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Thread: Do you think retro upscalers are worth it?

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    I actually am totally fine with RF only TVs. I have so many VCRs for my video transfer hobby anyway that I can always pass composite thru them and run RF to the TV. I even have a couple SVHS players which have S-Video jacks. You might not think an RF only TV can really display the difference, but it does clean up the video signal some. I try to only use the SVHS player when I'm doing videos for my older bandmates though. Archiving stuff they recorded on Hi-8s for that format so they could sync to DATs. I don't want to waste these machines' lifespan on plain VHS material where most people won't know the difference.
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    I tend to prefer CRTs. I own SEVEN now....for PC and console, and all of them work. I paid no money for any of them, they were all free. Three TVs, 4 Monitors. The monitors are for my PCs, the TVs are swapped around, and one TV is a B&W portable from 1987 - 5" of course. Some of them I had to fix (weak tubes, cold solder joints, cracked PCBs, bugs living inside, etc.). Also, as one who owns three 4K TV's, some of which have so much DSP Gaming mode makes playing old games from the CRT age feel like you're trying to

    What I prefer for input depends on the console...

    ATARI 2600 - RF straight into COAX via one of those 75 Ohm COAX to RCA adapters
    NES - Composite with a stereo-splitter offf the NES into the 3 connector cable so on a Stereo TV it comes out of both speakers (consistent volume)
    WII - Composite of course

    I have a profound hatred of modern TVs for not just gaming, but just about everything. 4K Smart TV's make me want to Rage quit sometimes trying to access a basic YouTube video. I'm a damn good I.T. guy but I have my limits, and closed source O/Ses designed to run heavily on-rails software for watching basic videos, run through a barriage of custom Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - hence lag with anything "analog", drives me nuts. Our Samsung is slower than a 286 running Windows, even clearing the Cache, mTCP suite on a 512K XT finds an IP Address faster than it's WiFi does. Our TCL I've only put the Wii on because the $300 Sharp has so much input lag, even in game mode, anything on it is almost unplayable. The Sharp has my RetroPie....which is a big reason I've been moving away from Emulation....

    RetroPie is fun if you're a tweaker, or a tuner IMHO. I enjoy it more when I'm in the mood to tweak and tune plaintext settings in most cases, it's saving grace is MAME, but I could literally do that in DOS on my CRT TV if I wanted to using one of my many vintage PCs. But trying to play 2 player games with the wife is an extercise in frustration. Either a key combo no longer works, or the controllers change players if I have to reboot, or the input lag is so bad we can't play as good as we do on actual hardware on my old TVs, or even the Wii. The Wii is my favorite source of emulation TBH.

    Plus, to me, I grew up with this stuff on 13-27" CRT Televisoins and monitors. Nothing takes me back as much as playing video games on an old TV on an actual game console from the past, as the designers intended.

    On the subject of RF, my Magnavox TV is RF only, as is my Rhapsody 5" B&W. I don't mind RF either, I swapped though because my Mitsubishi 27" has a cool feature that my old 19" 1984 Mitsubishi Console had - a passthrough that allows me top record ANY input to a computer easily using a Composite USB capture device. Atari 2600, yep, NES, youbetcha, Tandy 1000, yep, Wii, yeah, that too. It's nice to be able to record the TV, and not have to spend extended amounts of time shuffling cables around or dealing with lag to capture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mike View Post
    I tend to prefer CRTs. I own SEVEN now....for PC and console, and all of them work. I paid no money for any of them, they were all free. Three TVs, 4 Monitors. The monitors are for my PCs, the TVs are swapped around, and one TV is a B&W portable from 1987 - 5" of course. Some of them I had to fix (weak tubes, cold solder joints, cracked PCBs, bugs living inside, etc.). Also, as one who owns three 4K TV's, some of which have so much DSP Gaming mode makes playing old games from the CRT age feel like you're trying to

    What I prefer for input depends on the console...

    ATARI 2600 - RF straight into COAX via one of those 75 Ohm COAX to RCA adapters
    NES - Composite with a stereo-splitter offf the NES into the 3 connector cable so on a Stereo TV it comes out of both speakers (consistent volume)
    WII - Composite of course

    I have a profound hatred of modern TVs for not just gaming, but just about everything. 4K Smart TV's make me want to Rage quit sometimes trying to access a basic YouTube video. I'm a damn good I.T. guy but I have my limits, and closed source O/Ses designed to run heavily on-rails software for watching basic videos, run through a barriage of custom Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - hence lag with anything "analog", drives me nuts. Our Samsung is slower than a 286 running Windows, even clearing the Cache, mTCP suite on a 512K XT finds an IP Address faster than it's WiFi does. Our TCL I've only put the Wii on because the $300 Sharp has so much input lag, even in game mode, anything on it is almost unplayable. The Sharp has my RetroPie....which is a big reason I've been moving away from Emulation....

    RetroPie is fun if you're a tweaker, or a tuner IMHO. I enjoy it more when I'm in the mood to tweak and tune plaintext settings in most cases, it's saving grace is MAME, but I could literally do that in DOS on my CRT TV if I wanted to using one of my many vintage PCs. But trying to play 2 player games with the wife is an extercise in frustration. Either a key combo no longer works, or the controllers change players if I have to reboot, or the input lag is so bad we can't play as good as we do on actual hardware on my old TVs, or even the Wii. The Wii is my favorite source of emulation TBH.

    Plus, to me, I grew up with this stuff on 13-27" CRT Televisoins and monitors. Nothing takes me back as much as playing video games on an old TV on an actual game console from the past, as the designers intended.

    On the subject of RF, my Magnavox TV is RF only, as is my Rhapsody 5" B&W. I don't mind RF either, I swapped though because my Mitsubishi 27" has a cool feature that my old 19" 1984 Mitsubishi Console had - a passthrough that allows me top record ANY input to a computer easily using a Composite USB capture device. Atari 2600, yep, NES, youbetcha, Tandy 1000, yep, Wii, yeah, that too. It's nice to be able to record the TV, and not have to spend extended amounts of time shuffling cables around or dealing with lag to capture.
    Have you ever played on a PVM? I've found that to be the best way to play old consoles because the picture quality ia vastly greater than consumer grade sets, the inputs have most of what you need, and it still gives me that feeling of "nostalgia" of playing on a 30 year old monitor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-Mike View Post
    I have a profound hatred of modern TVs for not just gaming, but just about everything. 4K Smart TV's make me want to Rage quit sometimes trying to access a basic YouTube video. I'm a damn good I.T. guy but I have my limits, and closed source O/Ses designed to run heavily on-rails software for watching basic videos, run through a barriage of custom Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - hence lag with anything "analog", drives me nuts. Our Samsung is slower than a 286 running Windows, even clearing the Cache, mTCP suite on a 512K XT finds an IP Address faster than it's WiFi does. Our TCL I've only put the Wii on because the $300 Sharp has so much input lag, even in game mode, anything on it is almost unplayable. The Sharp has my RetroPie....which is a big reason I've been moving away from Emulation....
    You're probably correct on the smart TV situation, which is why there's never been more interest/development in upscaling devices. OSSC standard remains cheaper and popular, with the Pro still being developed to great fanfare. The RetroTink 5x Pro keeps selling out, and the PixelFX Morph device will too when it's released.
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    Worth it? Every penny. Especially the tink 5x.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    Worth it? Every penny. Especially the tink 5x.
    What kind of latency are you getting with it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    What kind of latency are you getting with it?
    It doesn't grab and process frame(s) at a time, so the latency is literally a handful of scanlines. To that effect, I would say zero. At that point, it's whatever your TV adds to that via HDMI input, and not the retrotink 5x itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    It doesn't grab and process frame(s) at a time, so the latency is literally a handful of scanlines. To that effect, I would say zero. At that point, it's whatever your TV adds to that via HDMI input, and not the retrotink 5x itself.
    I'm pretty sensitive to it. I can see a difference between my Analogue consoles and playing on a CRT using composite. There's about a 1 frame delay with the former. most people wont notice of course
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    I'm pretty sensitive to it. I can see a difference between my Analogue consoles and playing on a CRT using composite. There's about a 1 frame delay with the former. most people wont notice of course
    Yeah, there's not much you can do about the lag coming from the TV (non CRT) itself. I was hoping with the newer TVs that have VRR and lower latency, you'd get less than a frame (relative) worth of lag. Or at least, no drop frames for these retro consoles and their odd frame rates (the PC-Engine actually has two frame rates.. ~60.1 and ~59.94) through VRR. Retrotink has a mode that passes the frame rate unaltered to the TV, but unclear how to force a TV to VRR over a non-hdmi 2.1 spec'd signal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    Have you ever played on a PVM? I've found that to be the best way to play old consoles because the picture quality ia vastly greater than consumer grade sets, the inputs have most of what you need, and it still gives me that feeling of "nostalgia" of playing on a 30 year old monitor.
    I had a chance to buy a broken one from our local games shop for $70 since I made friends with the owner. Originally that was the plan, one PVM, esp, since it would also work with my Tandy 1000 via RGB. But while saving for the PVM I came across a guy who had filmed my band at the time on Craigslist with 2 old 27" CRT TVs, not my cup of tea usually (I Prefer 20" and circa 1985 or older TBH) but they were free. Wound up being awesome because one of them is a 1989 Mitsubishi 2720R that H had the skills to repair on my own, and the picture on that is insane good. Even YouTube on my Roku looks amazing on it via an HDMI to RCA converter.

    That said, the guy I got the 2 27"ers from had some PVMs and said I should keep in touch he might have more stuff to give. Problem is, at this point, I might end up filling my whole room with PVMS. I got to tour his house and he had shelves upon shelves of professional video equipment including quite a lot of Sony PVMs in a lot of shapes and sizes, so maybe someday I'll get one, probably when the housing market busts and I can afford space for them.

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    My Framemeister finally died. After 7 years, I just get a garbled pink screen now. I guess these days 7 years is decent for a piece of electronics but having paid a lot for this when it came out and with no moving parts on it, I figured it would've outlived me.

    so now it's down to the OSSC or the Retrotink
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    My Framemeister finally died. After 7 years, I just get a garbled pink screen now. I guess these days 7 years is decent for a piece of electronics but having paid a lot for this when it came out and with no moving parts on it, I figured it would've outlived me.

    so now it's down to the OSSC or the Retrotink
    Sure it's not a bad ac adapter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    Sure it's not a bad ac adapter?
    no clue. It powers on
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    no clue. It powers on
    Plenty of devices may power on but won't function fully if the adapter is bad, but it's still possible the board or a chip went bad. Happened to my DVDO iscan though that thing had 10's of thousands of hours of use professionally before I got it.
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