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Posts posted by Alexander

  1. Hey Fellas,

    Looking for more locals to LAN H1 in Metro Atlanta. Trying to lan couple times/month. Have equipment and places to host. Also have stuff for stream the Lans on twitch.

    Let me know. I'll add you to our FB chat.

    Current players:
    Nick McQ

     It's Halo time. Fuk Yes!




  2. The custom made VGA cable is definitely the way to go for best quality and least input lag. For screens, PC monitors with VGA connections are ideal. They usually have very little lag with the necessary upscaling. TVs very often have considerable lag when not used with their native resolution.


    What about using an Xbox 360? I have an RGH modded 360 that can run the NHE and the 360 naturally supports HDMI. Is the emulated H1 on 360 inferior? Slowdowns or other issues? The NHE single player mode seems to work ok.


    Yes, we tried playing on 360s years ago when H1 was re-released. The emulator lags a lot. Probably not much for the casual player but it's pretty bad.

  3. @Mintograde

    Yes that is a good one too. They link to each other a lot.


    Could you explain this please? Why would the signal need to be processed? Are you talking about 4:3 standard def TVs or CRTs that support 720p+?

    Pretty sure almost all CRT tvs that support 480p or higher also do image post-processing to make the image cleaner, sharper, more vibrant etc. But this causes extra input lag, as much as 30ms. I believe Dman can confirm this.

    The only way to get a great image that is not processed/lagged is with a VGA CRT PC monitor.

    The guys at blurbusters.com are convinced that the newer 3d monitors can be hacked to play like like a CRT. They have created software that tells the monitor to strobe the backlight on and off between each frame. This makes it behave more like a CRT similar to how they "flicker"




    When the flicker technology is turned off you can see the numbers ghosting even though this is a super fast monitor. When the flicker tech is activated almost all the motion blur is gone. I think this is what causes us to think that LCD are super laggy even when their input lag has been proven to be 1-2ms. 


    The normal input lag test only considers a single frame-frame change, no fast/fluid movements. This tech is best for fast moving games...like Halo or other FPSs.


    I updated original post with details on this.



    Halo: MCC (H1 and H2) is almost the fastest game with a ~85ms input lag (in reality about 75ms when you subtract the input lag of the screen). This puts some perspective on the claim that adding 1ms (less than a frame) delay has game-breaking effects.


    Found an site that talks about CRT vs LCD. It seems like the 1ms frame delay is not the problem. It has more to do with motion blur or "display persistence"




    This website is totally devoted to making LCD screens play like CRT screens. They said that motion blur (display persistence) adds 16ms or 2 frames of delay even if your screen has super fast refresh and low lag. 


    So the advent of 3d gaming has come to the rescue, apparently it was nearly solved almost 2 years ago. Read the article and decide for yourself. It's a bit complicated to explain. There is a ton of other good stuff on that site. These guys are saying that the results of this tech makes LCDs nearly like CRT.


    It seems the only way this helps our cause is if we get BenQ Z series monitors that support blur reduction. You can set the setting on your pc then connect og box with VGA and it will make the LCD screen refresh like a CRT. (If i'm understanding this correctly.)

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  5. The other thing is crts are usually free. Even if they are heavy you can't beat that. It is more plug and play as well. No fumbling with trying to set up all of this extra stuff, passing through capture devices or using different cables that cost 40 dollars and require more modding. Simplicity counts. I appreciate the effort into trying to find the best possible setup for the best picture though.


    I agree. Right now it appears that we can connect to the BenQ monitor with $5 adapter and a free VGA boot disc. This looks like the cheapest and simplest solution to play in 480p. Just need to test the lag.

  6. Agreed. If you are testing back-to-back with LCD/CRT, you will probably need to rely on the anecdotal evidence of how players fell, rather than the result.


    I guess a scientific test could perhaps have been construed if HDMI and composite signal delay devices exists. Then one could add delay to some CRT and LCD setup and double-blind test whether people actually react to the delay, or if its all just prejudice.


    That is an interesting idea. But I also wonder if the frame lag isn't the real or only issue.


    A couple ideas are:

    480i vs 480p. Since 480i is interlaced, technically the image draws the lines from top to bottom quickly then fills in the other lines after that, so it would appear that the image is ready slightly before it's actually finished drawing. Where a progressive image would be laggy for the bottom screen player because the image is drawn line-by-line from top to bottom.


    Or does it have anything to do with refresh rate. Technically the CRT and LCD refresh at 60hz. But I wonder if the speed at which the LCD does that function causes a mental delay, even though technically it is not behind on the frames.

  7. I'm not going to be investing in any further experiments but I'd be interested in seeing some top players do a side-by-side comparison of the ideal setups. As anecdotal as it may be, it's those players that need to be convinced.


    That is my plan at our next lan. Have 1  station with CRT tv and LCD-VGA setup. Play a few series on NHE and see how everyone feels about it. If games are split, we'll know there is little difference.


    If CRT screen wins disproportionally then we'll have some data to pull from. But you still have the skill issue. So we'll likely switch up teams on both set ups and compare.


    Also, if your monitor supports SOG then you don't need a vga cable just a $5 adapter. I'll test this on G-uint's RL2455HM and update this post.

  8. On a sidenote, a few posts down there's a reply about a Neoya Wii2hdmi converter. That's the same company that used to make the X2VGA. Shame they discontinued it.



    The x2VGA uses the LM1881M sync separator schematic to separate the H-sync and V-sync signals. But this is actually inaccurate because they pull the h-sync signal from the composite line on the xbox connector.


    The cable I purchased from Germany is very similar to the x2VGA except it uses LMH1980 schematic. Basically is separates the h-sync & v-sync signal from component green line. (480p)


    This cable is essentially the x2VGA with a slight change in the sync separation.

  9. As long as it's after the split, it doesn't matter what cap card you use. The only time that matters is if you're using a cap card as a passthrough.

    Right, I know that. I was just wondering how Dman captures the VGA signal. What cap card. Unless you convert the VGA signal back to a component or HDMI format, VGA capture cards are called "Frame grabbers" and are typically $300+


    Personally I would use the Avermedia ET110 to convert the VGA into HDMI then use a HDMI capture card.



  10. Nice work. 



    Can you show me exactly where you see that there is 20-30 ms of lag with a component > VGA powered converter? Keyword: "powered". I haven't seen any comparisons between different splitters with actual numbers attached.

    I found it searching other SSMB articles. I don't have a link now. I'll see if I can find it.


    I've used this solution and it's playable. A huge step up from using a flatscreen TV or similar. However I can't confirm with certainty that the lag is as negligible as you (and that smashboards article) make it seem. Again, need hard data about powered component > VGA converters.

    I agree some testing on the converters is probably worth a look. But It seems like even powered converters will have some level of lag compared to a direct VGA connection.



    Can you elaborate on this? Specifically "modded xbox" and "Frosty VGA boot disc." Why is the DL link and vendor of the connector private? Is there any more information about this? Is a hard mod required?

    The VGA boot disc isn't completely legal, it has some MS .xbe files so it can be found on xbins. PM me I'll get you the link. No hard mod required. Reg softmod works fine. You just have to boot the xbox into VGA color mode. The old method was flashing the BIOS to a VGA bios. But I prefer the boot disc because no BIOS flash is necessary and its simple to switch between YPbPr and VGA, if you get to a lan and want to play on TV's instead.



    I can confirm that the BenQ RL2460HT's HDMI output only works with HDMI input. So you cannot do VGA > HDMI output. I have this model. Incidentally it has the same performance as the older Benq RL2455hm.


    I've gotten good results with my BenQ RL2460HT using a powered Startech VGA > Component converter:




    It's expensive but it seems to the job. I found out about it at the bottom of this article:




    Here's more data:


    https://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/wiki/lag (scroll down to the Adapters/Converters section)


    Now, all this being said, I spoke with some high-level Smash players in Montreal, and the general consensus is CRT or bust. High-level CE players will tell you the same, with some exceptions. I consulted Pacmayne on the matter last year and he told me that he used a CRT monitor with an X2VGA and it didn't lag at all. He said he had tried some other solutions as well but this was best.


     That sucks that the RL2460HT does not pass the VGA signal through. I was concerned that might be the case.




    Meanwhile, this is my setup:




    The difference between S-video and component 480i is negligible in regards to visual quality, and s-video splitters/wires/etc are cheaper than their component counterparts. Also, s-video inputs seem to be more common than component inputs for CRT TV's, from what I've seen.


    There may be a near-perfect solution for playing CE on 480p but experiments on this subject are costly and accessories aren't getting any easier to find. I can't imagine the community adopting 480p as a new standard, especially if it requires ordering rinky-dink connectors from Germany and changing the soft-modding process that everyone uses.


    I'll be keeping an eye on this. If there's a simple solution that means I don't have to transport my 150 lb Sony Trinitron CRT's, I'm all ears.


    We'll see, I plan to try this setup at our next lan. I'll get the guys opinions and maybe video some of the game play.


    There is no need to specially mod the xboxes. a regular splintercell softmod will work. The only extra work needed is the VGA boot disc.


    Also I've read that the BenQ RL2455HM supports sync on green. So you could use it with just a component/VGA connector. just $5 shipped. All you need to do is use the VGA boot disc. This is a cheap and lag-free solution since there is no conversion at all. Its literally just connecting the YPbPr signal to a VGA connector. Try this on your RL2460HT. You can find them on ebay for almost nothing.


  11. The x2VGA does not create lag.  I have several of them and have done manual lag tests and have lanned against regular tvs.  Also, they are made with basically the same schematic in the following link.



    So to get the correct colors on the x2VGA you still need the VGA Bios right? I thought the x2VGA also converted the color scheme, that is what made me think it was a converter and not a legit cable.




    Also, if you want to capture with vga, you'll have to split the signal.  This is what I use.




    After you split the VGA signal how do you capture it? What cap card?

  12. Another solution is to use an Elgao Game Capture HD or Avermedia LGP capture card, which will convert the Xbox's component (YPbPr) signal to HDMI in a practically lagless fashion. Then use any "lagless" monitor.


    That is that the Super Smash Bros Melee players are using, and that game is much more sensitive to slight lag than Halo is.



    - Original testing (w/Avermedia LGP)

    - Follow-up by the same guy, confiming, inter alia, that the Elgato card has similar performance.



    Good stuff. I didn't know that follow up article existed.


    I did know about the Avermedia LGP device. In fact I purchased this device: https://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-Converter-Convert-Component-ET113/dp/B00TQ6ZCF2


    I figured it uses the same low-lag conversion method as the Avermedia LGP capture device. I have tested it on my VH236H. It works very nicely. Didn't notice any lag, But havn't got to LAN test it yet. It was only $35. 

  13. TLDR: LAN OG Halo 1 in 480p with this legit VGA cable. Do it! H1 is boss.
    Locals and I recently ran a solid 12 hour LAN session OG Halo 1. Everyone had a great time and we plan to make it a regular thing. We played on 20'' CRT tvs with component cables everything played fine but 20'' CRT tvs are 480i and bad blurry. 
    The only CRTs that support 480p are 27''-32'' which are over 100lbs and most are laggy because they post-process the signal. So I did  some research on possible solutions. Here are my findings.
    Goals for the solution:

    • Lagless or near-lagless (Un-noticeable)
    • Can't weigh 100lbs. It's just not practical for Lan play.
    • Support 480p.

    Option 1: BIG ASS TVs

    My fist solution was to find 480p CRT tvs that don't post process the component signal and don't weigh a 100 lbs. I had very little success with this. Everything on the market/Craigslist is huge/heavy unless you can find RGB monitors. These were used for video production in the 90's-00's. They are hard to find, expensive and heavy. As well, you have the problem of connecting to them because most of them use BNC connectors. You can read up on them here: http://retrorgb.com/rgbmonitors.html

    Results: 480p tvs are hard to find or laggy or too big/heavy to be practical.

    Option 2: CRT PC Monitors

    Fat Old school PC monitors are CRT, typically 15''-19'' and support 480p no problem. So it meets all my requirements. It's lagless, weighs about 40-50 lbs, and supports 480p. There are only 3 problems with this solution. 1. Can you find them. 2. They don't have sound. 3. How do you connect the OG Xbox to them, they only have VGA inputs.
    Assuming your can find a good one that is a good size, the sound problem is solved with a cheap set of pc speakers. The serious problem is how to connect the Xbox to them. This became a huge problem, I did a ton more research on this and found a great solution. Scroll down to VGA Input Solution.
    Results: This is a very solid option. Only problems are setting up speakers at a LAN, connecting the Xbox to the VGA input and finding these old ass monitors. Ultimately this is a very good option for lowest input lag and great picture quality. *NOTE* NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.


    Option 3: Low-Lag LCDs

    Modern LCD monitors. Everyone's concern is LAG. So I started researching input lag and found that plenty of people have already done all the work for me. Specifically the fighting game community. 
    They conducted input-lag tests on 2 of the fastest monitors available. MLG Benq RL2455hm, and the ASUS VH236H. Using CRT monitors as a reference lag of 0.00 ms. These LCD monitors lag between 1.99 - 2.03 ms. That is equal to 0.1 of a single frame. IF connected with a legit VGA cable from your source and there is no in-between device slowing things down. Like a capture card.
    Here are some great articles on their findings: 
    So the lag is ~1/10th of a single frame and the xbox plays at 30fps. So the lag is effectively 1/300ths of a second behind CRTs. If you find yourself complaining about the lag, it's more likely CPU lag on the xbox or network lag on your switch. 
    Results: This is probably the solution I will go with. LCDs are light weight, support 480p, lag is negligible and these units have built in speakers. The only issue is getting a legit og xbox VGA cable. *NOTE* LCDs are NOT a good option if you use a component to VGA converter box, they make lots of lag 20-30 ms. See VGA Input Solution.

    VGA Input Solution

    Connecting the OG xbox to a VGA input is a messy problem. There are many converters out there, but I do NOT recommend any of them. They all create significant display lag. 
    So my first solution was to purchase a component to VGA connector (NOT converter). This device will work, IF your monitor supports sync-on-green. If it does not support S-O-G, there will be no image. Most Monitors do NOT support SOG.
    Then I started searching for Official OG xbox VGA cables. MS never made a VGA cable. So the modding community made their own and for years they were produced and sold. But now they can't be found. A 3rd party company made a product called x2VGA that worked but I personally think it's a converter that creates some lag. They are no longer produced either.
    So I did more searching and found a custom Xbox designer in Germany that makes these cables. They are direct Xbox VGA cables. They take the YPbPr signal from the video port and route the signal to the correct VGA pins to produce a RGB signal that ANY monitor can see. Best of all it's lagless. No conversion. 
    If you want one PM me. I'll get you in touch with the creator. This one cost me 37 Euros - shipping included. 
    There is 1 major problem! The Xbox was never made to show it's colors in RGB mode, so all the colors appear with a severe green tint.
    There is a good solution. You must have a modded xbox and use the Frosty VGA boot disc. It tells your xbox to boot into RGB mode and corrects all the colors. PM me and I'll send you a link to dl it. You can also use a VGA bios but I didn't want to mess with that because you run the risk of messing up your xbox. Plus if you want to LAN on component cables all you do is take out the boot disc.

    Capture/Live Stream a VGA connection

    So now the problem is, how do we capture VGA video for streaming and game recording? This answer is also complicated. There are VGA capture cards, but they are expensive and crappy and they will create more input lag. You could duplicate the VGA signal then convert 1 signal back to component and capture with the HDPVR or other component cap card.
    Also Avermedia makes a VGA to HDMI converter so you could duplicate the VGA signal, use the converter then cap the HDMI signal.

    *NOTE* I have not had a chance to LAN with the LCD set-up yet. So I can't say for certain how it feels. PM me for details on the VGA cable and where to find the VGA boot disc.
    (Lets go Atlanta boys, time to LAN.)
    UPDATE - Input lag alone might not be the problem. Input lag + Motion Blur is likely the issue.


    There might be another solution to handling input lag on LCD screens. BlurBusters.com is a site devoted to making LCD screens play and feel like CRT monitors. Their research shows that LCD monitors are plenty fast for the task, but the problem is not 1ms of input lag. 
    Instead they show that motion blur is the problem, and can add as much as 16ms of visual lag in addition to the input lag. See the details here:
    Motion Blur Problem:
    Motion blur is created when the image being displayed is continually updated and your eyes never stop seeing the movement. So you brain sees ghosting effects. 
    Motion blur & CRTs

    Blur was never a problem on CRT tv's because CRT technology causes the image to flicker or go blank for a split second before the next frame is visible. The effect on your eyes is that the next image is completely different from the prior image, so if there were any movement (ex: player strafe) it would appear as a new single frame. Effectively you see 0 ghosting effects.
    So why are LCDs different? LCDs use a persistent backlight to light up the screen, the problem is LCD backlight are always on and never flicker or goes blank so you are always seeing frame after frame processed with no blank frames between each refresh. The result is that anytime there is movement on the screen it appears to have a ghosting effect. So when a player is strafing, it appears that he is lagging around the screen because your eyes put every frame together.
    Motion Blur Solution:
    The blur problem was solved a couple years ago by accident. Nvidia made a technology called light boost it was intended to support 3d with a faster refresh rate and reduce motion sickness while playing 3d games. BenQ developed their own tech called motion blur reduction. 
    How it works: 

    The tech is simple. To create flicker or refresh, the LCD monitor's backlight is quickly turned off for a split second just before the next frame is visible. Here is a video showing the result. Without the flicker you can see ghosting/blur, with flicker, the blur is almost non-existent.


    This reduces input lag by ~16ms.





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