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Erik_Twice
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Erik_Twice Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:55 am

akeley wrote:-PC: I hear it`s possible to go CRT using older ATI cards, though they probably meant CRT monitors not TVs. Anyhow, this I think this is bit too complex/much of a hassle for me atm.

No, no, you can use TV or 480i monitor (Like video editing monitors) for this using CRT_Emudriver and a compatible graphics card, you don't need a VGA monitor. It does require a bit of setup and dedicated PC, but it's the best way to do it currently.

In the meanwhile, the Wii is affordable, easy to set-up and has the best, wider emulation capabilities. Note that unlike the other consoles you mention it can output 240p natively, which is key to a high-quality picture.

The main problem with the Wii and all other consoles is that MAME emulation is very poor. I don't think any Yu Suzuki game works, and neither does Gradius. RetroArch which runs more games is terrible for CRT displays, making mi Wii MAME experience so poor other than Truxton and a couple other games here and there I prefer not to touch it.

So yeah, if you want arcade games, I would look into a dedicated computer because consoles aren't going to cut it.
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akeley
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by akeley Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:59 pm

Erik_Twice wrote:No, no, you can use TV


Damn, man, I was hoping nobody would actually say that :D I had an inkling it could be the case, but subconsciously defended against I suppose. Now, a can of worms has been opened - I really shouldn`t be building a dedi MAME PC-to-CRT box (time/$$/too much stuff) but...it`s so tempting!

Might chew on this for a while. Funny thing is, what got me into buying a CRT again was the quality of MAME HLSL shaders - I was impressed to the point where I can actually play these games on my PC monitor and not squirm. But then I thought, "this looks good, but now I need to see the real thing again...". and predictably, it`s a no-contest. But still, very impressive from the shader/MAME people.

Also, hunting for a cheap Wii with GC ports atm, that could be fun, even without MAME on it.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Jagosaurus Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:36 pm

The PC to CRT TV route is really only needed for folks looking for 240p accuracy (and RGB via VGA?). Then you can go crazy with video cards & firmware. I don't think newer PCs with VGA out will even output 15KHz the older CRT monitors are looking for (versus my LCD which handles VGA via 31KHz). That's a very niche & arcane world, even within this sub section of the hobby.

I remember getting all excited the Jaguar output in VGA but it's the 9 pin, 15KHz intended for old PC monitors.

Reportedly, oXbox handles MAME better than the Wii. I think they're pretty much equal on 8 & 16 bit machines. I have an oXbox modded & really enjoy it. It's on my list to mod my Wii this year.

Obviously the modded oXbox plays digital retail games (.xbe file). Wii plays digital Wii & GCN retail games. Worth noting the oXbox has a lot of homebrew & PC ports such as DOOM X & Cave Story.

I also have 2 PCs with emu set up (one VGA out, other DVI/HDMI out)... and flash carts... I have issues :lol:

Don't rule out the PS2. $10 Free McBoot + spare USB stick and you have solid Genesis (PGEN) & GB/GBC emu. Also PS1 emu off USB is an option via POPStarter & booting PS2 games via OPL. While not a retro emu power house, the PS2 homebrew scene has several advantages.

Check my signature links for oXbox & PS2 mod info.
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Sarge
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Sarge Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:58 am

Yeah, if you don't want to go the PC route, a modded XBOX is the best way to do MAME stuff. I think MAMEdoX supports a bit more than MAMEoX, but both should be perfectly fine for that stuff, within reason. (Pretty sure you're not going to be running the later 3D games or Killer Instinct, for example.)

For everything else, the Wii is the way to go. Cheap, and excellent emulation for 8/16-bit systems.
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by AppleQueso Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:50 pm

The current Raspberry Pi model has some pretty nice performance and I'd honestly suggest it over a wii or xbox or even a junker PC unless composite video and hdmi only are a dealbreaker. It's my primary retro gaming device now and I couldn't be happier with it to be honest.

Also nab these for PC/Pi if you go that route: https://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Classic- ... s=ibuffalo

Seriously. They aren't quite perfect, but they are by far the best SNES clone pads I have ever used, ESPECIALLY for the money. I highly recommend them.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by Jagosaurus Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:54 pm

I second the Buffalo SNES controller!
akeley
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by akeley Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:42 am

Thanks for the suggestions folks.

Truth is, my main problem is not of a technical but "real life" nature: I move a lot and will most likely be living in another country in next six months or so. If not for that, I`d simply get all that stuff in. It`s not that expensive (only flashcarts & rare games/stuff really are) and so much fun.

Lack of time is another factor - experimenting with a CRT PC could be great, but also very time consuming. I heard good things about Raspberry as an emu box but it won`t work with a CRT, so it`s not an option.

For now will probably stick to the Wii...or maybe Xbox...or maybe both. Dreamcast is also very tempting since you don`t need to mod it. Wish Xbox was as simple. As it is, I suppose I`d need to buy that USB converter cable so it`s another hassle/expense.

But...MAME...I really want to see it on a CRT. How good is it on Xbox then? I know it`s relative, but let`s say we`re comparing the games that would work on a modern PC well - can you play them at full speed on the X too? I mean of course older, pre - 3D titles, say, up to 1995.
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by AppleQueso Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:44 pm

akeley wrote:I heard good things about Raspberry as an emu box but it won`t work with a CRT, so it`s not an option..


It does have composite video out. I have played mine on multiple CRTs. People have also successfully gotten 240p RGB signals from it and hooked it up to PVM and whatnot.

It absolutely works with a CRT.
akeley
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Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by akeley Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:24 pm

AppleQueso wrote:It absolutely works with a CRT.

Well, you`re absolutely right, somehow my mind filtered out the words "composite input" out of your first post. Guess it tries to simplify my life (or something).

I had a gander over the net and it seems pretty straightforward. So now I have to spend another 50+ quid & lrn2linux...gawd, why did I get this CRT in the first place? ;) It seems worth it thou, the Pi really is a crazy kool portable pocket PC so I need to get in on this.

There`s also this: http://www.arcadepunks.com/raspberry-pi-zero-retro-gaming-system-built-into-crt-tv/ Phew! :)

Just 2 things before I start bidding...

-I assume you connected yours to CRTs through the composite, how`s the quality? I mean, my PS1 is connected through composite atm and I`m fine with this IQ - got an RGB cable coming too, but only because it was cheap. If the Pi for some reason had it worse, say on a RF IQ level then it could be an issue.

-re-quoting my question regarding Xbox MAME: "How good is MAME on Pi then? I know it`s relative, but let`s say we`re comparing the games that would emulate on a modern PC well - can you play them at full speed on the Pi too? I mean of course older, pre - 3D titles, say, up to 1995."
AppleQueso
 

Re: Best option for an emulator box?

by AppleQueso Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:20 pm

The composite video output is decent enough, though composite can only get so good. The lack of 240p means you're going to get games looking more like they would on a lot of ps2 retro compilations. If you're happy with a ps2's composite output or something you should be fine.

As for mame... eh mame itself itself is kinda hit and miss due to the nature of the emulator. Like a lot of thee sorts of devices, most arcade emulating you do would be via Final Burn Alpha, which works fantastic and honestly covers quite a bit of ground. On my system I only used mame for the handful of games that I couldn't get working in FBA, which honestly has been pretty rare.

It's just a really fun device honestly, I've had a blast just tinkering with it
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