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Anybody else emulating microcomputers and using a CRT TV?

  • I am, and would like to compare notes regarding the micros, such as C64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Amstrad, Atari 800, Amiga, Atari ST...
    I'm curious what other people's config settings for display are, since these machines are notoriously hard to get right using a CRT, particularly through composite, which is the only option available to me atm (I had used dedicated RGB hats before and it was much easier).

    If you're using a NTSC TV that would be an added bonus, since it introduces another set of problems.

    So there: unpopular machines, niche display method (CRT), crappy connection (composite) & a troublesome TV system (NTSC). Any other masochists out there? :D

  • @youxia in at least linapple, in the config file you can set the resolution. So if you setup the pi to boot in 240p you can adjust the resolution in the linapple.conf to the correct spec of 280x192.

  • Thanks, this is a good tip since somehow I missed this option in the config (I guess I got carried away reading the #comments there, they're really fun :) It actually looks reasonably decent now - but overall Apple II was not made with TV output in mind...

    I'm still interested in comparing notes regarding other micros - for example where do the values for resolutions obtained from cores come from? (they seem to differ from "original" resolutions I read about)

  • @youxia in libretro emulators you can edit the retroarch.cfg for that system and manually add the correct resolution.

  • Nah, it's not that straightforward. It's tricky to find out what the "correct" one is to start with since they use borders and different modes too. Then you have retroarch.cfg with its multiple variables and settings, such as Integer or Window Size. In standalone Vice for example it's even more convoluted.

    Besides, I don't necessarily say the core sttings are "wrong". They actually look pretty good, though at cost of getting rid of the border. I just wanted to see if there's anybody who has first-hand experience of this subject.

  • @youxia Did you get anywhere with this? I may try running the lib-retro version of VICE that someone is working on then it has more of a chance of working correctly in Retropie. I'm hoping to emulate the c64 moderately accurately on CRT.

  • I'm running the following PAL systems. System name, followed by emulator.

    Commodore 64 - Vice - x64
    Commodore 16 - Vice - xplus4
    Commodore Vic 20 - Vice - xvic
    Atari 800 - atari800
    Amiga 500/1200 - Amiberry
    Apple II - linapple
    Oric Atmos - oricutron
    MSX - Openmsx
    Ti99/4a - ti99sim
    Dragon 32 - XRoar

    Most are not Retroarch emulators because I found Retroarch can be a real pain when it comes to computer systems, consoles are fine. All needed quite a bit of tweaking, rebooting, tweaking, rebooting, just to get them anywhere near looking like the real thing.
    All, needed a keyboard to get the best out of them, and easier to get to the menu settings.
    I own all the systems above, apart from the Apple II. So, it was easier for me to set up each system to the same Sony CRT TV the Pi is using. Then just flick between AV inputs, to see the differences. I was quite surprised, after days of tweaking, how good the Pi looks. It's not 100% the same, getting the resolutions to match was difficult. And the Pi's composite-out, is often a little bit clearer , picture-wise, than systems with composite-out like the Commodore computers, Atari800, etc.. And a lot clearer than computers using RF. But I'm nearly there now, and pleased with the results.

  • @ScanLines I was using my SCART RGB TVs via Pi2SCART for some time, it's easier to set up than composite (though not easy :). But now I'm back in Asia and using a NTSC TV via Composite. Commodore 64 looks actually pretty good: I'm using lr-vice and the default Integer On values seem to be scaled properly - 768 (2x) hori and 544 (2x) vert . At least I think they're default, tbh I don't remember now which configs I have or haven't tweaked. Atari micro is also good. ZX Spectrum - heavy NTSC artifacts though it seems to scale properly. When I get rid of borders the scaling gets messed up - but artifacts are gone.

    @John_RM_70 So could you share some of your settings for those emus? I'm particularly interested in Vice 64. Spent hours trying to get this right to no avail.

  • @youxia
    I have a afternoon off, so I will return to Vice, on the Pi. I intend to setup a Commodore 64c, and see how close Vice is to the real thing. Bear in mind that I am in PAL territory, so you might have to alter a line in the cfg.

  • @youxia said in Anybody else emulating microcomputers and using a CRT TV?:


    I got lr-vice working and I like that it scales the screen better than plain VICE but it seems to be slow loading games. Also the joystick just worked (kinda) in lr-vice not so much in VICE. Didn't have a whole lot of time to play with it.

  • Joystick works fine in Vice. Stop talking tosh.

  • @John_RM_70 Oh I totally suspect it does I just didn't have time to noodle with it.

  • @ScanLines I don't really think lr-vice loads games slower than vice. Are you sure? I might do a little test later but don't think so, it's just maybe particular game has a long loading/decompressing time, and others don't.

  • Vice loads in real-time, same as real hardware.
    I tested this with Bruce Lee game, on both Pi and real C64 + Pi1541

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