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 Post subject: Converter to play HDMI devices on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:07 am 


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I'm in the process of buying some old consoles since recently getting a 90s Trinitron CRT. So far I have a Mega Drive and Super Famicom hooked up to it and looking great, and will eventually get a PC Engine and some others as funds allow, so for now I'd like to play the systems that I don't own yet via emulation, on the Trinitron, which accepts 60hz/NTSC/RGB via a SCART input.

There are a lot of HDMI to SCART converters out there on ebay etc, can anyone recommend a specific device that will do a good job of connecting my HDMI devices like a Pi or Android TV box / Nvidia Shield etc to the Trinitron's SCART socket? Just looking for a real simple device which would do only that, which of course introduces as little lag as possible in the process.

It might seem a dumb way of doing things and it probably is, but I would like to use the CRT as my only screen for all my 4:3 retro gaming, including emulation of systems I cannot afford to add to my collection just yet. I realise that it might not be financially viable if the only good converter devices are very expensive!
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Last edited by Restart_Point on Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:29 am 


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Hello!
I think there's a device out now, that output 240p from a Pi through SCART! That'd be even more optimal for your rtro console emulators! Something to consider

I think it's called "Pi2RGB" or something

Good luck with your search


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:50 am 


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Cheers FinalBaton, looked that up and this Pi addon does look very cool, i'll investigate: http://arcadeforge.net/Pi2Jamma-Pi2SCAR ... ::264.html

I have heard of "15Khz" RGB before, but not sure if that is compatible with a mass market TV like mine, as opposed to a specialised monitor / PVM

I'd still be interested to find some general converters that work by plugging into the HDMI socket too, for use with devices other than Pi
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:58 am 


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Look up Retrotink products before you buy something from a dodgy seller like arcadeforge.

Many users (myself included) have had very bad experiences with arcadeforge.

Retrotink products are highly regarded and they have a better reputation in the community.

http://www.retrotink.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:13 am 



Joined: 10 Jul 2017
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Restart_Point wrote:
I have heard of "15Khz" RGB before, but not sure if that is compatible with a mass market TV like mine, as opposed to a specialised monitor / PVMi
15khz simply means that it only displays half the fields at once, meaning 480i or 240p, which all TVs and professional monitors support. 31khz is the other type, which refers to a progressive signal, meaning 480p. 480p is much more rarely supported on TVs and PVMs.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:01 pm 


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TestType wrote:
Restart_Point wrote:
I have heard of "15Khz" RGB before, but not sure if that is compatible with a mass market TV like mine, as opposed to a specialised monitor / PVMi
15khz simply means that it only displays half the fields at once, meaning 480i or 240p, which all TVs and professional monitors support. 31khz is the other type, which refers to a progressive signal, meaning 480p. 480p is much more rarely supported on TVs and PVMs.


Thanks for that explanation. So 15Khz is perfect for the gen of systems I am interested in
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:54 pm 


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orange808 wrote:
Look up Retrotink products before you buy something from a dodgy seller like arcadeforge.


Thanks but the Retrotink does the opposite of what I was enquiring about, I am looking for a device with HDMI input and RGB Scart output.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:49 pm 


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Restart_Point wrote:
orange808 wrote:
Look up Retrotink products before you buy something from a dodgy seller like arcadeforge.


Thanks but the Retrotink does the opposite of what I was enquiring about, I am looking for a device with HDMI input and RGB Scart output.


:) AFAIK, the Pi2SCART doesn't do that, either. :)

If you're using a Raspberry Pi emulation rig, a Retrotink hat is a good solution that gets you the output you want.

For a PC setup, it gets more complicated. Modern PC's lock out anything below 480p. So, you probably can't just use a DAC to get analog RGB, because your display probably won't accept the outputs you can get. There's other threads on the PC emulation approach (and multiple ways to do it), so I'm not going down that rabbit hole.

There's also the video processor route, but you'll add latency. A Corio2 can accept 480p output and give your 240p or 480i. If you want one with DVI/HDMI input at a reasonable price, you will have to be patient. Honestly, I don't think buying one to just convert and downscale HDMI to RGB is the best solution here, but you could do it.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:19 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
There's also the video processor route, but you'll add latency. A Corio2 can accept 480p output and give your 240p or 480i. If you want one with DVI/HDMI input at a reasonable price, you will have to be patient. Honestly, I don't think buying one to just convert and downscale HDMI to RGB is the best solution here, but you could do it.

I've been considering a Corio2 on and off for a while now, since I'd like to have my consoles output to both an HD/4K panel and an SD CRT. In the past, I've split analog connections between the CRT and an OSSC with a CrossPoint, but I got tired of switching between HD and SD support in the settings for my consoles/games.

I understand a Corio 2 would be able to downscale 480p and up, but can it also be programmed to pass-through 240p and 480i, and automatically switch between those modes based on incoming video mode?


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:37 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
orange808 wrote:
There's also the video processor route, but you'll add latency. A Corio2 can accept 480p output and give your 240p or 480i. If you want one with DVI/HDMI input at a reasonable price, you will have to be patient. Honestly, I don't think buying one to just convert and downscale HDMI to RGB is the best solution here, but you could do it.

I've been considering a Corio2 on and off for a while now, since I'd like to have my consoles output to both an HD/4K panel and an SD CRT. In the past, I've split analog connections between the CRT and an OSSC with a CrossPoint, but I got tired of switching between HD and SD support in the settings for my consoles/games.

I understand a Corio 2 would be able to downscale 480p and up, but can it also be programmed to pass-through 240p and 480i, and automatically switch between those modes based on incoming video mode?


Nope. It doesn't have presets.

The 1T-C2-400 drops into passthrough when powered down. It accepts and outputs analog RGB over a pair of HD15 (VGA) plugs.

You just drop the 1T-C2-400 in the chain before your display and turn on the C2 unit when you need it. When you are playing 240p/480i, leave it off and passthrough the signal untouched. Turn it on for 480p scaling.

-----------

P.S.
@Restart_Point
The C2-1T-400 doesn't directly accept DVI/HDMI, so this one wouldn't be a plug and play solution for HDMI to RGB (if you chose to go that route and it might not be the best solution).
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:51 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
Nope. It doesn't have presets.

The 1T-C2-400 drops into passthrough when powered down. It accepts and outputs analog RGB over a pair of HD15 (VGA) plugs.

You just drop the 1T-C2-400 in the chain before your display and turn on the C2 unit when you need it. When you are playing 240p/480i, leave it off and passthrough the signal untouched. Turn it on for 480p scaling.

This is good to know; thank you!

orange808 wrote:
@Restart_Point
The C2-1T-400 doesn't directly accept DVI/HDMI, so this one wouldn't be a plug and play solution for HDMI to RGB (if you chose to go that route and it might not be the best solution).

With those active HDMI to VGA converters (I'm not sure which brand) being recommended for use with the RT2X and OSSC, they should also pair well with the 1T-C2-400, making it a plug-and-play solution with a minor additional cost.


Last edited by nmalinoski on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:17 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
There's also the video processor route, but you'll add latency. A Corio2 can accept 480p output and give your 240p or 480i. If you want one with DVI/HDMI input at a reasonable price, you will have to be patient. Honestly, I don't think buying one to just convert and downscale HDMI to RGB is the best solution here, but you could do it.


Not true anymore man actually. Last weekend I tried the super-cheap Tendak HDMI to VGA adapter (this is the dongle the OSSC folks recommend you use with the OSSC --with it's HDMI out-- to go to a VGA PC CRT monitor) on the reasonably-priced TVOne Corio2 C2-400 and I was able to downscale my Xbox One X set to 1080p (which somebody later told me 720p would be better as that's an integer scale of 240p?) to 240p on a CRT complete with beautiful scanlines:

Image


More info on my Reddit post here complete with a larger photo album.

This is only a precursory test of course, and I still have some issues with scaling the image, but it's totally doable to go from HDMI out of any system (including a PC I assume), to 240p at first glance.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:55 am 



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Dochartaigh wrote:
...720p would be better as that's an integer scale of 240p?

Yup. 720 is an even 3x of 240, whereas 1080 is 4.5x 240, so it'll be uneven/messy unless you go 4x with letterboxing or 5x with overscan. Same problem scaling 480i/p to 4K--2160 is 4.5x 480.

The theory is that the scaler would evenly condense a square block of 9 pixels (3²) to 1, rather than try to accommodate a square of something like 20.25 pixels (4.5²) to 1.

On the bright side, 2160 is an even 9x 240 and 3x 720; so, if you can find a device to downscale 4K to 720p, you can leave your Xbox One X at 4K (assuming you'd otherwise use it at 4K, even if it's not rendering at that resolution), then the first downscaler will bring that to 720p, and the Corio can bring that 720p down to 240p.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:15 am 



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These Corio2's max out at 20XX by 20XX pixels I think, so the Xbox One X definitely needs to be set to 1080p or 720p to work on them. I'll try 720p next time I mess with it (I mostly use them only for 6th gen stuff...only tried HDMI on mine because people were asking about it).


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:26 am 



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Dochartaigh wrote:
These Corio2's max out at 20XX by 20XX pixels I think, so the Xbox One X definitely needs to be set to 1080p or 720p to work on them. I'll try 720p next time I mess with it (I mostly use them only for 6th gen stuff...only tried HDMI on mine because people were asking about it).

That's why I said you'd need another downscaler between the Xbox One X and the Corio 2; it'll let you use that console simultaneously on a 4K panel and an SD CRT, and I doubt you're going to find an off-the-shelf downscaler that can go from 4K directly to 240p.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:00 pm 


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Awesome, thanks for posting this! I've been trying to get this done by chaining an Extron USP405 into a VSC700 and then down to a 202rxi. The pinout on the rxi's 9pin input is all screwy though and I've been researching having to make my own cable. Seems like with this box I'd get something that looks way better without having to go to all the trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:16 pm 


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I have not attempted 1080p to 240p with a Corio2. I'll give that a shot when I get a chance. I assumed it wouldn't look right due to the non-integer scaling factor.

I spent quite a few hours trying to find good Corio2 720p to 240p settings, but I had no luck. For me, the scanlines never align properly with integer scaled 240p, linex3 OSSC, or 720p HiDefNES.

-------

About that VSC 700 idea:

With a high resolution source, how will the: (scan converter >> RGB unit >> pseudo 240p) output look? If the fields don't match, you'll get a flickery mess.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:12 am 



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orange808 wrote:
I spent quite a few hours trying to find good Corio2 720p to 240p settings, but I had no luck. For me, the scanlines never align properly with integer scaled 240p, linex3 OSSC, or 720p HiDefNES.

Why would you go from 240p to 720p (with scanlines?) back to 240p?

I would run analog signals through a distribution amp (CrossPoints can do that), run one set through the Corio 2 to the CRT, and the other set to my OSSC; and, if I really wanted my modern HD/HDMI content on the CRT, I would try an HDMI splitter between my home theater receiver and my TV, with the secondary output going into one of those Tendak converters, then into an automatic VGA switch (Probably an Extron unit, with the CRT-destined outputs from the CrossPoint going into the other inputs), then into the Corio 2.

That way, analog content can go directly the the CRT, not through the OSSC, and any ED and HD content, regardless of source, can get properly downscaled to 240p/480i simply by turning the Corio 2 on; and everything gets scanlines on the CRT the old-fashioned way.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:30 am 


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nmalinoski wrote:
orange808 wrote:
I spent quite a few hours trying to find good Corio2 720p to 240p settings, but I had no luck. For me, the scanlines never align properly with integer scaled 240p, linex3 OSSC, or 720p HiDefNES.

Why would you go from 240p to 720p (with scanlines?) back to 240p?


There's not much use case.

Taking 720p out of my little Alienware with an emulator might be convenient. Mostly, I was just experimenting with the Corio2.

It didn't work out for me, though. :)

Honestly, I wasn't too upset about it. 480p to 240p is much more practical and that works just fine.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:23 pm 


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Dochartaigh wrote:
orange808 wrote:
There's also the video processor route, but you'll add latency. A Corio2 can accept 480p output and give your 240p or 480i. If you want one with DVI/HDMI input at a reasonable price, you will have to be patient. Honestly, I don't think buying one to just convert and downscale HDMI to RGB is the best solution here, but you could do it.


Not true anymore man actually. Last weekend I tried the super-cheap Tendak HDMI to VGA adapter (this is the dongle the OSSC folks recommend you use with the OSSC --with it's HDMI out-- to go to a VGA PC CRT monitor) on the reasonably-priced TVOne Corio2 C2-400 and I was able to downscale my Xbox One X set to 1080p (which somebody later told me 720p would be better as that's an integer scale of 240p?) to 240p on a CRT complete with beautiful scanlines:

Image


More info on my Reddit post here complete with a larger photo album.

This is only a precursory test of course, and I still have some issues with scaling the image, but it's totally doable to go from HDMI out of any system (including a PC I assume), to 240p at first glance.


I ended up grabbing a Corio2 C2-400 for $60 on ebay. Can you go into what is involved in getting the signal to output 240p properly? I can downscale from 1080p to 480p using the extron USP 405 before the signal hits the corio 2. In fact it can ouput 1080p or 720p so there are options. Would you suggest feeding the Corio a 480 signal or should I just pass the 1080p signal through the USP405 to the corio? Thanks again for posting, I've been working on this for weeks!


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:15 pm 


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I think there's no point in using the 405 before the TVOne. For true hi-res content there shouldn't be any difference depending on where you do the actual scaling. Just 1080p into the TVOne should be fine. What orange808 was mentioning above is the downscaling of native 240p content (e.g. from sources that don't support 240p by themselves). This is where the proper prescaling might get important.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:16 pm 


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Fudoh wrote:
I think there's no point in using the 405 before the TVOne. For true hi-res content there shouldn't be any difference depending on where you do the actual scaling. Just 1080p into the TVOne should be fine. What orange808 was mentioning above is the downscaling of native 240p content (e.g. from sources that don't support 240p by themselves). This is where the proper prescaling might get important.


I'll give that a shot then, just run directly into the Corio2. I'm a huge fan of your work by the way Fudoh. Thanks for the input and everything you've done to further the hobby!


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:55 am 


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I use a Portta HDMI to VGA Converter to use on my CRT Monitors.

Compared to other HDMI to VGA Converters it is much brighter. Others are way too dark.

I have two Tendaks and for some odd reason the image is not stable and fuzzy.... its very hard to notice but if you look closely enough you can tell. I'm not sure if my units were defective or not but they weren't working so great for me.

My Tendak paired with my OSSC seems to not output sound but when used with example other HDMI devices the sound works fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:40 am 



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Shelcoof wrote:
I use a Portta HDMI to VGA Converter to use on my CRT Monitors.

Compared to other HDMI to VGA Converters it is much brighter. Others are way too dark.

I have two Tendaks and for some odd reason the image is not stable and fuzzy.... its very hard to notice but if you look closely enough you can tell. I'm not sure if my units were defective or not but they weren't working so great for me.

My Tendak paired with my OSSC seems to not output sound but when used with example other HDMI devices the sound works fine.



I am currently looking for a good HDMI to VGA converter and most people recommend the Tendak, What are you using it with, the OSSC? Disappointed to see you get poor results.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:07 pm 


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Pete2014 wrote:
Shelcoof wrote:
I use a Portta HDMI to VGA Converter to use on my CRT Monitors.

Compared to other HDMI to VGA Converters it is much brighter. Others are way too dark.

I have two Tendaks and for some odd reason the image is not stable and fuzzy.... its very hard to notice but if you look closely enough you can tell. I'm not sure if my units were defective or not but they weren't working so great for me.

My Tendak paired with my OSSC seems to not output sound but when used with example other HDMI devices the sound works fine.



I am currently looking for a good HDMI to VGA converter and most people recommend the Tendak, What are you using it with, the OSSC? Disappointed to see you get poor results.



Yhaa I was disappointed as well. I bought two of them.

Could possibility be that I received clones. Then again I got them on Amazon.com

The ones I got the picture wasnt dark but it looks like there is always interference.

I used it with my PS3, Xbox 360 and OSSC and all exactly the same results except the OSSC has audio issues.


Luckily the Portta HDMI to VGA converter is good. I bought it off the recommendations from RetroRGB

The Portta comes with a power supply but it's not needed. Actually if you do use it you'll have bad results

Not sure if you heard of RetroRGB but he has a channel on YouTube


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:47 pm 


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I had the same problem with the Tendak; I also saw the strange jitter you are referencing.

Although, it isn't very noticable most of the time. :) The trouble is: once you see it, you can't un-see it. It can be annoying.

On the other hand, it was a small thing and many people probably won't even
notice it...

If I recall correctly, the community never settled on an HDMI to RGB DAC that is perfect. I don't have one that I'm completely satisfied with--and I have a lot of them.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:07 am 


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orange808 wrote:
I had the same problem with the Tendak; I also saw the strange jitter you are referencing.

Although, it isn't very noticable most of the time. :) The trouble is: once you see it, you can't un-see it. It can be annoying.

On the other hand, it was a small thing and many people probably won't even
notice it...

If I recall correctly, the community never settled on an HDMI to RGB DAC that is perfect. I don't have one that I'm completely satisfied with--and I have a lot of them.


I wasn't going to settle with the Tendak's noise/jitter issue. It was unacceptable to invest in a lot of equipment to optimize my image quality experience only to have it get ruined by a cheap converter.

I would have been better off to just play on an HD Flat Panel instead.

Luckily the Portta HDMI to VGA converter does an excellent job with the conversion. No complaints with the item and it was cheaper than the Tendak as well.

I have like 6 Portta HDMI to VGA converters and all of them running with no issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:11 am 


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Shelcoof wrote:
orange808 wrote:
I had the same problem with the Tendak; I also saw the strange jitter you are referencing.

Although, it isn't very noticable most of the time. :) The trouble is: once you see it, you can't un-see it. It can be annoying.

On the other hand, it was a small thing and many people probably won't even
notice it...

If I recall correctly, the community never settled on an HDMI to RGB DAC that is perfect. I don't have one that I'm completely satisfied with--and I have a lot of them.


I wasn't going to settle with the Tendak's noise/jitter issue. It was unacceptable to invest in a lot of equipment to optimize my image quality experience only to have it get ruined by a cheap converter.

I would have been better off to just play on an HD Flat Panel instead.

Luckily the Portta HDMI to VGA converter does an excellent job with the conversion. No complaints with the item and it was cheaper than the Tendak as well.

I have like 6 Portta HDMI to VGA converters and all of them running with no issues.


Here's the thread with some DAC reviews:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=59860&hilit=hdmi+vga

I think I have a Portta somewhere and found the same black crush issues that plague virtually all inexpensive Chinese DACs, but maybe they have improved their design.
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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:41 am 


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I've seen the thread when I was shopping for the converters. Thank god we had one :)

My comparison between the Porta and the Tendak are pretty much identical. I'm going to go back and run a comparison again between them just to double check.

But Portta results before were the same only without the noise/jitter that the Tendak has.

I've only used two other devices the Tendak and the one that looks like the Startech HD2VGAE2 [clone maybe?].

The Startech HD2VGAE2 clone looked the worse being most darkest. It was almost like night and day between the Portta and the Startech HD2VGAE2 clone.

Also just want to add my Tendak has the Tendak branding on it. Startech does not.


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 Post subject: Re: Converter to play HDMI consoles on a CRT?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:01 pm 



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Shelcoof wrote:
Luckily the Portta HDMI to VGA converter is good. I bought it off the recommendations from RetroRGB

The Portta comes with a power supply but it's not needed. Actually if you do use it you'll have bad results

In some cases, the power supply is very much needed. I bought one on the recommendations from this thread, and immediately ran into issues trying to use it without the power supply.

I used it to hook a RasPi Model B into the VGA port on one of my old Asus monitors with a native resolution of 1680x1050. The power light came on as soon as I connected the HDMI cable, but the screen remained black until I connected the power supply. Maybe it works fine without the power supply when converting SD, or maybe even ED, resolutions, but clearly not when trying to use anything close to full HD.


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