Dreamcast Toro+SCART question

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #20614
    puregreen
    Participant

    Hey there,

    Could someone explain me what are the benefits of using Toro (or any other similar thing) to connect my Dreamcast to OSSC via SCART if I could just use the official Dreamcast SCART (well, or maybe some 3rd party ones) and connect it directly to OSSC? I don’t need any fancy stuff like scanlines generator and for the games incompatible with 480p I could just use Code Breaker (or maybe it doesn’t work that way?) instead of the Toro switcher trick. Am I missing something like the sync thing or something else?

    In general, is it correct that SCART gives you the same image quality as VGA in the games that support the latter? I’ve seen people saying this here but I still can’t believe it 😀 I was always taught that VGA is the best thing for Dreamcast period. Even the Beharbros website says ‘Dreamcast natively supports VGA output mode however you need a SPECIAL CABLE to enable this mode.’ So… where’s the truth?

    It’s not about money, I’m just trying to understand what stuff do I need to get the best image quality possible while having as less wires as possible…

    Thanks!

    #20619
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Could someone explain me what are the benefits of using Toro (or any other similar thing) to connect my Dreamcast to OSSC via SCART if I could just use the official Dreamcast SCART (well, or maybe some 3rd party ones) and connect it directly to OSSC? I don’t need any fancy stuff like scanlines generator and for the games incompatible with 480p I could just use Code Breaker (or maybe it doesn’t work that way?) instead of the Toro switcher trick. Am I missing something like the sync thing or something else?

    The benefits of the Toro depend on what you want to do with your Dreamcast and what you already have. Assuming Codebreaker can force 480p with the SCART cable, you can likely accomplish what you want for less than the cost of a Toro and male-to-male SCART cable. (And I imagine Codebreaker is a bit more convenient to use than reaching around behind the console to flip the switch on the Toro.)

    If you weren’t starting with Codebreaker and a SCART cable, such as if all you had was a composite cable, then you’d probably be looking more at a Toro (If you want to use a PC CRT, or you already have something like the OSSC) or Akura (If you want to connect directly to a modern display without any additional video processors and you don’t care about playing SD-only Dreamcast games).

    In general, is it correct that SCART gives you the same image quality as VGA in the games that support the latter? I’ve seen people saying this here but I still can’t believe it ? I was always taught that VGA is the best thing for Dreamcast period. Even the Beharbros website says ‘Dreamcast natively supports VGA output mode however you need a SPECIAL CABLE to enable this mode.’ So… where’s the truth?

    The short answer is yes and no. 😛 VGA in this context is the same exact RGB as RGB from SCART, except the horizontal and vertical sync signals are separate instead of muxed as they are with SCART (composite sync; not to be confused with sync-on-composite or composite video). Also, VGA devices often don’t support interlaced video, and SCART devices often don’t support anything better than standard-definition video, which is the case with the Xbox, which is allegedly to avoid damage to CRT TVs that can’t handle 480p+.

    For the longest time, the best video quality you could get from a Dreamcast came from a ‘VGA box’, which just gave you RGBHV, but most people haven’t make the distinction between VGA and RGB (and many still don’t).

    Where you might actually see a quality difference between SCART and VGA will be with cable build quality and shielding. Normal SCART cables typically use composite video as a sync signal; and, in a poorly-shielded cable, that composite video signal (as well as nearby power cables, for example) can interfere with the other lines, causing visual noise and/or audio hum/buzzing.

    #20621
    puregreen
    Participant

    The benefits of the Toro depend on what you want to do with your Dreamcast and what you already have.

    Pretty simple – I want to get the best image quality possible, no matter how much money it would cost. However if some things like Toro don’t improve anything, it’s obvious I could just skip them in my setup.

    Assuming Codebreaker can force 480p with the SCART cable

    I’m totally unsure it can do this 🙂 I wanted to ask someone who tried that first before buying…

    The short answer is yes and no

    Why? 🙂 It’s a simple question, yes or no – does the highest quality SCART give you the same image quality as the highest quality VGA box in the games that support the latter?

    except the horizontal and vertical sync signals are separate instead of muxed as they are with SCART

    is it better or worse?

    Where you might actually see a quality difference between SCART and VGA will be with cable build quality and shielding.

    But what if we’re assuming both of them are highest possible quality?

    #20622
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Okay. Simply put, all other things equal, you would be hard-pressed to discern any difference between RGBS and RGBHV; so the question is really what your connected devices support.

    In the case of the OSSC, it supports both, so you can use either SCART or VGA. Just know that the VGA input (AV3) on the OSSC does not have the same LPF capability as the SCART input (AV1), and, if you use AV3, you must manually enable the DTV 480p option for Dreamcast usage, otherwise you’ll end up with the wrong aspect ratio.

    #20623
    puregreen
    Participant

    Alright, thanks… I really would like to hear a second opinion, especially regarding Code Breaker with SCART.

    #20626
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    In general, is it correct that SCART gives you the same image quality as VGA in the games that support the latter?

    No, the standard Dreamcast SCART cable only supports 480i. I’ve never heard of someone coming up with a code breaker code to get around that limitation.

    (And I imagine Codebreaker is a bit more convenient to use than reaching around behind the console to flip the switch on the Toro.)

    Swapping discs and fiddling with AR codes is more convenient than flipping a switch? How do you figure that one?

    For 480p games there’s no difference using AV1 or AV3 on the Dreamcast. For 480i and 240p games, AV1 is a better choice, so all round the Toro via SCART is the best option for OSSC.

    #20629
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Swapping discs and fiddling with AR codes is more convenient than flipping a switch? How do you figure that one?

    My Dreamcast is on the middle shelf of a TV stand. With the Toro connected (and BeharBros recommending against bending the cable), the entire unit is very deep. If I have the front of the console facing outward, I’d have to get down on my knees and reach back into the stand about a foot and a half and feel around for the switch. In this scenario, it takes effort to deal with disc swapping than dealing with the switch. To get around this, my Dreamcast is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise, so I have easier access to the Toro.

    For 480p games there’s no difference using AV1 or AV3 on the Dreamcast. For 480i and 240p games, AV1 is a better choice, so all round the Toro via SCART is the best option for OSSC.

    My understanding was that the Dreamcast, even in 480p, uses a 720×480 frame, and AV3 defaults to a 640×480 frame, so you’d still need to toggle DTV 480p on for AV3.

    #20630
    puregreen
    Participant

    No, the standard Dreamcast SCART cable only supports 480i. I’ve never heard of someone coming up with a code breaker code to get around that limitation.

    I didn’t know that the official one doesn’t support 480p… Are there any 3rd party ones that do?
    But for the Toro->SCART and Toro->VGA setups the picture quality would be the same for 480p games?

    #20632
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    I didn’t know that the official one doesn’t support 480p… Are there any 3rd party ones that do?

    Yes. You can buy one made by thefoo.83 on eBay, and RetroGamingCables is in the process of getting Dreamcast AV cable connectors manufactured for their own cables. The compatibility is enabled with a switch, same as the Toro.

    But for the Toro->SCART and Toro->VGA setups the picture quality would be the same for 480p games?

    Again, all other things equal, RGBS over SCART and RGBHV over VGA from the Dreamcast will be indistinguishable.

    #20633
    puregreen
    Participant

    Again, all other things equal, RGBS over SCART and RGBHV over VGA from the Dreamcast will be indistinguishable.

    Ok so for the ‘Toro->SCART’ setup what is the best quality SCART cable available as of now?
    https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/euroscart-male-to-euroscart-male-rgb-scart-cable-pro
    this one?

    And one more off topic question – will the ‘Toro->SCART->OSSC’ setup work with Elgato HD60S (specifically if I use line-doubling)? That was asked by one guy in a nearby thread but still no reply…

    #20634
    puregreen
    Participant

    Again, all other things equal, RGBS over SCART and RGBHV over VGA from the Dreamcast will be indistinguishable.

    What can you say about this guy’s comparison video where RGB SCART definitely looks worse than VGA? https://youtu.be/zosZPMWQ_ZQ?t=23m

    #20637
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Again, all other things equal, RGBS over SCART and RGBHV over VGA from the Dreamcast will be indistinguishable.

    What can you say about this guy’s comparison video where RGB SCART definitely looks worse than VGA? https://youtu.be/zosZPMWQ_ZQ?t=23m

    Because, again, the Dreamcast does not support progressive scan over regular RGB SCART cables. When you see RGB SCART in Adam Koralik’s video, it’s SD 480i running through the Framemeister; and, when you see VGA via HDMI, which is using the Akura, it’s ED 480p. The RGB SCART footage is based on half the video data compared to the Akura footage.

    I should probably clarify that the aftermarket/third-party SCART cables with toggle switches activate RGBHV/VGA mode on the console and have built-in sync combiner circuits that allow the cable to output 480p RGBS via SCART, whereas straight SCART cables (such as an official one) activate native RGBS mode, which, again, is limited to SD/15kHz video modes.

    A more equal test of RGBS and RGBHV from the Dreamcast would be to hook up a Toro via VGA to the OSSC, and then flip between RGBS and RGBHV using the toggle switch between the SCART and VGA outputs.

    #20638
    puregreen
    Participant

    When you see RGB SCART in Adam Koralik’s video, it’s SD 480i running through the Framemeister

    oh… I think I missed the part where he said he’s using SCART directly out of the Dreamcast. I thought he’s using something like Toro->SCART or maybe one of those advanced SCARTs by thefoo.83

    But the one from RetroGamingCables should be just fine, right? I noticed Beharbros recommend using their ‘Sony Premium SCART’ and they claim it to be ‘the best cable for your setup’ for some reason 🙂

    #20639
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    oh… I think I missed the part where he said he’s using SCART directly out of the Dreamcast. I thought he’s using something like Toro->SCART or maybe one of those advanced SCARTs by thefoo.83

    Admittedly, I wasn’t able to find Adam’s description of what specific configuration or equipment he used for that test, but, if he’s advertising it as RGB SCART, it should be a safe assumption he’s using a straight SCART cable. (I don’t think Adam Koralik, of all people, would misrepresent the Dreamcast.)

    That said, the Toro is capable of acting like a straight SCART cable by configuring the video mode switch for RGB (15kHz) and the output sync switch for RGBS, and I assume thefoo.83’s cables should also be capable of the same output by configuring its switch for RGB (15kHz).

    But the one from RetroGamingCables should be just fine, right? I noticed Beharbros recommend using their ‘Sony Premium SCART’ and they claim it to be ‘the best cable for your setup’ for some reason ?

    If you’re talking about the RetroGamingCables Dreamcast cable, it has not yet been made available for sale, and it’s not clear from the current product page whether or not it will include a mode switch.

    If you’re talking about the male-to-male Pack-a-punch cables versus the Sony cables sold by BeharBros, I think the Pack-a-punch are going to be better-shielded, but, if you’re in the US, these Kabeldirect cables will be cheaper, faster to acquire, and they’re shielded decently enough for most people.

    #20640
    puregreen
    Participant

    the Toro is capable of acting like a straight SCART cable by configuring the video mode switch for RGB (15kHz) and the output sync switch for RGBS, and I assume thefoo.83’s cables should also be capable of the same output by configuring its switch for RGB (15kHz).

    Pack-a-punch cables are capable of this output too, right?

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