Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Why 100 Hz sux

One of the things I learnt early on in the SCART hunt is that CRTs with 100 Hz processing can never fully recapture the classic arcade look. There are just too many image artifacts that end up niggling the CRT perfectionist.

Searching through my files, I found a couple images that show exactly what I'm talking about:

Street Fighter III - red on black is a mess!
Rainbow Islands - this game is a disaster with 100 Hz!
These images are from a Loewe Profil Plus with a Philips A68ESF type tube. Great looking TV with an amazing tube! One of the sexiest out there. Beautiful semi-flat design and amazing contrast. However, check out that text in Street Fighter III! That image isn't out of focus (check the edge of the TV casing... it's in focus), but the 100 Hz chassis just murders the image.

Such a shame...

The Siemens that created a monster

When I first got into the whole MAME / SCART thing, I had no idea about how video modes worked. I still don't have a great technical understanding of modeline construction but I now understand the importance of a SCART TV's ability to resolve vertical lines.

When I first got into GroovyMAME, I soon discovered the limits of my Loewe CT1170. Amazing picture quality (thanks to the E3000 chassis) but the circuitry only accepts a narrow range of video modes. Basically, anything that moves away from 50 or 60 Hz creates image distortions and, at 60 Hz, the TV won't display modes with more than 224 lines. That's pretty frustrating since so many games in MAME have 240 vertical lines!

When I tested out a Siemens for the first time I was pretty blown away when I saw R-Type running with 256 lines correctly displayed!

R-Type II
R-Type II
Strider (Japan)
Mortal Kombat
This turned out to be one of several key discoveries that fueled my desire to test as many SCART TVs as possible. You may ask, "why not stop at the Siemens?" Well, the Loewe had better focus and colors... the Siemens was more compatible... so, surely there is a TV out there with all of these qualities in the one unit?

The search continues...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

BANG! & Olufsen

Found a beautiful looking Bang & Olufsen LX 2802 on eBay recently. The seller had listed it as "For parts or not working" but after some enquiries it turned to be working.

$20 dollars later it was mine! However, 5 mins later this amazing looking machine – that had survived from the late '80s and cost $12,000 new – sustained a nasty injury... the TV tipped over in the back of the wagon at the red lights and the smoked glassed cracked. Nasty!

Bang & Olufsen LX 2802
Oh, the shame!
I was pretty pissed off at myself but it turned out I shouldn't have worried too much. After leaving the unit on for around 15 mins the deflection totally collapsed. Just a faint dot in the middle of the screen. Shame. This TV seemed really promising: B&O quality, great cosmetics and analog adjustment pots on the inside. This model would look like a great contender for GroovyMAME usage since the vertical size has the potential to be controlled by a retrofitted external knob.

This one is probably gonna go in the bin. However, I'll make sure to upload some photos of the insides before that happens though...

Oh well. Another near miss.

BeoVision LX 2802 info at Beoworld
BeoVision LX 2802 info at BeoPhile

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Last Gamer's house

Today I dropped off a few prime SCART televisions to a well known game collector... I think the pictures probably speak for themselves!

Double woah!
Is that an Amiga I spy?
Nice Marantz amp!
This is serious...
A few games...
More stock than an average shop in the '80s!
No idea what this is but it looks so damn cool!
My contribution...
Beautiful Blaupunkt with a motorised stand!
A truly impressive collection! Can't wait to return when the planned 15 CRTs (1 per console) are all hooked up. The mind boggles!

Another UMSA update

Hey! Long time no SCART...

I just added a few pics of the UMSA running on a couple other TVs (Grundig and Loewe models) to my review!

I know I've been really quiet (holidays, moving house, blah) but there'll be some more updates really soon!

Willow running with UMSA on a Loewe CT1170 (E300 chassis)