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Use of display technology to produce the best possible image from the N64
Topic Started: Jan 27 2014, 05:43 PM (7,698 Views)
Senior Member
Feb 17 2016, 06:27 PM
Just got my Gameshark V3 to test out the recent developments re. disabling the N64 filters to produce a sharper image. There are some images in the thread that show the effect.

The effect of removing the filters is quite obvious & definitely works - but whether the effect is desirable is subjective. I'm not that keen on it - I haven't found a game yet that I prefer with the effect. Perhaps this would better benefit third party games that used the N64's AA poorly (i.e. Body harvest).

Mario 64, with it's simple gouraud shading, looks quite clean as it is and uses the N64's filters to great effect. It looks quite a bit worse with the filter removed. The other games I tested (Mario Kart and Zelda), while looking slightly clearer, also end up looking 'downgraded' to me - as though they're actually running at a lower resolution.

I find that although the N64's AA filters make the image softer, a sharp CRT counters the effect to some degree as the phosphor matrix of an aperture grille/shadow mask provides a certain amount of definition. You end up with an image that is smooth but quite defined as well - but defined in the right way, not by heavy pixelation.

Personally, I've come full circle on my mission to find the best N64 image. I've bought some of the best CRTs ever made, tested/bought some the most up to date scaling hardware (UltraHDMI, Framemeister etc.) looked into modern PC shaders, tested this new filter removal hack - and I keep coming back to the same conclusion; to me, the N64 looks best with a simple RGB mod on a decent low-use CRT TV.

I've now come to feel that even if some method eventually comes along that somehow surpasses the good old CRT TV, I won't care. I love the CRT image, & the feeling of playing the N64 just how I played it back in the day takes me back to my early N64 days - as if I never stopped playing...
well said, man :yeah:

good to hear your search ends. now, i hope you put your energy in just enjoying the thing! ;)
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