About the “bootleg” OSSCs

As we wait for our next batch of OSSCs to arrive (currently stuck in customs pending clearance, not long now!) many people have noticed that a Chinese company has recently decided to start making their own version of the OSSC. This product has now appeared through the usual distribution channels, AliExpress, eBay, Amazon etc.

Given that OSSC is by and large an open source project, they are for the most part free to do this. Sadly, rather than producing their own high quality product, the end product is more what you might expect from Chinese bootleggers. One of our more knowledgeable readers obtained one of these OSSC clones and inspected it, here’s what he found.

The unit itself comes in a nice package, which looks to have been custom moulded for the product and the accessories.Β  A nice touch really (maybe we’ll rip that off). Price wise the units are competitively priced, similar to VideoGamePerfection but they contain all accessories by default, often making them a fraction cheaper. That’s where most of the good news ends however. There are several problems with the units that buyers should be wary of.

1. The PSU is of low quality. The negative pole of the power jack has 65VAC in it (compared to earth), suggesting lacking isolation (the PSU we sell is much, much better in this regard). This can be easily felt with a finger and is highly un-optimal for an analogue video application and could be dangerous in some situations.

2. The quality of the PCB is lacklustre – it has rough edges and solder mask partially missing from some traces.

3. The RGB/YPbPr input has not been inserted into the PCB all the way (at least on the unit we evaluated), causing the PCB to bend when the case is assembled and the screws tightened.

4. The manual is a blatant rip-off (from VideoGamePerfection.com), with a false claim of copyright, no less.

5. The bottom sticker with the CE and WEEE logos tells to ask for support from videogameperfection.com! Obviously we will not honour any guarantees nor provide any servicing or technical support for these units. If they break down on you, don’t come to us! Our units are also properly audited for RoHS/WEEE and comply with EU laws relating to electrical safety and recycling, there is little chance that the bootleggers actually bothered with this.

6. Most of the units come with one months warranty. As they are shipped from China they aren’t legally required to provide any more. All VGP units come with 12 months warranty.

7. VGP pays a donation to Marqs (the creator of OSSC) for each OSSC batch produced to help fund OSSC development and exciting future products. As you probably have guessed, no such donation is made when one of these units is sold.

As far as we know, all re-sellers are currently selling these inferior units. That includes the so-called Kaico model and any other re-brandings. Kaico submitted an OSSC for quality evaluation to Markus and their unit appears to be of better quality. However they are still copying our user guide and other materials. One re-seller based in Australia (Malee?), is hand soldering his own.

Naturally we always assumed that making the OSSC an open source device would open it up to other manufacturers eventually, but It’s a shame that it hasn’t resulted in more creative spin off projects too. It’s also a shame that the bootleggers have stolen our copyright materials, such as logo and user manual. Obviously we complained to eBay but unsurprisingly we were totally ignored. The next step would be to threaten legal action but of course that would be costly, money we could invest in new projects rather than petty legal squabbles.

Finally, since we’re the original re-sellers of OSSC there will no doubt be accusations that we simply made this information up to protect our own sales. Therefore we encourage anyone in the community to take a look at one of these OSSCs and report their own findings

 

26 thoughts on “About the “bootleg” OSSCs

  1. darry says:

    I actually bought a third-party OSSC off of Amazon a few months ago . I wanted to buy from you guys, but COVID restrictions being in place, I had settle for something closer and faster to ship . I now regret it .

    – It was actually slightly more expensive than ordering from you .
    – the remote control did not work and had to be disassembled and re-assembled before it worked (don’t know the exact cause, possibly a loose battery compartment spring)
    – The PSU was crap (generated noise into my audio mixer) and had to be replaced by a better one
    – Using the fairly clean output of a 3Dfx Voodoo 3 3000, I am getting noise and ghosting in pass-through mode above 1024×768 or so (especially 1600×1200) . This is hard to spot on a monitor, but very visible on a zoomed video capture over DVI (Datapath E1S). Connecting the video card directly to a monitor’s VGA input has no visible ghosting at all .

    So I just ordered one from videogameperfection.com and will report back when I receive it .

    Keep up the good work !

      • Darry says:

        To keep costs down, I did not order a PSU, so I won’t be able to comment on that . If anybody is interested, I have posted some captures where what I believe is ghosting can be seen .

        https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?p=897339#p897339

        I initially thought it was a timings or phase adjustment issue, but even with timings matched precisely with the help of PowerStrip, it still looks bad .

        • Darry says:

          I just got my new authentic OSSC and, unfortunately, the ghosting is still there . I have reproduced it with a direct VGA capture on a Datapath E1S (actually looks worse on that) . I have also tried multiple VGA cables . For some reason, however, with a direct VGA connection to my monitor, I see no ghosting at 1600×1200 (TBH, on the monitor it is hardly noticeable, even through the OSSC). Either my Voodoo 3 is at fault or all my VGA cables are bad (ordered some supposedly decent coax Startech brand ones, but the issues remains) . I will try with another VGA card and compare, but anyway, my issue is not related to the OSSC, AFAICT .

          More details are available here, if anybody is interested : https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?p=903691#p903691

          I am still happy to have eventually purchased an OSSC from VGP .

          • BuckoA51 says:

            I was playing with adding scanlines to 480p and 720p content with mine and I noticed some ghosting around white text, honestly not sure what causes it, but I also see some hint of ghosting around VGA content fed into a genuine VGA monitor too, especially at higher resolutions. Maybe we’re just more picky now? OSSC Pro will have more filtering on the VGA input so maybe that will help, in the meantime thanks for your support but I don’t mind if you want to send it back.

  2. R2K says:

    Confession: I used to own a bootleg OSSC. A few people on Discord said that there was one third-party seller with excellent reviews that could be trusted, so I gave it a shot.

    I ended up returning the bootleg OSSC and replacing it with an “official” VGP-sourced device. The kicker for me was hearing that VGP gives royalties to the device’s original creator.

    I can’t comment on the quality of the power supply or the build as I just don’t have any background with those sorts of topics. I can say the following, though: the bootleg device – supposedly the “best” of the bootleg options – only has three profile save slots. The official device has at least ten. That’s a pretty transparent difference, so I can imagine there are numerous other small differences in the feature set that I just didn’t notice.

  3. MrM says:

    Small leak current is quite normal with non grounded switching power supply. Example PS3 leaks 240AC to the signal ground, the current is just so minimal that it does not matter. Quite often psu have filtering capacitor from both neutral and live to the local gnd, making local GND level to be half of the wall plugs AC. So having 65VAC leaking is not necessary dangerous or making any problems even it is not optimal. Hell, even one of my amplifiers (that cost over 3000 euros) leaks more than 65VAC to the signal ground and I have demonstrated this same behavior using oscillosope with highend preamps.

    That set aside, probably the PSUs of these chinese OSSC are anyway shit for different reasons.

  4. Benoit says:

    Hi ! How can we test that a power supply is lacking isolation ? How did you find the 65VAC value ? Thanks for your answer.

  5. Tristan D Kirkpatrick says:

    How does one “bootleg” something that is Open Source? That’s not a bootleg that’s competition.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Did you actually read the article? They copied our instruction manual and put our logo/sticker on it saying “for support visit videogameperfection.com”. Basically trying to pass it off as one of our units.

    • cybercylon says:

      I think the big thing is they are using videogameperfection’s marks and instruction manual. It would have been one thing if they made their own manual and made it clear what they were doing. Using someone else’s instructions and logo is purposely being deceptive.

  6. cybercylon says:

    I wish I had seen this this a week ago as I pulled the trigger on one of those on eBay. Lesson learned. The cost wasn’t so far off from here, but there were other warning signs in the listing that I just missed in the rush.

    We shall see when it gets here. Based on this article, I am concerned about hooking it up at all. I will probably try it on a spare console. Definitely looks like the power supply is not to be trusted.

    When they are on sale again here, I have a couple of questions:

    1. Will the double VAT charge for non EU customers be resolved? That is what kept me from ordering here, and they they were sold out (hence me going elsewhere).

    2. Does the stock unit come with a power supply?

    Given the open source nature, had they made their own with their own branding and were honest about what it was, I guess it would be less of an issue. Using your branding is rotten and can really confuse people. I feel like I have an educational video to make once it is sorted all out.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Double VAT is already sorted. PSU is optional so you can source your own if you prefer (hook it up to your fancy audiophile linear PSU if you want πŸ™‚ ).

  7. Ben says:

    I spent so long deciding between ossc and xrga, I was concerned about the snes flicker untill I remembered I’ll be using the superNT! Now I’ve gone to buy they are sold out!

    How many do you get in a batch, will it be a mad dash to get one once they are back in or does the stock normally last a few days/weeks?

    Also a post or something for people like me who have very little knowledge of this kind of stuff, simple and practical info on attaching each console maybe. I’m not even sure if I can plug a non rgb console into it?

    Hoping to hook up my NES (don’t think that will work unmodded) Gamecube, N64 (don’t think that will work) Wii, Megadrive (and master system adaptor) Saturn, Dreamcast, PS2 and maybe PS1. My TV hates the Dreamcast so I really hope that will work.

    Thanks

      • Ben says:

        Thanks for the link.

        Got a much better understanding of how it works, i was watching YouTube videos that jump in at the deep end and expect you to understand all the terms.

        I’ll be sad to loose my crt but this looks to be the best alternative.

        Was very impressed to get tracking info so soon after I placed my order, good work!

  8. Gerard Bevans says:

    When you say competitively priced, I think you mean far cheaper. They can be bought for 110 shipped,full kit.

    Would have been good to hear how it performs over instead of copied documentation and length of warranty…

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Checked Aliexpress and Amazon there weren’t any anywhere near that cheap. I’d be very careful buying from a reseller selling that cheaply.

      They perform exactly the same from an end user perspective.

  9. Zach says:

    I would only consider getting a bootleg OSSC if I am going to be using it with sketchy equipment. Might be worth considering using it with those super guns that have been reported to be operating out of spec or that one consolized NeoGeo that bricked a Youtuber’s OSSC.

  10. NemesisPrime says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been waiting for the OSSC to be available worldwide for nearly a month, and the eBay listings are tempting. I was hoping to find a used or refurb one. This was not the case as all the ones I found were listed as “new”. Most of the sellers I found are saying they are based in the USA, but their OSSCs all ship from China. Big red flag! I’d rather pay a bit more and get it from a reputable source than get a cheaply made knockoff. Plus, I want to support the original creator and VGP; this helps the community and encourages future development. I’ll wait a bit longer and give my money to people who actually give a damn.

  11. Mailson Pereira says:

    I believe it’s not gonna fly. OSSC customers only expect the best results from it, and moreover we have gratitude for this magnificent product that enabled us to play our videogames the best quality possible with modern TVs.

  12. Robert Russell says:

    One thing that would be really nice to know: how can someone identify a bootleg OSSC from the genuine one?

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