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The High Definition Retrogaming Thread (Including CRT/BVM/PVM Chatter)

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Bringing this one back with a new MLiG video about Game Boy and Game Boy Advance screen mods.

 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
Another great MLiG video, and it shed some light on the peculiarities of backlit screen mods for the original GBA model. I paid someone on eBay years ago for a backlit AGB-001 and it had the same interlacing/rainbowing weirdness that Try mentions in his video, which I found really off-putting. Ended up trading it to a friend who doesn't mind the screen quirks (and he traded me his old Genesis model 2 in exchange, which I've been getting lots of use out of).

On an unrelated note, I've been messing around with my xRGB-mini this weekend and noticed something odd while playing Wii (yes, I have my Wii running through a Framemeister). There's actually a method for enabling 240p on certain Wii VC games, and while the picture is definitely sharper in 240p than 480i/480p for those games, the horizontal pixel scaling is rather uneven, which creates a shimmering effect as the screen scrolls left or right. I'm guessing that this is just how VC emulation spits out the image, as opposed to there being some issue with this particular Framemeister scaler profile I'm using, but I was curious if anyone else here has tried doing the 240p Wii VC thing with similar results.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The only place I've noticed those screen issues he mentions are in the Pokemon games, and they don't bug me... The Mario World ones I can't see on my hardware. I'm sure they're there, but I can't see them.

I love my GBA IPS screens, both in a regular GBA and a SP.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
On an unrelated note, I've been messing around with my xRGB-mini this weekend and noticed something odd while playing Wii (yes, I have my Wii running through a Framemeister). There's actually a method for enabling 240p on certain Wii VC games, and while the picture is definitely sharper in 240p than 480i/480p for those games, the horizontal pixel scaling is rather uneven, which creates a shimmering effect as the screen scrolls left or right. I'm guessing that this is just how VC emulation spits out the image, as opposed to there being some issue with this particular Framemeister scaler profile I'm using, but I was curious if anyone else here has tried doing the 240p Wii VC thing with similar results.
Are you using the Wii profile or are you using the profiles for the systems the Wii is emulating? I would suspect the latter would eliminate shimmer, but I don't know since I foolishly moved all my VC games to my Wii U.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
This probably isn't the right place for this but it's GBA faffing so it's probably the closest thread. My GBA SP shoulder buttons have died entirely. I've opened it up and tried contact cleaner but they're still dead. Does anyone know what part I need to order microswitch wise?

When I fix this I may start swapping out screens
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I think you can order the "shoulder bumpers" from websites like Retromodding or Handheldlegend, but I have no idea how difficult they'll be to solder to the board. If you manage to do it, post some pics - I'm curious.
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
Are you using the Wii profile or are you using the profiles for the systems the Wii is emulating? I would suspect the latter would eliminate shimmer, but I don't know since I foolishly moved all my VC games to my Wii U.
I use FirebrandX's Framemeister profiles, but AFAIK he didn't create any specifically for Wii (perhaps due to the FM's lackluster 480p processing). Unfortunately FM profiles for the actual consoles I'm emulating are also set up for different video inputs (RGB) and they don't play nice with component. As a workaround I've been using the 480p GameCube profile instead, which seems fine aside from this one particular issue with Wii VC. I also tried a couple of 240p profiles intended for PS1 games running on PS2, and they also look good for Wii, but neither of them fixes the horizontal scaling/shimmer on those 240p VC games. I think the issue is with Virtual Console's emulation, not my scaler.
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I think you can order the "shoulder bumpers" from websites like Retromodding or Handheldlegend, but I have no idea how difficult they'll be to solder to the board. If you manage to do it, post some pics - I'm curious.

Thanks, I will do. As it stands the GBA is buggered so it's worth a shot.
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
I think the issue is with Virtual Console's emulation, not my scaler.
After further testing, it seems the uneven horizontal scaling with Wii VC games running in 240p is isolated to TG-16 titles; specifically Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou and Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (these are the only TG-16 games I own on Wii VC which also support 240p). I also loaded up Ninja Gaiden (NES), Link to the Past (SNES) and Shinobi (Arcade), and the horizontal scaling for those emulated games/platforms appears to be correct. I took some comparison pics for each of these games running on Wii VC:
Ninja Gaiden (NES)


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)


Shinobi (Arcade)


Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (TG-16)



Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (TG-16)
The uneven horizontal scaling on TG-16 is very noticable when zooming in on the text used in these games, as well as any single-pixel-wide diagonal lines. If you check out the letter "V" in "EVERY 70000 PTS" on the Gradius II title screen, it looks like every other horizontal pixel row is being stretched out. Same goes for the letter "A" in "STAGE 4" from Rondo. None of the games I tested on NES, SNES and Arcade Wii VC have this issue.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Are you sure that's a problem and not just how the pixel font is made? If alternating lines were being stretched weirdly, then wouldn't the left side of the next letter E be all jagged?
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Could be some weird Turbografx resolution thing. R-Type on the Turbografx Mini shimmers like you wouldn't believe.

Edit: and the Wii emulation was also done by M2 if I recall correctly...
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
Are you sure that's a problem and not just how the pixel font is made? If alternating lines were being stretched weirdly, then wouldn't the left side of the next letter E be all jagged?
Pretty sure that's not how the font was originally intended to be displayed, based on some screenshots from this fan site:

Of course this is an image with perfect square pixels, as opposed to 4:3 pixels, but it seems pretty clear that Wii VC is applying some weird stretching to every other vertical pixel column. To me, it would be preferable to stretch the entire picture and then apply some horizontal interpolation in order to reproduce the original 4:3 aspect more faithfully, which would also alleviate the shimmer.

EDIT: I suppose it's possible that this is how Gradius II also looks on a real PC Engine CD, but I'm struggling to verify that since I can't find any YT videos of the game that confirm they're running off of original hardware...
 
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ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I use FirebrandX's Framemeister profiles, but AFAIK he didn't create any specifically for Wii (perhaps due to the FM's lackluster 480p processing). Unfortunately FM profiles for the actual consoles I'm emulating are also set up for different video inputs (RGB) and they don't play nice with component.

There's a button on your Framemeister remote to change the input. My PS2 profiles are all set for component, but just hitting the "RGB" input button flips them over with no problem. I would really try to load a profile for PC Engine or whatever system, then kick it over manually after loading.

Could be some weird Turbografx resolution thing. R-Type on the Turbografx Mini shimmers like you wouldn't believe.

Edit: and the Wii emulation was also done by M2 if I recall correctly...

I could be wrong, but I thought M2 only handled the Sega systems on VC...
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
There's a button on your Framemeister remote to change the input. My PS2 profiles are all set for component, but just hitting the "RGB" input button flips them over with no problem. I would really try to load a profile for PC Engine or whatever system, then kick it over manually after loading.
I'm aware that it's possible to change FM inputs while retaining your other profile settings; what I'm saying is that those other settings are not correctly configured for a different kind of input. Here's what the picture looks like on my TV after loading FirebrandX's 41TDUO4X (TurboDuo 4x vertical scale) profile and then switching over to component input:



So not only is the image blown up way too big on the TurboDuo profile, but it still has the uneven horizontal scaling issue. At this point I'm just curious if actual PC-Engine hardware has the same problem, but I kinda doubt it.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
To me, it would be preferable to stretch the entire picture and then apply some horizontal interpolation in order to reproduce the original 4:3 aspect more faithfully, which would also alleviate the shimmer.

Honestly for as much as people make a big deal out of the original pixels this is a lot more accurate to how the picture would look on an original CRT. While I usually do integer scaling and display at high resolution (i.e., usually 1080p) when I'm playing stuff like this, I've found that having a blur filter like you suggest (one of my favorite features of Kega Fusion, in fact) is one of the best ways to overcome this pixel aspect issue without shimmer or looking too smeary or sharp. CRTs don't have a notion of pixels or horizontal resolution; it's all about how fast you can change the signal before the scanline ends.
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
No, you're right, I checked. M2 did Master System, Mega Drive, MSX and arcade on Virtual Console (then GBA on Wii U). No idea who did Turbografx.
That definitely sheds some light on why the Wii VC's TG-16 emulation is a little funky in terms of scaling. M2 wouldn't have let that crap slide!
Honestly for as much as people make a big deal out of the original pixels this is a lot more accurate to how the picture would look on an original CRT. While I usually do integer scaling and display at high resolution (i.e., usually 1080p) when I'm playing stuff like this, I've found that having a blur filter like you suggest (one of my favorite features of Kega Fusion, in fact) is one of the best ways to overcome this pixel aspect issue without shimmer or looking too smeary or sharp.
It's my understanding that this sort of technique is how the best 240p game emulators (and video scalers, I guess) manage to present a 4:3 aspect on modern square-pixel displays. Just a touch of blur to prevent uneven/shimmering pixels, and if you've got vertical integer scaling enabled then at least it's perfectly sharp on the Y axis.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Definitely not right. While my CRT has some alignment issues, here's what it looks like on real hardware.



I don't think M2's emulation is quite right on the TG-16 Mini, either, as far as scaling goes. Really, most of these systems have seemed to botch it slightly. Only on the SNES Classic does the 4:3 mode have just the faintest blurriness and not look like it shimmers. They did a great job with it. The aforementioned R-Type on TG-16 does have a really wonky resolution, though - I think it was 352 pixels wide. And absolutely none of the modes eliminates the shimmer.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
It's my understanding that this sort of technique is how the best 240p game emulators (and video scalers, I guess) manage to present a 4:3 aspect on modern square-pixel displays. Just a touch of blur to prevent uneven/shimmering pixels, and if you've got vertical integer scaling enabled then at least it's perfectly sharp on the Y axis.

While interpolation is *technically* a "blur," I think it merits discussing it a little differently, because it's not laying a full-on blur filter over the image, like the awful CRT filters some emulators have or the weird bilinear filtering MAME does by default (why does it do that by default, FFS). Interpolation very slightly blurs the edges of pixels (and can often be set to only be horizontal or vertical) to prevent shimmer, but when the image is stationary, the blur isn't there. I typically only use the horizontal interpolation on the Super Nt, for example, because most games I play only scroll sideways for the majority of gameplay.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I will say, nearest neighbor interpolation can really bother me at times. Especially in games where the characters' eyes are one column of pixels, and it makes one a single line, and one a double width line. It looks really, really wonky.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
My PVM was not showing a picture, so I asked Steve, the guy I bought it from who happens to be local to me but is a PVM/BVM source for nerds all over the place, and he just got it fixed tonight, but I won't be able to retrieve it until Thursday, but anyways, I'm stoked about it.

Also, for people looking for affordable scalers, The GBS-C is a kinda shitty, cheap one that people have found becomes a pretty solid one with just a few mods. ZeroHimself has made a kit that he plans to open source once's he's sold a few to make back his time invested in the project, but some premade ones are apparently on sale now, if you're quick. $125.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Great, glad it's working again for you!

I've heard of the GBS-C, and the fixes. Definitely sounds interesting! I need to look at how it stacks up to the RetroTINK 2X. Speaking of the RT, apparently an RT5X is coming very soon. I suspect it's going to be pricier, though - it will likely be competing with the OSSC. I'm still very intrigued by what I've seen, and I know Voultar has been doing a lot of testing on it the last few months. I'm sure the product will be quality.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
So, about the Satiator... I feel like there must be some kind of error, because the site selling it shows the price at $9,999.99. That can't be right... right?
 

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
So, about the Satiator... I feel like there must be some kind of error, because the site selling it shows the price at $9,999.99. That can't be right... right?
Currently you have to back Prof. Abrasive on Patreon to be part of a queue and get a code from the real price ($260 + shipping from what I'm reading). His twitter also says news of general distribution is happening soon if you don't want to back.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
Gotcha. I wondered if it was something along those lines, but I wasn't sure how to find out.
 

Wolf

Ancient Nameless Hero
(He/him)
Sorry. I guess I just default to asking an actual person for some reason. I guess for the reassurance that what I'm thinking may actually be correct.
 

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)
Sorry. I guess I just default to asking an actual person for some reason. I guess for the reassurance that what I'm thinking may actually be correct.
I don't think that was a call-out. Also, maybe you also default to that because you're having a conversation?
 
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