Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wrapping up an Atari 2600RGB Install

Shortly after Tim Worthington released his 2600RGB kit this year I was chomping at the bit to install one as it is the first any only solution for obtaining RGB output from the Atari 2600!  While the Atari 2600 was my introduction to video games, any nostalgia I had for the console had always been hampered by its awful RF only output, full of noise in both the picture and sound.  A little over a decade ago I discovered some folks had created composite and S-Video mods, but they varied in picture quality and none stood out as being an ideal solution for the Atari 2600.

After acquiring an Atari 2600 to install the 2600RGB kit I was surprised by the extreme level of picture and audio noise when connecting the system to my HDTV using the stock RF switch output!  Thankfully the 2600RGB clears things up in both picture and sound departments.

I installed the kit in a "heavy sixer" several months ago, but hadn't finalized the output wiring until today!  This was in part due to the metal casing that surrounds the main circuit board.  Tim's installation guide for this particular revision of the Atari 2600 suggests using small wires to run underneath the metal casing, but I decided to take another approach!

2600RGB kit installed, but in need of output re-wiring.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

UltraHDMI - PEXHDCAP Stills

While using my PEXHDCAP capture card to record videos of the UltraHDMI I took a few still captures.  The PEXHDCAP doesn't allow for 1080p60 capture, so an upgrade might be in order.  Enjoy!






 
The following two pictures are from "direct mode" (480p un-processed)
 

RGBSource Channel on YouTube!

I decided to create a YouTube channel so that I could share clips from the UltraHDMI and other retro gaming related videos.  Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsHeL8jqcIGNUbgreZvjNoQ

Thursday, December 3, 2015

UltraHDMI - Retro mode and 1080p Integer+ Pictures and Video

Here are some screenshots of the UltraHDMI Retro Mode as well as 1080p Integer+ (added with V1.01).  The Retro Mode settings enable scan lines, TV bloom, gamma boost, and over scan to simulate a CRT look on a flat panel.  I'm not so much a fan of scan lines outside of real ones on a CRT, but am very impressed by the implementation.  It's far superior to what the XRGB-mini and various scan line generators can achieve!  One impressive thing is that brighter pixels actually occupy a larger pixel area like a CRT would.  Take a look!








Wednesday, December 2, 2015

UltraHDMI - V1.01 Firmware Released

A new firmware version is available for the UltraHDMI!

V1.01 adds the following improvements:
  • INTEGER+ setting in the Sharp Pixels menu.  This provides a 3x scale for 720p output and a 5x scale for 1080p output.  It cuts off some of the top and bottom rows of pixels in 1080p, but these rows are considered outside the "title safe" area and tend not to clip any required UI elements. 1080p INTEGER+ appears to center the image vertically in the 1080p frame, which is much appreciated!
  • Improved de-blur detection and rendering. Perhaps it's an experimenter's bias, but the overall de-blur appears to be cleaner after updating from V1.00 to V1.01!
The firmware is provided as a .Z64 file that is loaded via your choice of flash cart.  Select the firmware update "game" from the menu, follow the prompts, and the result is a firmware update!  The whole process takes around 5-6 minutes to complete.

Here are some pictures for reference. Enjoy!