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Official S Video cable
Topic Started: Sep 1 2014, 12:15 AM (3,818 Views)
Kobeskillz
Established Member
I see a few on ebay but they all say from Japan. Do they work and should I worry about fake cables? They say official.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
sanni
Sep 1 2014, 06:06 AM
PAL and NTSC S-Video cables are different. Here you can get a proper cable for your region: http://www.robwebb1.plus.com/n64/n64.htm
I know pal cables are funky but Japan cables will work on my us system right?
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
sanni
Sep 1 2014, 09:24 AM
Yes.
http://m.ebay.com/itm/231320403718?nav=SEARCH

Should I trust this cable? Do they sale fakes or this? I won't want to get burned.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
Ok guys so tomorrow i'm either going to get a used S video Monster Cable on ebay for around 70 bucks.

Or I can get the official Nintendo S video imported from Japan on Ebay for around 50 bucks.

I'm dead set on one of those just to get it over with and have the best quality for my SNES and N64.

Anyone advice or comments? Really would love to hear what you guys have to say on this.

I know there are 3rd party ones but i was thinking just pony up and have the best and get it over with you know.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
thefifthgiant
Sep 3 2014, 07:45 AM
I have one of those generic combo composite/s-video cables, and it produces that "grid" pattern over s-video. I have seen generic ones work well, but try to find a dedicated s-video cable to make sure that it isn't actually a fake like mine was. I did eventually get a monster cable, but it was $12 to get it shipped here in the states. I didn't realize that they were actually expensive.. :blink:
that's what I didn't want to deal with you know. Cheap generic cables with issues. I have one of those multi console ones that have composite and S video and it looks like crap.

Im also afraid that i'll get a fake Nintendo one so i figured its pretty hard to fake the monster cables so i'm going with that.

Yes is expensive but screw it i'm getting the best picture for my SNES/N64 and after this I don't have to worry about it.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 3 2014, 01:29 PM
I got a Monster Svideo cable for N64 a year ago for pretty cheap. It still has the visible pattern. I'm not convinced that pattern isn't something coming from N64's encoder. For that matter the N64 has an obvious color dither and its texture filtering is flawed and that too is a visible pattern.
yeah I wouldn't doubt that but at least that's hardware related which I can stomach.

What I want to eliminate is the rest of the problems stemming from wires.

With the monster/official wires at least you know it's not the wire causing certain things.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 3 2014, 02:07 PM
Well let us know if your cable improves things. I noticed slightly improved sharpness and color saturation.
I have a multi console S Video that also has a composite so from what I hear those are garbage.

I'm sure this should improve things.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 4 2014, 03:54 PM
Ok I need to backpedal on my opinion of the cause of the checkerboard problem. I have been thinking more about it and reading more about it and I think it is a cable problem indeed. Some sort of signal quality and/or ground issue.

As I said I have two cables. I verified both of these have SVideo at least wired up correctly.
MadCatz Ultra S-Video/Audio Cable
MadCatz Universal S-Video Cable

I experimented with both cables and various inputs and games. The checkerboard varies by color which is probably a solid indication of signal issues. The "Ultra" cable is also considerably worse than the universal cable, even with its fancy claimed shielding and thicker wiring. Both cables have a ferrite core filter.

I get the impression that S-Video is a rather sensitive interface and is particularly susceptible to interference, crosstalk and ground problems.
I have the 1st Universal one you listed as well and that's the one that I mentioned is garbage.

So yeah I think it's the cables that's why I sprung for the Monster and called it a day.

Later in the week i'll do a comparison and report since me and you have the same wire.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
ok so I had a chance to test this puppy. The monster S video and man oh man it makes a huge difference over my universal S video cable with composite.

1st thing 1st. Rare games are just blurry no matter what. Probably running on low res. Color is better and sharpness but the games by nature are blurry.

Games that support hi res mode almost look like 480p! I'm using my wega sony tv.

Rogue Squadron really looks awesome other the color in all these games pops. I think that's the biggest difference the color.

While my sony tv looks great it sure does have some large pixels! Larger than I remember back in the day. My old tv had pixes but they kinda blurred into ea other more. This tv has large box like pixels when you're up close.

Btw tested my SNES and that think just looks absolutely gorgeous with that monster S video. I mean wow!!!

Donkey Kong Country is just gorgeous and after years of looking at it all pixelated on my Wii/WiiU on an HDTV to finally see it like I remember and even better was a joy.

Games with digitized graphics get the most advantage from playing on old tvs IMO. Those do not look great on HDTV's.



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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 8 2014, 02:22 PM
You should do a comparison of both cables by having one connected and then quickly switching to the other. The only major difference I've seen between S-Video cables is the presence of that checkerboard pattern.
Oh yeah I did that. The difference is subjective I think.

It's not like going from 480i to HD or anything so some would call the differences minor but I call them major IMO.

The color pops much more. Less blurriness. Hi Rez games using expansion pack look almost 480p.

My comparison cable is pretty crappy though. I'm using a universal s video with the composite as well. I've heard those are really composite and not s video even though they have a s video connection.

So I don't have another dedicated s video only wire to compare but from my research on the web only Nintendo's official s video cable compares to the monster one and even then i've read the monster one is slightly better.

I heard the innovation one is good but a notch below the Nintendo and Monster brand.

Anything with the yellow composite cable supposedly is crap and not even S video. That would explain the sub par image when I use that cable.

Also the Nintendo 64 itself produces a weird effect at times on the image. I see it on really sharp games like rogue squadron using the monster cable. I know is the N64 because you can see it on the virtual console as well. for example starfox 64.
Edited by Kobeskillz, Sep 8 2014, 03:08 PM.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 8 2014, 06:07 PM
Kobeskillz
Sep 8 2014, 03:06 PM
My comparison cable is pretty crappy though. I'm using a universal s video with the composite as well. I've heard those are really composite and not s video even though they have a s video connection.

I checked my universal svideo+composite cable and it is actually wired for svideo properly. The luma and chroma are separate and wired to the right pins on the Nintendo connector. Same with the Ultra composite+svideo cable I have. The Nintendo connector has pins for chroma, luma, and a separate composite so it would be pretty strange for someone to wire that up wrong.

Also yeah I do see the improved color and sharpness. But with the Madcatz Ultra cable a checkerboard pattern appears over most colors. It fades away sometimes. I don't know what the cause is but it must be some kind of noise, ground or crosstalk problem. It's not a simple wiring issue. The Ultra cable seems like it's high quality so it's really strange that it is the worse of the two!
Yeah I believe me and you have the same multi wire but compare to the monster it just pales. Not sure if mine is wired incorrectly or what.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 8 2014, 09:03 PM
I dissected the MadCatz Gamecube Ultra S-Video cable. They claim it's shielded, but there's no shielding in there. The rubber insulation is pretty thick so you get the impression it's shielded but nope. It looks like the only upgrade is gold connectors but that doesn't mean much when the company's own $10 universal cable outperforms it.


I also picked up
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261448131347?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
This cable outperforms both of the MadCatz cables.


Worst to best (Ultra -> Universal -> eBay cable)
The camera affects the brightness and sharpness but you can see how the screendoor effect goes away.
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Well looks like the ebay one is working out for you. The other ones don't seem to be very good.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
Cabanon
Sep 9 2014, 05:18 AM
these pics looks all the same to me except it's darker on the last one.
Look at them closely. Two of them have a checkered pattern. Almost like a screen door. The darker one doesn't have it.

Don't pay attention to the brightness or color. Look more at the pattern that is evident in the crappy wires.

When you play the game it's noticeable and annoying depending on how pronounce it is.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 9 2014, 10:05 AM
Yeah the "Madcatz Ultra Gamecube S-Video Cable" puts a very obvious checkerboard over the image. I always blamed the N64 hardware thinking it was a nasty dithering pattern but it was the cable.

The Madcatz Universal cable is a lot better but there is still some checkerboard there. It's almost unnoticeable though.
Don't you own a monster cable? Why don't you use that and toss the other wires?
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Kobeskillz
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swaaye
Sep 9 2014, 11:24 AM
Kobeskillz
Sep 9 2014, 10:08 AM
Don't you own a monster cable? Why don't you use that and toss the other wires?


Nope don't have the Monster cable.

The $16 SVideo cable I just got is pretty good though. I'm not sure if the Monster cable would be an improvement that would matter. I might buy one if they get cheap again.

I am hoping the N64 HDMI mod project comes to fruition.
http://retroactive.be/tech_n64_hdmi.php
My bad I thought I saw in your post that you bought them cheap.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 9 2014, 12:32 PM
Kobeskillz
Sep 9 2014, 12:23 PM
My bad I thought I saw in your post that you bought them cheap.
Oh yeah I did say that. I thought that the Madcatz Ultra cable was Monster until I looked again.

I bought that cable on eBay over a year ago. I think they were sold as Monster cables. They seemed high quality so I didn't bother to dispute it. They were fairly cheap IIRC.
Ah ok that makes sense.

I heard the best quality you can get is to mod the n64 then get one of those sony PVM tvs.

Too much trouble. The S video looks great with decent cables and good CRT tv.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 9 2014, 03:24 PM
Kobeskillz
Sep 9 2014, 02:10 PM
I heard the best quality you can get is to mod the n64 then get one of those sony PVM tvs.

Too much trouble. The S video looks great with decent cables and good CRT tv.

I am playing on a 50" plasma TV. I have a DVD recorder that takes S-Video and converts it to 480p HDMI. The TV doesn't have S-Video so that's an unfortunate inconvenience but whatever. I don't really want to go hunt down a quality CRT or fancy monitor.

One thing I've seen is plasma TVs work better than LCD TVs for gaming of almost any sort thanks to their much faster response time. They don't have the motion blur problem. Motion blur on a retro game upscale looks terrible. N64 certainly doesn't need any extra blur! 8)
Yeah i've heard the same about plasma.

I got my CRT at craiglist and while it was easy to find a quality one listed near by the hard part was lugging that 70 pound beast. Ugh.

Even a 20 inch tv is heavy as heck.

Then the storage problem if you live in a small place.

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Kobeskillz
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swaaye
Sep 3 2014, 01:29 PM
I got a Monster Svideo cable for N64 a year ago for pretty cheap. It still has the visible pattern. I'm not convinced that pattern isn't something coming from N64's encoder. For that matter the N64 has an obvious color dither and its texture filtering is flawed and that too is a visible pattern.
So I was playing Shadow Man yesterday and ran heavily into this problem you mentioned.

I think you are absolutely right and it's hardware related.

Mix the right tv (good CRT) and good wires and the clarity and sharpness magnifies this issue. Add in hi rez mode and it's more pronounced as well.

I still rather play in hi rez mode since in low rez games are really blurry especially in good CRT tvs vs older ones.

I tried Rogue Squadron and it it hardly had this problem so does it differ from game to game?

Starwars racer had a little bit of it.

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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 10 2014, 02:10 PM
Kobeskillz
Sep 10 2014, 12:52 PM
I think you are absolutely right and it's hardware related.

Mix the right tv (good CRT) and good wires and the clarity and sharpness magnifies this issue. Add in hi rez mode and it's more pronounced as well.

I still rather play in hi rez mode since in low rez games are really blurry especially in good CRT tvs vs older ones.

I tried Rogue Squadron and it it hardly had this problem so does it differ from game to game?

Starwars racer had a little bit of it.

Yeah some of it is color dithering and some of it is the 3-sample bilinear texture filtering. The texture filtering in particular can make for weirdly jagged/swimmy textures at times. Maybe some of it is also a cheap video encoding pipeline for TV.

High rez modes make everything sharper so you can see the little problems better.
Yeah do you have shadowman? This game is really bad with this problem and I don't remember this back in the day.

Of course back in the day I didn't have a nice CRT tv and monster S video cable. I used composite which set to high res made the picture sharper but still blurry enough to mask these issues.
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Kobeskillz
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swaaye
Sep 10 2014, 11:49 PM
Looked at Shadowman. The green/brown/yellow color of the world combined with low rez and N64's grainy filtering sure give it a, well, mushy look. And that mono audio doesn't help the experience.

This game has Dreamcast and Windows versions too. One of those would probably be the better way to go.
The audio is mono not Stereo?

I always thought the voices were really low quality even when it was released.

I would love to play the Dreamcast version but alas I sold my Dreamcast back in 2001. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. :facepalm:

I remember loving soul reaver and would kill to play that and shadowman on the DC Again.
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Kobeskillz
Established Member
swaaye
Sep 11 2014, 12:17 PM
N64 games usually have low quality audio unless the game uses sequenced music to good effect. Games that try to use lots of recorded music and voice tend to sound monaural and low bitrate like a telephone or B&W movie. The cartridge capacity conundrum.

Call around and you might find a Dreamcast fairly cheap at a used game shop. Sometimes these places have a stack of them.
I was looking around ebay and they aren't too bad.

Though at the moment i'm obsessed with buying all my N64 games back and then some so I might leave that for later.

I saw a shadowman comparison on youtube and it was funny.

I never realized so many sections of the game were missing music that was in the DC/PS/PC version.

Though to be fair the game was really eerie and creepy with no music just you in the dead side so it worked.

What's the best sounding N64 game? Jet Force Jemini?

Maybe some devs didn't have music to keep the framerate up?

I remember in WWF No Mercy if you turn off the music the game runs a bit better in 4 players mode.
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