How do you switch between a consumer CRT (RGB only) and the OSSC?

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  • #26667
    shawly
    Participant

    A few days ago I ordered myself an OSSC, because while I like to play on my CRT, I also wanted to enjoy my 6th gen consoles on my other displays with HDMI inputs.
    My current setup is an OG Xbox, a PS2 and a Wii hooked up via retrogamingcables’ Packapunch cables to a Bandridge SCART switch connected to my B&O MX8000.

    But now I got one problem, the Xbox as well as the Wii can only display 480i/576i when hooked up via RGB SCART, which means I need to hook them up via component, otherwise I could only use 480i with my OSSC. Hooking them up via component means I always have to re-plug the consoles with either the component cables or the SCART cables depending on whether I wanna play on the CRT or the OSSC.

    I’ve thought about it for a few days now and the only solution where I can have RGB and YPbPr without switching cables is, that I’d have to build some cables where I can switch between RGB and YPbPr. Since SCART supports YPbPr and the OSSCs SCART input also does support it, I’d need some SCART cables which are wired for RGB and YPbPr where I can switch between both signals. Has anyone done something like this before?

    I know that I could technically also just hook the consoles up via component and use a converter which converts YPbPr to RGB SCART, but that’d mean the Packapunch cables I bought would be completely obsolete and I’d have to spend even more money on a converter.

    #26669
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    I’ve thought about it for a few days now and the only solution where I can have RGB and YPbPr without switching cables is, that I’d have to build some cables where I can switch between RGB and YPbPr. Since SCART supports YPbPr and the OSSCs SCART input also does support it, I’d need some SCART cables which are wired for RGB and YPbPr where I can switch between both signals. Has anyone done something like this before?

    SCART is technically already wired for YPbPr, in that Y, Pb, and Pr share the green, blue, and red wires respectively; however, it’s not that simple. With the Xbox and Wii, the video mode used is determined by a set of mode pins that are bridged depending on which cable is connected, so a component cable will bridge those pins one way to tell the console to use YPbPr output, and SCART cables will bridge the mode pins in a different way to tell the console to use RGBS output and limit to 15kHz video modes.

    Assuming your Wii is the correct revision, you could get a WiiDual modification installed, which would provide HDMI output as well as add support for outputting 480p RGBS (I believe over SCART). Unfortunately, the Xbox does not have a comparable modification available.

    The PS2, on the other hand, has a menu toggle to determine whether it outputs RGBS/RGsB or YPbPr; however, it has its own set of problems. It’ll output 480p over RGB, but it outputs in RGsB, so you’d either need a DE-15 cable with a built-in sync stripper, an Extron RGB interface, and a BNC to SCART cable, or you would need to perform a hard mod that disables sync-on-green in favor of full-time RGBS.

    As for what you can do, it’ll depend on your budget, availability of equipment, and how much work you want to put into it. If it’s just those three consoles, I think the easiest approach is to use YPbPr for everything, get a YPbPr switcher (4-port would do nicely; I personally have an Audio Authority 1154A, because I also use digital audio from PS2 and Xbox), a YPbPr splitter/distribution amp (at least a 1×2; here’s one made by ShinyBow), and something to convert YPbPr to RGBS (I know the BeharBros Garo can do this, but both the old and current versions have some nasty problems; an Extron CVC 200 should work fine).

    I would connect all of the consoles to the YPbPr switcher, then connect the output of the switcher to the splitter. One output from the splitter would go to AV2 on the OSSC, and the other would go to the YPbPr->RGBS converter, which would then go to the CRT. If your CRT supports YPbPr, or YPbPr over SCART, you can cut out the YPbPr->RGBS converter.

    #26670
    shawly
    Participant

    SCART is technically already wired for YPbPr, in that Y, Pb, and Pr share the green, blue, and red wires respectively; however, it’s not that simple. With the Xbox and Wii, the video mode used is determined by a set of mode pins that are bridged depending on which cable is connected, so a component cable will bridge those pins one way to tell the console to use YPbPr output, and SCART cables will bridge the mode pins in a different way to tell the console to use RGBS output and limit to 15kHz video modes.

    Yeah exactly, which is why I came up with the idea to build a cable that has a little switch so I could switch between the two modes. If the wiring is actually the same, it makes this mod even easier, because I just have to open up the connector and solder in a switch that bridges either of those contacts to switch between modes. The cable I got for my PS2 already has a sync stripper, so I’m set.

    As a switcher I looked at a Crosspoint 300 with 12 inputs and 4 outputs, since I can get one cheaper than the component one made by ShinyBow or a gcompsw. It also supports RGBHV, RGsB, RGBS and every other format there is, so I’m future proof. Because I know myself pretty good and I’m sure the three consoles are just the beginning, since I’m not really satisfied about emulating SNES and NES. Having an OSSC now will only increase the chance of me getting more consoles.

    Going the composite to rgb route is a problem, since there is currently no Extron CVC 200 available. Also if modifying my existing cables is a solution, I see no reason to spend money on a converter. I also got some random cables where I could try this mod on so I can make some prototypes before messing up my Packapunch cables.

    #26673
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Yeah exactly, which is why I came up with the idea to build a cable that has a little switch so I could switch between the two modes.

    Manual switches like that are cool until you have to actually flip them every time you want to do something. Perfectly viable, and something that Dreamcast ‘VGA’ boxes and cables frequently do. I have a BeharBros Toro box for my Dreamcast, and I can’t be bothered to keep flipping that damned switch; it’s so much more convenient to just have 480p forced automatically using a GDEMU with GDMenu. Like I said, doable with the WiiDual, sadly nothing for the Xbox.

    Going the composite to rgb route is a problem, since there is currently no Extron CVC 200 available.

    It’s component; composite video is something else (and composite sync is also something else); don’t get them confused.

    I believe the Extron CVC 300 is also a viable candidate, but those may also be unavailable.

    #26674
    shawly
    Participant

    It’s component; composite video is something else (and composite sync is also something else); don’t get them confused.

    Sorry, happens every time, I know the difference I just always type composite, lol.

    Like I said, doable with the WiiDual, sadly nothing for the Xbox.

    Since my Wii is an RVL-CPU-01, there is currently no way to add a WiiDual. Also the price of the WiiDual is putting me off too.

    I just looked at the AV pinouts of the consoles. For Xbox it’s just a matter of grounding pin 17, 18 and 19 for RGB and 18+19 for component, so I’d just have to add a small spring switch which toggles the grounding for pin 17.
    On the Wii it’s just a matter of shorting pin 8 and 10 and for the PS2 I don’t have to do anything since I can manually switch in the settings and apparently it can also provide up to 1080i via RGsB, so I guess I don’t even have to switch to YPbPr in the menu (guess I’ll try this later or tomorrow). Edit: Just tried it with the PS2, it definitely sends every signal over SCART depending on what has been set in the system settings, even though choosing YPbPr definitely makes sense with the OSSC, because switching from RGBS to RGsB every time the PS2 switches to 480p or 1080i is very annoying. So this concludes, I just need to mod my Wii and Xbox SCART cable to get what I want.

    Manual switches like that are cool until you have to actually flip them every time you want to do something.

    Well, you are right, but adding a button is a minimal and cheap procedure without having to give up any functionality. I still have to press the button if I want to switch displays, yes, but I don’t have to blindly switch cables which is harder than pressing a button. I also don’t have to wait until an Extron CVC is available and technically I don’t even need the Crosspoint anymore since I keep using SCART so my SCART switch won’t become obsolete.

    The only thing IMO speaking for the component only solution is that I could output the same picture to multiple displays (for recording stuff) or with the Crosspoint I could use two systems at once. But since I don’t record gameplay, nor do I plan to and have no need of using two systems at once, I’ll go with the cable mod switch solution.

    I’d rather invest more money into an upscaler which supports line-tripling and quadrupling, since I just found out that neither my pc monitor nor my TV support it. I’d have to play around more with the advanced timing options but I don’t have any hopes of getting it to work. Even though my monitor should support 960p and 1156p (tried setting these resolutions on my PC and it worked), it won’t display anything when I enable line-quadrupling (line-triple definitely won’t work since my pc monitor doesn’t like interlacing).

    #26676
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    line-triple definitely won’t work since my pc monitor doesn’t like interlacing

    Huh? Line triple output is not interlaced.

    #26677
    shawly
    Participant

    Line tripling with 480i is interlaced according to the wiki http://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?title=OSSC#480i.2F576i_proc

    #26678
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    shawly has it. You can see in the 480i/576i menu that that mode reads “line3x (laced)”. It’s the other two, line2x and line4x, that are bob-deinterlaced.

    #26679
    shawly
    Participant

    So I just opened up an older Wii SCART cable and bridged the necessary pins with some solder, since I don’t have buttons yet. Hooked it up to my Wii and the OSSC and look at that, 480p looks soo much better on my TV instead of the deinterlaced 480i, no jittering no wobbly textures, just a little noise because the cable is cheap. Even my pc monitor produces a somewhat acceptable picture, but the aliasing way more noticable on it.
    Guess I’ll order some buttons now and mod my cables, but first I’ll enjoy some GC games now, without wanting to gouge my eyes out. 🙂

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