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 Post subject: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:39 am 



Joined: 22 Oct 2013
Posts: 404
I decided to give the XRGB mini one last shot (the first time I bought one I thought it was defective) and noticed there is some sort of noise in some of the colors (Dark purple's, dark blues, grays, and browns). I have confirmed its not my XRGB or my setup since I have personally tried this on five different units across twelve different TV's/Monitors now. Just to make sure I was not crazy I asked Voultar to check if his did the same thing and it did. This would not be such a big deal if scan lines worked correctly on my HDTV (they don't due to the TV's scaling) since they hide the problem almost completely. Since I have to run the XRGB without scan lines it is quite noticeable and irritating as all hell. Voultar mentioned that it could be because it was a 100v Japanese PSU however I tried three other 5v 3 amp 120v power supplies and there was no change.

The problem is most noticeable on the background on the first mouser boss in Super Mario USA (Not Mario 2, it matters the BG's are different colors) and on the grey track in track 5 on Excitebike.

Things both Voultar and I have ruled out being the problems are...

    RGB Cables
    Power Adapters
    The Game Consoles
    Televisions/Monitors
    Firmware Version
    Faulty XRGB
    Noisy Power Lines in the Home
    XRGB Settings

I am beginning to think that this is a problem with XRGB design itself and either people just don't notice it and or it just does not bother them. It is hard to notice on most game consoles but becomes really obvious on ones such as the NES since you have large single color backdrops. Noise Reduction on the TV will reduce it a bit if turned on however that is not an option since noise reduction causes nasty ghosting on my televisions I have tried it on. So if you go look for the issue turn off noise reduction first.

Playing with the A/D level will almost hide the problem on the listed colors at the beginning however doing this just makes it show up in different, much lighter colors. Voultar and I have gone through all the settings so we are pretty sure its not a mis-configured unit.

I might actually return or sell this thing, it has a pretty picture but for $350+ brand new after shipping this problem just is not acceptable. Hopefully someone else has had the same problem and found a fix for it.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:42 am 


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As Skips has already stressed, we've thoroughly (to the best of our knowledge) went through the process of elimination, trying to find the culrpit of the interference that we're both seeing.

Particularly in areas where there's a solid, dark colored background, the noise can be quite prominent, most notably on black and deep blue colors.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:56 am 


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Is this the same noise that the AD adjustment setting removes? Believe this is a known issue if so. You can see it on dark solid colors and it's really annoying and has been a problem for a while it seems. I asked about the same thing when I first got mine. It's mentioned in the big xrgb mini thread several times.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:30 am 



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Pasky wrote:
Is this the same noise that the AD adjustment setting removes? Believe this is a known issue if so. You can see it on dark solid colors and it's really annoying and has been a problem for a while it seems. I asked about the same thing when I first got mine. It's mentioned in the big xrgb mini thread several times.


Unfortunately the AD setting does not remove it. It just makes it a bit less noticeable on certain colors and more noticeable on others. For instance if you adjust the AD to fix the dark blue it shows up faintly in light blue or orange backgrounds. Its pretty ugly.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:24 am 


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Ya exactly. I think it even existed in the XRGB-3. I think Fudoh even sent a formal bug report to Micomsoft about it and nothing has ever been done. It's really annoying sometimes as I see it on the SD2SNES menu big time. Thankfully when I'm playing a game it's a lot less noticeable.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:17 am 



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Pasky wrote:
Ya exactly. I think it even existed in the XRGB-3. I think Fudoh even sent a formal bug report to Micomsoft about it and nothing has ever been done. It's really annoying sometimes as I see it on the SD2SNES menu big time. Thankfully when I'm playing a game it's a lot less noticeable.


Man that seriously sucks, guess I will sell it later and stick with the CRT's.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:30 am 


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Not to piss on the XRGB-mini, but I never understood the hype surrounding this unit. Seems such a badly engineered piece of hardware once finding out about all the issues. Like, sure I'm going to spend this kind of money on a scaler and not even have different slots for settings, or put up with its slow signal transition times.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:48 am 


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Xan wrote:
Not to piss on the XRGB-mini, but I never understood the hype surrounding this unit. Seems such a badly engineered piece of hardware once finding out about all the issues. Like, sure I'm going to spend this kind of money on a scaler and not even have different slots for settings, or put up with its slow signal transition times.


I'm inclined to agree with you.

I thought it would be the ultimate solution for me. Unfortunately, the XRGB-Mini is more often than not a pain in the ass.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:13 am 


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Are you sure you don't just have brightness/black level up too high?
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:56 pm 


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No, it's definitely present no matter what the levels, I even made a video of this in the xrgb mini thread and it was confirmed a known issue. It's extremely visible on the SD2SNES menu screen if you happen to have one.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:21 pm 


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Are you talking about the noise you can see in these screenshots? The night sky in Mario and the bottom right grey bars have some annoying noise.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:17 pm 



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Yup that is the noise. Does not matter what the settings are, it shows up in colors like that BG in your screenshot clear as day. Its pretty freaking ugly, especially given the price tag of the XRGB mini.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:08 pm 


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You won't find another scaler in this price range that performs better (well, you won't find any scaler that performs better for 240p).

The problem is exasperated by having the brightness up too much though (or black level or whatever it calls it).
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:38 pm 



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BuckoA51 wrote:
You won't find another scaler in this price range that performs better (well, you won't find any scaler that performs better for 240p).

The problem is exasperated by having the brightness up too much though (or black level or whatever it calls it).


This is why I will be selling it and going back to a CRT. Maybe before my CRT finally gives up there will be a better option. Even with the brightness at about 10 the problem is still very noticeable. Ah well, it was worth a try anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:38 pm 


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I get that annoying interference as well...
Xan raises some valid issues, once would expect a little more from this unit... at least on the software side which can be upgraded with more options/stuff...
alas I really doubt these issues will be solved, the mini has some years in it's back already... :|


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:52 pm 


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Sounds like it's particularly bad on your setup.

A good 5VDC power supply goes a good way to minimizing noise. I have a Matsushita 5VDC 3A power supply that I wired with a line filter with switch that works really well at keeping noise to a minimum.

EDIT: Bear in mind that the ETU-5K30 pictured below was purchased for $10 new from a surplus store years ago. Checking eBay reveals that people seem to think that they can get way more than $10 for these. :shock:

Image

I've found that an A/D level of 131 or 132 works really well with my 1CHIP SNES and NESRGB consoles.

I've seen a number of posts from those with flash carts adding noise to the picture, but that's almost another topic that a given scaler/displaying on a large panel will exemplify.

Skips wrote:
This is why I will be selling it and going back to a CRT. Maybe before my CRT finally gives up there will be a better option. Even with the brightness at about 10 the problem is still very noticeable. Ah well, it was worth a try anyway.


:? If you're not using the XRGB-mini on a large display, why did you ever leave your CRT. Grant it, I don't know which HDTV or CRT you've been using. :lol:

Xan wrote:
I never understood the hype surrounding this unit.


You own a Samsung F4500 and really like the type of picture it produces, right? :mrgreen:


Last edited by RGB32E on Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:02 pm 


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BuckoA51 wrote:
You won't find another scaler in this price range that performs better (well, you won't find any scaler that performs better for 240p).


Exactly... Though the XRGB-3 is pretty good, just didn't have good support for 1080p DVI-D output or else I might still be using it. I've been on the fence for trying the XPC-4 for a while. Accoring to Fudoh, it doesn't have the 4:2:2 chroma subsampling as found on the mini.

I do wonder why Micomsoft omitted the parts on the DC input (upper left corner of picture below)? Perhaps restoring them would improve picture quality for all!

Image

There are the new production XRGB-mini "N" models with higher price tags. Wonder if they actually made improvements, or if they're EXACTLY the same?! Skips, you should order one of the new production models and try again! :lol:


Last edited by RGB32E on Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:07 pm 



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RGB32E wrote:
Sounds like it's particularly bad on your setup.

A good 5VDC power supply goes a good way to minimizing noise. I have a Matsushita 5VDC 3A power supply that I wired with a line filter with switch that works really well at keeping noise to a minimum.

Image

I've found that an A/D level of 131 or 132 works really well with my 1CHIP SNES and NESRGB consoles.

I've seen a number of posts from those with flash carts adding noise to the picture, but that's almost another topic that a given scaler/displaying on a large panel will exemplify.

Skips wrote:
This is why I will be selling it and going back to a CRT. Maybe before my CRT finally gives up there will be a better option. Even with the brightness at about 10 the problem is still very noticeable. Ah well, it was worth a try anyway.


:? If you're not using the XRGB-mini on a large display, why did you ever leave your CRT. Grant it, I don't know which HDTV or CRT you've been using. :lol:

Xan wrote:
I never understood the hype surrounding this unit.


You own a Samsung F4500 and really like the type of picture it produces, right? :mrgreen:


I'm using a 40 inch HDTV and a 13 inch PVM. The XRGB was to be when I wanted something bigger and in time eventually phase out the CRT so I could reclaim some desk space. Honestly though with this problem I would rather just stick with the 13 incher or use that $350 to buy a larger CRT at this point.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:27 pm 


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I just tested mine again here's what I can see:-

SD2SNES menu I can't really see any noise at all, maybe the tiniest little bit in the darkest parts of the image if I stick my nose up to the screen.

240P suite - Can't see any noise on the colour test but I can on the pluge pattern on the darker greys.

I think this is definitely a weakness of the Mini (and the XRGB3) but the problem is worse on your setup than it should be.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:44 pm 


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Turning the Brightness setting down does seem to help hide the noise but it also tends to give dark backgrounds a Crushed Black look so you miss out on some detail. So.....it's a pick your poison situation I guess :roll:

Also what's this talk about the XRGB mini "N"?
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:06 pm 


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RGB32E wrote:
You own a Samsung F4500 and really like the type of picture it produces, right? :mrgreen:

That's not a fair comparison at all - that's a budget TV and nobody would assume that it would display everything that you throw at it perfectly (OK, Josh did hype it up a bit too much at times :mrgreen:).

The mini on the other hand is a dedicated unit that has a whole laundry list of annoying issues, and a few of its users here seem to agree with me. The "price" argument is also flawed as it's not like they put out a higher end unit alongside the mini. The XPC-4 seems to be better in some respects (4:4:4 support and fast transition times anyway), but it's not meant as a replacement for the mini and I'm not aware of possible flaws that it might have on its own.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:45 am 


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austin532 wrote:
Also what's this talk about the XRGB mini "N"?


http://www.micomsoft.co.jp/micomsoft_news.htm

Xan wrote:
OK, Josh did hype it up a bit too much at times :mrgreen:


You think? :roll: Hype train at warp speed! :lol:

Xan wrote:
The mini on the other hand is a dedicated unit that has a whole laundry list of annoying issues, and a few of its users here seem to agree with me. The "price" argument is also flawed as it's not like they put out a higher end unit alongside the mini.


All of Micomsoft's XRGBs have their idiosyncrasies... just how it is. Even their RGB encoders (XMD* & XAV2s) had issues with chroma jitter due to the simple external clock used for the sub carrier signal in lieu of the internally generated signal. Then again, most external RGB encoders used in arcade rigs and the like had the same issue.

I purchased the mini when it was released and have no regrets. Despite a handful of things I really don't like about it, it works extremely well overall. There really isn't a 240p to 1080p scaler for sharp picture on a 1080p panel aside from the XRGB-3/XPC-4. Plus, the Zoom mode Micomsoft added to the is a real treat for getting square pixels! Though the XPC-4 might have a similar zoom feature IIRC.

Xan wrote:
The XPC-4 seems to be better in some respects (4:4:4 support and fast transition times anyway), but it's not meant as a replacement for the mini and I'm not aware of possible flaws that it might have on its own.


Its a full FPGA scaler like the XRGB-3 according to Fudoh. My main concern is the 1080p DVI-D output. It "might" have the same compatibility issues the XRGB-3 had in B0 mode. When I was using the XRGB-3 in B0 1080p I had to use an analog connection as DVI to HDMI didn't work. I'd think Micomsoft would have resolved the compatibility/timing issue considering that the XPC-4 was a post XRGB-3 product. Also, it sounds like you have to press an auto calibrate button each time you connect a new source. Also, having to work with a single DVI-A connection is kind of a pain. There's isn't a ready source of DVI-A to SCART cables. However, lopping off a DVI-A cable and fitting to a female SCART/RGB21 connector is something I could do pretty easily. :|

According to Fudoh the XPC-4 also just field doubles 480i, and doesn't have the CRT like mode that is available in the XRGB-3 B1 mode (output 480p similar to the same way a CRT displays a 480i signal). So it doesn't sound like 480i looks good at all on the XPC-4. Perhaps he can clarify. I'll likely order a XPC-4 N from Amazon.co.jp or Micomsoft directly later this year.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:24 am 


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The XPC-4 does field doubling on 480i material, but it does not compensate for the line offset. All objects basically get semi-transparent outlines on the top and bottom. It can't be properly used and is just to get a picture at all, if you run into a 480i screen from time to time. See this one http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/xpc_480i.jpg and imagine the outlines on top and bottom to flicker with 30Hz.

As for it's 1080p output. Rock solid and no problems at all on my Sonys. Nothing lik the XRGB-3.

It's a neat machine. For us (no X68k or PC89 users) it's just a bit limited compared to the Framemeister's 240p handling. For 480p it's great.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:25 am 


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But the field doubling is about the only way to make 480i deinterlacing work fast. With the mini you wind up at about 2 frames of total lag, and that's assuming a fast TV. That's still not quite where the aforementioned F4500's at, but really timing critical games on either setup? I'd rather use a CRT, or at least a fast processing alternative to use on my PC monitor for that. Not to mention the mini is designed so that the same lag is unnecessarily applied to progressive sources as well.

I understand why they removed the VGA output on the mini, but the lack of VGA in is criminal. OK, you can use a sync combiner on the RGB in, but that's even more hassle and more stuff to swap around. I'd not only like to use consoles, but also old PCs on a scaler, so a good VGA input would be critical for me. I for one hope both VGA in/out will return on a future XRGB-4. The XPC-4 apparently already does a great job with VGA processing, and 31 kHz in general (especially component) is said to be not that great on the mini.

Again, not trying to bash the XRGB-mini, and I certainly appreciate that it's one of the few decent 240p solutions these days, but I'd rather have a more expensive unit that combines the advantages of their other products and doesn't make any compromises.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:31 am 


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Quote:
But the field doubling is about the only way to make 480i deinterlacing work fast.

that's right, but you have to compensate for the line offset between the odd and even field to make it easier on the eyes. The XRGB-3 does this. Micomsoft just forgot to add it on the XPC-4.

Quote:
I understand why they removed the VGA output on the mini

The loss of the VGA output certainly came with the addition of the HDMI inputs. HDCP and so on...

Quote:
Again, not trying to bash the XRGB-mini

it was engineered with the wrong target group in mind. Plain and easy.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:40 am 


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Quote:
Turning the Brightness setting down does seem to help hide the noise but it also tends to give dark backgrounds a Crushed Black look so you miss out on some detail. So.....it's a pick your poison situation I guess :roll:


Calibrate it properly, 240p suite is your friend.

Quote:
The mini on the other hand is a dedicated unit that has a whole laundry list of annoying issues, and a few of its users here seem to agree with me.


I never owned a scaler that didn't have a whole laundry list of annoying issues, including some whos prices were in the 4 figure area when new.

Quote:
Again, not trying to bash the XRGB-mini, and I certainly appreciate that it's one of the few decent 240p solutions these days, but I'd rather have a more expensive unit that combines the advantages of their other products and doesn't make any compromises.


Are you sure about that? Go have a look at the prices of professional scalers like Lumagen or Pixel Magic. I think what the bulk of the gaming community really needs is a XRGB3 B1 replacement that does a simple 240p to 480p conversion and leaves the rest to the TV. Enthusiasts with the budget could still feed that through a secondary scaler too if necessary.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:48 pm 


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BuckoA51 wrote:
Quote:
Turning the Brightness setting down does seem to help hide the noise but it also tends to give dark backgrounds a Crushed Black look so you miss out on some detail. So.....it's a pick your poison situation I guess :roll:


Calibrate it properly, 240p suite is your friend.


Would love to but there is none for Playstation at the moment.
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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:32 pm 


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RGB32E wrote:
BuckoA51 wrote:
You won't find another scaler in this price range that performs better (well, you won't find any scaler that performs better for 240p).


Exactly... Though the XRGB-3 is pretty good, just didn't have good support for 1080p DVI-D output or else I might still be using it. I've been on the fence for trying the XPC-4 for a while. Accoring to Fudoh, it doesn't have the 4:2:2 chroma subsampling as found on the mini.

I do wonder why Micomsoft omitted the parts on the DC input (upper left corner of picture below)? Perhaps restoring them would improve picture quality for all!

Image

There are the new production XRGB-mini "N" models with higher price tags. Wonder if they actually made improvements, or if they're EXACTLY the same?! Skips, you should order one of the new production models and try again! :lol:


I've actually been wondering if restoring those components would solve the noise issue. Personally I've only noticed noise on my D-Terminal using the Gamecube component cable, and this is in a setup using a power APC-H15 conditioner and a VCT step down transformer using the original power supply. So any ideas on how to solve noise would be great. Is it two inductors they omitted there?


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:31 am 



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Wow didn't think anyone else would notice the noise with the xrgb mini. I've posted here before thinking that my xrgb mini was defective so I had solaris japan replace it with another one that was new. Same issue, lately I've just gotten used to it, but it does tend to bother me. My brightness is at around 25 or 26, which is the halfway point. Though for me, the noise looks like wavy blotches of lines towards the middle. I've noticed it mainly in dark black areas like the left menu of resident evil 3 and some ps2 games. If I plug the consoles directly to my tv, sure it butchers 240p but at least I don't see noise. Unfortunately I still can't reliably test if its my cables or the mini because I have no way to plug the jp21 pin cables into my tv. Though I have noticed the noise when using s video with the xrgb mini on my nintendo 64 but the noise disappears when plugged directly into my tv.

I was thinking of going the CRT route, and selling the xrgb mini since overall I'm not all that satisfied. I do have a question though. Does the xcapture-1 by micomsoft also suffer from this noise issue? I wouldn't want the noise to be prevalent when I'm recording gameplay. I don't know much about micomsoft's reliability when it comes to their products.


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 Post subject: Re: XRGB Mini Noise Issue
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:38 pm 


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RGB32E wrote:
Xan wrote:
OK, Josh did hype it up a bit too much at times :mrgreen:


You think? :roll: Hype train at warp speed! :lol:



Guilty as charged :lol: . Not unwarranted though, I still standby my assertions that it produces the most CRT-like picture you can get in a non-CRT set, the insane price is just icing on the cake. No LCD blue-blacks, and it has a better viewing angle than the 19" Viewsonic CRT Im currently typing this on! I know the 288p issue is a big negative for you guys across the pond, obviously its a non-issue for me. For anyone who doesnt have or want an external processor and can deal with ~32-48ms of lag I think its without a doubt one of the best sets out there for everything but 1080p.

RGB32E all I can say is dont knock it till youve tried it, viewing it side x side with light cannon LEDs on a showroom floor doesnt count!

Skips, you mentioned your set doesnt display the emulated 240p scanlines properly, sounds like a 720 or 768p set-- what exactly are you using?


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