News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al  (Read 1416 times)

Spooniest

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3150
  • Ain't got no berf cer-fi-ti-cate on me now
    • View Profile
"Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« on: November 16, 2019, 03:43:57 pm »
I now, for the first time in a long time, have a NES and SNES and a CRT again. I got an RF switch for the NES today, because I don't have an RCA multi-adapter to use in order to hook both up, and the NES' RCA (aka Composite) ports are on the right side. Using the RF switch makes it so I can rest the SNES right next to it more comfortably, and now I don't have to crawl back behind my TV to change systems when I want to play a different game.

This leads me to the topic at hand; the "RF" and "Composite" filters that are used in emulators these days to give that 'retro vibe' (  ::) ) to games, in addition to the myriad "CRT shaders" and what not, look like hot garbage compared to the real thing. I have a decent CRT made by Toshiba in April 1994 now, and I have to say that whoever is designing these shaders/filters/whathaveyou is exaggerating greatly.

I have to wonder what people did to their poor TVs that made them look so awful, to the point where that's what they think an RF/Composite signal is supposed to look like. It really isn't half bad, and I don't even have to worry about the aspect ratio being correct.  :D

Your thoughts, ye retrou gaemars of the past age?
I never wanted to work in a pet shop, you know. I wanted to be...a lumberjack.

Isao Kronos

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1256
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 04:09:09 pm »
i have no nostalgia for having to deal with CRTs

HDMI is the future and i love it

tc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Lum Fan
    • View Profile
    • Eon Blog
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 05:53:22 pm »
For one, modern TVs are usually much larger and clearer. Artifacts already present in the image received will be more visible. Composite is the bare minimum anyway, companies want it to just work at the lowest cost possible.

Likewise encoding quality vastly differs by console. Some versions of the Master System, Mega Drive, or Neo Geo are hideous in NTSC. I'm not sure about PAL, but I don't think I've seen an emulator with a shader/filter to specifically imitate PAL signals.

filler

  • RHDN Patreon Supporter!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 919
  • "WINNERS DON'T SELL REPROS"
    • View Profile
    • Filler's Translation Projects
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 08:28:40 pm »
Your thoughts, ye retrou gaemars of the past age?

I made a video about nice RF on CRTs with retro systems. https://youtu.be/gKJ3bgJa7fw

I always prefer to play retro systems on the CRTs they were intended to be played on. I have two 12 inch, and two 19 inch CRTs for gaming. I prefer using S-Video on the larger CRTs, but nice RF or composite on the smaller sets (a couple of Sony Trinitrons) looks really nice.

Dr. Dreadhawk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 08:41:23 pm »
I don't play classic games on anything other than CRTs, there is not match to them. Besides, I hate the eye cutting corners of the pixels on a Nearest-Neighbor-Scaled picture that people usually associates to "glorious" and the boring flat colors on flat-pannels. And let's not start with latency. There are some good shaders, though, but they can't replicate the brightness of a real CRT with real scanlines.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 08:47:28 pm by Dr. Dreadhawk »

FAST6191

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2623
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 09:06:19 pm »
I don't have much for the NES specifically but the following I find makes a nice intro to the subject
http://bogost.com/games/a_television_simulator/

nesrocks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
    • View Profile
    • nesrocks.com
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 09:19:27 pm »
People who make these filters usually get confused. They think CRT = badly connected RF. The NES has composite out. The image is incredible. CRT beats LCD for retro games anyday.

The best crt filter I've seen is on mameuifx. But it has to be edited so the scanlines get toned down a lot. Then it looks great. I mean, scalines are only visible when you take a picture of the image with a camera or if you're using one of those professional CRT tvs. Consumer tvs didn't have those.

Starscream

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2019, 12:48:43 pm »
I have a decent CRT made by Toshiba in April 1994 now, and I have to say that whoever is designing these shaders/filters/whathaveyou is exaggerating greatly.

I suspect this is least in part because earlier consumer TVs were off much lower quality. It would be more apt to make a comparsion to something like 10 years older.

How shaders and filters look also very much depends on the modern display in question, viewing distance, whatever. I found monitor vs HDTV makes quite the difference.

I've also used composite filters directly on my CRT TV (~2000model) when connected via RGB. This makes it look quite similar to the real composite connections there.


tc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1132
  • Lum Fan
    • View Profile
    • Eon Blog
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 04:05:13 pm »
Dare I say it, the smearing and color bleed associated with casual use of composite are almost disrespectful to the passion that goes into the finest pixel art. I know if I were a veteran developer, I'd be disappointed seeing my game look nothing like I drew or envisioned it.

Not to judge other people's taste, mind you.

SleepyFist

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 849
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 05:27:57 pm »
For awhile I was living away from my place and only had access to an HDTV, spent what was honestly a ludicrous amount of money (more then the TV!) on an XRGB Framemeister, but my Saturn/N64 still look like hot garbage no matter what I do for them when outputting to HD.

When I got home about a month ago I hooked them up to my good ol CRT (Panasonic PV-DM2794) using composite, despite the brightness being stuck a bit low it is a massive improvement, the Framemeister and it's filters and whatnot are honestly useless.

As far as emulation goes, I think the only filtering Ive experimented with was with Desmume and Kega, Desmume's filters make everything either way to sharp or far too blobby,like someone ran a marker around the sprites, Kega's filters on the other hand I don't recall minding so much, but it's been awhile.
Sleepy's Album of the week|| Nick Johnston - Remarkably Human || https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ7W3JvZBJQ

Starscream

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 07:52:40 am »
I think filters alone aren't sufficient to get a decent look most of the time, you need have some (adjustable) scanline option.

Or, some tweakable shaders.

What do you think of these?








« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 08:04:18 am by Starscream »

nesrocks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
    • View Profile
    • nesrocks.com
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2019, 08:08:14 am »
Too heavy scanlines on those filters.

Metalwario64

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
Re: "Composite" and "RF" Blargg NTSC Filters, et al
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 03:45:15 pm »
Blargg's NTSC filter on NES emulators looks spot on when you increase the "resolution" in the manual sliders. I can't do that in Retroarch, so I stick with MESEN standalone, which I also prefer for using cheats.

The default settings look good for the Genesis/Megadrive, since that had blurry compisite.