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Thread: To RGB or not to be - That is the Question

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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    Default To RGB or not to be - That is the Question

    So what's your take in the subject, especially for SEGA Genesis games, which used dithering heavily in order to blend vertical lines and produce colors outside of the system's original color palette?

    Do you play in RGB if a game uses dithering, or do you fall back on composite to try experience the game the way developers THOUGHT people would be playing them?

    To be honest, i'm very torn on the subject.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Polygon's Avatar
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    I was thinking about a couple of weeks ago and I came to the decision to do RGB from my Genesis. I found a video on You Tube that showed the difference between composite, s-video, and RGB converted to component. To me, it was no contest. I thought the RGB converted to component looked much better. Before seeing this I was going to do the s-video and stereo mod on my Genesis, since it is a model 1. Now, I'm just going to do the stereo mod and I have an RGB cable on the way.

    My only issue with running RGB is having to buy a converter and everyone suggests the CSY-2100 which is rather expensive and does not handle audio. This won't be a problem for me with my Genesis but if I decide to run RGB on any of my other consoles it will. It's not too big of an issue since you can get around it with a SCART switch or you can mod the converter to handle audio.
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    If you have a 27" CRT TV or smaller, I really wouldn't bother. If it has component inputs, well, maybe, but while the game is in motion I just don't think you'll notice the difference. If you're playing Genesis on an LCD I would consider it, because SEGA had the absolute crappiest Composite output there was.

    I would suggest a Model 1 SCART cable that has the stereo wire built in. They also have cables that break out the audio before it hits the component converter. The common $50 ebay RGB to YUV converter works fine. You could break out the audio from SCART with a SCART switch that has audio output. The whole setup will cost you probably $75+ plus shipping.
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    Pac-Man (Level 10) theclaw's Avatar
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    Composite video goes too far. Its blanket approach smears the WHOLE image, without regard to common sense. Areas who rely less on dithering effects will look worse.
    Lum fan.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    I would suggest a Model 1 SCART cable that has the stereo wire built in. They also have cables that break out the audio before it hits the component converter. The common $50 ebay RGB to YUV converter works fine. You could break out the audio from SCART with a SCART switch that has audio output. The whole setup will cost you probably $75+ plus shipping.
    As far as I know the model 1 only outputs stereo from the front audio jack.
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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    All the Genesis games I've played in RGB look fantastic. You see all the little tiny details that would normally be missed. Although the Genesis might not have as much color as the SNES, it still looks drop dead gorgeous in RGB. As for dithering, are there some specific examples you can give ?

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    High-end setups existed back in the day, just pretend you're using one of those.

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    Personally it makes no difference to me. I grew up with an old RCA woodgrain console tv that lacked RCA jacks so the only option was RF. If I could stand that I could stand any setup really. Sometimes I like playing on my lesser TVs just for the fun of seeing games in a different default display quality.
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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCP View Post
    All the Genesis games I've played in RGB look fantastic. You see all the little tiny details that would normally be missed. Although the Genesis might not have as much color as the SNES, it still looks drop dead gorgeous in RGB. As for dithering, are there some specific examples you can give ?



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    Noticeable dithering is a small price to pay for overall detail and image quality improvements with RGB.

    RBG > Everything else

    The only exception to this is S-Video with the Snes as I really saw no difference between the two, however that could be the cheaper Ebay RGB converter I have somehow putting out a lesser quality signal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polygon View Post
    As far as I know the model 1 only outputs stereo from the front audio jack.
    That is correct, which is why there are SCART cables made that have a stereo audio cable attached. So you get the stereo feed from it. There is also a stereo M1 to 32X patch cable. I have both, purchased on ebay.

    The old SEGA's like I said, and Neo Geo, had absolutely horrible composite video feeds. SMS, GEN, 32X, had no s-video either. On an old CRT like Rickstillwell I too don't really care. However, the systems are just plain atrocious on modern HD televisions.

    Now, for the SNES, that's a different story. Nintendo's stock S-Video, and even composite, were the best in the industry. SNES on RGB over SCART will likely improve the clarity, but it's not a massive improvement. The reason is that later "model 1" SNES's got what they call a 1Chip board with a far better RGB output. Some suggest the early ones don't actually even output RGB on SCART. I don't know that the difference is really that noticeable. The SNES Jr's I think need modification for RGB.
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    Pretzel (Level 4) Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substantial_snake View Post
    Noticeable dithering is a small price to pay for overall detail and image quality improvements with RGB.

    RBG > Everything else

    The only exception to this is S-Video with the Snes as I really saw no difference between the two, however that could be the cheaper Ebay RGB converter I have somehow putting out a lesser quality signal.
    I agree. I far prefer the gain in detail. The contrast between the two is staggering. The first one just looks like a blurry mess in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    That is correct, which is why there are SCART cables made that have a stereo audio cable attached. So you get the stereo feed from it. There is also a stereo M1 to 32X patch cable. I have both, purchased on ebay.

    The old SEGA's like I said, and Neo Geo, had absolutely horrible composite video feeds. SMS, GEN, 32X, had no s-video either. On an old CRT like Rickstillwell I too don't really care. However, the systems are just plain atrocious on modern HD televisions.

    Now, for the SNES, that's a different story. Nintendo's stock S-Video, and even composite, were the best in the industry. SNES on RGB over SCART will likely improve the clarity, but it's not a massive improvement. The reason is that later "model 1" SNES's got what they call a 1Chip board with a far better RGB output. Some suggest the early ones don't actually even output RGB on SCART. I don't know that the difference is really that noticeable. The SNES Jr's I think need modification for RGB.
    Ah, you're talking about the ones with the cable to plug into the front to get the stereo. I saw those when I was buying mine and I just couldn't do it. I'm just a bit too OCD and I can't stand the look of the cable sticking out of the front. Otherwise I suppose I would have used a y-splitter long ago to get audio. That's why I decided to do the stereo mod instead. Also, I don't like the fact that through the front audio it's controlled by the volume slide and get's amplified. The stereo mod bypasses the slider and doesn't get amplified. However, for people that don't mind that, it's a great alternative. I've also decided to do SCART for all of my Sega systems. Doing the S-video mod is just a complete PITA.

    I had noticed that about the SNES in all of my searching and decided to just go with S-video instead. However, what about the N64?
    Last edited by Polygon; 02-09-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polygon View Post
    Ah, you're talking about the ones with the cable to plug into the front to get the stereo. I saw those when I was buying mine and I just couldn't do it. I'm just a bit too OCD and I can't stand the look of the cable sticking out of the front. Otherwise I suppose I would have used a y-splitter long ago to get audio. That's why I decided to do the stereo mod instead. Also, I don't like the fact that through the front audio it's controlled by the volume slide and get's amplified. The stereo mod bypasses the slider and doesn't get amplified. However, for people that don't mind that, it's a great alternative. I've also decided to do SCART for all of my Sega systems. Doing the S-video mod is just a complete PITA.

    I had noticed that about the SNES in all of my searching and decided to just go with S-video instead. However, what about the N64?
    The volume slider really doesn't do much, you just leave it all the way up. Modding for S-Video is definitely a waste, if you have a CRT that takes component, or a HDTV. Unfortunately, my stupid HDTV doesn't work with the Master System on SCART to component. Barely works on SMS games played via Genesis, and is sketchy enough on the Genesis that I'm looking at going SCART to HDMI for everything instead. HDTV's often aren't configured properly for 240p over component. Just have to be careful that the HDMI converter can retain the 4:3 aspect ratio.

    NTSC N64's can be modded to have RGB go over the multi-out (as well as Svideo/composite), and then you just use the NTSC SNES SCART cable. The N64's have to be the earlier models, produced in 1996 and early 1997 though, or the mod is more difficult if not impossible. If you want it modded, there's a guy in California called Piratero (he's on Assemblergames and other forums) who does them for around $50.
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    Pear (Level 6) wingzrow's Avatar
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    "Some suggest the early ones don't actually even output RGB on SCART."

    Well they must output SOME kind of RGB, otherwise I would get no signal when using euro scart cables on my PVM. Admittedly though, the signal is very soft. I actually just sent my SNES mini out to be RGB modded and am waiting for it to come back in the mail. Same with my N64.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    The volume slider really doesn't do much, you just leave it all the way up. Modding for S-Video is definitely a waste, if you have a CRT that takes component, or a HDTV. Unfortunately, my stupid HDTV doesn't work with the Master System on SCART to component. Barely works on SMS games played via Genesis, and is sketchy enough on the Genesis that I'm looking at going SCART to HDMI for everything instead. HDTV's often aren't configured properly for 240p over component. Just have to be careful that the HDMI converter can retain the 4:3 aspect ratio.

    NTSC N64's can be modded to have RGB go over the multi-out (as well as Svideo/composite), and then you just use the NTSC SNES SCART cable. The N64's have to be the earlier models, produced in 1996 and early 1997 though, or the mod is more difficult if not impossible. If you want it modded, there's a guy in California called Piratero (he's on Assemblergames and other forums) who does them for around $50.
    My retro systems will be on my HDTV temporarily. As soon as I have space they will all be moved back where they belong, on a CRT. My Genesis SCART cable showed up yesterday. Now I just need to get the converter and a SCART switch or two.

    That's interested to hear about the N64 and RGB. What are your thoughts on doing the conversion at all? I was also wondering if it was like the SNES where the difference between S-video and RGB converted to component was marginal at best. I was considering just doing S-video just like with the SNES.
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    Retro game console modder bacteria's Avatar
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    As a console modder, i've seen quite a lot of difference between composite and RGB modes on many consoles, some systems don't have a lot of improvements, but on some systems, you don't get proper colours unless RGB (TurboGrafx is a prime example), and also you get colour bleeding too unless RGB. If you can RGB, it is worth doing so as you'll get the best visual quality and colours; as a general rule. In saying that, retro consoles of course were primarily used for composite, so sometimes the fuzziness of the colours helped the look of the image on the screen.

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    Key (Level 9) wiggyx's Avatar
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    I play with both an S-vid modded Genesis 3 and SNES mini. I'm more than happy with the images produced by both.

    I modded an SNS-001 for component, and saw virtually no difference between it and the S-vid on the 101. Never seen a Genesis of any variety on RGB or component, so I can't speak to any improvements over the Genesis 3 with S-vid, but I'm definitely not disappointed with the setup I'm using and have no desire to take it to the next level.

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