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SCART for NTSC consoles?


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I'm working on getting rid of my composite connections to my tv for all of my old systems. Short of modifying all of them for built in HDMI, what are the pros/cons of going SCART for them? I'm trying it out with my Jaguar and Saturn. Is there anything special about the N64/SNES/GC that I should know. I'm on the waiting list for the GC to HDMI adaptor when 3.0 is released.

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Pro to SCART RGB cables: your picture will look amazing compared to composite.

 

Cons: finding a display that can take them, or otherwise getting something to convert the RGB signal to component/HDMI. You'll also have to contend with sync signals, which honestly is only finicky with like the Playstation (retrorgb has more info).

 

N64 needs to be modded for RGB out, otherwise the best it can do is s-video. Gamecube NTSC can only get s-video out at best (save for the component cable), you'd need a PAL one to get RGB. SNES can do RGB, but the smaller SNES revision needs to be modded for it too. Saturn and Jaguar should both be fine out of the box, though.

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ubersaurus covered the majority of this, so I apologize for the repeat, but I wanted to expand on it a bit (with some helpful links I hope).

 

Pros - RGB is the best signal you're going to get from most older consoles. Once you get everything on SCART, you can focus on the one input and having it almost entirely running on that. They look SO GOOD that you'll never want to go back!

 

Cons - Cost. First and foremost, the cost adds up. It's a lot of money to do something you can easily accomplish with an emulator. (I'm not ragging on people wanting the real deal! I used to be one of these people. I just gave up recently.)

You have to get a full setup to do SCART. You're going to want/need a really nice upscaler that can handle RGB Scart (Framemeister or OSSC are suggested here.)

 

You'll need to invest in individual cables per console. There are only a couple different groups that make good SCART cables.

-In America, there's an eBay seller that's moved to a pure website. (Went by Retro Console Accessories, but now they're at https://retro-access.com/ )

-There's also a UK based operation Retro Gaming Cables. (https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/)

 

A majority of consoles output RGB naturally, but there are some that require modding. I believe ubersaurus covered them all well enough. A good portion of Retro Consoles have RGB in them. The most common two wanted that don't... are the NES and N64. Both of them require an RGB mod done to them, and there's a member on AtariAge who not only does it but probably has a few spares lying around for direct sell. (Yurkie, look for his threads in the marketplace) The mods aren't cheap. I think the NESRGB mod is like $200ish to have done. N64RGB is closer to $100.

I believe beyond those two... Most of them can do it naturally although you might have to get a specific cable to do it. (There's a whole thing about sync that I learned but not the best person to explain.)

 

With those many cables, you'll want a SCART switch most likely. So that's another investment.

 

 

 

I mean really overall... The only negative to SCART route is the overall investment. If you're determined and can afford it, then cool! Go for it~

 

BIG NOTE! DO NOT CONFUSE JP-21 WITH SCART! TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS! Choose one or the other, don't do both! Even if you already knew that, I'd still like it there for anybody reading all of this. They look the same. They generally act the same. Only difference is internals involving power... so important to remember!

 

Final Note? A really good series of videos is done by My Life in Gaming. I've linked their RGB Master Class video playlist. Highly recommend watching to get an idea of what you will want or need.

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Best option for the N64 is the Ultra HDMI mod. (good luck getting one)

 

Old SNES is good to go, just get a NTSC cable. Mini SNES requires an easy mod. http://retrorgb.com/snesminirgb.html

 

SCART switch. Grab one or two of these now while they're still readily available and cheap.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bandridge-SVB7725-5-Wege-Manual-Scart-Umschaltbox-5-Way-Manuall-SCART-Switch-/162305799199

 

What are you plugging the Jaguar and Saturn into?

 

 

 

 

*BONUS ROUND!!, how long until the obligatory "just use a CRT" post? I'm gonna guess within the next 6 replies. :P

Edited by keepdreamin
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Plug that in to SIENOC MHL HDMI To SCART 1080p Video Audio Converter Scaler Smartphone Sky STB DVD

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XNR96XJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

51%2BZGTEvm%2BL._SL1001_.jpg

 

 

You speak with anyone who has one of these? Or is this just a blind order? The $50 scaler is a mixed bag, I can't image what one for 16 bucks is like.

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For the Jaguar and the Saturn, I was going to SCART with a 3 way scart splitter.

mZGqGooZci2bQ0s3u_tsmpg.jpg

 

 

Don't use those!

 

I tried a lot of them, and those have direct wiring, meanign that the signal goes into al lthe connected cables, and so you get a loss in signal pwoer. On some systems it's neglectible, on some, you get a considerable drop in contrast and sound.

 

The common ones I see that are decent are those blocks :

HQSS0054.jpg

One advantage you mgiht like is the audio out in RCA form. In addition to have a selector for each plug, ensuring that you don't lose some signal along the way.

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If you're unwilling to spend the money, perhaps you should consider settling for S-Video because trying to cheap out on SCART to HDMI solutions undermines the whole idea with subpar results.

 

This, exactly.

 

It's going to cost a non trivial amount of money - but if you don't have a good SCART>HDMI processor for that last leg of the process, you're better off going s-video. I use an XRGB-mini, and it's worth every penny spent on it.

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So if those SCART to HDMI converters are garbage, what do you use that isn't hundreds of dollars? That is all I see. I'm not buying some $300 homemade thing that is hard to come by. I'm think $40 is pushing it for a decent picture out of two systems.

 

I'll try this analogy. Buying a ton of scart cables, and switchboxes etc. but hooking them up to a cheap scaler, is like buying race fuel for a Yugo.

 

I use one of these, wasn't made at home, ships now. https://solarisjapan.com/products/xrgb-mini-framemeister-compact-up-scaler-unit

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So if those SCART to HDMI converters are garbage, what do you use that isn't hundreds of dollars? That is all I see. I'm not buying some $300 homemade thing that is hard to come by. I'm think $40 is pushing it for a decent picture out of two systems.

You need to spend the money, otherwise you are going to end up with crap results. It's just how it goes.

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If you are even thinking about a Framemeister, I'd get one sooner rather than later. Supposedly, they are no longer manufactured. Price right now depends on supply. When solaris has it's stock, they can be lower than $350. When they are out of a batch, the price from everywhere else goes up higher than $400.

 

If you don't want to go that route, are there particular consoles that are more important to have the best video out you can get. If it is only 1 or 2, one route is to have those modded and just settle for S-Video for everything else.

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I think it's been argued multiple times on multiple threads on multiple forums about this topic...

 

I feel it comes down to multiple factors for everybody. (CRT vs Upscaling) Let's just say the positives of both and move on as we usually do.

 

CRT - Quick, effective, and still the cheapest option. Pretty much all systems were made with CRTs in mind. On top of that, CRTs have little to zero input lag AND are still the only way to play light gun games properly.

 

Upscaler - The most futureproof method. You can make games look super delightful and killer on these. With the proper setup, you'll get the absolute best you could ever possibly get out of old consoles.

 

At the end of the day though? This is completely and utterly opinion. You can't argue for these methods beyond opinion.

I'd say they both are great options. I'd have gone CRT, but I'm just not sure where to look and finding them will get harder and harder. Not to mention a broken one would be difficult to repair at best.

One could always go for the next option... EMULATION!

 

I've said enough though.

 

As far as the SCART option goes, I'd argue to either put forward an investment or just find a nice CRT. As many have stated, the middle ground on this isn't going to be as appealing as you'd think...

Edited by KeeperofLindblum
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*BONUS ROUND!!, how long until the obligatory "just use a CRT" post? I'm gonna guess within the next 6 replies. :P

 

 

Alright! 6 replies later (not counting my own or the OPs). Austin... :sad:

 

 

Yeah. Get a CRT.

 

In all seriousness though, no, there's not really one. The closest would be the OSSC, but it's not always in stock and it has some downsides.

 

SLG-in-a-box

 

 

floodgates open, AND THEY'RE OFF!

 

Just get a CRT looks hell alot better

debatable and irrelevant to this conversation.

 

No it's not

 

Just get a CRT period

 

yes, yes it is. Deadest of dead.

 

You done yet. :roll:

 

 

Y'all miss the part where op was talking about HDMI?

Edited by keepdreamin
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A few things as I've been through most of this (most of my consoles are NTSC despite being in the UK) with both the scaler side of things and finally the CRT thing.

 

Firstly SCART switching, you need to switch all lines for it to work properly which none of the above do. The Bandridge SVP7725 is a very good low cost option for this. Need more ports, get more of them and run them into each other. There's some expensive automatic ones available also, but I've got four of these puppies and they just do the job well and are only £20.

 

SCART's variable 'standard' is likely to bite you in the arse also. Mainly it comes down to how it's carrying sync. PAL consoles you're generally ok as SCART was a thing here and sync usually rides along with the composite video signal. Which sadly can introduce some interference. There are ways around that like a sync stripper in the SCART head, but that doesn't always work as well as you'd like. Sync over luma tends to be the best option if you kit can cope with it (my TV doesn't like it). RetroGamingCables are a bit of a godsend here as they make a variety of very high quality cables that cover all this.

 

Scalers... You do not need a £300+ Framemeister.... There, I said it. There are other options out there from the cheap like the £30 Chinese scalers (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gam3Gear-Converter-Convert-connect-set-top/dp/B0092IAA3I/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1505204041&sr=8-17&keywords=scart+to+hdmi which actually works surprisingly well), the mid-ground of something like an SLG in a box (http://arcadeforge.net/SLG-in-a-Box/SLG-in-a-Box::71.html) I managed to pick one of those up for less than £100, but of course there's the high end of the Framemeister if you really want to blow out.

However, please don't rule out a high quality CRT. Honestly, with most of this old kit, it's gonna look better on this than it will scaled on a giant panel. It just comes down to if you can dedicate space to it really as they do cost bugger all to buy. I ended up with a BVM, 2x PVMs, 2 domestic Trinitrons and a pro VGA monitor for the princely sum of £20... Nobody wants CRTs at the moment and there are a lot of people giving away this stuff.

Finally my journey down this particular rabbit hole is documented here (http://juansolo.co.uk/geekery/videowafflage1.html) it's several pages, but it covers a lot of the sort of problems you can have making old consoles run on modern, awkward, tvs. I really need to update it as my set up has changed dramatically since the last update...

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I really need to figure out a TV or a monitor that has HDMI without the lag. Both of my HDTVs have significant lag on HDMI inputs. Makes a RetroFreak basically unusable. This is the method I'd really like to go, but I can't handle 150 milliseconds of lag (no exaggeration). Neither TV has a "game" mode. So that's why I have a CRT. If I can get lag to be something manageable, I'll switch in a heartbeat.

Edited by derFunkenstein
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If you have the room for it, a solution is to gt a Sony PVM or any other video monitor with analog RGB input.

That way you can ditch the video converter. But htat mean having a dedicaced monitor for your video gaming needs.

 

Here is also a list of VGA monitors that accept 15 Khtz. It's not the greatest solution either but it's taking less room than a CRT and can be found for cheaper.

http://15khz.wikidot.com/

You might need a csync to Digital H V converter, but that convreter only deal with the sync signal, not the video so it won't add lag.

Edited by CatPix
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