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Author Topic: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!  (Read 45004 times)

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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2012, 10:41:42 am »
I'm using that Radeon 9250 PCI card.

Hmm, I'm technically not seeing a Radeon 9250 PCI card listed as compatible with Soft15kHz.  Before you just said that it was a 9250, didn't mention it was PCI.  Anyway, it does list a 9250 AGP card as working.  It's very likely that the PCI version just isn't listed because it hasn't been tested.  It's probably the same thing and will work perfectly.  Just something to watch out for.

The 9250 AGP is listed here:

http://community.arcadeinfo.de/showthread.php?7925-Getestete-Grafikkarten/page3

UPDATE: I uninstalled ATI drivers and installed a newer version, and after restarting in "VGA Mode" from the F8 boot menu, I got it to display at 640x480 60hz. Plugging into my TV gives me grabled crap.

Yes, you need the correct drivers installed before installing Soft15kHz.  I should also have mentioned that you should use the exact drivers recommended with Soft15kHz.  In the listing for the 9250 AGP, it says to use Catalyst 6.1. 

It's very important to do these steps before continuing:

1.  Get ahold of that exact driver.

2.  Uninstall Soft15kHz (and Powerstrip if you installed that already).  At some point here the TV should stop working and you'll switch back to the monitor.

3.  Uninstall the current graphics driver.

4.  Start fresh with these steps:

5.  Start the computer using the monitor.

6.  Install the drivers for the card.  Every card that's as compatible with Soft15kHz has a specific driver listed.  Make sure to use that one.  Restart.

7.  Install Soft15kHz.  Click only the Install 15k button, not 24 or 31 or user/custom, whatever.  Restart when it's done.  Get the computer running in 480i.  At some point during this step, the monitor will stop working.  Your monitor probably can't do below 31kHz video, and the TV can't do over 15kHz, so you'll have to switch over once Soft15k gets you to that point.

8.  Once you get it running on the TV, then install Powerstrip, and start tweaking your resolutions.

Sounds like you already got it working on the TV in 480i, but this is important to make sure everything is working correctly, so you'll have as many resolutions available as you can.

UPDATE 2: And however it happened, Now I'm typing this to you while viewing on the Sony at 640x480! It's kinda jittery looking, but I'm guessing if I figure out how to  get 320x240 going on here it'll look a lot better.

You mean on the TV right?  640x480 now works on the TV because Soft15kHz changed it from 480p to 480i.  Try the steps above, then see what 480i looks like.  Then try some progressive resolutions which will look better.  320x240 is a good starting point.  Then we can get into how to make MAME run right in native res.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 10:49:20 am by rCadeGaming »

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2012, 12:25:16 am »
Ok. I got the right driver version installed. 15khz is running, and the screen is showing at 480i on my TV. I installed Powerstrip and tweaked the .ini file to allow lower resolutions to be selected in the Powerstrip Display Profiles.  321(???)x240 is an option so I select it, hit apply, and immediately see a, "do you want to keep these settings?" dialog with no change to the display. Restarting the computer returns the setting to 640x480. Agh. Now what?
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notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2012, 02:49:16 am »
Oh, and just because I'm antsy, I ran a bunch of games in 480i just because I haven't gotten to see this TV display ANYTHING but a Windows desktop so far. Once I get the resolutions right, it's gonna look really nice! I did notice in games with a lot of scolling- first saw it in TMNT- that the background will kinda "tear" along an invisible horizontal line, and the bottom half of the screen will look like it's moving a few pixels ahead of the top half of the screen. It wasn't just Turtles or Konami games, it was a lot if not all of the scrolling games. It also didn't seem like the computer should be struggling with it, as the games were otherwise running beautifully. Is this a symptom of not displaying the right resolution or something, or is this a setting I can change somewhere? Hopefully it's not just my video card or computer.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2012, 05:55:56 pm »
Ok.  I got the right driver version installed. 15khz is running, and the screen is showing at 480i on my TV.

Did you uninstall Soft15kHz and Powerstrip before updating the driver?  Did you run through the steps above in order?  We need to be on the same page for me to be able to help you.

I installed Powerstrip and tweaked the .ini file to allow lower resolutions to be selected in the Powerstrip Display Profiles.

You should not have needed to edit the .ini file to select low resolutions.  They should already be there if you installed Powerstrip after Soft15kHz was reinstalled with the correct driver.  Where did you get the instructions for the editing, this could be causing problems itself.

Oh, and just because I'm antsy, I ran a bunch of games in 480i just because I haven't gotten to see this TV display ANYTHING but a Windows desktop so far. Once I get the resolutions right, it's gonna look really nice! I did notice in games with a lot of scolling- first saw it in TMNT- that the background will kinda "tear" along an invisible horizontal line, and the bottom half of the screen will look like it's moving a few pixels ahead of the top half of the screen. It wasn't just Turtles or Konami games, it was a lot if not all of the scrolling games. It also didn't seem like the computer should be struggling with it, as the games were otherwise running beautifully. Is this a symptom of not displaying the right resolution or something, or is this a setting I can change somewhere? Hopefully it's not just my video card or computer.

The tearing is completely expected.  This is because MAME is rendering frames in software at a different refresh rate than the output resolution.  This will be eliminated once everything's configured correctly.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 06:08:28 pm by rCadeGaming »

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2012, 06:18:35 pm »
Yes, I did the steps in order. I guess I can uninstall everything and do it again.

The .ini instructions were in a thread about powerstrip. You add one line that sets the minimum resolution lower.

I guess one thing that could have some affect on things was that I had to boot into VGA mode once to get 640x480 to show up in the windows display properties.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2012, 06:26:18 pm »
Can you give me a link to the thread?  I can't make guesses as to what's going on without all the info.

Anyhow, you should not need to do this if Powerstrip had a clean install after Soft15kHz is running correctly.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2012, 01:37:10 am »
I totally uninstalled everything, re-installed everything double checking to make sure I did it all in the right order, and now I'm back running on the TV at 480i. Powerstrip only has a slider that goes down to 512x448 in Display Profiles>Configure, and even when I set the fader that low and reboot, the resolution is back up at 640x480.

On my previous install, it was at this point that I added the line to the .ini file. What I had earlier remembered as a thread was actually a Wiki page:
http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Custom_display_modes_(Windows)_-_Powerstrip#Plan_the_resolutions

It tells you to add the line "MinLines=200" to the .ini file to allow for lower resolutions. I haven't done that yet on my fresh re-install, but on the times that I HAVE added that line, it does indeed let the slider move lower. It has 321x240 as an option and not 320x240 for whatever reason. It does the same thing though, where setting the fader to a lower resolution doesn't seem to do anything at all.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2012, 08:09:28 am »
Try getting into lower resolutions using the catalyst software.  Once you've displayed them successfully, they should be added to Powerstrip's list.

After I had installed everything, many new resolutions were available through my nVidia software.  Sounds like things may be going differently for you because of the different graphics card.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2012, 12:51:25 pm »
Windows and Catalyst both only go to 640x480. I had to do the "Enable VGA Mode" thing in the F8 boot menu that I keep talking about in order to have it give me the option of anything below 800x600. Ugh! Stupid video card. I'm using a server for my Mame computer which means I don't have a lot of options for video cards, since they have to be PCI and can't have a huge fan or heat sync on it.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2012, 06:57:25 pm »
I hate to tell you this, but that card may actually be incompatible with Soft15kHz.  Did you confuse it with the AGP card when researching it?  If you read down near the bottom of that page you linked to, it discusses how outputting proper low resolutions isn't physically possible with many graphics cards do to the lower limit of the pixel clock.  If you do need another card, I think there are plenty of PCI cards listed as compatible.

We can try a little more before we give up hope on this one.  Maybe the process is a little different since you're using an ATI with Catalyst, whereas I use a nVidia with nView software (which sounds like it's much more convenient, I'd recommend some kind of GeForce).

Go ahead and edit that line in the Powerstrip (minlines = 200), and tell me what resolutions are available.  Anything else besides 321x240?  I'll give you some values to create custom resolutions if you're not seeing anything.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2012, 10:50:28 pm »
I knew full well that the PCI 9250 wasn't in that list but the AGP was. I posted here and crossed my fingers:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,119740.msg1288742.html#msg1288742

Maybe I struck out.

There's a whoooole bunch of other resolutions listed in Powerstrip. Any time i've tried switching to any of them, it acts like it doesn't even try to think about doing it before popping up with a "do you want to keep these new settings?"-style dialog box. Restarting the computer never does anything but reset the slider to 640x480.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2012, 11:01:34 pm »
Sounds like it's not compatible  :-\

Even if my card/TV setup doesn't work with a certain resolution, it will display a distorted image/garbage.  Sounds like yours isn't even able to attempt low res.

Try 392x240.  Look in Powerstrip's advanced timing options.  Let me know what the values are on the right hand side for this resolution (vertical and horizontal scan rate, front porch, back porch, sync width, etc.).  A print screen would be very useful.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #52 on: August 23, 2012, 11:09:31 pm »
So you mean, set the slider to that resolution and take a screen shot? The screen will still be 640x480.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2012, 11:27:25 pm »
Yeah, I just want to see the values.  You can also see if anything happens when you click apply, but it sounds like it won't.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2012, 02:06:42 am »
On this thread:
http://community.arcadeinfo.de/showthread.php?7925-Getestete-Grafikkarten

Only 3 PCI cards are listed as working fully. Pleny of PCI-e of course, but since I have a PCI-x slot they do me no good. My options are the Matrox Millenium, Nvidia Geforce4 mx420, and the ATI Radeon 9200se. Agh! I have a 9250!!

I think the Radeon would be my best bet, the Matrox looks like it has extremely low video ram, and the Geforce only has 64. The 128 on the Radeon seems like a significant improvement... Might have to snag one of those.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2012, 08:52:35 am »
Didn't realize the options were so slim, I must have been seeing a lot of PCI-e cards.  Is it not possible to upgrade the PC?  A good mobo and cpu is under $200, and there are dozens of good PCI-e cards compatible that are cheap.  A fast PC is needed to run certain games at full speed.

Anyhow, if not, try one those cards.

Post that screenshot, and I'll be able to tell better if Soft15kHz is working correctly and it's definitely the card.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2012, 09:29:30 am »
It's a 1u rackmount server so my options are a little limited. The computer was free and I didn't want to sink more money into it... But if I need to I"m sure I can find something decent and used for $75 if I put my mind to it. But we're gonna try to not do that first :)

I'll get a screen shot tonight when I"m home from work.
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notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2012, 10:32:23 pm »
Advanced Timing Options is grayed out! I was going to post a picture of that... but i don't really need to.

Probably going to buy that Radeon with the model number so close to mine that it hurts. $20 after shipping. I'll cross my fingers harder this time...
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2012, 10:58:47 pm »
Unclickable?  No matter which resolution you select?  Yeah, that pretty much settles it.  Advanced timing options is mandatory for correcting geometry and refresh rate.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2012, 11:10:31 pm »
Yup.

I ordered the 9200se PCI. Looks like I'll be focusing my efforts on something non-monitor related this weekend!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2012, 04:23:47 am »
I finally got this to work w/ my Sharp TV.  It looks fantastic!  Thanks for the help rCadeGaming. 

I got the Crescendo transcoder you recommended.  I haven't made any adjustments yet (i.e. V-Width, H-Width, or gamma).  Did you adjust the transcoder or just use PowerStrip?

I still need to figure out how to use PowerStrip to adjust the geometry.  Using Windows in 320x240 is kinda painful.  Any tips for this step?  Also, it looks like there are dozens of different 15khz resolutions used by arcade games.  Do I need to use Power Strip to adjust the geometry for each one? 

NotBillCosby -- You should try these modified drivers with your Radeon 9250: http://postback.geedorah.com/foros/viewtopic.php?id=1424.  I have a Radeon 7500 that supposedly work with Soft15khz using Catalyst 6.1.  However, I had the same problem as you.  The drivers I linked to worked (and I think are based on Catalyst 6.5).
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 04:51:58 am by TalkingOctopus »

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2012, 10:58:20 am »
Frustration town over here in the Notbillcosby world...

I went to the post office to pick up my Radeon 9200SE PCI card that I ordered. What's the sticker on the bottom say?

Radeon 9250

...which is the card I already own and can't get working. I want to punch someone in the mouth. Hopefully my computer will recognize it as a 9200se magically somehow... Otherwise, I really hope those modified drivers listed above work for me, and that I can get a refund on this bunk Ebay purchase. Now I have to wait 12 more hours before I can install the card and see what Windows has to say about it. Yuck.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2012, 07:48:49 pm »
I finally got this to work w/ my Sharp TV.  It looks fantastic!  Thanks for the help rCadeGaming.

I got the Crescendo transcoder you recommended.  I haven't made any adjustments yet (i.e. V-Width, H-Width, or gamma).  Did you adjust the transcoder or just use PowerStrip?

You'll notice in the TC1600 manual (pdf can be found on the website) that these settings are set to an automatic mode.  You can open it up and change a jumper to get full control of this, but I'd recommend leaving it in auto.  It's best to make all the adjustments on the computer end, so that they'll be associated with individual resolutions.

BTW, these transcoders can be used to get RGB video out of your PC Engine/TurboGrafx, Genesis/Megadrive, SNES, Saturn, PS1,2,3, or Gamecube with the proper wiring; along with anything else that can do straight VGA of course, like the Dreamcast or XBox/XBox 360.

I still need to figure out how to use PowerStrip to adjust the geometry.  Using Windows in 320x240 is kinda painful.  Any tips for this step?

For windows, you can normally use 480i on the TV, but if you're adjusting specific resolutions in Powerstrip you will have to use it in whatever res you're working with.  Get Powerstrip into advanced timing options, and scroll the window to the numeric horizontal and vertical adjustments.  Make adjustments here, not with the arrows.  It will be more useful and you'll learn more.  You should read up on what all of these values mean.

To set up a specific res for a game, it can be useful to get Windows and the game running in the same res, so you can alt-tab between to Powerstrip and the game to adjust and test on the fly.  Also don't forget that a lot of games have useful test patterns in the service menus.

Also, it looks like there are dozens of different 15khz resolutions used by arcade games.  Do I need to use Power Strip to adjust the geometry for each one?

Yes, kind of. 

Note that most games run on hardware that's shared with a lot of other games.  For example, Street Fighter II runs on CPS-2 hardware, so once you've tweaked up Street Fighter II just right, you can tell MAME to use those setting for all CPS-2 games, as well as CPS-1 and CPS-3 since it uses the same resolution.

Same thing with NEO GEO, once you've set up one NEO GEO game, you're done tweaking for all of them, etc.  There's not too many games you'll be concerned with that ran on totally unique hardware.

For example, right click on Super Street Fighter II in MAME.  Instead of clicking "Properties," click "Properties for cps2.c."  The changes made here will apply to all CPS-2 games (unless they are overruled by changes made for specific games, watch out for this).

After you've set up a CPS-2 game, open MAME's folder list.  Select "Source" and you'll see a list of all the different types of hardware in MAME.  Click on "cps2.c" to find all the CPS-2 games.

Note that to really get things running perfectly, you should be matching the refresh rate you're outputting to the original refresh rate of the game.

Right click a game and select "Properties" to see the game's native resolution and refresh rate, listed as "screen."

Geometry changes in Powerstrip will alter the refresh rate.  Set your geometry first and then tweak the refresh rate.  This can be done without affecting geometry by adjusting vertical front porch.  I think, it might be back porch.  Anyway, I haven't worked on this in a few months, it's one of those and it could vary depending on your display.

As you're adjusting things, the screen may start warping, then flickering, then just freaking out.  This is because you're reaching the limits of what horizontal or vertical scan rates the TV can display.  Learn what values can adjust scan rates without affecting geometry.  Then, when your geometry seems to reach its limit, use that value to bring the scan rate back in line, and then you may be able to push the geometry a little further.

When you start messing with a resolution, take note of what the original values were in case you need to go back.

In advanced timing options, you can right click on the little icon just to right to of the cancel button to create a desktop shortcut to the current settings.

When you get good enough with Powerstrip, you can move around the numeric values with tab and shift-tab and adjust with the arrow keys to adjust blindly.  This can be used to tune in some resolutions that don't seem to work at first.  If you want to try this, it's very helpful to have a firm grasp of what all the values mean.  Try starting with a resolution from Soft15kHz that looks like it just barely doesn't work.

Now, you may notice that you might need two different versions of the same resolution so you can have different geometry or refresh rates for different games.  You'll have to either make compromises, or get into GroovyMAME or AdvanceMAME to deal with this.  I might be coding this into my custom Front-End but that is a long way off.

***If anyone has any tricks for two timings of the same resolution in Powerstrip, speak up!***

If you read the way the shortcuts work, it looks like you may be able to control Powerstrip through the command prompt, but I haven't played with this yet.

Example: "C:\Program Files\PowerStrip\PStrip.exe" /t:1280,54,136,130,720,33,3,25,59921,336

Also, you can use MAME's slider controls (press TAB in game, go down to slider controls) to adjust the picture up/down/left/right a little for individual games.  ONLY use the position controls, as the stretch controls will ruin your native res.  Leave these at 1.00.

Edit: Powerstrip will list refresh rate as halved (around 30Hz) for interlaced resolutions because it's referring to the number of complete frames per second.  You're still putting out around 60 fields per second whether you're running in interlaced or progressive.  It's just that in progressive one field = one frame, whereas in interlaced every two fields are combined to produce one frame.

Frustration town over here in the Notbillcosby world...

I went to the post office to pick up my Radeon 9200SE PCI card that I ordered. What's the sticker on the bottom say?

Radeon 9250

...which is the card I already own and can't get working. I want to punch someone in the mouth. Hopefully my computer will recognize it as a 9200se magically somehow... Otherwise, I really hope those modified drivers listed above work for me, and that I can get a refund on this bunk Ebay purchase. Now I have to wait 12 more hours before I can install the card and see what Windows has to say about it. Yuck.

That's lame.  Try octopus's drivers.  Hopefully the sticker is wrong somehow, but if you were mislead into buying something other than what was advertised I would lean hard on that guy.  He should pay a full refund including shipping and return shipping.

-

Here are some important MAME settings.  Set MAME's defaults to this (Options -> Default Game Options, or mame.ini), and make further adjustment per hardware or per game.  This should usually involve just setting the resolution.

Code: [Select]
#
# CORE PERFORMANCE OPTIONS
#
autoframeskip             0 <---depends on game
frameskip                 0
seconds_to_run            0
throttle                  1 <--- can't remember about this one, this is how I have it working currently
sleep                     0
speed                     1.0
refreshspeed              0 <---important, leave this at 0

#
# WINDOWS VIDEO OPTIONS
#
video                     ddraw <---extremely important
numscreens                1
window                    0
maximize                  1
keepaspect                1
prescale                  1
effect                    none
waitvsync                 0
syncrefresh               1 <---important, leave this at 1

#
# DIRECTDRAW-SPECIFIC OPTIONS
#
hwstretch                 0 <---extremely important, leave this at 0

#
# FULL SCREEN OPTIONS
#
triplebuffer              0 <---don't use this, it causes lag
switchres                 1
full_screen_brightness    1.0
full_screen_contrast      1.0
full_screen_gamma         1.0

Keep autoframeskip at 0 if your pc can handle it.  If it can't run a game at 100% use auto by setting it to 1.

Using directdraw with hardware stretch off will ensure native resolutions.

Syncrefresh runs the game at your output refresh speed, and prevents tearing.  If you get audio stuttering, it's because you haven't matched your refresh rate closely enough the game's original rate.  Autoframeskip is a workaround to fix this, but it's best to match refresh rates.

-

Finally, one very important final note.  You will find that you can't actually get every singe arcade resolution running.  You don't have to, you just need something close, but a bit larger.

After setting MAME up to use directdraw with hardware stretch off, trying running a CPS-2 game in 640x480 (480i if you're on the TV).  You should see that the native res is being displayed in the center with a lot of black pixels around the sides to fill out the rest of the resolution.  This is very useful.  (You may not see this if the display resolution is double or more the native, it may still stretch)

I can't get the CPS-2's 384x224 working on my setup.  What I do is run it in 392x240, which works very nicely.  I adjust the geometry of this resolution so the black letterbox is outside the physical viewing area of the TV.  The result is that I'm seeing the game on the TV in perfect native res.  Each original pixel is reproduced 1 for 1.  It just happens that there are extra black pixels around the sides, but I can't see them.

Similarly, I run NEO-GEO games (320x224) in 320x240.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:10:28 pm by rCadeGaming »

TalkingOctopus

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2012, 02:51:08 am »
Thanks again for such a detailed reply.  I'm finding it almost impossible to adjust resolution timings through PowerStrip.  I used it to adjust 480i without any issues, but the lower resolutions (like 320x240) freak out the moment I adjust any of the numeric properties in the advanced timing. I don't even need to adjust anything to make the TV freak out.  Just tabbing through the properties triggers it.  I tried both my Sharp and Sony TVs.  Both displayed the same results.  If I continue adjusting, I eventually end up with a reasonable image, but it isn't wide enough.  By default, almost every resolution looks good, but has significant overscan that I'd like to correct.  I spent over an hour trying to configure 320x240 and 320x224 without success.  Is this normal?  Is it really this hard or is my videocard deficient?

Quote
Get Powerstrip into advanced timing options...You should read up on what all of these values mean.

I'd like to read about these.  Do you have any good resources that explain them?  I couldn't find any when searching.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2012, 01:54:53 pm »
I'd also like to say thanks again, rCadeGaming. You've been incredibly helpful, for weeks and weeks. I feel like this thread should be stickied.

So I installed those modified drivers, as best as I could tell. Installed them, and Quickres was installed as part of the package. I did the normal steps to get things running on the TV and with Powerstrip like before... Nothing new happened in Powerstrip, HOWEVER, I can get the resolution to change very easily from Quickres! So I know that I can at least do this physically. When Windows is set to 320*240 and I try to run a game in Mame through mGalaxy, it just beeps and shows the mouse pointer and doesn't move and I wind up CTRL+ALT+DEL'ing my way back out of everything. mGalaxy is super friggin' hard to read in this resolution too, though I'm pretty sure you've said that windows/mame/frontend can still be 480i since the resolution will change when the game starts.

Blah. Anyway. I'm getting the correct 9200SE sent to me, so maybe I don't even feel like fighting against this card and will just wait a week until I have one that (hopefully!) works right off the bat.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #65 on: September 05, 2012, 06:09:13 pm »
I'm finding it almost impossible to adjust resolution timings through PowerStrip.  I used it to adjust 480i without any issues, but the lower resolutions (like 320x240) freak out the moment I adjust any of the numeric properties in the advanced timing. I don't even need to adjust anything to make the TV freak out.  Just tabbing through the properties triggers it.  I tried both my Sharp and Sony TVs.  Both displayed the same results.  If I continue adjusting, I eventually end up with a reasonable image, but it isn't wide enough.  By default, almost every resolution looks good, but has significant overscan that I'd like to correct.  I spent over an hour trying to configure 320x240 and 320x224 without success.  Is this normal?  Is it really this hard or is my videocard deficient?

I'd have to say no, this isn't normal.  I don't know if it's your graphics card's hardware, or the modified drivers, or incompatibility with Powerstrip.  At least on my setup, I can adjust any of those numeric values by several clicks before the picture begins to distort, and then it gets worse gradually and isn't completely lost for a few more values.

I'd like to read about these.  Do you have any good resources that explain them?  I couldn't find any when searching.



http://forums.entechtaiwan.com/index.php?topic=1620.0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_blanking_interval
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_blanking_interval
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_scan_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refresh_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_television

The electron beam in a CRT draws each line one pixel at at a time from left to right, then moves down one line to do the next one.

Total pixels from left to right = H back porch + active pixels (horizontal resolution) + H front porch + H sync width
Total Lines from top to bottom = V back porch + active lines (vertical resolution) + V front porch + V sync width

Technically, the electron beam returns to the top/left side of the screen (depending if we're talking V or H) during the time the sync width lines/pixels are being transmitted.  It is told to do so by the V/H sync.

Edit: Some more description I had written down elsewhere:

When the CRT's electron beam finishes scanning the last active line of video (the bottom of the active resolution), it scans a few blank lines, known as front porch, before the vertical sync pulse tells it to return to the top of the screen again. 

Sync width is the amount of time that the vertical sync pulse is active.  It is an amount of time measured it time duration of a line, but does not actually refer to lines being drawn, as the electron beam is busy travelling back to the top of the screen.

So I installed those modified drivers, as best as I could tell. Installed them, and Quickres was installed as part of the package. I did the normal steps to get things running on the TV and with Powerstrip like before... Nothing new happened in Powerstrip, HOWEVER, I can get the resolution to change very easily from Quickres! So I know that I can at least do this physically. When Windows is set to 320*240 and I try to run a game in Mame through mGalaxy, it just beeps and shows the mouse pointer and doesn't move and I wind up CTRL+ALT+DEL'ing my way back out of everything. mGalaxy is super friggin' hard to read in this resolution too, though I'm pretty sure you've said that windows/mame/frontend can still be 480i since the resolution will change when the game starts.

Blah. Anyway. I'm getting the correct 9200SE sent to me, so maybe I don't even feel like fighting against this card and will just wait a week until I have one that (hopefully!) works right off the bat.

Yeah, you shouldn't be having problems with Powerstrip.  You'll need to adjust geometry/refresh rate somehow.

Thanks again for such a detailed reply.

I'd also like to say thanks again, rCadeGaming. You've been incredibly helpful, for weeks and weeks.

Not a problem.  Just glad it's appreciated.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to give such long respones for much longer.  This stuff takes a while to type, and I'm getting short on time.  I decided to go back to school for another degree and I just started last week.

I feel like this thread should be stickied.

That would definitely be cool, I don't know how you go about that.  Maybe you could take care of it.  It might difficult though, some people don't seem to like me because of this thread, hahaha:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,118842.40.html
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:06:52 pm by rCadeGaming »

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2012, 11:43:21 am »
I've had the 9200SE for a few days now, and have spent several nights trying to get the damn thing going. I can get as far as I could with the other card, just now the MinLines=200 mod in the pstrip.ini file doesn't even do anything. I've made sure I was using the Sapphire Radeon 9200SE Atlantis driver that is listed as the functioning one. I've tried it with the 6.1 driver from ATI as well as the modded drivers posted above. I've tried using the "9200 series" drivers that it tries to default to instead of the Atlantis one. I've made sure to completely uninstall all relevant crap between each try, going so far as to delete registry entries that pertain to anything Powerstrip or Radeon so I'm sure that I'm not reusing any bits from prior installs. I can probably try things a few more ways, but man oh man, it does not want to cooperate.   :dizzy:
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2012, 06:01:13 pm »
Did you go through the steps I detailed in that exact order?  It's important that you install drivers first, Soft15kHz second, and Powerstrip third.

Exactly what operating system are you running?  I remember you said this was some kind of server computer.  I'm thinking it could be a problem if you're not running XP Pro 32 or XP Pro 64.  I'm using the latter.

I'm gonna be honest with you, I don't know much about servers, so I don't know if there's something going on there.  If these problems persist, you'll probably need to get some direct support on the Soft15kHz forum.  Please keep us updated here if you do.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2012, 06:17:28 pm »
Yeah. I'm doing everything in order.


I'm using XP Pro 32. Servers are just computers in a flat case, shouldn't really be anything special going on there. So you're thinking this is a Soft15khz issue and not a Powerstrip issue? It seemed to me like Soft15 was doing fine since I was able to display 480i on my TV, but maybe it has some effect on resolutions that I'm not understanding/remembering.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2012, 06:26:58 pm »
In addition to 480i, you should have a bunch of 15kHz progressive resolutions (~240p, like 320x240 or 392x240), working as soon as Soft15kHz is installed.  Powerstrip is just for adjusting geometry and refresh rate, and adding further resolutions beyond that.

See here for the list of resolutions enabled by Soft15kHz:

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Custom_display_modes_(Windows)_-_Soft-15khz

Don't worry about the 24kHz and 31kHz resolutions.

TalkingOctopus

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2012, 07:51:47 pm »
You should try a clean install after uninstalling Soft15khz, PowerStrip, and then ATI drivers.  Afterwards, use  DriverSweeper to completely remove the ATI drivers. 

http://phyxion.net/item/driver-sweeper.html

I'd then use the drivers I linked to earlier:  http://postback.geedorah.com/foros/viewtopic.php?id=1424.  You don't need to install Soft15khz with these drivers.  Just install PowerStrip afterwards to allow for fine tuning.  I managed to get this configuration to work nicely with my Radeon 7500.  There's some overscan on some resolutions, but it's a small amount that I can live with.

Good Luck!

rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2012, 08:10:08 pm »
You should try a clean install after uninstalling Soft15khz, PowerStrip, and then ATI drivers.  Afterwards, use  DriverSweeper to completely remove the ATI drivers. 

Sounds like a good idea.

There's some overscan on some resolutions, but it's a small amount that I can live with.

Anything 15kHz, older arcade games or console games, are designed with a certain amount of overscan in mind.  You don't really want to see the border of the active resolution in this setup.  That being said, keep working with Powerstrip to get a good minimum level of overscan.

Sounds like its working well Octupus, got any pics of your setup?

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #72 on: September 14, 2012, 01:33:44 am »
Alright! I'm able to run windows at all sorts of obnoxiously low resolutions now! I used the driver cleaner you recommended and it must've done the trick. I'm running the drivers you posted above. Thanks!

Now! Next problem ::)

It doesn't seem like Mame is resetting the resolution for me. I'm r unning MGalaxy as a front end, and it's MUCH easier to read in 480i. So, I had windows set at 640x480, changed the mame.ini file to match the settings you listed above to turn off hardware stretching and such, fired up MGalaxy, and ran Ninja Turtles. It was very obviously still interlaced. So, I reset the Windows desktop to a painful-to-use 320x240 and ran TMNT again- this time it looked much better, with no flicker and plenty of pronounced horizontal scan lines. I then ran Mortal Kombat 3- a game that runs at a higher resolution that I am extremely familiar with the look of- and got video that was pretty obviously a lower resolution than it was supposed to be, leading me to believe it was still sitting at 320x240.

What'd I miss? I'll attach my mame.ini file.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #73 on: September 15, 2012, 07:25:06 pm »
Nice!  Good to hear.

Your mame.ini looks good, but it's saved as mame.ini.txt.  Did you just do that to upload it?  Make the actual one's not that way.  Your windows explorer settings may be hiding known file extensions even while renaming.  At the top of the windows explorer window click tools, folder options, select the view tab, and uncheck hide extensions for known file types.

Also, looks you should enable skip game info, and also you ought to use highscore.diff to get rid of the other nag screens.

Enable multithreading if you upgrade to windows xp 64.

-

Ok, so your current problem is any easy one.  You have to specifically tell MAME what resolution to run in on a per game or per hardware basis (usually the latter).

There's one more very important to change to your MAME.ini you need first.  Go to options->default game options->screen tab, and set the screen to a specific monitor; whatever your TV is, probably will say DISPLAY1.  Just make sure it's not set to auto or you can't change resolutions.

Now right click on a CPS-2 game like Super Street Fighter II and click properties for cps2.c.  On the screen tab set resolution to 392x240p.  You now have a crap-ton of games set to the right resolution.

Note that most games run on hardware that's shared with a lot of other games.  For example, Street Fighter II runs on CPS-2 hardware, so once you've tweaked up Street Fighter II just right, you can tell MAME to use those setting for all CPS-2 games, as well as CPS-1 and CPS-3 since it uses the same resolution.

Same thing with NEO GEO, once you've set up one NEO GEO game, you're done tweaking for all of them, etc.  There's not too many games you'll be concerned with that ran on totally unique hardware.

For example, right click on Super Street Fighter II in MAME.  Instead of clicking "Properties," click "Properties for cps2.c."  The changes made here will apply to all CPS-2 games (unless they are overruled by changes made for specific games, watch out for this).

After you've set up a CPS-2 game, open MAME's folder list.  Select "Source" and you'll see a list of all the different types of hardware in MAME.  Click on "cps2.c" to find all the CPS-2 games.

Do the same thing for CPS-1 and CPS-3, which you can also run in 392x240, and NEO GEO in 320x240.  Now, you'll have a lot of stuff ready to go.

Note that the CPS-1, 2, and 3 all ran at the same resolution, but different refresh rates.  CPS-3 will be the most sensitive to this.  If you're playing something like 3rd Strike, which used CD sound (in the CHD files in MAME), refresh rate will have be matched very closely to avoid audio skipping.  The skipping is caused when the audio is running at different speed than the video.

Note that to really get things running perfectly, you should be matching the refresh rate you're outputting to the original refresh rate of the game.

Right click a game and select "Properties" to see the game's native resolution and refresh rate, listed as "screen."

tmnt.c games (which includes Sunset Riders, nice!) are 304x224, so they can be run in either 304x240 or 320x240.  See which one you can better geometry out of.  You could also try your luck at getting exactly 304x224 to work in Powerstrip, but these Sony's seem to like staying at 240 lines.

Finally, one very important final note.  You will find that you can't actually get every singe arcade resolution running.  You don't have to, you just need something close, but a bit larger.

After setting MAME up to use directdraw with hardware stretch off, trying running a CPS-2 game in 640x480 (480i if you're on the TV).  You should see that the native res is being displayed in the center with a lot of black pixels around the sides to fill out the rest of the resolution.  This is very useful.  (You may not see this if the display resolution is double or more the native, it may still stretch)

I can't get the CPS-2's 384x224 working on my setup.  What I do is run it in 392x240, which works very nicely.  I adjust the geometry of this resolution so the black letterbox is outside the physical viewing area of the TV.  The result is that I'm seeing the game on the TV in perfect native res.  Each original pixel is reproduced 1 for 1.  It just happens that there are extra black pixels around the sides, but I can't see them.

Similarly, I run NEO-GEO games (320x224) in 320x240.

-

How's powerstrip working?  Time to start practicing with geometry and refresh rate.  Be sure save the initial settings of working resolutions before you start experimenting.  Saving them as shortcuts works well.

Geometry changes in Powerstrip will alter the refresh rate.  Set your geometry first and then tweak the refresh rate.  This can be done without affecting geometry by adjusting vertical front porch.  I think, it might be back porch.  Anyway, I haven't worked on this in a few months, it's one of those and it could vary depending on your display.

As you're adjusting things, the screen may start warping, then flickering, then just freaking out.  This is because you're reaching the limits of what horizontal or vertical scan rates the TV can display.  Learn what values can adjust scan rates without affecting geometry.  Then, when your geometry seems to reach its limit, use that value to bring the scan rate back in line, and then you may be able to push the geometry a little further.

When you start messing with a resolution, take note of what the original values were in case you need to go back.

In advanced timing options, you can right click on the little icon just to right to of the cancel button to create a desktop shortcut to the current settings.

When you get good enough with Powerstrip, you can move around the numeric values with tab and shift-tab and adjust with the arrow keys to adjust blindly.  This can be used to tune in some resolutions that don't seem to work at first.  If you want to try this, it's very helpful to have a firm grasp of what all the values mean.  Try starting with a resolution from Soft15kHz that looks like it just barely doesn't work.

Now, you may notice that you might need two different versions of the same resolution so you can have different geometry or refresh rates for different games.  You'll have to either make compromises, or get into GroovyMAME or AdvanceMAME to deal with this.  I might be coding this into my custom Front-End but that is a long way off.

***If anyone has any tricks for two timings of the same resolution in Powerstrip, speak up!***

If you read the way the shortcuts work, it looks like you may be able to control Powerstrip through the command prompt, but I haven't played with this yet.

Example: "C:\Program Files\PowerStrip\PStrip.exe" /t:1280,54,136,130,720,33,3,25,59921,336

Also, you can use MAME's slider controls (press TAB in game, go down to slider controls) to adjust the picture a little for individual games.  ONLY use the position controls, as the stretch controls will ruin your native res.  Leave these at 1.00.


notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2012, 11:36:50 am »
I definitely just added the .txt extension so it would upload. Looks like I've got some work to do! Sometime in the next couple nights I'll be able to dig into things, I"ll let you know how it goes! Thanks again for all the help!
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #75 on: September 16, 2012, 12:17:35 pm »
Cool, no prob.

Forgot to add this about Mortal Kombat.  It looked bad to you because it sounds like it was running in 320x240, which is much too small. 

MAME lists MK1-3 as 399x253, and 4 as 400x256.  Strangely it lists refresh rate for 1 and 2 as around 27Hz, while 3 and are a more normal 54Hz and 57Hz.  For 1 and 2, you'll have to try and match exactly double the refresh rate.  This is always the way to go when the actual rate isn't feasible.  The TV is designed for 60Hz NTSC signals, so 54Hz might be doable, 27Hz is not.

Soft15kHz comes with a resolution of 400x256@53Hz (might first appear as 401x256@60Hz or something like that), which looks like it was designed for this.  This will be the best starting point for all the MK's, with the right refresh rate tweaking.

Full disclosure: I've personally worked with the cps2.c, cps3.c, neodrv.c, and tmnt.c games, so the advice there comes from experience.  However, I haven't done anything with the MK hardwares (they run on different ones, hence the res and refresh differences), so it is technically speculation.

-

I think I should clarify that when I say matching original refresh rate, I mean VERY closely; to within one degree of change in powerstrip.  When tweaked right, you can get it within two or three decimal places.

When running MAME the way we are, the speed of the game is set directly by the refresh rate, so the correct rate is required to run the game at the original speed.  The most noticeable symptoms that will let you know that your refresh rate isn't matched closely enough are screen tearing and audio skipping/stuttering.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 12:23:05 pm by rCadeGaming »

nadcraker

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #76 on: September 20, 2012, 08:44:26 pm »
Hey guys,

Been following this thread with much interest.  How does this TV compare to the Sonys you've been talking about?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/ele/3276730190.html

rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #77 on: September 20, 2012, 09:09:47 pm »
That IS the tv's we're talking about.  If you want a 24" Sony that's it.  You could also get a 20, or 27, there's 32 and up but I think they're too big (and HEAVY).

Unfortunately, that's a ridiculous price.  You should be looking to spend 0-$50.  I've picked up about a dozen different sets for testing so far and half of them were free, most expensive were $50.  People throw these things out all time when getting an LCD.

nadcraker

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #78 on: September 20, 2012, 10:22:14 pm »
Would you mind selling me one, then?

 :D

rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #79 on: September 20, 2012, 10:32:27 pm »
Haha, I've already given away most of the ones I don't want.  I do have two in the garage I haven't tested yet, so maybe I'll have some more extras soon.  There's no pointing in trying to ship one of these things, so you'll have to come to southeastern PA if you want one.  Are you close?

  
 

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