MiST VGA upscaling experiments

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby johey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:55 pm

Oh I see! Very interesting to know that the XRGB Mini does support 31 kHz on the SCART port if properly wired/converted. I need to look in to that. The XRGB Mini is really great but badly lacks documentation. :)

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:18 pm

Yes... trying that was a leap of faith after reading a vague forum posting somewhere that suggested Dreamcast VGA 31khz output worked with it.

Another thing i've found out is that the upscaler can be rather weak at switching from 50hz to 60hz (and vice-versa), sometimes resulting in scrambled screens or things becoming tinted pink. Two tricks that usually work: 1) offset the HPOS by 1 or -1 (e.g. fixes signal from real C64) or 2) restart the unit with the machine running (so it initializes again to 50hz).

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Devrandom » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:23 am

I have just received this today:

VGA YPbPr +USB Audio to HDMI Scaler Converter Box Player Upscale Console to HDTV
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161708659336

Initial tests shows pretty good results - event the C64 core works great! I will continue to test some more - any of you familiar with this box?

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:32 am

If you don't mind opening it, could you check what chip it uses?

I'm guessing it's also the MS9829 chip but I'd like to know if there are others chips out there.

It looks like MS put up a webpage for the chip now :)
http://www.macrosilicon.com/info.asp?ba ... third_id=3

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Devrandom » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Absolutely no problem - here's a picture of the board :-)
board.jpg
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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:38 pm

Very interesting! That could be a better solution than the MS chip because they are splitting the processing in two separate chips (the second chip is a pure HDMI encoder receiving 24bit RGB).

Are you using 60hz cores or 50hz?

The HDMI encoder is this one, no clue what that "VD12" is though:
https://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&sour ... T0mOU6x0oA

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Devrandom » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:06 am

Cool, glad it was of help :)

I'm actually using cores in both 60hz and 50hz, I find that some games doesn't work in NTSC but fine in PAL and vice versa... so I do some switching when necessary.

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Devrandom » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:58 pm

Okay - I really need to clarify things.....

I've just bought the Atlona HD500 (VGA->HDMI converter/upscaler) - this is a master-piece in my opinion. Colors are nice and saturated, edges are sharp and movement smooth. SO, what I previously stated as "pretty good results" was actually OK, but compared to this converter it's really inferior.
So, this box is also slightly more expensive... but I'm thinking about keeping it. Wauw :)

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby TonyHoyle » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:40 pm

Does the atlona support all the modes that the MIST outputs?

I've been looking around for a scaler and although ebay seems to be full of ones that list only 60hz support, which is pretty useless for a scaler sold in the UK :D This one, although pricey, lists lots of mode support, but I'd rather not spend the money if something else would do the job..

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Devrandom » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:06 pm

Well, I won't put my head on the block and say it works for all outputs - however, I haven't experienced an output yet that wasn't supported by it! :D

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:18 am

Mmmh... it's pricey but is cheaper than the XRGB-Mini + UMSA combo I've been using (U$S 350 to U$S 450 total + shipping separately).
I also like that's it's much smaller so less clutter around. Does it solve the "vertical line" scaling issues?

For a similar price one can get an X-Capture 1 (VGA/HDMI/RCA/Component to 60fps USB capture on PC), but this capture card is still subject to the scaling problem. I don't mind for capturing videos since it shows what people are likely to get, but as an upscaler it's mostly a backup/convenience rather than my main setup.

I guess it depends whether or not you are interested in plugging other machines into it and/or if you also want to capture video out of it.
The path to video perfection is an expensive one... :|

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby TonyHoyle » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:59 pm

I've got mine.. So far I've found the Atari ST core and the gameboy core don't work with it, and haven't tried every core yet..

Pity, as it sounded good, but I'm really not planning on switching wires around every time I switch cores..

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:11 pm

So the Atlona doesn't work for all cores then?

You can setup a small VGA switch to choose whether to connect to your upscaler or directly to a TV. I use that to allow testing quickly "raw" connection.

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:55 am

Side-by-side comparison of using the MiST directly vs. using a GBS-8200: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZyA7-4nnZ0

Youtube mangled my video a bit, but I think we can still see the trade-off between smoother scroller but fuzzier image(?).

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Thu May 19, 2016 12:45 am

Added one more converter to the list on the wiki. The Port-TA VGA to HDMI converter is another MS9282 device.
I wonder if it would be possible to cheaply produce a MS9282 board to plug to the MiST, using power from USB...

Looking in AliExpress, I see a lot of devices at under $10 (plus shipping). These probably work the same if the same MS9282 chip is inside. If so it would be an even cheaper alternative to these converter boxes... argh now I'm tempted to try them to find out :?

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Janosch » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:28 am

Hi,

after messing around with various LCDs and a GBS-8220 i still had no luck in getting good results (off center image is my main problem) i finally ordered a XRGB-Mini. I read this thread and a couple of others to dertermine which cables i do need and how to connect the Mist to the XRGB, unfotunately i'm now even more confused then before.

Could somebody shed some light of this? Do i really need a VGA => SCART Adapter + JP21 => Europea Scart Adapter for getting best results? I mainly interested in the Amiga AGA Cores (for use with OS 3.9 but also playing games like pinball dreams).

Kind regards

jan schreiber

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:16 pm

Let me try to break it down:

XRGB ships with a cable to connect it to JP21. I just bought an alternate cable to the SCART standard since all my machines are in European standard. That means I don't have to worry about what is JP21 vs. SCART, no risk of accidentally mixing them. You can find those cables in various online shops.

Then you have two options.

If you're OK with limiting yourself to the 15khz video modes (240p) it's enough to get the MiST SCART cable. It's supported on Minimig so perhaps you're all set.

If you want to also run any other core with VGA output (480p) it turns out the XRGB can handle 31khz through the same SCART input (there is no direct VGA input in the XRGB). But the MIST will output H and V sync that has to be combined into SCART's single sync pin.

I use the second setup which works with both 15khz and 31khz modes. It also works with Dreamcast VGA output. If you don't care about that the first setup is cheaper.

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Janosch » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:23 pm

Hi,

thank you for your quick reply, if i'm understand correctly then this this two cables would do for option one:

http://arcadeforge.net/UMSA:::15.html
https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/european-scart-to-framemeister-xrgb-mini-passive-converter-for-sale

Nevertheless i prefer going with the second setup, how do you merge H and V sync into scart single sync pin? With some custom soldered stuff or is some kind of adapter neccessary?

Thank you once again and kind regards

jan

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:55 pm

ArcadeForge's UMSA is option 2 :) merging sync is the purpose of that box, beyond just adapting the plug.

Option 1 is using this instead of the UMSA:
https://www.dragonbox.de/en/413-mist-sc ... -fpga.html

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Janosch » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:40 am

Thank you Newsdee, went for the UMSA now, can't wait for the XRGB to be delivered ;-)

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:37 am

When you get the XRGB don't forget to upgrade to the latest English firmware, it supports saving profiles to microSD card.

You can also buy an overlay in English for the remote.

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Janosch » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:44 am

Hi,

the one i ordered already comes with the overlay for the remote. But did not know about the profles on microSD card, sounds very handy. Thank you!

kind regards

Jan

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby goran » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:28 pm

Little info:

I tried VGA -> HDMI adapter, hoping that my monitor will accept PAL resolution on HDMI. Unfortunately, Adapter I tried is outputs only standard computer resolutions (640x480 - 1920x1080, 60Hz) so no luck.

Adapter I tried: http://www.delock.com/produkte/F_663_VG ... kmale.html

Best regards,
Goran

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Newsdee » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:13 pm

These cheaper adapters will not convert 50hz to 60hz, and not all displays accept 50hz over HDMI. I've upgraded a small LCD TV after the old one died, and the new one works with 50hz fortunately.

Try using a 60hz core first to check everything is setup right.

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Re: MiST VGA upscaling experiments

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:35 pm

MiST definitely needs scaler daughter board.
Recently i've bought Amiga 1200 and then so-called flickerfixer: http://amigastore.eu/en/194-indivision- ... ixer-.html
This is, actually, scaler supporting wide range of resolution and scale+frameconvert to correct HDMI/DVI/VGA resolutions. It sits on one of Amiga chip and gets all required signals. It's lucky that Amiga uses PLCC chips and thus allowing such piggybacking mods. For MiST it will be harder, but still doable i think. It either can get signals from VGA resistor array, or if possible from fpga pins directly.

Lack of HDMI output is my biggest frustration from MiST. MiST author asks to use some strange monitors supporting non-standard retro modes. But if you want to use standard modern TV with HDMI or projector, then you have no options.
And using external scaler is not a good idea by many reasons:
1) external scaler has no idea about pixel clocks, thus you will have distortions when some pixels are wider, and some are very narrow.
2) external scalers usually made either only for old TV resolutions, or VGA-only. I didn't find universal scaler/converter supporting both. And in retro video both TV and VGA are non-standard, so you can expect a lot of problems even you will find some universal (usually crazy-expensive) scaler.
3) external scaler has to guess the parameters of video and sometimes misses, making video look ugly. non-centered, etc..

Those, who may be looked at OSSC - forget it. It's a rubbish. Waste of money!


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