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Best way to enjoy the N64 on HDTV
Topic Started: Jan 16 2014, 12:29 PM (63,110 Views)
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I don't use any upscalers, nor do I have a fat-back CRT (I like having space). This is what I do on my old Samsung SyncMaster 2032MW (flat-panel LCD, 16:10 1050p);

- N64 connected via (very cheap) S-video cable.
- Sharpness right down almost as far as it would go. I toggled this down until the pixels just started to melt into each other.
- Brightness up a tad, since my cables make the picture a little darker.
- Contrast set somewhere just off the middle, getting a nice balance of light and dark. Nothing is 'murky' now. You can play Shadow Man without struggling to see things.
- Colour is set just above medium. The colours are nice and bright, but reds etc don't saturate badly. You can see all the shading on Mario's hat in the intro screen of SM64 (where you can play with his face).

All this will differ depending on your setup, of course. I don't provide the above so that you can replicate it 'as is' (which is why I didn't give actual numbers). Also, even if you had the exact same setup as me, your mileage will vary due to taste.

I would urge people to really play with their settings. Most TVs now will allow you to 'save' a channel with all it's settings. My old SyncMaster does! Perhaps try for an older LCD? The SyncMaster always had a kind of 'soft' image quality to it. This really helps with the N64. Still, I soften it even more with the settings. I like a nice blurry image with good colours that do not shimmer. I think going for clarity just ends up making your N64 look like LEGO with huge, clearly-defined pixels.

As I say, mileage will vary depending on your setup and personal taste. For example, the same N64 running on the Toshiba Regza downstairs via composite looks almost as clear as s-video does on the SyncMaster. The latter makes the N64 look like absolute sludge via composite.

Personally, I wouldn't go for an upscaler. Your HD TV has it's own input lag no matter what, and putting a HD upscaler into the chain is only going to increase that. Sure, your TV may not have to upscale anymore, but it's still doing other stuff. Getting another box to do the same job that your TV already does (OK, maybe your TV doesn't emulate scanlines lol..) just seems a bit much. Use that money on some N64 carts instead!
Edited by Martin64, Mar 10 2014, 10:48 AM.
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