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Old 05 August 2020, 00:46   #1
amigatime
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Amiga -> OSSC -> CRT

I'm currently on the hunt for a nice CRT to run my A600 on. However, PAL monitors seem pretty scarce, and PVM/BVM prices are getting silly, so I've been flirting with the idea of getting an SVGA monitor and putting an OSSC between it and the Amiga to multiply the line output. I could also get it to add some nice scan lines to make it look more like a PAL display than the high-res CRT it actually is.

Has anyone here done this? Anything to consider?

One thing I'm concerned about is the refresh rate. The OSSC outputs the same refresh rate it is fed; in this case, 50Hz. While that is fine on a PAL monitor due to the slower phosphor, I think there would be very noticeable flicker on faster, higher res monitors.
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Old 05 August 2020, 01:23   #2
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I use OSSC with my Amiga 1200 and 4000. My 1200 is PAL and my 4000 is NTSC and it works great!
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Old 05 August 2020, 01:37   #3
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I literally have been watching a video on Metal Jesus's YouTube stream on the RAD 2X and the Retro Tink. The latter might work well.
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Old 05 August 2020, 11:06   #4
amigatime
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I use OSSC with my Amiga 1200 and 4000. My 1200 is PAL and my 4000 is NTSC and it works great!
Do you have the OSSC connected to a CRT? My main concern is running an SVGA monitor at 50Hz, which I believe will have a lot of flicker. I remember that 60Hz was pretty awful on decent monitors and I used to prefer running at a minimum of 85Hz.
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Old 05 August 2020, 11:06   #5
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I literally have been watching a video on Metal Jesus's YouTube stream on the RAD 2X and the Retro Tink. The latter might work well.
I'll have a look, thanks
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Old 05 August 2020, 17:08   #6
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50Hz in 31KHz is unbearable on a PC monitor. But 50Hz in15KHz should fine (like on an a CRT TV). Of course you can't run high Amiga screen resolutions in 15KHz.
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Old 05 August 2020, 20:16   #7
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Damn. I suppose the only way to fix that would be to have a device of some sort that could multiply the refresh rate out, but after doing a bit of research it looks like double imaging would be a problem then (displaying the same frame twice on a strobing display).
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Old 06 August 2020, 11:50   #8
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I see you are in UK, so that's the PAL zone. Does it have to be a monitor? If you can find one of the later Trinitrons, eg the F line (before 100Hz era), they have amazing IQ.

Although Trinitron prices in UK are as silly as PVMs.
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Old 06 August 2020, 11:56   #9
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I am having to come to terms with the fact that my time running a CRT is limited. My Phillips 8833 mkII is on the blink and I don’t know if I want to become an electronics engineer to keep it going.

For me, if I can get 80% of the look and feel of a CRT on flat screen, I will permanently switch. Until then I will be buying a fly back transformer and warmin up that soldering iron.
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Old 06 August 2020, 12:45   #10
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I am having to come to terms with the fact that my time running a CRT is limited. My Phillips 8833 mkII is on the blink and I don’t know if I want to become an electronics engineer to keep it going.

For me, if I can get 80% of the look and feel of a CRT on flat screen, I will permanently switch.
If you manage to achieve this, do post to the forum as I have totally failed where the Amiga is concerned.
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Old 06 August 2020, 13:15   #11
amigatime
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Originally Posted by dreadnought View Post
I see you are in UK, so that's the PAL zone. Does it have to be a monitor? If you can find one of the later Trinitrons, eg the F line (before 100Hz era), they have amazing IQ.

Although Trinitron prices in UK are as silly as PVMs.
Well, not necessarily I suppose, although I'd like text to be clear.
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Old 06 August 2020, 13:25   #12
amigatime
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Originally Posted by fxgogo View Post
I am having to come to terms with the fact that my time running a CRT is limited. My Phillips 8833 mkII is on the blink and I don’t know if I want to become an electronics engineer to keep it going.

For me, if I can get 80% of the look and feel of a CRT on flat screen, I will permanently switch. Until then I will be buying a fly back transformer and warmin up that soldering iron.
Ah, I used to have a Philips CM8833 (1st version) hooked up to a Tandy 1000HX when I was a kid. Wish I still had the monitor now; it's probably on a landfill somewhere.

Re: getting the look and feel of a CRT, the closest I've seen is the CRT-Royale slang shader on RetroArch (the Kurozumi preset). I discovered this the other day and it looks incredible on my OLED panel with the brightness turned up and black frame insertion turned on. It's very convincing, but 1440p or higher is recommended to emulate the aperture grille of a high quality CRT (4K or greater is better). I'll see about getting some close up pics. Of course, the problem with this is that it only works with emulation. If there were some way of applying this shader to everything (perhaps there is, I haven't done the research yet), then the Amiga could output to a capture card in a PC running that shader.
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Old 06 August 2020, 13:27   #13
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If you manage to achieve this, do post to the forum as I have totally failed where the Amiga is concerned.
Give RetroArch a try to see what is possible
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Old 06 August 2020, 13:52   #14
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Okay, it was difficult getting focused on the detail with my phone, but here goes.

CRT-Royale, Kurozumi preset on LG C8 @ 4K:



Emulated Mega Drive version of Flashback.
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Old 06 August 2020, 15:21   #15
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Looks mucho cool
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Old 06 August 2020, 19:06   #16
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Originally Posted by amigatime View Post
Give RetroArch a try to see what is possible
I've played around with this a fair amount and have never really got close to a CRT type experience in terms of image brightness, the fake scanlines seem to significantly darken the image to a level I don't like.

In my ideal world for old low-res games I would like a 19-20" 4:3 LCD screen (or widescreen equivalent at a pinch) with no ghosting or quality issues and no lag. I have achieved the latter with a Retrotink linedoubler and a Dell PC monitor but the image quality was horrible. An OSSC might be a better choice.
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Old 06 August 2020, 20:25   #17
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Shaders in Retroarch are very impressive. There is also dedicated thread here about WinUAE shaders.

But, for me at least, they are still not a substitute for the real thing. This is more to do with panels themselves than the shaders. The IQ is always duller and lacks the vibrancy and glow of the CRT.

Perhaps the OLED displays could be a step forward but I can't afford/justify the monitor price (TVs are too big).

Besides I have space for mutiple TVs so I'm not bothered for now.

I also have a few PC CRT monitors, but they're also not vibrant enough vs TV. Plus, you have to supply scanlines because even 17"ers have only very subtle ones.
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Old 06 August 2020, 21:30   #18
amigatime
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Originally Posted by lilwshu View Post
I've played around with this a fair amount and have never really got close to a CRT type experience in terms of image brightness, the fake scanlines seem to significantly darken the image to a level I don't like.

In my ideal world for old low-res games I would like a 19-20" 4:3 LCD screen (or widescreen equivalent at a pinch) with no ghosting or quality issues and no lag. I have achieved the latter with a Retrotink linedoubler and a Dell PC monitor but the image quality was horrible. An OSSC might be a better choice.
I have used other CRT effects before and they've never impressed me, seemingly adding a bit of a blur and slapping some scanlines over the top. But this is emulating at the phosphor level; it can even do a shadow mask! I did have to turn the brightness up way higher than I normally have it, but the results in person are pretty impressive, and definitely brighter than CRTs I've had in the past. Anyway, I'm picking up a Diamondtron CRT over the weekend (sadly it won't work with the Amiga), so I'll do a direct comparison on RetroArch to see how close the shader gets.

https://emulation.gametechwiki.com/i...oyale-Kurozumi

On the topic of LCDs, I've got a 17" BenQ BL702A (5:4 ratio) that I'm currently using with my Amiga. It works with 15KHz out of the box and there doesn't seem to be any lag. However, I know it's subjective, but to me the picture is just hideous and I think it's just the nature of LCD tech itself. The rigid, well-defined pixels make sprites and text look worse than they would have done back in the day, and any dithering is obvious and ugly. The colours also lack vibrancy, but that's down to the panel quality itself. I can't wait to get a nice PAL CRT hooked up.
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Old 06 August 2020, 21:38   #19
amigatime
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Shaders in Retroarch are very impressive. There is also dedicated thread here about WinUAE shaders.

But, for me at least, they are still not a substitute for the real thing. This is more to do with panels themselves than the shaders. The IQ is always duller and lacks the vibrancy and glow of the CRT.

Perhaps the OLED displays could be a step forward but I can't afford/justify the monitor price (TVs are too big).

Besides I have space for mutiple TVs so I'm not bothered for now.

I also have a few PC CRT monitors, but they're also not vibrant enough vs TV. Plus, you have to supply scanlines because even 17"ers have only very subtle ones.
Yeah, the panel is definitely key to decent emulation. If you haven't got the resolution to recreate the individual phosphors, or the brightness to match the CRT you're emulating, it's probably not going to be very convincing. I think OLED is a good match due to the self-emissive pixels and high output levels. Panels have started coming down in size now as well as price, and it's even possible to get some laptops with 4K OLED screens, although not many at the moment.
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Old 06 August 2020, 23:24   #20
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OSSC is OK. It is not great for CRT use because it has HDMI output so then you will find yourself needing yet another converter to turn HDMI into component or HD15 VGA or whatever your CRT needs but unless you are extremely lucky it won't be HDMI! I have a 21" Trinitron here and an OSSC but it's just not as good as using a generic Dell LCD when I need to use the OSSC. It's not really for your use case.
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