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Author Topic: GroovyMiSTer  (Read 10453 times)

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psakhis

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GroovyMiSTer
« on: December 31, 2023, 05:00:17 am »
What is GroovyMiSTer?

GroovyMiSTer is a core for CRT monitors, acts like analog GPU. Core replaces the need to use a modded GPU for 15khz with configurations in operation system or drivers.

Requeriments
 - DE10 Nano with VGA ioboard or directvideo mode with hdmi connection (MiSTer project)
 - Gb eth connection, direct is prefered but some users uses laptop with wifi5 and can work
 - Modded emulator like GroovyMAME, Mednafen or Retroarch to config MiSTer ip and new video backend

This project is in beta, suggestions are welcome for core or any emulator

On test build folder from github you find last version, at the moment vs first release:
- More speed and stability fixes for 480p with lz4
- Double framebuffer for interlaced resolutions (framebuffer/field)
- Audio streaming
- Retroarch working hardware rendered cores with opengl

https://github.com/psakhis/Groovy_MiSTer

« Last Edit: January 23, 2024, 04:02:42 pm by psakhis »

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2023, 05:09:15 am »
Some advices for those interested in trying this:

Network configuration:

- This requires a Gigabit ethernet card, lower speeds won't work.

- Ideally, you want to set this up with a direct wired connection, PC <---> MiSTer. This requires that both MiSTer and PC have a static ip so they can see each other.

On the MiSTer side, you have to edit /etc/dhcpd.conf, and add this two lines at the end, replacing the ip address with the one you want to use, e.g. mine is set as 192.168.18.35:

Code: [Select]
interface eth0
static ip_address=192.168.18.35/24

On the PC, you'll need to configure your network card to use a static ip. At this point you should be able to ping the MiSTer and receive an answer.

Of course you could just use dhcp on both sides if you're simply connecting through a router, wired or wireless. We're just not recommending that by now because we're aiming at the lowest latency and greatest stability.


GroovyMAME configuration:

GroovyMAME works exactly the same, regarding Switchres and modelines, so you can keep using your existing presets.

This will select the new "mister" video backend, which basically does software rendering and streams the RGB data through the network:

Code: [Select]
video                     mister

These are the new "mister"-specific options:

Code: [Select]
mister_ip                 192.168.18.35
mister_compression        none
mister_window             0
mister_fd_margin          1.5

A brief explanation:
  • mister_ip: MiSTer's ip address.
  • mister_compression: [none | lz4]. Allows saving bandwidth by compressing RGB data. Use none to send raw data, or lz4 compression. The later is required for higher resolutions (typically, 31 kHz). Notice that lz4 can be used in all cases with almost no latency penalty.
  • mister_window: enables a mirror window on the client's screen (PC). Windows only.
  • mister_fd_margin: specify a security margin for automatic frame delay, in ms. A lowest value provides less latency at the cost of glitches caused by erratic emulation times.

Also, we need to force the aspect ratio as 4:3, otherwise MAME will guess the aspect from our desktop's resolution (badly):

Code: [Select]
aspect                   4:3

Finally, these synchronization options must be set exactly like this in order to get things running fluently:

Code: [Select]
autosync                 0
throttle                 0
syncrefresh              1
sleep                    0

This is because all timing is handled by the video module, otherwise perfect synchronization wouldn't be possible.

Automatic frame delay:

This new video backend implements automatic frame delay. This setting is selected by default, through value "0" in either the framedelay option or its corresponding slider.

Code: [Select]
framedelay                0

When automatic frame delay is enabled, GM will try to apply the highest possible setting, adjusting dynamically to fluctuations in emulation times. Depending on the game, you might find the default setting too agressive, causing glitches on the upper portion of the screen. You can mitigate this by increasing the mister_fd_margin setting, or by switching to manual frame delay.

Manual frame delay works as usual, by setting a value different to "0" through the in-game slider. You can also fine-tune a given value with the vsync_offset option. Notice that, in the particular case of "video mister", vsync_offset increases the computed sync line by the number of lines specified, instead of decreasing it.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 07:13:02 am by Calamity »
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

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Zebidee

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2023, 06:11:04 pm »
Oh this is an exciting project. Many questions, but just trying to get my head around the potential.

With this, you could turn a Mister into a dedicated GPU for your CRT-based cab? In addition to whatever else you use the Mister for?

Looking forwards, does this present a reasonable alternative to old AMD video cards, as they don't make them with analog outputs anymore? I think the Mister is still waaaaay more expensive, but being able to do this from any-old laptop is cool.

I'm assuming here that GroovyMAME/GroovyMister selects the Mister as the game's video output device, but otherwise you operate it from your PC/laptop screen? Is that how it works? Might it be possible to run a front end, or even a desktop, via the Mister/CRT as well?

Does it support component video out?

Very nice  :cheers:
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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2023, 06:25:17 pm »
Does this co-exist with the other Mister cores allowing me to run groovyarcade and mister together?y to
« Last Edit: January 01, 2024, 04:11:19 pm by GroggyExpulsion »

psakhis

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2024, 05:57:59 am »
Oh this is an exciting project. Many questions, but just trying to get my head around the potential.

With this, you could turn a Mister into a dedicated GPU for your CRT-based cab? In addition to whatever else you use the Mister for?

Looking forwards, does this present a reasonable alternative to old AMD video cards, as they don't make them with analog outputs anymore? I think the Mister is still waaaaay more expensive, but being able to do this from any-old laptop is cool.

I'm assuming here that GroovyMAME/GroovyMister selects the Mister as the game's video output device, but otherwise you operate it from your PC/laptop screen? Is that how it works? Might it be possible to run a front end, or even a desktop, via the Mister/CRT as well?

Does it support component video out?

Very nice  :cheers:

Yes, core supports all video outputs from MiSTer. See analog video settings https://mister-devel.github.io/MkDocs_MiSTer/advanced/ini/#general-video-settings

GroovyMAME now supports a new video backend, this don't disable normal output on PC, send rgb frames to MiSTer, so you have dual/tri display (MiSTer has vga and hdmi)

1) Load the core from MiSTer main
2) Run GroovyMAME with new video backend, it's all

At this time, we don't modded any frontend to send rgb, but it's possible to do it.


psakhis

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2024, 06:17:08 am »
Does this co-exist with the other Mister cores allowing me to run groovyarcade and mister together?
Yes, but inputs for groovyarcade are connected on pc side (atm GroovyMiSTer it's only gpu)

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2024, 04:22:18 pm »
I'm really curious as to what kind of latency we can expect from this.
On a scale of fakeness, from more genuine to more fake, we'd have:

1.- Plastic plants (cf. Fake Plastic Trees)
2.- Inflatable dolls
3.- Arcade cabinets with LCD monitors

Zebidee

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2024, 09:08:16 pm »
I'm really curious as to what kind of latency we can expect from this.


The irony of waiting for latency data.

I'd guess it mostly depends on network speeds and cable lengths.

Back in the mid 20th, big TV stations often had rooms full of video cables. To make sure everyone, in every office, got the same thing at the same time. So if the furthest office was 300m away, *every* office got 300m worth of cable. Were probably talking about a few tens of milliseconds difference at most.

Fast gamers might be concerned about tens of microseconds.

I've lately been quite consumed with tens of nanoseconds, towards faster signal response times and better alignment of YPbPr signals (sharper image, better colour changes/constancy). Have been comparing with Mister's (both native analog YPbPr output and via VGA GreenAntz) and some other transcoders.

Sorry I'm digressing slightly. Still, latency, video signals and Mister :)
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psakhis

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2024, 03:40:35 am »
I'm really curious as to what kind of latency we can expect from this.
The expert in measuring it is @Calamity. He measures with a high frame delay around 3 or 4ms (all, including inputs and emulation).

From a technical point of view, frame starts to blit with first udp packet, it is not necessary wait all frame so it's really fast.




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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2024, 05:04:19 am »
Well, well, well... 2024 could be an interesting year here!

Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about this. :)

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2024, 01:37:04 pm »
Anyone with a MiSTer should be trying this.

First, let me start with a realistic note. While one could, of course, put this in a cabinet as it is, it's far yet from being an user friendly option. For instance, you can't use a frontend yet. We need software specfically written (or hacked) for this.

That said, I'll outline some of the features of this awesome development:

- 100% flexible modelines, free pixel clock, no limitations.

- Seamless mode switching. Any in-game mode switch is now basically perfect. Progressive<->interlace, no glitches, no audio hickups, etc.

- No specific hardware or OS requirements, except of course a Gigabit network card (anyway don't expect to run MAME on a junk PC).

- Low latency. Yes. Lower latency than what you get with a PC setup. Below 4 ms is common case, even below 3 ms in some cases. Still lots of tests must be done, but figures are beyond our expectations. And this without putting special stress on the PC side.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

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Zebidee

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2024, 03:03:03 pm »
That's amazing.

The Mister itself seems to have problems with mode switching in some games, but you can get around that with the PC-based GM?

That lower latency over ethernet is even more amazing, I guess the traditional PC/GPU approach involves PCIe buses and layers of processing and such, but makes one wonder what they are doing wrong in GPU design.
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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2024, 03:20:26 pm »
That's amazing.

The Mister itself seems to have problems with mode switching in some games, but you can get around that with the PC-based GM?

That lower latency over ethernet is even more amazing, I guess the traditional PC/GPU approach involves PCIe buses and layers of processing and such, but makes one wonder what they are doing wrong in GPU design.
The problem on traditional PC/GPU aren't hardware itself; it's more about all software layers (vsync, frame buffering, sdl2, drivers, etc.)

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2024, 05:07:14 am »
The Mister itself seems to have problems with mode switching in some games, but you can get around that with the PC-based GM?

I wasn't aware of that. Anyway, all modes I've tried so far work perfectly. The PLL in the DE10-Nano is reprogrammed on the fly during vblank, and the emulation on the client just goes on without freezing instantly as we're used to see.

Quote
That lower latency over ethernet is even more amazing, I guess the traditional PC/GPU approach involves PCIe buses and layers of processing and such, but makes one wonder what they are doing wrong in GPU design.

In theory one could achieve even lower latency on a conventional setup, and I still hope we can do it some day. The main problem is hardware obfuscation by layers of software built upon other people's decisions. Mainly, the impossibility of writting to the front buffer. Or the absurd need to go through a 3D api in order to output raw RGB data.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2024, 10:39:06 am »
The Mister itself seems to have problems with mode switching in some games, but you can get around that with the PC-based GM?

I wasn't aware of that. Anyway, all modes I've tried so far work perfectly. The PLL in the DE10-Nano is reprogrammed on the fly during vblank, and the emulation on the client just goes on without freezing instantly as we're used to see.


Not sure there's anything worth worrying about, though I'm not the expert. I've just been playing some Mister YT vids in the background lately while working on other stuff, and heard things mentioned a couple of times.

For example, brief glitch or flash on SNES core when changing from 256 to 512 pixel width at about 58:30


And the PS1 core, apparently some 240p games with 480i menus, but there is a settings workaround for HDMI at least, same video from about 1:39:30
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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2024, 11:50:59 am »
- Low latency. Yes. Lower latency than what you get with a PC setup. Below 4 ms is common case, even below 3 ms in some cases. Still lots of tests must be done, but figures are beyond our expectations. And this without putting special stress on the PC side.

Mindblowing, very well done.
On a scale of fakeness, from more genuine to more fake, we'd have:

1.- Plastic plants (cf. Fake Plastic Trees)
2.- Inflatable dolls
3.- Arcade cabinets with LCD monitors

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2024, 10:41:45 pm »
How does the latency compare to groovyarcade? And how do we expect groovymister to compare once supported ?

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2024, 07:42:51 am »
Works like a charm. Is it possible to send audio and controls to the MiSTer as well in the near future?








« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 10:58:14 am by evidencedj »

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2024, 04:38:33 pm »
Thank you all for this. Just one doubt: This means we don't need anymore to enable test mode in windows?

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2024, 05:24:10 pm »
Thank you all for this. Just one doubt: This means we don't need anymore to enable test mode in windows?

Does that matter? You can hack the message to say whatever you want, least you can in Windows 7 (haven't tried Win10 yet). Instructions:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,148050.msg1646130.html#msg1646130
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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2024, 05:38:00 pm »
Thank you all for this. Just one doubt: This means we don't need anymore to enable test mode in windows?
With MiSTer as GPU you don't need any modded driver or OS, just a GB lan connection.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2024, 07:09:40 pm »
Thank you both. It's working great with vanilla Windows 10 and DHCP (Didn't find where "/etc/dhcpd.conf" is).

But I will leave "uifont" on default. With "uifont uismall.bdf" it's too small for me to read the games names.

Tomorrow I will try direct video using hdmi cable to vga adapter.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2024, 06:36:59 am »
I've tried both VGA (CRT) and direct video (VGA monitor) and both worked well.

I'm using ethernet connection between the PC and MiSTer(s) via a switch which the PC and two MiSTers are plugged directly into.  Would there be much benefit to a direct connection vs. using the switch and DHCP?

I did have some connectivity / stability issues on the MiSTer side - particularly with the CRT set up - where the core would go red or black and freeze during gameplay but I know this is beta.

Some feature requests:

1) Support for 31khz / 24khz output for VGA monitors. The 480i output on the CRT is not bad for games like Ridge Racer but Sega Rally etc. no so good on either the CRT or VGA monitor.
2) A tool or better instructions (video) for setting up a direct connection without breaking the DNS set up so enable MiSTER to update via the internet and easily switch to a direct connection for better performance in Groovy mode.
3) MiSTER controller support would be great as it can get confusing switching between different controllers especially on a PC with dual MiSTER set up! :)
4) Sound streaming would be great as long as it doesn't impact the video and latency side of the house. My work around is to route the sound from the PC into my monitor speakers I use for  MiSTER.
5) By some miracle convince Sorg to embrace this project and integrate with MiSTer main :) More a quality of life thing TBH.

Keep up the good work!

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2024, 07:05:42 am »
Hi,
I don't have any freeze here, which game are you trying? Direct connection is more about no other downloads can affect transmission.

About requests
1) It's supported as monitor on emulator side, so you need to pass other monitor, not arcade_15. For 240p games, on core you have scandoubler to support 31khz.
2) This happens to me, i don't know how setup dhcp.conf to get DNS
3) Yeah, nice feature, but needs a lot of work, maybe...
4) Probably easier than inputs, i'm looking this
5) I hope convince Sorg.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2024, 08:04:12 am »
@zoopster

-monitor arcade_31

-monitor arcade_25

... it's that easy.

For higher resolutions (25/31 kHz), you'll likely need -mister_compression lz4.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2024, 10:45:12 am »
Yesterday I tested this with my Arcade monitor, and another advantage of using MiSTer is now I don't need the video amplifier anymore (With my old GroovyMAME setup with HD6450 the image was too dim and had to use a video amplifier).

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2024, 10:52:41 am »
I don't have any freeze here, which game are you trying? Direct connection is more about no other downloads can affect transmission.

The freeze on the CRT side stopped after I realized the PC was not plugged into the same switch as the two MiSTers.

Still getting a freeze after a few seconds when using the VGA (31khz mode) and playing Ridge Racer.

Here's the command line used:

Code: [Select]
video mister -aspect 4:3 -switchres -monitor arcade_31 -mister_window -mister_ip 192.168.0.227 -mister_compression lz4 -skip_gameinfo -syncrefresh -nothrottle
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 10:54:18 am by zoopster »

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2024, 07:35:15 pm »
Only heard about this today. Looks great. Have to read up more.


Is there anyway to add that automatic frame delay feature to the normal groovymame with ati cards?
I had a look at the source code months ago but didn't get far (was trying to hook the auto frameskip detection code to the frame delay)







« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 08:37:23 am by flybynight »

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2024, 08:23:50 am »
Quote
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video mister -aspect 4:3 -switchres -monitor arcade_31 -mister_window -mister_ip 192.168.0.227 -mister_compression lz4 -skip_gameinfo -syncrefresh -nothrottle

Do we add these to mame.ini ?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 01:31:52 pm by tonyt76 »

bobbyb13

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2024, 11:40:10 pm »
Wow!
I'm looking forward to trying this but I have a lot to learn before I can give it a go.
I even think I already have all the pieces here- except probably the ethernet card actually now I think about it.
Wish I wasn't so code ignorant!
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

Zebidee

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2024, 12:56:40 am »
Most vaguely modern-ish PCs would come with gigabit ethernet standard. Network cards are not expensive and fairly painless to install.
Check out my completed projects!


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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2024, 02:52:29 am »
Still getting a freeze after a few seconds when using the VGA (31khz mode) and playing Ridge Racer.

Confirmed. I'm still trying to debug this, but it's probably hitting its bandwidth limit.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

Calamity

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2024, 02:54:40 am »
Is there anyway to add that automatic frame delay feature to the normal groovymame with ati cards?
I had a look at the source code months ago but didn't get far (was trying to hook the auto frameskip detection code to the frame delay)

It should be possible, but it needs to refactor all the synchronization code. The mister backend has its own sync implementation.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead of pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2024, 05:35:20 am »
Very exciting development, congrats to you both!! I guess this gets past the GPU choices that CRTEmudriver has?!

I hope this will be able to support Steam and also those decompiled ports like Super Mario 64. What a gift CRTEmudriver is. Thanks for all the hard work.

tonyt76

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2024, 09:57:42 am »
@Calamity can we add these command line arguments to mame.ini instead of manually typing them out?

ronbin

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2024, 10:54:27 am »
This is exciting news! I will try it as soon as possible.
It reminds me an old project: arvid.
http://www.molej.cz/index_arvid.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,151661.0.html

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2024, 01:47:21 pm »
Ive been reading this and it looks promising, although for me, its an experiment I wont be able to try for a wild since the mister its to expensive for me. So I was wondering if I can coperate with an idea. Back in the day with the OG xbox, once it was hacked and softmod and chip mod was available, One way to transfer games to it via FTP without a router, was using an ethernet crossover cable. So I wonder if this would also work with this project? Or there's no need to have a router/modem for this?

faxesystem

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2024, 03:13:16 pm »
As a long time CRTEmudriver user I'm really looking forward to this. I had some time yesterday and tried a few things with Retroarch. Is it expected, that the cores of more modern systems like Gamecube/Wii and PS2 are not supported yet? Groovymister was crashing whenever I started something with these cores.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2024, 03:55:13 pm »
Retroarch support it's very premature, menu and hardware rendered cores isn't supported yet.

That JVC looks great.

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Re: GroovyMiSTer
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2024, 06:30:07 pm »
Is there anyway to add that automatic frame delay feature to the normal groovymame with ati cards?
I had a look at the source code months ago but didn't get far (was trying to hook the auto frameskip detection code to the frame delay)

It should be possible, but it needs to refactor all the synchronization code. The mister backend has its own sync implementation.

Sir, where is your patreon link??