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post #1 of 40 Old 02-12-2009, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I plugged my Nintendo Wii into my Sharp LCD HD tv via composite lead and booted up Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Virtual Console--for the most part it was sort of blurry but still looked pretty good. I then plugged my real NES via composite lead into the same exact tv and it looked FAR worse: much more blurred lines and saturation, very poor picture.

I tested this with other games on the Virtual Console and the real hardware via composite lead and the Wii won out every time! Why would this be? Does the Wii have a better PPU and therefore able to put out better video than it's real counterparts?

I just find it interesting that plugging 2 systems in playing the same exact game with the same exact video format can yield such different results!
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post #2 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 07:51 AM
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That is pretty wild. Have you tried them on a SDTV? I'm wondering if the NES works better with the SDTV rather than the HDTV, which has been unforgiving to my SNES as well.

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post #3 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 08:06 AM
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Well, I am sure the Wii has better output, but wouldn't the Wii also be outputting at a higher resolution?
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post #4 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by number1laing View Post

Well, I am sure the Wii has better output, but wouldn't the Wii also be outputting at a higher resolution?

Aren't the old NES/SNES era consoles outputting a 240 line signal? Thought I had read that somewhere. Wii's 480i via composite is already a higher res image over the NES.

Add in Wii component cables and you'll get your VC games in 480p (save for some that apparently max @ 480i no matter what from what I've read)

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post #5 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nnarum23 View Post

That is pretty wild. Have you tried them on a SDTV? I'm wondering if the NES works better with the SDTV rather than the HDTV, which has been unforgiving to my SNES as well.

I have tried both the Wii and it's real console counterparts on an SD set and the Wii still looked slightly sharper, but the difference wasn't quite as noticeable.
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post #6 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post

Aren't the old NES/SNES era consoles outputting a 240 line signal? Thought I had read that somewhere. Wii's 480i via composite is already a higher res image over the NES.

Add in Wii component cables and you'll get your VC games in 480p (save for some that apparently max @ 480i no matter what from what I've read)

I'm pretty sure the Wii uses the exact same resolution as the old consoles did. The only thing I can really imagine is that the Wii simply has a better quality video chip.
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post #7 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zedrein View Post

I'm pretty sure the Wii uses the exact same resolution as the old consoles did. The only thing I can really imagine is that the Wii simply has a better quality video chip.

Nope, you're entirely wrong. The NES native resolution was 256x240 and interlaced. The SNES was 256x224 or 512x448 depending on the game, though most often the former. They would both output that resolution and then leave it to the TV to handle it (which is why, for the record, some modern TVs have issues with the systems because those are such strange resolutions these days). The Wii on the other hand is scaling within the system, and outputting at 640x480 with the possibility of progressive scan. Add in the fact that component gives you a higher quality signal and better colors if you're using that, and you'll definitely have a better quality picture for almost all games using the Wii.

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post #8 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 07:53 PM
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To add to jhoff's post - the only negative thing you may find is that some VC games are stretched a bit on Wii - not all, but some. Not that horrid TNT HD "fake HD" stretchovision stuff, but a little bit is done to better fill a 16x9 screen.

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post #9 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post

To add to jhoff's post - the only negative thing you may find is that some VC games are stretched a bit on Wii - not all, but some. Not that horrid TNT HD "fake HD" stretchovision stuff, but a little bit is done to better fill a 16x9 screen.

Well, I've found one other negative actually, and that's that a lot of the old games were designed based around overscan, so in SMB3 for example, on scrolling levels there's blue line or something like that on the scrolling stages that is entirely static, and that's because on the original game you didn't see that because of the overscan, so the problem there is that they're really emulating it too perfectly.

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post #10 of 40 Old 02-13-2009, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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johoff80, I just called the poindexters over at Nintendo's technical labs and they told me that the Virtual Console uses, "The exact same resolution as it's console counterparts, there is absolutely no upscaling to 640x480"
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post #11 of 40 Old 02-14-2009, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post

To add to jhoff's post - the only negative thing you may find is that some VC games are stretched a bit on Wii - not all, but some. Not that horrid TNT HD "fake HD" stretchovision stuff, but a little bit is done to better fill a 16x9 screen.

You repeatedly have stated this at this forum, but I have to tell you that it simply isn't the case. They're still being outputted at a 4:3 signal, nothing is being done to try to accomodate a 16:9 television through stretching and such. All the emulators maintain the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.

As for upscaling and such, it's my understanding that the emulators on the Wii don't do that outside of the N64 and Neo Geo emulators, which can output a 480p image. Was supposedly one of the selling points of the Virtual Console was its ability to output such things as a true 240p signal and such. On most modern consoles, such low resolutions aren't often supported, leading to issues on classic titles in compilations and such sufferring from things like dot crawl and flickering and such.
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post #12 of 40 Old 02-14-2009, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

You repeatedly have stated this at this forum, but I have to tell you that it simply isn't the case. They're still being outputted at a 4:3 signal, nothing is being done to try to accomodate a 16:9 television through stretching and such. All the emulators maintain the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.

As for upscaling and such, it's my understanding that the emulators on the Wii don't do that outside of the N64 and Neo Geo emulators, which can output a progressive scan image. Was supposedly one of the selling points of the Virtual Console was its ability to output such things as a true 240p signal and such. On most modern consoles, resolutions below 480i aren't supported, leading to issues on classic titles in compilations and such sufferring from things like dot crawl and flickering and such.

I don't know why there's a debate bout VC output resolution. Don't most people here have HDTVs that tell you what the input resolution is? I know my Samsung does. Why not just fire up a VC game from different consoles and hit info? I'd do it but my set is still wrapped up and stored from my move.

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post #13 of 40 Old 02-14-2009, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

You repeatedly have stated this at this forum, but I have to tell you that it simply isn't the case. They're still being outputted at a 4:3 signal, nothing is being done to try to accomodate a 16:9 television through stretching and such. All the emulators maintain the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.

As for upscaling and such, it's my understanding that the emulators on the Wii don't do that outside of the N64 and Neo Geo emulators, which can output a progressive scan image.

That might lead to the confusion, considering the only system I know for a fact that I've checked in my TV's menu was an N64 game.

As for being stretched, I think the problem is that yes, they're being output at 4:3, but since the Wii doesn't flag any of its content, you have to manually switch your TV so that its not stretched, which depending on your TV isn't always worth the hassle.

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post #14 of 40 Old 02-18-2009, 11:01 PM
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I can confirm that NES, SNES, and Genesis titles all run at their original resolutions, which I shall call "240p" for simplification's sake, though that's not quite accurate for most games.

I've meticulously paid attention at the way the Wii handles resolutions for VC titles, and without a doubt, games for the three above systems are NOT upscaled in any way, even through component, UNLESS you set the Wii to 480p, in which case all games will be upscaled to that resolution. But if you set it to 480i, they will be broadcast to the TV at their native resolution of 240p.

I've checked on a Sony SDTV, using both composite and component inputs, and as I suspected, scanlines were visible in both cases. And I must say, the games look beautiful in their native resolution through component. The scanlines are very sharp. It's a sight to behold. I imagine this is extremely close to what the games would look like through RGB in their original systems.

And just to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me, I put on Sonic 2, which has a versus mode that is known to run at 480i, and sure enough, no scanlines to speak of, and there was the familiar interlacing "flicker". I then exited that mode, and played on single player. Scanlines, and no flicker whatsoever.

The other systems are not like this, though. TurboGrafx-16 and N64 titles, for instance, are upscaled to 480i automatically. I can understand why they would do this for the N64, as the low resolution makes 3D games look like a jagged mess, and it's a nice improvement. But the TG-16 is a mystery. Its titles also originally ran at a low resolution, AFAIK, so it doesn't make sense that they are upscaled. I guess it's a limitation of the emulator or something. I also hear Neo-Geo titles are upscaled, but I don't know from first-hand experience. I am also not sure about the Sega Master System, but if they got Genesis titles running at 240p, I would imagine they would do the same with SMS games.

Oh, and about NES games looking better on the VC than on the NES through the same connection: yeah, I noticed that too. It seems the Wii applies extra filters to get rid of some of that composite garbage. There is still that "rainbow" effect, of course, but the dot-crawl is less noticeable. SNES games, however, look very similar on both the original system and the VC.

One last thing: I noticed the colors are kinda off in Super Mario Bros. 3 on the VC. They're... greener, I suppose. It's hard to explain. They're not as lively. I compared it to its NES counterpart, and then to a ROM on the PC. The NES and ROM versions both looked near-identical color-wise, so it's not just a matter of a better connection. The palette was deliberately changed for the VC release. That, or it's just the Wii doing something odd.
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post #15 of 40 Old 02-18-2009, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DarkZero24 View Post

I can confirm that NES, SNES, and Genesis titles all run at their original resolutions, which I shall call "240p" for simplification's sake, though that's not quite accurate for most games.

I've meticulously paid attention at the way the Wii handles resolutions for VC titles, and without a doubt, games for the three above systems are NOT upscaled in any way, even through component, UNLESS you set the Wii to 480p, in which case all games will be upscaled to that resolution. But if you set it to 480i, they will be broadcast to the TV at their native resolution of 240p.

I've checked on a Sony SDTV, using both composite and component inputs, and as I suspected, scanlines were visible in both cases. And I must say, the games look beautiful in their native resolution through component. The scanlines are very sharp. It's a sight to behold. I imagine this is extremely close to what the games would look like through RGB in their original systems.

And just to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me, I put on Sonic 2, which has a versus mode that is known to run at 480i, and sure enough, no scanlines to speak of, and there was the familiar interlacing "flicker". I then exited that mode, and played on single player. Scanlines, and no flicker whatsoever.

The other systems are not like this, though. TurboGrafx-16 and N64 titles, for instance, are upscaled to 480i automatically. I can understand why they would do this for the N64, as the low resolution makes 3D games look like a jagged mess, and it's a nice improvement. But the TG-16 is a mystery. Its titles also originally ran at a low resolution, AFAIK, so it doesn't make sense that they are upscaled. I guess it's a limitation of the emulator or something. I also hear Neo-Geo titles are upscaled, but I don't know from first-hand experience. I am also not sure about the Sega Master System, but if they got Genesis titles running at 240p, I would imagine they would do the same with SMS games.

Oh, and about NES games looking better on the VC than on the NES through the same connection: yeah, I noticed that too. It seems the Wii applies extra filters to get rid of some of that composite garbage. There is still that "rainbow" effect, of course, but the dot-crawl is less noticeable. SNES games, however, look very similar on both the original system and the VC.

One last thing: I noticed the colors are kinda off in Super Mario Bros. 3 on the VC. They're... greener, I suppose. It's hard to explain. They're not as lively. I compared it to its NES counterpart, and then to a ROM on the PC. The NES and ROM versions both looked near-identical color-wise, so it's not just a matter of a better connection. The palette was deliberately changed for the VC release. That, or it's just the Wii doing something odd.

Hmm, that'd be another reason why I'm confused then, because my Wii is set to 480p. And for SMB3, the colors seemed a little darker to me than I remembered, but in a thread here it was collectively decided that that was misremembering.

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post #16 of 40 Old 02-19-2009, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

That might lead to the confusion, considering the only system I know for a fact that I've checked in my TV's menu was an N64 game.

As for being stretched, I think the problem is that yes, they're being output at 4:3, but since the Wii doesn't flag any of its content, you have to manually switch your TV so that its not stretched, which depending on your TV isn't always worth the hassle.


Which is EXACTLY why I said some VC titles - at least the Genesis/NES ones I have - ARE STRETCHED a bit. And zoomed a bit, too. My Wii is set to 16x9/480p, the display set @ it's regular 16x9 setting. Both Super Mario Bros & Sonic the Hedgehog lack expected 4:3 sidebars (there is a bit of black bar along the sides). If I must, I will supply pictures (if only to prove it to Leo)

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post #17 of 40 Old 02-19-2009, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jwebb1970 View Post

Which is EXACTLY why I said some VC titles - at least the Genesis/NES ones I have - ARE STRETCHED a bit. And zoomed a bit, too. My Wii is set to 16x9/480p, the display set @ it's regular 16x9 setting. Both Super Mario Bros & Sonic the Hedgehog lack expected 4:3 sidebars (there is a bit of black bar along the sides). If I must, I will supply pictures (if only to prove it to Leo)

You didn't prove anything, its a 4:3 signal. If your tv is stretching the output of your Wii, its your television, not the emulator. The Wii only ever outputs a 4:3 signal, it's that simple. 480i/p content is never flagged as 16:9.

The widescreen setting in the Wii menu simply changes widescreen capable Wii titles (Not GameCube or Virtual Console releases) to be modified (Still a 4:3 signal) to something that will look correct when your television stretches it to fill the screen. The Wii itself never outputs a 16:9 image.

If you want your VC titles to appear correctly with black bars along the sides to preserve the 4:3 aspect ratio, you have to set your television to maintain the aspect ratio of the signal it's recieving, rather than stretching it to fill the screen.
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post #18 of 40 Old 02-19-2009, 01:44 PM
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Actually, all I intended to prove was that NES/Genesis VC stuff appears "stretched" a bit on my display. And it is certainly conceivable that most other people also see them on screen as I do.

The comment about underscan in the emulation is obvious as even at a 16x9 stretch at the display level, those NES games still have some black sidebar visible.

Did I know that essentially the Wii is putting out a 4:3 signal that "squishes" Wii/GC stuff when Wii's widescreen setting is selected, just like a DVD player will do to properly flagged discs? Yes.

Do I care if SMB gets a bit stretched if I don't mess w/ my display's aspect settings? No.

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post #19 of 40 Old 02-19-2009, 07:39 PM
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I only wanted to point out that the titles haven't been adjusted in anyway for 16:9 televisions (Even when widescreen is selected in the Wii menu), which you've stated some have been. Anyone here can prove this by setting up their Wii to a 4:3 television, and setting their Wii to widescreen. The VC titles will still have their correct 4:3 aspect ratio and fill the screen. Or it can be proven by setting your television to maintain the AR it's being told to display by the Wii while your Wii is set to widescreen in it's menus, VC titles will still be 4:3.

Nothing in my post was about how the titles appear on your display (I don't care how anyone here plays them, if you want to stretch Super Mario Bros to fill your 16:9 television, have at it, just don't incorrectly say its the Wii or emulator that is doing it), or the underscan that console titles have typically had over the years (Which the Wii's emulators faithfully emulate), which results in the small black bars (Or blue in SMB3's case I believe) on your television when your setting your tv to stretch the input it's recieving to fill your screen.

Again, nothing is flagged widescreen on the Wii. Its either putting out resolutions below 480i, 480i, or 480p. They're all natively 4:3 signals. Setting your Wii to widescreen doesn't do anything to VC or GameCube titles, and only affects those retail Wii or WiiWare titles that are 16:9 compatible (By switching to what I believe is referred to as non square pixels, making for a 4:3 image that is suitable for stretching to appear correctly in widescreen, by having your tv set to fill a 16:9 screen, rather than set to maintain the 4:3 AR its being told by the console to display).

The Virtual Console is 4:3, and its correctly 4:3 whether your Wii is set to widescreen or not. They're only going to not be 4:3 if someone's television is stretching the image because of the settings they've selected on their tv that is instructing the television not to maintain the AR it's recieving and to stretch it to fill the screen.
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post #20 of 40 Old 02-20-2009, 11:12 AM
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I am not sure if many know this but the SNES supports S-Video cables made for Gamecube/N64. Using these cables will result in a much more vibrant and colorful picture on your display. A difference of almost night and day when compared to composite cables. The NES does not support any kind of S-Video in anyway that I have figured out yet.

I prefer to use the original system vs. the Virtual Console, mainly to play the game in its original form. If you are like me, you may want to invest in a couple S-Video cables for your N64 and SNES.

As for what is displayed on the virtual console, I believe they are all output at their original resolution through an emulator, which is all the Virtual Console is. There are however a few N64 games that support 480p. One of which is Majora's Mask. If you play this game through an emulator or pick up the Zelda Collector's Edition Game for GCN, the game is played in 480p. The reason it was not output 480p through the N64 was due to the hardware, not the game software itself. Most games that required the expansion pack for N64 were written in 480p, but due to hardware, were not displayed as such.

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post #21 of 40 Old 02-21-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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"Most games that required the expansion pack for N64 were written in 480p, but due to hardware, were not displayed as such."

Nope.

It is easy to scale a 3D N64 game up to 480p because 3D games are referencing points in space for their polygons. As such, one can scale the points out to whatever new point space they need to be in to fit the new resolution. In other words, and using your own logic, N64 games were written as much for 14000p as they were for 480p.
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post #22 of 40 Old 02-21-2009, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

Hmm, that'd be another reason why I'm confused then, because my Wii is set to 480p. And for SMB3, the colors seemed a little darker to me than I remembered, but in a thread here it was collectively decided that that was misremembering.

Well, I can confirm I was definitely not misremembering. The colors really are darker on the VC. I literally had the VC version and the ROM on my PC side by side at the same time. The color palette is changed in the VC version.
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post #23 of 40 Old 02-21-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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"I literally had the VC version and the ROM on my PC side by side at the same"

That is not a valid comparison. The only valid comparison would be using original hardware.
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post #24 of 40 Old 02-22-2009, 09:33 PM
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That is not a valid comparison. The only valid comparison would be using original hardware.

Yeah, my bad. I should've mentioned I also had the original NES version running as well. In fact, I had both the NES and the Wii on at the same time, hooked up to a system selector, and I switched from one system to the other in quick succession, WHILE at the same time having the ROM active on my PC. The NES and ROM versions looked identical color-wise, while the VC version was darker.
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post #25 of 40 Old 02-23-2009, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

"Most games that required the expansion pack for N64 were written in 480p, but due to hardware, were not displayed as such."

Nope.

It is easy to scale a 3D N64 game up to 480p because 3D games are referencing points in space for their polygons. As such, one can scale the points out to whatever new point space they need to be in to fit the new resolution. In other words, and using your own logic, N64 games were written as much for 14000p as they were for 480p.

Gotcha, thanks for clearing it up for me.

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post #26 of 40 Old 02-25-2009, 08:39 AM
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A basic test I noticed on the whole VC vs. original game thing was Link to the Past. I have an old SNES hooked up to my HD CRT through composite and the games are a bit fuzzy when compared to the same game played through VC on the Wii's component cable. Sharpness on the VC version seems way better than the original.

I seem to recall Wired or some other site a while back doing a shot-by-shot comparison of the various forms of Super Mario Bros. They compared the NES version, a ROM, and the Wii VC version (at least). All the tests showed a much sharper image on the VC version.
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post #27 of 40 Old 02-25-2009, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaslug79 View Post

A basic test I noticed on the whole VC vs. original game thing was Link to the Past. I have an old SNES hooked up to my HD CRT through composite and the games are a bit fuzzy when compared to the same game played through VC on the Wii's component cable. Sharpness on the VC version seems way better than the original.

I seem to recall Wired or some other site a while back doing a shot-by-shot comparison of the various forms of Super Mario Bros. They compared the NES version, a ROM, and the Wii VC version (at least). All the tests showed a much sharper image on the VC version.


I remember that.....it was actually Ars Technica, but here's the link:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2007/02/7044.ars

Screenshots comparing Super Mario Bros on original NES, 2 clones (Gneration NEX & FC Twin) & the Wii VC. Guess which one looked better?

The article does mention that the VC comparison is kinda unfair, as the Wii has the strongest video processing of all the systemes used in this, as well as running via component.

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post #28 of 40 Old 02-25-2009, 12:22 PM
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Good call, jwebb. That's what I was thinking of. I'm not surprised the knock-off hardware versions weren't as good as the original, much less the VC version.
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post #29 of 40 Old 02-25-2009, 08:22 PM
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There's also the fact that, on an HD CRT, old systems such as the SNES run in 224p, a resolution too quirky for such TV sets to handle properly. I should know, I have a Sony HD CRT set myself, and it does not handle lower-than-480i resolutions very well. The image is basically treated as 480i, and is thus run through the upscaler and deinterlacer, resulting in a fuzzy line-doubled image. This happens even on the Wii with component cables if you set to 480i. Setting it to 480p, however, properly upscales the games, and makes them look much sharper and much cleaner.

I still say VC titles look best at their native resolutions on a good SD CRT through component, though. Something about those old-school scanlines really appeals to me.
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post #30 of 40 Old 03-04-2009, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaslug79 View Post

A basic test I noticed on the whole VC vs. original game thing was Link to the Past. I have an old SNES hooked up to my HD CRT through composite and the games are a bit fuzzy when compared to the same game played through VC on the Wii's component cable. Sharpness on the VC version seems way better than the original.

I seem to recall Wired or some other site a while back doing a shot-by-shot comparison of the various forms of Super Mario Bros. They compared the NES version, a ROM, and the Wii VC version (at least). All the tests showed a much sharper image on the VC version.

composite video vs. component video

Component video eliminates chroma crosstalk the happens during the modulation and decoding of the analog signal. That's why the colors are sharper, the video is crisper. Also Component video gives has much higher chroma bandwidth so the wii will always provide a sharper signal with color bleed, color ringing, and other color artifacts removed. The original NES uses a low cost chroma encoder witch was severely restricted by NTSC color bandwidth limitations. Many TVs have poor analog signal processing that can make the signal even worse resulting in a muddled picture. IF the NES hardware was reimplemented with RGB/component video option then the video processing chain would be simplified, chroma bandwidth expanded resulting in a picture similar to VC. But the NES is early eighties hardware where S-Video, component video, RGB were not options because virtually all consumer level TVs were composite only devices.
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