Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Sarge
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Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Sarge Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:12 pm

Figure this is better here in than in the random gaming thoughts area.

So I've had just a small amount of time with my new TV (50" Samsung JU6500 4K). When I first set it up, the closest and easiest thing I had to hook up to it was the NES. I had to move pretty quickly, had to get back to work; still, I couldn't resist hooking it up to test.

It looked awful. Like, really awful. Of course, it's composite from the NES, so I wasn't expecting great, but still. It got slightly better after enabling Game Mode. Anyway, didn't think much about it, went back to work.

When I got back in and finally got all my stuff hooked back up (basically playing Tetris with my systems because of the lost space), 480p and 720p still looked pretty awful. I could tell there was some sort of processing going on, but it looked like Game Mode had disabled all of it. Well, it had, except for one.

Sharpness.

So for those that don't know, "sharpness" is something left over from the old CRT days. It doesn't operate like it did then. It applies a sort of filter to the image on newer HDTV sets. Samsung sets it to 50 for Game Mode. This produces an effect not unlike an Eagle filter, and also adds a sort of halo effect around stuff. It ain't pretty. After some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that 15-20 was around the right setting, and some information I saw somewhere confirms this. Things look so much better. In fact, I'd say the 720p is clearer than my actual native 720p set... which is probably a function of that set not actually being a true 720p, but 1366x768. Lag times look super good, too, around 26ms.

Another thing I wanted to test was to see if it handled 240p sources. Well, the NES answered that little question, but does it handle them correctly? Many sets handle flashing objects (like when you get hit in Castlevania) as a combed object, instead of actual flashing. This is what my old Bravia set does. Turns out this one actually handles it correctly, to my surprise! If you want to see what your set does, try downloading the 240p test for whatever console you're using. I use the Wii version. I did notice some softness in the image, though, as if it's not quite lining things up perfectly. Not sure what I need to do to fix that, or even if it can.

1080p looks spectacular. Very happy with performance there. Still need to hook to my laptop, and see how things look there, too. I suspect quite nice. :)

Anyway, I'm pretty darn happy with my purchase so far (knock on wood). Having $300 from credit card rewards helped reduce the dent on my wallet, so I was only out around $400. Certainly a lot less than I paid for my Bravia back in the day! And while it's not as feature-rich as a more expensive set, for my purposes, it should do quite nicely.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Xeogred Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:33 pm

Yeah like I mentioned in the other discussion about this, I got the Samsung UN50J6300 in April myself, 50" but not 4K ready. Figured I'd save a couple hundred and wait it out a little more. It was the first time I've ordered a TV, or rather something huge like that in general off Amazon online, and it went pretty smoothly.

This is my third Samsung and I have loved them all, but the 40" and this one definitely needed a lot of tweaking to get right. You nailed it with Sharpness being the key to older stuff and funny enough mine is set to 15 as well. I also like that you can save profiles on this new TV, couldn't do that on my last two. You could tweak things or go back to default, but no restoring or copying over profiles to other inputs.

Personally I think Game Mode is garbage. I guess you're going to get better latency or whatever, but the difference is insane when it comes to the PS2 era and component sources. It's just crazy. When I busted out my Xbox again and played some stuff, I was pulling my hair out wondering what the deal was and why everything looked like smeared shadowy smudge with artifacts and interlacing nastiness, turning Game Mode off fixed everything and now that gen looks great too and retains some nice sharpness and color.

I do think the blacks and old games looked a little better on my 40", naturally being a smaller scale I guess. And the 40" was better when I'd watch stuff on the side while still be on my PC, the 50" definitely doesn't look as good when you get too close. But I'll just have to manage until I move. Someday I'll be able to put them all to use in a more elaborate game room setup I hope. I'm also keeping around some AMEX boob tube because it has 5 AV inputs and S-video haha, pretty awesome.

Ever since I've had the 40" and started duel monitoring, I can never go back. I went the whole mile and bought a cheap foldout tray, wireless keyboard and mouse in the rare instances that I can't use a gamepad for something and that works out well too. The desktop is purely for web browsing/music and nothing more to me thesedays.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:34 pm

Thanks for making this thread! You've actually answered some of my questions. I'm probably going to spend more money that I don't have getting a 4K TV when the PS4K comes out, but I've been hesitant because of how it would handle HD signals. I know it advertises upscaling and all that, but I also don't trust TV upscalers. From what I've read from your post, though, it seems like I'd be fine with current gen stuff and just make sure that I use an older HDTV (I have a 720p/1080i HD CRT and component cables for my PS3 and Xbox 360) for my 7th gen stuff.

Any other advice you have for a future 4K owner and/or corrections to some assumptions I made above?
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Sarge
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Sarge Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:23 pm

Yeah, no problem! Hopefully I'll keep updating as I use it. I've already found a few quirks.

1) The composite still looks terrible. And I think I know why. It looks like it uses a different processing chain than the component input. The NES through there still looks like an Eagle filter in motion, although not as bad now that I've adjusted the sharpness. That proper handling of 240p, though? Not quite on this input. Sometimes it flashes, then shifts to combing. This was apparent when getting hit in Akumajou Densetsu. Some of the sprite flicker also combed, as seen in Double Dragon II. It's pretty weird, and I don't know that it's something that can be fixed.

The reason I know this is different is by using Mednafen on Wii and enabling "double strike" (240p). The flickering looks perfect, there, and the TV even identifies the resolution correctly as a 240p source. I forgot to check that on NES, I should probably do that.

2) Speaking of composite, it shares a jack with the "green" on the component input. That's all well and good, but if you've got the "red" and "blue" hooked up, it won't display the composite input, which is no good if you're still wanting to route through a switch box. I doubt I'll have the NES hooked up to this much, though.

As regarding Game Mode, I think it's very, very important to have for certain games. If you're playing anything rhythm-based, you're gonna have a bad time. I can also see Punch-Out!! being an absolute nightmare. It's hard enough for me on an honest-to-goodness CRT, put me on a slow LCD and I'm gonna die.

More modern stuff, single-player games and whatnot? Probably not a big deal. Enable PC mode with its 45-ish ms of lag and you're probably still just fine.

Be aware that a few brands of TVs look "soft" on their upscaling of 480p/720p. I think it's mostly Vizio. I hear Sony and Samsung have the best upscaling. I have no real quibbles about the Samsung scaling, from what I see so far, and it was a concern going in. 480p still looks kinda soft, but that may just be inherent to the platform. I know a lot of Wii games use the "flicker filter" even at 480p, as a sort of poor-man's anti-aliasing. I'll probably be fiddling even more to try to figure out how to make that stuff look better. I was very happy with how the PS2 stuff looked, though.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Xeogred Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:54 pm

Unfortunately no matter how you cut it yeah, Wii games are going to look jaggy. :(
(even via Wii U)
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Exhuminator Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:55 am

You made the right choice going with Samsung.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by CRTGAMER Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:33 am

Sarge wrote:1) The composite still looks terrible. And I think I know why. It looks like it uses a different processing chain than the component input. The NES through there still looks like an Eagle filter in motion, although not as bad now that I've adjusted the sharpness. That proper handling of 240p, though? Not quite on this input. Sometimes it flashes, then shifts to combing.

2) Speaking of composite, it shares a jack with the "green" on the component input. That's all well and good, but if you've got the "red" and "blue" hooked up, it won't display the composite input, which is no good if you're still wanting to route through a switch box. I doubt I'll have the NES hooked up to this much, though.

Be aware that a few brands of TVs look "soft" on their upscaling of 480p/720p. I think it's mostly Vizio. I hear Sony and Samsung have the best upscaling. I have no real quibbles about the Samsung scaling, from what I see so far, and it was a concern going in. 480p still looks kinda soft, but that may just be inherent to the platform. I know a lot of Wii games use the "flicker filter" even at 480p, as a sort of poor-man's anti-aliasing. I'll probably be fiddling even more to try to figure out how to make that stuff look better. I was very happy with how the PS2 stuff looked, though.

That is surprising and good news that the PS2 component display works out on your 4k, especially for the games that have a 480p option. Try Tourist Trophy or Gran Turismo 4 to kick 1080i out of the PS2. The 4k has to upscale any lower resolutions even more drastically, anything 480p or less can be even more "upscale blurry" compared to a 1080p TV.

On the other hand for really huge screens, the 4k then shows the benefit over 1080p TVs due to the increase spread of the pixels and especially if the source signal is true 4k. Weird that there are 32" 4k TVs that are really no gain vs 1080p TVs at such a small screen, unless one watches from 5 inches away.

Test TV jacks if "mechanical switch" - Test composite signal with dead cable plugged into the red, blue jacks
Concerning the shared composite/component, I am guessing that the TV Remote input select is also shared? If a dedicated select for each, it usually will force the TV to switch to each input in the shared circuit. If the blue and red composite are not mechanical sensing (same as plugging headphones to disable speakers), but electronic sensing, perhaps a switch box that will shut off both the positive and negative leads of the RCA connection. Since most switchboxes only select one side of the leads, you might have to custom build a switch box to get the positive/negative select option.

This is where the manufacturers should really include a separate input for composite and component, the production cost won't make that much difference on high end TVs! :?
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Sarge Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:38 am

I was actually surprised, too. I tried out Magna Carta, and I honestly could barely tell the difference between it in 480i and 480p. There's a little softness, but I think some of that may just be inherent to the game's menus and such. Other games look a bit blurrier, like Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. I think there's a bit of blur in that game, and it's also probably a function of how they achieve their 480i image. They use some funky mode that doesn't take well to 480p when forced, only displaying half the frame (240p).

Actually, the PS2 seemed more clear overall than the Wii or Gamecube, although I was running both through the Wii. It may well be that the Gamecube was using some extra anti-aliasing for the stuff I tried. It still looked pretty good, just not so sharp it could cut you. That's what I want, and a few PS2 games I tried got closer than I figured they would.

It does have separate source selections for the component and composite. If you select component while it's hooked in, it gives you a somewhat-distorted B&W image. If you select composite, it gives nothing, saying the signal strength may be too weak. If you physically unhook the cables from the back of the TV, and reselect the input, it displays, but not until you reselect it. I think the next test I'll do is see if unhooking the red/blue from the switch box makes a difference while it's still hooked up to the back of the TV.

Totally agreed about the inputs. The one I'll miss the most is S-Video. I have tons of systems that have S-Video, and it looks very nearly as good as component. I'm probably going to chase down a couple of SCART cables to use with my SCART-to-Component converter box. I use that with my Genesis, and it's a world of difference in picture quality from the composite chip they use. Seriously, the composite on the Genesis is worse than the NES, an absolute blurry mess.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Xeogred Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:35 pm

I've actually been using an HDMI converter for my PS2 that nicely fits in one of the back slots. Games look a little sharper, but maybe that's just placebo. But it's definitely convenient just needing another HDMI cable for that. I used one for the Wii as well, but yeah still the same jaggy experience there.

My grandma has an older 50" Sony HDTV that's a monster in size, but it has a TON of inputs and S-video. I'm hoping once she moves someday she'll no longer want it and pass it on to me haha.
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Re: Talkin' 'bout my new 4K TV

by Exhuminator Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:09 pm

I've only seen classic consoles look legit good on HDTVs through a Framemeister. I've never seen any other HDTV's upscaler come close to it. If I was gonna do classic consoles on HDTV, I'd just suck it up and buy one. For now I'm running my classic consoles through s-video on a flat screen CRT. As Sarge said, proper s-video can look damn near as good as component on a CRT, depending on the TV itself. (Also depending on if the end user can properly calibrate a CRT TV's settings, but that's a rarity in and of itself.)
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