Issues with the Retrotink 2x SCART

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  • #38430
    Eric Mackrodt
    Participant

    Hello,

    I just got my Retrotink 2x SCART to upgrade from my generic scart to hdmi upscaler and I’m really disapointed with the results I got so far.
    In the generic all of my consoles work, even my Nintendo 64, and the image is pretty clean.
    With the retrotink I’m getting a lot of noise in the image, especially on the PS1, Dreamcast and Gamecube. The N64 doesn’t even work with it, the image is mostly black with a very faint ghost of it. I watched reviews and they said that the retrotink works with the composite/s-video and I saw people using it with the Nintendo 64.
    It’s important to point out that I have a Lotharek Hydra2 as my scart switch, which also works perfectly with my generic switch.
    Maybe it’s my cables, I have generic scart cables, but they do work fine without the RetroTink in RGB.
    I also thought that maybe it was my TV upscaler because the RetroTINK doesn’t actually upscales to 720p or 1080p, so I connected the RetroTink to the generic upscaler as it has an HDMI input as well, but that didn’t help either.

    Does anyone know what I can do to improve my situation? I’m really sad given the RetroTINK is way more expensive than my Generic SCART to HDMI.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Edit: I forgot to point out that all of my setup is PAL.

    #38439
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    With the retrotink I’m getting a lot of noise in the image, especially on the PS1, Dreamcast and Gamecube.

    I’m not certain what the problem is, but visual noise tends to be caused by poorly-shielded/unshielded video cables where composite video is used as sync, or by dirty power sources, which can be cleaned up by using first-party or known-good PSUs (possibly also some form of power conditioner or UPS if the power in your house is really bad).

    You might not be seeing this interference or much of it with the generic scaler or your TV, because they may have additional video processing or stronger low-pass filtering for analogue sources that the RT2X-SCART lacks.

    The N64 doesn’t even work with it, the image is mostly black with a very faint ghost of it. I watched reviews and they said that the retrotink works with the composite/s-video and I saw people using it with the Nintendo 64.

    The regular RT2X and the RT2X Pro support composite video and S-Video (as well as 15kHz YPbPr); however, the RT2X-SCART is a different device, which only advertises support for RGBS input. If your N64 hasn’t been modded to output RGB, then this would explain the black screen you’re getting.

    #38447
    Eric Mackrodt
    Participant

    Thanks @nmalinoski.

    Yeah, it seems I was a bit mistaken about the s-video/composite support when I bought the device, I thought the Nintendo 64 would work, that’s on me. I might try to RGB mod it later.

    Now, in terms of the other issues, aside from what I mentioned before, I forgot to also mention that I have flicker with the image on my tv, it’s very noticeable on high contrast screens, like the PS1 menu. Now, that seems to be because of my TV, a 65″ 4K tv, not being able to scale the output form the Retrotink properly, I captured the footage with an elgato and the recording doesn’t have the flicker. I think that doesn’t happen with the generic scaler because it output higher resolutions, although it seems my TV is okay with 800×600 coming out of it.

    In terms of the noise, I had my RetroTINK connected to one of the USB ports of my TV. I tried to use a Raspberry PI power supply which should be of decent quality (granted, it’s a 3rd party one) and the result is the same. I can see the noise especially on dark colors (black backgrounds are very visible). One example is in the PS1 boot screen or in the beginning of RECV on the dreamcast before turning on the lighter.

    Also, I feel the colors of the Generic Upscaler are more vibrant. I have captured some footage of it all, I’ll try to compile them and put them side by side on Youtube, Once I do that, I’ll post it all here.

    Thanks!

    #38449
    Eric Mackrodt
    Participant

    A Little update,

    I’ve been testing a bit more and it seems that the noise has gotten better for some reason. I don’t know what it was, I haven’t changed anything in the setup.
    Now it’s just the flickering that I believe is my TV’s fault and the darker image on the RetroTINK. I think I’ll both get an mClassic or an mCable for upscaling and I’ll probably RGB mod my N64.

    Until then I think I’ll keep using the Generic Converter until I have those things done.

    Thanks.

    #38463
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    If by flicker you mean a sort of vertical shimmering, that may be due to bob-deinterlaced 480i and is normal for line-multipliers like the RT2X devices (and OSSC). I don’t believe any of the mCable products would be able to deinterlace bob-deinterlaced 480p, so, while those could take care of 480p->1080p upscaling, they wouldn’t do anything for that shimmer/flicker side-effect. You may want to try enabling either the smoothing or scanline filter; I’ve heard those can help mask this problem.

    Scalers (as opposed to line-multipliers) tend to include some form of deinterlacing, which is likely why 480i would look better through your generic scaler; however, that comes at the cost of about a frame of display lag.

    The darker image from the RT2X may be due to a number of reasons. If you have the scanline filter enabled, that would cause half of the resulting image to be black, which would warrant some brightness compensation; or it may be that your generic scaler has color/brightness overdriven.

    #38499
    Eric Mackrodt
    Participant

    That’s interesting @nmalinoski.
    It seems that I get the flicker/shimmering on the TV but not when I capture the footage (as it’s shown in it’s actual resolution). Enabling smoothing doesn’t seem to improve a lot.

    About the darker image, I don’t have scanlines enabled because I don’t really like how it looks.

    I have a video no youtube comparing the devices, you don’t really see the shimmering on it and I think it’s because it’s being shown as the actual resolution that the Retrotink outputs, it’s visible on my TV.

    Do you have any recommendations on how I can improve this? Maybe something I can connect between the Retrotink and the TV?

    Thanks

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