3DO HDTV picture quality...

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3DO HDTV picture quality...

Post by dave4shmups » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:52 pm

With my 3DO hooked up to my HDTV, I can use the 4:3 ratio, but the picture quality is not as good as it is on a CRTV. I can live with it, but would, say, buying an S-Video cable (my HDTV has an S-Video out) smooth things over? Or should I simply stick to the CRT when playing 3DO games?

It's an LCD HDTV, if that matters.

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Post by T2KFreeker » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:05 pm

The S-Video cable will make a small difference. The graphics will not look as dark and washed out. It still will not be up to standards of HD stuff though, just so you know. Someone needs to design a component cable for the 3DO! :lol:
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Re: 3DO HDTV picture quality...

Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:21 pm

dave4shmups wrote:With my 3DO hooked up to my HDTV, I can use the 4:3 ratio, but the picture quality is not as good as it is on a CRTV. I can live with it, but would, say, buying an S-Video cable (my HDTV has an S-Video out) smooth things over? Or should I simply stick to the CRT when playing 3DO games?

It's an LCD HDTV, if that matters.
http://www.amazon.com/Composite-S-video ... 438&sr=8-2

You can plug a Composite or S-Video cable into one end and an HDMI cable into the other, it's magic. There's some more too, but try to get one with S-Video support to have better Black Level.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... +converter

I have an HDTV too and I don't understand why you'd want to use the 4:3 ratio. Here's the deal: Some systems like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo are 4:3 ONLY, and they get stretched out to nearly fit the entire screen on a Widescreen TV. In that case, it makes sense to go to your TV Menu and force 4:3 ratio to re-create the feeling of playing on an old 4:3 TV. HOWEVER, most if not all 3DO games I've tried to naively support 16:9. It was a big shocker at first, but yes, pop in Gex or Wolfenstein 3D and you'll see if you leave the screen to 16:9 they should take up the entire screen instead of that almost-all-of-it weird stretched 4:3 option. Since they natively support 16:9, there should be no degradation in quality and I don't know how big your TV is but I think my 3DO games look fantastic on my HDTV and for the 3DO I'm never going back to my older 4:3 one from the 90's.

Hope this helps!
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Re: 3DO HDTV picture quality...

Post by dave4shmups » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:16 am

ArfredHitchcacku wrote:
dave4shmups wrote:With my 3DO hooked up to my HDTV, I can use the 4:3 ratio, but the picture quality is not as good as it is on a CRTV. I can live with it, but would, say, buying an S-Video cable (my HDTV has an S-Video out) smooth things over? Or should I simply stick to the CRT when playing 3DO games?

It's an LCD HDTV, if that matters.
http://www.amazon.com/Composite-S-video ... 438&sr=8-2

You can plug a Composite or S-Video cable into one end and an HDMI cable into the other, it's magic. There's some more too, but try to get one with S-Video support to have better Black Level.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... +converter

I have an HDTV too and I don't understand why you'd want to use the 4:3 ratio. Here's the deal: Some systems like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo are 4:3 ONLY, and they get stretched out to nearly fit the entire screen on a Widescreen TV. In that case, it makes sense to go to your TV Menu and force 4:3 ratio to re-create the feeling of playing on an old 4:3 TV. HOWEVER, most if not all 3DO games I've tried to naively support 16:9. It was a big shocker at first, but yes, pop in Gex or Wolfenstein 3D and you'll see if you leave the screen to 16:9 they should take up the entire screen instead of that almost-all-of-it weird stretched 4:3 option. Since they natively support 16:9, there should be no degradation in quality and I don't know how big your TV is but I think my 3DO games look fantastic on my HDTV and for the 3DO I'm never going back to my older 4:3 one from the 90's.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the links, and advice! I tried 16:9, and the 3DO games look great!! So I'll stick with that setting.

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Post by dave4shmups » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:43 am

So, how well do other consoles from this period-like the Jaguar, PS1, and Saturn, handle 16:9??

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Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:54 am

dave4shmups wrote:So, how well do other consoles from this period-like the Jaguar, PS1, and Saturn, handle 16:9??
Good question. Often, it depends on the game: On systems that support it which may be all 3, some games have the option, some don't. I found an awesome article on Racketboy that details 16:9 for the Sega Saturn:

http://www.racketboy.com/retro/widescre ... ing-nights

I have no idea for the Jaguar but either way that's a great system with sharp graphics, and the Playstation I don't think many games did, and let me explain why. The single best way to play Playstation 1 discs is with the Playstation 3: It's emulation but it's perfect emulation with native 1080p support. Now the games are 4:3 and while you can stretch the image and smooth the edges these features are terrible and make the games look awful. Considering how good the emulator is, I seriously doubt they would have neglected games that could output in 16:9. There's a decent chance some games support it, but speaking about emulation one of the key features of the PC emulator ePsxe is the ability to play any game in 16:9, since, again, it's emulation we're talking here. It would be nice if Sony could add 16:9 to every game like the creators of ePsxe did, but at least as far to my knowledge they're not taking anything away.
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Post by dave4shmups » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:47 pm

ArfredHitchcacku wrote:
dave4shmups wrote:So, how well do other consoles from this period-like the Jaguar, PS1, and Saturn, handle 16:9??
Good question. Often, it depends on the game: On systems that support it which may be all 3, some games have the option, some don't. I found an awesome article on Racketboy that details 16:9 for the Sega Saturn:

http://www.racketboy.com/retro/widescre ... ing-nights

I have no idea for the Jaguar but either way that's a great system with sharp graphics, and the Playstation I don't think many games did, and let me explain why. The single best way to play Playstation 1 discs is with the Playstation 3: It's emulation but it's perfect emulation with native 1080p support. Now the games are 4:3 and while you can stretch the image and smooth the edges these features are terrible and make the games look awful. Considering how good the emulator is, I seriously doubt they would have neglected games that could output in 16:9. There's a decent chance some games support it, but speaking about emulation one of the key features of the PC emulator ePsxe is the ability to play any game in 16:9, since, again, it's emulation we're talking here. It would be nice if Sony could add 16:9 to every game like the creators of ePsxe did, but at least as far to my knowledge they're not taking anything away.
I absolutely agree with you about the PS3; I just don't have the money to spare to buy one right now. The Jaguar does have nice graphics, but if I get one, I'd just like to know what aspect ratio to use for it on my HDTV.

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Post by ArfredHitchcacku » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:04 pm

I absolutely agree with you about the PS3; I just don't have the money to spare to buy one right now. The Jaguar does have nice graphics, but if I get one, I'd just like to know what aspect ratio to use for it on my HDTV.
Presumably what Aspect Ratio the Jaguar supports shouldn't affect your decision in buying it so when you get one test out 16:9 and 4:3 on each new game. If there's no 16:9 then see whether you liked stretched or forced 4:3 better and if there is 16:9 you're better off with that. I know what it feels like to have a burning question on a forum that seems to be avoided by those who respond, but I don't see an issue here.
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Post by T2KFreeker » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:29 pm

On a side note for PSOne emulation on the PS#. There are games that are not perfect. Silent Hill comes to mind. The in game graphics look terrible due to the massive amounts of fog which looks terrible on the PS3. The cinematics look clean and crisp, just have fun trying to enjoy the in game graphics. It looks better on the PS2 even than the PS3. Many of the games with fog effects look wrong on the PS3 if it's a PSX games. Check some of the levels on Iron Soldier 3 as well. BLECH!
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Post by Jones » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:46 pm

I've got a question.
Please don't get me wrong, but when you guys are saying that a
1993's video game console can display on a 16:9 display *without* any stretching / distorting of the picture's geometry - aren't it just the black
(maybe PAL) borders that disappear? So technically just a zoom?

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Post by BryWI » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:29 pm

I know that on an NTSC screen it would definitly be stretched. It can't be "supporting" 16:9. I am pretty sure of this. If you want, post some pictures though. Maybe your TV is doing, like mentioned, a zoom on it.

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Post by Anonymous » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:57 pm

PS1 on PS3, you are assuming people will have the first generations of the fat PS3 then. Sony quickly dropped backwards compatibility. Or am i missing something here..? As for 16:9 support, i didnt see much of that untill early to mid 00's.. I remember GTA San Andreas having that option.

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Post by Qcombus » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:45 pm

grimm wrote:PS1 on PS3, you are assuming people will have the first generations of the fat PS3 then. Sony quickly dropped backwards compatibility. Or am i missing something here..? As for 16:9 support, i didnt see much of that untill early to mid 00's.. I remember GTA San Andreas having that option.
Actually that's the PS2 games support. All PS3 models support PS1 games via software emulation. They do seem to update the emulator from time to time because when I got my PS3 in 2009 chrono cross would randomly freeze but now it runs ok. PS1 and PS2 games are smoothed out but there is an option to turn it off if you want to.

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Post by Anonymous » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:00 am

Ah, so the ps1 titles you buy from the PSN Store, is actually standard ps1 games? I thought they had recoding done or something.. It makes sense now. I think im gonna pop in a ps1 game and try it out!

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Post by Qcombus » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:50 am

from my understanding of the system they are pretty much the same PS1 game but packed inside a signed file so the ps3 can display it in the xmb. As for the PS2 games on the PSN I'm not quite sure what they are because they are playable on any ps3 but they seem to use the same ps2 emulator as the launch consoles (it might be bacause I have a lauch console though and that they don't do that on new ps3)

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Re: 3DO HDTV picture quality...

Post by ewhac » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:04 am

ArfredHitchcacku wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Composite-S-video ... 438&sr=8-2

You can plug a Composite or S-Video cable into one end and an HDMI cable into the other, it's magic. There's some more too, but try to get one with S-Video support to have better Black Level.
If your set has a built-in S-Video input, use that, as it's highly unlikely to be worse than a third-party S-Video to HDMI adapter.

S-Video delivers a full-resolution luminance signal alongside the chrominance, resulting in a noticeably better picture. So if you have it, use it. And no, there are no Y-Pb-Pr or RGB component signals inside the machine that you could reasonably break out. The video encoder was on-chip. S-Video is as good as it gets.
Here's the deal: Some systems like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo are 4:3 ONLY, and they get stretched out to nearly fit the entire screen on a Widescreen TV. In that case, it makes sense to go to your TV Menu and force 4:3 ratio to re-create the feeling of playing on an old 4:3 TV. HOWEVER, most if not all 3DO games I've tried to naively support 16:9.
Um... what?

3DO only ever spoke NTSC and PAL. That means 4:3 aspect ratio, always, no exceptions. And 4:3 is what your hi-def set will see when you plug it in to the S-Video jack.

Granted, some of the games had cinematics that were letterboxed (I think Megarace had that), but the system was still outputting a full 4:3 frame.

Now, your set may have different display options for 4:3 input. The default is pillarboxing, where the 4:3 image occupies the center of the display, with black or grey borders on either side.

"Stretch" is a common option, where the image is stretched horizontally to fill the entire display. This results in distortion of the imagery, which the original poster wants to avoid. Some sets try to be clever about it by using a non-linear stretching algorithm which tries to leave the center of the image with minimal distortion.

Finally there's "Zoom," where the set "zooms in" on the original image until the entire display is filled. There's no distortion, but the top and bottom of the original image are no longer visible, since it's been magnified beyond the top and bottom edges of the display. If the original image was a letterboxed cinematic, then the bits you can't see anymore were black, anyway, so in that narrow case, you win.

Which one of these modes works best depends on the game and where it displayed all its information.

However! Because 3DO output an overscanned image (extended beyond the bezel of most TVs), most of the important info was placed in a "TV safe" area (I think this is the basis of the "naively support 16:9" comment -- they weren't trying to support 16:9, they were trying to ensure the important graphical elements were visible inside the bezel). As such, "Zoom" mode may actually tolerably work in a fair number of cases. But, apart from original 4:3 mode, there is no one setting that will work for all games.

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Re: 3DO HDTV picture quality...

Post by dave4shmups » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:42 am

ewhac wrote:
ArfredHitchcacku wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Composite-S-video ... 438&sr=8-2

You can plug a Composite or S-Video cable into one end and an HDMI cable into the other, it's magic. There's some more too, but try to get one with S-Video support to have better Black Level.
If your set has a built-in S-Video input, use that, as it's highly unlikely to be worse than a third-party S-Video to HDMI adapter.

S-Video delivers a full-resolution luminance signal alongside the chrominance, resulting in a noticeably better picture. So if you have it, use it. And no, there are no Y-Pb-Pr or RGB component signals inside the machine that you could reasonably break out. The video encoder was on-chip. S-Video is as good as it gets.
Here's the deal: Some systems like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo are 4:3 ONLY, and they get stretched out to nearly fit the entire screen on a Widescreen TV. In that case, it makes sense to go to your TV Menu and force 4:3 ratio to re-create the feeling of playing on an old 4:3 TV. HOWEVER, most if not all 3DO games I've tried to naively support 16:9.
Um... what?

3DO only ever spoke NTSC and PAL. That means 4:3 aspect ratio, always, no exceptions. And 4:3 is what your hi-def set will see when you plug it in to the S-Video jack.

Granted, some of the games had cinematics that were letterboxed (I think Megarace had that), but the system was still outputting a full 4:3 frame.

Now, your set may have different display options for 4:3 input. The default is pillarboxing, where the 4:3 image occupies the center of the display, with black or grey borders on either side.

"Stretch" is a common option, where the image is stretched horizontally to fill the entire display. This results in distortion of the imagery, which the original poster wants to avoid. Some sets try to be clever about it by using a non-linear stretching algorithm which tries to leave the center of the image with minimal distortion.

Finally there's "Zoom," where the set "zooms in" on the original image until the entire display is filled. There's no distortion, but the top and bottom of the original image are no longer visible, since it's been magnified beyond the top and bottom edges of the display. If the original image was a letterboxed cinematic, then the bits you can't see anymore were black, anyway, so in that narrow case, you win.

Which one of these modes works best depends on the game and where it displayed all its information.

However! Because 3DO output an overscanned image (extended beyond the bezel of most TVs), most of the important info was placed in a "TV safe" area (I think this is the basis of the "naively support 16:9" comment -- they weren't trying to support 16:9, they were trying to ensure the important graphical elements were visible inside the bezel). As such, "Zoom" mode may actually tolerably work in a fair number of cases. But, apart from original 4:3 mode, there is no one setting that will work for all games.
OK, thanks for all that info! I've tried Total Eclipse, a 1993 release, and it looks fine in 16:9.

Anonymous

Post by Anonymous » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:31 am

Whilst i dont mind that people want to view their games in widescreen etc, i tend to play the games in 4:3, as they were intended.. Sadly i dont have room for an at least standard size (28-32") flatscreen 4:3 CRT as well as my LG LCD in my livingroom, or i would use that for all my retro-gaming.. Whilst some consoles comes out just fine on the LCD, like my Snes, AES, etc, my 3DO, Megadrive etc suffers abit on it, and looks better on an CRT. And thats still with a rgb modded 3DO.

Ive found settings that makes the image look more "CRT", but its still not coming out very well, but its tollerable. My LCD's lowest resolution is 480i, and as i understand it, a CRT had even lower? In any case, the graphics on the first Sonic the Hedgehog (including very noticable vertical lines when you stand still), and Comix Zone comes out noticably different on the LCD screen, "too" clear.. Some games work better than others though.

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Post by Jones » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:42 pm

For my flatscreen, the old console's picture looked much better and vividly after I reduced the picture sharpness.
I took away much of the blocky-ness. But still, the colours arent as
lightning as they were on older TVs.

Concerning the vertical lines - don't blame your TV. The TVs got better
and hence this they just reveal more weaknesses of the input signal.
Means, the vertical lines technically have always been there, but the
more "blurry" picture quality of older TVs didn't show them.

Anonymous

Post by Anonymous » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:18 pm

Jones wrote:For my flatscreen, the old console's picture looked much better and vividly after I reduced the picture sharpness.
I took away much of the blocky-ness. But still, the colours arent as
lightning as they were on older TVs.

Concerning the vertical lines - don't blame your TV. The TVs got better
and hence this they just reveal more weaknesses of the input signal.
Means, the vertical lines technically have always been there, but the
more "blurry" picture quality of older TVs didn't show them.
Dont confuse flatscreen with LCD/LED/Plasma/whatever.. I was referign to a CRT with a flat screen. As for the vertical lines, the games do look better on a blurrier screen, because thats how they were made to look.

I did mention some look better after playing with the settings, I thought my whole post made it pretty clear that it was ineded the higher resolution that made the game look worse. Many retro-gamers agree with me that HDTV's are not the best way to play old games. Some are outright horrid because of incompatible refreshrates/systems. Ask a Neo Geo MVS owner, especially one who has a Samsung HDTV.

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Post by 3DOKid » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:44 pm

I have a 15 year old 32" Trinitron. One of the best for retro gaming. It's got a flatter screen certainly.

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Post by Anonymous » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:57 pm

Yeah, id use my 32" Trinitron too if it wasnt for the fact its widescreen and thus takes up even MORE space, its extremely deep too.. It also has a broken component which handles all the on screen icons (changing volume etc), leaving them broken and permanent untill i turn the tv off again... It sits in my bedroom since i dont wanna get rid of it yet.. A 32" 4:3 Trinitron would have worked.. Just..

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Post by dave4shmups » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:41 pm

Does it matter where I buy an S-Video cable from? Radio Shack has them, but they're a lot more expensive then what I can find on Ebay, for a similar length.

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Post by Anonymous » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:16 pm

Im not sure if S-video is a digital signal or an analog.. If its digital it doesnt matter, if its analog it might, but not to the point that most people will notice id say.

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Post by Jones » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:38 pm

Definitely analogue.

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Post by Jones » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:42 pm

dave4shmups wrote:Does it matter where I buy an S-Video cable from? Radio Shack has them, but they're a lot more expensive then what I can find on evilbay, for a similar length.
If you can access any pictures - the longer the cable is, the better
shielded it should be.
Or, to put it in different words, the thicker the better.
Or, to put it in even more different words, when it looks
like a licorice bootlace, I wouldn't buy it.
:)

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Post by dave4shmups » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:34 pm

Did any models of the Saturn or the Playstation have S-Video??

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Post by Jones » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:42 pm

Early PS1s had S-Video signal within their Multi-AV out, IIRC.
No idea about Saturn.

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Post by Trev » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:10 pm

The Saturn has S-video support also.
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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:03 am

Saturn and many other consoles including PS1 can output RGB but you'll probably still need to convert it. I wrote this for another topic but I copy it here again.

Taken from my two earlier posts in thread New TVs and Old Consoles (like the 3DO)

Ok I am a real nerd when it comes to video tech. Anyone recall the old PC TV cards from the 90's? Looked like shit right? Well it's the same thing. Your HD TV is showing you the image but because it (the source) is of lower resolution it shows up blurry. Think of it as blowing up a wallet size photo to an 8x10 there just isn't enough picture information.

Now there is a way to display it and have it not look all that bad natively, make the screen zoom out. In other words shrink the image. It's like when you are playing an old PC game you either have to change the screen resolution OR play the game in a window to make it look good. Unfortunately most sets don't have this feature and even if they did you would hate the little picture.

Now that is a simplified explanation and I won't get technical because it wouldn't make sense. And that is not the only reason it looks like crap, the video signal was made for a completely different kind of technology. Yet they are both TVs that you watch moving pictures on but the way they get to the ends is totally different, they aren't even based in the same color temp.

Now to do it not natively, that is to use additional hardware to change the picture, you will need to upscale the picture. I was going to make a whole post about my method with pics but I'll give you the lowdown of what I do...

For HD TV:
1. First either mod your console to output RGB* or use my trick mentioned in the second method.
2. Hook up the cables to an upscaler (line doubler) and set it to what you want, preferably (for me) try to keep the image in a 4:3 ratio. Or if you have a receiver that has this, my Onkyo does, you can use that.
3. Hook that up to your HD TV.

For CRT with awesome picture:
1. First either mod your console to output RGB* or find a SCART* cable that will hook up to it (preferred).
2. Now you will need a way to get the audio out, they make SCART switch boxes that have AV outs so you can tap out the stereo.
3. Hook up the single SCART out on the switch box to an RGB to YPbPr* converter.
4. Run that to your CRT television.

Extra Step:
You may have to run the signal through an amplifier before going to your TV as the picture may be took dark.


RGB: This is the color information and nothing else! There is no way for NTSC TV's to understand how to display the info. It's like giving a child the correct amounts of colored paint and then expecting her to paint a picture without ever saying what it is of.

YPbPr: You will see this on equipment even though the plugs are Red-Blue-Green. It is NOT the same, many people (almost all) on the net say RGB when they mean YPbPr. YPbPr has the instructions as to what the image should look like.
Y is the Luminance and the info with the instructions.
Pb is the difference of the Blue value and the luminance.
Pr is the difference of the Red value and the luminance.
There is no Green as the value can be figured out by what is left out.
if Y=10, Pb=5, Pr=3 than Green=2

SCART: This is a European thing, not used in NTCS countries. Using these cables on your unmodded console will not change the signal to PAL, it will remain in the pure RGB format. Water coming out of the faucet is the same as water coming out of the shower head.

I've tried to make this as beginner friendly as I can. I was going to talk more about HD TVs and CRTs but it would probably spin out of control. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
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