Between low definition and HD, there was 480p!

I didn’t want to post anything in relation to the topic in the 240p screen shot thread, so I ended up making a new one. 480p first started on the PC side of things when VGA was first introduced and at some point later Dreamcast was released to take advantage of the format with whatever VGA box that could be purchased (official and 3rd party). This was a new level for many of us who are into console gaming, but Sega threw in the towl early and Sony somehow back handed us to using interlaced signals again. This sucked for a time, but later Gamecube and Xbox came out with progressive support, thus forcing many who developed on the Sony platform to adapt as well. Now the problem with all this was at the time consumer sets weren’t well equipped to handle progressive signals. Component yuv was available, but that didn’t mean we could fully take advantage of what our systems were capable of and eventually EDTV’s would be next in line on the market. I don’t think too many people were able to afford the high price tag and the other alternative would have been to use some kind of component to vga transcoder (HDBox pro and it’s clones were all I could think of) that provided some kind of transcoding, but processed imagery and maybe a hint of lag if we could detect it. Nevertheless being able to play these consoles (Wii included) in true progressive glory was had.

Now it’s 2018 and sadly what’s left of the crt platform is in the process of dying off, becoming rare and going for $$$ from @#$%er’s on Ebay and since Marqs was finally the only person on the planet to get the idea of how to do transcoding right (OSSC BABY!!), those of us are able to enjoy 480p on these consoles in their “True” quality are now able to do so, at least with what available resources we still have left.

This thread I want you to discuss the subject of 480p, post pictures and whatever because aside from all things retro we may not have too many years left on crt’s to truly enjoy it the way it was meant to be seen, 480p scanlines and everything. LCD sets just don’t cut it.

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19" Lacie Electron IV

I can still remember being blown away the first time I plugged in a Dreamcast into a PC CRT with a VGA box, it was like getting a new console, I thought to myself what witchcraft is this that makes everything so damn crisp and was sure this would be the new standard. Unfortunately, consoles that came after didn’t feature, at least here in Europe, a simple out of the box 480p solution, no official GC component cable, Xbox didn’t support it without a mod and I had no clue about transcoders anyway and not to mention the PS2 progressive output being uncommon too. I briefly dabbled with an Xploder disk to get 480p out of the PS2 thinking I could finally get the same sweet progressive that I had tasted with the DC but hours spent blindly trying options were wasted and the best I managed was to get a corner of a game displayed lol as a result for the first year or so of the PS2’s life I held the belief that it was graphically inferior to the DC.

Right now my favourite way to game with 480p-720p game content is on a PC CRT, the compromise of displaying on a 4:3 screen is a price I’m willing to pay for amazing motion clarity and colours. I’m hopeful that CRT quality 480p will be a thing on flatscreens, heck it might already be here if you can afford one of those spiffy OLEDs and have an OSSC but since it’s not in my price range yet I’ll be on a PC CRT until it is.


Seeing native 480p is a thing of beauty. It’s a shame that so few displays can do it.

This is a sore spot for me right now as I’m trying to replace my PC CRT with little luck. I do have an EDTV though which I’m pretty happy with, especially for 16:9 content.

I’ll take some glory shots of my OSSC setup w/ appropriate consoles and my VGA monitor with 640x480 DOS when I get a chance.

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I had a 576p (!) Sharp LC32P50E EDTV which was only sold in PAL regions. It was great. I used component and VGA on that. I still have a 26" version of it but that’s still a pretty big flat screen so it’s in storage.

My set of choice these days is a Phillips 20PF4121 which has a 20" LCD with a native resolution of 640x480 with analog and digital inputs over DVI. So, VGA and component via adapter cables, and technically HDMI too but I’ve not really tried that. It’ll do 16:9 letterboxed at a pinch, but obviously not pixel perfect.

The same LG/Philips panel was used in a handful of sets from various manufacturers.

It’s a dream.

Here’s Dreamcast on it over VGA.


And GC via Wii over component:

Any ghosting on that LCD? I had an early Dell 4:3 LCD for my computer a very long time ago and it suffered from some issues.

Blurry movement or full image persistence?

None that I’ve seen. I’m sure I would have noticed.

OK I took a lot of photos so I’m going to break this into 3 posts. Hope that’s OK with everyone.

First up is DOS/Win98 PC on a 17inch NEC MultiSync 75 from 2000. I ended up getting this monitor after being really not satisfied with any option to run DOS games on a modern monitor. Everything just being sampled wrong in VGA mode 13h, which is a pre-output linedoubled 320x200, taking 720 samples of 640 output pixels, sometimes mangling the aspect ratio as well. It really just looks so much better on a CRT, and as a bonus proper 640x480 stuff looks great with beautiful scanlines.

I’ve heard a newer OSSC firmware does a better job with 13h but since I got this monitor I just haven’t needed to try anything else.

Anyway, some photos:

IMG_20190106_2031348 IMG_20190106_2033014

Games are Heretic, DOOM, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, Puyo Puyo 2 Win95 ver, Typing of the Dead


Good pics!

Hexen and DOOM were interesting because many games at the time were actually line doubled 240p. I’ve seen someone use a 15khz monitor for those.

Next is OSSC.

I hate separate profiles per system, it’s too much BS, so I made one good setup for all 480p systems, with a giant asterisk which I will get into in the next post.

I run OSSC 480p at Line2x, which outputs to 960p, with the upsample2x option on, which takes twice as many samples per line. For VGA timing needs to be set to DTV to correctly display PAR for Dreamcast.

The linedouble is honestly essential as it makes the image looks much less blurry than a direct output w/ TV scaling.

The oversample w/ upsample2x is extremely useful as it gives a softer look to the image while still keeping image clarity. Even better for systems that don’t run at the standard dot clock rate, like PS2, you don’t want to take 720 samples per line as it can run at so many different horizontal resolutions and most commonly runs at 512 pixels wide with fat PAR rather than the standard 10:11. Oversampling makes things look good no matter what. Of course PS2 is mostly 480i so I left it out here but for 480i this still applies but you’d want to run at Line4x to get to 960p w/ the bob deinterlacing – obviously can’t take photos of that but it’s about as good as you can make 480i look on a modern TV.

All of this is going into an edge lit 2017 Samsung 4K TV.

I took photos of GameCube via official D-Terminal cable to component adapter, Xbox via hand made cable from an offical PS2 component cable and a composite Xbox cable’s head soldered and glued together, and Dreamcast via $10 china cable directly into OSSC.

IMG_20190106_2147059 IMG_20190106_2147135

Games are Baten Kaitos Origins, Paper Mario TTYD, Halo (Xbox looks good but it was hard to get a good shot), Granda 2, Soul Calibur


The vast majority of DOS games run at 320x200, which per VGA spec is linedoubled in the video card to run at 31KHz. They also almost all run at 70Hz which is another good reason to use a CRT.

Finally my “giant asterisk” for the OSSC 480p: PSP Go.

I really like using a PSP Go for PSP games on TV – certainly PSTV is another option but having a real PSP I can grab and go switch style with really great video output is worth having an extra setup.

It has some quirks though. 480p component video output in game results in a boxed in image running at 480x272 inside a full 480p framebuffer, most annoyingly at 10:11 PAR at 4:3 and a 40:33 PAR at 16:9 rather than the system’s proper 1:1 PAR.

To fix this you can just use a TV’s built in scaling options, which works quite well, but on my TV you can’t do arbitrary scaling of anything higher than 480p. And it looks… fine at 480p… inoffensive… genuinely OK. But the 960p linedoubled 480p w/ soft scanlines + upsample2x just looks so unbelievably good that I can’t not run my PSP Go like that.

So I have one extra profile, just for PSP Go with sampling settings modified as follows:

  • V.Active set to 360
  • H.Active set to 640
  • H.Backporch set to 95
  • V.Backporch set to 63

This results in a correct PAR but that image is still much smaller than the full size of my screen, likely running closer to 35inch on my 49inch screen. Acceptably small given the results here. More annoyingly it’s off center. But I put up with it because it looks like this:


Oh man those two shots of Paper Mario… :drooling_face:

Wow… that’s the best 480p scaling I’ve ever seen. Looks as good as a native 480p CRT!

Fantastic shots, poptart!

Those are some truly amazing images, especially on Soul Calibur.

The thing that bugs me on the ossc is it isn’t 100% perfect when doing passthru as I noticed some pixels do appear to be a tad off on alignment. When 2x resolution is used with upsample, the quality tends to make out on more exact specifications then native for some reason.

What downscaler did they use?

Hi poptart,

Can you speak a little bit to how you calculated the OSSC settings you quoted?

I hooked my PSP Go up to an oscilloscope to try and get optimal OSSC timings. You can see my results here, and those translate to the following settings:

EDIT: These timings are likely wrong due to an incorrect dot clock. If anyone know’s the PSP’s dot clock, please let me know!

  • H. Samplerate 800
  • H. Synclen 58
  • H. Backporch 56
  • H. Active 672
  • V. Synclen 6
  • V. Backporch 30
  • V. Active 480

This means that the PSP is outputting an active picture of 672x480.

I put these settings into my OSSC, and am able to get a very nice looking picture (pics at the end).

What I don’t really understand however is how your settings are able to successfully fix the pixel aspect ratio (PAR) issue. With the PSP’s native picture of 480x272 letterboxed to 672x480, shouldn’t you treat the image as if it’s now natively 672x480 since the actual image is fully contained therein?

Building off the 672x480 picture, when displayed on a 16:9 television, based on my math (PAR = display aspect ratio / source aspect ratio), I’m getting a PAR of 80:63.

My one thought about what you’re doing is configuring the OSSC to sample as if the letterbox portions of the image was not active picture. But if that’s the case, why have the picture set at 640x360? Why not actually set it to 480x272?

Anyway, thanks in advance :). Here’s some pics of what the PSP Go looks like today with upsample2x turned on.


480p was this great in-between for both 3D and 2D graphics. You could have 3D graphics which appear richly detailed despite relatively low-tech visuals by today’s standards, and the resolution was high enough such that non-pixel art 2D would still appear crisp and well defined (the Dreamcast version of Puyo Puyo~n is a great example) while pixel art would also still have a place without appearing overly sharp or upscaled.

On the topic of 3D graphics though, I remember seeing Star Wars: Rogue Leader for the first time and being blown away by what really did look like film-like visuals. The 480p canvas wasn’t so sharp such that it would expose any jagged edges on a CRT, or low poly counts. And for games which weren’t trying to achieve realistic lighting and graphics, they’d still have a rich appearance despite also letting your imagination fill in the gaps.