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Accurate display settings in emulators...

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5 replies to this topic

#1
Carnicero

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I've been thinking of creating a standalone PC for emulating old consoles, and I'm wondering what settings are ideal for popular emulators to get closest to the original display.

Such as what base resolution I should use, what emulator display settings to use, videocards (with S-Video out) best for the job, etc. I'm aiming for a display as close to possible to the original consoles. Mainly I'm going with NES, SNES, Genesis, and maybe GameBoy. Emulators I use are MAME, FCE Ultra, NNNesterJ, ZSNES, Gens, VisualBoy Advance, and Project 64 a little bit.

An example of the trouble I've been having is using something like FCE Ultra for NES games but the picture not displaying correctly. I can get the right scale for game, but end up with a black box around the picture. And using stretch functions tend to warp the image, where Mario would be fatter and some background tiles don't mesh correctly.

I also have the same problem in MAME. Capcom games don't have the wide effect, and appear 4:3 while the snapshots I take are in a 16:9 format. And NeoGeo games don't fill the monitor correctly, with the black border around the edges.

Anyways, I'm just wondering what anyone out there uses to match the original consoles' display qualities.

#2
ffynnon

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I don't know if it's really the optimum, but I set my tv-out display at 800x600 (640x480 for Magic Engine). I have an Asus 6800DDR (old, but gets the job done). Using tvtool, I can expand the output beyond tvsafe, getting rid of the desktops black borders.

I've run into the same problem with games not filling the screen, but I always check the option labelled something like "keep original aspect ratio". You'll sometimes get a border (visualboy, znes) but I've learned to live with it. You'll be closer to the original experience if you don't stretch the image--and like you said, it makes things looks distorted.

Not sure if that helps--I'd look up my settings but I'm not at home at the moment...

For controllers, I've always been more of a joypad guy--most (relatively) recent consoles shipped with pads not sticks. I use a PSX to USB adapter that lets me use 2 playstation joypads on 1 USB port. Works in WinXP like a dream. Recognized by every emulator I've tried.

just my 2 cents!

#3
Carnicero

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I'm using a PSX adapter too.

Is 800x600 the best choice for resolution? I always thought 640x480 was the closest to the real thing, since 320x240 is usually the native resolution for a lot of consoles. Then it basically does a 2x multiplier on the image.

#4
ffynnon

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You might be on to something there! I'd always set it to 800x600 because I liked the way Divx and Xvid movies looked on my television that way. Pretty much left it that way when I got back into emulation.

I'll try it out tonight, but just putting some thought into it I think you're right. Damn, you mean my games can look even better?! Sweet.

#5
Carnicero

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They'll look a hell of a lot better with scanlines on. When the image gets stretched the scanlines provide a bit of antialiasing to compensate for the stretched image (which makes pixels larger and uglier. Console games are designed for interlaced CRT televisions, which have natural scanlines. So you have to use artificial scanlines to emulate a TV monitor when viewing emulated games on a CRT computer monitor (which has no visible scanlines).

I usually use 50% scanlines. Every other line, just like interlaced displays work: drawing every other line in two passes to make up the image, while progressive displays show the image in one sweep of the refresh rate.

#6
Agozer

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I use full scanlines while playing Neo-Geo and I'm quite accustomed to it.

Edited by Agozer, 21 February 2004 - 12:15 AM.





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