Yet more eBay stuff today... I could get used to this.
Today it was the AV cables I bought for a couple of our video game systems. I bought a component cable for the Wii, which is supposed to help the interlace tearing in some games such as Skyward Sword (during the cut scenes it's really noticeable). When I turned on 480p it looks substantially sharper in the Wii menu - that could just be a tiny bit of confirmation bias though (that is, I spent $7 on a cable so I would want it to look better) - but it doesn't appear to have made any difference in game. I'll have to investigate if there's something I have to do in-game to get it to work as well, I'm told 480p output is only available on some software.
Next up was the AV cable for the SNES. I decided I am not really willing to mod my SNES yet, and the Retrovision HD cables seem to sell out as fast as they restock, so I decided to just stick with composite for the time being. The results are substantially better - there's quite a bit of noise coming through the RF in the form of little white specks that fall diagonally across the screen. Presumably by the angle of the specks we could work out what frequency they are and filter the interference, but the component AV cables were so ridiculously cheap it's not worth the effort.
However for some reason switching the SNES between RF and AV, the RF signal is not stretched (well, it's double-scanned at least because of the 288p input signal) but the AV signal is stretched to 16:9 and looked horrific (RF vs AV). I figured out how to disable that setting on the TV though, which makes things quite a bit better (RF vs AV vs emulated screenshot).
Basically without dropping money on an RGB cable and a decent CRT monitor it's never going to look "right", but I'm pretty happy with how it is. Photo shown is the game through the composite video input.
More eBay stuff today, this time an unexpected delivery knock at the door in the morning. It's the digitizer to Duncan's tablet! He broke it a few weeks back playing Pokemon Go, when he managed to drop it in the main street. He was utterly devastated, and I gotta admit I was a little upset as well. It turns out they're not particularly expensive to replace, if I'm willing to wait for one to come from China and replace it myself.
So it turned up this morning, which is great because I wasn't really expecting it for another couple of weeks. Armed with a hair dryer, the little plectrum type dorito of plastic they provide, and a piece of stiff card, I managed to get the old digitizer off without destroying anything except it. Replacing the new digitizer was rather easy, but strangely enough getting the back cover on was the most difficult part.
I ended up getting it finished just before he got home from school, which made him pretty happy.
The first of the fistfull of things I bought on eBay last month has started arriving - I'm addicted to buying $5 shit from Hong Kong, but not addicted to waiting the time it takes for surface mail shit to arrive.
One of the first things I bought was a Realtek Gigabit NIC (a PCIE RTL8111C) for the desktop, which is plugged in to the TV and Duncan uses it. It looks like the on-board NIC in it wasn't Gig-E, which is why I was getting such shit speeds on it. I wasn't expecting much out of a $4 (shipped!) Realtek NIC, as I've had pretty bad experiences with shit NICs before dropping packets and so on, but this one actually works rather well.
iperf3 results look promising:
[ ID] Interval Transfer Bandwidth
[ 4] 0.00-10.00 sec 1.07 GBytes 920 Mbits/sec sender
[ 4] 0.00-10.00 sec 1.07 GBytes 920 Mbits/sec receiver
I'm considering putting a Gigabit switch over near the TV and wiring the PS4 to it as well, so when we're streaming media to it, the Wifi isn't being saturated.
On a whim, I picked up Skyward Sword for Duncan's Wii, not realizing that we lack the requisite WiiMotion Plus controller for it. :(
I had a quick look on EB Games' website, and they wanted $60AUD for the Nintendo branded one, so I thought maybe they'll have a used one instead because that was just far too much money for a game I'm not even sure I'll like. Turns out that they had a knock-off one that's brand new for $15AUD, which is below my pain threshold so I bought it.
At this point in time, Sabriena also decided that she did want The Sims 4 for her birthday, so we picked that up as well along with a handful of addons.
We went home, and while Sabriena took forever installing her new game, I had a crack at Zelda - my first time ever really giving the franchise a fair shake, FWIW. I've gotta say, the WiiMotion Plus thing is how the Wiimote should have been from day one: it would have felt significantly less gimmicky and probably sold better, I reckon.
The swordplay in the game is lots of fun, it's not flawless (the Wiimote gets confused as to it's orientation from time to time, that might be the cheap addon I bought though) but for the most part it works really well. I'm currently at the end boss of the first temple and really enjoying it.