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 Post subject: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:29 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7188
Location: Bedford, UK
I have 3 N64's in all their natural beauty so I decided to get them RGB modded. Well 2 of them anyway.

So you watch all these videos from RetroRGB, MetalJesus and mylifeingaming amongst others. All swear these cables are the best plug n play solutions to getting a picture on your flat screen.

I got 2 N64's modded for RGB because thats the plan right...

One N64 was Borti'd, the other had a TimWorthington. So I am going to share my thoughts on the RGB mods, the Rad2x, how it looks on TV's and monitors as I feel something needs to be said. I might be alone with my findings but lets see if I get "I'm expecting too much" or just getting shot down as it seems thats the way it usually goes.

Equipment tested -

Mk1 SFC - 3 chip
N64 - Borti'd
N64 - Timworthington
1 Rad2x for AV Nintendo's.
55" C9 LG OLED
40" Sony Flat screen from 2008 (1080p)
Dell 24" monitor U2414H

So I had the Rad2x for a couple of weeks but it was mostly for the N64 which only got modded this week.


Mods -

The Borti N64 showed wavy interference or noise in the picture. And although at first glance it looked ok after I plugged in the Tim Worthington model I noticed something very clearly. The Borti had subdued colors, not as bright, washed out etc. The TW mod showed Marios face in very bright vibrant primary colours. It brought a huge grin to my face. I started gameplay in Mario 64 on the TW modded console and straight away something else caught my attention which is really strange. Mario's body (only when standing up) showed a silhouette or ghost line around the right side of his body. When he fell asleep it went away.

I contacted my modder who then investigated that the reason this happens (unknown to him before he did the mod) was that the composite line is interfering with the Rad2x sensor. Why that would happen when mario is standing up I don't know.

The Borti mod does not have this problem, only the TW.


I plugged in the SFC to see that, it looked ok. Its soft to say the least. Nothing like I was lead to believe it would look like.


Rad2x -

Lets get something straight. The look i'm aiming for is the analogue FPGA consoles outputting 720p with scanlines set just thick enough to get that sharpness back. The Rad2x is somewhat acceptable on the N64 because its blurry to begin with and it has that filter which smooths things out. With no filters on it looks messy, the bigger the TV/monitor the messier it gets. It looks acceptable with all filters on.

So I plugged all this into my Dell monitor and pulled back 6 ft from the screen. Yes, this is the look I want for N64. But wish being closer didn't make it go all pixellated again.

SFC, as suggested its clean, but blurry and soft.


So, I watched a few vids on the retrotink pro and I believe that is going to be the same. I believe the reason i'm not getting the look I want is because these devices output 480p only. The retrotink does scanlines but with 480p output they look shit to be honest. If you take half the lines of output away your emitting 50% less brightness from the screen. I'm sure its very easy to implement blinds.


TVs/monitors -

How anyone can play games on a 55" tv using this tech is beyond me. When you watch technical videos about rad2x and retrotinks its about the lack of lag and how sprites show crisply. Well I don't see that in my experience. I only see very soft images or very pixellated images depending on the filter.


So as you can tell i'm not impressed. Its ok on a small monitor and I know the source material is very low res. However the videos promoting or advertising the abilities of these cables/boxes are only looking for a particular look. I find the whole process to be a research and development exercise that is costing me money as I go. Sometimes costing me lots of money for a product that doesn't reach my standards of expectation. Let alone the wait i've had to endure to get these products like the Rad2x.


So what do I want -

If you look at Analogues FPGA consoles they are brilliant. Absolutely 100% perfect in my eyes.. Expensive but do what I want. I have 2 of them (MD and SNES).
The AVS from RetroUSB outputs solely at 720p with scanline option. It looks exactly how I want my games to look and works wonderfully with 4k TV's.

So I would like a box that outputs at 720p with scanline options that offer 3 settings (Should do it). I don't mind if they are like the Rad2x or Retrotinks. But I feel there is gap in the market between the Rad2x plug and play style vs the OSSC which you need the patience and research of a companies TV division to figure out.

Is the 720p output on these things that more expensive?

I will sell my rad2x and probably get my money back since they are always out of stock.

My main modder has accepted a return and will do further tests as I am lending him my Rad2x this time as he is still waiting for his.

If there is anything I might be doing wrong please let me know. This is plug n play and the sprites should show crisp as you like? So I am not sure what I could be doing wrong.

In terms of the modding. Each N64 was done by a different modder. But since the 2 units were modded differently I can't really say if its the work or the mod that creates these problems.


Has anyone else felt let down by their investment in mods/rad2x's and stuff like that?

I'd like to hear any woes or if your having a blast with your setup. Please let me know.

thanks,
Richie.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:33 pm 


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That's pretty much what you should've expected. To be clear, those cables are indeed the best Plug'n'Play solution, but they're very much entry level as far as features and quality is concerned. The RetroTink devices just do 480p and leave the rest of the scaling to your TV, which often does a poor job, might introduce ringing artifacts, lag etc. I'd call these cables the minimum viable solution for connecting old consoles to modern TVs. They do just about enough, just about good enough, but there's plenty of room left for higher end solutions.

If you have high standards, the OSSC is what you want. You can exactly configure the line multiplication and get 720p, 960p, 1080p, 1200p etc. depending on your display compatibility. There are lots of options to configure the scanlines to your tastes and to exactly dial in the pixel-perfect digitization of the source signal. The OSSC does not suffer from any noise or chroma sub-sampling artifacts either. Then you can pair the OSSC with quality shielded cables or, on compatible consoles, avoid issues like interference from composite video altogether by going with cables wired for csync. It'll be razor sharp and artifact free.

I think the complexity of the OSSC has been vastly overstated. Even at default settings with little to no tweaking the OSSC will likely look better than just about anything else. The only issue might be display compatibility. Plus the price difference between the RetroTinks and the OSSC is quite small considering the huge difference in quality and features.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:53 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Location: Bedford, UK
Thank you for your productive response.

Unfortunately for me I am building a game room in 3 years time and I am looking for a product I can buy 4 times. I don't really want 4 x OSSC if I can help it. Maybe I will buy one :lol:

I did buy my screens based on OSSC compatibility and performance. As noted above I have 2x Dell U2414H and OLED LG C9, all of which are compatible based on findings on this forum.

You didn't mention if you were of the opinion that a 720p plug n play device was the best middle ground overall. I really think a trick has been missed here.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:02 pm 


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Why would buy an OSSC 4x? You don't need one per console?

Your screens should both be compatible (I have both) and I even have another 2008-era Sony that is also 100% OSSC compatible.

I'm not aware of any other P&P devices besides the Rad2X that's even worth buying and I personally have no interest in these solutions. Buying one great video processor is both cheaper and better than buying a dozen cables with middling scalers build-in.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:11 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Location: Bedford, UK
ASDR wrote:
Why would buy an OSSC 4x? You don't need one per console?




My game room will be like an arcade. One monitor per system setup. I am wanting a room where people can come round and choose a system, turn it on and play it whilst others are playing their systems as well.

Therefore I need a solution for each console. Even if I play alone, I'd just want to turn shit on and play it.

My current game room only has one TV and the BS I have to go through to find the cables, AC adapters, joypads etc is ridiculous. Its always somewhere I can't find it. If I have a much larger room with a long bench and everything pre setup I will be a much happier gamer.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:16 pm 


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pretty much with you on this one.

Unfortunately there is just nothing between the Tinks and the OSSC that can do the job, except the GBS-Control project, which requires some tinkering if you want to stay cheap or an investment that's pretty close to the OSSC when you get a "ready to use" unit.

I don't understand your argument against the OSSC though. It it because of the price? Getting a Retrotink over here in Europe is pretty much identical in price compared to getting an OSSC (from China). And as ASDR stated: you can easily use an OSSC without diving into all the options at all and the quality will already be vastly superior to your experience here.

OSSC + a proper source will give you pretty much the same quality as any of the Analogue units.

Can't comment on the various N64 mods. My only RGB one is an early japanese unit, that's modded to RGB by adding three pieces of wire, nothing else. Quality in my eyes was always OK (if you take a sharp 2D benchmark title like Bangaioh), but what the games themselves add in terms of blur filters is a completely different topic.

I also agree that 720p is *THE* sweetspot for good looking scanlines. 480p has a 1:1 ratio which isn't great and 1080p uses non-integer scaling (if you want full height) which is almost impossible to get to look right.


(edit: strike the price comparison, didn't realize you were using a Rad2X cable instead of a Retrotink - - but quality-wise it's the same).


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:32 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Location: Bedford, UK
Fudoh wrote:

I don't understand your argument against the OSSC though. It it because of the price? G



5 things, 1 is price. Obviously its not that big of a deal for someone that owns 20+ consoles, an OLED C9 55" TV and several hundred boxed original videogames but it is expensive if your not happy with the output for any reason.

The other is that I used to have an XRGB2 and I would always be tinkering and tinkering and more tinkering. The more options there are the more I get caught up in video quality aspects when my original plan was to play a game.

Another issue I had since the beginning of time is that SCART cables often added buzzing noise from the picture. I have never owned a scart cable that did not emit a buzzing noise. I hear they now exist but its a heavy investment for me to get a OSSC and all these cables to be disappointed again. Back in 1994 I bought a 3DO and used svideo and I used svideo on my PS1/N64 and Dreamcast as well. I was always happy with the picture on a Sony Trinitron and I had no buzzing noise.

There is also a new OSSC on the horizon. I'm in no hurry to buy one so might as well wait to see what the OSSC Gods have install for us.

Lastly, my XRGB2 broke because of the amount of times I changed the cables. I did ask once upon a time if an extender could be added to the OSSC package but was told to buy a generic one. I would just prefer it if the extender broke rather than the OSSC. This is niggly thing though obviously, not a show stopper.


I only bought the Rad2x because my PC setup has 2 monitors of which I usually only use one except when i'm working. I figured I could use the other monitor for a N64, SFC or Megadrive setup. I only bought 1 rad2x as it covered 2 consoles that I have. But its not a long term solution for me.






Since I posted this thread my modder has set up his OSSC with my settings I proposed and he likes it a lot.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:54 pm 


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I hear you, but if don't own an OSSC yet, get one, or borrow your modder's unit. I guarantee you, after 5 minutes of use, you'll never go back.

I only recently spent a lot of time with the newest Retrotink (2X-M) and I can appreciate its features and its ease of use, but the same week I got one of Manuel's OSSCs (that't ones with the changed board layout and the closed plexi housing) and after not using an OSSC for at least 6 months, it was - once again - such a day and night difference to anything else including the Retrotink.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:25 pm 



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neorichieb1971 wrote:
vs the OSSC which you need the patience and research of a companies TV division to figure out.

You don't need to know a lot to use the OSSC. Aside from maybe the automatic input switching and default input options, the default, out-of-the-box settings will work perfectly fine for most users, including myself; you don't need to spend a lot of time or research on tweaking settings unless chasing the absolutely, most-perfect image possible.

tl;dr: It's only as complicated and time-consuming as you make it. And get a remote.

neorichieb1971 wrote:
Unfortunately for me I am building a game room in 3 years time and I am looking for a product I can buy 4 times. I don't really want 4 x OSSC if I can help it. Maybe I will buy one :lol:

I think there aren't a lot of people taking that approach due to the expense involved. I think it's generally more economical to use a video switcher, like an Extron CrossPoint, to route multiple sources to/through a single converter, with distribution happening before and/or after that one converter.

Currently, the best possible setup for output solely targeted at flat panels seems to be HDMI mods for these consoles. They have access to information and signals that downstream digitizers like the OSSC can't get, like the pixel clock, and therefore have the best possible chance at getting you perfect digital audio and video; but they cost significantly more than the analogue-to-digital options you're currently looking at.

neorichieb1971 wrote:
You didn't mention if you were of the opinion that a 720p plug n play device was the best middle ground overall. I really think a trick has been missed here.

Part of the problem is that these line-multipliers are intended to be used with systems capable of 480i, and you can't line-multiply 480i to 720p with good results (240p/480p->720p with 2 lines image and 1 black scanline might be interesting, though). Anything more requires a proper scaler, which will either give you bad results for everything (in order to hit a low price point, like the Pound cables) or put the device in a significantly higher price bracket (Framemeister, OSSC Pro).

Additionally, I think your earlier comparison to FPGA consoles is apples-to-oranges. They're the same devices executing the game code, so they have a full understanding of the original image data, plus they have the hardware onboard to resize and reshape it in whichever ways are necessary to fit the target screen while still looking great.

Line multipliers, like the RT2X, RAD2X, and OSSC, etc., on the other hand, don't have the necessary hardware to perform arbitrary scaling or other transformations; if they did, they'd be far more expensive and make even less sense for your planned multiple-converter approach. :P (Edit: Erroneously had actual scalers in the device list as I was going somewhere else when I initially typed that.)


Last edited by nmalinoski on Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:35 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
OSSC [Pro] ... on the other hand, don't have the necessary hardware to perform arbitrary scaling. :P


It's my understanding that the OSSC Pro will be a true video processor with many arbitrary video scaling capabilities out of the box--and the machine will become even more powerful as the software matures.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:40 pm 


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I pretty much agree with you. I am looking for similar functionality, not to do multiple monitors, but I'd like to set up all of my consoles on an HDMI switch for my 55" 4KTV in my living room (but still have full RGB output on all consoles if I want to move one into my lounge room that has an Ikegami studio-grade RGB CRT).

So, my problem is already solved for consoles that have digital solutions: I already have GCDual, DCDigital, and PS1Digital, and in the future will be investing in UltraHDMI, WiiDual, PS2Digital, and XboxDigital.

The problem remains with the consoles that can't be digitized at the source: 2600, NES (since Hi-Def NES is abandoned), SMS, SNES, Genesis, Saturn, etc.
Right now for these, I just manually physically swap them out on my OSSC.

My options are basically:
- Buy multiple OSSCs or RetroTINKs (cons: costly and would be a cable management mess with limited living room space)
- Buy Rad2X (cons: only 480p and no scanlines)
- Buy a large analog switchbox like gscartw or gcompsw (cons: I don't want to invest in more SCART equipment or RGB->YPbPr equipment, and again a cable management mess with limited living room space)

For these consoles, I would really LOVE a Rad2X-like product that can scale more than 2X and do scanlines. Maybe when hardware prices come down this kind of thing will be more feasible. But in the mean time, I think there's a gap in the market.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:43 pm 



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nmalinoski wrote:
neorichieb1971 wrote:
neorichieb1971 wrote:
You didn't mention if you were of the opinion that a 720p plug n play device was the best middle ground overall. I really think a trick has been missed here.

Part of the problem is that these line-multipliers are intended to be used with systems capable of 480i, and you can't line-multiply 480i to 720p with good results (240p/480p->720p with 2 lines image and 1 black scanline might be interesting, though).



It would suit most of my needs though. If you had a box that does 240p really well and another box that does 480i/p really well. That is the ideal solution for me.

If the cost of 2 boxes is around about the same price as 1 box that gives an all round solution it makes sense to give the choice of singular boxes. Especially considering if I wanted to play PS2 along side my SNES for example. Because you have 2 solutions.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:10 pm 



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orange808 wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
OSSC [Pro] ... on the other hand, don't have the necessary hardware to perform arbitrary scaling. :P


It's my understanding that the OSSC Pro will be a true video processor with many arbitrary video scaling capabilities out of the box--and the machine will become even more powerful as the software matures.

You are correct; I erroneously had the OSSC Pro and Framemeister in that list because I was going somewhere else when I initially typed that list of devices.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:22 pm 



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neorichieb1971 wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
neorichieb1971 wrote:
You didn't mention if you were of the opinion that a 720p plug n play device was the best middle ground overall. I really think a trick has been missed here.

Part of the problem is that these line-multipliers are intended to be used with systems capable of 480i, and you can't line-multiply 480i to 720p with good results (240p/480p->720p with 2 lines image and 1 black scanline might be interesting, though).



It would suit most of my needs though. If you had a box that does 240p really well and another box that does 480i/p really well. That is the ideal solution for me.

If the cost of 2 boxes is around about the same price as 1 box that gives an all round solution it makes sense to give the choice of singular boxes. Especially considering if I wanted to play PS2 along side my SNES for example. Because you have 2 solutions.

I don't think there's anything out there right now that really targets just one of these video modes, and I don't think you're going to find anything that will help with 480i (particularly videogame content) on a flat panel for a low price.

Perhaps the consoles that mainly have 480i/480p stuff could be served well by the RT2X-M (will line-double 240p, bob-deinterlace 480i, and pass-through 480p), and then your primarily-240p stuff could be served by the OSSC, so you can get 720p or better; that way, you'll save some money by not buying 4 OSSCs,


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:22 am 



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neorichieb1971 wrote:
The look i'm aiming for is the analogue FPGA consoles outputting 720p with scanlines set just thick enough to get that sharpness back.


You need ultrahdmi modded N64’s and 720p TV’s. There is no alternative.

https://imgur.com/a/veCs6e4

The retrotink line doublers have their place. They are not for someone who wants picture quality like the analogue fpga consoles.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:45 pm 



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If your goal is to have one setup per console, why even bother with modern displays? Get a (probably free) CRT for each console and be done with it. The fact of the matter is that every option for playing retro consoles on a modern TV comes with compromises; aside from space/weight/etc with CRTs, they are really the only no-compromise way to play on original hardware. What follows are my opinions and I'm sure they will be somewhat controversial here, but it's what I've found over the years.

Analogue FPGA systems:
These are great... if you want to play NES, SNES, or Genesis. Even then, that's three separate purchases and they aren't cheap to begin with, so it adds up. Plus you probably can't even find the NES ones anymore.

Upscalers/line multipliers:
Since the idea is to make one device that works with many consoles (because it's way cheaper than designing separate devices for each console), there have to be some compromises. RetroTink products take the simplest route by offering you virtually no options and applying the same processing to everything, whereas the OSSC offers the most customizability, but you wind up having to change settings whenever you switch consoles (or even from game to game in some cases) if you care about the best possible picture. If you leave the OSSC on default settings, it's pretty hassle-free, honestly, and still looks great, but it doesn't deinterlace very well and offers no smoothing options like the RetroTink. OSSC Pro will probably be a great solution, but it will probably be more expensive and more complicated. The Framemeister has the best deinterlacing, but is otherwise a sub-par scaler and adds input lag.

MiSTer FPGA:
The most obvious downside is doesn't use any original hardware, so if that's a problem for you, then it's already out. But it runs basically every console from the 16-bit era and older and allows you to customize each one so that you get exactly the picture you want from each console. It also supports 1440p output, which I think is the sweet spot for a retro-focused monitor as it offers perfect scaling for 240p, 480p, and 720p. Probably the most fiddly of the options, but it has become much easier over the years and it's my personal preferred option for the consoles it supports.

Individual HDMI mods:
Great in theory, but availability is an issue. Some of the mods aren't even available anymore, AFAIK. Still, this offers you the same level of flexibility that the FPGA solutions do but using original hardware. Likely to be the most expensive option, though.

Software emulation:
Input lag aside, this is probably still the best overall solution if video quality is your primary concern (and don't care about playing on original hardware, obviously). Extreme customizability and the option to just do away with some of the flaws and quirks of original hardware are the main benefits. For example. you can boost color depth and remove dithering on PS1 or increase the internal resolution, significantly smoothing out early 3D systems without losing sharpness. I don't think I really need to go into the flaws here as probably everyone on this forum has thoughts on that.

CRTs:
Big, bulky, prone to geometry issues and just general aging tech problems, but it's what the consoles were made for and everything just works. No fiddling required. Not my preferred way to play anymore, but it's undeniably the most straight-forward and compatible solution.

So you really just have to pick your poison. There isn't a perfect solution and there probably never will be because every console has its own quirks and there isn't really a good way to solve that with just one device.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:53 pm 


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Lol...this is the Nintendo 64 for you! Emulation is the only way to experience N64 in a way that would look like an analog product.

There's no blaming the RAD2x or RT products, they do exactly what they are supposed to. 2 passes of antialiasing even before the RAD2x gets a chance to line double, really eats into the gains compared with other consoles (SNES, GC, Genesis, etc.) Partly that's why your not happy with the output. Second is your expectations that it look as crisp as an analog product.

By way of comparison here's a few setups I've tried. And yes, I sank money chasing the rabbit down the hole, so maybe my experience will help you not to.

Everdrive 64 with Poregon's APS patches to disable the 1st pass of software AA (autoAPS so it's done automatically) -> RGB Modded N64 (Voultar's 7374 amp) -> RAD2x -> B9 OLED. How does it look? Soft! Why? Because of the second pass VI Blur and the fact that the TV still has to upscale from 480p to 4K (although LG B9/C9 do this exceedingly well). With smoothing on I feel the RAD2x gives the "most authentic look". N64 games, given their dither blended graphics, are intended to be seen this way. It could be more authentic when we get enough resolution (hopefully with 8K) to properly make CRT filters. Then a modern TV can finally simulate a CRT Look. For fun I tried taking the 480p output from the RAD2x into the mClassic. Needless to say, it's counterproductive stacking a 3rd pass of AA.

I also have an OSSC. Everdrive 64 with Poregon's patches -> RGB Modded N64 (Voultar's 7374 amp) -> HDretrovision YPbPr multi-out cables -> GComp Switch -> OSSC 5x optimized using FirebrandX's timings -> B9 OLED. How does it look? Pretty freaking good, but still Soft and some of the dither shows through! I have tried 480p and 720p. 480p look marginally better than the RAD2x and RTpro, and 720p looks quite good without cutting off any of the screen. 1080p cuts off a bit of the top & bottom of the screen, but not much more than the overscan on a CRT would. So I prefer the trade off in screen real estate at 720p to sharpness gained at 1080p. For fun, again I tried the mClassic and it will not accept anything above 480p from the OSSC. Nothing can be done about the dither and VI blur using the OSSC (unless you get the advanced RGB mod which can do VI Deblur like the UltraHDMI). The OSSC is finicky to setup and play. Honestly, I don't use the OSSC that much, for exactly this reason. I don't want to mess with settings, I just want to play the games!

Here's my primary setup, Everdrive 64 with Poregon's APS patches -> UltraHDMI modded N64 set to 1080p w/VI Deblur -> B9 OLED. How does that look? Sharp, but Dithered! However, it just works and you get can used to dither.

So pick your poison on OG N64. Soft or Dithered. IMO both look good. Soft is best achieved using an RGB modded console with the RAD2x and smoothing on. Sharp, but dithered, is best achieved with the UltraHDMI.

If you just want sharp, then emulate.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:52 pm 


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There are two causes of blur/softness on the N64 that are preventing you from getting as sharp an image as you want (aside from whatever scaling your TV is doing). The N64's hardware anti-aliasing, and the N64's horizontal interpolation.

The first is potentially desirable. Anti-aliasing can simulate a higher resolution, but at the very low resolutions involved, can also be perceived as a loss in sharpness.

The second is undesirable. The N64 basically produces a 320x240 image (in most games) and then stretches it to 640x240 by making every other pixel an average of its neighbours.

The first source of blur can only be removed in software. This can be done on a game-by-game basis GameShark codes, or with patch ROMs on a romcart. Some very very few games (like Quake) have an option in their config menu to turn this off, IIRC.

The second source of blur is actually easy to remove in hardware (after the video output). You just need to skip every other pixel when you sample the video output, and boom, you've got the original un-blurred image back.

The UltraHDMI mod has this deblur feature built-in, called "VI de-blur". Tim Worthington's N64RGB has a firmware update available that adds this feature. You should be able to flash your N64RGB modded console to enable the deblur. On older N64RGB boards I believe it might be a "permanently on" thing (though IIRC it autodetect 480i games and turns it off for that), while newer boards added solder pads for a switch.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:08 am 


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I honestly think you just need to temper your expectations for the N64. Super low res 3d is always either going to look excessively soft or excessively pixelated, there is no in between.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:25 am 


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maxtherabbit wrote:
I honestly think you just need to temper your expectations for the N64. Super low res 3d is always either going to look excessively soft or excessively pixelated, there is no in between.


Yeah. Also the standards for what is considered a playable framerate were quite different back then.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:59 am 



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N64 RGB + OSSC line triple looks really nice. Quite a bit better than line double. Scanlines on the lowest setting also gives it a more natural nook.
I'm also using a sync on luma scart cable - don't know if that makes a difference though.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:53 pm 



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Yeah although the N64 has all this low res AA filters and such, it would be somewhat remedied with scanlines and for that I need a 720p output.

This could be done with the OSSC as I've seen videos with other consoles doing the exact same thing.

As stated in the OP, my problem is that these Rad2x's and Retrotinks don't mention soft in any of their reviews. They just say its sharper than svideo or composite which is a given and not really a surprise.

I've gone and spent £70 on a N64 mod and another £50 on another N64 with a standard mod and I really would have been better off just plugging them into a CRT with svideo for no money at all.

I only have 1 CRT currently. I think the advertising and reviews are a bit misleading.

Anyone who says they can play N64 games on a 55" TV must be kidding. I'd have to go outside all the way to the back of my yard for it to be acceptable. Its far too pixellated or blurry.

My Dell 24" U2414H faired much better at that size. And nobody mentioned that when playing Mario 64 with a Rad2x you get ghosting around Mario. I mean who tested this stuff? The one game you would test it with is most likely Mario 64 or Zelda.

I will get a OSSC this year because that seems to be the best option now. If your in my situation of having 1 PS1, 2 PS2's, 3 N64's, 2 SFC's, 1 Genesis, 1 Saturn, 1 Dreamcast, 1 3DO the OSSC is my last hope.

I will just have to buy a bunch of them over time and set them up specifically for the console in use.
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:59 pm 


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I think you should think of this as a learning experience and do your research a bit better next time. All the information, comparison and quality reviews are absolutely there. You just either watched bad reviews by idiot influencers or just didn't understand the specs/terminology and what people were trying to convey. The sharpness of RGB vs Composite is an orthogonal problem to the sharpness of 480p upscaled by your TV vs nearest-neighbor interpolation by the OSSC. Channels like RetroRGB and MLiG have exhaustive coverage N64 and its output options and all kinds of video processors, the information is 100% there if you seek it out and take the time to grok it.

I'd still recommend you just buy a SCART switch or get half a dozen CRTs for free, but hey, VGP/marqs are good people and if you insist on buying half a dozen OSSCs, go do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:33 am 



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RIP-Felix wrote:
Lol...this is the Nintendo 64 for you! Emulation is the only way to experience N64 in a way that would look like an analog product.

If you just want sharp, then emulate.


Untrue. Here is a shot from my ultrahdmi at 720p:

https://i.imgur.com/WrnAQkM.jpg

https://imgur.com/r6nTJ7O


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:12 am 


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reading these upscaling dilemmas really make me appreciate the fact that I prefer a crt picture.

my gaming setup consists of : 1 crt, and all consoles plugged into it via switcher. the end

no headaches, just games
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:24 am 


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It's the same for most of us. 1 HDTV, OSSC, SCART switch, the end :D

CRTs have their own issues, though. Unless you just happen to find the holy grail barely used perfectly calibrated BVM there's always something. Geometry is fucked, convergence is off, yoke is tilted, black crush cause TV supports no gamma adjustment, tube is dim, colors are off, purity issues, needs degaussing, looks wrong when rotated in a certain way, can't be near speakers, buzzes, whines etc. There's always SOMETHING. One corner bends/droops, some aspect of geometry you can't fix, always thinking "I need to open this up and reseat the yoke, adjust HSTAT convergence, maybe play with the focus, add a permalloy to fix convegence in the lower right corner etc.". And no matter how you adjust it, they're only ever perfect for one console, every other will have image cut off or annoying overscan visible. Don't get me wrong, love my CRTs, but it seems to either require tremendous luck or real repair skills to find one without annoying flaws.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:09 pm 


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why does OP need 7 OSSC again? I missed that part.

I can adjust horizontal and vertical size through regular menu on my crt, but I actually don't adjust it from console to console.

All consoles look great when displaying the full area of a 4:3 picture tube. I think that's one advantage of crt. no need to worry about different setting per console
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:14 pm 


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If I was trying to run a bunch of modern displays with independent console hook-ups, I would definitely go with GBS-C for economy. In terms of N64 video.. a good RGB mod paired with a decent scaler is definitely comparable to UltraHDMI. If you want to know whether you are expecting too much from it, just watch some UltraHDMI videos on YT on your big TV. MLiG for example.


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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:31 pm 


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btw OP I think this is a good thread. Seems like there's a gap in the market as you say for a cheap, plug and play, 720p output w/scanline-filter machine

I liked reading your journey and impressions
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 Post subject: Re: Rad2x, retrotink and all that stuff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:43 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
why does OP need 7 OSSC again? I missed that part.


He wants to build some arcade-like room, 1-system-per-screen.

FinalBaton wrote:
I can adjust horizontal and vertical size through regular menu on my crt, but I actually don't adjust it from console to console.

All consoles look great when displaying the full area of a 4:3 picture tube. I think that's one advantage of crt. no need to worry about different setting per console


Ok, but virtually no consumer TV has size options outside of the service menu, only very recent models even have something as basic as RGB shift.

You can't setup your CRT to display all consoles equally well since they all have completely different screen areas they use. All these systems vary widely, it's either overscan garbled stuff / borders or missing image.

With an OSSC you also don't need to have special settings per-console any more than with your CRT. You can just have a generic profile that'll look OK with everything. It'll still look better than any other solution save for HDMI mods, FPGA/emulation. And with an OSSC at least you have profiles if you want per-system settings. Unless you have something super fancy BVM-like you can't quickly switch between settings with a CRT.


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