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Thread: Is there really that big of a difference between S-Video and RGB on SNES?

  1. #1
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    Default Is there really that big of a difference between S-Video and RGB on SNES?

    I'm an admin on /r/gamecollecting on Reddit and we recently made a group purchase of some Monster S-Video cables for SNES/N64/GCN. I wrote a review HERE if you're interested with screenshots comparing composite and S-Video.

    Whereas a couple of those cables cost me around 15 bucks, the jump to a top-notch RGB setup (XRGB-3, GCN SCART cable, and euro-to-JAP conversion...) would be 40-50x more expensive. I'm a big enough of a nut that I'm actually open to considering the possibility, but frankly I don't see how the video quality can get much better than what I'm seeing in the screenshots I posted within the review.

    Anyone care to chime in? :P

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    Apple (Level 5) Emuaust's Avatar
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    I don't think so really, there is a noticeable improvement when you go to RGB for the SNES but the consoles s-video and hell, even composite capabilities are superior to the MD/GEN and while there is an increase in clarity with each step up you take its not the "OMG WOW" factor you get from some of the other consoles of the era.

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    Yeah man. There was a fairly "wow" transition from Composite to S-Video, but I don't know how much of a difference RGB would make...

    The bigger issue is that if I upgraded to RGB it'd be because I were streaming my SNES games for a show or reviews etc. With everything I listed about PLUS a DVI or VGA capture (for which the capture cards are like $2000 a piece... crazy...), I'm looking at about $2500 just to get a bump in streamable video quality, vs. now, where I can already capture S-Video with my Dazzle DVC100.

    It's a shame that SCART was never implemented in the US and that it's such a pain to get usable RGB out of NTSC SNESs, even if it is a model 1.

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    Kirby (Level 13) j_factor's Avatar
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    Perhaps I'm missing something, but why do you need an XRGB-3?

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    Great Puma (Level 12) c0ldb33r's Avatar
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    I'd get in some svideo cables for snes. If you do another group purchase let us know

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    I've never seen a noticeable difference on ANYTHING between S-Video and Composite. Perhaps if you stare at a still shot, but not for anything moving.
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    An XRGB-3 does seem like a classy and robust piece of hardware, but there are definitely other ways to make this work. A more affordable solution for getting RGB going from a SNES (on a TV without a SCART input) would be to pair a cheap third party RGB cable like this with a SCART-to-??? video converter like this. In the case of that particular SCART-to-component video converter, an audio breakout adapter like so would be a sound idea, unless silence is preferred. Altogether, this is a ~$70 ordeal but way below the cost of an XRGB-3 alone.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) substantial_snake's Avatar
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    Not really.

    I went the Scart-to-RGB route with my genesis because its stock composite picture is pretty lousy. It ended up costing about 60-70 bucks for the converter and a RGB cable with built in Audio splitter. It was an upgrade well worth it and the picture looks fantastic on a CRT screen.

    My SNES was an earlier model so S-video was an option. I picked up the cable and again massive improvement over composite as expected. I picked up an SCART-RGB cable for my SNES and tried it out with little improvement. So little in fact that I don't want to go through the trouble of plugging and unplugging the rather snug SCART cable every time I switch consoles. I really didn't see enough of an improvement to justify the 10 dollar cable over S-video, you might but it really wasn't that dramatic.

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    On an RGB monitor (I have a Sony PVM-2530) you will see an improvement in RGB versus S-video. It is most evident with a Sega Genesis, but also with a model 1 SNES.

    The XRGB-3's claim to fame is that it allows you to use a modern HDTV while maintaining an image resembling what we rmember from playing on a CRT.

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    Great points. Thanks everyone :P. Someday if/when I'm loaded and if TV technology has never caught up to the majesty that is CRT technology, I will perhaps buy the XRGB equivalent of the day, if one exists O..o

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    RGB under ideal circumstances wildly beats anything else. That is no myth or hyberbole. However it takes extra TLC to gain its full benefit. RGB is the purest sharpest option in existence, raw video format many consoles render in. Any minute artifact WILL be visible. Especially on HD sets. Has none of the "smoothing" effect, that CRTs and/or composite provide.
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    In my RGB modding experience I found that the SNES' RGB was the best out of the older consoles I own. Quite stunning.

    However, S-Video Monster Cables (SNES/N64/NGC) will work pretty well for screen capturing because their superior build quality, as compared to other S-Video cables, allows for a much better picture on that format.
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    I've gone through about all the internal hardware revisions on the original SNES and they all have poor RGB picture quality, some are better than others, RGB on the original model SNES is very blurry for some reason. Every Super Famicom I've come across has the same problem.

    The SNES 2 or Super Famicom JR. on the other hand, when properly modded offers the best RGB picture (it does not output RGB out of the box). A huge improvement. I prefer the look of the original SNES/Super Famicom, but use a Super Famicom JR. because of the much better RGB picture quality.

    I use a Sony standard res. RGB monitor, but the difference in picture quality can be seen on everything from RGB/Component converters to the XRGB units.

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    As for Genesis, it's been proposed (if largely rumor) jail bars might be a VDP problem. Curing that entirely will take re-implementing an improved graphics chip to fix the bug. Good luck finding someone with transistor skills or a semiconductor plant...
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    Quote Originally Posted by RARusk View Post
    In my RGB modding experience I found that the SNES' RGB was the best out of the older consoles I own. Quite stunning.
    I concur with Hamburglar in that the SNES' RGB isn't as sharp as other systems like Genesis, SMS, PC-Engine, Saturn, etc. The SNES has a bit of blurring/trailing capacitance on the right side of high-contrast objects that the other systems don't have. (I can't speak for the SNES Jr.)

    The S-Video on SNES is clear enough that RGB isn't absolutely justified. I don't have S-V shots but my page here does have some composite-RGB comparison shots: http://www.chrismcovell.com/gotRGB/rgb_compare.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by theclaw View Post
    As for Genesis, it's been proposed (if largely rumor) jail bars might be a VDP problem. Curing that entirely will take re-implementing an improved graphics chip to fix the bug. Good luck finding someone with transistor skills or a semiconductor plant...
    I don't get Jailbars with my own RGB cables, only had problems with cheap cables that are missing the components that are necessary...

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    Key (Level 9) chrisbid's Avatar
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    the jump isnt huge, but it is with the genesis. i purchased a scart -> component adapter for around 50 bucks. with that adapter and a scart switchbox, i had space for 4 different scart connections. the scart cables themselves werent that expensive so i bought cables for the genesis, snes, saturn, and neo geo. the entire setup was around 120 dollars. the jump in quality for the saturn and snes (s-video) wasnt huge, but it certainly was for the genesis and neo geo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccovell View Post
    I concur with Hamburglar in that the SNES' RGB isn't as sharp as other systems like Genesis, SMS, PC-Engine, Saturn, etc. The SNES has a bit of blurring/trailing capacitance on the right side of high-contrast objects that the other systems don't have. (I can't speak for the SNES Jr.)

    The S-Video on SNES is clear enough that RGB isn't absolutely justified. I don't have S-V shots but my page here does have some composite-RGB comparison shots: http://www.chrismcovell.com/gotRGB/rgb_compare.html
    Yeah, with the monster S-Video cables my video quality is every bit as sharp or sharper than the RGB screenshots that guy is showing. I've used crappy S-Video cables before and their quality wasn't half as good as the monster cables.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) substantial_snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    the jump isnt huge, but it is with the genesis. i purchased a scart -> component adapter for around 50 bucks. with that adapter and a scart switchbox, i had space for 4 different scart connections. the scart cables themselves werent that expensive so i bought cables for the genesis, snes, saturn, and neo geo. the entire setup was around 120 dollars. the jump in quality for the saturn and snes (s-video) wasnt huge, but it certainly was for the genesis and neo geo.
    I have a question, are you saying your setup went like this?

    X Game Console - Scart - Scart Switchbox - Scart Output -Scart Converter - Component - TV

    I honestly didn't know they made just switchboxes for Scart and if its cheap and works I would like to do something similar with my settup. It would largely eliminate the back and forth between different cable settups for different games.

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    I myself was looking for an S-video cable for connecting my SNES just last week.

    I've heard that a lot of the 'no name' generic brand ones are garbage, so I wanted to try finding a nintendo brand (1st party) one. I found out after searching, it's no easy feat!

    I saw on eBay (link here) , that there was a japanese seller selling Super Famicon ones (1st party), and am told they work with the North American consoles.

    Figured I'd share.

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    I have one of the purple monster cable S-Video connectors. As much as people hate Monster (and they're not entirely unjustified), I believe their S-Video connector is the best. The S-video screenshots in my above post were taken while I was using that cable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sneak613 View Post
    I've heard that a lot of the 'no name' generic brand ones are garbage, so I wanted to try finding a nintendo brand (1st party) one.
    I bit the bullet and tried a third-party S-Video cable from Amazon, and it actually works great. The colors are very vibrant and I notice a big difference. I mentioned it here.
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    Key (Level 9) chrisbid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substantial_snake View Post
    I have a question, are you saying your setup went like this?

    X Game Console - Scart - Scart Switchbox - Scart Output -Scart Converter - Component - TV

    I honestly didn't know they made just switchboxes for Scart and if its cheap and works I would like to do something similar with my settup. It would largely eliminate the back and forth between different cable settups for different games.

    yes, that is the setup. the one issue is the scart > component adapter does not have audio, so i found a switchbox with an additional av port to use for audio. the switch box isnt too expensive, i believe it was around 12 dollars.

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/scart-multiw...h-switch-43158

    i have the 5-way (one port is an AV in) version with the additional a/v output
    Last edited by chrisbid; 11-22-2011 at 10:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    yes, that is the setup. the one issue is the scart > component adapter does not have audio, so i found a switchbox with an additional av port to use for audio. the switch box isnt too expensive, i believe it was around 12 dollars.

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/scart-multiw...h-switch-43158

    i have the 5-way (one port is an AV in) version with the additional a/v output
    Ok, I think I see what you did here.

    Then all you used was a set of audio cables for the A/V output and it would switch the sound to whatever selected Scart input you were using at the time? This seems deceptively simple and easy...like I am somehow missing something. lol

  25. #25
    Key (Level 9) chrisbid's Avatar
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    the concept/flow chart is simple, but the mess of cables certainly isnt

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