What is RGB Video? :: RGB100  / MY LIFE IN GAMING
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What is RGB Video? :: RGB100 / MY LIFE IN GAMING

August 23, 2019

– Welcome to the RGB Master Class. This is the starting point for your journey into getting the best picture quality from your retro consoles. (theme music) Believe it or not, these old systems are capable of some pretty crazy stuff, and a lot of them support a higher level of video quality than you may have realized. Until just a few years ago, we thought that the Sega Genesis couldn’t do any better than blurry composite video, and that S-video was the pinnacle for the SNES. Would you have imagined that it’s possible to get a sharper and more accurate image from the original hardware than through retro downloads on HD systems like the PS3, or Nintendo’s Virtual Console service? Do you wish your NES games could look as clear as the label art? – Whether you want to use your sleek HDTV, or you’re a die-hard CRT fan, whether you love the pixelated emulator look, or you gotta have scanlines, you might be surprised by what real retro consoles can do with the right cables and hardware. RGB is a color space in which red, green, and blue define all the colors in an image. This is different from the component video cables that you might be used to seeing. But it just so happens that a great number of retro consoles are actually equipped to output RGB video, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, NeoGeo, PlayStation, and more. Analog RGB is an extremely high quality signal that provides an amazing image for retro consoles. While North American consumer televisions were never equipped to handle this type of RGB, Europe, Japan, and other regions have RGB-capable connectors, like SCART. – To display RGB, we can use professional video monitors, high quality long-lasting CRTs that were used in TV production and other fields, or video scalers designed to display low resolution video content in high quality on your HDTV, such as the XRGB-mini, also known as the Framemeister. While all HDTVs scale standard def video to fit their higher resolution screens, the processing is poorly optimized for retro games, resulting in an image worse than you remember, as well as input lag, a noticeable delay from when you press a button, until you see a reaction on screen. CRTs have no inherent input lag, and well-designed external scalers can significantly minimize it. For many people, the scanline look is essential to their retro experience, and many video scalers also offer that option. While some consoles don’t have native RGB capabilities, such as the NES, TurboGrafx, and N64, they can be modified for it, resulting in an image well beyond what you saw as a kid. And more recently, advanced HDMI mods have been developed, which can address specific quirks of the hardware, such as the N64’s infamous blur. – But it’s not all about getting the best, or what we think is the best. The goal of the RGB Master Class is to equip you with an understanding of all of the possibilities, so that you can decide what works best for you and your setup. Details about how scalers and CRTs work, specifics on each console, special topics, and new developments. So much of the conversation surrounding retro console video quality is very technical, and we had an incredibly difficult time coming to grips with all of the different factors. You don’t have to know how to solder or build your own cables. Retro gaming in RGB is something that anyone should be able to enjoy, so we strive to make the RGB Master Class the resource that we wish had been available when we were first getting into all this. We’re still learning and researching thoroughly with every episode, collaborating with respected experts in the retro gaming community who understand this stuff on a far more technical level than we ever could. – The RGB Master Class is divided into three levels. The 100 level contains all of the basic information needed to get started and understand what’s possible. The 200 level is console-specific. We explore each system and as many hardware revisions as possible to show what they’re capable of breaking down all of the options, possible modifications, and quirks inherent to every console. And lastly, the 300 hundred level contains all sorts of side topics that have to do with RGB and beyond. Everything from calibrating your display, to in-depth overviews of exciting new mods. So, are you ready? This rabbit hole goes deep. (theme music)

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  1. Some consoles look so good in S-Video it's not worth the trouble to go to RGB, but when that's not an option it's totally worth it to go RGB over composite.

  2. If there were a Nobel Prize in gaming, I would give it to you for this series. You'll have to fight over who accepts it of course 😉

  3. A week ago A game store in my area got two Commodore 64 computer monitors in stock that have composite out on them, we hooked up an NES and the picture was very sharp (much better than a standard CRT).

    I was curious if you guys know if these monitors are similar to PVM's or maybe in between a Normal CRT and a PVM in quality? (I have not seen a PVM in person).

  4. Should have topped and tailed this off with you guys remembering the old times to make this a true clip show.

    Really though, this is a great video to get people enticed into your RGB 101 series.

  5. Gotta have the scan lines. Just looks naked without them. 1:34 Also I am pretty sure no SNES system natively supports RGB without a modification.

  6. Pretty cool presentation, guys, i really like your work and all this videos convince to buy the scart cables for my sega genesis and saturn, thank you.

  7. This is the reason why I'm saving my money! Everything looks so great in your videos! I can't wait to purchase an XRGB mini! Keep up the great work guys! I look forward to it every week!

  8. You guys should do more video game tech tutorials for us neophytes. I mean, far too many supposed "beginner" or even "for kids" tech classes use aloof, overly wordy, and indirect explanations for concepts and objects that are arguably simple in nature- at least at the foundation layer; and thus there is a severe lack of well-explained classes and stuff for technology without costing zillions of bucks or aeons of time. Thanks so much for what's here so far, and pardon my overreaction to your channel.

  9. ¿Could you make an episode focused on the Nintendo Wii? I really want to get the best of that console, but I don't know how. I've heard that is better with a monitor, but if you could clarify it for me it would be awesome. Thanks for you extraordinary work.

  10. Definitely recommend this for sure. Without this, I would have never learned how to setup my old consoles with multiple cables attached. Also figuring out how to get the best video quality for them as well, even going as far as to getting a Framemeister.

  11. Coury and Try, your channel is phenomenal. I've followed the retro scene for years but this series of videos helped me decide to finally take the plunge. Thanks for all that you do!

  12. I love you guys. The only reason I even know about RGB is because of this series. Thank you for making the concept easy to understand, and giving me enough confidence to see it through in my own setup.

  13. Well I did it. I finally got me some s video cables for my Nintendo consoles. It only took me about twenty years!

  14. It is 6 AM and I'm still up. The reason for that is that I got home from work at about midnight, found that I recieved an 8-pin DIN connector and made an RGB cable for my MSX2.

    I have been playing games since then, it's best retro decision I've ever made.

  15. Still cant get a good signal from my megadrive. Even rf out is shifted off the left side of the screen by a couple inches.

  16. Just because you are in Europe sadly doesn't mean it's a dance of joy and SCART cables. I had a friend who had gotten a gamecube, the cables it came with were the Nintendo SNES/N64/GC multi-out to RCA cables, with a SCART adapter. I tried in vain to explain to him that this wasn't the same as proper SCART which would have RGB.

  17. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for starting this series and break everything down to something the normal consumer can understand.
    I bought my Framemeister solely because of how highly you spoke of it, otherwise I don't think I could have justified such an expensive purchase, and I'm happy I did.
    And ever since, I have also strived to get the best picture out of my consoles.

    It might be a little off-topic, but what are you guys view on the AVS? It offers some nice enchancements that the original NES wasn't capable of.

  18. When this series is "complete" and if offered as a blu Ray release with maybe a few of your other hidden gem videos I am so buying a copy.

  19. Make a shorter version of this video and use it as advertisement for the channel. Pretty sure a lot of people will see it.

  20. Great channel guys. You should consider doing a video on format conversion; lots of retro-style games on HDMI systems folk may want to play on BVMs (Mega Man 9, 10, Shovel Knight), as well as the popularity of emulation (e.g. RetroPie) on HDMI devices like the Raspberry Pi.

    Also there are some systems where component is commonly considered the only/best output option (PSP, GameCube), so what to do with those (again, it might be pretty BVM-specific as a Framemeister can accept most modern connections).

  21. I tout i already have seen this video before because it looks so similar.
    Eventrough rgb is the best,composite will be alway's the most popular of the 3 analogue formats because of it's simplicity, ease of use and high compatibility with most tv's while still maintaining an oke picture quality.,
    Composite video output can and will be still found on HD sources,the same can be not said about s-video and rgb.

  22. At one minute 41 seconds there are two pictures showing Sega Genesis and PlayStation 1… The picture showing example of RGB running on PlayStation 1 is showing a guy with black or grey hair and a red shirt and what not running and gunning… Just curious but I was wondering what is the name of that game… It looks so familiar but I cannot place the name for it… I would be most appreciative if somebody could tell me the name of that game… Thanks , and as always great videos

  23. Also at two minutes and 40 seconds into the video there appears to be something underneath the frame Meister or is it a reflection of a frame Meister on top of a glass table… If it is a device underneath the frame Meister what device is it… Thanks in advance

  24. Whoops… Sorry for the multiple posts but yet again I have another question shortly after 2 minutes and 40 seconds in the video after the framemeister being shown with leads plugged into it… There is a game with a girl or boy running with a blue or slightly dark outfit with green hair slashing boxes and other items … What game is that… Please… Thank you once again

  25. There is however one issue that that the framemister has and that's the lack of 4k support. It's understandable but I hope the next one has the option for 4k.

  26. +MyLifeInGaming Is there any word on HDMI mods coming to ALL retro consoles? I feel like THAT would be the jack-of-all-trades solution for people who want the best image quality out of a retro console

  27. Do you guys know if a Wii connected with composite cables on a CRT on 480i mode makes any difference if I instead use component cables on a CRT on 480i mode?
    The thing is that my CRT doesn't accept the 480p output so I was wondering if using component on 480i mode makes it any better than sticking with composite on 480i?

  28. Keep up the good work guys, I look forward to a future episode featuring the Dreamcast, there's some confusion regarding that with its various VGA boxes, what the display should be 640×480 or 720X480? And other things.

  29. It's a damn shame American TVs never got RGB input during the SD era. We had to deal with crappy RF and composite.

  30. Question for everyone -What's the best RGB to Component converter? Are the all-in-one (audio+video) converters any good? Or should I buy a separate audio converter add-on?

  31. How can I get the best picture quality out of the PS2? I have heard there is a VGA mod but I can't find anymore information

  32. I discover your guys channel yesterday and decided to power through just about every single episode, everything is so good! I have a question, most of the RGB episodes seem like they are geared on making the best video quality from your system on an HD tv. Are you guys using the framemeister on CRT tvs as well?

    I don't have the money for that video scaler, but I do have a pretty nice CRT TV for my 240p consoles.

  33. How would you guys go about streaming or recording RGB output? My current caputre card (Diamond HD Game Caputure) supports component but can't capture the csync from my PVM. Any suggestions on what converters, cables, or alternative capture cards to look at?

  34. Let me just say that I HIGHLY appreciate this video series. Learning all this video monitor stuff on my own is hella overwhelming sometimes. Having a video series like these to compress the important stuff is really convenient.

  35. Hi. Cool detailed very technical videos (I subscribed, same with phonedork and obe1plays- very enthusiastic Nintendo guy).

    One really important question: When the developers back in maybe 1981 or 1982 were developing their games for the 1983 launch of the Famicom, what kind of monitor were they using anyway to design the sprites, color, etc. Were they using PVMs or were they using PC monitors (coz' they programmed maybe on PCs but then wouldn't they be limited to monochrome and CGA in 1981 or 1982 development years)?

    Thank you. God bless. Rev. 21:4

  36. 1:23 – this is misleading. Yes, it's "different" but both signals are mathematically equivalent. It's the same information, but expressed in a different form.

  37. i'm in med school right now but when i get out i will love to dive into all this

    thank you guys for the wonderful explanations and technical details that many would overlook

  38. Really great work, guys. My head was spinning trying to understand this stuff by reading forums, posts, and conflicting guides. Your videos make it intuitive, entertaining and very useful. Before the age of the internet, this is something I would have to pay good money for, but you guys are doing it for free. Thank you!

  39. Which brand of component cables are best to buy besides nintendo?. Price isn't an issue. Just want to know the best alternatives.
    Also, are any of the universal component cables for wii, ps2, ps3, xbox 360 worth buying or is it better just to use individual cords for each console? If so, which brand would you suggest?..

    Thank you.

  40. Gamecube! Whats better component cables on a 480p crt(the type of tv GameCube was made for) or the mod with any television?? Whats the best possible set up!??

  41. I don't understand this, so many people don't seem to realize that there are HD CRT TVs… I have one and the max res is 1920x1080i it can also support 480p and 720p… I just find it annoying that people seem to always want to separate the two, and that whole emulated scanlines thing is so bogus, at least with my setup. 30 inch HD CRT for PC, Consoles, both old and new, and everything in between.

  42. my noname TV is just great for retro 😮 It supports RGB (like all LCDs in Europe lol) and scales 240p 4x making it picture perfect :O 🙂

  43. Hi I have a noob question. I have a dreamcast plugged to a Sony trinitron using a vgabox and a RCA/Scart cable. I mean the Scart is plugged in the TV output and the three RCA cables are plugged in the Blaze vgabox wich is conmected to my DC. What quality am I receiving this way? RGB or Composite ( due the fact im not using a pure RGB cable) THX in advance!

  44. I do NOT see the Dreamcast covered in any of the sections of the RGB master class. The Obvious answer is VGA for "best" quality however there are SEVERAL different adapters,boxes and cables out and about. Then converters come into play when you do NOT have a VGA port and on and on.So covering the Dreamcast would be a great episode. Of course IF I just can't find it a link would be great Thanks.

  45. These videos are non only very interesting, they are also VERY well made! Thank you very much for your hard work, and PLEASE, continue making classes for us! They are awesome!!

  46. Hello good work, loved that you make an episode on PSP… and an another one on cables… I´m located in pal country, some china´s stores sell psp to scart cable, it worth it ?

    My monitor is a Philips VGA monitor with VGA and BNC connectors, that i don´t now for now what´s the signal is. He have speakers sound.

  47. Hey guys, being that Xbox One will now get backwards compatibility with some original Xbox, does this just mean that the system will just be upscaling the output over HDMI? I have a OG Xbox with a component video cable and was just thinking how good it looks now. On a 32" Sharpe it looks great! I am unsure if they will be adding any other than the upscale to these games. Thanks for your time!


  48. Hi, we are trying to hook our Super Nintendo to our HGTV. Sound works but video does not. Any suggestions? We just want to play it….maybe the cord is broken?

  49. Looking forward to watch all the videos. One quick comment, I really like what scalers can do and displaying retro games on HD is awesome, but I hate with a passion when games look with those sharp perfect super defined pixels, it's actually really hard to distinguish what's going on the screen, everything blends, nothing stands out. To me the blurriness is what makes the games better looking, trees look like trees, people look like people, You couln't see every detail anyway because of the low resolution but the blurriness makes it appear as if it was detailed but we just can't see it from a distance, perfect pixels just look like legos. I guess that was the beauty of CRTs that get lost in the process of upscaling, maybe better blurry filters or interpolation is what games need. It's just my opinion anyway, I don't know if someone else agrees.

  50. God I love this series. Honestly, you guys combine entertainment with information and I love it. I already knew how some of this stuff worked, but you guys have taught me how good these games can look! Before I found you guys, I knew there were better options, but I had no idea how to get a signal better than RF out of my old SNES. You guys made me realise how good games look on a CRT, and without this my poor old 14” would’ve been sent to the tip by now. Also, you guys have made me more interested in retro games than ever, making me want to explore and research this topic. Thank you.

    It’s safe to say that without you guys, my CRT would be in the bin, my SNES would be hooked up to my brothers crappy LCD still, and my Mega Drive would still be lying in the loft as I didn’t have the cables I needed and didn’t know where I could get new ones from or if anyone still made cables for these things.

  51. I will NEVER EVER understand, why SCART was not a thing in US … Even in former Czechoslovakia, one of the poorest European countries, TVs already had SCART back in like 1991 …

  52. Just got my Sony PVM-2530, even composite looks so good, can't want to start really pushing the limits of all my consoles.

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