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Thread: Anybody play their retro games on a projector ?

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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    Default Anybody play their retro games on a projector ?

    I've been thinking about trying to track down a 4:3 projector that can handle 15.75khz native rgb. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea where to go looking for such a thing. I think 4:3 projectors are still made for business presentations, but normally those aren't the type of projectors you'd want to use with Super Nintendo and Genesis games. Not to mention the fact that it also being able to handle 15.75 khz is doubtful. Also, doesn't the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis output 320 x 220 or something like that ? I'd have to get a very old projector that could handle that resolution, or are they all just going to automatically upconvert it ?



    I've used projectors for modern games and movies, but never really thought about playing any retro games on a projector. I normally use my 20 inch Sony PVM CRT monitor for all my retrogaming. I do have a projector that I use for movies and PS3/360, but it's a 16:9 projector. It does have a 4:3 mode that you can select, but it's not a "true" 4:3. Ideally, having a legitimate 4:3 projector is the better way to go, so you get a very authentic FOV. It's just finding a 4:3 projector that isn't super old, that can sync with 15.75khz could be pretty difficult task...

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    Retro game console modder bacteria's Avatar
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    Why not just get a projector that takes composite or S-video input, that would play most retro systems fine (especially if composite input).

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    Peach (Level 3) PreZZ's Avatar
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    I had a Sony 1272Q and when it worked fine, the picture was amazing. But these are fuckin heavy, and bulky they are huge. You will need a professional technician to set it up, trust me im tech savyy and I could never figure how to adjust the picture, the damn thing has over 40 buttons!!
    I bought mine for 1500$ in 2006, and I threw it away last month because it was damaged in a basement flood. You need a big room for this and setting the thing on the ceiling is a nightmare, and I always had technical problems with it. I recommend playing on a good pvm instead...

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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreZZ View Post
    I had a Sony 1272Q and when it worked fine, the picture was amazing. But these are fuckin heavy, and bulky they are huge. You will need a professional technician to set it up, trust me im tech savyy and I could never figure how to adjust the picture, the damn thing has over 40 buttons!!
    I bought mine for 1500$ in 2006, and I threw it away last month because it was damaged in a basement flood. You need a big room for this and setting the thing on the ceiling is a nightmare, and I always had technical problems with it. I recommend playing on a good pvm instead...


    Wow, you know what. I bet a CRT projector would be awesome for old school RGB gaming. Unfortunately those things are HUGE, and getting them aligned perfectly is a nightmare. Plus, I would imagine trying to maintain it, and keep it's performance up to par would be costly.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Niku-Sama's Avatar
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    a crt projector? how the heck would such a thing work?

    i must !elgoog

    edit:

    wow odd i guess its just super bright crts in front of a lens
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRT_projector
    Last edited by Niku-Sama; 07-18-2013 at 06:17 AM.

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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    This is what a CRT projector looks like:









    Yeah, they are freaking huge monstrosities. I never used a projector back in the 80's or 90's, but many of the projector people out there were using large CRT projectors like this. Many people still swear by them today, saying that you can't really get a better black level than a CRT projector. Of course, we've since moved on to LCD and DLP projectors, which are much smaller.
    Last edited by WCP; 07-18-2013 at 12:44 PM.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    I remember having one of those beastly CRT Projectors in the past.. I recall playing my SNES on it in the 90's.

    Like others have stated, it was a real b*tch to adjust and get the clarity working properly on it. Mine never seemed to work flawlessly, but as a teenager - before the days of HD, the fact the screen was so giant, it didn't matter all that much. Having beers and playing Mario Kart on a 10' screen was great!

    Of course that projector is long gone now. I think it got tossed in a move after none of the roommates wanted to take it with them..

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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    So, last night, I tried hooking up my SNES to my current projector that I have. Note that my current projector is a 16:9 projector, and I got it for Blu Ray movies and PS3 and Xbox 360 games.

    I have a RGB cable for my SNES that basically has a DB-15 type connector on it, and I know that there are quite a few projectors that will sync with 15.75khz, so decided to plug it right in and see what happened. Well, it worked, sort of. I got a nice clean RGB picture, but the screen is cut off on the left side, and also on the top. So, when you play certain games, there are health bars or indicators that you can only see part of it, so it makes it a bit more difficult. I'm not really sure why the image is cutoff like that.

    It might have to do with the fact that this is a 16:9 projector. It does have a 4:3 mode, so I would put it in the 4:3 mode, and it looks more natural that way, but again, maybe 1/8th of the screen, from the left side, is not displayed. 1/9th of the screen from the top is not displayed either. The right side of the screen, and the bottom of the screen seem perfectly fine.

    Anyways, I need to mess with it some more, but based on what I've seen so far, I think I can live with this, rather than having a ginormous CRT projector in my house.

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    Peach (Level 3) StealthLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCP View Post
    So, last night, I tried hooking up my SNES to my current projector that I have. Note that my current projector is a 16:9 projector, and I got it for Blu Ray movies and PS3 and Xbox 360 games.

    I have a RGB cable for my SNES that basically has a DB-15 type connector on it, and I know that there are quite a few projectors that will sync with 15.75khz, so decided to plug it right in and see what happened. Well, it worked, sort of. I got a nice clean RGB picture, but the screen is cut off on the left side, and also on the top. So, when you play certain games, there are health bars or indicators that you can only see part of it, so it makes it a bit more difficult. I'm not really sure why the image is cutoff like that.

    It might have to do with the fact that this is a 16:9 projector. It does have a 4:3 mode, so I would put it in the 4:3 mode, and it looks more natural that way, but again, maybe 1/8th of the screen, from the left side, is not displayed. 1/9th of the screen from the top is not displayed either. The right side of the screen, and the bottom of the screen seem perfectly fine.

    Anyways, I need to mess with it some more, but based on what I've seen so far, I think I can live with this, rather than having a ginormous CRT projector in my house.

    Well you can always get a proper video processor like a DVDO VP50 or VP50pro and have complete control over the picture. Lots of people serious into A/V and projectors get them to better handle input/output processing. The newer, cheaper DVDO Edges are nice too... but I don't recall if it has support for older inputs such as composite etc. I only feed mine HDMI or composite. However on my VP50 (which is an older unit), there are still composite and s-video inputs. However the VP50 line is almost double or triple the cost of an Edge.

    Yes CRT projectors are still the best overall, bar none for retro. Tip top black levels and visible scanlines even. However it does involve work and being able to source increasingly rare replacement parts. They also can be pretty expensive since they're somewhat sought after by hardcore purists. A great one if you can find one is a Barco Cine 9 (aka Cinemax).

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    Banana (Level 7) WCP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    Well you can always get a proper video processor like a DVDO VP50 or VP50pro and have complete control over the picture. Lots of people serious into A/V and projectors get them to better handle input/output processing. The newer, cheaper DVDO Edges are nice too... but I don't recall if it has support for older inputs such as composite etc. I only feed mine HDMI or composite. However on my VP50 (which is an older unit), there are still composite and s-video inputs. However the VP50 line is almost double or triple the cost of an Edge.
    I have this thing called a Kramer FC-14. It's an RGB to component transcoder. I tried running my SNES through that, and then into my Marantz receiver, and then to the projector. This seems to be working really good at least for the SNES. The image is no longer cut off at the top or on the left side. I'm getting the full image. Everything looks good. Only problem is, I'm not getting the full bandwidth of the native analog RGB signal. Component is VERY close to RGB, but it's not full bandwidth. So you are losing a tiny bit of the luster when converting the signal to component.

    Still, it looks pretty damn good so I'm not complaining.


    What I am complaining about however, is when I tried to hook my Jaguar to the projector using the same method, the video image was all whacked out. The video was kinda blinking in and out and was all screwed up. The PS1 and TG-16 look good on it, but the Jaguar is all messed up. Not sure what the problem is with the Jag, but it doesn't want to play nice with the setup.

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    Peach (Level 3) StealthLurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCP View Post
    I have this thing called a Kramer FC-14. It's an RGB to component transcoder. I tried running my SNES through that, and then into my Marantz receiver, and then to the projector. This seems to be working really good at least for the SNES. The image is no longer cut off at the top or on the left side. I'm getting the full image. Everything looks good. Only problem is, I'm not getting the full bandwidth of the native analog RGB signal. Component is VERY close to RGB, but it's not full bandwidth. So you are losing a tiny bit of the luster when converting the signal to component.

    Still, it looks pretty damn good so I'm not complaining.


    What I am complaining about however, is when I tried to hook my Jaguar to the projector using the same method, the video image was all whacked out. The video was kinda blinking in and out and was all screwed up. The PS1 and TG-16 look good on it, but the Jaguar is all messed up. Not sure what the problem is with the Jag, but it doesn't want to play nice with the setup.
    Yeah I have lots of misc little converters, transcoders and what not too. In the end I just shoved most of them into the closet. To get all the features/control I wanted, I had to chain so many things together.

    Seems like possibly/maybe the PJ can't lock to the frequency of the output of the Marantz? Do you know what the PJ's receiving? Is it really 60, 59.9, 58 or something weird? I know that on my DVDOs I can lock that output freq. Do you have the same problem if you bypass the receiver and go straight to the PJ? Maybe the transcoder can't handle some kind of "dirty sync" from the Jaguar RGB cable you have? Could also be that the sync signal itself needs amplification. Those things generally need some special modded cable and or extra stuff like a "sync strike" sold by arcadeforge.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) AdamAnt316's Avatar
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    I seem to recall seeing warnings in video game manuals, saying that it wasn't a good idea to play games on a projection screen TV (and, by extension, a projector). Naturally, in those days, most (if not all) projectors were CRT-based, and the reason for the warning was to prevent still images from getting burned into the face of the projection CRT(s). The risk also exists with regular CRTs, of course but is much more prevalent with projection CRTs because they need to be much brighter in order to project an image onto a screen. My guess is that an LCD or DLP projector wouldn't have the same issue, but who knows.

    Anyway, as far as gaming goes, the extent of my projection-screen gaming has been to briefly connect a Ms. Pac-Man handheld to my Sony FP-62 "Vidimagic" single-tube CRT projector. Not a particularly bright projector, but I didn't want to take any chances; I was merely using the handheld as a test source. Discovered that the projector's "geometry" is way off (the Ms. Pac-Man maze looked trapezoid-shaped), so it sits in its carrying bag waiting for me to take a whack at repairing it.
    -Adam

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