andyk2003
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andyk2003
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Joined: May 16th, 2013, 5:04 pm

January 29th, 2014, 9:18 am #11

Cabanon wrote:I can see a 20ms lag no problem (thanks to Guitar Hero & Rock Band), yes it has a game mode but I had to turn it off because it was creating major lag when playing GH/RB. that said, I dont see lag at all when playing nes/snes/n64 on my TV.
Hi - The lag is there but you aren't noticing it. This might be because you have one of the better, lower lag TVs. Also some people just aren't as sensitive to it.

A good way of measuring your TV's lag in it's native resolution and one that I've used in the past is this:

Use a PC/laptop that has an S-video output. Connect the S-video output to a CRT TV that is old enough to be completely free from any image processing and another output to your HDTV. Then find a free PC stopwatch program that will display in milliseconds. Put the TV's next to each other and run the stopwatch program so that it is displaying on both TVs ('clone' your desktop to be displaying on both screens). Make sure you are feeding your HDTV it's native resolution. Then take several photographs of the screens. The video signals will be reaching both displays at the same time, but the CRT will have no lag. Because all HDTVs have lag, in the photo the HDTV's stopwatch reading will be lower than that of the CRT. The average difference between the two numbers is the innate lag of your HDTV in it's native resolution in milliseconds .

This is a more accurate way of measuring than using Rock band but takes a bit more setting up.

The trouble with all of this, though, is that although this resulting figure might possibly be quite low, in this case we're feeding the display it's native resolution so the TV is having to do no extra work to interpolate the image. When we play retro consoles, we're asking the TV to do another round of processing to get the display on the screen. In the case of an N64, the image needs to be linedoubled to 480p and then scaled to the native resolution of the TV. These processes further add to the image processing time and can increase the lag time quite a bit, depending on the display.


This means that a NES/SNES/N64 will inevitably produce MORE lag on your HDTV than the 20ms you recorded in Rock Band and is one of the reasons that CRTs are so appealing for retro console gaming.
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Cabanon
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Joined: May 8th, 2011, 11:57 pm

January 29th, 2014, 12:35 pm #12

actually, i play GH/RB at 0ms. what I play is what I see and im spot on. I know when I plugged my n64 directly to my TV, it had lag because whenever I tried to play MK64, it would take maybe 20-30ms to do the proper turn (which is VERY VERY bad), but when I plugged it in my amplifier, everything went ok. so yes the TV produce lag (sometimes very little, sometimes alot) but there's solution around it which doesnt include a frikkin CRT
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andyk2003
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andyk2003
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January 29th, 2014, 2:36 pm #13

Cabanon wrote:actually, i play GH/RB at 0ms. what I play is what I see and im spot on. I know when I plugged my n64 directly to my TV, it had lag because whenever I tried to play MK64, it would take maybe 20-30ms to do the proper turn (which is VERY VERY bad), but when I plugged it in my amplifier, everything went ok. so yes the TV produce lag (sometimes very little, sometimes alot) but there's solution around it which doesnt include a frikkin CRT
. If you want a decent low-lag retro gaming experience on your HDTV, look into an XRGB-mini.

BTW, I do not recommend that anyone buy that amplifier for HDTV lag reduction purposes. For anyone else, the gold standard for this purpose is the XRGB series of processors, ideally the XRGB3 or XRGB-Mini (Framemeister) from Micomsoft. Not only do they reduce lag, they make 2D retro consoles look a lot nicer on HDTVs.
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andyk2003
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andyk2003
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January 30th, 2014, 1:54 pm #14

As a side note, I just received a Loewe Calida 70 - a fine model of shadow mask TV - but it still doesn't beat my Sony Trinitron for colour and sharpness. I'll collect a few more shadow masks, but I'm getting the feeling that the Trinitrons will eventually win out.
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Coligion
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Joined: December 21st, 2012, 8:56 am

January 30th, 2014, 10:47 pm #15

Lots of solid information. The Nintendo 64 is a tricky system when trying to get good picture quality from it. As of right now, it's the only system I refuse to play on my Panasonic plasma. Instead, I leave it hooked up to my 27" Sony Trinitron CRT. It would have been so much easier had Nintendo left in RGB through the multiAV-out like the SNES, but they decided to make things difficult :angry: . Anyway, I have no problem playing my retro console on my plasma: SNES, Saturn,and Neo Geo all look great when using RGB cables. Thankfully, my TV accepts 240p over component, so one of those RGB to component transcoders works quite well. Personally, I don't see a huge difference going from s-video to RGB, but newer TVs no longer support s-video, so RGB to component it is.

Lately, I have been considering picking up a Framemeister. My biggest concern is the lag induced from the unit added onto my TV's. My component input is great on my set. There is no discernible lag. However, I have used other video transcoders to convert video signals and the delay they introduce is off-putting. Strangely enough, my VGA input is noticeably more laggy than my component input; typically, people recommend VGA over component because the signal should be less processed and create less delay. I really have not had a chance to game using my HDMI input, though: no current-gen consoles interest me.

Anyway, I'm one of those people who is very sensitive to input delay. Try playing Smash Brothers 64 on a CRT and then go to a laggy HDTV setup--not fun. The Framemeister is steep price to pay, but aside from an XRGB3, there really is no alternative for a fast video processor. I will one day take the plunge and try it, but at the moment, I rather enjoy having my Sony as the dedicated N64 TV :) .
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andyk2003
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January 30th, 2014, 10:55 pm #16

It would still be awesome to hear from anyone who's experimented specifically with N64s and displays - and found a solution that really works well.

The Shmups forum's great but the N64 is a bit of an enigma with it's very individual blurry, overly antialiased output & this seems like a place to find some experienced N64 veterans who might shed some light on this :)
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andyk2003
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January 31st, 2014, 12:38 am #17

Coligion, the best person to contact about these XRGBs is Fudoh from the Shmups forum - he has an awesome amount of knowledge about this. Here's a resource of his on the XRGB mini:

http://retrogaming.hazard-city.de/framemeister.html

The Mini is seriously fast (1-9ms depending on the input). Adding it into the chain should actually decrease the overall lag.

Basically you could break down an HDTV's lag into 2 parts - 1 is a kind of 'baseline' lag that the TV will always have when it's being fed it's native resolution - this can't be changed. Then there is the other part which is caused by the TV's scaler processor upscaling the 240p image from a retro console. The XRGB takes over this task & scales the image much faster than the TV could & then feeds the TV it's native resolution so it doesn't have to do that work (along with scanlines, if needed). Therefore the overall lag should actually be less after you add in the XRGB. Also the Lag Database (http://www.displaylag.com/) and other sites have good info on which TVs are the fastest lagwise.

Fudoh would have more in depth knowledge of how this would work with your particular setup. It'd be great if there was a way for people to test one out before buying it - they're pretty expensive!

Do you find that the Sony has a nice sharp image & does it have prominent scanlines?
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Coligion
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Joined: December 21st, 2012, 8:56 am

January 31st, 2014, 4:14 am #18

I have actually spoken to Fudoh a lot. His site has a wealth of information on the topic, and he is extremely helpful. I own two devices that are covered on the site: the iScan Pro and the iScan HD+. They are both nice units, but the input delay created from them is very noticeable and bothersome to me. My next step was to try out a Framemeister, but as you already know, ~$400 is a tough price to take a gamble on, and I'm hesitant to think they'll process things noticeably faster than my iScan units.

My specific Panasonic model is not listed, but a similar model that shares the same panel has it listed at 32ms (great) rating. Composite and component feel fast and lag is not noticeable. I still find it odd how my VGA input is slower for some reason. I like to play Dreamcast with my VGA box, but I often find myself going back to the scart cable because of the slight delay added from VGA.

My Sony TV gives a very nice picture for the N64. The scanlines are very prominent I would say. I notice the picture is a bit softer on the corners of the set, but I'm not sure if that is normal or due to age.
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andyk2003
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andyk2003
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January 31st, 2014, 8:00 am #19

I know, I would have thought that the VGA port would have been faster too - that's a strange one :/ I've got a panasonic too (g10) & it's generally very fast (not sure about the VGA port tho'). As you say, the Mini is a bit of a gamble especially if you're as sensitive to lag as you are..

I'm really glad you like the Sony - the reason being that at first I just couldn't get used to their strong scanlines on my N64. But I think I just need to forget about it & not let it bother me. I've got some shadow mask TVs (gentle scanlines) but none of them are as sharp as the Sony - I've noticed that the way the scanlines break up the N64s very soft image somehow makes it look more crisp... I'm still interested in finding a really high quality shadow mask that hasn't been used much (in a guest room or something) & seeing how it compares to the Sonys.

If I still end up with a blurrier picture on a great shadow mask then I'll probably just go with the Sonys - sharpness is more important to me than the issue of prominent scanlines & it definitely helps to know that these are a non-issue for you :)
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Cabanon
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January 31st, 2014, 5:26 pm #20

just curious, are you guys in PAL land ?
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