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mai #27638 03/13/07 07:21 AM
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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.

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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.

blargg #27642 03/13/07 08:49 AM
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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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