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 Post subject: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:22 am 


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What are some good comb filters to consider? Am I better off buying an external comb filter or using another device with one built in? VHS, SVHS, DVD player etc. Do comb filters perform the same for both 240p and 480i content? Are 3D comb filters always better then 2D comb filters? Are notch filters worth considering? I will mostly be using it for retro systems if that makes any difference.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:19 pm 


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Wait a bit to see if Fudoh sees this thread and if by then he hasn't seen it, then hit him up with a private message. He really knows comb filters inside and out.

Lots of consoles have RGB mods available, which ones are you thinking about? It is sooooo worth it for the NES at least. I think 2600 has one now as well, and so does Intellivision. PC Engine picture via composite seems decent, but RGB mod still well worth it. Stock NES can be fun to mess with for it's colour palette, I'll give you that.

I remember him mentioning a Entech machine as the best standalone comb filter for game consoles. but that picture would still be completely obliterated by the option of giving said console an RGB-mod

I think he said Pioneer DVD recorders performed as well as the Entech.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:19 pm 


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the discussion is a moot point. There are very good comb filters for analogue 480i movie material, but the units which offer these have issues with 240p material. And all the 2D standalone units I've tried (admittedly a long time ago) didn't perform very well on video game material.

But let's be honest: which composite only systems are left these days, that can't be modded for anything that offers y/c seperation already?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:08 pm 



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The Retrotink 2x works as a decent comb filter with the NES. Whatever is built-in is way better than the one my CRT had (which was likely a plain notch filter).


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:12 pm 



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I must be the only person who uses a NESRGB exclusively for its great composite output. It's so much cleaner than the stock composite without the dot crawl shimmer BS, though less sharp, but in the end preserves that "genuine" NES look that for me RGB takes away.

Interestingly, NES stock composite looks better with the 3-line comb filter, whereas the NESRGB's looks best with the TRAP comb filter, from the NTSC decoding input cards on my BVM.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:26 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
I must be the only person who uses a NESRGB exclusively for its great composite output. It's so much cleaner than the stock composite without the dot crawl shimmer BS, though less sharp, but in the end preserves that "genuine" NES look that for me RGB takes away.


You are not the only one. This is basically why I'm looking for one. To preserve that genuine look the developers intended with retro systems. The CRT I'm using (JVC D-Series) does not seem to have a comb filter, if it does it's one of the worst I've ever seen.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:28 pm 


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Quote:
You are not the only one. This is basically why I'm looking for one.

If you want this across a number of system, you might still be better off using y/c, component or RGB from the systems and use an external composite ENCODER to get nice and clean composite from all the systems.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:36 pm 


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I love the comb filter in my JVC DR-MV150 for old film content. Not sure if it would suit your needs here or not but you could probably get a partially busted unit that still turns out so that it could be used for the comb filter for cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:46 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
I must be the only person who uses a NESRGB exclusively for its great composite output. It's so much cleaner than the stock composite without the dot crawl shimmer BS, though less sharp, but in the end preserves that "genuine" NES look that for me RGB takes away.

Doesn't using composite output from NESRGB means that compsite is encoded from RGB? That means you're getting the RGB palette (albeit a way less acurate one), instead of the colours of the stock NES (straight from the NES PPU, which would be THE colours developpers were working with). Pretty sure you're getting a composite signal that's recombined from the RGB palettes


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:20 pm 


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Fudoh wrote:
Quote:
You are not the only one. This is basically why I'm looking for one.

If you want this across a number of system, you might still be better off using y/c, component or RGB from the systems and use an external composite ENCODER to get nice and clean composite from all the systems.


If it's anything like the NESRGB mod, I'm guessing RGB to Composite will give the cleanest results? What are some good encoders to use? There seem to be plenty of convertors but not to many encoders to choose from.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:25 pm 



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FinalBaton wrote:
Doesn't using composite output from NESRGB means that compsite is encoded from RGB? That means you're getting the RGB palette (albeit a way less acurate one), instead of the colours of the stock NES (straight from the NES PPU, which would be THE colours developpers were working with). Pretty sure you're getting a composite signal that's recombined from the RGB palettes


Yep, but I'm happy with the colors on the palette I use, and what I mean by "genuine" look is not the colors necessarily, but the way that composite blends the very simple NES sprites in a way that RGB or even S-video doesn't, on these NES sprites look too "raw" to my eyes. The more detailed sprites of later systems do of course look better in RGB.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:19 pm 


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NJRoadfan wrote:
The Retrotink 2x works as a decent comb filter with the NES. Whatever is built-in is way better than the one my CRT had (which was likely a plain notch filter).


The Retrotink2x comb filter is not decent by any means. In fact, it's quite awful.

You'd be better off using an XRGB-1 or XRGB-2 unit outputting 240p. Not amazing picture quality, but still better than the Retrotink2x composite output.

The svideo output from the Retrotink2x is very good.

Unfortunately, the comb filter features are built in to the hardware on board the Retrotink and there's nothing that can be done. Not the developer's fault; the RT2x is the best it can be--but that doesn't make it a quality solution for composite. (For svideo, it's fantastic.)
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:53 am 


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fernan1234 wrote:
I must be the only person who uses a NESRGB exclusively for its great composite output. It's so much cleaner than the stock composite without the dot crawl shimmer BS, though less sharp, but in the end preserves that "genuine" NES look that for me RGB takes away.


Hmm, can't say I've ever noticed this "dot crawl" with my setup. And I must say, the composite out of my Genesis 3 and stock AV Famicom have a very satisfying and clean signal. Ironically and lately, I've been preferring this over my modded (Genesis and Famicom) consoles equipped with S-video and RGB capabilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:39 pm 



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azmun wrote:
Hmm, can't say I've ever noticed this "dot crawl" with my setup. And I must say, the composite out of my Genesis 3 and stock AV Famicom have a very satisfying and clean signal. Ironically and lately, I've been preferring this over my modded (Genesis and Famicom) consoles equipped with S-video and RGB capabilities.


If you're using the stock output of the AV Famicom, it's there for sure. Off the top of my head, it's probably most obvious as soon as you start playing Castlevania 2. As Simon walks those town walls look like they're melting! Putting this aside, I do like the stock AV output though. It's sharp, but sadly not clean.

The Genesis is famous for having one of the best composite outputs of older consoles. The PCE's is very good too.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:59 pm 



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The look of Composite on a consumer CRT TV of the day will vary, depending on the TV set decoder hardware.
It's more dependant on that, than the console type / quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:15 pm 



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Different decoders and comb filters will definitely impact the clarity of the picture and how graphics look overall, but the crazy shimmer of the particular signal of the NES/Famicom is intrinsic to it. See how the scrolling letters and later the first stage background looks: https://youtu.be/UaX3EzUH9u4?t=28 (this is the only clip I could find quickly with a direct composite capture of real hardware).

That's gonna look that way no matter the decoder and comb filter. Hey, for some people that's an absolutely integral part of the NES "look", and some even go out of their way to emulate it with shaders and such!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:12 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
The Retrotink2x comb filter is not decent by any means. In fact, it's quite awful.

You'd be better off using an XRGB-1 or XRGB-2 unit outputting 240p. Not amazing picture quality, but still better than the Retrotink2x composite output.

The svideo output from the Retrotink2x is very good.

Unfortunately, the comb filter features are built in to the hardware on board the Retrotink and there's nothing that can be done. Not the developer's fault; the RT2x is the best it can be--but that doesn't make it a quality solution for composite. (For svideo, it's fantastic.)


I have better comb filters, but they aren't quite a compact and easy to use (or source for interested parties). Some of the best comb filters I've come across have been built into late 90s-early 00s NTSC-land JVC Super VHS VCRs, followed by the Panasonic AG-1980. The latter boosts a 3D Y/C comb filter and dates from 1996, but most need to be recapped to function correctly. Not to mention a VCR being used as a comb filter is quite bulky and likely to add a small bit of lag. I also have a XRGB2+, but I have never evaluated its composite output.

fernan1234 wrote:
That's gonna look that way no matter the decoder and comb filter. Hey, for some people that's an absolutely integral part of the NES "look", and some even go out of their way to emulate it with shaders and such!


Nintendo themselves emulated the look with the filter in the NES Classic mini.

rama wrote:
The look of Composite on a consumer CRT TV of the day will vary, depending on the TV set decoder hardware.
It's more dependant on that, than the console type / quality.


Most consumer CRTs use a cheap notch filter and don't bother with full YIQ color decoding. The prosumer sets (Sony XBR/WEGA, RCA Dimensia, etc.) tended to have full YIQ NTSC decoding and 2D or 3D comb filtering. They took shortcuts in PAL land too, mostly to avoid patent royalties to Telefunken.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:20 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
Yep, but I'm happy with the colors on the palette I use, and what I mean by "genuine" look is not the colors necessarily, but the way that composite blends the very simple NES sprites in a way that RGB or even S-video doesn't, on these NES sprites look too "raw" to my eyes. The more detailed sprites of later systems do of course look better in RGB.

Fair enough. I also don't care much for 8 and 6 bit consoles graphics displayed on a higher end, 800 TVL PVM. But my solution is to use RGB, but display it on either a low tier PVM or prosumer or good consumer set. currently have a prosumer set, of around 500 TVL and some generous bloom, and I love playing 8 and 16 bit consoles in RGB on that thing. Edges of sprites are well defined but there's still some fuzzyness to the picture, some texture.

I have a Wega (FV300) and it's got one of the best composite video handling I've ever seen on a display. Very clean and clear(for composite). And the service menu offers a couple options to tweak the YIQ encoding

My prosumer set on the other end is nowhere near as sharp/clear, but it's composite encoder chip produces pretty crazy colours and that's actually really fun to mess around with for stock NES! in particular the colours in Castlevania 3 and Batman I really dig. In 1st level in Batman the walls have a cool looking yellow and brown hue(instead of orange like in the FCEUX colour palette) and in Castlevania 3, the dreaded ship level and it's boring green wood tiles, has a rich brown colour


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:26 pm 



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That sounds like nice alternative compromise (with the NES everything will be a compromise).

Ah yes, the stock NES composite also gives you the pleasure of discovering new colors in every TV set. Truly lives up to the Never The Same Colors standard.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:02 am 


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fernan1234 wrote:
If you're using the stock output of the AV Famicom, it's there for sure. Off the top of my head, it's probably most obvious as soon as you start playing Castlevania 2. As Simon walks those town walls look like they're melting! Putting this aside, I do like the stock AV output though. It's sharp, but sadly not clean.

The Genesis is famous for having one of the best composite outputs of older consoles. The PCE's is very good too.


I'm not sure many will agree with you on this one. I think the Genesis (save for the last revisions released by Majesco in 1998) is notorious for having one of the worst composite outputs. It's simply too blurry and a pixelated mess.

OK, I feel like a fool now. It appears that all this time, I mixed up my AV Famicoms! I can finally compare the two. I agree, the NESRGB has cleaner and less dot crawl. But it's also way too bright. I've had to adjust my set to bring down the brightness all the way down. And even then, it's still a bit washed out. I've also had to adjust the tv's settings in the stock AV Famicom. Not sure exactly what kind or how my Sony XBR is using filters (comb, notch, etc.), but I am able to get a picture quality that is also quite satisfying.

Although initially I did not like the output at all (didn't seem as clean and clear as my NESRGB modded unit), since then I've been able to improve the composite signal and tone down the visual artifacts (i.e. dot crawl) considerably by adjusting the sharpness, color, picture and brightness. Maybe it's not a fair comparison, but I'd say now it's a bit of a toss up in terms of which I prefer among the two consoles. And yes, I notice a subtle difference in the color palette but IMHO, it's nothing remarkable.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:47 am 


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So I guess the Kramer FC10D is not as good as people make it out to be?

According this person it's good. http://amoddinghomecompanion.blogspot.c ... esome.html

Judging from the pics it definitely softens the image a bit. Also any update as to what encoders to consider?
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:04 pm 


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austin532 wrote:
So I guess the Kramer FC10D is not as good as people make it out to be?

According this person it's good. http://amoddinghomecompanion.blogspot.c ... esome.html

Judging from the pics it definitely softens the image a bit. Also any update as to what encoders to consider?


I was not pleased at all with the Kramer or the Extron filter.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:02 am 


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I say don't bother with the Kramer FC10D. It's a complete waste. I have one and there's hardly any difference between having it in the chain or not... if there's a difference, then it really doesn't clean up the picture much, I can tell you that


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:13 pm 


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Been awhile since the last post here but I'm still looking for a good external composite encoder. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm looking to get a clean composite signal across various systems. Mostly the 8 and 16 bit generations.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:28 am 


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This guy made one that was targeted at retro gaming, but appears to have stopped selling them for the near future:

https://www.tindie.com/products/low_bud ... converter/

There's the jrok one targeted at arcades? Expensive for what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:28 am 


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austin532 wrote:
Been awhile since the last post here but I'm still looking for a good external composite encoder. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm looking to get a clean composite signal across various systems. Mostly the 8 and 16 bit generations.


Timeharvest on AliExpress has an RGB to composite board that's reasonably priced.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:01 am 


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Those seem like they are made for arcade setups which is not what I'm looking for. Plus it seems like they require some soldering and some adapters? I guess what I had imagined in my mind was something already pre-built that you just plug in RGB/Component in one end and output clean composite out the other.

If there isn't anything like that then I guess I'm back to my original question of looking for a great comb filter.
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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:37 am 


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I’ve been away from the site for a while and am finding it fascinating that some long time RGB people are starting to look at composite for authenticity as a possible alternative, even though they have RGB consoles. I’m interested in this too - I’ve just bought a Megadrive 1 which is supposed to have a terrible composite - I wonder if we’ll eventually get composite mods for retro consoles?

I’m also keen on finding a good comb filter for this.

I’m wondering - I’ll use the console on a couple of my consumer CRTs - a Loewe E3001 chassis (posh set back in the day), and a Sony trinitron (good UK made set pre 1997).

Is it likely that a decent external comb filter would far surpass the ones in even these higher end consumer sets resulting in a much better composite image?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:01 pm 



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andykara2003 wrote:
I’ve been away from the site for a while and am finding it fascinating that some long time RGB people are starting to look at composite for authenticity as a possible alternative, even though they have RGB consoles. I’m interested in this too - I’ve just bought a Megadrive 1 which is supposed to have a terrible composite - I wonder if we’ll eventually get composite mods for retro consoles?

I think the main desire to use composite over RGB is because there were a number of games that relied on a combination of dithering and how the composite video encoding process treated that dithering to cause color blending and transparency effects. There's a writeup with screenshots of this effect as it relates to HD Retrovision's future HDMIzer product on RetroRGB.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking for a good comb filter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:07 pm 



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andykara2003 wrote:
I’ve been away from the site for a while and am finding it fascinating that some long time RGB people are starting to look at composite for authenticity as a possible alternative, even though they have RGB consoles. I’m interested in this too - I’ve just bought a Megadrive 1 which is supposed to have a terrible composite - I wonder if we’ll eventually get composite mods for retro consoles?

I’m also keen on finding a good comb filter for this.

I’m wondering - I’ll use the console on a couple of my consumer CRTs - a Loewe E3001 chassis (posh set back in the day), and a Sony trinitron (good UK made set pre 1997).

Is it likely that a decent external comb filter would far surpass the ones in even these higher end consumer sets resulting in a much better composite image?

It's not totally new though, for about 3 some years I used S-video over RGB as a choice (despite having used RGB and having all the gear on hand) and I remember finding quite a few other users who favored it too (although I've moved back to RGB in the last year, even on consumer crt's). I think you can't go wrong with lesser connections if the goal is to achieve a certain video quality that can either feel more familiar, more nostalgic, or just more accurate to what one may remember the games looking like. That being said comb filters, even the very best that I've ever tried which were on the BVM-20G1U, was not going to bring composite anywhere near the sharpness, colors and detail of rgb, the goal is just to make composite more viable. I think S-video still turns out better personally.


Last edited by Taiyaki on Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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