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Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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I recently decided to upgrade the connections some of my systems were using.
Mainly, the SNES and the N64.

As you guys may or may not know, the SNES, N64, and Gamecube share the same cable when it comes to Composite/S-Video.
The USA First-Generation SNES (the big boxy one) actually is able to output S-Video, which dramatically improves picture quality, which is very important when the video is going to an HDTV like mine.

HOWEVER...
...unless you're lucky enough to get your hands on an OFFICIAL Nintendo-Brand SNES/N64/GCN S-Video Cable, you're going to run into issues when using S-Video.  See, a lot of these knockoff cables (especially most of those that have both Composite and S-Video on the same cable) are really cheap; the manufacturers, in order to save one wire, are routing the S-Video connection using the Composite Connection.

This means two things:
1. The so-called "S-Video" you're looking at when using these cables, is just a weird version of Composite.
2. Because the signal for Composite is going to both S-Video and Composite, now you've got this weird checkerboard/herringbone pattern going on in your screen when you use S-Video.  Sure your colors are more vibrant and your lines are crisper,  but you've got this weird 'dithering' effect going on EVERYWHERE.  It's more noticeable on static screens, like on a puzzle game, but even on dynamic games, it's totally there.

I wouldn't be too upset if I didn't already have a pair of the shitty cables.  I thought that these cables would be 'the good stuff', but it looks like they're not.  And not every manufacturer skimps out.  These are some chinese brand "KMD" (Kimono Dragon, apparently?) brand, and come in a nice box, but don't be fooled; the cables are routed wrong and provide a shitty S-video output.

So I opened up the cable and went online to find out what I gotta reroute in order to separate the signals.
I may rig up a separate RCA cable and Frankenstein it to this cable using the certain outputs it's got and some soldering magic.

Lesson learned though: If you're seeing your S-Video with a patterned effect, you likely have shitty S-Video cables.

PS- I'm aware that I can just emulate.  But I wanna play my retroconsoles with good signal, dashitall, LOL.
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Offline Abnormal Freak

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Got me two S-Video cables I bought from Nintendo some years ago. Wish I'd snagged more. The difference in quality was eye-opening.

Unfortunately, I no longer have my brother's tube TV but one I got free from a friend. It looks really nice, but due to the size of the screen there's some warping in the image, and it's really noticeable on sidescrollers. Bleeeeeehhhhh.
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Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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You should get this, I picked it up and it's SCHWEEEEET:
MyGica V2VPro Video to VGA Converter / Video Switcher

I picked this up for $27 and it up-converts Composite and S-Video all the way up to 1680x1050 VGA.
Resolutions supported:
-640x480
-800x600
-1024x768
-1152x900
-1280x768
-1440x900
-1680x1050

Needless to say, you can take any CRT monitor you may have lying about (I have one!) and use it to get your classic console gaming on.
S-Video upconversion to VGA is rather decent, but because of my stupid cable I was able to notice the issue with the checkerboard pattern.
Gonna solder some crap and rewire the inner pins of the third-party cable tomorrow.
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Offline RichterB

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At one point I had to switch back to RF cables, and found luck with the Gigaware brand from Radioshack. You might check that out. The Universal RF Gaming Cable had a Gamecube attachment, and that worked well for Gamecube, SNES, and N64 without issue*. I think they have other component types. If you can find one with a Gamecube to S-video, you might be in good shape. Outside of that, check Ebay for an original; a lot of people tend to get rid of these things.

*I have a retro-related question. My SNES was working fine, but when I went to play some N64, I started to have a strange problem that I'm not sure what the source is. Basically, the game just starts to reset itself over and over again. Sometimes a few minutes in, sometimes longer. It happened with both Majora's Mask and Castlevania 64, so it's not game related. I thought it might be a power surge of some kind, but it doesn't happen with the SNES. I've heard it might be an AC Adapter problem. It doesn't seem that the wire is loose (like my SNES' power adapter), but I've heard the N64 AC Adapter can actually shift inside the N64 and become just loose enough to interrupt power. Know anything about this? Or do you have another theory based on your experience? (I only started having this trouble within the last year).

EDIT: I fiddled with the placement of the AC Adapter's "fitting" within the console, and it seems like the problem may be resolved.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:07:17 PM by RichterB »

Offline Abnormal Freak

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You should get this, I picked it up and it's SCHWEEEEET:
MyGica V2VPro Video to VGA Converter / Video Switcher

That sounds pretty cool. When my brother moved out, he actually left behind three really good VGA monitors, two of which are gigantic. Could be fun to hook up.
Oh yeah, and also:
meat

Soda as well.