Anybody have a recomendation for a 4:3 projector in this 16:9 world ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-19-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Why, in the year 2013 would I be interested in a 4:3 projector you ask ?

Well, it's quite simple. I'm a huge fan of old school, retro video games from the early 1990's. You know, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, etc, etc. All of that stuff had a 4:3 aspect ratio. I've hooked up my old systems to my current projector (Optoma HD7100), and they look pretty good, but not quite as good as I would like it to look.

The best possible video signal you can get from these older systems, is analog RGB. You know, the old 15.75khz type rgb signals. These systems had very low native resolution. We're talking like 320 x 220 and stuff like that. My Optoma HD7100 doesn't really know what to do with that signal. Luckily, my Optoma can sync with 15.75 khz, so at least I do get an actual picture. Unfortunately, the projector doesn't really like the 320 x 220 resolution, so it upscales it to 640 x 200, which does create some potential problems for me (I think).

For example, I hooked up my Super Nintendo to the Optoma last nite, and while the picture quality was actually very good, portions of the extreme left part of the screen, and the top of the screen aren't being displayed. On certain Super Nintendo games, this is very annoying, because some of the key health indicators and such aren't being displayed, so you don't really know what is going on. I don't know if the image is being cutoff because of the fact that this is actually a 16:9 projector instead of a 4:3 projector, or because of the strange resolution that the projector is trying to deal with, or because of the timings of the RGB signal it's getting or something. Not really sure. All I know is that the image is slighty off base.

I'm just thinking that an older 4:3 projector, that is more friendly to these strange resolutions would be a good idea.


So, can anybody think of any really good 4:3 projectors that might be more compatible with old school retro video games running at 15.75khz and really low resolutions like 320 x 220 ?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-19-2013, 12:45 PM
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I might be not understanding this, but would a 16x9 1080p or even 720p for that matter projector have more than enough pixels to display the old NES and SNES games in 4:3 aspect ratio. and then, you know, you could still use it for the rest of your needs as well.

as for stuff getting cut off, all I can think is you have some kind of overscan on. there's no reason why a 16:9 projector can't display a 4:3 image completely

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-19-2013, 03:33 PM
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don't a lot of the business type projectors do 4 3 square and many are less than 720 p resolution.

Google 4:3 and 480p with the word projector, just don't get lcd, go dlp.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-19-2013, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

I might be not understanding this, but would a 16x9 1080p or even 720p for that matter projector have more than enough pixels to display the old NES and SNES games in 4:3 aspect ratio. and then, you know, you could still use it for the rest of your needs as well.

as for stuff getting cut off, all I can think is you have some kind of overscan on. there's no reason why a 16:9 projector can't display a 4:3 image completely



The problem is, the projectors don't really know what to do with the weird resolutions that come out of a Super Nintendo. The Super Nintendo uses several resolutions.

256 x 224 is the most common Super Nintendo resolution used, but some games did use other resolutions.

So, when you feed your projector 256 x 224, it doesn't really know what to do with that, and it upconverts it to 640 x 200 resolution, which is normally one of the lowest resolutions that most projectors support. But in the process of the upconversion, somehow something gets lost in the translation, and you end up having part of the left side of the screen not displayed, and part of the top of the screen not displayed.

I'm not sure there are any projectors out there that could actually handle 256 x 224 without something undesirable happening. I know I can get an XRGB2+ unit, and it will upscale the 256 x 224 to 640 x 480, but I was hoping to avoid having to go though an XRGB again. I have used those in the past, and they are pretty decent, but to me, they also are a bit artificial. It gives the games almost an emulated look that I'm not fond of. I like the natural, native RGB, but it seems that either way you slice it, some type of manipulation is going to happen to the signal and I'm going to have to deal with it.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-19-2013, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

The problem is, the projectors don't really know what to do with the weird resolutions that come out of a Super Nintendo. The Super Nintendo uses several resolutions.

256 x 224 is the most common Super Nintendo resolution used, but some games did use other resolutions.

So, when you feed your projector 256 x 224, it doesn't really know what to do with that, and it upconverts it to 640 x 200 resolution, which is normally one of the lowest resolutions that most projectors support. But in the process of the upconversion, somehow something gets lost in the translation, and you end up having part of the left side of the screen not displayed, and part of the top of the screen not displayed.

I'm not sure there are any projectors out there that could actually handle 256 x 224 without something undesirable happening. I know I can get an XRGB2+ unit, and it will upscale the 256 x 224 to 640 x 480, but I was hoping to avoid having to go though an XRGB again. I have used those in the past, and they are pretty decent, but to me, they also are a bit artificial. It gives the games almost an emulated look that I'm not fond of. I like the natural, native RGB, but it seems that either way you slice it, some type of manipulation is going to happen to the signal and I'm going to have to deal with it.

Your older game consoles output in standard 480i NTSC format since that is the only format that standard definition analog TVs could accept (those sold in North America at least). The output signal format is independent of the game's internal graphics resolution. You need to look for a projector with a native 480p resolution with a 4x3 format. With such a projector it would only need to de-interlace the 480i signal to 480p format, but not video scaling to a different resolution is requried. Check THIS LINK for some projectors that meeting this requirement.

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Blog + Reviews + Articles: projectorreviews.com
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-20-2013, 12:26 AM
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I was reading about the RetroN 5, you could just play your snes over hdmi. Or go to youtube and search for snes and projector there are many videos that look good to me.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-20-2013, 05:41 AM
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You can buy an old to lube tv, or a really old tube projector, or a scaler.

I convert my retro to hdmi with an iscan HD+ I got for 30 off eBay.

No matter what you do, it will never look as good as it does on an old 27 inch tube.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-20-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I have this RGB transcoder thing called a Kramer FC-14. I decided to run my SNES through that, and then to my Marantz receiver, and then to the projector. Now, everything is looking good. The only downside, is that the Kramer FC-14 is converting the full bandwidth RGB signal to a component signal that isn't 100 percent full bandwidth.

Truth be told, I'm not really noticing any difference, so it's all gravy.

The Projector sees the resolution as 720 x 480 or something like that, and it's working out fine.



The thing is, I did try the Atari Jaguar through the Kramer FC-14, and it didn't work out good at all. The video signal is really messed up. I also tried the original Playstation and the TurboGrafx-16. The original Playstation seems to be working just fine, and the TurboGrafx-16 also appears to be working good. I'm not sure what it is about the Atari Jaguar's video output that it won't work right...
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-21-2013, 05:51 AM
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Doesn't take much to scale 16 but graphics.


You might look into a scanline generator if you are serious, or just save for games. They are freaking expensive.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-21-2013, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2 View Post

Doesn't take much to scale 16 bit graphics.


You might look into a scanline generator if you are serious, or just save for games. They are freaking expensive.


I used to have an XRGB2+ unit, which had an option for adding scanlines, but I never used that. I never quite understood why people are into that. I mean, I guess it's that nostalgic look, but I think when you artificially do anything, it makes it a bit weird. If you really want the proper scanline look, you need a good CRT. The XRGB2+ works pretty good, but it also gave a bit of an emulator look to everything, which made me want to get rid of it.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-22-2013, 11:45 AM
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Anthony,

The issue is probably the quality of the sync that the old consoles produce. Many were rather fast and loose with the RS170A spec, and conformed just enough for old analogue TV's, which were much more forgiving than modern digital sets.

I don't think sourcing a native 4X3 projector will necessarily cure your issue. You might try playing with the 'Fine Sync' controls in your Optoma to see if you can display the complete picture.

Although bulky and not plug and play, an old CRT projector would probably give you the retro image you desire.

Hope this helps,

Jonathan
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-22-2013, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

The problem is, the projectors don't really know what to do with the weird resolutions that come out of a Super Nintendo. The Super Nintendo uses several resolutions.

256 x 224 is the most common Super Nintendo resolution used, but some games did use other resolutions.

So, when you feed your projector 256 x 224, it doesn't really know what to do with that, and it upconverts it to 640 x 200 resolution, which is normally one of the lowest resolutions that most projectors support. But in the process of the upconversion, somehow something gets lost in the translation, and you end up having part of the left side of the screen not displayed, and part of the top of the screen not displayed.

I'm not sure there are any projectors out there that could actually handle 256 x 224 without something undesirable happening. I know I can get an XRGB2+ unit, and it will upscale the 256 x 224 to 640 x 480, but I was hoping to avoid having to go though an XRGB again. I have used those in the past, and they are pretty decent, but to me, they also are a bit artificial. It gives the games almost an emulated look that I'm not fond of. I like the natural, native RGB, but it seems that either way you slice it, some type of manipulation is going to happen to the signal and I'm going to have to deal with it.

I've got a receiver that upconverts and upscales analog inputs. I don't want to say it looks great, but it looks like what I would expect a low resolution image to look like at 100"

maybe you'd be better off spending the money on a really good upscaler?

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