Jump to content
IGNORED

alternative to the framemeister?


Recommended Posts

Yes, I know the framemeister is the best upscaler out there for classic games.

 

Yes, I know using a CRT is the best option for classic games.

 

I only have enough room for one TV, but I'm keeping my CRT stored for when I have more space. Which means it seems silly to me to drop $400ish on an upscaler when I don't intend to be using it for more than a few years, tops. I'm hoping someone might have a cheaper option for me, so I can get more enjoyment out of my old systems in the meantime.

 

Basically, I have a composite switchbox with 7 systems going into it (SNES, SMS, Gen/CD, N64, PS2, DC, GC). I haven't turned everything on just yet- only got the new tv yesterday. The PS2 looked fine, the Sega CD was notably blurry. All I want is something to take the blur off the 8/16 bit stuff, without affecting the newer stuff badly. I'm not looking for a lot of fancy settings and such to get a perfect picture, just a cheap way to get a passable one. Anybody know anything?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This site might be information overload given what you've already said, but there's a lot of good info here: http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/

 

More important than upscaling, the device you're looking for needs to deinterlace (line double) for your progressive-scan LCD TV.

 

VGA outputs progressive scan natively, so many of these devices take interlaced input and output a progressive signal via VGA. Does your new TV have a VGA input?

 

If you don't have VGA, there are composite/S-video to HDMI converters. This one is probably as good as any around $50: http://www.lenkeng.net/Index/detail/id/46

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just buy a Framemeister. They hold their value pretty well. I got mine for $315 shipped on Amazon. You can just sell it for $275 or something when you're done with it. I'd rather take the depreciation hit on a Framemeister than flush money down the toilet buying an inferior piece of crap.

 

As boxpressed said, you need something that both upscales AND deinterlaces, and on top of that you need it done with zero lag. The Framemeister has less than 1 frame of lag, meaning that it's not detectable.

 

I'll also say this, though. I've always been an "RGB on a PVM" man through-and-through. But I have to say that my systems run in RGB through my Framemeister with scanlines turned on, and displayed on my HDTV makes me a lot less worried about what I'm going to do when my PVMs eventually die. It looks INCREDIBLE.

 

That being said, if you plan to continue using composite video, they're going to look a little blurry no matter what.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I could start all over again, I would not have spent the money on my DVDO iScan Plus / DVDO iScan Pro / DVDO iScan HD / SLG3000 / Lenkeng VGA box and would just buy a Framemeister. I think that even the Framemeister could do only so much with composite input, however.

 

If a Framemeister is out of the question, the OP has the right idea: go cheap and live with the mediocre results. Pay $50 or $350 but don't find yourself in no man's land as I did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have the wrong expectations for the Framemeister. It's not about improving the quality of the image, unless your focus is to leverage RGB output from your consoles. Most TVs upscale just fine as far as image quality goes. What the Framemeister offers is lower lag. As far as lag goes, you might find your TV has low enough lag that you don't personally notice it. If that's the case, then you don't need to buy anything.

 

Also, your switch bow could be degrading the signal strength which could cause a poor quality image. Regardless, nothing is going to offer you a perfectly clear image from composite input.

Edited by goldenegg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, I have a composite switchbox with 7 systems going into it (SNES, SMS, Gen/CD, N64, PS2, DC, GC). I haven't turned everything on just yet- only got the new tv yesterday. The PS2 looked fine, the Sega CD was notably blurry. All I want is something to take the blur off the 8/16 bit stuff, without affecting the newer stuff badly. I'm not looking for a lot of fancy settings and such to get a perfect picture, just a cheap way to get a passable one. Anybody know anything?

 

Honestly, the cheapest method is emulation of your 8/16 bit systems on your PC hooked up to your HDTV. You'll get an image quality that matches a console outputting RGB through a Framemeister. Sub-$100 new analog-to-HDMI converters on Amazon are crap and cheaper video processors from Fudoh's page above output VGA. If your HDTV doesn't have a VGA input, that's a transcoder on top of the processor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have the wrong expectations for the Framemeister. It's not about improving the quality of the image, unless your focus is to leverage RGB output from your consoles. Most TVs upscale just fine as far as image quality goes. What the Framemeister offers is lower lag. As far as lag goes, you might find your TV has low enough lag that you don't personally notice it. If that's the case, then you don't need to buy anything.

 

Also, your switch bow could be degrading the signal strength which could cause a poor quality image. Regardless, nothing is going to offer you a perfectly clear image from composite input.

 

I wouldn't be too surprised if the switchbox is part of the problem- it's a modern job from China. I'd prefer something nicer that could handle component & composite, but there aren't a lot of options out there with 8 inputs of any kind. I'm not noticing any severe lag issues, but I don't play many twitchy games, so I might not have picked the right title yet.

 

I'd describe the picture quality as equivalent to an RF connection on a CRT- not unplayable, but noticeably blurred. Fiddling with a handful of titles, I'm noticing there are no bars, despite the new screen ratio- could part of the problem be image stretching? I haven't had much time to go through all the settings on this thing yet.

 

 

Honestly, the cheapest method is emulation of your 8/16 bit systems on your PC hooked up to your HDTV. You'll get an image quality that matches a console outputting RGB through a Framemeister. Sub-$100 new analog-to-HDMI converters on Amazon are crap and cheaper video processors from Fudoh's page above output VGA. If your HDTV doesn't have a VGA input, that's a transcoder on top of the processor.

 

I have no VGA, sadly- but at the same time, I'm not into emulation. Fiddling with the tech is almost as important as the game itself to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. That will definitely cause the image to appear even softer. Many TVs require you to manually switch to 4:3 mode.

 

Alright- I got deep into the picture settings, found where to switch the aspect ratio... and that alone has fixed my blurring issue. Obviously, the picture still isn't great, but at least it's something I can live with until I have room for a proper setup.

 

Sorry for being such a luddite on the whole matter- I'd only done very basic research on old consoles running into new tvs because I wasn't planning on switching for at least another 6 months. Then I got a surprise PS4 for Christmas and suddenly had to go for it immediately. (Simultaneous joy and frustration, right there!) The TV I chose is a smart TV, which I've never, EVER used before. So now I get the double whammy of catching up on HD and learning the ins and outs of smart TVs all at once.

 

I'll read up on all the awesome info links here anyway- that way, if I ever do stumble upon a really nice component switcher, I'll know just how far I want to go to improve my picture!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts:

 

If you are going to run everything through composite to the Framemeister, it's not even close to worth it.

 

If you are going to take advantage of the fact that your Dreamcast, SNES and Genesis output RGB natively, N64 can do S-Video, PS2/GCN can do Component, all of a sudden you have a seriously compelling reason to buy a Framemeister.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just buy a Framemeister. They hold their value pretty well. I got mine for $315 shipped on Amazon. You can just sell it for $275 or something when you're done with it. I'd rather take the depreciation hit on a Framemeister than flush money down the toilet buying an inferior piece of crap.

 

That being said, if you plan to continue using composite video, they're going to look a little blurry no matter what.

 

 

Here's my thoughts:

 

If you are going to run everything through composite to the Framemeister, it's not even close to worth it.

 

If you are going to take advantage of the fact that your Dreamcast, SNES and Genesis output RGB natively, N64 can do S-Video, PS2/GCN can do Component, all of a sudden you have a seriously compelling reason to buy a Framemeister.

 

What they said. At the absolute least, get better video cables for those consoles, s-video is such an improvement over composite even if you don't get a scaler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just buy a Framemeister. They hold their value pretty well. I got mine for $315 shipped on Amazon. You can just sell it for $275 or something when you're done with it. I'd rather take the depreciation hit on a Framemeister than flush money down the toilet buying an inferior piece of crap.

 

I second this. It's also worth the investment, because you can generally get less expensive video upgrades for whatever systems you want to use and the Framemeister will do the rest of the dirty work. You also generally have more control than if you got a particular system with a higher end custom video mod, like HDMI. Better to have something like the Framemeister, with its upgradable firmware and configuration options, handle the dirty work of upscaling analog signals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts:

 

If you are going to run everything through composite to the Framemeister, it's not even close to worth it.

 

If you are going to take advantage of the fact that your Dreamcast, SNES and Genesis output RGB natively, N64 can do S-Video, PS2/GCN can do Component, all of a sudden you have a seriously compelling reason to buy a Framemeister.

 

I agree with this. The Framemeister really only shines with S-VIDEO or better. It can't do much with a crappy composite signal in most cases, although it does of course provide the advantage of cleanly adapting to HDMI, which has some advantages, like bypassing your TVs own scaler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

What they said. At the absolute least, get better video cables for those consoles, s-video is such an improvement over composite even if you don't get a scaler.

 

This. Getting component or RGB out of your consoles is 75% of getting a good picture onto your HDTV. For the SMS/Genesis/SNES, you could try picking up custom SCART cables and a SCART to Component transcoder or wait until HD Retrovision releases their component cables for these systems later this year. Just make sure your HDTV can support 240p over component: http://www.hdretrovision.com/240p/#test

 

NES/N64/GC your stuck with composite/s-video unless you want to put down the cash for expensive modding or component cables for the Gamecube.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...