PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 7:08 am

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 6:55 am
As you can see on that picture, various sizes were used during development for testing purposes. Then, QA testers would actually check the playable builds on consumers TVs. That's why I said small CRTs are OK for testing, but not for optimal gaming. For example, small CRTs - 8"-14" - were used on film sets to get a direct image from cameras. Does that mean the directors of those movies intended their audiences to watch them on 8"-14" screens? ;)
No, but it means that you can actually see everything you need on such screen :D That's a joke, of course, I get your point, and you may be totally right that no developer intended his/her games to be played on videomonitor. But I just love colors and razar sharp pixels on 14 inch, it's the best thing for me, and I just want to show other people that it's okay to play that way too. If you like it, of course. The people are different, their visual acuity is different, their sense of beauty is different. It's not like you have to play 34 inch CRT TV to enjoy games. 14 inch lovers are people too! :lol:


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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 7:10 am

Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:08 am
No, but it means that you can actually see everything you need on such screen :D
On 8-bit and 16-bit systems, surely. On 32-bit systems and up, you will have to strain your eyes in some games to get all of the details.
Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:08 am
It's not like you have to play 34 inch CRT TV to enjoy games. 14 inch lovers are people too! :lol:
That's true. Just be careful of your eyesight with the small ones over extended periods.

This discussion reminded me of the alternative version of David Bowie's Candidate. It has these lyrics:
A matter of fact
That a cock ain't a cock on a twelve inch screen
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Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 7:21 am

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:10 am
On 8-bit and 16-bit systems, surely. On 32-bit systems and up, you will have to strain your eyes in some games to get all of the details.

That's true. Just be careful of your eyesight with the small ones over extended periods.
I actually don't care about screen size with 8 bit and 16 bit, they look good for me even on 29 inch screen. But I don't play them often :(

Yes, that's a good advice.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by fernan1234 » February 15th, 2020, 8:37 am

Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 6:51 am
Though I understand that it's not for everybody, and you are right that it's harder to play racing games, for example, because viewing field is relatively small, and objects are very small too, of course.
This is a good point. For different types of games different options may be better. Overall you'll be fine with a 14 inch on a desk though. That said, sometimes less is more. Especially with the PS1 and some of its not-ideal graphical characteristics like texture warping and dithering, you may feel like you're getting a better picture if you can see less detail on the screen, because the really fine details can be ugly. To some extent this also applies to the next generation of 3D graphics in the PS2.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 9:58 am

Personally, I love the dithering on PS1. Some games actually look better because of the unblended dithering, like Silent Hill, since the grittier look fits them more. But dithering was added with CRTs in mind, so don't forget that.

To those who don't really know what this is about, just watch this gif from Mizzurna Falls. It switches from dithering to no-dithering on the fly, so you can easily see what's the deal about if you look at the wall pattern. I don't like the no-dithering look at all. :shrug

Image
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by fernan1234 » February 15th, 2020, 10:53 am

Dither has a time and place on some PS1 games, and Silent Hill is the most well known example. In contrast, there are cases of PS1 dithering that is 100% detrimental, especially in 2D games. Castlevania Chronicles is the most often cited example of that. I can also think of the 3x3 Eyes games. As mentioned it's great that PSIO makes it much easier to check out de-dithered ISOs to see what works best for which games. Though on CRTs even on those cases dithering is not a huge problem, even when using RGB.

Something else to consider about dithering is that it only really looks as intended both on CRT and with blending from using composite video. I still prefer to use RGB as the overall gain in PQ is worth the trade off, but there is an argument for composite especially in games where it makes dithering look more like it "should" (besides Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid is another famous example).

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 10:56 am

fernan1234 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 10:53 am
Though on CRTs even on those cases dithering is not a huge problem, even when using RGB.
Ayuh, I like it even in Castlevania Chronicles.

It's good to have options in 2020, but I'm also glad PS1 used dithering back in the day.
fernan1234 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 10:53 am
Something else to consider about dithering is that it only really looks as intended both on CRT and with blending from using composite video.
It looks great with RGB component cables as well and that was the intended way to play PS1 games if one had the means to do so. Dev kits were supposed to use RGB for the best picture. For example, DTL-H2070.

Image

Composite video just blurs everything to shite. Dithering looks great on its own on PS1. Silent Hill is a famous example because it actually uses dithering for shading, not just for that checkerboard pattern. It's also important to note that dithering on PS1 was NOT used for fake transparency like on Saturn.
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Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Xero9009 » February 15th, 2020, 11:32 am

I experimented with dither off and on for some games, and while in some cases it is definitely improved with it disabled, other times --not even counting the games with banding issues-- it screws with the brightness/color levels...

Tomb Raider for example uses it for shadowy areas and those now look brightly lit, which messes with what the developers originally intended IMO.

Plus, it kind of grows on you in a way; I've come to accept it as a unique quirk of the original Playstation and leave the games unpatched...

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by fernan1234 » February 15th, 2020, 12:31 pm

Yeah I agree, the only games so far I disabled dithering for were the 3x3 Eyes games and Castlevania Chronicles because it's a port of an X68000 game which did not have dithering originally, so removing dithering restores the original look.

And dithering + composite does work for color blending effects which some game designers obviously intended. Yet another case where less is more. But again, I'll choose RGB regardless. I keep a composite cable around just in case, it can look pretty good if the TV/monitor has a good comb filter. The 3-line comb filter on pro CRTs and the 2D comb filter on OLED monitors analogue boards are amazing (for composite standards of course). With those I could live with composite for PS1.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 12:50 pm

fernan1234 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 12:31 pm
And dithering + composite does work for color blending effects which some game designers obviously intended.
Why would anyone accept slightly better color blending when everything is blurred? Composite video actually degrades color quality from the console's DAC by encoding together into one signal the Brightness (Y) and the Color (R, G, B) lines. In other words, if the colors appear to blend better on CVBS, it's only because there's less color quality in the signal, which negatively impacts the whole image. That's taking one minor aspect of the image and ignoring everything else. Overall, component RGB is better by far and the whole color blending thing isn't a problem on high-quality CRTs, with an aperture grille and good phosphors.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
― Paul Bowles

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by fernan1234 » February 15th, 2020, 2:47 pm

Not getting into a pointless argument with you today, but sounds like you didn't understand everything I posted. Doesn't matter.

On a related topic, I remember seeing composite using 3-line comb filter as well as TRAP comb filter on a BVM D9 and I couldn't believe I wasn't actually looking at RGB. It was so crisp and clean. As said earlier my go-to is RGB, but composite can look great in the right conditions.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 2:56 pm

Comb filters in CRTs are trying to reverse composite video into component video by separating as much of the colour data as possible and eliminating artifacts from composite sources. It's impossible to get a raw RGB video back after all the destructive interference from composite, so it's always only an approximation. Using comb filters makes no sense when true RGB component video, or even S-Video, is natively supported by a given device.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
― Paul Bowles

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 7:35 pm

fernan1234 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:37 am
That said, sometimes less is more. Especially with the PS1 and some of its not-ideal graphical characteristics like texture warping and dithering, you may feel like you're getting a better picture if you can see less detail on the screen, because the really fine details can be ugly.
Yes, that's what I like about 14 inch - the screen is so small, you just can't see many problems. And the bigger the screen, the more evident problems are. Besides, 240p really looks like high resolution on small screens, and on 29 screens - well, not so high anymore :) In the end it's a matter of personal preference - what do you want, crystal clear picture with the size of a big book, or a very good picture with the size of a window. In some games like FF VIII, for example, big screen may actually transfer the game in another dimension, because it will look more like a movie. It comes with a price of decreased sharpness, but who cares, right? Movies are not that sharp to begin with.

Takehaniyasubiko, thanks for your post about Mizzurna Falls, I've somehow missed that it's available in English now, though with issues. Waited for fan translation for many years now!

About composite VS RGB... That's where your argument about screen size backfires :naughty Because these SCART-RGB cables were pretty scarce back in the days (and in NA region you wouldn't find TV with SCART at all), and all developers used RGB just for testing. But the games were made with composite in mind, and many effects, dithering included, look their best only with composite. That being said, I hate composite and never use it anymore, it's just too blurry and the colors just don't look right for me, so I can agree that composite is destructive as you said.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 7:48 pm

@Kito1984 The beauty of CRTs is that you don't lose sharpness on bigger screens because CRTs do not have a resolution of their own and there's no upscaling, so a 29" CRT can be as sharp as a 14" CRT. The sharpness of CRTs depends on the quality of the tube and the state of the chassis. Back in the CRT era, actual tube clarity was measured with TV Lines. Most consumer TVs had less than 400 TVL. Some as low as 200-250, actually. High-end studio monitors would go from 500 to 1000 TVL.

If your big CRT is not as sharp as the small one, you either have a worn-out unit which cannot focus its electron guns anymore, or it's simply a tube with a low TVL count.

Speaking of FFVIII, I saw its intro on a projection screen in a movie theater. That was really amazing back in 1999.
Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:35 pm
But the games were made with composite in mind, and many effects, dithering included, look their best only with composite.
RGB video was available even on Sega Master System 1 in 1986 and was a standard in Arcade cabinets. Games were made for RGB and then downgraded to CVBS in most homes. Even Nintendo - which made NES only with CVBS - ported many NES games to Arcade machines which used RGB. In other words, video games were always supposed to use clear RGB video, but most consumers simply couldn't afford it in those days.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
― Paul Bowles

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 8:19 pm

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:48 pm
If your big CRT is not as sharp as the small one, you either have a worn-out unit which cannot focus its electron guns anymore, or it's simply a tube with a low TVL count.

RGB video was available even on Sega Master System 1 in 1986 and was a standard in Arcade cabinets. Games were made for RGB and then downgraded to CVBS in most homes. Even Nintendo - which made NES only with CVBS - ported many NES games to Arcade machines which used RGB. In other words, video games were always supposed to use clear RGB video, but most consumers simply couldn't afford it in those days.
Yes, maybe the sharpness is not the best term here. It's like the scanlines are too thick, for example, like you've said earlier, and the picture in a whole looks more blurry. I've tested 14 and 20 inch videomonitors with 800 TVL each, and 14 inch looks sharper. I think about it this way: there is a prerendered background, for example, you can display in on a book size screen and window size screen. It's not surprising that it will look more sharp on a smaller screen any day. That's not the problem of tube or TVL, just use any monitor or TV and shrink image, you will notice that it looks sharper.

Yes, but if we talk about PS1, these cables were not used widely! Original PS1 RGB cables are still hard to find/pricey even now with Ebay. And dithering looks best with composite, so it's evident that PS1 games were designed for it. Anyway, we are starting to do circles, I'm not fan of composite myself, so I wouldn't argue with you that games should be always in RGB.

UPD. Just interested: are there big consumer TVs with hight TVL count (800 or more)? Is there a list somewhere? It would be very interesting to test such TV, but I'm not sure that they even exist.

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 8:52 pm

Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:19 pm
Yes, maybe the sharpness is not the best term here. It's like the scanlines are too thick, for example, like you've said earlier, and the picture in a whole looks more blurry. I've tested 14 and 20 inch videomonitors with 800 TVL each, and 14 inch looks sharper. I think about it this way: there is a prerendered background, for example, you can display in on a book size screen and window size screen. It's not surprising that it will look more sharp on a smaller screen any day. That's not the problem of tube or TVL, just use any monitor or TV and shrink image, you will notice that it looks sharper.
A studio/broadcast monitor with 800 TVL will be sharp/clear no matter if it's 14", 20", or even 34", unless it has a lot of working hours on it. A phosphor screen tube is constantly bombarded with electron guns and there's a ton of other parts at the back which also deteriorate. Ask Fudoh if you don't believe me. He has a mint BVM F1 and the clarity on that unit is better than any 14" CRT.

Basically, if we assume both CRTs are in a mint condition and have the same TVL count, their screen size will not affect clarity at all. You will only benefit from a large screen because it will be easier for your eyes to see everything. As for consumer TVs with 800 TVL - I doubt they exist. Never heard of one. There are CRT monitors which look like consumer TV at first glance, but they were special kind of "business" monitors to be used in conference rooms, offices, etc. Very rare and expensive.
Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:19 pm
And dithering looks best with composite, so it's evident that PS1 games were designed for it.
PS1 was designed for multi AV. Look what your PS1 video port says - "AV MULTI OUT". Sony simply left the choice to the users, but it was always preferred to use RGB. Dithering looks great with it. And I didn't have a problem buying an RGB cable for my PS1 even back in 2000, although you might say I had... good connections. Excuse the pun... :lol:
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
― Paul Bowles

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 9:39 pm

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:52 pm
Basically, if we assume both CRTs are in a mint condition and have the same TVL count, their screen size will not affect clarity at all. You will only benefit from a large screen because it will be easier for your eyes to see everything. A

As for consumer TVs with 800 TVL - I doubt they exist. Never heard of one. There are CRT monitors which look like consumer TV at first glance, but they were special kind of "business" monitors to be used in conference rooms, offices, etc. Very rare and expensive.

PS1 was designed for multi AV. Look what your PS1 video port says - "AV MULTI OUT". Sony simply left the choice to the users, but it was always preferred to use RGB. Dithering looks great with it. And I didn't have a problem buying an RGB cable for my PS1 even back in 2000, although you might say I had... good connections. Excuse the pun... :lol:
We are talking about different things here. That's the same PSIO wallpaper with same resolution and all, but the right one is shrinked to 50%:

Image

Do you think that sharpness is the same here? Cause it's not for me, I clearly see pixels and aliasing in the left picture, and I have to strain my eyes to see them in the right, and the picture on the left looks more blurry. And that's what I was talking about. It's not the problem of TVs, the size matters :D I can shrink the image to 9 inch on my 14 inch screen, and it will look even sharper, but the image will be too small for me.

Thanks, it's sad!

Okay, then AV Multi Out it is :)

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 9:49 pm

Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:39 pm
And that's what I was talking about. It's not the problem of TVs, the size matters :D I can shrink the image to 9 inch on my 14 inch screen, and it will look even sharper, but the image will be too small for me.
But in order not to see the aliasing on a small CRT, you need to actually move your eyes away from it because if you look closer, it will be exactly the same as on the big screen, assuming they both have the same TVL count.

What you're saying is that you deliberately avoid seeing all the details in 240p games and small screens help you to do that, whereas my entire point is that it's easier to see all the details on big tubes from a distance, even assuming the TVL count is not changing. It's also healthier for the eyes.

What you're talking about has nothing to do with the technical side of CRT images. You just don't want to see the pixelated and aliased nature of 240p games.

BTW, your example is misleading because you had to use software scaling to resize the image, whereas CRTs do not scale.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
― Paul Bowles

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Kito1984 » February 15th, 2020, 10:08 pm

Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:49 pm
But in order not to see the aliasing on a small CRT, you need to actually move your eyes away from it because if you look closer, it will be exactly the same as on the big screen, assuming they both have the same TVL count.

What you're saying is that you deliberately avoid seeing all the details in 240p games and small screens help you to do that, whereas my entire point is that it's easier to see all the details on big tubes from a distance, even assuming the TVL count is not changing. It's also healthier for the eyes.

What you're talking about has nothing to do with the technical side of CRT images. You just don't want to see the pixelated and aliased nature of 240p games.

BTW, your example is misleading because you had to use software scaling to resize the image, whereas CRTs do not scale.
Well, 14 inch is ideal for me this way, I view it from 75 cm sitting on the sofa, and it looks the best for me. Yes, I can move it closer and see pixels, but I would have to press my head to the screen to actually do that :lol: I can move larger screen to 2-3 meters away, and it will look like 14 inch screen alright, but I will still can see all pixels and aliasing when I go to make a cup of tea, for example, and will pass it! And that's the whole point for me.

I've never argued with you, I only wanted to show that to me it is better my way.

Of course, I've not talked about technical side here, I was talking about my perception of the picture!

That's right, but I've just wanted that you can understand me, because we were talking different languages. I'm from Russia, so I can't say if I actually can explain myself in English well enough, so if I clearly can't make my point, it's easier to show it in pictures. And now you finally understand me! :dance

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Re: PSIO the best way to play PS1 games?

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » February 15th, 2020, 10:16 pm

Kito1984 wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 10:08 pm
That's right, but I've just wanted that you can understand me, because we were talking different languages. I'm from Russia, so I can't say if I actually can explain myself in English well enough, so if I clearly can't make my point, it's easier to show it in pictures. And now you finally understand me! :dance
You can explain yourself well, but you weren't saying all of this directly until now. I didn't realize you actually want to move away from the screen (75 cm is a big distance for a 14" screen) in order to avoid seeing all details of 240p games. I thought you assumed small screens are somehow better-suited for 240p, which isn't the case with CRTs as they do no scale images, so a big CRT is only a benefit to image clarity since everything is bigger without any loss in the source. In your case, you simply don't want to see those 240p games with all details.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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