scaled graphics, etc.

So a Radeon HD 5450 works with Dolphin for 2D games at least. Interesting, thanks.


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