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Author Topic: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!  (Read 45003 times)

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nadcraker

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2012, 01:07:06 am »
Alright, so today I picked up a 27" KV-27fs100 for $30. I'll be following all of the great advice in this thread shortly. Can't wait!

rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2012, 12:45:17 pm »
Nice.  Post your results.  How about some pictures from those who have this working?

-

I think I should probably mention at this point that the service menu is very useful and easy to use on these Sony's.

To get into it, turn the TV off and press display, 5, volume +, power, all on the remote (press those buttons one at a time in order, not all at once).  It will turn on in the service menu.  Basically there is a variable at the top left, and a value next to it.  Cycle through the variables with 1 and 4 on the remote, and change them with 3 and 6.  When you're done adjusting, be sure to press mute then enter to save your settings to memory.  Then turn off the TV to exit the service menu. 

It seems like the settings will be retained for a while even if you don't save them to memory, but they'll be lost if the TV is unplugged.  Saving to memory will prevent this.

The useful variable names are pretty self explanatory, HSIZ = horizontal size, UPIN = upper pincushion, SCON = contrast, etc.  If you don't know what something is adjust it a little and see what changes BUT be sure to make note of what the default was.  I type up an excel sheet of what the values are before screwing with anything.

The variables are grouped into categories, the first one, DEF, which is usually the first 31 variables, contains all the variables needed to change geometry.  Skip over the 16:9 category (geometry when the TV is set to 16:9 letterbox mode), and go to the VP1 category for all the adjustments for color, contrast, brightness, etc.  There are hundreds more variables beyond this, but they don't need to be modified.

You can find service manuals for specific models in PDF form on the net.  DO NOT try using the instructions in them to reset the service menu settings to "factory defaults" or anything like that.  I bricked a set this way.  It set something to a value that caused nothing to display but the service menu, and couldn't figure out which of the hundreds of variable to change to fix it.  It was after this that I started making excel spreadsheets to record the settings that the TV was WORKING with when I got it.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 02:31:06 pm by rCadeGaming »

Yenome

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #82 on: September 30, 2012, 12:10:32 pm »
i got here from a diff thread. I have a rgb breakout cable for my 8500gt. the 8500gt has a 7pin svideo plug on it. still need ot check and see if its supported by soft15. i was wondering if using this would give me any indication of it being able to work. before i spend the money for a transcoder. i also happen to have a averkey imicro model:koc3 but i cant seem to find any info on if it upscales or not.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #83 on: September 30, 2012, 12:58:16 pm »
First, confirm whether or not your graphics card is listed as supported by Soft15kHz.

This is the closest thing I could find to info on that "averkey imicro model:koc3":

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=448341&CatId=1430

Is this what yours is?  If so, it's almost certainly not useful for this.  From what I can see here it has digital picture controls, which would mean its doing some digital scaling.  It doesn't have a component output anyway, but really none of the outputs are useful after it's ruined your native resolution.

What do you mean by RGB breakout cable?  VGA to SCART?  VGA to BNC?

RGB is not necessarily SCART and SCART is not necessarily RGB.  VGA is already RGB, RGBHV to be precise.  Details on all this stuff are in this thread.

Does your tv have a SCART input?  If it does, you don't need a transcoder.  A graphics card's VGA output can be connected straight into a tv's SCART input, if it's wired correctly and you're outputting the right resolutions.

You already have the TV.  Even if your card's not compatible with Soft15kHz you can get one that is for $20.  If you want real 15kHz arcade quality picture on your TV it comes down to whether you want to spend the money on a transcoder and more importantly if you want to put the time in to learn everything you need to know to get it working.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #84 on: September 30, 2012, 02:12:17 pm »
Just wanted to drop in real quick... I've been extremely busy lately, but did manage to get my MAMEUI recompiled with the hiscore.diff patch which is SO AWESOME, I can't express how happy I am that I can save Ms. Pacman scores from day to day! I finally got Powerstrip to let me into the Advanced Timing Options, and just spent a few seconds the other day tweaking my resolution to get as much of Windows to display on my TV as possible! I couldn't quite get 480i to squeeze everythign in vertically (Couldn't see both the taskbar and the title bar(?) on a maximized window simultaneously) so I am running at a slightly lower res in windows, but it all fits! Now I get to start going through game-by-game. Thanks for all your help getting me this far... I feel like I'm on the home stretch!

One quick question; How do I know what resolution each game/hardware is supposed to be running at? I'm sure it's listed somewhere in MAME, I'm just not sure how to find it now that there's no nag screen when I fire up a game.
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #85 on: September 30, 2012, 02:28:23 pm »
Right click a game and select "Properties" to see the game's native resolution and refresh rate, listed as "screen."

The listing there is usually exactly right, but I have seen rare instances where it lists the resolution as exactly double what it natively really is (I think Puyo Puyo sun for example).  So some games really do run around 640x480, which you should run at or around 640x480i, but just take those listings with a grain of salt.  Check if it looks better at half that resolution.

Try getting into the service menu if you need more space on the screen.  Just remember that changes there will affect all resolutions, so test it with a variety of things and set it to a happy medium.

That's awesome that you've made so much progress.  Please post some pics of your setup when you've got a game running the way you like it.  Do you have a project thread?

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #86 on: September 30, 2012, 02:59:58 pm »
Home on a lunch break - Duh, I found the resolution listings in about 3 seconds once I looked. This is why I shouldn't post questions I think of when I'm at work ;)

So, I'm trying to get Ms. Pacman set up first. It lists the resolution as 224x288, which does not show up in the list of resolution options when I go to the screen settings for pacman.c. Remembering what you said before as best I could, I set it to the next highest resolution that should work (in my mind, at least) which was 256x288. What all do I need selected in the screen properties to make this work out right? I have:

Number of Screens: 1
Screen: \DISPLAY1
Autoselect aspect- not selected
View- auto
Screennumber: Screen 0
Resolution:
   Size: 256x288
   Refresh: Auto (automatically changes to Auto when I select a resolution. Resolution changes to Auto if I set a refresh rate.
Switch resolutions to fit: Selected

If I uncheck that last box, the screen is tiny in the middle of my monitor. If it's checked, it stretches out and constantly scrolls vertically. I'm sure it's something simple, or maybe I misunderstood stuff about how to set the res. There's a real good chance you've already answered this above, but it was faster to type this out than to read through miles of posts and I'm on tight time right now. If you've already answered, I'm sorry and I'll do my reading when I have the time!!

And no, I don't have a project thread started yet. I really should, but there's not a lot of exciting stuff going on right now, just this piddly crap that I have to get out of the way before the fun parts really start!
Ian's BurgerBoss Cabinet project build thread!
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #87 on: September 30, 2012, 03:34:15 pm »
Home on a lunch break - Duh, I found the resolution listings in about 3 seconds once I looked. This is why I shouldn't post questions I think of when I'm at work ;)

So, I'm trying to get Ms. Pacman set up first. It lists the resolution as 224x288, which does not show up in the list of resolution options when I go to the screen settings for pacman.c. Remembering what you said before as best I could, I set it to the next highest resolution that should work (in my mind, at least) which was 256x288.

Yup, so far you're correct, and the list of resolutions there is all the ones you have setup so far.  So if you haven't added any custom ones they're the ones added by Soft15kHz.  Note that this is a vertical game though, so the x and y values are swapped.  You can go work on that resolution in Powerstrip, but it will be listed as 288x256 there.  If you don't like the geometry of Ms. Pac-Man running in "256x288," you can try adding a custom resolution in Powerstrip.  288x240 might be a good one to try first, and it would leave less black space around the sides to adjust out.

What all do I need selected in the screen properties to make this work out right? I have:

Number of Screens: 1
Screen: \DISPLAY1
Autoselect aspect- not selected
View- auto
Screennumber: Screen 0
Resolution:
   Size: 256x288
   Refresh: Auto (automatically changes to Auto when I select a resolution. Resolution changes to Auto if I set a refresh rate.
Switch resolutions to fit: Selected

If I uncheck that last box, the screen is tiny in the middle of my monitor. If it's checked, it stretches out and constantly scrolls vertically.

Just leave it refresh on auto, it will run at what you set it to in Powerstrip.  You have to check switch resolutions or it will just run at whatever your desktop is.

Everything is perfect, except for one glaring problem which is causing the issue you're describing at the end.  The problem is that Ms. Pac-Man is a vertical game.  It's meant to be played on a vertically oriented monitor, that's why the resolutions is listed as 224 pixels "wide" by 288 pixels "tall".  You're trying to run it rotated to fit on a horizontal monitor.   You're trying to fit a game that's 224 pixels wide in a width of 288 pixels, causing the stretching out; and 288 pixels tall in a height of 256, which is not enough room, causing the scrolling.

Start the game, push tab, go down to video, and rotate the game to the correct orientation.  It should be running properly but it will be on its side.

You can't display vertical games in native resolution on a 15kHz TV or monitor unless it's oriented vertically.  This is because the game is already using about all the resolution the display is capable of in progressive, around 320x240 pixels.  To rotate the screen, maintain the full resolution of the game, AND add black bars on the sides requires more resolution that isn't available in progressive.  To get this extra resolution, you'll have to run these rotated games upscaled in 640x480 interlaced (or something close to that, depending on the game).  It's not optimal, but it's a necessary solution to play both types of games in the same cabinet.  This is why I'm building two cabs, one horizontal and one vertical.

In the shmups community running a vertically orientated game on a horizontally oriented monitor with letterboxing is called Yoko mode or Yoko-tate.  You won't be able to run them in native resolutions but all the important qualities and functions of tweaking refresh rate still applies.

I'd work on a horizontal game first so you can apply all the stuff we've been talking about.

rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #88 on: September 30, 2012, 03:39:19 pm »
You're working on a Sunday?

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #89 on: September 30, 2012, 05:25:53 pm »
Yes I am! I'm a musician; I fix guitars 40 hours a week at a store in town, and play in 3 bands and record others in my "spare" time. My days at work are the 5 days of the week that i'm not occupied with gigs or recording or whatnot... This week, that's a Sunday!

Anyway, I forgot about the vertical resolution limit that'd keep it from showing 288 pixels in progressive. Duh! I'm not super torn up about old vertical games not showing at the perfect resolution because I know I'll have to make a sacrifice somewhere, and I definitely can't have two cabinets in my house. Is there a good way to display vertical games in progressive still and make them look as decent as possible and as tall as the screen is? Do I just math my way through reducing the resolution proportionately so the vertical is 240? Or maybe I have to use 480i and have it stretch as much as possible.

I'll work on TMNT and/or Simpsons first I suppose. I still want to get pacman going though!
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2012, 06:08:30 pm »
That's awesome.  I kind of play guitar and a little piano, but I don't get enough practice to call myself a musician.  My biggest influences are the blues, classic rock, Pink Floyd, and my recent favorite which is steering me into jazz, Steely Dan/Donald Fagen.  I guess if you fix guitars you already have more than enough soldering and circuitry experience for this arcade stuff.

Anyhow, MAME's output of "288x256" IS displaying correctly because it's really putting out 288x256, you just need to rotate the game with the tab menu so it will fit.  As for running a game in Yoko and in native resolution, you'd need to run "224x288" at about 398x288 (224 * (4/3)^2 =  ~398) to fit the full game resolution plus the letterbox, which would require a 24kHz monitor.

Trying to do this in a progressive resolution probably won't work too well because downscaling 288 lines to 240 will result in too much information lost.  Things will be missing. 

Your best bet is 640x480i.  There won't really be any visible scanlines at that res, so maybe you can trying playing with the new HLSL filters and stuff in the latest MAME releases.  They won't be as good as the real scanlines in your real native res games, but could help with your Yoko games.

Remember to work with whole hardware drivers at a time, getting the resolution and geometry right for tmnt.c will give you both turtles games and Sunset Riders.  You'll have to check if they all use the same refresh rate.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #91 on: September 30, 2012, 06:33:46 pm »
The resolution option I have available in MAME is actually 256x288, not the other way around (though I think I have that too, but cant' check right now). I'll try some 480i goodness and see what I can make happen. It's gonna have to be done Yoko style for sure, which was what I was expecting. As long as it looks 'pretty damn close' i should be OK with it... Heck, I didn't even expect to get things this specifically close until I started this thread! A mere 2 (or god, has it been 3?) months ago I was expecting to use the S-Video out into an RCA input on any old TV I found. What a fool I was! :)

I have no idea what Sunset Riders is, but since you've brought it up twice, it must be good! I had limited arcade experience growing up, but was just the right age to play TMNT and Simpsons at every arcade arcade and pizza place I was able to find. The past few months have been eye opening, as I've discovered a bunch of oldschool games that I never had the opportunity to play growing up. I never cared for Pac Man until about January, and now I'm completely obsessed. I never even had the chance to play Defender until just a few months ago! The fun of so many old games were completely lost on me. For years I had planned on buying a TMNT cabinet to capture some wonderful moment from my youth, but the past year has made a MAME cabinet so much more appealing. Plus, I will have spent a tiny fraction of what a TMNT cab would cost building the beast that will be proudly sitting in my basement or recording studio for years to come, and the learning experience and building aspect has been wonderful and enlightening in ways that buying a completed cabinet could never be. I really need to start a project build thread so I can show off all of the MacGyver-y things I've done to my cabinet so far, to get it functional and looking nice by using old crap I had sitting around my workshop!
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Yenome

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #92 on: September 30, 2012, 06:36:52 pm »
my 8500gt has a 7pin tv out. Im not sure where i picked up the breakout cable but it splits the tv out to rgb hook up. like the one in the link but instead of the vga plug it has a 7pin svideo plug on it.  i use it to hook the pc to the tv. i didnt get a chance earlier to check the supported list but i think i did before and found the 8500gt on the supported list ill have to check again.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5619985&csid=_61

yea i have no problem with learning everything i need to learn to get the best picture possible short of buying an arcade monitor. I dont mind spending round 200 for everything i need to get it all setup. but just cant justify spending 500 or more for a 32in arcade multi sync. my plans is to build a showcase cab and add lil things here and there like light guns.

Seems i had a compatible card looking me right in the face. i have a 7300gs pci-e sitting on my desk right by my monitor.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 06:55:28 pm by Yenome »
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #93 on: September 30, 2012, 07:48:22 pm »
The resolution option I have available in MAME is actually 256x288, not the other way around...

Sorry, this:

Anyhow, MAME's output of "288x256" IS displaying correctly...

is a typo, it should read:

Anyhow, MAME's output of "256x288" IS displaying correctly because it's really putting out 288x256, you just need to rotate the game with the tab menu so it will fit.

See what I mean?  Everything's already set up correctly for a vertical monitor.  Before you make changes, try adjusting the rotation with the TAB menu to check.  I edited that post now to fix the mistake.

A mere 2 (or god, has it been 3?) months ago I was expecting to use the S-Video out into an RCA input on any old TV I found. What a fool I was! :)

I was completely ignorant to all of this stuff a few years ago.  I was going to put a computer monitor in a recycled shelving unit with X-arcade controls.  A prime candidate for CRAPMAME.  btw, what are you using for controls?  After learning about Sanwa sticks and buttons, and ergonomic curved button layouts, I had the same "what was I thinking" feeling about American controls and straight button layouts.

That's kind of an inspiring back story there.  You should put that in your project thread.

I also had limited arcade experience as a kid.  My memories of Turtles in Time are from the Super Nintendo version.  I've always been a gamer, but I discovered arcade games through MAME in college a few years ago, and the arcade influence has refined my gaming taste significantly.  Although I still like adventure games, like Zelda or Landstalker, and JRPG's, like Final Fantasy or Suikoden, I focused my interest a lot more on "physically complex and challenging games;" 2D fighters like Street Fighter and Blazblue, shmups like R-Type and Dodonpachi, and 2D platformers like Castlevania IV and Rocket Knight Adventures.

Obviously the arcade version of the original TMNT is the best out of any console, but as for Turtles in Time did you know the SNES version has extra levels and bosses and things like that?  If you only have one or two players, it could be considering the better version, but for three of four you need the arcade.  I'll just support both on my cab  ;D

my 8500gt has a 7pin tv out. Im not sure where i picked up the breakout cable but it splits the tv out to rgb hook up. like the one in the link but instead of the vga plug it has a 7pin svideo plug on it.  i use it to hook the pc to the tv.

...

Seems i had a compatible card looking me right in the face. i have a 7300gs pci-e sitting on my desk right by my monitor.

Yeah, I'm still a little confused about this "RGB" breakout cable, you're plugging this straight to the TV?  You said the TV has component input.  Component and RGB are equivalent in quality, but communicate colorspace differently, you can't plug one into the other.  You'll get a discolored picture at best.  Unless you live in, or imported a TV from Europe, I'm going to say that's not an RGB cable, you're getting component out of that port.

I would guess that you can't get progressive 15kHz out of that port, but you should test it out with Soft15kHz to be sure.  If you can you don't need the transcoder.  If you can't, then yes the PCI-e GeForce 7300GS will work great with a transcoder, that's exactly what I'm using.

Yenome

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #94 on: October 01, 2012, 07:51:11 am »
yea your right i keep calling it rgb when its component. i used it before to hook up to the 27 in hd tv i had. i just use a reg rca cord as i dont have a color coded one but its not hard to make sure i use the same plug on both ends for the same color. ill have to try it and see what i get ya.
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Yenome

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #95 on: October 02, 2012, 10:44:47 am »
i switched my os to win xp just for this fun stuff. Dont think i did the whole tv setup right. i finally got it working in 480i tho the tv keeps saying its 720x480 when im sure its only 640x480. I installed the soft15 but it only installed it for the dvi/vga port and wont even let me try with the tv out port. i tried the newest forceware drivers that worked with my 8500 gt might try just new drivers in general
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rCadeGaming

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #96 on: October 02, 2012, 08:35:43 pm »
Did you find that card on the Soft15kHz compatibility list?  It will often mention which drivers are recommended.

Generally, you have to install all drivers before installing Soft15kHz or you will not have the best results.  If you didn't do so you need to uninstall everything and start over.  Bill Cosby had to use a driver sweeper program recommended by a talking octopus to get everything cleaned out before it would work.  Did you read the whole thread yet?  It's all in there.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #97 on: October 03, 2012, 12:51:58 am »
Getting TMNT to run at 304x224 was as simple as selecting it from the list. Of course, it needs to be slid to the right and down a little, but of course power trip freaks out when I change any of the advanced timing options on that resolution. Gah!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #98 on: October 03, 2012, 08:26:34 pm »
Getting TMNT to run at 304x224 was as simple as selecting it from the list.

According to this, that's not one of the defaults installed with Soft15kHz:

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

Is that out of date, or did you add a custom res, or did you use 304x240 or 320x240?

Of course, it needs to be slid to the right and down a little, but of course power trip freaks out when I change any of the advanced timing options on that resolution. Gah!

Keep working on playing with the numeric values.  It's freaking out because something's already near its limit, probably the horizontal or vertical scan frequency.  You need to find the right adjustment reign the problem value in and get some more flexibility on the other values.

That being said there are some resolutions that seem to have a narrower usable range of values than others.  I didn't play too much with 304x224 games as I was working on NEO GEO and CPS-2 and a few other things first, but I think I did look at TMNT briefly.  If I remember correctly, I had better results with 320x240 than 304x240.

Also don't forget to check out the TV's service menu, and don't forget about this:

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.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #99 on: October 05, 2012, 01:26:28 am »
I definitely selected 304x224 with the slider in Powerstrip... But I added the "MinLines=200" line into the .ini file. I did try using 320x224 and 320x240, and they all freak out when I click any arrow for any of the values. I decided to take that line out of the .ini file and noticed that there were no resolutions with a second value lower than 448... which meant all the resolutions available were interlaced. QuickRes still has (and has always had) a huge ton of resolutions available, including 304x224, and they can be selected and changed to for the most part... but of course I can't really do anything with them. Ugh. Did Powerstrip get installed weirdly? Is it because I'm using those modified drivers or something? I just wanna get my resolutions set up!
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Yenome

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #100 on: October 05, 2012, 06:45:09 am »
so after reinstalling the os and going with 64bit i found some good drivers and got the tv back to 640x480. but as was expected dont have controllable component out so ill be looking round for a transcoder now. in the mean time im just back to getting the software side of things in order again. still fun to play on this 32in monster.
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #101 on: October 05, 2012, 11:57:54 pm »
I definitely selected 304x224 with the slider in Powerstrip... But I added the "MinLines=200" line into the .ini file. I did try using 320x224 and 320x240, and they all freak out when I click any arrow for any of the values. I decided to take that line out of the .ini file and noticed that there were no resolutions with a second value lower than 448... which meant all the resolutions available were interlaced.

I don't know why you have to add that minlines=200, I didn't, but it sounds like things aren't working you without it.

Yes, any res with vertical lines closer to 480 than 240 are interlaced if they work with our 15kHz, TV's.  Btw, you can see for sure if you're running interlaced, by going into advanced timing options and seeing if the interlace check box is checked (as well as being able to see the obvious lack of scan lines).

QuickRes still has (and has always had) a huge ton of resolutions available, including 304x224, and they can be selected and changed to for the most part... but of course I can't really do anything with them. Ugh. Did Powerstrip get installed weirdly? Is it because I'm using those modified drivers or something? I just wanna get my resolutions set up!

I don't know where you're getting all of these other resolutions, these should be the only ones installed with Soft15kHz:

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

The rest must be coming from the modded drivers and/or quickres.

Speaking of which, when did you install quickres?  You should have mentioned that much earlier.  That could have jacked up some of the resolution timings set by powerstrip, and I don't about how it affects adjustments in powerstrip.  You might not have to reinstall things again, just find the default timings that Soft15kHz provides and check your current timings of the resolutions you're working with in Powerstrip.

I would say, especially if any one else is reading this NOT to install quickres because of potential problems like this.  I don't see the use for it.  The only time you need to change resolutions is in MAME and when working in powerstrip, neither of which have a problem with switching resolutions on their own.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #102 on: October 06, 2012, 12:41:17 pm »
Quickres shows up after installing the modded drivers. Maybe I'll try uninstalling it and see what happens.  Man, I can't believe that it freaks out even with 320X240. I just wanna play!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #103 on: October 06, 2012, 02:52:16 pm »
I was worried you installed Quickres after Soft15kHz.  You did install the modded drivers before Soft15kHz right?  If Soft15kHz was the most recent thing you installed (besides Powerstrip), it's resolution timings should be the ones in place now (installing Powerstrip shouldn't change timings on existing resolutions).

Uninstalling Quickres probably will just remove the program itself, if it changed your timings it won't revert them at this point.  Again you need to manually check your timings against the Soft15kHz defaults.

On my setup, 320x240 was rock solid from the default, and was very flexible for adjustments.  Something that occured to me is that part of this inflexibility with different timings could be coming from that RCA transcoder you're using. 

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #104 on: October 14, 2012, 04:03:49 pm »
Hey TalkingOctopus, are you still reading this thread?

I was looking back through earlier pages, and re-read your post about your monitor freaking out any time you'd try to adjust a timing option for a 240p resolution, and how you could eventually get it centered but it wasn't wide enough. This is the exact problem I'm in the middle of trying to figure out. Reading further into the thread, it sounded like you had gotten your monitor working out alright, but you never said how! Can you shed some light for me? I'm so damn close!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #105 on: October 15, 2012, 12:31:48 am »
Wait a second!

I found a wiki page somewhere that had a bunch of custom resolution settings listed for Powerstrip, to be copied and pasted into the INI file. It actually got a lot of stuff working for me and I got my favorites list of games set up in resolutions that all look good! They all overscan too much though, and everything is slid off to the left a little too much. Since the Powerstrip timing arrows still make the screen freak out a lot of the time and I can't get things to shrink down enough through there to all fit on the screen, I'm thinking it's probably geometry settings on the tv itself that need to be tweaked at this point. I didn't get a remote with the TV when I bought it off Craigslist, and I bought a few different universal remotes to try with it to see if i could get it to start up in the service menu, with no such luck. Damnit! rCadeGaming, got an extra remote I could buy off of you? :)  I'd be happy to pay for shipping!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 01:28:29 am by notbillcosby »
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #106 on: October 15, 2012, 06:46:41 pm »
I found a wiki page somewhere that had a bunch of custom resolution settings listed for Powerstrip, to be copied and pasted into the INI file. It actually got a lot of stuff working for me and I got my favorites list of games set up in resolutions that all look good!

Sounds like these values were more compatible with your particular setup than the Soft15kHz defaults, or your custom driver defaults, whichever was in effect.  That sounds useful, can you post a link?

Since the Powerstrip timing arrows still make the screen freak out a lot of the time...

Seriously man, FORGET THE ARROWS!  They will not give nearly as much flexibility as tweaking the numerical settings individually and getting an understanding of exactly what each does.  Sorry, I feel I've repeated this several times...

...I can't get things to shrink down enough through there to all fit on the screen, I'm thinking it's probably geometry settings on the tv itself that need to be tweaked at this point.

Yeah, it will be good to get into the service menu to correct things that are common problems among all your resolutions.  Just keep in mind that you will still have specific problems unique to individual resolutions, so you'll have to figure out Powerstrip.  Again, service menu changes will apply to EVERYTHING.

Do you plan on running anything besides the PC on this TV?  Since I'm using consoles as well (and their resolutions can't be tweaked), I set the TV to what's good for the consoles, and adjust the PC to fit the TV, not the other way around.  If you're just using the PC you won't have to worry about this.

BE SURE READ MY PRECAUTIONS ABOUT THE SERVICE MENU ABOVE.

I didn't get a remote with the TV when I bought it off Craigslist, and I bought a few different universal remotes to try with it to see if i could get it to start up in the service menu, with no such luck. Damnit! rCadeGaming, got an extra remote I could buy off of you? :)  I'd be happy to pay for shipping!

Unfortunately, getting to the post office is a pain in the ass for me.  I'm normally at work or at school during normal business hours.  Not that I wouldn't go out of my way for you, it's just that it's not necessary because you can get one off of eBay for about the same cost.

These seem to be the cheapest, and they're pretty compact.  I don't they came with our TV's, but I picked one up randomly and it works fine for everything on my sets, including the service menu.  It will most likely work with yours too:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-TV-REMOTE-SPARE-RM-Y173-TUBE-CRT-Remote-Control-/321002413410?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item4abd3c1d62

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-TV-REMOTE-CONTROL-UNIT-MODEL-RM-Y173-/221092291187?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item337a20a273

These are the actual ones that came with our TV's, they're more expensive and about twice as big though:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-TV-RM-Y180-WEGA-REMOTE-CONTROL-WITH-BATTERY-COVER-ORIGINAL-SHIPS-FREE-/321002487865?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item4abd3d4039

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-RM-Y180-Remote-Control-Used-Sony-TV-Remote-Control-/221126538994?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item337c2b36f2

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-TV-REMOTE-CONTROL-UNIT-MODEL-RM-Y180-/320957728648?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item4aba924788

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #107 on: October 15, 2012, 08:19:03 pm »
Sounds like these values were more compatible with your particular setup than the Soft15kHz defaults, or your custom driver defaults, whichever was in effect.  That sounds useful, can you post a link?

Of course! I'll get it up here later once I'm on my other comptuer, hopefully I still have the page up...

Quote
Seriously man, FORGET THE ARROWS!  <snip>  Sorry, I feel I've repeated this several times...
Easy, easy! I'm talking about the arrows next to the numeric values that scroll through the numbers. I figured you meant the big blue movement arrows on the left, not the ones that changed the numeric values. Maybe I'm way off.

I'll do some Ebay shopping tonight. Man, I just really wish I could get this universal remote to work. Earlier you said you press down Power, Display, Volume Up, and 5 all at the same time to turn on the set, right? Did I misunderstand that? My remote doesn't seem to know how to deal with 4 buttons at once, I don't think.

This tv is running stuff off the PC exclusively. And it's gonna look awesome when it's all done!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #108 on: October 15, 2012, 09:07:21 pm »
Easy, easy! I'm talking about the arrows next to the numeric values that scroll through the numbers. I figured you meant the big blue movement arrows on the left, not the ones that changed the numeric values. Maybe I'm way off.

Haha, no you're right.  Many apologies.

Earlier you said you press down Power, Display, Volume Up, and 5 all at the same time to turn on the set, right?

No, you press them in sequence, not all at once.  Press down power, release, display, release, etc., etc.  Just do it fairly quickly, maybe 2 to 5 seconds total.

That's my fault, I looked at my post about that and I didn't make that clear at all.  Post edited.

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #109 on: October 15, 2012, 09:09:16 pm »
sweet! gotta go try it...
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #110 on: October 15, 2012, 09:10:41 pm »
Quote
To get into it, turn the TV off and press display, 5, volume +, power, all on the remote.

In that order?
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #111 on: October 15, 2012, 09:19:07 pm »
Yup, that order.  If it doesn't work, the universal remote probably isn't sending the right code for the display button.  5, vol+, and power are pretty standard.

Service menu tips in reply #81 of this thread:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,121491.msg1303996.html#msg1303996

HEED THE WARNING AT THE BOTTOM!

notbillcosby

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #112 on: October 15, 2012, 09:20:32 pm »
Awesome, got it to work. Looks like I've got something to do later tonight!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #113 on: October 15, 2012, 09:32:33 pm »
Nice.

In addition to geometry, you can also fix your color up.

From another thread:

Just because the color looks good now doesn't mean that it can't be improved with $3 worth of trimmer pots.  These will let you individually tweak the brightness of red green and blue on the fly.  You might not know the optimum picture until you see it.

This kind of old analog hardware rarely put out perfectly balanced color levels.  For example the Super Nintendo (mine at least, could vary between systems, and TVs especially) looks decent at first; but when you get into it, you realize that the blue is a little stronger than the green, and the red is way stronger than either of them.

One good way to measure color brightness is to look at the width of the scanlines (the black spaces in between the colored lines) around different colors.  The scanlines in areas that are supposed to be pure bright green should be the same width as the scanlines in pure bright red.  Using a test pattern for this is best, but not always possible. 

On the SNES, the letters on the Mario World title screen are a good reference as they are large areas of pure red, green, and blue.  In my case, the scanlines between green were huge, the ones between red were almost non-existent, and the ones between blue were in the middle.  This indicated that green was weak and red was way too strong.  I left the pot for green all way up, turned down blue a tiny bit, and turned down red a lot.

Just be sure you're not using color areas for reference that are supposed to be mixed or dimmer colors, and keep an eye on the overall tint and where you want it as well.

Is this a little over the top?  Well yeah, and the difference isn't night and day; but I do think it's worth spare change in parts.  It's noticeable once you know what you're looking for, and it's fun to adjust.

I was talking about putting adjustable potentiometers on the red, green, and blue signal wires to adjust the color levels.  You could do this to the VGA cable coming out of the computer, but in your case it would be easier to adjust the red, green, and blue drive in the service menu.  Same method of measuring color levels applies, just be sure to compare scanlines in a progressive resolution, they're not noticable enough in interlaced on these TV's.

A good set of test patterns will be extremely useful for geometry and color/brightness/contrast.  Google "nokia monitor test," it's great.  You can find similar patterns in a lot arcade service menus through MAME as well.

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #114 on: October 15, 2012, 09:36:12 pm »
You're a champ! Thanks!
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #115 on: October 16, 2012, 03:47:25 am »
I'm working on finding a comfortable medium between TV adjustments and Powerstrip adjustments. I still can't do anything to the timing options on progressive scan stuff, which is frustrating, but I think I'll probably try to get my geometry looking right at 320x240, then use Powerstrip to try to adjust the interlaced stuff accordingly. Fingers crossed! It's super late tonight though... Hopefully I can try again tomorrow.
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #116 on: October 16, 2012, 08:37:03 am »
Don't forget about MAME's slider controls.  Use the position sliders, not the stretch.

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #117 on: October 16, 2012, 10:37:06 am »
Don't forget about MAME's slider controls.  Use the position sliders, not the stretch.

I have yet to see those controls... Are they maybe only in certain versions of MAME? Also, are they game or resolution specific, or just for everything?
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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #118 on: October 16, 2012, 05:32:50 pm »
Should be there for everything.  Press tab during gameplay.  I'm using MAME 132 right now (I have the updates romsets up to 140-something, just haven't had time to update), so if you have that or newer, you should see them.

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Re: Newbie TV walkthrough, please!
« Reply #119 on: October 16, 2012, 10:17:58 pm »
Ugh. I have .122 and don't seem to have slider controls. MAN I would like to see if those help! I'm horrified at the idea of upgrading because all of my roms work at the speed they're supposed to! Is there a way to adjust this stuff in earlier MAMEs? I'll do some Googlin'.
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