Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Erik_Twice
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Road to a new gaming setup

by Erik_Twice Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:53 am

After so many years of planning, tinkering and wasting my time I finally got a new board for my table. It is now longer, three times as thick, and can hold all my monitors one after the other. And I have more space for my keyboard and mouse, too!

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Now the goal is to find space for my consoles, my printer and for an Extron Crosspoint to handle everything. I'm thinking of sliding the amplifier and the Extron between the shelf and the screens below and then put the printer between the speakers. The consoles can go on another shelf.

Right now I have a bunch of goals:

1) Obtain the Extron and wire things in a very basic manner
2) Get a capture device so I can stream from my CRTs
3) Store all my controllers. I'm thinking of those fabric shoe storage thingies or something of the kind put on the rightmost side, below the actual surface of the table.
4) Wire everything with RGB
5) Obtain the consoles I'm missing (Super Famicom) and wire them
6) Get an emulation PC to replace the terrible arcade emulation of the Wii

So yeah, I'm extremely happy. I think the table looks great, the extra space is very comfortable and I think I'll have a lot of fun with it :)
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casterofdreams
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by casterofdreams Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:24 am

Those are some nice goals. I have a friend who’s done the shoe pocket thing with controllers. You have a choice for either in clear plastic or fabric. I’d prefer fabric.

As for the emulation PC: a good alternative to that might be an Nvidia Shield TV. It’s got plenty of power to run up to GameCube. I currently have one with Retroarch, PPSSPP (even though Retroarch has a core for PSP), and Dolphin for GameCube games (I haven’t tried Wii games on it - it has official support for Wii games in China). $200 gets you the console, remote, and controller. Get an external hard drive for $55 (1TB). You can even hook up a mouse and keyboard (I recommend Bluetooth).

Overall I’d look into the Shield. Smaller in size to a PC.
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fastbilly1
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by fastbilly1 Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:57 am

I love the tated pvm
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by Erik_Twice Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:50 am

casterofdreams wrote:Those are some nice goals. I have a friend who’s done the shoe pocket thing with controllers. You have a choice for either in clear plastic or fabric. I’d prefer fabric.

Yeah, me too. Sadly, it seems I'll need to work to find one that fits, the space I have is pretty small. I'm thinking of making one myself.

As for the emulation PC: a good alternative to that might be an Nvidia Shield TV. It’s got plenty of power to run up to GameCube. I currently have one with Retroarch, PPSSPP (even though Retroarch has a core for PSP), and Dolphin for GameCube games (I haven’t tried Wii games on it - it has official support for Wii games in China). $200 gets you the console, remote, and controller. Get an external hard drive for $55 (1TB). You can even hook up a mouse and keyboard (I recommend Bluetooth).

For me the main reason I want an emulation PC is so I can output arcade games in 240p directly into my CRT monitors. so I can't use a Nvidia Shield. I just need a low-power computer with an old graphics card to use CRT_Emudriver with.

fastbilly1 wrote:I love the tated pvm

Yeah, it's great. These monitors weight too much to turn them around in a pinch (The 20 incher on the left weights 31kg), so I knew I wanted to own two, one for horizontal games and another for vertical ones. Also, the size is right. It would be hard to fit a bigger monitor and I'm very fond of the way games look on it.
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casterofdreams
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by casterofdreams Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:26 am

Erik_Twice wrote:
As for the emulation PC: a good alternative to that might be an Nvidia Shield TV. It’s got plenty of power to run up to GameCube. I currently have one with Retroarch, PPSSPP (even though Retroarch has a core for PSP), and Dolphin for GameCube games (I haven’t tried Wii games on it - it has official support for Wii games in China). $200 gets you the console, remote, and controller. Get an external hard drive for $55 (1TB). You can even hook up a mouse and keyboard (I recommend Bluetooth).

For me the main reason I want an emulation PC is so I can output arcade games in 240p directly into my CRT monitors. so I can't use a Nvidia Shield. I just need a low-power computer with an old graphics card to use CRT_Emudriver with.

Hmm. I don’t know much about Retroarch to know if you can get it to output 240p. Unfortunately that’s as much help as I can provide :lol:
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Anapan
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by Anapan Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:21 am

I like your setup, and I may be able to help you achieve some of your goals. They seem to be in line with a lot of my current projects.

Which Extron? Mine's proven to be mostly unnecessary. The problems I bought it to fix were inherent in my systems. Out of 8
incompatible signals, it was able to trans-code 2 into better compatible signals. Cheaper solutions and bad caps made the expensive device useless. I'd sell it for cheap if you think it's necessary in your setup.
Don't discount a cheap plastic drawer and Ziploc (clone) bags. The convenience of opening a drawer for a console brand and throwing the contents around until you get the one you want is worth just hiding it behind a drop-cloth unless your collection is small.
Right now I think the best RGB hub is that plexiglass gscartsw.
Why Super Famicom and not an American SNES-Mini 1-chip with the plastic bits removed with pliers and optionally modded with an RGB amp?

I can provide extensive help with the EMUPC project. I have spent the better part of a year perfecting bits and bobs of the extensive group project of making any cheap CRT TV with an OSD display the same (often better) image you would experience in an arcade in 1982 (I was 2 years old, and it's hard to source a slot-mask CRT, but that's my new goal). It's also neat that you can just send a 120hz RGB signal to any CRT VGA monitor and it'll insert black lines like a SD resolution CRT. All you need to do is find an old one with a low dot-pitch.

Nvidia Shield TV is fun, but lag has always been a problem with any of those Android devices despite any CPU speed superiority. I have some of the best android boxes and I have to constantly switch out emulators looking for a better response time. Some are OK, but that is not enough. I reject those android boxes as good gaming systems.

The dedicated community behind the PC original emulators is much better versed in emulation than the ports made for ARM devices. The superior PC emulators that had lag or incompatibility with 15khz signals have been modified. I have achieved near 0 lag in most emulated consoles wired through RGB using CRT Emudriver. The emulators are working near perfectly on an old I3 system. I'm now focusing on modifying modern PC games to have no lag @ 240p despite them only looking like they are low-resolution or modifying the startup of games that are greater resolution to display in 240p. It's great fun!

I'm out of town, but I sourced a cheap Mini-ATX for a bartop that took a decent ATI card. The goal was cheap and small. I can't provide details right away tho I can provide links to source files and WIP builds via PM if you wanna peek at my work. There are text files with links (I think) .

Despite the autistic assholery and horrible drama tantrums... that one crazy guy who heads the Retroarch project has already started implememnting the 15Khz and monitor profiling code into retroarch.
It wasn't necessary; You can just adjust 2 settings and make Retroarch on PC follow a premade video modeline with neart 0 lag given enough CPU power, and then make multiple coppies of Retroarch to handle different modes.
I dislike Retroarch so I only use it for 240p Cave Story via NXEngine(I couldn't compile the code myself to make a separate executable - what a waste of space for one 240p game - still it's a great port that couldn't run in 240p otherwise).
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by Erik_Twice Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Anapan wrote:Which Extron? Mine's proven to be mostly unnecessary. The problems I bought it to fix were inherent in my systems. Out of 8
incompatible signals, it was able to trans-code 2 into better compatible signals.[...]Right now I think the best RGB hub is that plexiglass gscartsw.

I'm looking for an Extron Crosspoint. I thought long and hard about what options I had for a splitter and came to the conclusion it's the best choice:

1) It's BNC native. I don't need to buy expensive SCART cables and I can make my own cables much more easily.
2) It's significantly cheaper than the GSCARSW or those old Scart splitters people recommend online.
3) It's a extremely high quality product with no known issues like ringing.

Why Super Famicom and not an American SNES-Mini 1-chip with the plastic bits removed with pliers and optionally modded with an RGB amp?

I can easily obtain a Super Famicom and see no reason to own an American one instead. I simply think I can get a good deal on one when I buy Japanese games.

I can't provide details right away tho I can provide links to source files and WIP builds via PM if you wanna peek at my work. There are text files with links (I think) .

Thanks, I really appreciate it :) Still, I think this is still very far away, I think I'll get many other things first.

I'm not very fond of RetroArch. I have it on my Wii and even with all the video options toggled off I can tell the image is not right.

casterofdreams wrote:Hmm. I don’t know much about Retroarch to know if you can get it to output 240p. Unfortunately that’s as much help as I can provide :lol:

Haha, no worries, this is difficult stuff! I think the programs can output 240p, but the actual hardware probably won't :)
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Anapan
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by Anapan Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:43 am

Extron Crosspoint - that's impressive, and I didn't know it existed.
Yes, most Japanese game systems are much cheaper, the color scheme is better, and usually they have been well taken care of - all packaging included. Most used north-american systems looked like they had been used for road hockey and had cigar smoke blown on them.
I will archive the WIP system's main drive to a backup drive - files separate - when I get a day off. it's probably too long since I backed it up anyway- I'll have my brother hook it into my server.
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by Erik_Twice Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:01 am

Thanks Anapan :)

Yeah, in the end the fact is that the Japanese took care of their games and consoles much better than we did. I always use F-Zero as an example. If I get the US or European versions, it's at least 50€ boxed and it's an ugly box with probably some damage. The Japanese version is better, will be in pristine condition and only cost 6€. It's a no-brainer for me.
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chuckster
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Re: Road to a new gaming setup

by chuckster Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:25 pm

I recently bought an Extron 300 Series 128 HVA model. Don't forget about audio switching whichever you get. Since my Crosspoint had audio capabilities I made my own phoenix>RCA connectors but I would actually recommend getting a 12-input RCA audio switcher (Extron make some that are just as solid as their other gear and pretty cheap) instead because the price and/or time investment is higher with the phoenix setup. You can sometimes save some money on non-HVA models too. I also recommend getting a 450 series (with the large white buttons), just because they're newer and way cooler looking.

Despite doing all that work, a 240p emulation PC is the primary way I play my games. With the newer versions of CRT_Emudriver supporting better AMD cards (I have a 6870 but you can use nicer ones), and Retroarch implementing CRT Switchres, it's never been easier to do or better quality once you get it set up. You can even output to both a 15KHz screen and a 31Khz CRT PC monitor to cover (virtually) all bases from the 2600 to modern PC games.

If you have any questions I am happy to help, I went from knowing nothing about CRT_Emudriver (and even botched my first install) to loving it and using it almost exclusively for everything but the latest games.
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