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racketboy
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The Best Video Connections Possible...

by racketboy Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:02 pm

One of the topics I want to focus on for a little while is maximizing the capabilities of a given system. One of the most noticable hardware changes is video quality. While the Dreamcast's VGA cable is an easy way to maximize the DC's video quality, I wanted to discuss what the best solutions are for every major console known to man.

So please mention every console you are aware of and what the system is capable of.

There are two different categories I would like to cover:
Best connection that you can buy a "retail" cable for.
Best connection you can get by hacking the system.


Here's a list of consoles to get us started:
Atari 2600
NES
Sega Master System
Sega Genesis/Megadrive
SNES
PC Engine/TG16
Neo-Geo
Amiga CD32
3DO
Atari Jaguar
Saturn
Playstation
PCFX
N64
Dreamcast - VGA is best?
PS2
Gamecube - anything better than Component?
XBox
XBox 360 -- HDMI is best?
CurulleanCat
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by CurulleanCat Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:34 pm

NES- RCA/Svid(I have heard of people doing this but no pics)

Sega Genesis/Megadrive - RCA/Svid

SNES - Component(Same connector as the NGC and N64)

Saturn - Component

Playstation - Component

N64 - Component.(see SNES)


Thats all I know.
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Mozgus
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by Mozgus Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:40 pm

There's a hack out there for the smaller atari 2600's that lets you use s-video. Won't work on the original 2600's.
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neohx_7
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by neohx_7 Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:06 pm

Supposedly the best signal is RGB and Component YPbPr is only worthwhile for the progressive scan option. Many consoles can output RGB through a SCART connector or a Japanese RGB connector.

http://www.gamesx.com/

Either way, games like Street Fighter Alpha 3 on Dreamcast were never meant to be shown pixel perfect on VGA, they were mean to be shown on a low res analog RGB monitor with scanlines. If you adopt an LCD HDTV like myself, you'll see consoles in their full pixelated glory unless you choose emulation on a PC and use different effects to smooth out the picture.
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lordofduct
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by lordofduct Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:57 am

most of those older systems only put out Composite at max... some RGB. (The genny is incapable of Svid with out modifications... some of which is more difficult on version especially if using 32X like myself).

As RGB connectors (outside of the Nintendo area) are readily available through retail I'd say it is your best bet. BUT in America finding a TV that supports RGB is very difficult. Usually it's an older computer monitor that you use that supports the low 15hz signal. This again sucks for people like myself who has a big 60 inch HDTV in my living room... or just about anyone, it requires purchasing another television set that is inferior in many ways to your existing TV for your other stuff (i.e. DVD, TV) nevermind the TV is gonna be old and nearing death or low quality in many standards.

SO, best option... invest a lower amount of money but still a pretty penny for those in the USA. A RGB to Component converter box. 200 dollars about and you have yourself a nice box. It isn't exactly RGB quality for two reasons Component isn't AS good AND you've done a conversion step in analog which always lowers quality... but it is still exceptionally better then Svid which is your best bet with only some of the consoles out of box.


Now if you're going to modify... expect again VERY high prices if you really want good picture. I say if you're gonna go through this hastle why not go all the way. Replace the Analog Video encoder chip in your system. Why tap it's signal and do conversions... your tapping analog to make an analog conversion, again quality loss. SO go and just tap the raw signal prior to the retail encoder chip and purchase a nice new encoder chip that supplies what ever signal type you want. There are chips out there for reasonable prices that put out any signal type you please. Now restrictions are only left to resolution support (this kills VGA to monitor support as most monitors bottom out at 800X500... some going down to 640X480... the NES and genny and likes just can't do that with out expensive doublers). But this gives you full access to Component, RGB and all the stuff your TV will openly accept.

Down side is some of your older systems may suffer temperature changes. The chip will probably suck more juice then the earlier chip. But consoles like NES and Genny have external power bricks with enough energy to spare and dispurse the heat several feet outside of your console.

This option is great if your doing a couple consoles... but if you plan on doing more then 1 or 2 it gets very tedious and expensive. It also requires a good soldering hand and some basic know how of electricity so that you adequately ground, shield and cosmetically mod the system. In the end though, if done right will give you the best video quality especially if you get a nice chip.... Sony (despite my hatred for the company) makes some very nice encoder chips. Be careful when selecting though... you need to make sure that it accepts the incoming raw signals and that it can be made useful with the bare amount of material your console has.

Most systems only give you the syncs and RGB. These later chips sometimes require some other crap and won't function without them hooked up. For instance some require true Digital signaling that your genny just doesn't have in it. The Genny hands basic information based on scan lines to the encoder chip because at it's inception the populous used CRT monitors... LCD and Plasma weren't around a lot, if they were they had specialized controller chips that sometimes would convert analog signals... which are also used in your LCD monitor with VGA hook up. The thing is these encoder chips dont have this extra EXPENSIVE controller chip to convert these archaic signals to the digital prerequisites some of these newer chips want... don't need... but just want and won't function just for shits and giggles.



DAMN I'm rambled... lack of sleep I guess.
www.lordofduct.com - check out my blog

Space Puppy Studios - games for gamers by gamers
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lordofduct
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by lordofduct Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:05 am

CurulleanCat wrote:NES- RCA/Svid(I have heard of people doing this but no pics)

Sega Genesis/Megadrive - RCA/Svid

SNES - Component(Same connector as the NGC and N64)

Saturn - Component

Playstation - Component

N64 - Component.(see SNES)


Thats all I know.

available resource www.gamesx.com

NES - anything above RCA/composite only on the first model requires hardware modification... and kinda major.

Genny - svid again requires hardware modifications the encoder chip doesn't have luma and chroma in it for Svid

SNES - N64 ... none of these consoles support component. PS2 does support component though; if you go into the set up screen of the console it can internally swap the RGB pins for Y/Cb/Cr and back. This is all done through it's internal hardware, both signals are not available simultaneousily. This is also due to it's highly complex and integrated analog video encoder chip... I've checked because I wanted to rip the encoder chip out of a bunch of dead PS2's I had lieing around and discovered it is impossible. There is no one encoder chip like all your older consoles.



I would like to add, component and RGB are the best signals available for just about all those consoles. HDMI/DVI is impossible on all but I think the XBOX because the rest of them don't give you any access to useable digital signals. And building converts to man handle any of the digital signals in older systems requires some good electronic engineering skills... IF it is possible. I don't know... I'm not an engineer.

Again I exclude VGA because it requires support through many options. The resolution problem is a big deal when below our "next gen" consoles. Anyways... VGA requires 30 or 40 hz at the lowest depending your monitor (your old school consoles just don't do it... not enough scan lines for the resolution to make it possible with out doublers which ruins quality in comparison to RGB. Hence VGA monitors high resolution requirement. 800X600 may seem low to you, but when you have a NES that puts out 256×240 max... 800 is relatively HIGH).
www.lordofduct.com - check out my blog

Space Puppy Studios - games for gamers by gamers
CurulleanCat
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by CurulleanCat Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:24 am

Oops I see my mistake now. I meant Svid. for N64 and composite for snes.....


also:

Normal video modes/ Hacked Video Modes
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Clockwork
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Re: The Best Video Connections Possible...

by Clockwork Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:58 am

Atari 2600 - composite (hacked)
NES - composite
Sega Master System - rgb (SMS II - rgb w hack)
Sega Genesis/Megadrive - rgb
SNES - rgb (snes2 - composite)
Saturn - rgb
Playstation - rgb
N64 - svid
Dreamcast - VGA
Gamecube - rgb(pal) / svid(ntsc) / vga(gc w digital outlet)
XBox - vga (hacked)
XBox 360 - vga (full resolution, which isn`t possible with hdmi-out on the 360)
know your roots !!!
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neohx_7
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Re: The Best Video Connections Possible...

by neohx_7 Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:18 pm

Clockwork wrote:Atari 2600 - composite (hacked)
NES - composite
Sega Master System - rgb (SMS II - rgb w hack)
Sega Genesis/Megadrive - rgb
SNES - rgb (snes2 - composite)
Saturn - rgb
Playstation - rgb
N64 - svid
Dreamcast - VGA
Gamecube - rgb(pal) / svid(ntsc) / vga(gc w digital outlet)
XBox - vga (hacked)
XBox 360 - vga (full resolution, which isn`t possible with hdmi-out on the 360)


I have component for GC myself, but I thought the RGB D-Terminal hack VGA cable had ghosting problems so it wasn't as good as Component 480p after all?
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Clockwork
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by Clockwork Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:49 pm

you`re right in a way. some gamecubes/cables (at first there were such available from big N self...) had probs and so its only luck, if you`re gettin a good quality to your screen with vga. i think this also was a fact for nintendo to leave the digital port away from later gamecubes :-(
know your roots !!!
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