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Topic: New HDMI Box

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amcdc79
rank 9
Posted:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:49 am
quote : #1
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Posts: 124
There is a New Dreamcast HDMI box coming out, your thoughts please,

https://www.beharbros.com/akura

Here is a review for the DC HDMI box,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zosZPMWQ_ZQ
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:13 pm
quote : #2
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Posts: 5893
Type: NTSC-U/C
I was reading a lot of comments by Fudoh over at the shmups forums. I guess the big differentiator here is how it handles the Dreamcast's native resolution output. I still do not understand this, but here is a quote from Fudoh:

Quote:
As you know the DC does output a 640x480p signal inside a 720x480p border, which causes a resolution loss on almost all VGA to HDMI converters.
-Fudoh via shmups forums


Apparently the OSSC is one of the few devices that can accurately detect the Dreamcast's full proper resolution.

I think the AKURA looks like a solid device to get HDMI digital video out of the Dreamcast, especially if your TV doesn't have VGA in. There are some technical caveates though regarding resolution that involve a lot more reading and analysis to sort out. The thread link above at shmups has lots more meaty info.

Like this comment here: http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?p=1229609#p1229609
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amcdc79
rank 9
Posted:
Tue May 02, 2017 4:21 pm
quote : #3
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Posts: 124
So the lag issue is still present, no matter how you hook up a Dreamcast to a modern screen. Correct?
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed May 03, 2017 1:49 pm
quote : #4
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Posts: 5893
Type: NTSC-U/C
Yes that is correct. There is display lag at different touchpoints of the video display process. The TV itself will have its own display lag, that cannot be improved. Lag can be made worse by what I refer to as "lag stacking", where you are either introducing more lag by not using optimized video processing techniques, or are forcing your console through multiple scalers which also adds lag.

Additional lag can be introduced by feeding an "interlaced" signal to your TV, which has to be deinterlaced first before rendering. A 480i signal, coming from most Dreamcast games over composite/s-video would output an interlaced signal (240p games being the exception).

The HDMI box will eliminate the additional lag from the TV/Monitor having to de-interlace the signal into progressive scan. However this is not unique to the HDMI box. You would get the same result from using VGA output from the Dreamcast, or Progressive Scan 480p output from say a Gamecube or PS2.

The HDMI box is only unique in that it creates a "digital" DVI signal from the Dreamcast, instead of an "analogue" VGA signal. The picture quality is slightly improved. Using an HDMI interface does not eliminate lag. In-fact, Xbox 360's and PS3's lag on modern TV's even at their native resolution of 1080p. They lag less, but still lag.

Most external scalers (XRGB-3, XRGB Mini Framemeister, etc) including the native scaler inside your TV add additional lag to scale the image. The Akura does not scale the image up to 720p or even 1080p. Own a 4K display? This complicates things even further. If old game consoles struggle on 1080p displays, on 4K it is an unsolvable nightmare.

The biggest advantage to buying an Akura box, is that it gives you progressive output from your Dreamcast to a TV that does not have a VGA port.
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mcmonkey
rank 44
Posted:
Thu May 04, 2017 3:54 pm
quote : #5
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Posts: 1314
Type: PAL
I bought a VGA to HDMI converter recently which works pretty well. I hadn't even considered lag though - I was wondering why I was struggling with Ikaruga! Having said that, I had no problem with Under Defeat... whatever!

I'm using it with a large 4k display which (despite the previously mentioned lag) is pretty great for shmups! I'm particularly enjoying not having to turn my tv on its side to see what I'm doing!
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