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Thread: Some video questions (really confused now)

  1. #16
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Both my old CRT TV and PC monitors had vertical and horizontal size adjustment options.

  2. #17
    Hero of Algol
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    These are the CRT TVs I currently own:

    Sony KV-29FS140 (BX-1L chassis)
    Philips DWIDE 32PW6542/78
    Philips 29PT6566/78
    Philips 29PT5642/78 (modded to use a L04L AB board)

    All of them have vertical and horizontal size adjustments but they're inside the service menu.
    Pretty much all TVs have such adjustments (for service reasons) as other said, older ones sometimes had them as end-user adjustments available from the TV front panel; some of them had controls semi-hidden in the back of the case (also used in some old monitors); modern ones have them in the service menu but some of the late 80s until mid 90s sometimes will have at least part of the controls as knobs inside the TV so you'd need to open the back case to get to them.

    The flat tube era also saw several models adding 16:9 compression support and/or zooming controls.
    The DWIDE I have has amazing rotation, 4:3/16:9 and zooming controls available from the user menu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleste View Post
    Two things: I feel like an old geezer but I'm still surrounded by scores of CRT tvs. I have two multistandard, a Trinitron and a Samsung, which are still my preferred panels for Megadrive (and Light Phaser) gaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    These are the CRT TVs I currently own:

    Sony KV-29FS140 (BX-1L chassis)
    Philips DWIDE 32PW6542/78
    Philips 29PT6566/78
    Philips 29PT5642/78 (modded to use a L04L AB board)


    You are not alone!

    I myself have some CRT's scattered around the house (among VGA monitors):


    Panasonic TX-32PS11F

    Mitsubishi CT-21M1EPM

    Sony KV-16WS1E

    C=1084S (P1)

    Another Sony KV-16WS1E and another C=1084S (D1)


    My mother strictly forbids any more because of the lack of space.


    I guess this makes me an old git...


    The Sony's have geometry controls accessible from service menu (through a weird combination of keys on the remote).
    The Commodore's 1084s have pots at the back, but the Mitsubishi and Panasonic most likely only inside in the pcb.
    Last edited by MegaDriver; 05-20-2020 at 08:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    @MegaDriver
    Also, you may find this video interesting if you still haven't watched it:
    Yes, thanks.
    That pretty much coincided with what I have noticed.

    Not sure if you agree with me, but I have been testing some games and came to this conclusion:

    - Lotus turbo challenge, Lotus II, Turbo outrun and Test Drive II look worse when stretched;

    - Outlander and Kawasaki Superbike challenge look better when stretched.
    Last edited by MegaDriver; 05-20-2020 at 08:36 AM.

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    Now, this is most interesting.

    Ti recently released an hack for 'Tom and Jerry - Frantic Antics'

    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5292/

    and, among other improvements, he has managed to increase the screen resolution from 256 to 320.

    How did he do it?

    But anyway, my question is, it is possible then to force a game with main game play in low-res to hi-res?

    Or this was only possible because 'Tom and Jerry' specifically allows for this change to happen (and other low-res games may not)?

  6. #21
    Master of Shinobi
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    I actually thought square pixels were a thing even back then, at least in Photoshop and similar tools. A PC with a VGA card at 640x480 resolution has square pixels. I've seen some SNES games that are clearly designed with an 8:7 ratio in mind (square at 256x224) so I take this as a sign their development environment was probably a PC at 640x480 or 320x240. Thanks to the recent Gigaleak I now know that at least some of the games were developed on PCs running DOS.

    On the other hand 320x200 at 8-bit color was very common back in the day and that isn't square at all, it's a PAR of 1.6. So if that's what you had circles would look like ovals when they end up on a console at 320x224 or 256x224.

  7. #22
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDriver View Post
    Now, this is most interesting.

    Ti recently released an hack for 'Tom and Jerry - Frantic Antics'

    http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5292/

    and, among other improvements, he has managed to increase the screen resolution from 256 to 320.

    How did he do it?

    But anyway, my question is, it is possible then to force a game with main game play in low-res to hi-res?

    Or this was only possible because 'Tom and Jerry' specifically allows for this change to happen (and other low-res games may not)?
    Making them display in 320px wide per se probably isn't hard, the issue is that they likely have a lot of hardcoded boundaries that assume 256px wide — in short, you need to hunt down every single one of those and change them. And then deal with stuff that assumes a single screen (no scrolling), which is usually the case with bosses and such.

    For the record, this isn't really different from the situation of adapting 4:3 games to widescreen. Without the source code it's definitely a lot harder to get done, though.

  8. #23
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I actually thought square pixels were a thing even back then, at least in Photoshop and similar tools. A PC with a VGA card at 640x480 resolution has square pixels. I've seen some SNES games that are clearly designed with an 8:7 ratio in mind (square at 256x224) so I take this as a sign their development environment was probably a PC at 640x480 or 320x240. Thanks to the recent Gigaleak I now know that at least some of the games were developed on PCs running DOS.

    On the other hand 320x200 at 8-bit color was very common back in the day and that isn't square at all, it's a PAR of 1.6. So if that's what you had circles would look like ovals when they end up on a console at 320x224 or 256x224.
    VGA 320x200 definitely did NOT have a PAR of 1.6 haha. I think you mean screen aspect ratio (which is not the same as PAR). If 320x240 is 1.0 PAR or square pixels, then 320x200 in the same space is still 1.0 PAR. If 320x200 is stretched to take up the same space as 320x240, then the PAR is 0.83. There'a lot of debate about is the PAR is 1.0 or 0.83 for the old VGA display, but it's definitely not 1.6.

  9. #24
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Uh, wouldn't it be obvious by trying it on a real VGA card? It's not like the distortion wouldn't be obvious (or is the issue finding a matching monitor?)

    Most SVGA cards definitely stretched it out, though, which is likely what most people are remembering. NVidia cards at some point letterboxed instead (driver could be configured to pad it out) but that feature got removed eventually (and I was not amused since that also removed one of the resolutions I was using with Sonic Robo Blast 2).

  10. #25
    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    VGA 320x200 definitely did NOT have a PAR of 1.6 haha. I think you mean screen aspect ratio (which is not the same as PAR). If 320x240 is 1.0 PAR or square pixels, then 320x200 in the same space is still 1.0 PAR. If 320x200 is stretched to take up the same space as 320x240, then the PAR is 0.83. There'a lot of debate about is the PAR is 1.0 or 0.83 for the old VGA display, but it's definitely not 1.6.
    Yeah you're right it is 0.83 lol. I should have just calculated it myself, instead I was reading off this page: https://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com...or-ibm-pc.html

    Goes to show I shouldn't trust anything on the Internet

  11. #26
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Looking there, I think they actually meant just "aspect ratio" rather than "pixel aspect ratio" (320 ÷ 200 = 1.6).

  12. #27
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    I mean hardware wise, I'm like 99.99% certain 320x200 VGA had a PAR of 1.0 (I haven't looked at the signal on a scope). As in, it just didn't show the upper 20 and lower 20 lines - rather than having a completely different scan rate. 320x200 easily fits within a 64k range for video memory mapped to cpu address range (anything more than that has to be accessed in pages of 64k video memory), while 320x240 makes it more of a pain. The debate for old DOS games isn't the hardware, but rather that since almost all VGA monitors has vertical size/offset adjustments right in the front or back, that gamers simply tended stretched the screen to fill it for 320x200 games. And that DOS game developers knew this, so they developed their art with 4:3 screen aspect ratio in mind (not 16:10). But even in some games, it's not consistent.

  13. #28
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Well, from the VGA's viewpoint it's even messier… From what I recall, it outputs less lines at a higher refresh rate (320×200/640×400 is 70Hz, 320×240/640×480 is 60Hz) to keep the ~31kHz hblank rate consistent, then the monitor figures out how to space the scanlines out of that.

    And yeah, once you account for everybody readjusting the monitor knobs everything goes to hell.

  14. #29
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert retronostalgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboxray View Post
    Just couple of things to note: H40 is ~0.91 pixel aspect ratio.

    ...

    On NTSC, 5.369mhz dot clock gives you a PAR of ~1.14, 6.711mhz (or H40) gives you a PAR of ~0.91, and 7.159mhz gives a PAR of ~0.857.
    Thanks for bringing the deep-dive detail. This page: https://pineight.com/mw/index.php?title=Dot_clock_rates ... has some more info for anyone who's interested.

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    Another example of a game having horizontal resolution pushed from 256 to 320:

    Mr Nutz

    According to the description of the hack, the enhanced screen setting is already present in the game code, it just needs to be activated by entering a new password (since it was impossible to enter the "@" character of the old password in the game password editor).

    If the creator of the "hack" has managed to understand this trick hidden in the game code perhaps he could also look for something similar in other 256x224 games? Who knows what he would find?
    Last edited by MegaDriver; 10-19-2020 at 02:13 PM.

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