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    Default Best upscalers for....

    Okay so I'm a person who absolutely desires the best video quality. I know there are mods and whatnot but I'm not THAT handy and plus I feel upscaling would be a better option anyway, and I have the cash for it too. So my question is, what upscaler should I look into. I'm gaming on everything from atari 2600 to ps3. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING, but the Halcyon and super obsure/import only consoles.

    My HDTV has a HDMI, VGA, RGB, and component slots, and the other two standards of course. It runs 1080p.

    I've heard of the XRGB series and I know there are more. But before we get started, is it true that some upscalers are better for certain consoles? If so which ones?

    Thanks.
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    I have found the only thing I have been happy with in HDTV's is emulation, I have a dedicated Emu HTPC and do all pre PS2 gaming through that.

    Id like to hear others opinions on this too.

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    If you have an HDTV with a surround sound setup, you could just get a High End receiver that has a built in upscaler. Most modern day receivers will upscale and output all video connections through the HDMI port. As for whether or not this will present the best image quality, I cannot say. I've had good results on my onkyo receiver connected to my DLP HDTV for what its worth. But I personally feel that the best video you can get from all consoles pre-PS2 is through a CRT tv. You don't even have to mod the consoles to get the best video results. A lot of the 16bit and 32 bit consoles support the SCART cable, which was an early European equivalent of HDMI (in that it did sound and video through one cable, not that it was an HD cable.) SCART video can easily be converted to component, and this offers better video quality than s-video mods.

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    As I've probably mentioned in a few threads, I have an XRGB 2+ and love it (hooked up to my Panasonic TC-P58VT25). I've heard great things about the XRGB 3 and DVDO Edge too, and this site is a fantastic guide to pretty much everything out there: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/.

    If money isn't an object you might want to consider hooking multiple upscalers up at the same time. Example: connect the XRGB 3 and DVDO Edge together. I've heard of (crazy!) people doing it. Different upscalers handle certain video signals better, as I understand it, which is why two or three devices together can sometimes be desirable. I'm not totally anal with my stuff, but I had to tweak the settings quite a bit to ensure my 8-bit stuff looked as good as the 16-bit and 32-bit stuff.

    Also, the much anticipated XRGB Frame Meister is supposed to be coming out sometime this year. Even though I'm happy with what I got I'm seriously considering picking this up as well.
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    Just beware of the lag that upscaling introduces. The better it looks, the laggier it tends to be.
    The XRGB series of upscan converters are excellent and produce minimal lag, but I don't think the older models support 1080p output, which would mean your TV would still have to do some upscaling, so stick with the current models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCM View Post
    If money isn't an object you might want to consider hooking multiple upscalers up at the same time. Example: connect the XRGB 3 and DVDO Edge together. I've heard of (crazy!) people doing it.
    I want to add support that this actually is the best option if you're outputting from several systems using RGB cables.

    That said, I'm personally running a DVDO Edge by itself, and it works very nicely with everything I've thrown at it thus far. With its gaming mode enabled, any input lag is imperceptible to me. I haven't tried running anything older than an NES through it, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be able to handle pre-NES systems that have been AV modded.

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    Forgot to ask, what type of TV do you have? Depending on your TV, using an upscaler might make you notice input lag. I've never had an issue on my TV with lag whatsoever, but I believe it's there however minimal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emuaust View Post
    I have found the only thing I have been happy with in HDTV's is emulation, I have a dedicated Emu HTPC and do all pre PS2 gaming through that.

    Id like to hear others opinions on this too.
    I went this route myself, with a bunch of USB adapters for NES/SNES/N64 controllers. Need to get the Genesis side going now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
    This is a classic gaming site and the most active thread is a load of people wanking off to my little pony.

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    I have two tvs;

    a 22" insignia led 1080p, and a 26" vizio lcd 720p. thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
    I have two tvs;

    a 22" insignia led 1080p, and a 26" vizio lcd 720p. thanks
    Not exactly the greatest sets for quality picture.

    Hook up a PC and emulate, the built-in scaling on those sets is likely horrible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daltone View Post
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    I went down this path a few years ago and picked up many devices (still have them) from XRGBs to DVDOs (and a bunch of other stuff in between pricewise). Currently I'm running a DVDO VP50, DVDO VP30+ABT and a DVDO Edge (retired a DVDO iScanHD+). Overall I was very unsatisfied with the picture quality and stability of the XRGB2/2+/3. I thought the HDBoxPro was utter crap. Also tried various AudioAuthority devices stand alone and in certain parts of the chain. I think at last count I had 20-30 such little devices for scaling/deinterlacing/transcoding/blah blah based on various reviews. Some devices looked gorgeous on a CRT VGA monitor but failed (imho) on a flat panel.

    Right now in terms of picture quality and price, the DVDO Edge is hard to beat. You can get one for as low as $500USD now. Originally they were 799. A VP50 is gonna run 1,000+ and a VP50 Pro in the 2k range. The only thing missing (for me at least) is a scanline effect.

    However, hands down.... the best PQ on an HDTV set (imho of course) is going to be via emulation. I have dedicated gaming grade PCs hooked up to all the HDTVs in the house for that. But if you do want to play with the original hardware on an HDTV I'd go with the DVDO Edge. If you want scanlines add an SLG3000 ($100ish) or XRGB3 ($300) into the mix. If you want original hardware with the best PQ possible, get an RGB CRT (NECXM, Sony PVM, etc) with custom RGB cables and modified game consoles (if needed).... or get japanese 21pin RGB cables and an XRGB2/2+.

    For the most part, if you're not running a RUNCO, upper model Panasonic, Pioneer Kuro, etc... I'd assume the internal scaling/deinterlacing hardware of the HDTV set is going to be "ehhh ok" for most tastes to crap in terms of a PQ to performance blend.



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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    Right now in terms of picture quality and price, the DVDO Edge is hard to beat. You can get one for as low as $500USD now. Originally they were 799.
    I bought mine for around $300. Admittedly, it was a refurbished unit, but there aren't any problems. I'm sure that a price in that area can be reached rather consistently if one searches thoroughly and has patience.

    $345.59 - The lowest price I could find available right now.

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    Yeah, I've seen the Edge drop to the mid-$300 range as well. Question: can you adjust the settings (sharpening/resolution/etc.) in "game mode," or is it still kind of basic? I've read that mode is the best in terms of input response time, but has its limitations.
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    With game mode enabled, you're blocked out of setting detail enhancement, edge enhancement, and mosquito noise reduction. You can still change the output resolution, deinterlace the image, change the aspect ratio, and alter settings regarding zooming in or out on the picture. Since you should be getting a rather clean picture out of your game systems, the loss of sharpening and noise reduction settings isn't a big problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    I went down this path a few years ago and picked up many devices (still have them) from XRGBs to DVDOs (and a bunch of other stuff in between pricewise). Currently I'm running a DVDO VP50, DVDO VP30+ABT and a DVDO Edge (retired a DVDO iScanHD+). Overall I was very unsatisfied with the picture quality and stability of the XRGB2/2+/3. I thought the HDBoxPro was utter crap. Also tried various AudioAuthority devices stand alone and in certain parts of the chain. I think at last count I had 20-30 such little devices for scaling/deinterlacing/transcoding/blah blah based on various reviews. Some devices looked gorgeous on a CRT VGA monitor but failed (imho) on a flat panel.

    Right now in terms of picture quality and price, the DVDO Edge is hard to beat. You can get one for as low as $500USD now. Originally they were 799. A VP50 is gonna run 1,000+ and a VP50 Pro in the 2k range. The only thing missing (for me at least) is a scanline effect.

    However, hands down.... the best PQ on an HDTV set (imho of course) is going to be via emulation. I have dedicated gaming grade PCs hooked up to all the HDTVs in the house for that. But if you do want to play with the original hardware on an HDTV I'd go with the DVDO Edge. If you want scanlines add an SLG3000 ($100ish) or XRGB3 ($300) into the mix. If you want original hardware with the best PQ possible, get an RGB CRT (NECXM, Sony PVM, etc) with custom RGB cables and modified game consoles (if needed).... or get japanese 21pin RGB cables and an XRGB2/2+.

    For the most part, if you're not running a RUNCO, upper model Panasonic, Pioneer Kuro, etc... I'd assume the internal scaling/deinterlacing hardware of the HDTV set is going to be "ehhh ok" for most tastes to crap in terms of a PQ to performance blend.



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    Wow!! I finally Decided to "join the conversation" and join the site yesterday. I searched for the term "SLG3000" and found your post. I must complement you. You are very knowledgeable (not saying that because we have the same opinion on many things, or so it seems) in terms of display technology and I am deeply impressed with the pictures found in your link. Truth be told, I'd like to appeal to your high standards for advice of how to approach acquiring the various pieces of "kit" to connect my older systems (Sega) - Genesis, 32x, Saturn, Dreamcast. I am trying to purchase the SCART cables domestically but no of no one that my have them in stock. Also, I intend to buy the DVDO Edge as well as the SLG3000 and other bits. Your thoughts? Opinions? I live in Chicago and am amazed that all the import gaming stores have closed down and the ones that are around do not know what SCART is. Thanks in advance.

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    I will not be doing emulation. But thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnakinSkywalker View Post
    Wow!! I finally Decided to "join the conversation" and join the site yesterday. I searched for the term "SLG3000" and found your post. I must complement you. You are very knowledgeable (not saying that because we have the same opinion on many things, or so it seems) in terms of display technology and I am deeply impressed with the pictures found in your link. Truth be told, I'd like to appeal to your high standards for advice of how to approach acquiring the various pieces of "kit" to connect my older systems (Sega) - Genesis, 32x, Saturn, Dreamcast. I am trying to purchase the SCART cables domestically but no of no one that my have them in stock. Also, I intend to buy the DVDO Edge as well as the SLG3000 and other bits. Your thoughts? Opinions? I live in Chicago and am amazed that all the import gaming stores have closed down and the ones that are around do not know what SCART is. Thanks in advance.
    You can still get genesis/megadrive SCART cables from Ebay I believe. Then you could use a CGA to VGA converter board or Maplin's SyncBlaster (easier) for SCART to VGA. Then feed the VGA output to a SLG.

    You could then either directly connect the SLG VGA out to your HDTV's VGA input (if it has one) or feed the VGA to an Audio Authority 9A60 (VGA to component) then have it further processed by something like the DVDO Edge.

    Megadrive SCART => SyncBlaster => SLG3000 => => HDTV
    Megadrive SCART => SyncBlaster => SLG3000 => AA 9A60 => DVDO Edge => HDTV

    Dreamcast VGA box => SLG3000 => HDTV
    Dreamcast VGA box => SLG3000 => AA 9A60 => DVDO Edge => HDTV

    There's probably a better box than the AA 9A60, like the Extron RGB... but with Extron you're going to have to deal with BNC plugs. So some sort of BNC to RCA cables would be needed. Also some Extron units can be a little hard to find at times.

    For me personally, I prefer to play my pre-component consoles on a CRT via RGB. However there are "plenty" of people over at the shmups and arcadeotaku forums that go the flat panel path with such devices. The man to talk to over at shmups is fudoh. He's played with the most video processing gadgets that I know of.

    Hope that helps somewhat.

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    From all you've gents might have heard of the XRGB frame meister do you think it's worth the wait or should I take the plunge on an EDGE? I love what I have, but I'm kind of addicted to upscalers right now.
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    If you absolutely have to have the best video quality, the best thing to do is start with the simple things. It won't be cheap, but upgrading your televisions to better quality models compared to those budget, low end, HDTV's would be a easy way to see improvements across the board without doing anything like modding your consoles, buying different cables, or starting to buy and experiment with external scalers and such.

    Secondly, for your early consoles, you need to get them modded. Something like the Atari 2600 will benefit greatly from a s-video mod. They're fairly economical to install and there are skilled individuals that can do it for you at places like AtariAge for a reasonable amount. A scaler has to work with the image it recieves, so ensuring you're set up to send it the best possible image from your consoles is something you need to do before ever buying one if you're after the best possible video quality. There are composite mods for the Intellivision, s-video mods for the Atari consoles, and even component mods for the Colecovision.

    And for your later consoles, upgrade them to at least the best possible video cable that is available for North America if you haven't already done so (Or perhaps even taking it a step further with RGB). That means things such as regular composite cables for the NES, s-video cables for the 16/32 bit era of consoles, VGA for the Dreamcast, component for last generation consoles and the Wii, etc.

    And then is the time to start considering things like external scalers. And once you likely find out that you wasted your money on several expensive external scalers that don't get the job done like you hoped for, go log on to somewhere like Craiglist and keep an eye out for something like a nice, used, late model Sony Trinitron for $50 to hook up your classic consoles to for the best experience.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 08-01-2011 at 04:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCM View Post
    From all you've gents might have heard of the XRGB frame meister do you think it's worth the wait or should I take the plunge on an EDGE? I love what I have, but I'm kind of addicted to upscalers right now.
    I would say waiting is probably a good idea. Especially if it's going to drop this year. It feels like that thing was announced ages ago. If it can finally deliver what the XRGB3 tried to do and produce some nice scanlines, it could be THE device. Knowing myself and my tinkering and gadget fetish, I'll probably snag one up too... haha. Playing around with this type of stuff is sometimes more fun than the actual games themselves (at times)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    If you absolutely have to have the best video quality, the best thing to do is start with the simple things. It won't be cheap, but upgrading your televisions to better quality models compared to those budget, low end, HDTV's would be a easy way to see improvements across the board without doing anything like modding your consoles, buying different cables, or starting to buy and experiment with external scalers and such.

    Secondly, for your early consoles, you need to get them modded. Something like the Atari 2600 will benefit greatly from a s-video mod. They're fairly economical to install and there are skilled individuals that can do it for you at places like AtariAge for a reasonable amount. A scaler has to work with the image it recieves, so ensuring you're set up to send it the best possible image from your consoles is something you need to do before ever buying one if you're after the best possible video quality. There are composite mods for the Intellivision, s-video mods for the Atari consoles, and even component mods for the Colecovision.

    And for your later consoles, upgrade them to at least the best possible video cable that is available for North America if you haven't already done so (Or perhaps even taking it a step further with RGB). regular composite cables for the NES, s-video cables for the 16/32 bit era, VGA for the Dreamcast, component for last generation consoles and the Wii, etc.

    And then is the time to start considering things like external scalers. And once you likely find out that you wasted your money on several expensive external scalers that don't get the job done like you hoped for, go log on to somewhere like Craiglist and keep an eye out for something like a nice, used, late model Sony Trinitron for $50 to hook up your classic consoles to for the best experience.
    Pretty much this. Stuff made in the CRT era is going to look best on a CRT. Plus it's the inexpensive way to achieve the best results possible on the actual hardware. If you think about it this way.... if you're buying HDTVs like Insignia and Vizio, all this fancy video processing gear can eventually end up costing more than your HDTV itself!

    .
    Last edited by StealthLurker; 07-30-2011 at 02:11 AM.
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