Open Source Scan Convertor
Man, this month has hurt the wallet. Earlier in the month I replaced my second monitor for work, because I haven’t spent money in a while and I wanted something new and shiny - I really should replace the disks in our NAS but that’s just plain not shiny. One of these days!
Anyway, I found a guy on Gumtree selling a Framemeister for dirt cheap, so I shot him a message and… was too late. Bummer, it was about half-price! He did still have a last-gen OSSC though, including the audio board, which assuming I could still find somewhere to get the audio board from would still be at a pretty steep discount, so I went ahead and bought it. He threw in a SCART cable for a SNES, and it arrived Friday last week. I managed to botch the audio board install (I am not as steady-handed as I used to be!) but I am certain I can repair it, so for the time being I have to use the 3.5mm output on it still.
I am absolutely rapt in the OSSC. It came with a Logitech Harmony remote, which isn’t quite perfect for our TV but does the job on controlling the OSSC well. The living room TV supports Line4x and Line5x modes well, though I think Line4x looks the best once you force it to the correct aspect ratio. The cheap cables I’m using use the composite video line for sync, which results in some noise (diagonal lines) on solid colors, but it’s still a dramatic improvement over using the TV’s internal scaler.
Regrettably, the battery in Sabriena’s Super Mario World cartridge appears to be on the way out and our save games were gone… but that’s just an opportunity to start anew!
I also bought a SCART cable for the PS1, which wasn’t terribly expensive (I didn’t buy a good one, yet) and came yesterday. And finally, I found a pretty great deal on a Japanese Mega Drive which didn’t get here in time for the weekend. I’m also in the process of arranging for a guy in Bairnsdale to mod my N64, but I need to wait on that as I’ve spent a bit too much money lately. :( I had considered looking into something like a TDA8391 IC to make a simple Composite/S-video to RGB decoder to feed the OSSC, but realistically I’m not sure it’s worth it. They’re terribly difficult to find (there’s one supplier selling them for about $30USD each, plus shipping), I don’t entirely know what I’m doing with it, and right now the only consoles I have that aren’t capable of RGB out is the N64. In the future, I’d like to get an Atari, a C64, and an NES, but realistically I would never play an Atari, and probably not very often play the C64. The NES can likewise be RGB-modded to a much greater effect, so it seems silly worrying about feeding an inferior signal to the OSSC.
Anyway, back to the PS1, the cheap SCART cable is very tight, so I’m not going to unplug it very many times - I’ll just leave it plugged into the modded PS1. Picture quality is pretty good for such a cheap cable, and the 2D games on the PS1 have aged extremely well. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is utterly gorgeous on the OSSC. The screens that run in 480i/576i don’t look so shit hot, because I get to pick from either the OSSC’s bob-deinterlacing, or I can pass it through to the TV to deal with, with the OSSC being sharper but having the “shimmer” due to unstable clocks. Not sure if I can adjust that out.
Update - 2018-04-22: After buying a scalpel at Spotlight and summoning up some courage, I lifted pins 9, 10, and 11 on the IT6613 (the HDMI transmitter), slid the audio board in underneath and soldered the pins to the appropriate place on the audio board, and it works! A moment of panic as the audio clipped like shit on my PC monitor’s HDMI input, but it works fine on the TV. I made a post on the OSSC support forums to find out if there’s anything I should worry about here, but at the moment I’m satisfied it’s working, and really very happy with it overall.
Update - 2018-04-23: Awoke this morning to a post by one of the mods (I think) on the VGP forums, asking if I’d tried something other than the SNES. I was only slightly aware of the SNES “jitter” problem, but hadn’t thought anything of it because the monitor syncs to video flawlessly. However it was a good idea, so this morning before work I connected my PSX up to the PC monitor and it sounds excellent… so mystery solved I guess?