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General upscaler thread


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58 minutes ago, Punisher5.0 said:

Unfortunately I dont know how to read Japanese. Id imagine there is a version of the Display button on there but I have no idea sorry.

Yeah, there is an official English translation of it in the manual, but this isn't the place to discuss it, so I made a thread over in the hardware section.

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Definitely a much more professional looking product than the OSSC—all the ports except SCART being on the rear side is a definite improvement over the OSSC, though personally I would have preferred something like "power" and "HDMI out" on the rear, SCART on the side, and the other A/V inputs on the front.  Looking forward to someone doing a review of it, but I don't think it offers enough to me personally to replace the OSSC.  I think for $200 I'd be tempted to pick it up to compare, but not at $300 especially when the OSSC works so well for me.

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10 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

Definitely a much more professional looking product than the OSSC—all the ports except SCART being on the rear side is a definite improvement over the OSSC, though personally I would have preferred something like "power" and "HDMI out" on the rear, SCART on the side, and the other A/V inputs on the front.  Looking forward to someone doing a review of it, but I don't think it offers enough to me personally to replace the OSSC.  I think for $200 I'd be tempted to pick it up to compare, but not at $300 especially when the OSSC works so well for me.

The cost I think will hurt them in this case. The Tink crew I'm sure is hoping that their plug n play solution for this will warrant the cost increase over what the OSSC runs these days, but I'm not as sure in regards to how the image quality from this will look as compared to dialed in settings from an OSSC? The included screen shots they have on the site, do not look that great to me compared to what I've seen from these consoles through my OSSC on my setup.

 

But if they can figure out a want to actually get that price lower, it would be an easier sell since it should in theory be so much easier to use.

 

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4 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

That thing's well over double the cost of the OSSC and will become even more expensive, but at least it has proper audio inputs. S-video is also a great addition. I wonder how the deinterlacing is compared to the Framemeister.

Proper audio inputs? I'm not following I guess? I'm using an 1/8 to RCA cable from my Extron as that uses the VGA input on the OSSC, I've got my Genesis connected directly to the OSSC via component and the audio for the SCART comes through the SCART connector? So I'm confused on what you mean by the Tink 5x having proper audio inputs?

 

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It seems like the Retrotink5x was developed to basically be the ultimate scaler, but I dunno.  I really can't see it looking any better than the OSSC, which looks awesome even with generic timings, never mind dialed in to ultra-sharp optimal timings.  I think getting a sharper picture at this point would require native 4K support.

 

There's certainly room in the market for more products, and I'm a fan of the humble Retrotink, but I really don't know if a bit of convenience and a nice looking case is worth 2+ times the price for most people.  The lack of delay when switching resolutions seems nice, but enabling this apparently adds up to a frame of lag.  Still, it's a nice option to have.

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4 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Proper audio inputs? I'm not following I guess? I'm using an 1/8 to RCA cable from my Extron as that uses the VGA input on the OSSC, I've got my Genesis connected directly to the OSSC via component and the audio for the SCART comes through the SCART connector? So I'm confused on what you mean by the Tink 5x having proper audio inputs?

 

I don't consider a 3.5mm jack to be a proper audio input.

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1 minute ago, Steven Pendleton said:

I don't consider a 3.5mm jack to be a proper audio input.

Really? Well I guess to me it isn't that big a deal since PC sound cards have been using those jacks since the original Adlib released back in 1988/89. And my Extron's use them for the front input for the VGA source anyway. So it wasn't like I didn't have the cables on hand to begin with? I do prefer RCAs for outputs or inputs whenever possible, but I can understand for space reasons why it isn't always doable.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Really? Well I guess to me it isn't that big a deal since PC sound cards have been using those jacks since the original Adlib released back in 1988/89. And my Extron's use them for the front input for the VGA source anyway. So it wasn't like I didn't have the cables on hand to begin with? I do prefer RCAs for outputs or inputs whenever possible, but I can understand for space reasons why it isn't always doable.

 

 

Yeah, for consoles, there are a few that have a 3.5mm out (Neo Geo AES, PC Engine DUO, MD/Genesis), but pretty much everything else doesn't, so needing a converter to get audio just adds one more thing to get in the way and I already have a huge mess of cables, which the RCA -> 3.5mm converter I have often gets tangled in, especially if I change from Trinitron to OSSC.

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Again, to me it isn't that big a deal for audio. Heck just to even get audio in or out of my Extron I had to wire up using phoenix connectors because Extron's don't typically have RCA inputs on them for anything. All BNC except audio that still requires use of the phoenix connectors. So having to use an 3.5mm to RCA set of cables that I can get from literally anywhere cheap, isn't much of an inconvenience to me.

 

I haven't looked at the Tink 5x in detail, but does it have enough inputs to allow you to have s-video, scart, and component all connected at once with audio from all those sources at the same time? I know the composite is shared with the component input as is typical with modern TVs these days as well, but still.

 

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No, you'll need to use a switch or swap audio connections.

 

36c4ce_7b2980c005fe474ebb70094198d3a524~

 

Sounds like you're happy with your OSSC, so I wouldn't give it much thought. The OSSC is still a great choice and that isn't going to suddenly change when this starts reaching people's hands in the next few weeks (One reason why it will remain in production even after the OSSC Pro releases). 

 

But for those that find the new features of this appealing, those that have some sort of compatibility problem with their old scaler (The OSSC sometimes doesn't like the SNES for instance or some HDTV's), or are like me and have yet to invest in a high quality upscaler, the Retrotink 5X Pro looks like an excellent option to consider.

 

And even at $300, it sounds like it will be a good $200 cheaper than the upcoming OSSC Pro. So while a bit pricey compared to some of the options out there, it still has a price advantage compared to the tried and true XRGB Mini or the upcoming Pro. It looks to be a good mid-range option that offers premium performance and a lot of bells & whistles, while offering greater ease of use compared to existing options (No more dialing in settings like on an OSSC for example) and at a price point that is still semi affordable in a hobby where $500 consoles on launch day are now a thing.

 

And judging by the early press like Tweets from the Digital Foundry Retro guy, it sounds like it's delivering on all of its promises.

Edited by Atariboy
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You raise some good points @Atariboy

I think it's best to think of the Retrotink5x as the successor to the Framemeister than as a "competitor" of the OSSC.  Based on what people have been saying about it, it actually shares a lot of strengths of the FM (excellent deinterlacing and high display compatibility) but offers some key improvements over the FM (instant resolution switching, clean video quality, no need for an adapter to use SCART cables). It does apparently have some built-in lag to deliver the benefits though—the spec sheet mentions lag of anywhere from 0.25 to 1 frame depending on the mode.

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Something that might be of interest to others:

 

https://www.retrotink.com/post/retrotink-5x-is-here

 

Quote

We're now far along enough that we can share our next project: the "5X Direct". As you might expect from the picture, the 5X Direct takes the 5X Pro and miniaturizes with console specific connectors for the best possible quality image from a stock system with zero guesswork in sourcing the right cabling.


The first consoles will be SNES, PS1/2 with Saturn, Genesis and more following later. Each version of the 5X Direct will have custom tailored firmware and settings optimized for each console.

I'm not interested in the Retrotink 5x personally, but I might consider picking up a 5X Direct cable for PS1 just to get the benefit of instant resolution switching.

Edited by newtmonkey
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I am considering picking one of these up specifically to see how well it handles resolution changes and progressive -> interlaced -> progressive, as that would really help a lot with the Saturn, general Dreamcast and PS2 use, and those games on the Genesis/MD that switch between 320 and 256 a lot. I don't think I have $275 + shipping to spare right now, but perhaps I'll get one later. I wish Mike had put the S-video input right next to the L and R audio inputs, as those might be a bit far away from each other. I don't want to have to buy an extension thingy just to make my L and R audio on my Dreamcast S-video cable only like 1~2 inches longer.

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Nice overview of the Retrotink 5X from RetroRGB.  I have to admit that it would be tempting to replace everything (OSSC, Framemeister, Retrotink+HDMI-component adapter) with just a single device, but that would be spending a lot of money just to put good devices in the closet haha.

 

If my OSSC ever dies for some reason, though, I'd probably pick this up rather than replace the OSSC.

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My HDTV setup was once upscaled with a DVDO iScan VP50 that worked well for me.  It had every input imaginable (composite, component, HDMI, RGBS, RGBHV).  I had quite a bit invested in cables, including ones that split SCART to RGBS, and VGA to RGBHV, as well as an RCA audio switch box and a SCART switcher, and SCART cables to RGB-modded/compliant consoles.  In total I probably spent HALF what it would have cost back then to get a Framemeister.  Sadly the DVDO died on me a few years ago, and I've been left with nothing.  I skipped the OSSC because it does not do composite or S-Video input.  I was interested in the Pro but not at $500+. 

 

The 5x-pro really is the ideal device for me I think.  I can use my SCART switcher with it (though to many folks' annoyance Mike Chi designed SCART INput upside down), and I also have a comp/S-video switcher as well.  The lone stinker is that it does not accept VGA/RGBHV so I can't use the Dreamcast with it unless I get a SCART cable but won't be 480p.  The price on this is certainly much higher than I'd like, but I just don't see anything similar coming in at a lower price.  I was considering waiting for Stone Age Gamer to carry it (they always carry Retro Tink stuff) but that may wind up at a higher price anyway. 

 

I do like that there's a remote to go with this.

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9 minutes ago, Greg2600 said:

The lone stinker is that it does not accept VGA/RGBHV so I can't use the Dreamcast with it unless I get a SCART cable but won't be 480p.

They do have DC SCART cables now with built-in switches to toggle between 480i/480p:

 

(UK)

https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/sega/SEGA-DREAMCAST-RGB-SCART-CABLES/SEGA-DREAMCAST-RGB-SCART-CABLE-WITH-480P-MODE

 

(US)

https://retro-access.com/products/dreamcast-15khz-31khz-480i-480p-scart-cable

 

I have the retro access cable and can confirm it works in both 240p/480i and 480p on the Framemeister and OSSC, so I assume it should work with the Retrotink 5X too.

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You don't NEED a SCART cable... I use S-video on my Dreamcast on the Framemeister and I am extremely pleased with the results. S-video also has excellent compatibility, as I believe that every Dreamcast game works with S-video. It also lets me use my Dreamcast on my Trinitron if I feel like awkwardly sitting on the hard fake wood floor. I need to buy a chair and a stand to put my TV on and stuff...

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7 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

You don't NEED a SCART cable... I use S-video on my Dreamcast on the Framemeister and I am extremely pleased with the results. S-video also has excellent compatibility, as I believe that every Dreamcast game works with S-video. It also lets me use my Dreamcast on my Trinitron if I feel like awkwardly sitting on the hard fake wood floor. I need to buy a chair and a stand to put my TV on and stuff...

Yes I agree it's S-Video is fantastic, which is how I play it on my CRT for light gun, etc.

8 hours ago, Atariboy said:

If HD Retrovision ever releases their component cable for the Dreamcast, that will also solve your problem.

Not counting on it anytime soon, though if they did, I would use it on my CRT setup as I do their other cables.

10 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

They do have DC SCART cables now with built-in switches to toggle between 480i/480p:

 

(UK)

https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/sega/SEGA-DREAMCAST-RGB-SCART-CABLES/SEGA-DREAMCAST-RGB-SCART-CABLE-WITH-480P-MODE

 

(US)

https://retro-access.com/products/dreamcast-15khz-31khz-480i-480p-scart-cable

 

I have the retro access cable and can confirm it works in both 240p/480i and 480p on the Framemeister and OSSC, so I assume it should work with the Retrotink 5X too.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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Okay, I'm looking for an opinion here.  I have built myself a new (CRT setup), and I'd like to capture video from it.  I have a stand-alone capture device--an 'avermedia live gamer portable 2' but like many (all?) of these stand-alone capture devices, they are HDMI-only and I'd like to do composite/s-video.  Meaning I'd need an upscaler, and a laggy one (for once) is fine if it's cheap and hopefully pretty.

 

That super cheap AV2HDMI (link) that we see everywhere doesn't look the worst. Are there different versions? Any other models I should consider?  Any good+cheap ones with s-video?  The most common s-video one suffers from (aspect ratio issues) with 4:3 content. and I really want something that I don't have to mess with much in an editor.

 

I guess my other option is just a dvd-recorder. Which might just be the right answer instead.  I dunno.  Any thoughts?

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On the RetroTink-5X I'm on the fence mostly because I expect there will be revisions (like the 2X -> 2X-Pro -> 2X-Pro-M) AND somewhat that Mike will find a way to wedge in an auto-attenuator circuit on the Scart signal path for people that have TTL CSYNC cables/mods.

 

I have manually added LM1881 to my setups and it is still unattenuated (hadn't had time to add a series resistor yet) and I did use it with the Framemeister to stabilize my NeoGeo AES via Scart, somehow I could never dial in the settings well enough to avoid desync but with the sync stripper it was perfect, so obviously a problem with a noisy composite line on my AES.

 

PS: wrt TTL CSYNC I am planning to eventually add a series resistor, I guess I was "lucky" that nothing bad happened to my Framemeister but I didn't play a lot via it 'cause that NeoGeo AES via SVideo mod worked wonders on the TV set I had available and only one game would desync constantly and require the use of the Framemeister which though was disappointing until I added the LM1881 (I have it inside the Scart adapter cable and I can toggle it to sync stripped or source csync via a switch so it's not constantly in TTL mode either).

 

Wrt TTL attenuation on the LM1881 output I know everyone says 300ohm, because 75/(300+75)=1/5=0.2 so 5V -> 1V at the same time just a 100ohm should already attenuate below risk 75/(100+75)=0.42 so 5V->2.1 (and 5V is the max output but I suspect it's typically already lower, at 4.5V output 300ohm gives 0.9V and 100ohm gives 1.9)image.thumb.png.b54820bfdbc4d75df7551314fd02a386.png
https://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm1881.pdf

most of the time the risks mentioned are wrt upscalers that are 3.3V and not 5V tolerant, ESR diodes etc...etc... 

 

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8 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

I wound up ordering one.  The later batches are already going to be "revised" due to the chip shortages, and will be $300. 

Man those things must have been flying out like hotcakes, I think I checked about 1H:30M after the 9AM PST announced availability time and it was sold-out, sniping galore.

Good for Mike, wish he had used a more modern FPGA part, Cyclone IVs are so old (they were announced in 2009), at a point they disappeared from the Altera catalogue just to reappear couple months later (maybe they found a warehouse worth of) ....

 

Anyhow I can't blame him for using cheaper parts whenever possible.

 

If I get to acquire one I'll have to sell my 2X-Pro-M + Scart-to-YPbPbr setup, I ended up not using it that much due to requiring a compatible TV set for more console than I expected (and the more modern aka more compatible TV is in another room at the moment), at which point the Framemeister just worked out better for me, but I do need one that can do fast 240p/480i switch as same Saturn games are borderline unplayable, only saving grace is that the TV set currently hooked up seems fine with direct SVideo connection so ... somehow it works.

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