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Author Topic: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels  (Read 5485 times)

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cobhc

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LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« on: May 19, 2011, 01:12:49 pm »
Hi All,

Signed up cos this place looks like a great font of knowledge, and since I see a fair amount of people recommending an LCD around the internet for use with Mame, I have a few questions.

First of all, I don't mind the look of an LCD for old arcade games, however I have problems with matching refresh rates. I've managed to get the Mortal Kombat games to run nicely, by using Powerstrip and choosing for some reason a 54.9hz refresh rate, but obviously I have to switch this to other refresh rates to make Killer Instinct run fine, and then another rate for the Capcom games. Is there any way of automating this? Just wondering how people overcome this problem when using an LCD in a Cabinet.

Also, because of old games being displayed in 4:3, is there an easy way to get a generic 16:9 bezel for MameUI that will fill in the missing space?

If anyone could help, this would be great.

Thanks.

cobhc

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 05:19:06 am »
Bump!

Blanka

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 07:08:58 am »
LCD's don't eat other refresh rates (yes, some high end ones like from NEC or EIZO do movie rates like 24p, 48p, 50p), so 60Hz it will display, whether you like it or not. Good thing, most emulators have an option "sync to monitor refresh", so that every frame matches a screen refresh. Sometimes a game goes itsy bitsy faster or slower, but that is always better than hiccups because 1 frame is displayed twice. Ever watched a movie in Europe? Did you bother? Well, movies play 4% faster here on TV's. Nobody notices.
I don't like bezels... So I don't know. Artwork the same, I don't care. Just the game is what I need. That is all you see when playing. Artwork is invented to hide the lousy cabinet design after the seventies. Can't help you with that. And remeber: bezels were printed on the glass for a good reason: so you won't be disturbed through play as the ambient light that makes the bezel visible is maybe 10 times darker than the image of the game. If you LCD-ize (back-illuminate) bezels, it will be nothing but annoying.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 07:13:49 am by Blanka »

cobhc

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 12:22:07 pm »
I guess I could run Mame like this, but change refresh rates for games like Mortal Kombat which run a lot faster.

Blanka

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 04:28:02 am »
Guess you either have to deal with 5 frames doubling per second, or having MK run at 110% speed. As I said, you can't change the refresh. If your videocard allows it, either the videocard will double 5 frames, or your monitor will do. So it will look ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- in each way. 10% faster is the only smooth looking one, but than the sound may be ---steaming pile of meadow muffin---.
BTW, never seen a more weird resolution/refresh than those MK cabs  :dizzy:

cobhc

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 05:10:47 am »
Well, forcing 54.900hz in Powerstrip makes the Mortal Kombat games run smooth with perfect audio (as far as I can tell), and since most other games run at ~60hz anyway, I don't mind them running a little bit quicker/slower as I can't notice it.

I was just wondering if there was some way of automating this, as it's a pain to have to swap to have the MK games working well, but I guess that's a good compromise.

MonMotha

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 01:13:49 pm »
The reason for this issue is that Mortal Kombat (at least II, probably others, as well) does in fact run at a strage, low refresh rate.  While most games run at about 60Hz, MK runs at ~53-54Hz.  This may be due to the fact that arcade games of that era generally ran the "event loop" once per frame, and so if the event loop needed to do too many calculations, the hardware may not have been able to manage normal 60Hz refresh as the event loop wouldn't have finished by the time the next frame rolled around.  It may also have been that they wanted higher resolution graphics, as there's a trade-off between resolution and refresh rate if you want compatibility with a standard monitor.

That said, most LCDs do have a smallish range that they'll accept.  For PC LCDs, it's usually "a little below 60" to "a little above 75".  This is done since many PCs output their BIOS startup screen at 72Hz.  It is also handy for watching movies (72Hz = 3x 24fps which is standard movie rate), though this feature seems rarely used.  Many cheap LCDs probably downconvert anything that isn't "about 60".  TV LCDs are usually much more limited.  US ones almost universally accept nothing but "about 60" and perhaps "about 24".  European ones are usually a bit more forgiving as they try to be compatible with both European PAL TV timings (50Hz refresh) and US NTSC timings (about 60Hz).

My (admittedly high end and also quite old) PC LCD will accept anything between about 47 and the low side of 76Hz, and it seems to display it natively.  I certainly can't get it to tear even on deliberately rigged test signals, but I don't have a super high fps camera needed to actually capture all the timecodes to see if it's not doing frame dropping.  The motion seems smooth, at least.

Unfortunately, the ~53-54Hz used by MK and friends is probably outside the range of what many cheap PC LCDs will accept, but you can at least try it.  The challenge is often getting Windows to actually output what you want: most drivers on Windows will limit you to things it THINKS your monitor can do and will often go so far as to silently give you something other than what you're asking for.

Anyway, to resolve the issue you're having, assuming your monitor can handle the native vidoe, most people seem to use a MAME frontend that supports switching up some system settings prior to launching MAME itself.  The frontend can tweak things like refresh rate prior to starting a particular game.  MAME also has its own ability to switch graphics modes, but I'm not very familiar with it, and people seem to constantly whine about it not working right or being difficult to use.

That said, there's little reason to output native video to an LCD, though matching the frame rate, if possible, can be useful.  Honestly, if I'm using an LCD for this, I'd just always output native resolution at a fixed refresh rate and tell my emulator to scale and frame dupe/drop to "make it work" (triple buffer would do this).  The vastly different response profile (and, often, input lag) on LCDs and upscaling required to make it take up the whole screen (though PLEASE maintain aspect ratio) already destroy any "native display" effect I may be seeking.  It's just a matter of making it work, at that point.

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 04:25:57 pm »
The reason for this issue is that Mortal Kombat (at least II, probably others, as well) does in fact run at a strage, low refresh rate.  While most games run at about 60Hz, MK runs at ~53-54Hz.  This may be due to the fact that arcade games of that era generally ran the "event loop" once per frame, and so if the event loop needed to do too many calculations, the hardware may not have been able to manage normal 60Hz refresh as the event loop wouldn't have finished by the time the next frame rolled around.  It may also have been that they wanted higher resolution graphics, as there's a trade-off between resolution and refresh rate if you want compatibility with a standard monitor.

That said, most LCDs do have a smallish range that they'll accept.  For PC LCDs, it's usually "a little below 60" to "a little above 75".  This is done since many PCs output their BIOS startup screen at 72Hz.  It is also handy for watching movies (72Hz = 3x 24fps which is standard movie rate), though this feature seems rarely used.  Many cheap LCDs probably downconvert anything that isn't "about 60".  TV LCDs are usually much more limited.  US ones almost universally accept nothing but "about 60" and perhaps "about 24".  European ones are usually a bit more forgiving as they try to be compatible with both European PAL TV timings (50Hz refresh) and US NTSC timings (about 60Hz).

My (admittedly high end and also quite old) PC LCD will accept anything between about 47 and the low side of 76Hz, and it seems to display it natively.  I certainly can't get it to tear even on deliberately rigged test signals, but I don't have a super high fps camera needed to actually capture all the timecodes to see if it's not doing frame dropping.  The motion seems smooth, at least.

Unfortunately, the ~53-54Hz used by MK and friends is probably outside the range of what many cheap PC LCDs will accept, but you can at least try it.  The challenge is often getting Windows to actually output what you want: most drivers on Windows will limit you to things it THINKS your monitor can do and will often go so far as to silently give you something other than what you're asking for.

Anyway, to resolve the issue you're having, assuming your monitor can handle the native vidoe, most people seem to use a MAME frontend that supports switching up some system settings prior to launching MAME itself.  The frontend can tweak things like refresh rate prior to starting a particular game.  MAME also has its own ability to switch graphics modes, but I'm not very familiar with it, and people seem to constantly whine about it not working right or being difficult to use.

That said, there's little reason to output native video to an LCD, though matching the frame rate, if possible, can be useful.  Honestly, if I'm using an LCD for this, I'd just always output native resolution at a fixed refresh rate and tell my emulator to scale and frame dupe/drop to "make it work" (triple buffer would do this).  The vastly different response profile (and, often, input lag) on LCDs and upscaling required to make it take up the whole screen (though PLEASE maintain aspect ratio) already destroy any "native display" effect I may be seeking.  It's just a matter of making it work, at that point.

most drivers on Windows will limit you to things...

schmerzkaufen

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Re: LCD/Mame Refresh Rates + 16:9 Bezels
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 06:21:08 am »
What a strange necro just to say that...

Anyway this thread's outdated, today GroovyMAME w/ CRT Emudriver can handle any refresh rate exactly and automatically on a LCD
http://geedorah.com/eiusdemmodi/forum/viewtopic.php?id=374

Sure you need a LCD that can natively handle any refresh between like 53Hz to 62Hz (rough estimate covering most emulated games in mame)
Some older monitors can, and for new ones many ViewSonic brand do as well.

Otherwise there's the FreeSync and G-Sync commercial alternatives.
GroovyMAME oddball LCD user: W7 64, viewsonic vx3211-mh, i5-4690k @4.1GHz, Rx 570, crt_emudriver 2.0b15