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[Work in progress] Perfect setups (TV/monitor, console, capture device)

Discussion in 'Tournament Discussion' started by Kadano, May 14, 2014.

  1. Kadano

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    When playing Melee on console, the ranges of picture quality and lag you can achieve are very wide. This thread is aimed at everybody who cares about playing in high picture quality, near-zero lag (sub-millisecond) and without spending a fortune.

    Console cables options

    To put it short (I will edit more information in later), Gamecubes and Wiis share several output signals, sorted from worst to best quality:

    480i
    1. RF (legacy signal for ancient TVs, hopefully nobody still uses this nowadays)
    2.
    CVBS / “Composite” (legacy signal for simple TVs, most common standard)
    3. S-Video (best signal most(?) TVs in America accept)
    4.
    RGB-SCART (best signal all TVs in Europe accept; also the native signal used by CRTs)

    480p
    5. Wii
    YPbPr / “Component” [recommended] (the only signal officially supported by NGCs and Wiis that’s capable of 480p)
    6a. Gamecube YPbPr / “Component” (the Gamecube has better video quality than the Wii, see @Sixfortyfive’s post
    6b. Gamecube RGBHV / “VGA” (480p as well, but needs re-soldering of an official cable (read on))

    5a gives you 480p60-YPbPr, which is hard to make use of directly. If you have a non-laggy CRT that supports it (for example the Sony PVMs listed below), you can use these just fine. Otherwise, you have to use conversion devices to convert to either RGBHV (“VGA”, near-lagless) or HDMI (conversion has a little lag; too little to notice for most players and too little to mess up timings if using the correct LCD (BenQ RL2455HM)).

    6 requires the NGC DAC cables, which have a Macronix chip inside that can be switched into RGBHV mode so that they output that instead of YPbPr. You need to mod them by soldering some pins differently and exchanging the connector for DSUB/VGA (or 5 BNC / cinch cables if that suits your device input better). A guide how to do this can be found here. Doing so makes them compatible with PC monitors that have RGBHV inputs of some kind (VGA/DSUB, DVI-A, 5 BNC, 5 cinch etc.).
    This option is obviously not available for Wiis, only for Gamecubes. Additionally, PAL Melee is not able to be output as 480p directly, you will need a custom loader like Swiss or Qoob Pro to allow forcing it to 480p.

    Gamecube DAC cables usually go for 120$ on Ebay, so unfortunately it’s unlikely you can cheap out by using these cables with the abundant CRT PC monitors. If you look around, you might be able to locate collectors selling off their DAC cables for a much lower price. I personally bought 7 of them for just 150€, and at another time one of these cables together with 2 Gamecubes and 3 official controllers and lots of other stuff for only 100€.

    Altogether, option 5 is the one to go for, unless you feel like spending lots of money on Gamecube DAC cables.

    The optimal setup
    By testing, comparing and inspecting many different combinations of video cables, video equipment and monitors, this is the setup that I recommend the most to everybody, taking both price and picture quality into account (for different VGA output options, see this post). Connections are listed from closest to Wii to closest to monitor.

    The basic principle here is: Output YPbPr 480p from a Wii, convert (transcode) it to RGBHV (see this post for an explanation for why that's necessary), possibly clean and distribution-amplify the RGBHV (VGA) signal, and finally output it to the CRT monitors.

    Optional / mandatory? Hardware name Picture Price, link Comments
    1 Mandatory Wii YPbPR cables [​IMG] Monoprice 3$ USA, AliExpress 3€ rest of the world Two times as expensive on Amazon, but ships faster there
    2 Mandatory Mayflash VGA005 YPbPr→VGA converter [​IMG] Ebay 15$ (sold out) Ebay 14$ (3pcs left) Ebay 16$ (7ps left) Converts YPbPr from Wii to RGBHV that can be used by CRT computer monitors. Good picture quality, requires capacitor mod so that the video doesn't go black for 2 seconds after every match on a bright stage (see this post later in this thread)
    3 Mandatory VGA cable [​IMG] Buy used for 1-5$, cheap ones from AliExpress or Ebay usually have bad picture quality Use any cheap decent quality VGA cable to connect the VGA005 to the VGA CRT monitor. Used is fine too.
    4 Optional, needed for capture card or distribution amplifying compatibility Extron RGB interface [​IMG] Ebay ~30$ usually This device cleans the VGA005 sync levels so that its video is recognized by capture cards and distribution amplifiers. If you only want to play on one CRT without recording or streaming, you don't need this. You'll also need one 5BNC to VGA cable.
    5 Optional, needed for multiple monitors / feeding capture card Distribution amplifier [​IMG] 2-output AliExpress 10$, 4-output AliExpress 12$ You need this to output to both monitor and capture card, and/or to multiple monitors. If you only need two outputs, with some RGB interfaces you don't need this.



    Monitors (480p60 capable)

    These are your options for TVs / monitors that accept 480p in some way and have zero (1 and 2) / almost or maybe zero (3 and 4) lag:

    1. CRT PC monitors
    [recommended] (average cost: 20$) (additional average cost of 20$ for the YPbPr→VGA converter)
    Some high-end models (
    21" 4:3): [the higher the khz limit, the higher the resolutions you can set it to when used with a PC. Melee 480p is 31 khz, Dolphin Faster Melee emulation in 120 fps at ~1280*960+ is 120 khz and more]
    •Iiyama Vision Master Pro 514 / HM204DT (142 khz)
    •Mitsubishi DiamondTron 2070SB = LaCie Electron 22 Blue IV = Dell/HP/Compaq P1230 (140 khz)
    •Mitsubishi RDF225WG (140 khz)
    •NEC FP2141SB-BK (140 khz)
    •Sun X7149A (140 khz)
    •Sony GDM-F520 (137 khz)
    • Eizo F980 (137 khz)
    •Nokia 445Pro (125 khz / unlimited scan rate of 344 Hz vertical)
    •Sony CPD-G520 (130 khz)
    •Sony GDM-C520K (130 khz)
    •IBM P275
    •HP P1130
    •Sun GDM-5510
    •Eizo T965 (130 khz)
    •Samsung Sync Master 1100MB (130 khz)


    2. Sony PVM or BVM reference monitors (average cost: 240$) (additional minimum cost of 5$ for the necessary Wii component cables)
    Professional Video Monitors have speakers and great tubes strong in brightness and color accuracy. If you can find one for a cheap price, they are probably the best monitor for console Melee. Drawbacks and reasons why I don't recommend them foremost are that only a few of them support 480p, they are very expensive compared to PC monitors, and they are not as compatible with Faster Melee use.

    Models known to support 480p YPbPr:

    Sony PVM14L5
    Sony PVM20L5
    Sony PVM20M7MDE
    Sony BVM-D20F1U
    Sony BVM-F42U
    Sony BVM-1911
    Sony PGM-2950 (massive 29" tube, weight about 55 kg!)
    Sony PGM 200R1U (massive 27" tube, weight about 50 kg!) [only 480p RGB confirmed so far!]

    All of these have Trinitron tubes. There are some 480p capable reference monitors by other manufacturers:

    JVC V1700CG
    JVC V1710CG
    JVC V1900CG
    JVC V1910CG
    Panasonic BT-H1700

    3. CRT EDTVs (average cost: 30-70$)
    These have component inputs and support 480p. However, only some of them are confirmed to not have any lag, among them the Sony KV-20FS120 and the Sony KV-24FS100. Untested EDTVs should be avoided or at least play-tested at the seller's place before buying. Many of the EDTV CRTs lag 8-30 ms, which is borderline to completely unplayable.

    4. High tier input lag LCDs:

    Asus VG248QE (prad.de, who have the most refined lag measurement method, established an input lag of 1.6 ms for 60hz mode. They probably tested for native resolution sources, so there might be another ms or two of upscaling lag.)

    Measured by @Pauer who kindly brought it to my place and me on 2017-03-19 to have roughly 8 (±3) ms over console + CRT when used with a cheap 5€ Wii-HDMI adapter from AliExpress: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pz8j58iCBf7iK1-H6luMvQ6JKq-K9I5nQAhGmyXEE-w/edit#gid=0
    With more expensive adapters, it's probably faster. Also, when used with a Faster Melee setup, it was roughly 6ms slower when set to 120Hz than a 120Hz CRT used with exactly the same hardware.

    BenQ RL2455HM (the predecessor had a latency of 1.9ms). This has been reported to work with YPbPr / sync on green on the VGA input, so you only need a passive adapter for 3$ and Wii component cables. I don’t know whether the Asus monitors support this as well. Was also confirmed by @Fizzi to not lag (2ms over CRT when paired with a C&E YPbPr→HDMI converter)

    These monitors have been tested by many people and so far, to my knowledge all of them have reported them to be fine for tournament play.

    However, this does not mean that every gaming LCD advertised with "1 ms response time" is equally fast. The BenQ XL2720Z, for example, was measured by prad to have 7.7 ms input lag, even though it's listed as "1 ms response time".
    For gaming LCDs, only those models that have been proven to have below 5 ms input lag should be considered perfectly fine for tournament play, in my opinion.

    Capture cards

    For recording 480p60 Melee, there are very many options of great capture cards to go for. Which one is the best depends mainly on whether you use a standard 480i TV, a 480p YPbPr CRT, a 480p VGA monitor or an HDMI gaming LCD, and on whether you want to use a laptop or a desktop computer with free PCIe slots.

    480i TV video output:
    Here, the standard solution is the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB3. It down-converts 480p YPbPr to 480i CVBS with minimal lag. As such, it is ideal for streamers who travel a lot and need compatibility with the – by far – most common type of Melee display, which are 480i CRT TVs.
    The things to keep in mind with this one is that it's only compatible with native Intel USB3 controllers (from Ivy Bridge (2012) and later mainboards) and with NEC/Renesas USB3 controllers. If you use any others, for example ASMedia ports that are often used on slightly older mainboards or on AMD motherboards, the video feed will either be unstable or not work entirely.
    If you use a desktop PC, this is easily remedied by buying a USB3 PCIe extension card for about 10$, just make sure it's specified with a NEC/Renesas controller.
    One downside of this setup is that the video stream for the players is only 480i-CVBS. However, if there is a Sony PVM or other CRT supporting 480p-YPbPr in the venue, you can use the Shuttle's YPbPr output to connect to that. Alternatively, you can also use a Mayflash VGA005 or an Extron CVC to convert the YPbPr output to VGA for compatibility with PC CRT monitors.

    480p YPbPr CRT:
    For these, any capture card with YPbPr inputs is fine. A good card that has that and uses a USB2 port (for great compatibility with computers) is the Elgato Game Capture HD.
    Just keep in mind that you do need to buy a YPbPr distribution amplifier with an active power supply so there is no brightness loss on the recording / stream and the monitor.
    Another option is the StarTech PEXHDCAP card, which uses PCIe, and as such is only compatible with desktop PCs. It uses uncompressed video and thus has minimal delay (only about 30 ms), which is great for keeping commentator audio in sync with the gameplay. The PEXHDCAP (Yuan SC500) also requires a distribution amplifier.
    As listed at the end of the 480i section, the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle also support 480p YPbPr output well, and even has active outputs, so there is no need for a distribution amplifier.
    A newer card USB3 is the Avemedia Live Gamer Extreme GC550. This card has been reviewed by TheThrillness to have great YPbPr capture quality. It has an active HDMI output that can be used both with HDMI and YPbPr input, so it's a great solution to go with a fast LCD monitor. It's a rather cheap card that supports 1080p60, so if you also stream newer games that accept this resolution, this might be a great solution.

    480p VGA monitor:
    There are only a few capture cards that take VGA inputs.
    One of them is the StarTech PEXHDCAP (rebranded Yuan SC500), which is currently being phased out. It's a card with great drivers whereas usability is concerned, however there are some minor stability issues of the driver initialization. Earlier revisions of the card sometimes don't show up when booting the computer. Re-booting for up to four times has always fixed this for me so far, and with the newest drivers, it hasn't happened for me for a long time.
    When the card was properly initialized, there were never any problems, though, so I still highly recommend this card.
    There are three newer versions of this card: The PEXHDCAP2, which (according to StarTech) no longer has the initialization issues, but allows less freedom in the input configuration: While the original version had connectors for both audio, YPbPr and DVI-I (and thus VGA), the second version only has a single DVI-I connector. Through some of its pins, analog audio is accepted.
    With the supplied breakout cable, it's still possible to input YPbPr and even composite video together with analog audio, however if you use the supplied DVI-I to VGA adapter, the audio input pins are physically unavailable. I expect that this could be fixed by hand-crafting a DVI-I to VGA + RCA audio cable, but the required soldering is quite a bit of work.
    You could of course use your mainboard's audio input to record the game sound instead, however I found the quality of the StarTech sound to be significantly better than Realtek integrated audio, so I don't recommend that. If you go for this card revision and VGA capture, but don't want to craft cables yourself, another solution is to buy a sound card, for example the Asus Xonar DG (30$), which is quite good for the price.
    Then, there is the PEXHDCAP60L which compared to the original model also supports composite video and resolutions up to 1080p60. For Melee, this is irrelevant, but if you also stream other games like Smash 4, this can be very useful.
    There is a more expensive sub-version of the 60L, the Micomsoft SC512N1-L/DVI, that also has integrated distribution-amplified outputs for all its video inputs. It does not do cross-conversion for these, though, unlike the Blackmagic products. So if you input YPbPr, it will only be output as YPbPr, not as CVBS or VGA.
    The third newer version is the Micomsoft XCAPTURE-1, which also supports up to 1080p60, also has amplified outputs, but uses USB3 instead of PCIe. It's said to be less picky in the USB3 chipsets it communicates with than the BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle USB3.
     
    #1 Kadano, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  2. R0Y

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    Can't speak about the PAL region, but a lot of CRT's were using component as an option here by the time the GC Component Cable was released. SCART just never remotely caught on here. We were fine with extra cable leads and Component was superior to SCART anyway. Glad we have one standard resolution and digital signal standard now though.


    Secondly, there was no GC VGA cable, what happened was the GC's Component Cable, which went through the "Digital Out" port despite being an analog connection, had a DAC in it. Literally, it converted a digital signal like that used by DVI and HDMI, into an analog one usable by Component cables. Essentially, the GC Component cables had a built-in DAC, probably why they were so expensive even at the time. As far as I know any GC VGA's are just modded Component Cables.
    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't recommend a Component to HDMI converter either, unnecessary lag. If you're playing Brawl just use a Wii U, and if you're playing Melee you're best off with Component and letting the TV do the work, it's not going to look any better, it depends on the quality of the Component cables before it gets to the HDMI converter regardless.
     
    #2 R0Y, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
    Suge Knight likes this.
  3. Kadano

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    Many of those late “HD CRT TVs” have been reported to have considerable input lag due to some post-processing. Do you know whether that’s the case for the CRTs you are talking about?


    Yeah, they are. That’s what I said / implied in the paragraph just after the one you quoted. I forgot to explicitly state that the cables need to be modded, though, so I’ll edit that in.
     
    #3 Kadano, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  4. R0Y

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    Not talking about HD CRT's even. My last, 4:3 CRT definitely had Component ports and was capable of 480p. They were called EDTV's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced-definition_television

    Not sure of their potential input lag. I've always been fine with my HDTV with game mode on (which turns off some post-processing, making it look worse but reducing lag.)



    PAL standard was something like 5:4 and 576p btw, but I don't think Smash ever took advantage of extra resolution (would reduce frame rate), some titles, like Resident Evil: Wii Edition, did, and others, pre-Gamecube, wouldn't even upscale, they'd just show black lines at the top and bottom and run slower (old PAL CRT's are 50hz, NTSC's were always 60.)


     
    #4 R0Y, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  5. Kadano

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    I googled around a bit and found one dude who’s into video quality on old gaming systems reporting that EDTVs are very hard to come by, even in North America.
    I don’t know much about those EDTVs as their equivalents (PALplus, which afaik didn’t support 480p60 so they’re useless for Melee) were even more scarce here in Europe, so it would be great if you or someone else could tell me more about them so I can update the OP.
     
    #5 Kadano, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  6. R0Y

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    Was not aware RGB-SCART was actually better than Component, interesting.

    Nah, don't worry about them, they are quite rare but they certainly existed in North America, some of them weren't even labelled. Really they're just HD CRT's without HD. Could they have less input lag than an HD CRT that has to do upscaling? Possibly, but we're talking tiny, tiny amounts. Don't worry about EDTV's, and if you want to avoid input lag, don't worry about analog to HDMI converters.
     
    #6 R0Y, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  7. 0blivi0n

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    I wrote that article. as for RGB>component I suppose its a matter of how you look at it. technically RGB would be better because it fully separates the sync signal but I think the difference is negligible but again technically it is better.. you would have to have a very sharp eye to notice. component though has the benefit of being able to transmit 480P

    Its actually gotten to the point that I think I imagined EDTV's. I thrift A LOT and I see a lot of TV's and I still have yet to see a EDTV since the one my friend bought new in 06. I usually even go through the bother of if I see a newer looking crt i'll check the component input to see if 480P is labled.
     
  8. Kadano

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    Hey, thanks for registering to add to this discussion!

    With the Gamecube, it’s even more complicated. Similarly to the Dreamcast, it has a way to output 480p RGBHV, but not with vanilla official cables. You need the official D-Terminal or YPbPr cables and re-solder some pins to make the DAC inside output RGBHV instead of YPbPr.
    Someone on gc-forever (so likely a Gamecube portable modder) told me that the Gamecube uses a YUY2 frame buffer and the YCbCr Digital AV output is said to be 4:2:2, so I suspect the RGBHV from the modded DAC cables will transmit 4:2:2 quality. I also don’t know how the YCbCr from the Gamecube Digital AV Out port does its sync handling; if YCbCr uses sync on Y (seems unlikely to me since it’s digital?), RGBHV shouldn’t give any upgrade over YPbPr at all.
    The capture card I currently use (Yuan / Micomsoft / Star Tech SC-500N1) does give a better picture quality with RGBHV over DSUB-in, though. Might be due to better processing by the card on that input than for YPbPr, though.
     
  9. R0Y

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    Oh wow!!! The man himself.

    EDTV's were rare and unnecessary, all I really remember about them. I guess it was always, why not get an HD CRT, right? Come to think of it though, I've never seen one in the wild either, not that I thrift much, but then again I don't see many HDTV's either.

    For OP, you can find modern HDTV's with input lag below 20 ms. I don't know how much using Composite or Component jacks and the TV thus upscaling the image would add to that, but if you're only concerned about input lag, not all modern HDTV's are that bad, especially in game mode.
     
    #9 R0Y, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  10. Kadano

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    Below 20 ms is not something to be particularly proud of. I did not make this thread to find something for me, but to educate others. I’m perfectly happy with my lagless Sony GDM-F520 and PVM20M7MDE Trinitron monitors for Melee 480p gameplay and prefer them to LCDs, because with them I know that there is truly zero lag (well, 1µs or something, so yeah).
     
    #10 Kadano, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  11. 0blivi0n

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    are we only looking at lag issues or in general? what era of consoles?

    The two best displays I've personaaly ever owned were my SD Samsung slimfit CRT HDTV and my Sony BVM monitor.

    The slimfit was awsome. it was widescreen and could do up to 1080i. It had just about every input on it. RF, composite, S-video, component, HDMI and VGA. I had somthing like 20 consoles hooked up to it at once at one point via selector boxes HD looked good but it handled classic consoles suprisingly well.

    [​IMG]

    That said I still got some ghosting issues on games and some games gave weird effects if there was checkered backgrounds, I assume it was because of the lack of scanlines. I did by a RGB2+ upscaler for it at one point but I wasn't really impressed. Also if you set it side by side with a SDTV and played a classic console like the SNES you could then notice the blockyness but it honestly wasn't very bad.

    My 25 inch (?) Sony PVM from the 90's was OK. it was old and the colors weren't terribly bright but it was a decent monitor. it seemed a little washed out sometimes but I don't know if that was due to age and use or just how it was.

    As far as pre HD era gaming though my best monitor has to be my Sony BVM I picked up a few months ago. it does Composite, S-video, Component and 15khz RGB. it can do 480P so I guess that does make it EDTV. The picture is outstanding with the one downfall being its a tiny 14 inch screen. They make a 20 inch version I would love to get my hands on eventually.
     
    #11 0blivi0n, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  12. TheCrimsonBlur

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    Amazing, amazing thread. Top notch.

    So, now I want to see how we can apply this knowledge to project #smashVault, and establish a standard that will carry itself for years to come.

    Right now, our Socal vault is three 24" Trinitron KV-24FS120s. Thats 480i max, but it has headphone jacks, and component.

    We're looking to get 40 TVs in total, ~4 of which will have to be the highest of quality, preferably 480p. They'd also have to play nicely with capture devices, as they'll be the main stage/stream stations.

    Due to the rarity of 480p setups, and how hard it is to verify it without a model number, I think we will be forced to use 480i standard for our off-stage ones. But we can have a little more flexibility with the stage setups, and be more selective with our pickups. Essentially, I want those 4 to be the best money can buy, with streaming and lag requirements in mind. Question is: what are they? Does RGB play nicely with capture devices? If so, which ones?
     
    #12 TheCrimsonBlur, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  13. TheCrimsonBlur

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    Hi 0blivi0n! Thank you for joining the forum!

    We're a competitive gaming community; I run Team OXY, an organization which runs Smash Brothers tournaments. We have a partnership with Major League Gaming and Evolution Championship Series with which we'll supply them with our equipment. Equipment we're in the process of buying / gathering. So, this thread relates to that, as we're trying to get our hands on the best displays available.

    Our utmost priority is lag. If there is any, its unacceptable. Next, we have to have the TVs work well with N64 (Smash 64), Gamecube (Melee), and especially Wii systems (Melee, Brawl, Project M). We'll need headphone jacks (Trinitrons are great for this, since they have jacks on the front panel), or some alternative audio solution that will let players hear in-game sound through earbuds. And finally, since we have a livestream production with the gameplay, we also have to consider the capture devices interacting with it all.
     
    #13 TheCrimsonBlur, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  14. Kadano

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    I’d say one setup should be a Sony PVM or BVM (one of the models listed within the OP) with 480p YPbPr in from a Wii and passthrough YPbPr to a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle capture card that’s attached to a “desktop” PC with a Renesas/NEC USB3 PCIe extension board.

    Another one could be a PC monitor (Sony GDM-F520 or -FW900 would be best, the latter is widescreen) connected to a Gamecube with a VGA-mod cable. If you want to stream / record from this setup as well, you would have to get powered VGA splitters. Those should not lag, but I don’t have all of the necessary equipment yet to test it.
    The only cards I know of are the Star Tech PEXHDCAP (PCIe, 120$; available under other brands as well, but those are more expensive) and the Micomsoft XCAPTURE-1 (USB3, 280$). Both of these are made by the Taiwanese manufacturer Yuan and have pretty good quality.
    I personally own the PEXHDCAP / SC-500N1 and I really recommend it for VGA capture. Quality sample: https://archive.org/details/Vm14-5Sl2.teaVsDan60fps (sorry for the garbage stream overlays). That was YPbPr by the way; it looks a little bit better with VGA / RGBHV.
     
    #14 Kadano, May 14, 2014
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  15. R0Y

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    Nice set-up, wow.

    Yeah, sounds like the elusive EDTV, which I didn't know were quite so uncommon until today.

    Was it actually 1080i or was it just downscaling to 720p? I know my current 720pLCD HDTV from 2007 I use accepts 1080i but is actually 720p (had to set PS4 manually to 720p because auto-1080i was unnecessary interlacing for me when I don't have the pixels for that.)

    Yours sounds like it had the res of 1920x1080i though, I remember there were even HD CRT's that even skipped from 480p straight to 1080i in compatibility.
     
    #15 R0Y, May 15, 2014
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  16. 0blivi0n

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    yeah. it did actual 1080i
     
  17. CatalysTx

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    Hey kadano I just received a sony pvm14l5 and I noticed geometry problems and the colors looked washed. I noticed that when red objects were at the top of the screen they changed to orange colors. I took some pictures using a 240p screen test app for the wii. http://imgur.com/C7utET8,U6BqgEo,Tn6CnKI,699WOzg,V5okO9m#4

    Do you think the monitor can be fixed or should I ask for a refund/replacement for the ebay seller?
     
  18. EverythingSmash

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    Not sure if this is the place for this, but I'm running into an issue with my Benq monitor.I'm running my N64 into my elgato then connecting the elgato into the monitor, everything looks fine.But the audio is just way to loud, even on volume no. 1 its too loud, wondering if anyones got any tips on how I can resolve this?Thanks
     
  19. TheCrimsonBlur

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    Am I crazy or is this thread saying the Panasonic Q solves a lot of problems? Simultaneous analog outputs? He's running Composite on one TV and S-Video on the other, from the same Q!

    If that's the case, couldn't you pump an RGB/Component output into a capture card, and use another output (let's say S-Video) to your CRT?

    @Kadano
     
    #19 TheCrimsonBlur, May 28, 2014
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  20. Kadano

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    S-Video, pah.

    You don’t need a Q for that. PAL Gamecubes output 480i over composite, component and RGB-SCART (>>S-Video) at the same time if you have the right cables. I suppose NTSC Gamecubes should be able to do the same with composite, S-Video and component as well.
    Here is a video I did back then when my recording setup was 480i:

    The connection worked like this:
    Hacked PAL Gamecube
    RGB-SCART out connected to 16:9 Sony CRT TV
    Component out connected to a 16€ USB capture device (only 14€ right now)
    (Raw capture, deinterlaced with QTGMC, preset fast, I think (60fps version is being uploaded to Archive.org right now, but it’s almost 1GB so this will take a while))
     
    #20 Kadano, May 28, 2014
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  21. TheCrimsonBlur

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    The NTSC struggle :/

    Knowing this, its interesting to me so many streamers use splitters, or connect their capture card through the CRT output, instead of this method. Seems so much cleaner...
     
  22. Kadano

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    #22 Kadano, May 28, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  23. Kadano

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    Apparently, there are Wii VGA cables made by Mayflash for just ~12-18€. They seem to do YPbPr→RGBHV. I believe this will be the best setup for cheap lagless 480p:
    1. Wii (DIOS MIOS installed if you want to play PAL Melee)
    2. Mayflash cable
    3. Aperture grille CRT display (for example a Sony GDM, sometimes available for as little as 20€)
    4. Speakers

    Optional if you want to record:
    5. DSUB / VGA splitter (~12€)
    6. Star Tech PEXHDCAP (~120€) aka Micomsoft / Yuan SC-500N1 (~200€)

    I ordered the cable from here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181129894513
    I’ll review it when I receive it.
    Also, I’ll make videos of my current setup today.
     
    #23 Kadano, May 30, 2014
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  24. Kadano

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  25. Kadano

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    I received it and did some testing.

    The dreaded occasional blacking out I had read about occurred when I plugged it to an LCD monitor, unfortunately. Every ~2m50s the picture will go black for 2-4 seconds. This is intolerable for tourney play.
    When I plugged it to my Sony GDM-F520 CRT monitor, this problem did not happen. The picture quality was excellent, just like Gamecube RGBHV. I also couldn’t feel any lag – the cable only does analog→analog conversion (YPbPr 4:2:2 → RGBHV), which shouldn’t introduce any lag.

    So, this cable is good for people who:
    1. Own a Wii and can play SSBM on it
    2. Own a CRT monitor
    3. Want to spend as little money possible while still getting that 480p experience (15$ for the cable, CRT monitors are offered for free everywhere)

    Recording seems to be a bit tricky. The VGA splitter I use for my Gamecube outputs only black when I plug the Wii VGA cable into it. Maybe other VGA splitters work, but I won’t spend money on the mas I personally have no use for them.
     
  26. -Philip Coast Philip-

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    Great idea Kadano. Though I see it's been awhile since you've updated...

    Some things I've found. I didn't realize the different between coaxial and RCA cables before, and what they're capable of transmitting. It's interesting.

    RF signal is indeed "the worst." However, apparently a composite signal can also be communicated over a coaxial cable, as well as an RCA cable. Also, I didn't realize coaxial refers to the cable, while RCA refers to the cable connector.

    What I've learned,
    -RCA is the name of the connector at the end of the simple cable. The simple cable can carry Composite or part of the Component video, or even audio, but the cable itself is capable of carrying these signals, RCA is the name of the connector at the end.

    -Coaxial is the name of the cable. In turn, often what we see is an "n connector" on the backs of TVs and on coaxial cables. Professional studios may use any number of different coaxial connectors, but the key difference is that coaxial defines the type of cable but coaxial cables can come in differing degrees of quality, from what I understand, based on their level of shielding and impedance or whichever. Cables used with RCA connectors can differ as well but most seem about the same to me I think heh.

    -Composite video can be transmitted by both a coaxial cable and a "normal" cable with an RCA connector; therefore, if you're splitting composite video to either coaxial or RCA, the signal should theoretically be the same, but practically, the coaxial cable should have more to worry about due to its design (interference or decoding both the audio and the video signals and what not), so it may end up providing a worse signal than an RCA cable.
    Yeah, I was going to say, I remember reading that PAL had a slightly better color quality (RGB) than NTSC (YPbPr/YCbCr), and I think this is due to the PAL standards. *However, Kadano has some more to say about this in his post below mine. (in addition to the spoiler)

    but... I guess I'm writing it out if anyone else is interested.

    Other things I learned (and this was echoed a bit in the article you linked),
    -Composite video combines the chroma and luma properties of the video into one signal. This combining or multiplexing of the signal is what contributes to dot crawl (since it can be difficult to separate upon receiving the signal), thus our specific need for comb filters in composite-in CRTs.

    -S-video separates the luma from the chroma but doesn't distinguish between the parts of the chroma, giving two signals. Thus "Separated"-video.

    -Component segregates the luma and then separates the chroma into two parts (red/blue) and then derives the difference for the third value (green) upon receiving the signal, allowing bandwidth to be conserved by not transmitting the green signal separately and such.

    Technically, RGB is "component video" as well but most often "component" refers specifically to YPbPr/YCbCr color signals and not the componential RGB signals. The details of color signal are beyond anything we'd care about here but in lay terms the difference between YPbPr and YCbCr is that P refers to analog while C refers to digital; Y is the luma, b is the difference in signal for blue, and r is the difference for red (green is derived afterward), and the color values broadcasted between the analog and digital versions of the signal are numerically the same (naturally), except that one is susceptible to analog interference (the YPbPr signal) . It's been said that the Wii outputs in analog YPbPr while the GameCube natively outputs to YCbCr, the digital version, which is then immediately converted to analog using the DAC circuit in the cable - an extremely high quality converter, I hear.

    Kadano responds to some of this in his post below.

    -RGB 'component' is "superior" to YPbPr/YCbCr 'component' in that RBG signal transmits each chroma value separately in addition to the luma, allowing the full signals to be communicated and no interference or signal-loss to occur, which may happen slightly with YPbPr/component video.

    Kadano has more to say about this in his post above and below this one.

    This article may be useful (additional cable modification guides are referenced there as well):
    http://www.retrorgb.com/gamecubecompare.html


    TL;DR
    I feel more comfortable leaving this to Kadano's post below.
    I think I've seen two. Such a short-lived phase. Also one of the other benefits of EDTVs is that they were built widescreen, so they natively supported 16:9 aspect.

    If I'm remembering correctly, those CRTs were just marketed as displaying 1080i even though CRTs could display a multitude of resolutions/framerates (with limits - like 1080i60). Also, 1080i could be weird depending on your source - some cases of 1080i were actually upscaled 720p that had half the frames dropped, and some 720p were downscaled and deinterlaced 1080i. Obsolete debate though.
     
    #26 -Philip Coast Philip-, Sep 18, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  27. Kadano

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    I didn’t go into the differences and advantages of the various output signals and just listed them by quality because this thread is, in the end, only about the very best ones.

    Well, after all, composite video (CVBS) is bad because all color information is combined in a single line. Audio is sent in separate stereo, though. RF combines the CVBS and the stereo audio to a single AV line. Considering how S-Video looks superior to CVBS, with the only difference that the color information is separated in luma and chroma for S-Video, I think it’s pretty obvious that the modulation of both CVBS and stereo audio in RF cables has to deteriorate both audio and video quality.

    RGB-SCART is the best widely-used output mode in PAL regions, yes, but it’s not superior to YPbPr in every way.
    RGB-SCART has its video information separated into 4 lanes (RGBs; red, green, blue and composite sync) while YPbPr has its video information separated into 3 lanes (YsPbPr; 1 channel for luma and composite sync, 2 channels for chroma).
    While SCART’s 4 video lanes are somewhat superior, composite sync requires very little bandwidth and I’m pretty sure that the video quality is not affected by its modulation to Y in a perceivable / measurable way.
    YPbPr supports 480p by default. While SCART would be able to do this in theory, it’s never been defined as a standard and only very few devices support 480p (31khz) SCART.
    480p is definitely a more important advantage than the theoretical color advantage RGB has over YPbPr.

    I don’t agree here. I’ve read on forums about Wii/GC modifications that a similar chip to the Macronix chip in GC DAC cables is soldered to the Wii’s PCB and does the same thing. So the YPbPr from a Wii component cable is the same as the YPbPr from a GC component cable. I got someone to capture samples of Melee’s CSS on both with a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle (still the highest-quality consumer level YPbPr recording device): Wii 480p GC 480p
    Except for the obvious animation differences due to not being synced, they appear perfectly even in quality to me.

    RGB in 4:4:4 has slightly superior colors to YPbPR in 4:2:2 (as it is sent in Wii and GC), yes. However, the VGA signal you get from modified GC DAC cables is effectively 4:2:2 as well, as the YCbCr it was converted from is 4:2:2. I don’t see how the GC YPbPr cable is supposed to take care of this problem (see above for Wii/GC YPbPr comparison). If anything, then it’s the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle that does so, as it seems to compensate for 4:2:2 in some way. (It looks better than on every other YPbPr recording device.)

    As for your references, while the Gamecube article seems great, the GC vs. Wii picture seems way off. I own a multi-sync Sony PVM20M7MDE that displays 480p60 YPbPr, and it looks really great with both GC and Wii YPbPr cables. If there was such extreme artifacting as in the screenshot, I definitely would have noticed. Also, in that picture, they don’t even say what kind of video signal they compared. Not too reliable imho.

    Again, I don’t agree that GC YPbPr > Wii YPbPr and think that this is misinformation.

    Anyway, in my opinion a perfect Melee setup needs to fulfill these four criteria:
    1. Large screen
    2. Least amount of lag
    3. 480p60 capable
    4. Good colors and sound
    5. Recording in high quality possible

    Large graphical CRT PC monitors plus separate, dedicated speakers, GC DAC cables modded for RGBHV/VGA output and an active VGA splitters are the setup that fares by far the best in these that I know of.
     
  28. -Philip Coast Philip-

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    Thanks for your reply my post has been edited.
    Yep. But,
    I'll go with that. Sorry, from some of my reading it sounded like coaxial (professional level) could be better than RCA cables, but I realize the cables we're using may probably perform worse than the RCA we're using - anyway, I couldn't confirm it either way so I should have written my statement with that in mind.
    You have more knowledge than I do in this area...
    Ok. Your pictures look identical to me. This makes sense.
    I didn't know there was a 4:4:4/4:2:2 difference there. I'm still unfamiliar with that thing but I get the conceptual gist of subsampling.
    Fixed.
    Mr. High-roller over here, dedicated speakers... alright alright.
     
  29. Vorde

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    I would like to know if anyone has been able to test to see if Sync on Green/YPbPr is truely available on this monitor. I have a passive adapter, and would like to know if I could just go from Component > DVI. Thanks :)
     
  30. th3f3tt

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    Considering getting started with a Sony PVM-14L5. My cheapest option here would be to get a Wii with component cables to play in 480p? I'd also need some converters for the cables themselves, right? And external speakers? Sorry for the lack of technical knowledge.
     
  31. Kadano

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    Sony PVMs have in-built speakers. Note that the 14L5 is a bit small (14"), it might be considered too small for teams by some players.
    You need 3 RCA female to BNC male adapters. Six if you want to be able to record / stream as well. I bought them for 50 cents or something each.
     
  32. th3f3tt

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    Does that model have video out, too? I was using splitters to record on a very cheap dazzle and the crt would darken considerably. Is there a quality loss for players while streaming?
     
  33. Kadano

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    Yes.
    [​IMG]

    If you use unpowered (passive) splitters, yes. If you use distribution amplifiers like the PVMs have, there is no image quality loss at all.
     
  34. th3f3tt

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    Is it a mono speaker? It looks like there's only one audio input there.
     
  35. Kadano

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    Yes, as far as I know, all PVMs are mono audio.
     
  36. Sixfortyfive

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    Really good thread. I'm something of an A/V nut for retro games, so this topic is right up my alley.

    You're a wealth of good info Kadano, but I do want to make one correction. GCN component cables are slightly superior to Wii component cables. I've done some first-hand testing of my own to confirm it:

    http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51789

    You should be able to see that the Wii output is slightly noisier in general, especially on the color bleed test. The capture process is the same for both consoles. I certainly wouldn't say that it justifies the $100+ premium for most consumers, but the difference is there.

    My own streaming setup for Melee is:

    Gamecube D-terminal cable -> XCAPTURE-1 -> XRGB-3 (B1 / linedoubler mode) -> Dell E773c CRT VGA monitor

    For Brawl / Project M, I substitute a Wii w/ D-terminal cables.

    The XRGB / VGA combo is sublime. I'd be willing to bet that the only thing that possibly beats it is a 480p PVM monitor.
     
    Kadano likes this.
  37. WarioWaft

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    Probably a stupid quesiton, but is there any problem with just playing Melee on the first gen Wii's?

    Does it have to be on a gamecube? Didn't Wii's have their own composite cables? I remember buying an official Nintendo one whenI first bought my Wii in 2008. I'm not sure how the Wii's backward's compatibility works with Gamecube, but do tournaments not allow Melee to be played on Wii? It has to be on a gamecube?
     
    #37 WarioWaft, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  38. Kadano

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    Thanks, I’ve included that information and your post within the OP. I’ve listed the Wii cables below the Gamecube ones now.

    Have you managed to get the XCAPTURE-1 to use the correct color encoding? I remember TheThrillness showing that it uses BT.701 instead of BT.621 or something like that. If I’m not mistaken, it defaults to a different standard than Gamecubes and Wiis output, which results in ever-so-slightly off colors (too little blue to my perception).

    Also, what exactly is the XRGB-3‘s purpose in this device chain? Does it convert YPbPr to RGBHV and upscale from 480p to 960p?

    I use Gamecube RGBHV-modded DAC cables, an Extron distribution-amp with four outputs and StarTech PEXHDCAP for recording and three CRTs (currently Sony GDM-F520, Mitsubishi DiamondTron 2070SB and Philips 109MP) for playing.

    Well, like Sixfortyfive just explained, Wiis have worse video signal. Composite cables are the worst and very far from a “perfect setup”.
    Playing in 480p and with less than 1 microsecond lag are the requirements I define as a perfect setup. You can use Wiis for that, but you need component cables and a Sony PVM-20L5 or 20M7MDE.

    Altogether, Gamecubes are simply better and can be used with much cheaper (yet same picture quality / amount of lag) CRTs even when recording / streaming.
     
  39. WarioWaft

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    My bad,

    I had it backwards. I was referring to the Wii's Component Cables.

    Composite is usually Yell-Whi-Red right? I meant the 5 input Component, which I think includes Green and Blue as well.

    Can you tell me what is the best and 2nd best set up for Melee in regards to...

    Gamecube out to >> Projector for the audience, Line to Capture Card, plus Line to the TV the players are playing on?

    What about the original Wii? What's the best possible set up or 2nd best possible set up for that? I'm going to be running a tournament in a few months and if I can't get my hands on Gamecubes, I have friends who have Wii's that haven't been touched for almost 5-6 years. So I can just buy theirs off their hands for dirt cheap or even free and that would be my backup plan.
    I personally have an original 2001 Gamecube, but I don't want to use it that much just for my personal sentimental reasons haha.
     
  40. Sixfortyfive

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    In most circumstances, there's no practical issues running Melee on Wiis instead of Gamecubes if that's what you have. Gamecubes are simply more convenient because you don't need Wii Remotes to navigate the menu and start the game. Gamecube component cables are slightly higher quality, but Wii component cables are much cheaper and far easier to find.

    The XCAPTURE-1 has issues when it comes to handling certain color spaces and full/limited range discrepancies. You can correct for it in software. I usually run my footage through an alias filter in VirtualDub to correct recordings when I have to, and if I wasn't lazy then I could edit the shaders in OBS to fix it as I stream. For the Xbox 360, I just change the console's color space to YCbCr601 and that compensates for the error. (I sure wish the Wii U had meaningful video options...)

    It actually *doesn't* seem to be an issue at all for the Gamecube/Wii. Check the color bar test in the previous link I posted and you'll notice that every single shade of color is distinct and that the sampled colors range from 0 to about 250 on average, which is close to full range (0-255) with no apparent black/white crush or washed out colors. You can compare the captured images to the source file if you want to really evaluate how well the card's color sampling fares in this case.

    The XRGB-3 is used in this setup simply to convert component to VGA. The upscaling mode isn't used. (The XRGB-3's upscaler mode has about 1.5 frames of lag. The linedoubler mode has close to 0 lag and either doubles the resolution of 15khz sources or simply does a color space conversion for 31khz sources.)
     

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