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RCBH928
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by RCBH928 Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:18 am

Nemoide wrote:I don't think anyone's talked about the upcoming EON Super 64 yet. It's a plug & play HDMI adapter that also scales the image up to 480p. At $150 it's a pretty reasonable solution compared to modding the console, though I suspect that mods would be capable of slightly higher video quality.


a new player has entered the game. This seems the best solution and cleanest setup!
I would pre-order this but since its first product I am afraid the claims are false or it might be a faulty product, do you have any prior experience with "EON" or castlemaniagames.com ?
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by Nemoide Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:59 pm

I've ordered from CastleMania a couple times and had good experiences, they're legit. As for EON, I don't have any firsthand experience, but they made the plug & play Gamecube HDMI adapter which largely got good reviews.

And I saw somewhere on Twitter that reviews should start popping up on YouTube tomorrow, so you'll be able to hear what other folks think of the product!
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:20 am

RCBH928 wrote:I am a little bit confused, if I RGB my 64 , this means it can output in component right? or do I have it wrong?

bmoc wrote:You could do component with an RGB modded N64 and HD Retrovision component SNES cables. You just want to be sure that your TV will accept 240p signals over component. Some HDTVs won't.


So the important thing to note is that RGB ≠ YPbPr component video. I would suggest watching MLIG's "RGB Master Class" videos if you haven't already, they do a really good job explaining everything and demystifying some of the more confusing parts.

So the N64 wont output component video if you RGB mod it, but you will have to RGB mod it if you want to use component video. The reason being is because, in these examples, component video is transcoded from RGB. HD Retrovision's component video cables use internal circuitry to take the RGB signal and turn it into component video. So if your N64 doesn't output RGB, this cable wont work!

There's also this RGB SCART to component video box (Amazon link) that many people have used, but note that you will also need a SCART audio breakout cable/box like this one or this one.

But the important this to stress here is that these two above methods will turn RGB into component video, but that's all they do. They do not scale the video in any way. So if you input 240p video from your N64, it will stay 240p. Like bmoc mentioned, some HDTVs do not like 240p over component. Some TVs misinterpret it as 480i, which you don't want, and some TVs just wont display it at all.

So compatibility is one reason you might want to use a scaler or line doubler. 720p and 1080p is nice, but even just 480p over HDMI will make it compatible with all modern HDTVs. But there are two other important reasons you might consider. One, you will get better results with a specialized scaler (like the ones mentioned in this thread) than with your TV alone. And two, you often get other options like scanlines or smoothing filters. Options like this really help to improve the visuals on an HDTV. Some people like "jaggies" (sharp pixel edges) for certain games, but these options can really help hide ugly low res 3D graphics. I think options like this are a must for the N64 and PS1.

Another thing that should be noted is delay or input lag. HDTVs really aren't designed with retro gaming in mind (sadly). Specialized hardware like the Framemeister, OSSC, UltraHDMI, Hi-Def NES, et cetera, they all pay strict attention to input lag. If you let your TV handle the low res image, it will likely add more delay than a specialized option. Here's a tip: Go into your HDTV's menu and turn off as many options as possible. Extra processing means extra delay. If your TV has a "game mode" then turn it on, in addition to turning off as many options as you can. You should do this whether you are using an external scaler or not. Even if you upscale to 1080p, your TV can still add delay with extra processing modes (including modern games - that's why some TVs will have a "game mode").

RCBH928 wrote:Plus, is the quality difference that much better than s-video+robotink combination? S-video solution is $120, RGB+OSSC is closer to $250

bmoc wrote:The jump in quality from composite to s-video is in my opinion the most noticable in the analog video signal world. The jump in quality from s-video to RGB is also noticeable, it is just not as noticeable.


I agree, the jump from composite to S-Video is a LOT more pronounced than S-Video to RGB or S-Video to component. On a consumer CRT, I wouldn't go out of my way to upgrade to something better than S-Video (but starting with the Dreamcast and going forward, consoles could do 480p and higher so you would really want component or better at that point). In my opinion though, the N64 and PS1 aged horribly and need all the help they can get on an HDTV.

Personally, I was using an N64 with RGB output to a Framemeister and still wasn't really happy with how it looked. It was playable, but still looks ugly. I would have loved to get the UltraHDMI, but even though I don't have to pay for the installation I still have a hard time justifying the price. My Sony PVM cost me less, and the N64 looks infinitely better on it than it ever can on an HDTV. Not only does it looks better, but I don't have to worry about endless settings, scanlines, input lag, sync issues... It just works! I totally understand that appeal with emulators.

Nemoide wrote:I don't think anyone's talked about the upcoming [url=<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">https://castlemaniagames.com/products/eon-super-64</span>]EON Super 64[/url] yet. It's a plug & play HDMI adapter that also scales the image up to 480p. At $150 it's a pretty reasonable solution compared to modding the console, though I suspect that mods would be capable of slightly higher video quality.


Thanks for the link. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this. I'd like to see how it stacks up to the UltraHDMI, I'm sure it wont be long before MLIG does a video.
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by RCBH928 Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:22 pm

thanks Ziggy for the extensive info... since both EON Super 64 and retrotink output in 480P we will just have to wait and see the reviews, then will be my final decision. This is mainly for N64, the only othrer retro console I own is the Dreamcast which doesn't get much use nowdays. I also think The dreamcast is better of with a VGA output if I am not wrong.
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by bmoc Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:42 pm

Metal Jesus just dropped a video on this very topic - including the EON. Watching it now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h1bv5BzEwU

EDIT: The EON and the Retrotink seem to be about equal in quality.
Last edited by bmoc on Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by Sarge Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:46 pm

Yeah, I wouldn't go with the EON with the RetroTink 2X being cheaper and more versatile.
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Re: N64 - How do I get better quality on an HDTV?

by RCBH928 Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:22 pm

Is there an HDMI solution for the Wii while we are at it?

bmoc wrote:Metal Jesus just dropped a video on this very topic - including the EON. Watching it now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h1bv5BzEwU

EDIT: The EON and the Retrotink seem to be about equal in quality.


That UltraHDMI seems like something RIchie Rich would own, the price is just too much.

Sarge wrote:Yeah, I wouldn't go with the EON with the RetroTink 2X being cheaper and more versatile.


You are correct if you own multiple consoles, but for me its basically just the 64, and its a much cleaner setup. RetroTink I would need S-video, mini HDMI, and USB for power, not to mention the device itself will be hanging between the wires in its "naked" form.
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