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 Post subject: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:19 am 



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
So I've had an XRGB mini for many years now and never liked the image it displays on my (2014) 55" Samsung LED via s-video for my n64. Some games aren't too bad (Mario 64/kart) but when moving on to goldeneye territory it still looks bad. Plus you have the hassle of different profiles for different games i.e Doom64 has different settings than Mario cause it's dark as all hell (pun intended).
In a perfect world I could afford an ultrahdmi mod but I currently don't have the funds. I am looking at getting an easier plug and play method. So I've decided to obtain a personal tv for the N64. My question is, after the long introduction (sorry I've been drinking), what would be best for displaying s-video on n64;
A 20-24" CRT (either Wega/JVC i'art) or
A 24-32" plasma with s-video input (older Panasonic?)
Or any other suggestions

Portability is a plus, I would like to be able to put it away when I'm done using it. I have a 19" Samsung LCD that's pretty good but I find it a little too small.

I bow to your wisdom,
Thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:22 pm 


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I'd definitely go with a crt myself. My buddy has a random 24" crt and an N64 hooked up via S-video in his basement, and I find the picture really enjoyable on there(which can't be said for other methods of displaying the N64...). It kinda hides the flaws of the picture, while giving you very saturated colours(this is not always easy to get on this system...) and a very bright and vivid picture. I don't have an N64 but if I did, I would also plug it via S-video on a crt. Absolutely


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:30 pm 


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if you happen to have a launch model north american N64 - RGB mod that thing and don't look back

it's very easy, and massively superior to s-video on a CRT or flatscreen


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 pm 


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The easiest way is in fact just using a tube television. That being said, Max is correct about the RGB upgrade. The 64 really needs it in my opinion. My N64 is connected to my OSSC and outputting to my lagless 32 inch VA-LCD as well as my high-end PC-CRT. The picture is fantastic on both displays, as well as on my RGB-SCART enabled tube television. I can see details that I never before knew existed, even in Mario64.

You may also want to try a RetroTink2x. It produces very good results with SVideo and it is faster than XRGB and doesn’t have that color issue


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:09 pm 


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Location: Québec City
How much will the RGB mod set the OP back? price seems to be something that is potentially in the way for him

For sure the upgrade to RGB is nice. I've never compared S-video vs RGB on an N64 myself though


Last edited by FinalBaton on Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:10 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
How much will the RGB mod set the OP back? price seems to be something that is potentially in the way of going RGB for him/her

That's why I mentioned the launch model - those can be modded with about $3 in parts


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:12 pm 


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maxtherabbit wrote:
That's why I mentioned the launch model - those can be modded with about $3 in parts

Let's see if he has a launch model then. That'd be a very interesting option


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:34 pm 



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
I'll have to check the model when I get home. The retrotink did peak my interest and may be a future purchase. A guy does the RGB mod by my place but it'll cost close to $100 to do it. That's why I'm considering a CRT/old plasma cause they cost pennies


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:20 pm 


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Look up videos and photos of sharp N64 output before you dive in.

Some people prefer a CRT and svideo.
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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:35 pm 


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orange808 wrote:
Look up videos and photos of sharp N64 output before you dive in.

Some people prefer a CRT and svideo.

That's a good point, and kind of where I was going with my first post


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:51 pm 



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
Model no. NUS-001. Do I have a winner? Also how's it $3 in parts for an RGB mod?


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:23 pm 


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FinalBaton wrote:
orange808 wrote:
Look up videos and photos of sharp N64 output before you dive in.

Some people prefer a CRT and svideo.

That's a good point, and kind of where I was going with my first post

I agree CRT is the way to go. But RGB CRT curbstomps S-video CRT


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:26 pm 


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https://www.retrorgb.com/n64rgbcompatible.html

Look there under the "basic" mod section for info


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:03 pm 



Joined: 30 Dec 2014
Posts: 493
I think the smallest plasmas are in the 40 inch range i don't recall any 24-32 inches. Besides if youre just gonna connect your frameister through s-video then there wont be that much improvement. Since you're on a budget, i'd just suggest to go after a nice consumer set from 20-24 inch range. N64 and crt always look good even with s-video or composite. Try to find one with both s-video and component inputs.

But if you can get your n64 modded for rgb on the cheap then i'd go that route regardless of what tv you go with. It's not the same jump that you see with like the nes going from coaxial to rgb or the genesis going from component to rgb but there is an improvement in sharpness and color. You can look for affordable pc lcd monitors in the size range you are looking for to pair up with the frameister. plasmas are nice too but i think they are bigger than what you are looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:31 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1570
maxtherabbit wrote:
FinalBaton wrote:
orange808 wrote:
Look up videos and photos of sharp N64 output before you dive in.

Some people prefer a CRT and svideo.

That's a good point, and kind of where I was going with my first post

I agree CRT is the way to go. But RGB CRT curbstomps S-video CRT

But that RGB comes at a significant, additional cost. If the OP is based in the US, 15kHz RGB is not easy to deal with. You can find plenty of consumer CRTs in the US that will do composite, S-Video, and YPbPr, but effectively none will do RGB without being modded (which is dangerous to perform). Pro CRTs will do 15kHz RGB, but, if an UltraHDMI is way out of budget, a pro CRT definitely is.

If the OP just wants to play some N64 games on the cheap, S-Video on a second-hand consumer CRT is going to be his best bet.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:46 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
maxtherabbit wrote:
FinalBaton wrote:
That's a good point, and kind of where I was going with my first post

I agree CRT is the way to go. But RGB CRT curbstomps S-video CRT

But that RGB comes at a significant, additional cost. If the OP is based in the US, 15kHz RGB is not easy to deal with. You can find plenty of consumer CRTs in the US that will do composite, S-Video, and YPbPr, but effectively none will do RGB without being modded (which is dangerous to perform). Pro CRTs will do 15kHz RGB, but, if an UltraHDMI is way out of budget, a pro CRT definitely is.

If the OP just wants to play some N64 games on the cheap, S-Video on a second-hand consumer CRT is going to be his best bet.

HD Retrovision cable - $50
RGB mod - $3
Craigslist CRT with component - $free

Seems like a solid budget option to me


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:29 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 873
If it were for me, I'd sell the XRGB mini and buy a good-size rgb capable CRT.

If you have the space, a crt is always going to deliver better results from older 15khz and 31khz consoles. Even the best scalers are still a compromise. Rgb at native res on a crt is as good as it gets.

If you are buying the display just for the N64 (or other old consoles) I would skip the plasma monitors. Most are HD and they will produce the same look you don't like on your current flatscreen.

With the RGB recommendations, we are assuming you want the best image possible and that you are prepared to work for it. I took a look at that N64 rgb mod a while ago. It may be no big deal for some but it looks like more hassle than the N64 is worth for me. But..., I've never been a fan of that console.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:46 pm 



Joined: 17 May 2013
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Given some of the games you want to play this is a little beside the point but the Wii experience is pretty great and plays at 480p.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:57 pm 


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Classicgamer wrote:
It may be no big deal for some but it looks like more hassle than the N64 is worth for me. But..., I've never been a fan of that console.

Same with me. I'm not a huge fan of the N64, which is why in my case, I wouldn't bother with an RGB mod and just stick with s-video :P

Having said that, if one is really into the N64, and wants the best picture quality (or rather wants a good look at the N64's output, I should say), then for sure an RGB mod is worth it


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:09 am 


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Posts: 175
Location: Northern California
mrwasi wrote:
So I've had an XRGB mini for many years now and never liked the image it displays on my (2014) 55" Samsung LED via s-video for my n64. Some games aren't too bad (Mario 64/kart) but when moving on to goldeneye territory it still looks bad. Plus you have the hassle of different profiles for different games i.e Doom64 has different settings than Mario cause it's dark as all hell (pun intended).
In a perfect world I could afford an ultrahdmi mod but I currently don't have the funds. I am looking at getting an easier plug and play method. So I've decided to obtain a personal tv for the N64. My question is, after the long introduction (sorry I've been drinking), what would be best for displaying s-video on n64;
A 20-24" CRT (either Wega/JVC i'art) or
A 24-32" plasma with s-video input (older Panasonic?)
Or any other suggestions

Portability is a plus, I would like to be able to put it away when I'm done using it. I have a 19" Samsung LCD that's pretty good but I find it a little too small.

I bow to your wisdom,
Thanks in advance


I wouldn't venture into the old Plasma territory. Those old TV's may have s-video ports but the results are not necessarily good. Especially not for the N64.

I upgraded to the Ultrahdmi thinking I would be blown away like I was with the upgrade from SNES S-Video to RGB (Via OSSC). I'm not overly impressed. The N64 still looks like crap. Early 3D has aged badly. It's still the very best you can get out of the system but don't expect something magical if you're coming from s-video.

I'd get a CRT with s-video. After that if you find your love of the system eternal and want to play on your big screen then save for the Ultrahdmi. If you find yourself falling for CRT's then the path of RGB is also open to you.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:18 am 


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mrwasi wrote:
what would be best for displaying s-video on n64;
A 20-24" CRT (either Wega/JVC i'art) or
A 24-32" plasma with s-video input (older Panasonic?)
Or any other suggestions


CRT's are the best way to play N64, IMO. The blur of the CRT covers up a lot of the artifacts. Honestly, I wouldn't want to play N64 any other way. Plasmas (Panasonics in particular) are awesome, but not for N64. Stick with CRT.

S-Video is absolutely great, and will cost you almost nothing to get up and running. You can always mod it for RGB later. Don't listen to people claiming an enormous difference between S-video and RGB- it's not a night and day difference. It's a minor improvement.

If you decide to go the RGB route, I'd recommend:

1. A consumer grade NON-HD 4:3 tv with component inputs (Sony KV-20FV300 or KV-24FV300 are good... 27"-36" FV310 is best) Check craigslist or facebook marketplace. Familiarize yourself with what the tv model looks like via a google image search. Many people don't post the model numbers when selling old tv's (or when giving them away for free).

2. RGB mod kit https://voultar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

3. Scart cable https://retro-access.com/products/super-nintendo-snes-rgb-n64-sync-on-luma-rgb-scart-lead-shielded-grounded-cable?variant=5197964673061

4. Shinybow Scart to RGB transcoder https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337675067&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FShinybow-SCART-RGB-to-HDTV-Component-Video-5-RCA-with-Audio-Converter-Transcoder%2F253024250184%3Fhash%3Ditem3ae96ba948%3Ag%3AdEIAAOSwbtVZWTlf

5. Component Cables https://amzn.to/2WY6ZeV

Chain looks like: modded N64>> scart cable >> shinybow >> component cables >> TV

Good luck :D


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:55 am 


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tjstogy wrote:
mrwasi wrote:
what would be best for displaying s-video on n64;
A 20-24" CRT (either Wega/JVC i'art) or
A 24-32" plasma with s-video input (older Panasonic?)
Or any other suggestions


CRT's are the best way to play N64, IMO. The blur of the CRT covers up a lot of the artifacts. Honestly, I wouldn't want to play N64 any other way. Plasmas (Panasonics in particular) are awesome, but not for N64. Stick with CRT.

S-Video is absolutely great, and will cost you almost nothing to get up and running. You can always mod it for RGB later. Don't listen to people claiming an enormous difference between S-video and RGB- it's not a night and day difference. It's a minor improvement.

If you decide to go the RGB route, I'd recommend:

1. A consumer grade NON-HD 4:3 tv with component inputs (Sony KV-20FV300 or KV-24FV300 are good... 27"-36" FV310 is best) Check craigslist or facebook marketplace. Familiarize yourself with what the tv model looks like via a google image search. Many people don't post the model numbers when selling old tv's (or when giving them away for free).

2. RGB mod kit https://voultar.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=50

3. Scart cable https://retro-access.com/products/super-nintendo-snes-rgb-n64-sync-on-luma-rgb-scart-lead-shielded-grounded-cable?variant=5197964673061

4. Shinybow Scart to RGB transcoder https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337675067&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FShinybow-SCART-RGB-to-HDTV-Component-Video-5-RCA-with-Audio-Converter-Transcoder%2F253024250184%3Fhash%3Ditem3ae96ba948%3Ag%3AdEIAAOSwbtVZWTlf

5. Component Cables https://amzn.to/2WY6ZeV

Chain looks like: modded N64>> scart cable >> shinybow >> component cables >> TV

Good luck :D

why on earth would you buy a $100 standalone transcoder and a retro access scart cable when you could get a HD retrovision component cable for the same price as the retro access cable alone and have the exact same quality?


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:16 am 



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
Holy crap I have a lot to choose from.
In the meantime I'm snagging a Trinitron for $10 until I can decide for sure what the best route is. My knowledge has increased tenfold thanks to everyone here


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:26 am 


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mrwasi wrote:
Holy crap I have a lot to choose from.
In the meantime I'm snagging a Trinitron for $10 until I can decide for sure what the best route is. My knowledge has increased tenfold thanks to everyone here

great place to start


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:39 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1570
maxtherabbit wrote:
HD Retrovision cable - $50
RGB mod - $3
Craigslist CRT with component - $free

Seems like a solid budget option to me

Derp. I keep forgetting about the HD Retrovision cables. Definitely a good, clean choice for consoles that natively output RGB, but still not as cheap as what I was suggesting.

I also think that $3 estimate for an RGB mod is way too low. Ignoring shipping costs, it's probably spot-on if you're the kind of person who is comfortable sourcing PCBs and components and then building the board yourself, but I think the majority of people looking to revisit their old consoles are more likely to be looking at about $30 for a preassembled board (for those who can solder but don't want to assemble a board with SMT components) or about $70 for the board and for someone to install it for you.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:07 am 


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I'll be honest, as someone who regularly installs N64RGB mods, and would love to have your business, if you are going to be playing on a CRT you might as well stick with S-Video. The improvement in quality you will see when going from S-Video to RGB on a CRT is very minuscule. You might even find that you like the look of S-video better than RGB. S-video often has more sharpening applied by the TV than RGB/Component and you have more control over brightness/contrast/saturation which may be more appealing to your eye.

If you were intending to play on a modern display I would absolutely recommend going with RGB because you have access to the best scaling and line multiplication options that way.
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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:11 am 


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@nmalinoski make sure your s-video cable really passes s-video signal. What I mean by that is that most of the cheap third-party s-video cables actually pass composite video through the s-video connector. Apparently, all of them that have a yellow composite plug included, do this.


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:10 pm 



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 49
@FullBaton
My cables are strictly s-video, no yellow composite attached. Is there a way to test the cables to see if they are sending a true s-video output?


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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:30 pm 



Joined: 19 Mar 2017
Posts: 174
Classicgamer wrote:
I I would skip the plasma monitors. Most are HD and they will produce the same look you don't like on your current flatscreen.


This is what ultrahdmi looks like on a 480p plasma TV connected to a DVI input (which is how I play): https://imgur.com/zpN6TPv

I would not advise connecting an N64 to a plasma TV unless it was ultrahdmi.

Go CRT until you can afford Ultrahdmi (and if you don’t like that razor sharp look, don’t even bother with ultrahdmi).


Last edited by strayan on Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: N64, S-VIDEO and the best way to play
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:33 pm 


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iirc most n64 s-video cables sold are crap/fake, i've bought a good/real one from thefoo.83 on ebay as recommended somewhere around here
think he's discontinued it tho

(note I have an ntsc-u console, of course this isn't for eu models)
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