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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 (39,306 Views)
Martin64
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Yeah, my friend's Jungle Green PAL N64 seems to have a sharper composite picture than my NUS-CPU-03 NTSC-U system. I feel this is inevitably exacerbated by the fact that PAL is just naturally sharper than NTSC, but even still I think his is a little better. I just wish the RGB mod on my machine wasn't so dark. I never even use RGB because of this. I recently got a dirt cheap generic N64 s-video cable. The clarity seems roughly on-par on my N64 via s-video compared to his green PAL system via composite, though mine has less 'shimmering' of colours and seems much more like straight, well-defined pixels. Big-ass pixels. Anyway..

S-video on my system seems darker than composite, but not unbarably-so. This is on my TV upstairs. Downstairs, the s-video output appears grey with extreme cross-hatching everywhere. You can barely make the image out. I don't know if it's the RGB mod on my machine making things weird, or if it's the cheap-o-matic cable I got. That fact that s-video is slightly darker upstairs makes me think it's my mod, but then it just doesn't even work on the other TV. So my possibilities are-

- The cable
-The mod
-Neither, and s-video is just a bit darker than composite, and I wouldn't know since this is the first time I've ever used an s-video cable (was never big in Europe since we had RGB scart).

I read somewhere that with retro Nintendo systems (all the way up to GameCube), the calbes are region-locked via differing components in the AV output train of N64s from different regions, requiring cables with bespoke components inside that would not be compatible with the other. Is this true? Sounds a bit ridiculous to me. If not, I guess I'll have to get an NTSC cable.. gah. Being an NTSC N64 collector in the UK sucks. Can't even use my own cables.

What do you guys make of my RGB problem? I did not do the mod, the machine came as it is. It's got the cartridge slot modification as well, but I really wish it didn't. I got rid of all the Japanese games it came with immediately. Came with a Japanese Majora's Mask among others. What possible use would that have to anyone in the UK? The only JAP cart I kept was Wave Race. I actually have the US cart now, but I kept the JAP one since the shell on it is a bit cracked on one corner. Figured since it's pretty worthless in good condition (and definitely worthless like this), I'd keep it just to have a crappy cart to test stuff on. I'll do my first battery-change on that one, for instance. It's a bit knackered, but still works perfectly. Good old reliable cartridges!

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Martin64
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Z890
Mar 1 2014, 09:56 AM
@martin - I dont think pal is sharper than ntsc...more screen lines, but not sharper. If anything, games have to be pal converted, and in doing so due to having extra resolution, the frame rate would be reduced unless there is some optimisation....most likely by reducing some texture to some degree.

regarding the darkness/cross hatching....you must have a tv that can output s video (if you have two Av scarts, its usually just one of them, the second one - AV2 - that can do s video. As well as you might have actual s video inputs.

You also need the correct cables as you said (pal or ntsc). both types can be got here

http://www.consolegoods.co.uk/
Thanks. What's strange is that I put the s-video cable into actual s-video inputs, not via a scart adaptor. One TV displays the s-video image just fine, but it's slightly darker. The other experiences extreme cross hatching and greyscale. The image is not legible on the latter. Both have actual s-video inputs. As I say, the cable is of the extremely-cheap variety, in addition to being unsure about what region it's for (if any).

I thought that PAL had a higher resolution than NTSC? This would make it 'clearer' than the latter. I'm aware that PAL games often suffered speed issues and letterboxing in unoptimised games (hence my NTSC collection), but this doesn't change the fact that higher-resolution = greater clarity. Even if it is slower clarity! :dance:
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Martin64
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I'm gonna add in on this when my NTSC-J gold N64 arrives this coming week. I know it's not 'Funtastic', but given the varied results people seem to be getting, the 'better output models' are not always those ones. I will be comparing it against my NTSC-U standard charcoal black N64 (Serial: NS131252217, Revision: NUS-CPU-03), via both composite (official) and s-video (cheap and crappy). I will report back with my findings on Wednesday or Thursday this coming week!

I envisage no tangible difference, but we'll see. Apparently some N64 models don't have the "cross-hatching" filter or whatever it is. I'm hoping my gold one will be like this, since the cross-hatching does show on HDTV (not on CRT, I know). I guess I should mention that my charcoal N64 has a crappy, dark, unusable RGB mod. Would this make a difference in how it outputs other formats?
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Martin64
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So today, earlier than expected, my golden NTSC-J N64 arrived, and I have performed the basic 'eye-test' as promised in my previous post. As I had to swap the cartridge saddle (whatever it's called?) with my US console, in order to play my American games (which account for all but one of the N64 games I own!), I was able to check the board revision while I was at it, in addition to the serial number on the bottom of the console. Here are the console versions:

NTSC-U
Serial Number: NS131252217
Board Revision: NUS-CPU-03

-Vs-

NTSC-J
Serial Number: NUJ13848963
Board Revision: NUS-CPU-05

The game I tested was Wave Race 64. Admittedly, I was not anally-thorough and did not keep swapping the cartridge saddle back and forth between consoles. Life's too short for that nonsense. So what we have here is a comparison between an NTSC-U launch charcoal grey console running a Japanese Wave Race, and a later revision golden Japanese N64 running an American Wave Race. Bonkers, I know (performed the test after swapping the cart saddles, in my haste to play the new goldy!). Anyway, since they're both NTSC, I'm going to assume that this would make no difference to colour output. I could be wrong.

Results
Cheap crappy s-video: No tangible difference.
Composite output from said cheap, crappy s-video cable: So bad that it's difficult to tell if there's a difference or not.
Official AV cable: The golden one looks a touch better, with slightly less colour-bleeding and shimmering. It's subtle, but it's better.

So there you have it. Kind of null-and-void, as the best picture quality (the cheap crappy s-video) looks about the same on both. Again, this is all just by eye, and I technically wasn't exactly testing the same game. I believe my findings to be correct, but still take this information as given. It could be a placebo effect, whereby my joy at getting a cool new N64 has caused me to erroneously-perceive improvements where there are none. Who knows?
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