No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby leileilol » 2011-3-06 @ 02:15

Hater Depot wrote:I agree, but if you have for example ZSNES it is very fun to simulate having an old TV , like one you may have had as a kid.


It also helps in TV-out to make a crt tv closer resemble a older crt tv, yeah i've done that, couldn't live without it :)
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Yushatak » 2011-3-09 @ 01:39

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Interesting thread. Personally I'm very happy that we now have LCDs and I don't need to look at a flickering pixel mush and I can see the games without the technical limitations of that time...


And I think LCDs are better for many MANY things, such as the Windows desktop and all non-fullscreen apps.

However, those of us who'd like to relive our old games WITH a CRT won't be able to do so for much longer - the last CRTs were produced in 2007. I think that we should have the option to do so, just as you should have the option to add filtering effects via scalers and play the game "crystal clear" on an LCD - personally I think that it ruins the experience, but to each his own. My point is I'd like to have the option - OPTION - to emulate a CRT.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby VileRancour » 2011-3-14 @ 21:00

Mean something like this? :happy:

Image

(yeah that's just a photoshop job... serves as my wallpaper)

I'd love to see some oldschool CRT emulation, too, but unfortunately I don't think it's feasible to expect DOSbox to have anything like that any time soon. You need a lot of extra pixels per each emulated pixel in order to deal well with scanlines, curvature, glow, etc., so maybe it could be done reasonably well for low resolutions. But for SVGA, or even Hercules or plain old text modes, your average LCD monitor these days just doesn't have enough extra real-estate.

also, I've never really cared for recent CRTs when it comes to emulation. They're a completely different experience anyway when you compare them to ancient CRTs from the old days... in the "authenticity" department you might as well be using an LCD.

(By the way - the extra colors in CGA composite mode have nothing to do with afterglow)
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Yushatak » 2011-3-21 @ 23:40

Re: Recent CRTs:

Not as far as scaling and scanlines go, but yes, the right monitor for the right era of software is a point.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Keatah » 2011-3-27 @ 06:45

I don't know.. I grew up in the CRT era. When I was in early primary school we just upgraded to colour - tv. And shortly thereafter I got an Atari 2600. Then Apple ][+ and //e, then the Amiga. And finally stopped with the PC.

All that aside, I liked the "Warm" glow of the CRT. But couldn't help but wonder what kind of radiation it blasting into me. That's about the only advantage, the phosphor lag and afterglow.

But now, using LCD screens I would never ever EVER go back to a CRT. The pixel perfect precision is just absolutely wonderful. So it will be up to emulation and masking and tricks with shaders to bring home the experience.

Plasma and Oled are also interesting display technologies that could become similar to CRT colorwise. But, for me, it's LCD. And I gotta say, the rest of the common folk agree with me.

I'm having a hard time GIVING AWAY a Sony GDM 520 reference monitor that's got only 130 hours and in perfect shape. Too big Too bulky!
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2011-3-27 @ 06:51

Keatah wrote:But now, using LCD screens I would never ever EVER go back to a CRT. The pixel perfect precision is just absolutely wonderful.


I feel the same!


In a way the games looked that way because of a lack of better technology, rather than by design choice.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby megatron-uk » 2011-3-27 @ 09:12

I think some of this must come from folks who didn't live in RGB/Scart enabled countries - apart from systems from and before the NES/SMS generation, everything we had here in the UK had pin-sharp RGB display options built in. Yes, playing on a 14" portable TV instead of modern, high LCD (hell, or even a basic 800x600 VGA monitor from the mid 90's) may have made the display look a bit better, but that's mostly because everything was smushed into such a small screen - I'd much rather play on a nice clear RGB enabled display without ghosting, flicker, dot crawl or RF interference artifacts :D
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2011-3-27 @ 09:19

Yes RGB was as good as it gets. I remember telling people to buy a Scart lead for the Mega Drives and Super Nintendo's LOL

Still, I wouldn't call it pin-sharp. Don't forget the 50 Hz / interlacing flicker. Emulation on a LCD, now that's what I call pin sharp. Amiga CRTs where as good as it got back in the days. I had one just for consoles, but I wouldn't want to use one these days to be honest.

Not to mention all the other analogue issues we had in europe:

- Black bars at the top and bottom
- slower game speed
- music would play slower
- overscan (parts of the image not visible)
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby megatron-uk » 2011-3-27 @ 11:41

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Yes RGB was as good as it gets. I remember telling people to buy a Scart lead for the Mega Drives and Super Nintendo's LOL

Still, I wouldn't call it pin-sharp. Don't forget the 50 Hz / interlacing flicker. Emulation on a LCD, now that's what I call pin sharp. Amiga CRTs where as good as it got back in the days. I had one just for consoles, but I wouldn't want to use one these days to be honest.

Not to mention all the other analogue issues we had in europe:

- Black bars at the top and bottom
- slower game speed
- music would play slower
- overscan (parts of the image not visible)


Yeah, I picked up a Commodore 1084S to play some of my older consoles on, for authenticity sake, but I couldn't bring myself to use it permanently; it looked good, but it didn't do my eyes any favours! - I've now got my older systems (SNES, Megadrive, PC-Engine, Jag, NeoGeo, Saturn and Gamecube) hooked up to a 26" flat screen CRT tv instead (all RGB enabled of course, and much easier on the eyes on a bigger screen)... and the Amiga, Speccy and BBC are into a 17" (4:3) LCD tv - text is much easier on the eyes when you don't have the CRT refresh to deal with :)

Fortunately, most (but by no means all) systems can be modded to output at full speed 60Hz, which gives PAL resolution and no black bars :)
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2011-3-27 @ 12:01

At a later stage I purchased a Sony Trinitron TV. Sole reason was a hidden service menu which you could activate through remote control by pressing certain buttons.

This allowed me to control the image just like on a monitor with size and position. Later models had 100Hz. If you have the space, I would look out for one of these and research into the service menu options...

I was in the UK at that time (around 2001) and found the button combination on the internet. I then hit the streets and this trick worked with pretty much every Sony TV I could find in the shops. I ended up buying a 21" display unit because it was a lot cheaper and I was a student.

Had a PS One and a SNES at that time. I have very fond memories of that TV, only issue was 50Hz, but later 100Hz models came out soon in sizes up to 72cm or even more...
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby megatron-uk » 2011-3-27 @ 12:10

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:At a later stage I purchased a Sony Trinitron TV. Sole reason was a hidden service menu which you could activate through remote control by pressing certain buttons.

This allowed me to control the image just like on a monitor with size and position. Later models had 100Hz. If you have the space, I would look out for one of these and research into the service menu options...

I was in the UK at that time (around 2001) and found the button combination on the internet. I then hit the streets and this trick worked with pretty much every Sony TV I could find in the shops. I ended up buying a 21" display unit because it was a lot cheaper and I was a student.

Had a PS One and a SNES at that time. I have very fond memories of that TV, only issue was 50Hz, but later 100Hz models came out soon in sizes up to 72cm or even more...


Ah, I have nothing so fancy on this TV - instead I found the service manual on the web, and have got the pots on the circuit board for horizontal and vertical position and size extended outside the case to account for the timing differences in 50Hz and 60Hz signals :D
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2011-3-27 @ 13:09

I like it LOL
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby MrFlibble » 2014-4-27 @ 12:17

Hopefully it's okay to bump this.

Recently I've been playing around with shaders that are included with DOSBox SVN Daum, and discovered one called CRT-geom-curved.fx that produces an imitation of a curved CRT screen:
Image

Here's a video of Prince of Persia being played with this shader: YouTube link.

My memory of an actual CRT monitor that I used to have a very long time ago is quite hazy, however many people whom I've shown this say that the resulting image does not look like an actual CRT computer monitor. After some Googling I also discovered that the CRT-Geom shader bundled in DOSBox SVN Daum was originally written for console emulators and as such attempts to imitate a CRT TV screen, and not a computer monitor (here's a very detailed description of the console emulator version of the shader).

The shader itself is quite customizable (by editing parameters within the shader file), and it allows for example to reduce the curvature of the screen and the roundedness of the edges:
Image

It is also possible to turn off the curvature entirely if desired:
Image

I wonder if it would be possible to tweak some parameters in this shader so that its output resembles an actual CRT computer monitor more than it does now?

It is also worth noting that DOSBox SVN Daum includes a different shader that aims to do the same, CRT.D3D.fx (it is also available from Gulikoza's website). It produces a slightly less curved but not entirely flat image:
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby leileilol » 2014-4-27 @ 13:00

MrFlibble wrote:however many people whom I've shown this say that the resulting image does not look like an actual CRT computer monitor.

You are not using scale2x. VGA is doublescan, so you need the pixels doubled for 320x200 et al (but not anything above 640x350). You also have to use the shader in the highest resolution you can to get the full effect. Don't use it in a 640x480 window.


I prefer CRT-D3D.br.fx
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby kolano » 2014-4-27 @ 16:49

You may want to check out Hylian's new CRT shader...
http://board.byuu.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4719
...though he's still actively working on it and I don't think it's compatible with DOSBox without some fiddling.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby jwt27 » 2014-4-27 @ 20:11

All these CRT shaders do a pretty good job of emulating a slot-mask/trinitron TV... Great for consoles, but DOS games are not meant to be played on a TV.

So far no one ever tried to emulate a shadow mask VGA monitor (as used in the DOS era) because you'd need a 1000dpi LED monitor to do this accurately.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby leileilol » 2014-4-28 @ 02:06

jwt27 wrote:DOS games are not meant to be played on a TV.

*cough*Composite CGA*cough*
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby d1stortion » 2014-4-28 @ 03:54

Yeah especially considering how they used that to "hack" new colors into games.

Also Trinitron monitors were well around during the late DOS gaming years so I don't get all the authenticity discussions here.
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby MrFlibble » 2014-4-28 @ 08:52

Thanks for the info guys!

leileilol wrote:You are not using scale2x. VGA is doublescan, so you need the pixels doubled for 320x200 et al (but not anything above 640x350). You also have to use the shader in the highest resolution you can to get the full effect. Don't use it in a 640x480 window.


I prefer CRT-D3D.br.fx

Hmm, it did not occur to me that the windowed mode might look much different from fullscreen. I'm using hardware2x, is that wrong? Should normal2x be used instead? I'll certainly try out CRT.D3D.br.fx in fullscreen with the settings you recommend (I've only tried it in windowed mode yet).

kolano wrote:You may want to check out Hylian's new CRT shader...
http://board.byuu.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4719
...though he's still actively working on it and I don't think it's compatible with DOSBox without some fiddling.

Interesting, thanks! Guess I'll have to wait for someone to port it to DOSBox though.

d1stortion wrote:Also Trinitron monitors were well around during the late DOS gaming years so I don't get all the authenticity discussions here.

Interesting point, thanks for bringing this up!
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Re: No CRT Emulation? Why!?

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2014-4-28 @ 08:57

Those Vogons users who have CRT monitors migh take some photos of how the image actually looks like. I simply can't remember anymore :) Also I believe there are differences between EGA and high resolution VGA monitors that can do 1024 x 768.
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