New TVs and Old Consoles (like the 3DO)

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New TVs and Old Consoles (like the 3DO)

Post by 3DOKid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:01 am

Why do they look so horrible?

When I plug my 3DO in plasma or LCD it looks aweful. Can someone explain in laymans terms why. Please. Assume I am dumb.

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Post by Austin » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:21 am

Screens designed for higher resolutions, not to mention the 16x9-and-up ratios stretch the images of older games that don't support it, which is basically everything pre-360.

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:28 am

so an LCD with a CRT resolution would be the solution? it would look the same or am I an idiot?

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Post by Austin » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:33 am

3DOKid wrote:so an LCD with a CRT resolution would be the solution? it would look the same or am I an idiot?
But do LCDs even come in resolutions that low? I'm sure others here will know the answer to that one.

Some other factors that can affect picture quality though, especially on LCDs, is image blur, "smoothing", or ghosting, all depending on the quality of the monitor/TV. Those factors are why I didn't like LCD computer monitors when they first started becoming widespread. The tech has gotten better though and a high-end one looks pretty sweet. :)

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Post by BryWI » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 pm

lcd shows all the impurities that come from the cables you are using. s-video should be a little better than composite, but it still isnt perfect compared to what most people are used to these days. Analog video out is prone to signal interference and degradation. If you are used to seeing a clean digital video out via hdmi, anything else is going to look like crap. CRT was good at hiding alot of that stuff, mostly by the blur it created. Plus some tvs are better than others when displaying 480i.
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Post by acem77 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:14 pm

I love the look of all my old systems, I have them modded for rgb out and up scanned with an xrgb2 plus connected to my hd tv.

i have all my pre progressive scan systems hooked up this way.
nes,snes,n64,duo,sms,genesis,saturn,neo-geo,cdi,3do,jaguar, and a few others.

Ill never go back.
Some may say it looks blocky but to me it just damn vivid and crisp with no lag :)

Every HD tv has to covert the interlaced video to work on a digital screen.
The internal converter in every HD set i used is terrible and can't compare to an xrgb.

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Post by oldskool » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:31 am

The whole "composite looks like crap on LCD" can be thrown out the window. So it cannot be due to signal degredation. The reason why I say this is because why then does a DVD player, or a newer console like the 360 or PS3 look ok on an LCD tv?

Something to do with the hardware.
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Post by BryWI » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:58 am

Isnt the best you are going to get out of composite is 480i?

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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:26 am

Ok I am a real nerd when it comes to video tech. Anyone recall the old PC TV cards from the 90's? Looked like shit right? Well it's the same thing. Your HD TV is showing you the image but because it (the source) is of lower resolution it shows up blurry. Think of it as blowing up a wallet size photo to an 8x10 there just isn't enough picture information.

Now there is a way to display it and have it not look all that bad natively, make the screen zoom out. In other words shrink the image. It's like when you are playing an old PC game you either have to change the screen resolution OR play the game in a window to make it look good. Unfortunately most sets don't have this feature and even if they did you would hate the little picture.

Now that is a simplified explanation and I won't get technical because it wouldn't make sense. And that is not the only reason it looks like crap, the video signal was made for a completely different kind of technology. Yet they are both TVs that you watch moving pictures on but the way they get to the ends is totally different, they aren't even based in the same color temp.

Now to do it not natively, that is to use additional hardware to change the picture you will need to do as acem77 said. I was going to make a whole post about my method with pics but I'll give you the lowdown of what I do...

I will double post...
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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:49 am

For HD TV:
1. First either mod your console to output RGB* or use my trick mentioned in the second method.
2. Hook up the cables to an upscaler (line doubler) and set it to what you want, preferably (for me) try to keep the image in a 4:3 ratio. Or if you have a receiver that has this, my Onkyo does, you can use that.
3. Hook that up to your HD TV.


For CRT with awesome picture:
1. First either mod your console to output RGB* or find a SCART* cable that will hook up to it (preferred).
2. Now you will need a way to get the audio out, they make SCART switch boxes that have AV outs so you can tap out the stereo.
3. Hook up the single SCART out on the switch box to an RGB to YPbPr* converter.
4. Run that to your CRT television.

RGB: This is the color information and nothing else! There is no way for NTSC TV's to understand how to display the info. It's like giving a child the correct amounts of colored paint and then expecting her to paint a picture without ever saying what it is of.

YPbPr: You will see this on equipment even though the plugs are RedBlueGreen. It is NOT the same, many people (almost all) on the net say RGB when they mean YPbPr. YPbPr has the instructions as to what the image should look like.
Y is the Luminance and the info with the instructions.
Pb is the difference of the Blue value and the luminance.
Pr is the difference of the Red value and the luminance.
There is no Green as the value can be figured out by what is left out.
if Y=10, Pb=5, Pr=3 than Green=2

SCART: This is a European thing, not used in NTCS countries. Using these cables on your unmodded console will not change the signal to PAL, it will remain in the pure RGB format. Water coming out of the faucet is the same as water coming out of the shower head.

I've tried to make this as beginner friendly as I can. I was going to talk more about HD TVs and CRTs but it would probably spin out of control. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
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Post by Trev » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:18 am

Hmmm ... 3DO games look great on my new VIZO LED LCD 26 inch screen. :)
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Post by Lemmi » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:17 am

the very simplest method i can think of is to stop using old systems on LCDs and keep your CRTs for those

but this is comming from a guy whos main TV is from 1999 :D
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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:38 am

Trev wrote:Hmmm ... 3DO games look great on my new VIZO LED LCD 26 inch screen. :)
It's all a matter of opinion my friend.
Lemmi wrote:the very simplest method i can think of is to stop using old systems on LCDs and keep your CRTs for those
I bought a SONY WEGA just for all my older systems. Plus light guns don't appear to work on any of the new TVs. LED TVs might be able to support them but I don't know of anyone who owns one.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:46 pm

Austin wrote:But do LCDs even come in resolutions that low? I'm sure others here will know the answer to that one.
Yes but you will be hard pressed to find one and they were made very early in the game and it wasn't long before no body made them any more. I believe Samsung was one of the manufacturers.
oldskool wrote:The whole "composite looks like crap on LCD" can be thrown out the window. So it cannot be due to signal degredation. The reason why I say this is because why then does a DVD player, or a newer console like the 360 or PS3 look ok on an LCD tv?

Something to do with the hardware.
Because of the source. Why does a VHS tape still look worse than a SVHS tape with they are both using a composite cable? Because SVHS has more picture information. A 360 will always look better than 2600 no matter what cables you use.

BryWI wrote:Isnt the best you are going to get out of composite is 480i?
Simple answer.. yes.
I won't go any further into the differences between 480i and true interlacing line counts through a composite line, I only have 2mins left before I have to go back to work and most of you probably would be bored with it anyway. So for the purpose of our discussion a Yes will suffice.
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Post by acem77 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:51 pm

3DO Experience wrote:
Trev wrote:Hmmm ... 3DO games look great on my new VIZO LED LCD 26 inch screen. :)
It's all a matter of opinion my friend.
Lemmi wrote:the very simplest method i can think of is to stop using old systems on LCDs and keep your CRTs for those
I bought a SONY WEGA just for all my older systems. Plus light guns don't appear to work on any of the new TVs. LED TVs might be able to support them but I don't know of anyone who owns one.
If it looks good to you now the 3do or any other system modded with RGB and upscaned would look even better. "fact"
nothing will ever look better with real hardware afterwards.


led is just lcd with led back lighting. It does not change a thing when it comes to light gun support.

you need the proper refresh rate and scan lines for it to work.
it apples and oranges now..

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Post by 3DOKid » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:03 pm

So, if i got an LCD screen that ran natively at 640x480 we'd be in business, perhaps with some micro-chip to add a gentle blurring?

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Post by 3DO Experience » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:08 am

acem77 wrote:If it looks good to you now the 3do or any other system modded with RGB and upscaned would look even better. "fact"
nothing will ever look better with real hardware afterwards.
See my two posts on RGB and upscaling. :)
acem77 wrote:led is just lcd with led back lighting. It does not change a thing when it comes to light gun support.
Aww too bad. I haven't looked into them. I was hoping they would use LEDs to make the picture.
3DOKid wrote:So, if i got an LCD screen that ran natively at 640x480 we'd be in business, perhaps with some micro-chip to add a gentle blurring?
yeah, but I really suggest a CRT with YPbPr input.
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Post by mattyg » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:27 am

I sold tv’s for 5 years and would often have a 3do handy to see what would work - after testing on dozens of screens from different manufacturers the best I saw was an early 32 inch hisense plasma in 4:3 mode with a native 640 x 480
I bought a second hand tau 68 cm crt - nuff said
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Post by 3DO Experience » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:40 am

There you go Will, that's the set you'll need to look for. Plasma not LCD but since it's an older one you might find it cheap.
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Post by acem77 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:38 pm

3DOKid wrote:So, if i got an LCD screen that ran natively at 640x480 we'd be in business, perhaps with some micro-chip to add a gentle blurring?
still the main problem is the analog to digital part and the interlace issues, lcd is not 480I native
and any old school stuff in not 480P...

thats where a good upcale converter comes in.

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Post by Old Gregg » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:43 pm

Lots of echos here.
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Post by Trev » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:26 pm

Maybe viewing old games on new tvs is like a framerate thing ... some people really notice it, others don't? Although I admit I probably over sold in my earlier post. I have noticed some instances where image wasn't as sharp ... but overall I think its a fair tradeoff for other improvements.

Who has reccomendations for new tvs? Best manufacturer, best model, etc...? If I was to go to Best Buy right now w/the goal of walking out the door w/the best (or least objectionable) new tv for old consoles, what would it/they be?
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:59 pm

Yes personal observation does play large part in it. A friend of mine would never go bigger than a 26" TV because the scan lines would bother her.

If you were to go to Best Buy right now for that reason I do not know. However if you were to go there for watching movies I would suggest Samsung. Last time I looked at their stock the best ones they had were Samsungs. And I don't recommend that brand over others very often. However if they have some of the newer Panasonics in I might suggest one of those. I'm going there today so I can look at what they have if you like.
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Post by Trev » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:02 pm

Yeah, If you don't mind I'd really like your input.

I just realized that I can't use my jag on my newer model tv cause it doesn't have an s video jack. The converter is is just to crummy. :evil:
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:26 pm

GGGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Just spent 15 mins going over all the things I found in Best Buy and the damn browser screws up.

Short Version..... Panasonic Veria, make sure it has all the connections you need in back, make sure it has GAME MODE. Remember 4:3 games on a 16:9 TV can leave permanent vertical lines on your set.

Samsungs are tempting but most have digital video enhancement that will cause lagging even with a game mode.

sorry I didn't go into more detail but I lost it all and I've now very angry.
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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:27 am

I have a Panasonic Viera. All I need to do is convince Mrs Kid that the two TV's sat in here with me now are utterly broken (where is my screw driver?) and that a spanky new 3D TV would make a lovely present for the home - and I'm in like Flynn. :twisted:

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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:11 pm

Sneaky!

Well I was rather upset last night at I made 9 point list of buying a TV for his reasons and then I lost it. I told myself I should be writing it in Word and saving it but no, I failed. I really didn't want to just tell him what to buy but I think ultimately that's what he wanted, right Trev?

Maybe I will write most of it down again... it was rather good I think. I think best on a full tummy.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:58 pm

Ok went to Best Buy and they had LOTS more TVs than the last time I looked. I am going to break this up more than I did before, kind of a step by step buying guide. Sorry it’s not as informative as my original but I had lots buzzing in my head and it being trashed by my browser has left me less passionate.

1. Price – Narrow your selection by what you want to spend.

2. Size - Narrow your selection by what is too big and too small.

3. Inputs – I can’t believe they still make TVs without an S-video jack. Don’t’ worry about no composite in you can always use an adapter cord and the picture will look just as terrible. Be sure it has component in.

4. Accepted resolutions - Ask to see the spec sheet, if it only says “up to 1080p” or so ask to see the manual.

5. LCD or Plasma – Well here we have a problem. Almost all of Samsung’s LCDs have a digital enhancement chip that makes the picture “look better” for gamers this is a problem, it produces lag time. That extra fraction of a second it spends making a picture can really suck. Worst part it, Plasmas are now using them too. Try to find one without a chip or one that has Game Mode.

6. Game Mode – Some sets have a false Game Mode that only changes the colors while others like Panasonic have a true Game Mode that turns off digital video enhancement. Basically if it has a game mode and doesn’t give you much detail as to what it does chances are it’s no good.

7. Burn In – Older CRTs didn’t need to worry much about bun in unless they were displaying the same image for extremely long periods of time. Old projection TVs were very sensitive and it only took a few hours to damage the screen. HDs are a middle of the road. Then game mode on Panasonics attempt to help avoid this but don’t rely on just that. New screens will burn. I have a friend who always watches 4:3 news broadcasts and there are now permanent vertical lines from the edge of the picture and the news ticker burned into his screen

8. Interlacing – You really need to understand that the TVs of today and yesteryear are totally different. Our older systems were made to work on the older sets. Even if you are tapping a digital signal from a modded system it was still meant to end up on a different display. The interlacing was an important part of this, even with an upscaler it still won’t look “right”. Some programmers were smart enough to use alternating images in scan fields to produce better looking effects. The SNES did this from time to time, the NES was capable of doing it although I don’t know of any games that did it, and even the old 2600 could pull it off! These effects do not display right on an HD TV do to the way it draws pictures and that there is no glowing phosphor with it’s own particular properties.

9. Game Guns – Light guns do not send out a laser or any other kind of light. They read the light from the screen. Just about every older game would flash when you pulled the trigger, (some were a little smarter) but this is not replaced on today’s system the same way. If you use your HD set for retro gaming forget Duck Hunt and Corpse Killer.


I ended up forgetting some of what I originally wrote but added in 2 more. My original intro had lots of passion, and ramblings, but a lot of you tube heads would have loved it. Sorry I couldn’t get enthused this time.
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Post by BryWI » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:25 pm

5. LCD or Plasma – Well here we have a problem. Almost all of Samsung’s LCDs have a digital enhancement chip that makes the picture “look better” for gamers this is a problem, it produces lag time.
Yeah. try playing Mega Man 2 on that. THE FURY!

also I hear that burn in isnt as bad of an issue now-a-days as it was a couple years ago on HD TVs. I got nothin to back that up though.

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Post by Trev » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:14 pm

Well, even w/out the passion, I think that is a good start. :)

Yeah, I was dissapointed to find that my Vizio not only did not accept S video, but its game mode is (like you warned) is one that just switched colors. I'll really be looking out for this.

I was told just straight Lcd (not led/lcd combo or whatever) might lessen some of the gripes. Also having 720 as opposed to 1080. Sound right?

Size wise 26-32 tops for us, which would eliminate Plasma (plus, I'm a little leary on the life span w/the gases and such)

Thanks for the info!
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