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 Post subject: Setting overscan for different systems
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:07 pm 



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Hello everyone, I have a Sony Trinitron I've used forever for all my classic systems, mainly NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, PS1, PS2. I have managed to get the geometry almost perfect through countless hours of service menu tweaking.

What I've noticed however is that every single game and system for these retro systems has completely different axis positioning and overscan. If I want any game to not have parts of menus cut off or black bars on a side of the image I have to go in and adjust position and size of the horizontal and vertical axis for each game and to a lesser extent system.

I'm guessing this is just normal? Do people normally just not get bothered by it and set it to a pretty average setting. Some systems such as the PS1, Gamecube, and SNES, are so different from one another certain games will exhibit very large black bars or cutoff of the UI if not adjusted.

Certain games such as Final Fantasy 7 exhibit completely different positioning and overscan even depending on menus, battle menus, or regular running around.

It's not the end of the world as it only takes about a minute to go in and change these settings prior to a game, and I typically just play one game through at a time, but it definitely isn't ideal either.

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Setting overscan for different systems
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:34 am 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 819
Have you ever used the 240p Test Suite? (can run it from a cart, an Everdrive-type device, a CD, etc. -depending on the system). Even if you haven't I'm sure you've seen the white grid with the outside area of that grid being red - that red area is the overscan area. A bit of that area is meant to be cut-off (especially on consumer CRT's) so the image runs off the screen on all sides. ALL systems are going to center and scale that grid a little different depending on their particular output. I've even seen slight differences between the SAME exact system (I'm talking like two 1-chip SNES's could be a little different), and like you've experienced even different games, or even different parts of the SAME game can be different as well (I'm guessing because of how they're programmed or maybe because of 240p/480i switches?)

There's literally only "good enough" in this regard - especially on CRT TV's (which I'm assuming is what you're playing these consoles on). You'll never, ever, get it perfect on all systems without adjusting the monitor each and every time. It's simply just how it is. If this bothers you a lot, so much that you just can't play a game without the geometry being perfect (i.e. and I have to admit, that in video gaming, I've found there's so many more people that seem to have OCD-ish tendencies than literally ANY other hobbyist community I've ever been involved in...and I've been into a ton of hobbies over the years...).... then a CRT just might not be for you.

Some possible solutions to make it a *little* better are things like an Extron RGB unit with horizontal and vertical centering dials, or something like a BVM where you can at least change the horizontal centering (and horizontal centering ONLY) on a per-channel basis which can help a little bit. You can also use things like the over/underscan as a totally different geometry setting too - many people say the same for the 16:9 modes as well but I don't think those let you pump it up enough to fit a 4:3 image perfectly on most sets.

If you're using something like a FM or OSSC to upscale, you can save settings to help with this as well. I've been dreaming of a device which not only does centering, but SCALING (you know, without lag or artifacts of course ;) of the image on CRT's but I don't think anything like that has been, or will ever be, developed.


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