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 Post subject: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 12:09 am 


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Joined: 31 Mar 2019
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I love the simplicity of this cable and still think it's worth the price, if you have an RGB capable Nintendo console. But does anyone know why the RAD2x Nintendo Multi out cable doesn't support S-video?

If there's a good reason, please set me strait, but IMO this is a huge oversight for the Nintendo 64! Not all models of the N64 can be easily RGB modded and many people are either unable or unwilling to mod their console. I've been doing some screen captures, looking at S-video side by side with Component on my RGB modded console and It's damn hard to see a difference. It's there, but 480p, the software and VI antialiasing combine to obscure the benefits of RGB over S-video. The differences begin to become apparent at 720p, but at 480p not so much. So why go to the added expense and trouble of installing a mod when S-video is available stock and looks nearly identical (on NA models anyway)?

It's nice to have the ability to utilize RGB, but it's either that or composite with the RAD2x, whereas the RetroTINK2x classic supports S-video. Seems like the RAD2x would have been perfect, had it included s-video. As it is, I can't see myself recommending this over a RetroTINK2x classic and an $8 S-video cable.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 2:26 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1757
RIP-Felix wrote:
I love the simplicity of this cable and still think it's worth the price, if you have an RGB capable Nintendo console. But does anyone know why the RAD2x Nintendo Multi out cable doesn't support S-video?

If there's a good reason, please set me strait, but IMO this is a huge oversight for the Nintendo 64! Not all models of the N64 can be easily RGB modded and many people are either unable or unwilling to mod their console. I've been doing some screen captures, looking at S-video side by side with Component on my RGB modded console and It's damn hard to see a difference. It's there, but 480p, the software and VI antialiasing combine to obscure the benefits of RGB over S-video. The differences begin to become apparent at 720p, but at 480p not so much. So why go to the added expense and trouble of installing a mod when S-video is available stock and looks nearly identical (on NA models anyway)?

It's nice to have the ability to utilize RGB, but it's either that or composite with the RAD2x, whereas the RetroTINK2x classic supports S-video. Seems like the RAD2x would have been perfect, had it included s-video. As it is, I can't see myself recommending this over a RetroTINK2x classic and an $8 S-video cable.

I think the reason is mainly cost; it's simply cheaper and easier to build something that only cares about RGB and composite video--adding S-Video would benefit too few users for the increase in cost to everyone that it would require.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 3:01 am 



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 66
The video chip doesn't have inputs for s-video and YPbPr at the same time -- supporting both would require yet more components to disable the RGB -> YPbPr transcoder when S-video is in use. The RAD2X was designed as the swiss army knife that supports every single unmodded Nintendo AV console.

S-video really only matters in two cases. 1) Gamecube, but there it's definitely worth it to get something like the Carby which makes S-video look like garbage. And of course 2) N64 -- but to be honest, the N64 is so blurry that the jump from composite to s-video isn't nearly as mind blowing as say the SNES. I would have a hard time tolerating playing the SNES in composite (on an HDTV, CRT is okay), but I can live with it for the N64.

But yeah, you are correct, if your focus is ONLY on the N64, the RT2X-Classic plus your $8 S-video cable is definitely more optimal.

PS - of course, you can also RGB mod the N64 (if you have the right version) and enjoy RGB goodness with the RAD2X.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 5:41 pm 


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mikechi2 wrote:
The video chip doesn't have inputs for s-video and YPbPr at the same time -- supporting both would require yet more components to disable the RGB -> YPbPr transcoder when S-video is in use. The RAD2X was designed as the swiss army knife that supports every single unmodded Nintendo AV console.


In my opinion this is the closest device to best serving the largest market for a product like this. S-video and a full size HDMI port are all it's lacking. And if cost is prohibitive for both Y/Pb/Pr and S-video, as you indicate it is, would not the majority be better served with S? Why choose Y/Pb/Pr over S in this case?

Before you answer, let me make the case for S. Choosing S would have natively supported more consoles. 3/3 of these consoles natively support S-video and 2/3 support RGB (unless you have a SNES mini, which only has composite).

    - Choosing Y/Pb/Pr support: Worst case scenario you need to RGB mod 2 of your consoles, unless you're fine with composite.
    - Choosing S-Video: Worst case scenario you need to mod the SNES mini.

mikechi2 wrote:
S-video really only matters in two cases. 1) Gamecube, but there it's definitely worth it to get something like the Carby which makes S-video look like garbage. And of course 2) N64 -- but to be honest, the N64 is so blurry that the jump from composite to s-video isn't nearly as mind blowing as say the SNES. I would have a hard time tolerating playing the SNES in composite (on an HDTV, CRT is okay), but I can live with it for the N64.

But yeah, you are correct, if your focus is ONLY on the N64, the RT2X-Classic plus your $8 S-video cable is definitely more optimal.

PS - of course, you can also RGB mod the N64 (if you have the right version) and enjoy RGB goodness with the RAD2X.


You argue N64 users they are being served with composite support, whereas SNES users get Y/Pb/Pr, thanks to the consoles native RGB. That's fair! However, lets be honest. Upscaled composite sucks! When both are compared to S-video, RGB on SNES offers a minor improvement, and a barely perceptible improvement on N64. Checker boarding and flickering pixels are distracting from normal viewing distances, whereas S-video cleans that up nicely on all 3 consoles. Yes, it would have meant sacrificing Y/Pb/Pr, a minor improvement in all 3 to gain a big one for N64. But by sacrificing S in favor of Y/Pb/Pr, N64 users are stuck with composite unless they mod.

A $30 mod, $50 cable, $5 MiniHDMI-HDMI adapter, possibly more if you need an installer starts to look less appealing. Call it $85 conservative. On the other hand, for $97 you can get a cheap S-video cable + TINK2x classic that gives you a great picture and opens up the door to other consoles. You get alot more, for not alot more.

Would a composite/S-video only RAD2x Nintendo multi out cable have made more sense? Think about it. The RAD2x is positioned one tier below the classic and pro for the people who are most likely to buy it - those who just want to play their old Nintendo console on their HDTVs, without getting any deeper into modding. I guarantee you that's a larger percentage than those who mod. Those customers don't actually care about the minute difference between S & RGB. They care about enjoyment, and lag is the bigger issue. Take, for example, the "funtastic" N64 owners who don't want to mod a collectors item. This would have lowered the barrier to enter from $100 to $50. That's a significant jump in price tiers, for this particular market.

Please don't confuse this question with contempt. As an enthusiast, I'm personally glad the RAD2x Nintendo version prioritizes Y/Pb/Pr so I can get the best out of my RGB moded consoles. But, this is coming from a genuine curiosity about business strategy. I'm trying to understand why S-video was demoted priority for this particular RAD2x when Y/Pb/Pr support is already served in the Classic/Pro. If it's just a case of, 'I only sell products I myself would want to buy' then I can totally respect that answer.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 9:44 pm 



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 66
RIP-Felix wrote:
mikechi2 wrote:
The video chip doesn't have inputs for s-video and YPbPr at the same time -- supporting both would require yet more components to disable the RGB -> YPbPr transcoder when S-video is in use. The RAD2X was designed as the swiss army knife that supports every single unmodded Nintendo AV console.


In my opinion this is the closest device to best serving the largest market for a product like this. S-video and a full size HDMI port are all it's lacking. And if cost is prohibitive for both Y/Pb/Pr and S-video, as you indicate it is, would not the majority be better served with S? Why choose Y/Pb/Pr over S in this case?

Before you answer, let me make the case for S. Choosing S would have natively supported more consoles. 3/3 of these consoles natively support S-video and 2/3 support RGB (unless you have a SNES mini, which only has composite).

    - Choosing Y/Pb/Pr support: Worst case scenario you need to RGB mod 2 of your consoles, unless you're fine with composite.
    - Choosing S-Video: Worst case scenario you need to mod the SNES mini.

mikechi2 wrote:
S-video really only matters in two cases. 1) Gamecube, but there it's definitely worth it to get something like the Carby which makes S-video look like garbage. And of course 2) N64 -- but to be honest, the N64 is so blurry that the jump from composite to s-video isn't nearly as mind blowing as say the SNES. I would have a hard time tolerating playing the SNES in composite (on an HDTV, CRT is okay), but I can live with it for the N64.

But yeah, you are correct, if your focus is ONLY on the N64, the RT2X-Classic plus your $8 S-video cable is definitely more optimal.

PS - of course, you can also RGB mod the N64 (if you have the right version) and enjoy RGB goodness with the RAD2X.


You argue N64 users they are being served with composite support, whereas SNES users get Y/Pb/Pr, thanks to the consoles native RGB. That's fair! However, lets be honest. Upscaled composite sucks! When both are compared to S-video, RGB on SNES offers a minor improvement, and a barely perceptible improvement on N64. Checker boarding and flickering pixels are distracting from normal viewing distances, whereas S-video cleans that up nicely on all 3 consoles. Yes, it would have meant sacrificing Y/Pb/Pr, a minor improvement in all 3 to gain a big one for N64. But by sacrificing S in favor of Y/Pb/Pr, N64 users are stuck with composite unless they mod.

A $30 mod, $50 cable, $5 MiniHDMI-HDMI adapter, possibly more if you need an installer starts to look less appealing. Call it $85 conservative. On the other hand, for $97 you can get a cheap S-video cable + TINK2x classic that gives you a great picture and opens up the door to other consoles. You get alot more, for not alot more.

Would a composite/S-video only RAD2x Nintendo multi out cable have made more sense? Think about it. The RAD2x is positioned one tier below the classic and pro for the people who are most likely to buy it - those who just want to play their old Nintendo console on their HDTVs, without getting any deeper into modding. I guarantee you that's a larger percentage than those who mod. Those customers don't actually care about the minute difference between S & RGB. They care about enjoyment, and lag is the bigger issue. Take, for example, the "funtastic" N64 owners who don't want to mod a collectors item. This would have lowered the barrier to enter from $100 to $50. That's a significant jump in price tiers, for this particular market.

Please don't confuse this question with contempt. As an enthusiast, I'm personally glad the RAD2x Nintendo version prioritizes Y/Pb/Pr so I can get the best out of my RGB moded consoles. But, this is coming from a genuine curiosity about business strategy. I'm trying to understand why S-video was demoted priority for this particular RAD2x when Y/Pb/Pr support is already served in the Classic/Pro. If it's just a case of, 'I only sell products I myself would want to buy' then I can totally respect that answer.


Not at all, really appreciate your thoughts. So the answer is actually pretty simple and for two reasons:

1. From a marketing standpoint, I think it's suicide to trade RGB/YPbPr for S-video. I completely agree with all of your points, but imagine the uproar from the crowd that automatically gets triggered anytime RGB ISN'T supported ;-) This is especially true since the exact same design is supposed to work across not only Nintendo but other makes as well. So in that respect, I think that the RGB support has the best chance to doing well in terms of sales, again, especially since the RAD2X is a universal platform for many different consoles.

2. Practically speaking, the CVBS support was added late into the game. The original design was only intended to work with RGB outputs. The CVBS was actually added literally at the 11th-hour (thanks to a brilliant flash of inspiration by retrorgb) just so that the Nintendo version would work with every single console.

PS - I don't want to speak for RGC, as it is actually his product and not under my control, but the same design can be pretty easily re-tooled for S-video support instead of RGB with a BOM change and relatively trivial firmware mod. Maybe y'all can convince him the demand is there for a S-video Nintendo version. I don't think S-video matters that much for other systems, tho, since the other manufacturers didn't play weird games with their AV output.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 3:05 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1757
mikechi2 wrote:
PS - of course, you can also RGB mod the N64 (if you have the right version)...

All N64s can be RGB-modded (and HDMI-modded); it's just that a good chunk (later revisions, fun-colored ones) require a more complex RGB mod.


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 2:30 am 


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mikechi2 wrote:
...I think it's suicide to trade RGB/YPbPr for S-video. I completely agree with all of your points, but imagine the uproar from the crowd that automatically gets triggered anytime RGB ISN'T supported ;-) ...

Thank you, that make perfect sense. But you shouldn't feel uncomfortable making an unpopular decision if you feel it best serves a retro niche. You have nothing left to prove to enthusiasts, we already had the 2x-Classic and got the 2x-Pro/SCART on top of it.

I'm not an EE, so you'd have to speak to the feasibility of this, but would it be possible to bypass the RGB -> YPbPr transcoder physically, not electronically? Effectively an S-Video/RGB Switch. I imagine the video chip needs instructions for optimizing each signal and it'd require a firmware re-write to detect the switch state so the video chip knows which block of code to execute (S-video or RGB).


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 Post subject: Re: RAD2x Nintendo cable
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:13 am 


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mikechi2 wrote:
PS - I don't want to speak for RGC, as it is actually his product and not under my control, but the same design can be pretty easily re-tooled for S-video support instead of RGB with a BOM change and relatively trivial firmware mod. Maybe y'all can convince him the demand is there for a S-video Nintendo version. I don't think S-video matters that much for other systems, tho, since the other manufacturers didn't play weird games with their AV output.


Is it possible to mod one? I'd be willing to buy & solder the components if the firmware updating process isn't too complicated. There might be some proprietary concerns if RGC doesn't want alternate firmware floating around on the web. I'd understand if that's the case.


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