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#27091 02/27/07 02:46 AM
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It's been a while since I posted here, so I'll take the opportunity to announce the new release. Straight from the log:

Shell Additions:

- Joystick calibrate button in the input dialog.

Shell Changes:

- Now possible to make save states (slots only) during netplay.
- Some error messages more descriptive.
- Log file now enabled by default.
- Lazy loading of some resources, notably the launcher file database.
- Various aesthetic GUI fixes and improvements.
- Refactoring.

Shell Fixes:

- Lightgun trigger no longer registered if screen is occluded by a window.
- Various things, subtle and not-so-subtle.

Core Additions:

- Power Glove peripheral support. (it's so baaaad)
- Mapper 38, 108 and 173. Info from Ca4He3.
- UNIF boards: TF1201, KS7038 and GS-2004. Info from Ca4He3.
- Mapper 150 reset-triggered DIP switch toggling.
- Database entries.

Core Changes:

- Speed optimizations (NO accuracy trade-off).
- blargg's nes_ntsc updated to version 0.2.2.
- HSB/RGB calculation method.
- 8bit video mode rendering removed.
- 2xSaI filters removed. Use hqx or ScaleX instead.
- Even stricter ANSI/ISO compliance.
- More compiler options and detections through the preprocessor. Refer
to "NstApiConfig.hpp" as starting point for porting work.
- Board names. Info from Pongbashi.
- Refactoring.

Core Fixes:

- Mapper 234.
- Mapper 242. Fixes "Dragon Quest VIII (Ch)".
- Database entries.
- Various things, subtle and not-so-subtle.

Download links:

Windows Binary
Sources

Marty #27093 02/27/07 03:20 AM
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i can't wait for the linux version! [a figure of speech, of course i have to wait ;)]

Marty #27119 02/27/07 07:16 AM
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Great to see a new release Marty! I can't wait to try it out.

Trebor #27129 02/27/07 08:51 AM
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i just noticed it finally works with wine!!! (0.9.31). this is great for the meantime while us linux users wait for the linux port.

Marty #27159 02/28/07 02:08 AM
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- HSB/RGB calculation method.

I noticed only the color (bright,contrast,hue,saturation) calculation of custom(external) palette have been changed.

The color calculation of internal palette works in the same way of 1.35.

The external and internal palette still use different color calculation.

Is this a bug?

#27178 02/28/07 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
I would like to know why I'm now forced to use a filter other than 2xSai. I've been using this filter for years now I like better than the HQX and ScaleX filters.


i think the 2xsai filter is quite outdated now. the hqx and scalex are superior if i'm not mistaken. anyone feel free to correct me if i'm wrong...

#27202 02/28/07 10:05 PM
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Could you put the external sample packs in the download section? You may want to use the ones I've edited a bit (trimmed silence at the edges, and toned down the Aerobics game volume a bit): http://home.planet.nl/~haps/segali_archive/

(no credit necessary for me, Pongbashi did almost all of the work)

#27211 03/01/07 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
Well I want to correct you here (of course). In my opinion, the 2xSai filters are not too blurry and not too sharp (like HQX), they are perfect for me and have been for years.


i thought i read about these filters and how the 2xsai were outdated/inferior compared to hqx and scalex, but i might have been mistaken. maybe i was thinking about reading about the lanczos and cubic filters. (different uses, so they're not really comparable, per se). it seems that this may be a matter of opinion, not clear cut superiority/inferiority. i stand corrected.

Last edited by disturbedite; 03/01/07 04:59 AM.
echoes #27220 03/01/07 01:10 PM
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I have used Nestopia for a very long time and just love it, but it seems that no matter what pallete I choose, it may look correct for one game, but not another. To compound my problem my favorite Famicom emulators, Nestopia, Fakenes, and Nintendulator all use different palletes. Is there any pallete that is simply what an American NTSC tv would display back in the day, or am I just going to have to experiment and have a different pallete setting for each game. Also is there any pallete from those three emulators that is somehow scientifically the "right" pallete or is it all just a matter of eyeballing it.

Panzer88 #27222 03/01/07 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted By Panzer88
I have used Nestopia for a very long time and just love it, but it seems that no matter what pallete I choose, it may look correct for one game, but not another. To compound my problem my favorite Famicom emulators, Nestopia, Fakenes, and Nintendulator all use different palletes. Is there any pallete that is simply what an American NTSC tv would display back in the day, or am I just going to have to experiment and have a different pallete setting for each game. Also is there any pallete from those three emulators that is somehow scientifically the "right" pallete or is it all just a matter of eyeballing it.


The internal palette of Nestopia is the most correct one right now, it is base on real test result.

The reason why there is no palette suits everyone is because different TV display different color.

And nestopia present two default palette and allow ppl using math calculation to make their own palette(though it's too complex for me).


zack #27223 03/01/07 02:40 PM
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Yeah, NEStopia default with the NTSC filter is pretty much exactly what a decently-calibrated mid-to-late 80s TV would've shown if you didn't screw with the color and tint controls :-)

#27224 03/01/07 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
I would like to know why I'm now forced to use a filter other than 2xSai. I've been using this filter for years now I like better than the HQX and ScaleX filters.

Is it possible to bring 2xSai back in the next release? That would great. In the meantime I'm staying with 1.35.

Great job on all the releases!


Hi, i'm one of those that want the 2xSaI filters added back. I don't use hqx or ScaleX. I'm not saying they are bad or something. I just simply like more 2xSaI filters. Could you please put it back in the next release???? We have to leave all the options intact. There are a lot of us that like 2xSaI filters y others that prefer hqx or ScaleX instead. Why not leaving both and everybody is happy??? As simple as that. Thanks a lot. I love the emulator though, very accurate.
Bye.


Kunio Kun No Nekketsu Soccer fan long time.
Jescoli #27225 03/01/07 04:03 PM
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thanks for the speedy response guys, it was informative. I figured that everyone grew up looking at different tvs, but I can accept an "accurate as possible" standard, I'm all for accurate. I'll prolly have a different one for my blaster master as it seems to look right with one setting to me than most all games, but it does look great, and I LOVE Nestopia, keep up the great work!

Panzer88 #27260 03/03/07 01:55 AM
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offtopic: wink CaH4e3, not Ca4He3 ;))))

Marty #27265 03/03/07 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
I would like to know why I'm now forced to use a filter other than 2xSai. I've been using this filter for years now I like better than the HQX and ScaleX filters.

I removed the 2xSaI filters because I felt things were starting to become bloated. Never been that much of a fan of video filters (except for blargg's NTSC filter which I almost always use) I decided to keep only the better looking ones - hqx as the full blown bells and whistles version and ScaleX as the faster ghetto version.

Originally Posted By zack
I noticed only the color (bright,contrast,hue,saturation) calculation of custom(external) palette have been changed.

The color calculation of internal palette works in the same way of 1.35.

The external and internal palette still use different color calculation.

Is this a bug?

No. only hardcoded palettes were affected by this change.

Originally Posted By hap
Could you put the external sample packs in the download section?

I don't think SourceForge, where my site is at, would consider them relevant enough for the project. Besides, there may be some legal issues regarding the distribution of them.

Originally Posted By hap
..and toned down the Aerobics game volume a bit

Good move. I almost had a heart attack first time hearing th.. HEELLOO!! LET'S GOO!!!!! smile

Originally Posted By CaH4e3
offtopic: CaH4e3, not Ca4He3 ;))))

Whoops, sorry about that. smile

#27267 03/03/07 06:53 AM
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I'm with Marty - NTSC is the only filter you actually need. If you can't handle what NES games really looked like, don't play 'em .

R. Belmont #27268 03/03/07 07:19 AM
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You could use the Mac version which supports a ridiculous number of different filter options... though even I admit it's a bit silly to run HQ4x and NTSC simultaneously laugh

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ah man! the mac vesrion has hq4x?! sweet. but then again, its fun, as mentioned above, to play as it was meant to be played.

#27282 03/03/07 11:27 PM
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Yeah, optional things are good because, as Vic Viper would say, options are good. Different people, different tastes (or filters).

Knurek #27283 03/03/07 11:39 PM
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This isn't a matter of taste - the NTSC filter is almost exactly what the games truly looked like in the 80s when we were playing them on real h/w. The other filters all scramble the image in an attempt to make games look good to people who weren't born yet when they were released.

#27284 03/03/07 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
Originally Posted By R. Belmont
NTSC is the only filter you actually need. If you can't handle what NES games really looked like, don't play 'em .

You can't speak for the majority of people, in my opinion, only for yourself. Of course it's your emulator and of course only you decide how things turn out. It also has nothing to do with if I can or cannot handle it because I also like playing it with the NTSC filter (it's just not my first choice).


R. Belmont is not the author of nestopia.

R. Belmont #27292 03/04/07 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted By R. Belmont
This isn't a matter of taste - the NTSC filter is almost exactly what the games truly looked like in the 80s when we were playing them on real h/w.


...if you had an American TV that is.

Still waiting for someone to come up with a PAL filter smile

Knurek #27296 03/04/07 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted By Knurek
Yeah, optional things are good because, as Vic Viper would say, options are good. Different people, different tastes (or filters).

That's what i mean. We are two already thinking the same. You said what i wanted to say with just some lines of text.
I hope there's more people thinking the same thing, 'cause having the possibility of customize the emulator as you want is what makes the emulator a great one more than already is.
Thanks for reading and giving opinions.


Kunio Kun No Nekketsu Soccer fan long time.
#27318 03/04/07 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
And... scramble the image?? confused right.

Yes, scramble. After many years, I grew out of the 'image enhancement' thing. MAMEdev's way of thinking is the sort where everyone calls them crazy at first, but eventually come to see that they were actually right all along.

Rhapsody #27323 03/04/07 04:36 PM
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Still, there's a difference between coming to see the 'right way' and being force to use the 'right way'. smile

#27340 03/05/07 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the online state save addition!

#27357 03/06/07 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
I have been playing since the days of the NES and remember it all too well.


Yes, you're right. The NTSC filter that provides a picture indistinguishable from what a TV tuner would produce isn't actually what the NES looked like. Much unlike modern TVs, in the 80's, TVs actually scaled the image to 1280x960 (or however much) pixels by applying a recursive best-guess algorithm to fill in pixels lacking in the input signal. confused Right.

MooglyGuy #27358 03/06/07 08:18 AM
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I don't think anyone is arguing that 2xSAI filters look more realistic than the NTSC filter. People are just saying they look subjectively better. This is entirely a matter of opinion.

My POV? I'd like to see more realistic emulation of PAL systems, since that's what I actually saw most of the time.

Rhapsody #27364 03/06/07 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted By Rhapsody
Originally Posted By EMu-LoRd
And... scramble the image?? confused right.

Yes, scramble. After many years, I grew out of the 'image enhancement' thing. MAMEdev's way of thinking is the sort where everyone calls them crazy at first, but eventually come to see that they were actually right all along.


When it comes to arcade games, I tend to agree, but how many people bought Super Nintendo's for the graphically enhanced Super Mario All Stars, with the lost levels added. Nintendo sold me a SNES when they offered me a free Zelda: A Link to the Past, $3.50 for Super Mario All Stars, and $10 Wing Commander, of course I purchased it from Electronics Boutique, but it was Nintendo's deal with EB...

I also like the PC games that have updated Graphics, Doom with Open GL 2 is very nice.

crazy


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Paratech #27369 03/06/07 12:33 PM
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Although it doesn't make any difference to me (I also don't really use filters other than the NTSC filter), one suggestion that may somewhat help with the graphic filter bloat would be to add support for the render plugins that Kega uses.

[Link]

At least this way the filters would all be in external files instead of Nestopia's source itself.

Paratech #27394 03/07/07 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted By Paratech
When it comes to arcade games, I tend to agree, but how many people bought Super Nintendo's for the graphically enhanced Super Mario All Stars, with the lost levels added. Nintendo sold me a SNES when they offered me a free Zelda: A Link to the Past, $3.50 for Super Mario All Stars, and $10 Wing Commander, of course I purchased it from Electronics Boutique, but it was Nintendo's deal with EB...

Well that really did look unequivocally better, it also sounded unequivocally better, and meant that people didn't have to deal with NOA's legendarily bad NES build quality so often.

Originally Posted By Paratech
I also like the PC games that have updated Graphics, Doom with Open GL 2 is very nice.

Yeah, I'll admit I did that too. But then Doom was a PC game to begin with, so it was meant to be viewed at different resolutions. Also, unlike with any emulator, the people who made those enhancements had full access to the engine source code.

Are we slowly moving off-topic?

Rhapsody #27406 03/07/07 09:37 AM
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I'm sure there are some NES "purists" who prefer the "original" versions, although I'd hate to have to pay whatever the Lost Levels Japanese carts sell for on EBay...

I didn't think the NES versions were bad...

I pro'lly play the NES Mario games more than the SNES versions...

wink



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Paratech #27418 03/07/07 01:46 PM
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What are the most accurate settings for the NTSC filter? I love the accuracy it gives to the video. Currently my NTSC settings are:

Field Merging: off
Scanlines: 50
Tuning: auto
TV Aspect: Yes
Bilinear Interpolation: Yes

Can I make these settings more accurate?

R. Belmont #27580 03/11/07 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted By R. Belmont
I'm with Marty - NTSC is the only filter you actually need. If you can't handle what NES games really looked like, don't play 'em .


Originally Posted By R. Belmont
This isn't a matter of taste - the NTSC filter is almost exactly what the games truly looked like in the 80s when we were playing them on real h/w. The other filters all scramble the image in an attempt to make games look good to people who weren't born yet when they were released.


Those comments are silly, because for one, not everyone who grew up playing a real NES did so via an NTSC TV. There's also PAL.

As well, I was born in 1977, and I grew up in the U.S. playing real NESes. Yet I still don't use Blargg's NTSC filter, for a number of reasons. For one, on my computer (2.8 GHz P4 with 512 MB RAM running Windows XP), Nestopia with Blargg's NTSC filter enabled runs ultra-slow. Another reason is because NTSC TVs have crappy fidelity.

Trying to simulate NTSC TVs is a bit like trying to simulate old audio recordings being played through the old horn phonographs when we have the master recordings available and modern high fidelity audio equipment to play them back on. In this case, we have the bit-identical ROMs available and much more accurate RGB computer monitors.

It might be replied that the game designers were targetting the NTSC TVs (or the similar Japanese TV standard), and hence the colors they chose in their games were picked using that standard. That may be the case, but it's unlikely that's how most of them actually desired their games to look: rather, they were simply making do as best they could with a low fidelity playback standard.

To use a precisely corresponding analogy, it would be the same as trying to simulate the 1980s U.S. TV shows (e.g., The A-Team, MacGyver, etc.) being played through NTSC TVs. Or rather, saying that if you don't play back the DVDs of those shows simulating 1980s NTSC TVs that you're not getting the colors right, i.e., according to how the directors of the shows intended them to look.

So nowadays we have the ability to make these games look much better than they did when we were originally playing them.

I personally don't like using any filtering method other than nearest neighbor interpolation on any of the emulators I use. It produces more noticeable pixelation, but it keeps the picture as sharp as can be. This looks by far the clearest (i.e., no blurriness at all). Plus, it's the easiest way to resize an image, and so runs the fastest.

I wouldn't use nearest neighbor interpolation for photographs, because it doesn't look natural. But these old video games already look unnatural, so nothing is lost using nearest neighbor interpolation on them.

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Your analogy doesn't hold up - TV shows are almost exclusively shot on 35mm film, so higher-def transfers are indeed closer to what the director actually shot.

On the other hand, I can assure you for games that the artists painstakingly hand-tweaked the pixels using an NTSC television (or, frequently, a Commodore 1084 using the composite input). PAL was an afterthought for 95% of US and Japanese-made games, which is why most of them were windowboxed and played at weird speeds, and it's why a PAL filter is less interesting.

At least we agree that applying the purely synthetic filters (bilinear, 2xSAI, SuperEagle) is unnatural and does not represent the designers' intentions, which was kind of my original point.

Last edited by R. Belmont; 03/11/07 06:49 AM.
R. Belmont #27588 03/11/07 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted By R. Belmont
Your analogy doesn't hold up - TV shows are almost exclusively shot on 35mm film, so higher-def transfers are indeed closer to what the director actually shot.


The daytime soap operas weren't. At any rate, the analogy holds, because they were targetting NTSC TVs. They may have had a higher fidelity source, but then so did the game designers (i.e., the ROMs and access to much higher fidelity RGB computer monitors).

Quote:

On the other hand, I can assure you for games that the artists painstakingly hand-tweaked the pixels using an NTSC television (or, frequently, a Commodore 1084 using the composite input). PAL was an afterthought for 95% of US and Japanese-made games, which is why most of them were windowboxed and played at weird speeds, and it's why a PAL filter is less interesting.


They were making do with a crappy, low fidelity target: NTSC TVs. Blargg's NTSC palette may accurately reproduce what the colors coming through an unadjusted 1980s NTSC TV looked like, but those colors are still crappy-looking because the 1980s NTSC TVs are low fidelity. For example, the sky in Super Mario Bros. just doesn't look like the color of an actual sky when using an NTSC palette. Using an NTSC palette, the colors on all the NES games look dull and lifeless--they look depressing.

Besides, most people adjusted their TVs to suit their own preferences, anyway.

I'm not saying that trying to accurately reproduce the 1980s NTSC TV look isn't a worthy thing to do. Rather, I'm saying that people aren't wrong for wanting to play these games to look better than that, especially since we have higher fidelity equipment to make that possible.

Quote:

At least we agree that applying the purely synthetic filters (bilinear, 2xSAI, SuperEagle) is unnatural and does not represent the designers' intentions, which was kind of my original point.

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Yes, but isn't that akin to colorizing black and white movies?
Once you start screwing with the video like that you are no longer maintaining accurate emulation.

It smacks of "I want to play free games" and not, I want to play the game the way it was made to be played...

Also kind of like those digitally remastered Star Trek DVDs...



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Paratech #27592 03/11/07 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted By Paratech
Also kind of like those digitally remastered Star Trek DVDs...


lol! no doubt. it is nice to have it in surround sound tho...

echoes #27593 03/11/07 12:58 PM
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The new effects are awful though, and on *that* show that's saying something smile

Marty #27631 03/13/07 02:05 AM
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LOL, Marty, sorry to disturb you, but... just found out that CaH4e3 is always mentioned in changelog as Ca4He3. Suppose, he will be quite appreciated, when you spell it correctly.

BTW Nestopia 1.36 is great, keep working wink

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Quote:
Trying to simulate NTSC TVs is a bit like trying to simulate old audio recordings being played through the old horn phonographs when we have the master recordings available and modern high fidelity audio equipment to play them back on. In this case, we have the bit-identical ROMs available and much more accurate RGB computer monitors.

The games I played were those images on an NTSC television, with the dancing dots and muddy colors; this wasn't just a poor reproduction of the real game that existed elsewhere (crappy arcade conversions aside).

Some game developers may have drawn graphics for an RGB monitor, but the good ones drew them for a TV and took advantage of its characteristics. Blurring allowed dithering without looking like a checkerboard (as it looks with crisp RGB). Color bleed allowed more apparent colors than the system actually generated. Even the pixel artifacts meant that a simple vertical edge wasn't plain. A game like Metroid or Blaster Master wouldn't have been near as textured on an RGB monitor.

Quote:
So nowadays we have the ability to make these games look much better than they did when we were originally playing them.

The purpose of a console emulator is to accurately reproduce what that console looked and sounded like, and not to intentionally alter how it works. I don't have a problem with enhancements, they just play a secondary role and should be clearly distinguished for someone who wants as precise a simulation as possible. They are also entirely subjective. For an example of enhancements gone haywire, take a listen to what has been done to audio CD quality over the past decade, in the name of "making it louder without you having to turn up the volume". I think the drive to try to enhance everything is a dead-end. I stopped turning my stereo's treble and bass knobs up to the max all the time and my ears have thanked me ever since.

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Yeah that reminds me of remixxed CDs, how I hate those pieces of crap. I prefer the original CDs as they were originally played, but you have to either get used CDs or legally download them from Napster...



-Emulation junkie since 1998...
-One of them "gamers" who plays games.
blargg #27646 03/13/07 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted By blargg
The purpose of a console emulator is to accurately reproduce what that console looked and sounded like, and not to intentionally alter how it works. I don't have a problem with enhancements, they just play a secondary role and should be clearly distinguished for someone who wants as precise a simulation as possible.


very well said and to the point. ditto.

Last edited by disturbedite; 03/13/07 11:39 AM.
echoes #27662 03/14/07 07:24 AM
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Quick note to Mr. Bannister:

When trying to enable the NTSC filter on 1.3.6 Nestopia crashes every time.


SDLMAME OSX Intel Builds: http://sdlmame.lngn.net/
r0ni #27664 03/14/07 09:49 AM
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Yeah, I'm getting that NTSC crashing bug too. I'm on an Intel Mac.

Last edited by Speedy Boris; 03/14/07 10:07 AM.
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Hmm, indeed it does. Not sure why at the minute.

Jagasian #27691 03/15/07 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted By Jagasian
What are the most accurate settings for the NTSC filter? I love the accuracy it gives to the video. Currently my NTSC settings are:

Field Merging: off
Scanlines: 50
Tuning: auto
TV Aspect: Yes
Bilinear Interpolation: Yes

Can I make these settings more accurate?


To not let it go unanswered: Turn field merging on. NTSC TVs have roughly 480 visible lines per frame. Those were displayed in two "fields", each of these "fields" at a time - the "odd field" consisting of the 240 "odd" lines (1, 3, 5...) then the "even field", with the 240 "even" lines (2, 4, 6...). This makes up an interlaced display of 30 frames per second.
Older game consoles (like the NES, but up to the Playstation 1) merged those fields together to reduce resolution (so saving processing power) and "flickering" caused by interlacing (which if you have a keen eye you can see in a number of Playstation 2 games...)
That resulted in a display with 240 visible lines but running at 60 frames per second, which is what the NES outputs.

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Actually, most older game consoles output a non-interlaced display. These "fields" in blargg's NTSC filter differ from the interlaced even/odd fields common in tv broadcasts.

hap #27755 03/16/07 10:56 AM
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Your description is pretty much correct, except that the NES and others achieved a non-interlaced (progressive) display by simply tricking the TV into drawing the even field every 1/60 second, instead of alternating. This kept the scanlines in the same vertical position each 1/60 second rather than moving them up/down half a scanline each time.

And turning on field merging (really frame merging) makes it less like a NES as this reduces shimmer when scrolling. "Field merging" is only there to make the filter usable on a display that doesn't have a 60 or 120 Hz refresh rate (or if the user specifically wants less shimmer).

blargg #27805 03/17/07 09:36 AM
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Got it! I made some measurements on a 240-line progressive video signal quite some time ago, and those led me to believe that it was achieved by merging the fields together (making the "even field" fall in the same position of the "odd field"), but... now I realize all I was seeing was the final effect. Living and learning.

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OK, the crashing in NTSC mode on the Mac is actually an optimizer bug in Xcode. Go figure. If I drop to -O2 instead of -O3 it goes away. Reminds me of CodeWarrior...

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