Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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artphotodude
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Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by artphotodude Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:43 pm

There's a lot of HDMI Dreamcast stuff going around right now, and most of it I.M.O. falls pretty short of the original VGA on a big monitor or digital projector back in the day. Until last year, I had a direct (unscaled) VGA to HDMI box that worked OK, but I noticed that more than a few HDTVs I tried it on had THICK black borders all around and kinda washed-out looking color. OR they would scale the image using (nearest-neighbor) interpolation that results in big, chunky pixels. Recently, have seen several boxes including the Akura that proport to be the ultimate solution and while scanlines seem pointless if you have a Decent S-Video CRT around, it is nice that it adds the video boost, BUT it is still just 480p - and at $85 if you can find one.

Well once again good things come to cheap bastards that wait. Many of the really high-end scalers are coming way down in price. I found this Atlona AT-HD500 (originally $200-$225) for a mere $22 on eBay with free shipping including the AC adapter and in nearly mint condition.

What's the word?? This thing is FABULOUS!! :D The Dreamcast scales VERY WELL up to 1080 looking as crisp and color-rich as many 360/PS3 games and I cannot detect any appreciable lag or latency. Best of all, unlike most of the cheaper ones, including some others by Atlona like the HDView, this allows full Aspect-Ratio control and even color, contrast and brightness adjustments! Also, it can even output to 1080i if your HD set is a little older.

VERY PLEASED and would completely recommend to anyone trying to get the best picture from your DC on a modern TV. The adjustments took a little time to figure out, but it remembers them and the results are as clean and clear as one could hope fore. So wish I had an Egato to show you all the output. Maybe sometime later.

Note 1: You need to have a Dremcast VGA Box to use this.

Note 2: Unlike most of these boxes, this is doing some real work and gets HOT. Don't cover it or leave it in an enclosed space.

************UPDATE************
OK so turns out if you leave the power off for too long (remove the AC adapter), that it will loose the settings you put in, BUT on the plus side it cools-down a lot when not in use, so you can probably leave it plugged-in all the time. Would not be a bad idea to jot your custom settings onto a scrap of paper though in case the power goes out. In my case it needed to have the red and green turned down, and brightness turned up.
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stickem
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by stickem Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:56 pm

I've seen a few youtubers use this upscaler a year or two ago and spoke highly of it. It went for a 100 when I looked at it at that time. You got a steal for 22, or it just isn't valued as much anymore.
Last edited by stickem on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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artphotodude
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by artphotodude Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:00 am

stickem wrote:I've seen a few youtubers use this upscaler a year or two ago and spoke highly of it. It went for a 100 when I looked at it at that time. You got a steal for 22.


LOTS of them for cheap now! :lol: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... 0&_sacat=0
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stickem
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by stickem Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:04 am

Yeah, just looked it up again. Dam the price has gone waaaaayyyy down on these. Might pick one up myself. Thanks for bringing it up.
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marurun
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by marurun Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:07 pm

I wonder if part of it is that cheaper upscalers are getting faster.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by samsonlonghair Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:22 pm

I might speculate that the release of Dreamcast HDMI cables has something to do with the price drop in these upscalers.
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by Sarge Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:31 pm

Interesting. I'm pretty sure I've got a VGA to HDMI adapter somewhere, but if I don't... this would be a great investment. I miss the days where HDTVs had like every port you could ever need, even on the cheaper ones. (My Sony Bravia from around ten years ago has two component, S-Video, composite, HDMI, and VGA!)
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by marurun Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:41 pm

But not all those TVs had good upscalers, unfortunately.
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by Sarge Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:38 pm

Very true. I actually bought a Westinghouse set from around that time, and they'd swapped scalers in the set to one that had tons of issues. I returned it for the Bravia, with an emphasis on input lag. Actually, when I tested, I didn't see any with the timer test. That tells me that they were probably just doing a line doubling or something, or a bob deinterlace. Actually, probably the latter, given how it handles 240p content as 480i. I'm okay with that, though; the set looks quite good with the content I've put on it.
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Re: Maybe the Best thing you can do for your Dreamcast...

by samsonlonghair Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:57 pm

Sarge wrote:Interesting. I'm pretty sure I've got a VGA to HDMI adapter somewhere, but if I don't... this would be a great investment. I miss the days where HDTVs had like every port you could ever need, even on the cheaper ones. (My Sony Bravia from around ten years ago has two component, S-Video, composite, HDMI, and VGA!)

I recently found a similar Bravia at a thrift store. Mine is model # KDL-32S3000. I love all the ports: composite, s-video, component, VGA, and HDMI. That's practically every type of input I could ask for. I have not noticed very much input lag in mine at all. It's a 720p display, so maybe that's why the input lag isn't so bad, you know? Lower resolution means less upscaling, right? I'm going to have to get myself a VGA box for my dreamcast sometime soon to see how well it works.
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