April 17, 2021 at 7:25 AM #46759
Hi all, could be a while off before i will need this, but one day it may just come up.
At the moment i run all my consoles via RGB into an XRGB-3 using the line doubling mode with scanlines, giving every added line about 35% brightness. This adds to the brightness of the image, but from the lounge (3.5 to 4 meters away from screen) those added lines can’t really be seen, and it looks like a perfect original image.
From the XRGB-3 the signal goes to a Barco Cine 9 CRT projector into the RGB input. The XRGB-3 is needed because the Cine 9 does not sync below 31kHz, but from there up to 180kHz it is true multisync.
The screen is 125″ 16:9, every aspect of the image can be warped and adjusted for dead perfect shape and size for every single console, and there is zero lag added due to the deflection yokes doing the image correction. The XRGB-3 adds as close to zero lag as well.
I have two of these Barco CRT projectors working, so i have a complete set of known good spares, and i rebuilt both of them some time ago, but parts are now extremely hard to come by and it is very likely to be the HV section that will be the end of these sets.
I do have 3 NEC 8″ CRT projectors as well, these are great in that they don’t need the XRGB-3, but 8″ tubes are not as bright as 9″ so they will wear the tubes faster and that is what i have no spares for on those. Thousands of hours left in them yet, so that isn’t an issue.
Sooner or later a time will come when i can’t keep these 3 eyed monsters alive any longer.
When this does occur, i will likely throw a very good digital projector up on the ceiling to take the place of the CRT, while this is fine for movies, it will never match a CRT for retro games and i don’t expect it to.
What i really would like to know is what sort of image quality work is being done for the 3840×2160 resolution? Given the extra pixels i would think this is going to be able to provide the closest look to my CRT, although i don’t know how input lag is going to be.
Obviously things will never be the same once those CRTs die, but how close are we getting to zero lag with UHD resolutions and still getting a good looking image?
For anyone interested in how it looks i have a couple Youtube videos, shot with an iPhone and then Youtube “optimises” it, so they don’t really show how perfect the image is, but gives an idea.April 17, 2021 at 10:58 AM #46762BuckoA51Keymaster
CRT projectors are indeed lovely, I hope yours last a long long time. The OSSC can work well in place of the XRGB3 in these setups too, all you need is a good quality DAC.
what sort of image quality work is being done for the 3840×2160 resolution?
This is exclusively the realm of emulators at the moment as the FPGAs required for this kind of scaling are far too expensive. I’m sure you’ve checked out Lumagen’s scalers, starting at 10k US dollars… and people moan the OSSC etc is too expensive!April 17, 2021 at 3:29 PM #46778
I hope so too 😉
The main one has lasted near twenty years already and has around 11,000 hours on it, the spare is a 2006 model and had done over 23,000 hours when i bought it, i have rebuilt both with new tubes and replaced every electrolytic capacitor on every board with Panasonic FRs, the main one has not missed a beat since, the other has not been used.
What do i need the DAC for? I do the whole thing analog at the moment.
I thought the OSSC was actually really cheap for what it is, look at the price of another XRGB-3!!
I have looked at Lumagen scalers before yes, but i can’t justify the cost of that when the Barco has 4 HDMI 1.4 inputs on it already, any HD stuff just connects straight to the projector, the OPPO bluray player has a Darbee built in and 2 HDMI out, so one goes straight to the projector and the other to the AVR. 1920x1080p is razor sharp on this CRT 🙂April 21, 2021 at 10:30 AM #46855BuckoA51Keymaster
What do i need the DAC for? I do the whole thing analog at the moment.
If you were to use the OSSC in place of the XRGB3 you’d need a DAC since the OSSC only has digital output. Well worth considering though (mind you of course I would say that ;), a lot of the XRGB3’s inputs add noise.April 21, 2021 at 3:44 PM #46857
Yes i see what you mean. I don’t pass the sound through the XRGB-3, only the video goes there and only via the 15 pin input on the back. I don’t use the JP-21 socket on the front.
All my consoles are connected via either original SCART cables such as the Playstation, Saturn, MegaDrive 1 and 2 and Master System 1, NEO-GEO AES and CD, or custom SCART cables, in the case of the Master System 2, NES, Sanyo 3DO, and Atari 2600 RGB mods i have those configured to use the NEO-GEO original SCART cable, the SNES and N64 use a genuine Nintendo JP-21 RGB cable that i modified to be standard SCART pinout. The Dreamcast connects direct to the projector via RGB-HV from a custom cable.
All the different SCART cables go into a few high quality SCART switchers that have a full disconnect of all pins via latching switches, linked together using high grade custom shielded SCART cables i made up, then off to a SCART breakout board that outputs RGB-HV via both 5x BNC sockets or the 15 pin, and from the 15 pin goes direct into the XRGB-3.
From there, the 15 pin output of the XRGB-3 breaks out into 5x BNC and runs up to the projector via 5 equal length RG-6 coax cables into the 5x BNC sockets for RGB-1 input on the projector.
I have tested with no SCART switcher, and did test looped through up to 7 of them, and there is no change in signal quality that can be seen on the screen. Generally there is 3 SCART switchers, and the 3rd in the chain is hardly ever used. Obviously when they are not used the switch on the next one is electrically isolating it from the chain, so there is no loss or interference there.
The audio goes straight into the AVR, either direct from the stereo output on the console, or out of the last SCART switcher via the RCA sockets they have for audio break out.
Though even still, the AVR has a number of digital audio inputs if i ever did need them. The WiiU goes direct into one of the HDMI inputs on the AVR and the Wii connects direct to the AVR via a component input. The Faroudja scaler in the AVR is set to pass through because it adds noticeable lag. The AVR has an HDMI cable going direct to HDMI-3 on the rear of the projector, and being a CRT projector it does not need to scale any resolution (provided the signal is above 31kHz) in such a way as a fixed pixel digital display does, so there is zero lag there.
I do very much like the look of the OSSC, it appears to do everything i use my XRGB-3 for, and appears to do it all very well. It is an impressive device with a lot of capability.
The projector did have an internal LiMo PRO scaler (an optional extra on all the later model Barco CINE series CRT projectors, slots in the card cage) that is capable of line double, line triple, and line quadruple, as well as scan double and de-interlace, which does actually work incredibly well and added no lag, but there is no option to dim down every added line like the scanline option in the XRGB-3 and OSSC so it does tend to make the image look a bit blocky.
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