OSSC Pro is coming!

What’s more exciting than our new website design? One thing that is  definitely better is the announcement of the new OSSC Pro! That’s right, our favourite line doubler is getting an upgrade and the new Pro model is far more than just a few little tweaks and revisions.

Introducing OSSC Pro

Block diagram of OSSC Pro. For more technical information see the announcement post on the Shmups forum.

OSSC Pro is a whole new scan converter that is currently a work in progress project. Development is now at an advanced phase and several prototype models already exist. While the first OSSC was designed to replace ageing line doublers such as the XRGB2 and XRGB3, OSSC Pro is designed to improve significantly on the original model. It brings lots of exciting new features that the community asked for. In other words, you asked for a Framemeister killer and now we’re going to deliver one! While it is important to remember that many of the features we talk about in this article aren’t implemented yet, the OSSC Pro hardware is certainly a powerful piece of kit and capable of everything we talk about here. It will be up to the community to help develop the required software to enable all of these features.

Cyclone V power

OSSC Pro will be powered by the new Cyclone V FPGA chip (the first OSSC was powered by a Cyclone 4 chip). You can think of this as the CPU of the OSSC, this more powerful chip will deliver higher performance and more resources, allowing developers to add all kinds of great new functions to the device.

Along with a beefed up CPU, the new device has 512MB of RAM and 16MB of flash. That’s 16 megabytes for firmware and 512 megabytes that can be used for all kinds of things, including a full frame buffer, but more on that later.

More IO

OSSC Pro will feature RGB SCART, D-Sub 15 (VGA) and component video inputs, just like the existing OSSC. It will also add a HDMI input and a SPDIF digital audio input.

The HDMI input can be used to scale and process video from HDMI modded consoles such as the Wiidual or GCDual, or to add scanlines or other picture processing effects to more modern consoles such as an Xbox 360 or PS3. The hardware is also capable of downscaling (converting to 240p or 480i) which would allow enthusiasts to display modern games on classic displays.

Infinitely expandable

A prototype motherboard.

On the side of the OSSC pro is a 2×20 pin “GPIO” expansion connector. This connector has enough bandwidth for any number of expansion modules which will appear for the OSSC Pro in the future. One of the first planned expansions will be Composite and S-Video inputs (the upcoming Koryuu transcoder will also be fully compatible with both OSSC and OSSC Pro). After that, the sky is the limit. Markus Hiienkari, creator of both the OSSC and OSSC Pro, had a few ideas for modules that would be possible:-

  • A secondary video output (e.g. VGA) module for connecting to CRTs
  • Latency/input lag tester interface module, similar to the Time Sleuth
  • A game controller port module

A game controller port module? Why would an upscaler need a controller port module? To answer that we need to look at another project that’s becoming popular in the retro gaming scene, the MISTer.

The MISTer is a repurposed DE10-Nano development board with a few add-on boards for video output, game controller connection etc. This board also contains a Cyclone 5 FPGA chip at its heart. The Cyclone 5 is so powerful it can actually be re-programmed to act exactly like the CPUs and chipsets that used to drive our favourite classic games consoles. In other words, the MISTer system is like a very accurate clone of these older machines. Think of it like an emulator you might run on your PC, but at an even lower level, resulting in a simulation that’s extremely accurate and without the problems of input lag that often (though not always) crop up with PC based emulators. An enthusiastic team of developers builds and maintains new and existing “cores”, which bring more and more classic consoles and computers to the platform.

Since the OSSC Pro is based around the same Cyclone 5 architecture, it can also be used in this way. Imagine, OSSC Pro could upscale your favourite, original consoles that you have owned since your childhood, while running highly accurate FPGA based simulations of other systems you don’t have the space for in your setup. The possibilities are nearly limitless. Given that OSSC Pro shares the same FPGA, porting over cores from MISTer should be easy.

Unprecedented scaling flexibility

Our prototype unit powers on and has basic scaling, but much more development needs to be done.

OSSC was designed as a pure line multiplier. One scanline in, two or more out. Line multiplication has a huge advantage over frame buffer based scaling because there is just a nanosecond or two of input lag, compared with at least a frame (16ms) with frame-buffer based scaling.

However, only so much can be achieved with line multiplication. Deinterlacing, for instance, was often considered to be the Achilles heel of the original OSSC, with only a basic, flickery bob deinterlacing possible due to the design of the unit.

Because of this, many enthusiasts ran an OSSC in parallel with another scaler in their setup. Often an XRGB Mini, which produces excellent results with 480i material (particularly PS2 games) while only having a 20ms input lag penalty.

The OSSC Pro will feature the most flexible scaling engine yet and will feature both a line multiplication and scaling engine all in the same device. There will be three modes of operation and the user will be able to choose the most appropriate one for their situation. The three modes are as follows:-

1) Pure line multiplication – The lag free scaling that OSSC is famous for
2) Adaptive line multiplication
3) Full frame buffer

What is “Adaptive line multiplication”? In this mode, visible lines are multiplied, but the horizontal and vertical total are matched to standard timings (e.g 720p or 1080p). You can think of it as creating a standard output window or frame and then putting the line multiplied output into that. A full frame buffer is NOT necessary for this new adaptive mode and Markus promises “high compatibility with minimal latency overhead (1-30 lines typically)”.

What else is possible in adaptive mode? More than you might imagine. The older, ABT scalers such as the VP50 and DVDO Edge could do picture resizing and adjustment with just an adaptive frame buffer like this, so such things should be possible for OSSC Pro too.

How about the “Full frame buffer” mode? A full frame buffer will mean 16 milliseconds of input lag (plus whatever your display itself adds) but opens up even more possibilities. Did you hate the flickery deinterlacing that OSSC did? If so, you will be pleased to hear that OSSC Pro will have a full deinterlacer, specially designed for gaming content.

That’s not all, with a full frame buffer all kinds of processing can be done. Have an older arcade game that needs a monitor in portrait orientation? In framebuffer mode, OSSC Pro can rotate the image for you, allowing you to play such a title without having to figure out a way to rotate your giant HDTV, or lie on the floor on your side.

Frame buffer mode will also allow for input and output frame rates to be de-coupled. This should help with games that switch between 240p and 480i output modes. The trade off is loss of completely smooth, judder free scrolling, but for games rendered completely unplayable on modern TVs it’s a trade off worth making.

With plenty of processing power under the hood, we can also expect a return of the scaling filters and other effects that were introduced briefly with OSSC. Prefer a Scale 2x kind of look for your retro consoles? Why not, it’s your system, you play it how you think looks best. Effects such as deblur for SNES, composite faux transparency re-processing or effects such as those introduced by hardware such as the mCable should all be possible.

What happens to the original OSSC?

Replacement OSSC Case
I still totally kick butt!

The original, classic OSSC is going nowhere for now and will still be sold and extensively supported in our store. If the current OSSC works well with your setup, then remember that OSSC Pro won’t scale things any better. You already have the best quality, zero input lag solution. For many users, the classic OSSC is all they will need.

We’ve worked closely with our suppliers to ensure the best price for OSSC. By doing away with fancy packaging and not paying overheads to Amazon we’re able to keep the quality high and the price low. In light of the OSSC Pro announcement, we’re now permanently cutting the price of the existing OSSC model by 15 euros down to 110 Euros. At this price point the device represents huge value for money.

When can I get the OSSC Pro?

At the moment we’re not taking pre-orders or starting a waiting list for OSSC Pro as there are still a lot of details to work out. As soon as we are able to take either pre-orders or start a waiting list, we will announce this on the website and on our social media channels. We will also have regular product updates on our social media, so be sure to follow us on either Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

76 thoughts on “OSSC Pro is coming!

  1. Pingback: OSSC NEWSLETTER ISSUE 19 – LET’S TALK ABOUT… 3 NEW OSSCS?! – VideoGamePerfection.com

  2. karuta says:

    Hello, I’m Japanese who bought OSSC.
    I’m sorry for my poor English.
    Upscaling with low latency is really great, thanks for developing it.

    I have high expectations for OSSC Pro downscaling (converting to 240p).
    I want to show 480p, 720p, 1080p on my Horizontal sync 15kHz CRT classic TV.
    I hope the creators of OSSC Pro will add an analog-JP21 RGB output like SNES.
    It requires a composite sync output, which is a mixture of horizontal sync and vertical sync.

    For 1080p input, I would like to have an overscan 240p that displays 960 Lines out of 1080 Lines.
    Also, for adjusting the display area and selecting the input line to be displayed as 240p,
    I want you to be able to adjust the ordinates in 1-line units of the input resolution.

    Please add this function to OSSC Pro. It can also be an additional option.
    Thank you.

  3. enigmaxtreme316 says:

    One aspect of the Framemeister I always loved was it’s two HDMI inputs. I’d use one for all my HDMI consoles and the other for things like my cable box/second PC monitor. Also, what about the remote control, one thing that always three me off the OSSC was it’s generic repurposed remote, I would love one that was designed with the device in mind

  4. ifohancroft says:

    I can’t wait!

    Btw, will it be able to do everything the Framemeister can do, at least as good as the Framemeister?

    Also, will it have a separate digital audio out (so there’s no conversion to analog, just a passthrough/extraction of the hdmi audio) so we can pass it to our own DAC/Amp setup?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      The deinterlacing might take a revision or two to get as spot on as the FM’s but I’m sure it’ll get there.

      No, no digital audio out (that’s kind of an edge case now!).

  5. Bjarne says:

    Hi again! Will the OSSC Pro support line-nonupling 240p (yeah, I looked that one up) to 2160p and line-quadrupling 480p to 1920p?

  6. Greg says:

    Hopefully this will come with hdmi 2.1 now, these sort of line doublers need to have variable refresh rates built into them which will remove any stuttering/judder that may occur in gameplay completely which is not often but never is better than not often.

      • ikrananka says:

        I’m not really sure if this is “variable refresh rate”, but quite a few Atari 2600 games change the number of scanlines and the frequency (refresh rate) at different stages in a game. With the OSSC this typically results in a blank screen for a few seconds each time it happens, often ruins the start of a game as it moves from a title screen to gameplay.

      • slk486 says:

        There is the advantage of being able to adapt the refresh rate to the exact console output, which VRR support would allow.

  7. Red_wind says:

    Hi and thank you for this amazing project.
    Would it be possible, with the OSSC Pro, to have “truncated” integer/lag-free scalings ?

    For example, displaying 2x 576 as 1080, by duplicating each line, starting from the 35th line (and dropping the last 34 lines too).
    -> 576*2 – 34 (top) – 34 (bottom) = 1152 – 72 = 1080.
    -> this would allow PAL users to enjoy a totally lag-free duplication-2x from 576i (or 4x 288p/i), with high compatibility result (1080p), the only cost being the truncated top/bottom (actually similar to some common display modes of 4:3 on old 16:9 CRT tvs). Of course, to increase compatibility, it would be better to add black pixels on the left/right of each line to reach a horizontal 1920 resolution without stretching content, but I’m not sure how feasable that is without a buffer.

    Another nice thing to have would be different choices for deinterlacing. For example:
    – pass-through (off),
    – bobbing (full rate, no lag, jittering),
    – bobbing only even fields (1/2 rate, no lag, no jittering),
    – weaving with previous field (full rate, no lag, combing),
    – weaving by pairs (1/2 rate, 1 field lag, combing/no combing depending on the game),
    – blending with previous field (full rate, no lag, ghosting).

    Anyway, I can’t wait for it to be available 🙂
    Keep up the good work.

      • Red_wind says:

        Thank you for the reply (and sorry for by bad english: “cropping” would have probably been a better word than “truncating top and bottom”). I also realize that I’m very bad at maths -> cropping 72px would mean 2*36px (not 34), so only 2*18px in the 576i source content.

        Anyway, good news if that’s possible. It would definitely be a great feature, considering many PAL ps1/ps2 games actually contain black bars in their output, so cropping the top/bottom 18px would only crop those black bars.

  8. sosafire says:

    hello, we are impatiently awaiting this project ^^ But we feel that the competition is trying to push you to your limits, and that makes us happy because the competition has it under the hood too ^^!

    1) I was wondering, the scanlines mode will also be present on an hdmi input?

    2) Will there be vertical scanlines when we are for example in TATE configuration command mode?

    3) will there be different line thicknesses as on a decdigital, that is: thickness:
    option, thin, very thin (option only available in 960p, 1080p)?

    4) Would we have full screens (for example all on fullHD 1080p or an option also in addition to 2k) for maximum compatibility with our screens of today, it was also the black point of the OSSC on this point. Many of us could not for example put on the screen the configuration of firebandX, the frustration is complete on this subject, especially if it is to have a real ratio / screen of the console on the screen, sega saturen, ps1 ect …?

    4) And do we hope that your next product (OSSC Pro) will be cheaper than what was previously stipulated, a range between 350,500 €?

  9. altgraph says:

    These specs are looking amazing! For my own use case though, I’ll mainly be using it to display 15Khz RGB output from my Atari ST on a modern HDMI monitor. Would it be giant overkill to use the OSSC Pro for this purpose compared to the classic OSSC? Or is there added functionality that could be of extra use for me?

  10. Turnigurni says:

    Hi!

    I want to connect my mini consoles to a European CRT tv. Would this device be able to accept 720p/1080p signal via HDMI, downscale it to 240p, and feed out a SCART RGB signal? I really hope it has a SCART RGB output!

    Also, any news on release date?

    Thanks!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      You would also need a HDMI to RGB converter on the output. At 720p/1080p you’re throwing away a lot of resolution with that kind of downscale and most games would probably be unplayable.

      • Turnigurni says:

        Thanks for the reply. The mini/classic consoles (like the SNES Classic) just stretch the emulated 240p image to 720p, so there’s no loss of detail there (I already run these in 480i and it looks pretty good). So the OSSC Pro will accept 480p+ sources and has an HDMI in?

        Do you guys have an HDMI to RGB converter for sale? I have a very hard time finding anything to RGB converters. Most of the time they seem to only convert to component, and I haven’t even found a component to RGB converter.

        Thank you again.

        • BuckoA51 says:

          It would depend on what kind of scaling was done, I doubt the conversion from 240p to 720p is Pixel perfect on those little clone consoles.

          We’d recommend the HD Fury Nano but unfortunately it seems to be discontinued.

  11. jacobpederson says:

    You guys should really be leaning into the MISTER compatibility more. You should be marketing this guy as a lag-free multi-console FPGA, which also happens to be an excellent upscaler lol. Just take a look at how fast Analogue sells out of their FPGA’s (and how much they resell for). Of course you would need to make sure you have enough SDRAM and usb connectivity to hit the magic Full Compatibility number (unlocking all that sweet sweet Neo Geo content). Also, I think you’re underestimating the use case of “downscaler.” I would LOVE to play me some Doom 2016 at 240p 🙂

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Mister compatibility is not confirmed, it will depend if the community decides to port the cores. We’re definitely focused on this as an upscaler/downscaler.

      We can’t comment on how Analogue does business! 🙂

  12. Joshua says:

    Hi, i know you said this is obviously not for film/movie content, but would it be too much to ask for a proper IVTC option (even for hard telecine sources)? or at least some way to easily implement it (custom firmware etc.)?

  13. Mike says:

    So would I be able to upscale vhs tapes (U.K.)?
    I’m trying to find a good quality capture setup for vhs. Currently I have a hd60 pro but that needs hdmi in. I do have an upscaleer but it’s a cheap one (£39) and currently the lowest quality link in my chain

    • BuckoA51 says:

      No, OSSC/OSSC Pro are designed for video game material and aren’t really suited to VHS capture. Even if you can transcode composite to RGB, you would most likely need at least an external timebase corrector and the scaling and deinterlacing is optimised for video game rather than video material.

      • altgraph says:

        Would it be possible to implement VHS capture by way of an expansion then? It would really fill a void in the market and find its audience among VHS collectors quite quickly, I think. Provided there are those willing to develop that of course. Just wondering about the capabilities of the extension port.

        • BuckoA51 says:

          Possibly but this won’t be the focus of the device. VHS tapes present some challenges like timebase correction etc. Aren’t there other solutions on the market specially designed for this?

          • Primus says:

            The problem is that external timebase correctors aren’t being made anymore, while the ones on the second-hand market are now starting to demand prices reaching $1600+ USD. The OSSC Pro could (in theory) become a cheaper, readily available device capable of timebase correction. The question is, does anybody have the time or incentive to reverse engineer it? It would be an incredible feat, as it would become a consistent/realistic/feasible option for a digitisation chain. Then you could just use a typical capture card to spit out the picture.

  14. Tulio says:

    A secondary video output (e.g. VGA) module for connecting to CRTs…. please add this, would be a god send feature if possible, because its easier to find a crt monitor than a PVM tv(and cheaper)

  15. Cae Herlin says:

    This might sound esoteric, but will it be possible to use the adaptive mode to shove a 480i/p signal into the center 720×480 region of a 960×480 frame? This would be useful for 16:9 computer monitors that can only display 720×480 in either 3:2 or 16:9. Adding the right size of black bars before the signal reaches the display could force the display to squish the 720×480 image to 4:3. Also on the topic of accommodating computer monitors, it would be helpful if the HDMI input could be used to convert limited range to full range, specifically since the Wii U is limited range only and computer monitors are usually designed for full range only. I don’t know if that’s outside the scope of this type of device, but I know the existing OSSC does have some settings related to color treatment.

  16. Brian Francis says:

    I need an HD line doubler that will take 1080i HDMI input and produce 1080p HDMI output with a texture smoothing option. Does this product do that. If not is there something you can recommend perhaps a product name or web link?

  17. Smokin says:

    will there be an outer shell made for the ossc pro. The lack of an outer shell was one thing I thought the original ossc lacked compared to the framemeister

  18. Benjamin W Mitchell says:

    A VGA out expansion would be great for allowing people to get a high def CRT experience on old PC monitors without having to pay the price for a rare multiformat BVM/PVM.

  19. Richie says:

    Will it allow 480P passthrough? I would like to play GameCube and PS2 games in Progressive Scan and the lack of 480P passthrough on the original OSSC was a bit of a downside for me.

      • Richie says:

        Ah, I got the two mixed up, sorry! But either way, I was gonna get the OSSC plus the Koryuu, but now I’d rather wait for the PRO because I’m really curious about the new HDMI input being added.

  20. Joe says:

    I have 4 systems I would like to use this product with: Genesis(240p), N64(240p), PS2(480i), and Xbox360(720p). I would like to plug the Genesis, N64, and PS2 each into their own Retro-Tink 2x Pro in order to get all these systems to output over HDMI at 480p. Then plug each of those individual HDMI outputs into a HDMI switcher (including the Xbox360 at it’s native 720p). Then take the HDMI output of the switcher to the input of the OSSC Pro; then upscale (or line multiply) all the 480p signals to a 720p signal (while not affecting the Xbox360 assumingely). This would then be plugged into an HD CRT Sony Trinitron (4:3 ratio) that has an HDMI input and native resolution of 720p. Will this setup work in theory? Will the OSSC Pro be able to force upscaled HD resolutions to a 4:3 aspect ratio for those older systems? Will the OSSC Pro be able to work with HDMI switchers at all? I appreciate any insights or answers to my questions you may have and really look forward to this product.

      • Joe says:

        I appreciate the response, but my questions were mainly in regard to using the OSSC Pro with an HDMI switcher. This is because I would like to use multiple systems that all output in different native resolutions. Also, if it is possible to use the switcher, will the OSSC Pro be able to automatically detect the input resolution and output the desired resolution? Or will I have to manually reconfigure it for each system whenever I play them?

        • Matthew Bee says:

          @Joe I am actually looking at using those exact same consoles. It sounds to me like you are over complicating and spending more money unnecessarily…
          Instead of having each of the console use a RetroTink 2x Pro.. Why don’t you just buy a good SCART or Component Switch and have this switch connect to the OSSC Pro for up-scaling. As I understand (as I don’t own an OSSC) you can configure and choose different profiles for your different systems.
          You could then have a HDMI switcher for the OSSC and the xbox360 that connects to your CRT.

          Another option would could do is use RAD2x cables for all your consoles and then use the HDMI switcher. But you don’t get the perks of the OSSC

  21. Jay Adams says:

    Will the S/PDIF in passthrough digital audio through HDMI? For example, when playing a PS2 game that is LPCM 2.0 for gameplay and Dolby Digital 5.1 for cutscenes, will both signals go through correctly?

  22. Bjarne says:

    I’m a layman, so please bear with me; as far as I understand it, hooking up, let’s say, a PS3 via HDMI-in and line-tripling the 720p to 2160p/4K will still not be an option with the OSSC Pro, right?
    What is the technical reason for that?
    Thanks to anyone explaining the specifics to me. 🙂

      • Bjarne says:

        Thanks for the reply. I was guessing something like that but wasn’t sure.
        So line-tripling the 360’s and the PS3’s 720p output to 4K will be something for OSSC-using retro gamers in the 2030s, maybe 🙂

  23. Jarrah White says:

    About that HDMI input, would it accept 240p and 288p signals over HDMI and offer the same line multiplying features? The Framemeister and even cheap SCART to HDMI or S-video to HDMI converters with secondary HDMI inputs are all capable of accepting 240p/288p over HDMI and work well with things like the Wii2HDMI or even the original OSSC in passthrough mode.

  24. TheCoolDave says:

    If it has S-video and composite support, I’d be in… I need S-video for some classic RF consoles that were modded in the past. No plans on Re-Modding them for RGB, so would need to find another solution with 0-lag.

  25. Ethan says:

    With the addition of an HDMI in, does that mean it will also have an HD passthrough function? It would be super convenient to have the whole array of modded retro consoles and next gen ones going through the same processor.

  26. Jacob Ansari says:

    This is starting to look like practically an insta-buy . The OSSC is already fantastic, but something with a buffer and scaling abilities would be a godsend .

    • Galaxy_Stranger says:

      I’d presume a Christmas release, but I’d be interested to know how far along the actual project work is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *