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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 (7,619 Views)
Kobeskillz
Established Member
andykara2003
Sep 5 2014, 05:10 PM
Final conclusion!

Having spent some time with my BVM I'm completely sold. The image is so much bolder and sharper than any CRT I've ever seen - the image really leaps of the screen.

The caveat is that it's a 20" display - which made me reluctant at first - but I now find that the image quality more than makes up for it. A 20" screen will always looks sharper than an equivalent larger screen anyway but combined with the quality of the BVM, there's no going back for me

So there we have it. My mission is over - and for me, a Sony BVM monitor combined with a decent RGB mod gives the best possible N64 image quality :)
This is really interesting.

I recently got this tv. How good is this tv for retro gaming?
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
rgb mod easy. Come on let's not forget that not everyone here knows this stuff. I wouldn't even know where to start plus I don't want to ruin my 64.

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Kobeskillz
Established Member
andykara2003
Sep 12 2014, 02:53 PM
Totally understandable & fair point Kobeskillz :)

However there is a great solution to this. There will always be a decent modder in your country & it just takes a bit of research to find someone really good - we have Videogameperfection.com in the UK.

The beauty of the N64 mod is that it doesn't take long and the parts are cheap so as long as you have the right console revision (revision 4 or under for NTSC consoles), you should only expect to pay about 35 for the mod to be done by an expert. This is not a high price to pay, especially if you're going to be spending a lot of time playing your N64. The mod to ask for is the THS7314 amp mod which is the best currently available.

If your console is revision 5 or higher or any PAL console apart from an early French version, the mod is a little more expensive as you'll need the modder to fit the 'RGB for all' chip. In my opinion, it's still worth it if a relatively small one-off payment means having a high quality image for your N64 for many years to come.
Oh yeah if I can find a site or someone that does this i would def pay for it. As of now I don't know here in the states.

Anyone know?

I'll google it and see what I find but so far I've heard of the mod but haven't seen a site that does it for you.

Can you connect your 64 using component cables with this mod?

Sorry not to highjack your great thread.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
andykara2003
Sep 12 2014, 05:28 PM
No worries :)

Sorry, it slipped my mind that RGB scart isn't widely available in the US.

I haven't tried it before but to get component you'd need to use an RGB to component transcoder as the signals are too different to just modify a cable. This guy had success with a transcoder for his megadrive but the same would apply to the N64:

http://www.retro-otaku.com/2010/07/getting-component-video-out-of-a-sega-mega-drive-works-for-other-rgb-signals-as-well/

Also, Coligion from this forum uses one so it might be worth asking him about it - I would personally go for one that's as high quality as possible. A good transcoder won't add any lag.

The trouble is that a transcoder costs money - at least $50-$60 (or less on eBay if you're lucky.)

Another solution would be to get an inexpensive professional CRT monitor on eBay, say a Sony PVM of some kind, which will definitely accept RGB via BNC connectors.

Retro enthusiasts tend to go down the pro CRT monitor route in the US as they come up quite regularly on eBay and the TVs don't usually do RGB scart. If you get one, you'll end up with a very nice picture & they can go for as little as $40-$50 - but then you'd need RGB to BNC cables to connect the N64 to the monitor which would be another $30-ish & the cost starts mounting up. Personally I think it's worth it and only use monitors now as the image tends to be much better than the average TV, especially combined with the RGB mod.

The only caveat is that the larger PVMs (25" and above) have very prominent scanlines which I don't personally like when it comes to the N64 - but the 20" models look great if you don't mind a smaller screen. If you want a bigger screen it's best to go with a shadow mask monitor like the NEC.

For everyone in Europe and Australia it's easier as RGB scart TVs are much more common. In fact almost all CRT TVs that were sold here in the UK had it.

One thing to note, however, is that for lower quality displays or an old TV that has a soft image due to being at the end of it's life, the differences between s-video & RGB will be less apparent. In this case, an upgrade to a pro monitor would be a great move.

The Shmups forum would be a good place to ask around for good modders in the US - there's bound to be a few on there:

http://shmups.system11.org/index.php
Thanks I'll look into it for sure. Right now I'm running monster s video on an crt wega Sony. Nothing fancy but looks nice especially compared to composite.

Though you spiked my interest. To bad scart is really rare here in the us. I never even heard of it until these forums for the n64 and snes.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
andykara2003
Sep 14 2014, 01:21 AM
Nice one :) There are a few people who have uploaded Youtube videos of their Sony PVM/BVM monitors that might be worth checking out. This is probably the most in depth one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdnC1mx7E0U

The BVM here is an older analogue version of mine. It's telling that it still looks amazing even though it was made in 1987. If you can find a later BVM (made around 2000) with less than 20,000 hours on it, it will probably outlast us all & still look perfect - they are that well made.


Another video showing someone from the US with an RGB modded N64 on a Sony PVM monitor:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAGf-Hcl9pU

These are both 20 inch monitors that look great with the N64 - the NEC is the only large monitor I've found that I've been happy with though.


Here's some more info on the BVM monitors and others - the BVM showcased here is the one I have:

http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=43256



One thing I've been pondering recently regarding this, though, is that by going into all this here I really don't want to make people unsatisfied with the setups they have already.

To be honest, all this is just for obsessive types like me who want to get the absolute best image. I'm sure your setup looks great anyway Kobeskillz - the Sony TVs are fantastic and as you say, s-video is much better than composite.

My mission to get a great N64 image has been fun & satisfying and I now have an amazing setup - but it's been very time consuming - and I've found it has sometimes detracted a little from just enjoying the games for what they are and I feel ready to let it go now & just enjoy playing my N64.

I'm glad I've shared my findings here though & I hope it helps people - but I also think there's also something to be said for not getting too bogged down in all this and just enjoying what you have. It's all about the games after all :)
Completely understand. If I had money and more time I would be just like you. Alas I'm lucky if I even have time to play. Darn kids.
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