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Hey Viletim HDMI question again

Started by Tighe, August 11, 2009, 11:17:44 am

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Tighe

Hi Viletim,

I don't know if you remember my e-mail about 6 months ago about making a HDMI output for the N64 by tapping into the TTL video data and sending that through a DVI transmitter.  You said that DVI and HDMI don't support 13.5 mhz clock rates.

I found this transmitter that has built in pixel repetition:

http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download/datasheets/TDA9981B_1.pdf

I know you don't really care about hooking up older consoles via HDMI, but most digital TVs do such a horrible job with composite and svideo.  I have a friend who just got a monster tv and his Neo Geo AES and he has it hooked up to his old tv cause it looks so bad on his new samsung.

What are your thoughts in regard to adding HDMI to a Neo or a N64?  How hard would it be to do?   You have more knowledge than I do when it comes to this.

Much appreciated, Tighe

Tighe


Artemio

Why not get an XRGB instead? It would solve your problem and also be useful for all your consoles provided you get the RGB cables for them.

I went that route with my HDTV since I've always had a CRT set and love how it looks and the response time.

Tighe

Quote from: Snatcher on August 11, 2009, 11:20:42 am
Why not get an XRGB instead? It would solve your problem and also be useful for all your consoles provided you get the RGB cables for them.

I went that route with my HDTV since I've always had a CRT set and love how it looks and the response time.


Two reasons:

1.  Using the XRGB converts digital to analog, to a differnt analog format, then the TV converts it to digital.   This way it would be digital to digital.

2. The XRGB is expensive, and most older consoles would require mods to get RGB out.

Of course there is one console that you could never do it to, the NES, damn PPU!  If suppose if I modded the NES with a arcade PPU I could get RGB and send that through a XRGB.

But really I want to know how to add HDMI to an older console.


viletim

Tighe,

From a cursory glance at the datasheet it does seems possible to use the digital video as a source for this chip. It would need a CPLD or similar to seperate the colour data and generate the clock signals (wouldn't be hard to modify the one used in my DAC design). Then you'd needs a microcontroller or similar to set up this transmitter chip via I2C. Solder it all together and it might work...

I don't really know enough about these new digital video protocols (DVI, etc) to say much more. I've never even seen a "720 x 240p" signal displayed through a digital connection. What would it look like?

Snatcher's advice is good, and I believe the latest model of XRGB has a digital video output.

Tighe

Quote from: viletim on August 12, 2009, 10:51:33 pm
Tighe,

From a cursory glance at the datasheet it does seems possible to use the digital video as a source for this chip. It would need a CPLD or similar to seperate the colour data and generate the clock signals (wouldn't be hard to modify the one used in my DAC design). Then you'd needs a microcontroller or similar to set up this transmitter chip via I2C. Solder it all together and it might work...

I don't really know enough about these new digital video protocols (DVI, etc) to say much more. I've never even seen a "720 x 240p" signal displayed through a digital connection. What would it look like?

Snatcher's advice is good, and I believe the latest model of XRGB has a digital video output.


Thanks so much for your reply viletim!   While a XRGB would solve the problem, I really want to do this to see if it is possible.  I am going to take your advice and see how far I can get, but expect follow-up questions!  ;D

I have a PC hooked up to my HD LCD TV and I run games in resolutions lower than the screen (even  320x240) and it looks great.  Pixels are doubled etc, instead of the weird filtering it does via composite or s-video.  720x240 looks really good too.


RGB32E

You might be able to hack one of these into a console (by-passing the analog to digital circuitry):


They're only $33 on ebay, and would cost you less than buying the ICs needed (extremely small legs).

RGB32E

Quote from: viletim on August 12, 2009, 10:51:33 pmSnatcher's advice is good, and I believe the latest model of XRGB has a digital video output.


According to Fudoh, the latest model of XRGB (XRGB-3) only outputs an analog signal when the low input lag/line doubling mode is selected.

Tighe

I wanted to bump this thread again, It would be awesome to have a N64 with HDMI out, never going to analog signal!

mr. newbie

couldn't you just play it on an emulator and output it via your gfx card's hdmi?


imparanoic

as some newer higher end android have micro hdmi

why not use an android emulator for n64 ( can do others, snes, pc engine, md, neo geo - apparently, even so ps1 games),  play via hdmi, then use a wii controller ( even better use the classic controller or a ps2 adaptor and ps2 pad) or some people even use ps3 pads as well.

this is a great way to enter the world of classic gaming without spending alot, however, to some purist and for those willing to spend a bit more, this is close, but can not beat the real thing ( i have a xrgb2 plus, snes with shvc-010 and mod rgb pc engine, ps1) (ps2 is also upscaled via hd box pro to 1080p)

Tighe

Quote from: mr. newbie on October 26, 2011, 08:16:36 am
couldn't you just play it on an emulator and output it via your gfx card's hdmi?


Quote from: imparanoic on October 26, 2011, 03:51:26 pm
as some newer higher end android have micro hdmi

why not use an android emulator for n64 ( can do others, snes, pc engine, md, neo geo - apparently, even so ps1 games),  play via hdmi, then use a wii controller ( even better use the classic controller or a ps2 adaptor and ps2 pad) or some people even use ps3 pads as well.

this is a great way to enter the world of classic gaming without spending alot, however, to some purist and for those willing to spend a bit more, this is close, but can not beat the real thing ( i have a xrgb2 plus, snes with shvc-010 and mod rgb pc engine, ps1) (ps2 is also upscaled via hd box pro to 1080p)


For some people emulation is fine, but it is NEVER the same as original hardware.  In particular, the N64 emulation is NOTHING like the original.  It actually is a HLE or high level emulator it doesn't emulate the hardware at all, but rather reads the ROM and interpret what how the game is run.

I would really just want to be able to play the N64 on a HD TV and have it look good.

imparanoic

s video to hdmi converter then

in theory, this is what u want, but i doubt it u will gain an quality visual using this method

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-RCA-Composite-S-video-R-L-2-HDMI-Converter-CVBS-AV-/260874758994?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbd58eb52

in reality, xrgb is best way of getting the best quality out of older systems, but its a rare, i happen to be local to come across on in a local auction and the fact very few people in asia like retro gaming


Tighe

Quote from: imparanoic on October 27, 2011, 01:24:22 am
or a cheap vga box

http://www.amazon.com/Multi-Input-PlayStation-Gamecube-Dreamcast-Camcorder-2/dp/B000JCLLUW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_vg_1




Well the nice think about using an HDMI encoder like I described above, is that you would be sending the original digital image that was never converted to analog.  You can't get better than that.

imparanoic

just because the signal is digital does not mean it's quality, it's like comparing vcd visuals with analog laserdisc visual, ld kills vcds even though it's analog

that why a xrgb is always the best method to make old consoles good on lcds.

Tighe

Quote from: imparanoic on October 27, 2011, 09:08:58 am
just because the signal is digital does not mean it's quality, it's like comparing vcd visuals with analog laserdisc visual, ld kills vcds even though it's analog

that why a xrgb is always the best method to make old consoles good on lcds.


Your analogy doesn't pertain in this case. VCDs were lower resolution and used lossy video compression.

In this case what I am proposing is taking the digital video signal before it goes into the digital to analog converter chip and encoding the digital signal to the HDMI protocol. You cannot get a better video source than this.

While the xrgb is good you are using a signal that was digital converted to analog then converted back to digital then up converted to a higher resolution. This won't look as good.


imparanoic

in theory, if we could retro fit our 20-25 year old consoles to have hdmi output or even component video with standard 1080p upscaler and scanline generator as standard would be a theoretical nirvana for all retro console lovers, or even better if nintendo, snk, nec/hudson re-release uprigged consoles with hdmi redesigns and maybe sd card for back up as well in the process, the problem do you think they can sell these redesigned classic console in six or even 5 figure number of  units to break even from the development cost and manufacturer cost?
from a modder point of view, how much will you spend in both time and potential expensive components on a classic consoles to achieve this?, more to the point, is it even technically feasible to do this type of mod?

the only nearest thing to this, would be audio side where sp/dif optical output retro have been sucessfully done, but as far as i know, hdmi retro fit has not been possible at this moment, or more to the point, with this type of mod, would the end result look very close to an emulator ?

Tighe

Quote from: imparanoic on October 27, 2011, 11:57:06 am
in theory, if we could retro fit our 20-25 year old consoles to have hdmi output or even component video with standard 1080p upscaler and scanline generator as standard would be a theoretical nirvana for all retro console lovers, or even better if nintendo, snk, nec/hudson re-release uprigged consoles with hdmi redesigns and maybe sd card for back up as well in the process, the problem do you think they can sell these redesigned classic console in six or even 5 figure number of  units to break even from the development cost and manufacturer cost?
from a modder point of view, how much will you spend in both time and potential expensive components on a classic consoles to achieve this?, more to the point, is it even technically feasible to do this type of mod?

the only nearest thing to this, would be audio side where sp/dif optical output retro have been sucessfully done, but as far as i know, hdmi retro fit has not been possible at this moment, or more to the point, with this type of mod, would the end result look very close to an emulator ?


You could do this with any game system that you can get to the digital video, it obvioulsy won't work with a NES since the PPU only outputs an analog signal.



The nice thing about this chip is that it will encode TTL video and also send S/PDIF audio over the HDMI protocol.  The N64 would be perfect to use this!

RGB32E

Quote from: Tighe on October 28, 2011, 12:01:29 am
You could do this with any game system that you can get to the digital video, it obvioulsy won't work with a NES since the PPU only outputs an analog signal.



The nice thing about this chip is that it will encode TTL video and also send S/PDIF audio over the HDMI protocol.  The N64 would be perfect to use this!


I believe viletim covered some of the difficulites of doing this (keeping everything in the digital domain):
1. Output resolution... what TV or scaler would accept the resulting DVI/HDMI signal?
2. Frame rate differences... (timing/framerate conversion)
3. Non-standard timed digital audio output - e.g. the SNES SPDIF mod outputs a non-standard sub 22kHz output that isn't compatible with all devices.

Not saying it would be technically imposible to add a HDMI transmitter to a select number of consoles, but the end result (HDMI signal) might not be compatible with any TV/Receiver/Scaler!  :-\

Sounds like you're in need of a RGB modded N64 and NES and a XRGB-3!  :o  I was initially skeptical of the XRGB-3, but once purchased and used with my RGB consoles (including RGB N64 and NES) I was convinced that it's the defacto solution. 

There's also the XRGB-mini (Frame Meister) that is expected to start shipping in December!  It will be interesting to see how that compares to the XRGB-3!  One interesting aspect of the frame meister is that it has HDMI inputs for scaling.  So just a thought - if you have non-standard HDMI ouput (HDMI transmitter mod) and the right firmware on the mini to accept the non-standard HDMI, perhaps that'll be the key!  However, framerate and sound sample frequency conversion would still be an issue though! ;)  (just "theorizing" about the HDMI/mini bit here)

Tighe

Quote from: RGB32E on October 28, 2011, 12:50:15 am
Quote from: Tighe on October 28, 2011, 12:01:29 am
You could do this with any game system that you can get to the digital video, it obvioulsy won't work with a NES since the PPU only outputs an analog signal.



The nice thing about this chip is that it will encode TTL video and also send S/PDIF audio over the HDMI protocol.  The N64 would be perfect to use this!


I believe viletim covered some of the difficulites of doing this (keeping everything in the digital domain):
1. Output resolution... what TV or scaler would accept the resulting DVI/HDMI signal?
2. Frame rate differences... (timing/framerate conversion)
3. Non-standard timed digital audio output - e.g. the SNES SPDIF mod outputs a non-standard sub 22kHz output that isn't compatible with all devices.

Not saying it would be technically imposible to add a HDMI transmitter to a select number of consoles, but the end result (HDMI signal) might not be compatible with any TV/Receiver/Scaler!  :-\

Sounds like you're in need of a RGB modded N64 and NES and a XRGB-3!  :o  I was initially skeptical of the XRGB-3, but once purchased and used with my RGB consoles (including RGB N64 and NES) I was convinced that it's the defacto solution. 

There's also the XRGB-mini (Frame Meister) that is expected to start shipping in December!  It will be interesting to see how that compares to the XRGB-3!  One interesting aspect of the frame meister is that it has HDMI inputs for scaling.  So just a thought - if you have non-standard HDMI ouput (HDMI transmitter mod) and the right firmware on the mini to accept the non-standard HDMI, perhaps that'll be the key!  However, framerate and sound sample frequency conversion would still be an issue though! ;)  (just "theorizing" about the HDMI/mini bit here)


I am not sure about the audio sample rates, but any spec HDMI device has to support resolutions in the spec.  Which includes all the resolutions that the N64 ouputs.

Tighe

Here check out the block diagram on this chip:


RGB32E

Quote from: imparanoic on October 27, 2011, 11:57:06 am
the only nearest thing to this, would be audio side where sp/dif optical output retro have been sucessfully done, but as far as i know, hdmi retro fit has not been possible at this moment, or more to the point, with this type of mod, would the end result look very close to an emulator ?


The answer is yes and no (RGB from NES, SNES, and N64 connected to a XRGB-3 in B0 mode ouputting 1920x1080):
;D

NES


SNES


N64

Tighe

Quote from: RGB32E on October 28, 2011, 01:10:20 am
Quote from: imparanoic on October 27, 2011, 11:57:06 am
the only nearest thing to this, would be audio side where sp/dif optical output retro have been sucessfully done, but as far as i know, hdmi retro fit has not been possible at this moment, or more to the point, with this type of mod, would the end result look very close to an emulator ?


The answer is yes and no (RGB from NES, SNES, and N64 connected to a XRGB-3 in B0 mode ouputting 1920x1080):
;D

NES


SNES


N64



I have to say that looks really good!  There is only a tiny bit of aliasing!  The colors on the Metroid screen shot look a little off, but I assume that is from the Playchoice PPU.

Tighe

I just looked up the price on that XRGB-3!  $500+!!!  That is nutz!  The encoder chip I am talking about using is $6 from mouser electronics, even with the other components you would need it would be WAY cheaper.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/NXP/TDA9981BHL-15-C15/?qs=6YAT8rHPFU%2fgal635Wo%252b0A%3d%3d

RGB32E

Quote from: Tighe on October 28, 2011, 01:17:54 am
I just looked up the price on that XRGB-3!  $500+!!!  That is nutz!  The encoder chip I am talking about using is $6 from mouser electronics, even with the other components you would need it would be WAY cheaper.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/NXP/TDA9981BHL-15-C15/?qs=6YAT8rHPFU%2fgal635Wo%252b0A%3d%3d


Oh the naivety of that statement!  ;D

Here's the eval board for a similar transmitter made by Analog Devices (something you could use for R&D, not including the cost of manufacturing a final product):
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?vendor=0&keywords=AD9889B%2FPCBZ-ND

My XRGB-3 was only $330... but then again, I didn't buy it off of eBay and the US/Yen exchange rate has become worse over the past two years!  Good luck! :)

Tighe

Quote from: RGB32E on October 28, 2011, 01:43:50 am
Quote from: Tighe on October 28, 2011, 01:17:54 am
I just looked up the price on that XRGB-3!  $500+!!!  That is nutz!  The encoder chip I am talking about using is $6 from mouser electronics, even with the other components you would need it would be WAY cheaper.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/NXP/TDA9981BHL-15-C15/?qs=6YAT8rHPFU%2fgal635Wo%252b0A%3d%3d


Oh the naivety of that statement!  ;D

Here's the eval board for a similar transmitter made by Analog Devices (something you could use for R&D, not including the cost of manufacturing a final product):
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?vendor=0&keywords=AD9889B%2FPCBZ-ND

My XRGB-3 was only $330... but then again, I didn't buy it off of eBay and the US/Yen exchange rate has become worse over the past two years!  Good luck! :)



LOL, that is an eval board, and not necessary, all that is necessary is breadboard, wire and solder.  :P

imparanoic

My xrgb2 can output very close to xrgb3, except xrgb3 has upscaling

xrgb1 ( very basic ) but can be found cheap at around $60
xrgb 2 ( most people consider minium, supports 15k htz pic, apparents unique for some arcade pcbs ) but can be found cheap at around $80-110
Xrgb 2 plus is great, reasonably priced, around $150-180
XRGB3 is very pricy (even in HK, it will cost in region of ($230 - $300)

Tighe

Just bumping up this thread, wondering if anyone has tried doing this.

bronko

@Tighe: Is this what you are looking for: http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=43034 ?

I don't know if this will ever get released, but see page 7 for some nice pictures of the current PCB design.


I was thinking about doing something just like this on the Gamecube as it has a Digital A/V port (at least the earlier versions).
Does anyone know about some similar projects for the Gamecube ?

Tighe

Quote from: bronko on February 12, 2013, 03:14:59 am
@Tighe: Is this what you are looking for: http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=43034 ?

I don't know if this will ever get released, but see page 7 for some nice pictures of the current PCB design.


I was thinking about doing something just like this on the Gamecube as it has a Digital A/V port (at least the earlier versions).
Does anyone know about some similar projects for the Gamecube ?


Close, but it doesn't go to HDMI as far as I can tell.

bronko

Quote from: Tighe on February 12, 2013, 03:26:24 am
Close, but it doesn't go to HDMI as far as I can tell.


On the PCB picture on page 7, above the FPGA are two ICs. I'd say one is for analog and one for digital output (hence the DVI connector). And he mentions in this post (http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?p=484879#p484879), that HDMI is possible.
The RGB raw data is there, so it's just a matter of programming the FPGA, in interfacing the ICs (and doing some buffering, scaling etc.).

Tighe

Oh OK, I didn't realize that, as that thread is 7 pages long! :-)  Thanks!