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Do Funtastic consoles have better video display?; MegaMania has pics to prove it!
Topic Started: Dec 4 2012, 10:26 PM (43,411 Views)
bluedogrulez
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Our of our newest members, MegaMania, comes to us with an interesting proposition. He has asked our staff to present his thesis in English. Get ready to learn something new about your favorite console you thought you knew everything about.

MegaMania has observed that his Grape funtastic PAL console (Serial #NUP 1611072) displays N64 games better that his standard charcoal grey model. He offers three sets of photo comparisons in support of his observation:

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Notice the speedometer

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Notice the castle wall under the archway

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Notice Mario and Luigi's named and initial on hat

The notion that all or some funtastics have better video output made its way into at least one European gaming magazine according to a post on a Finnish website by uber collector (and N64Forever forum member Finngamer. What do you think about MegaMania's observations?

And just what does MegaMania propose? He would like for members to help him document which funtastic consoles (by Serial#) have this enhanced video display. (We've certainly have the consoles to oblige.) Help further this important initiative by posting your the Serial Number (start NUP, NS, NUJ), and whether the color and/or image quality is BETTER that the original grey console or NOT.

Here's what we know so far:

NUP = Europe PAL
NS = N-America NTSC
NUJ = Japan NTSC

SHARPER / BETTER IMAGE:
Fire Orange: NUP 16339442
Grape Purple: NUP 16060024, NUP 16111072
Jungle Green: NUP 16085491, NUP 16237979
Smoke Black: NUP 16122646
Watermelon Red: NUP 16315707
Clear Blue: NUP 16748999
Pikachu: NUP 16476127

UNIMPROVED IMAGE:
Ice Blue: NUP 16143699
Pokemon: NUP 15742019

(updated 12-07-12)

# # #
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 7 2012, 08:55 AM.
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bluedogrulez
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No, the translucent colored consoles are the funtastic consoles. However, MegaMania's demonstration begs the question what if any other later model consoles, including Pikachu, gold, etc, have better video output than the original charcoal gray. Anyone up for testing this?
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Thanks TheGT550, but all credit goes to Mega Mania. I am but your humble (unqualified) interpreter, lol.
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bluedogrulez
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@finngamer: thanks for testing your many consoles! Looks like all serial #s beginning 16 are the good PAL consoles (except ice blue **scratches head***)

Dumb question time: Finn, do all of your consoles have the same model #? I'm guessing yes, but curious nevertheless....
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 6 2012, 07:37 PM.
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At the request of MegaMania, the first post has been updated to reflect the collective findings to date. My hope is that we continue this research in all regions and eventually have a comprehensive list. :yeah:
Mega Mania
Dec 7 2012, 08:47 AM
WOW, so there were a ton of different [EDIT] motherboard revisions! Wonder if there is anyway to correlate the board version with (1) output quality, (2) serial number or (3) Model number.

MegaMania and Finngamer, can you guys add the model numbers to the serial numbers you already provided?

EDIT: :facepalm: Got chip number confused with Model number. Sorry for any confusion.
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 7 2012, 10:03 AM.
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Amen, Grizz.

Leap of Faith: I've order a NTSC console with a serial number beginning with "28" which should have a CPU-8 or 8.1 in there. That version appears to have the same specs as the later model PAL console, including the RDRAM36 (as opposed to RDRAM18) inside. Fingers crossed this provides some NTSC answers.
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I have an s-cable that i bought for like $6 shipped from amazon that was a noticeable improvement on my old tube TV. But i could not get photo proof unfortunately.
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finngamer
Dec 8 2012, 05:04 AM

bluedogrulez
Dec 6 2012, 07:34 PM
Dumb question time: Finn, do all of your consoles have the same model #? I'm guessing yes, but curious nevertheless....
Sorry, what number is that? Or the chip number you mentioned later?
On NTSC consoles, there is a Model Number on a gray sticker above the expansion slot on the bottom side. On my gray consoles and the jungle green funtastic I just bought, the Model number is NUS-001(USA).

Thinking back to the NES, the model number only changed for the toploader version. So I doubt the N64 model changed with motherboard revisions, but if we can confirm that, all the better.
Edited by bluedogrulez, Dec 8 2012, 06:15 AM.
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I got a little excited when i realized my backup NTSC gray console had a serial number begginning with '259'. According to the linked article posted by Mega Mania, this serial number means it has a CPU-5.1 board rather than the initial CPU-3 board my main gray console has.

Sorry to report no observable difference in video appearance however. SBK 2 looked the same on both.

I should be getting my funtastic console soon and will report back.
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My jungle green NTSC console bearing a 284.... serial number arrived last night. Based on the serial number list linked by Mega Mania, it should have a NUS-CPU-08-1 board inside, and be comparable to the "good" European consoles.

I quickly tested the console this am. My set up: 27" tube TV, s-cable, OEM expansion pak. First impression was that my Jungle Green does NOT produce a superior graphics. With express apologies to Grizz, this was not a scientific test. Just an initial observation. Hoping to take pics that match up with Mega Mania's to review further. Also want to open console up to confirm CPU#.

Edit: Confirmed CPU-08.

EDIT 2: My initial conclusion was WRONG, as reported later in this thread. Keep reading . . . .
Edited by bluedogrulez, Oct 27 2015, 11:02 AM.
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I am happy to report that I experienced the enhanced video output of my funtastic console (cpu-08) tonite. I was playing an extremely dark course in Roadsters over and over again on my grey console. Hard to make out the course. Then I switched to my jungle green and noticed an appreciable difference. A brighter output and a crisper one, too. I can appreciate that this may not equal better graphics in some games (blending can be a good thing), but it was definately noticable tonight.
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By way of another unscientific update, i popped Star Soldier in the funtastic (rev8.0) and it looked absolutely glorious. There were scenery items that i just hadnt noticed before when i played this game at length on my old grey console. Very arcade looking and now even less sure not why this game has a bad rap.

I should try to get some pics, but don't have to set up for it (quick iphone pics dont cut it).
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All NTSC consoles have the same AV output plug outlet. It is possible to get N64 AV cords with S-Video cord added from 3rd party vendors (some are really cheap). I have one and it improved the picture a bit.

There are a few old board revisions (03 in particular) that can be modded for RBG as Floorcat said, but it looks like it takes time, talent and luck to complete the conversion (stories of wrecking consoles abound in my research on the subject).

I have an rev. 03 if any brave soul is interested, lol.
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Z890
May 2 2013, 02:42 PM
Conclusion - if you have a grey console, using s video will produce the same sharpness level as colour consoles with s video.
I have testedplayed my grey NTSC console with an S-Video, and it produces an INFERIOR display than my NTSC Jungle Green (Rev 8.0) with an S-Video.

But I haven't tried the Jungle Green with composite cables, so you've got me thinking . . .
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My test was racing the Docklands track in Roadster for about an hour on the grey/s-cable. Total darkness. Frustrated, i switched the unit out for the jungle/s-cable. And then there was light! Imagine brighter and crisper.

When i test the jungle for s-cable versus composite, i'll take your recommendation and have Both connected and cycle through the TV inputs hitting the input button.
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@Z890: I tested my jungle green today using s-video and composite connections. No difference detected.
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That is in fact what i said. It makes sense bc as MKII has noted, the N64 lacks true S-Video capabilities. The composite had tge same bright crisp picture as the S-video running from the Jungle Green w/ board revision 8.0.
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I wish I could take pictures that show the difference my eyes witnessed. All I can say is get yourself a Jungle Green and play a "dark" game that you are familiar with. You will then experience the difference with an AV or S-Cable connection.

(Remember, there is no S-video output from the N64 console, so there is only one signal coming from the console to whatever TV connection you use.)
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@z890: here's what i have:
Jungle Green NTSC
Generic a/v + s-video cord (did Big N make one???)
Cathode Ray (tube) TV

--whether i use the a/v OR the s-video connect, the picture is noticeably brighter and sharper. I'd say the picture is better (though that is subjective).

EDIT: Yes, Big N made an s-video cord. I have it, I use it, but honestly, the display looks the same as it does with the generic a/v+ s video cord I got for $6.99 online.
Edited by bluedogrulez, Oct 27 2015, 11:05 AM.
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Sry, I am in the States and lack the ability to get a true PAL signal (mine runs through a cheap signal converter).
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It has been observed by some (Link83 and Finngamer I believe) that the ice blue is the same as the grey console in terms of picture output. Jungle green is the way to go (though some days, I'd like to rip out the guts and transplant them into a Zoki designed console that is far more appealing to the eye).
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All I'm saying is that the ice blue is a noted exception to the rule that funtastics have sharper displays.

Sorry, no plans to get any new cords. Very satisfied with my $0.01 + shipping third party cord.
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Z890
Aug 12 2013, 11:28 AM
Can you confirm that your ntsc S VIDEO has sharper (or brighter etc as you said before) levels in your coloured console than your grey one....


YES.

Z890
Aug 12 2013, 11:28 AM
And regarding the brightness change, this should not be any different as that would simply suggest a component addition/subtraction in the cable or console?????


Sorry, do not understand the question.
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Z890
Aug 12 2013, 11:58 AM
unless for your roadsters example the game was badly programmed and too dark to begin with.
HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE PROGRAMMING EXCELLENCE OF TITUS!!!! TITUS RULEZ!!!

X_D :rofl: X_D :D

KIDDING! I'm sure it was not programmed so well. But seriously, I've given you my observation regarding improved brightness from an NTSC jungle green over my older NTSC grey console. That's all there is to it.
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Hi Indoh--I am of the opinion that the N64 does not have s-video output. That said, you can buy a cheap third party n64 a/v cable with s-video off the internet (like I did), and they work fine even using the s-video cable.

It is OK to revive old topics here. This topic is mainly on whether Funtastics had inherently better/different video output than other N64 consoles. The consensus is that certain models do. Depends on the internal components (board revisions).
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Yes it will. It will not give you a better picture than normal N64 A/v cables, but it will work.
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You guys wore me out . . . .

I have just ordered an OEM S-Video cable from Japan. I should have it in mid-January and will report back on the display of:

Jungle Green Console (rev 8.0) + OEM Expansion Pack + OEM S-Video + CRT TV (All NTSC)
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Well, I hope so. I do have a generic "s-video" cable, but I suspect it carries a AV signal because (1) it was super cheap, (2) no discernible difference between s-video and AV signals and (3) has the AV cords too, which I understand is a sign that it does not a carry a true s-video signal.

If it turns out my cheapo one is just as good, well, at least I'll know (how's that for glass half full?) :D
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bluedogrulez
Dec 20 2013, 08:52 AM
You guys wore me out . . . .

I have just ordered an OEM S-Video cable from Japan. I should have it in mid-January and will report back on the display of:

Jungle Green Console (rev 8.0) + OEM Expansion Pack + OEM S-Video + CRT TV (All NTSC)
No difference detected. Nice picture and all, but no noticeable difference to my eyes from my cheapo (and probably fake) s-video cable. :eh:
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quickbunnie
Mar 4 2014, 04:16 PM
even an steady iPhone shot can be helpful
Sadly, in my case, no. My trusty iPhone could not detect the differences my eyes witnessed. Times when I wish I had a video capture device.
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