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  1. #1
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    Video upscalers (classic/retro to HDMI)

    I'm searching to see what current solutions exist to upscaler video. Specifically to take the outputs from retro systems, upscale them to at least 720p, and output them via HDMI.

    XRGB

    The famous gaming upscaler, the XRGB 3 and mini, have now ended production and no longer available. It's sad to see such a great project not continue development.

    It did always have the issue of being Japanese only so needed importing, which increased the price. Its remote was only in Japanese which didn't help, as well as the onscreen UI, but the firmware couple be upgraded to an English version. You also needed a spacial SCART cable to convert the port to EURO SCART because it was wired differentibg in Japan.

    RetroTINK https://www.retrotink.com/

    Retrotink make a number of products that are more affordable then many alternatives and are basically scan doublers so you can get an image from retro systems onto a modern display. I think the 2x devices also have scanline generators but I might be wrong.

    The first commercial release was the x2 and that's all it did. Take an image and double it.

    They also have devices such as the 2X-SCART which is still based on the 2x but takes an RGB SCART input and transcodes it and outputs it to HDMI. And another dedicated to component.

    The current top end product is the 5X-Pro, which is very similar in design and function to the old XRGB Products. It has a lot of different inputs and can be configured a lot using it's included remote. But this isn't cheap. To get one in the UK including import duty would cost you about 360. It is AFAIK the current best solution for a retro gaming scandoubler though.

    mClassic https://marseilleinc.com/products/buy-mclassic

    This is a questionable device, especially for the money. It takes an HDMI input and outputs an HDMI output. Confused?

    Looking at the product I'm guessing it was original developed for the Nintendo Switch to take its 720p output and scandouble it to 1080p. My question is, what's the point? The site states "Enjoy the visuals of a higher resolution and improved graphics on any screen". If its just a scandoubler how are the graphics improved?

    Personally I can't see a point to this. All current TVs have upscaling built in that will handle 720p and display it fine. In fact most TVs will even take 480p and do a pretty good job.

    The site also states "The mClassic graphics processor enhances every pixel on the fly with no lag time. It will up-scale gameplay from 480p up to 1440p60 on supported monitors. Our anti-aliasing algorithm delivers amazing results without causing a known blurring effect in graphics, especially on the sharp edges and small textures."

    Therefore it can upscale from 480p to 1440p (2K). Not all TVs support 2K resolution so you might need to use 1080p. The problem is this device only accepts an HDMI input,, so for retro systems you would also need another device to transcode from its native output to HDMI. So that begs thy question, why use this over a RetroTINK 2x device?

    This to me is more of a solution for anyone wanting to use a monitor, rather then a TV, a they don't have the upscaling technology built in like most TVs. But even so I can't really see a point to it.

    I need to see if anyone has reviewed this. I hate the idea of needing to daisy chain devices because that will always degrade the image quality when it's originating as an analogue source, and multiple converters in series will always increase latency and lag.

    Other Devices

    I will add more upscalers as I think of or discover them.

    If you know of any please post them.
    Last edited by Harrison; 15th November 2023 at 11:05.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I think I'm going to upscale the entire world by getting my eyes checked and getting some glasses

  3. #3
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    The ultimate retro upscaler is about to be released.

    RetroTink-4K

    https://www.retrotink.com/post/intro...e-retrotink-4k.

    This isn't going to be cheap though at $750! But it can pretty much handle any input from any connection type and upscale it to whatever you like, including 4K. The main reason for 4K is that pretty much all new TVs are now 4K so upscaling to the native resolution gives much better results than to a lower one that the TV then needs to upscale again and introduce lag.

    It also looks like it's going to have some really nice CRT filters to give your games that authentic scanline feel, but this isn't just adding lines to your image. It's processing it so it looks like the CRT phospher dots to try and create as close an effect to make pixel art and CRT blur look real. Nice!

    There is lots of info in the link and some videos showing it off. It's a really nice device of you have money to spend and the most impressive thing is RetroTink is pretty much still a one man company. Now that is impressive!

    I really want one of these now. If only.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
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    Ouch @ the price though!
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

  5. #5
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    Does not accept RF input.

    Can modern TVs accept this directly?

    It's been a long time since I've even seen something that worked by RF. Perhaps it was my N64.

  6. #6
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    As analogue signals no longer exist for broadcasts I'm not sure if new TVs even support it. Or if they just do digital tuning now. I don't use Freeview so haven't needed to tune a TV in a long time. My original Atari 2600 only has RF so I will have to test that at some point.

    Funny thing is when recently posting a CRT TV to find a new home on some CRT collectors groups many were asking how to convert newer system outputs to get them displayed via RF on their old CRT TVs. Amusing that they are trying to downgrade images to the worst possible image output now. How things come full circle.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #7
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    I can't imagine why anyone would want to have a modern console/computer on an RF output, unless they had a particular TV set that they really like.

    Anyway, for what its worth, I've used a mid 2010s (post switchover) Panasonic smart TV and that has an analogue tuner as well as DVB-T/DVB-T2. Don't know if they still do, as its use would be very limited.

  8. #8
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    I suppose if it was built for multiple countries or regions then there might still be some countries using analogue broadcasts.

    I've been following some CRT collector groups on Facebook and it's funny to see them trying to do exactly the opposite of most. Normally retro collectors and gamers are trying to get all their systems to look good on modern screens. But they are trying to get modern consoles working on retro CRTs. Some have posted PS3 and 360s running on very old 70s TVs and the image actually looks good. Surprising because they have had to pass the image through multiple devices to get it to the RF input on the TV. But I wonder if there is less interference for RF now that we don't have any TV stations broadcasting analogue signals.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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