There are two elements at play in this question:
Resolution, which is the pixel space of the image. For example, 720x480 for NTSC video and 480i Component video and 720x576 for PAL video and 576i Component video. These are standards supported across LZX equipment. 1920x1080 for 1080i or 1080p formats would be another display resolution.
Aspect ratio, which relates to how rectangular the pixels are displayed. For example, 4:3 and 16:9 are common aspect ratios for video capture and display.
If displaying your analog video as 16:9 or processing 16:9 content (from DVDs or playback devices) is your goal, there’s no special equipment necessary – you would simply change the settings on your video capture device or your video display to the desired aspect ratio.
If a resolution/format change is your goal, you need a device called an upscaler – sometimes also called a cross converter or standards converter. Many video capture devices, such as the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle, can upscale your video as it’s captured simply by changing the capture resolution to the desired format in the capture device settings. If you need a dedicated hardware upscaler, quality matters! We recommend a device with 10-bit color channel resolution, such as the Ambery HDV5
This is my new favorite upscaler - RetroTink 2X. I came across it because I was looking for a way to use 240p devices (a SNES in particular) with LZX gear. At the time of this post it’s only $100. It will basically convert 240p and 480i via analog in to 480p HDMI out.
I ended up with a pretty messy device workflow since I had to use a HDMI > component downscaler to convert to RGB to use with my visual cortex. However, as a general purpose upscaler this guy seems to be great. It has a very nice smoothing function built in that removes any interlace jaggies from the output.
I’d be interested in hearing about what devices others are using for upscaling (bonus points for devices that handle 240p conversion well, anything pure analog?).
The RetroTink is great!
Unfortunately 240p to 480i will never be purely analog conversion, but in the future we may be able to add native 240p support to some of the LZX modules. We definitely plan on 240p->480i conversion being a function of the TBC2 module we’re working on.
Hey @bsarps ! We were using the Intensity Shuttle, but were displeased with the necessity of a computer interface and its associated problems. We gave the Atomos Connect-Convert-Scale a try, and it’s been working out well. The fives or six most recent updates on our Patch of the Day thread were recorded through this converter/scaler. Most recently we settled on 1280x720p 59.94, which looks best so far.
Unfortunately 720x480 is the minimum input resolution.
Newer Roland video mixers have an upscale function. The higher-end models have upscalers on every input and output, but as with the V4-EX, there’s only 1 upscale input and output.
The cool caveat with the V4-EX is it also acts as Camera Capture Card and connects the mixers video output to your computer via USB so no need for hdmi & capture card and an up-scaler.
I just want to mention that so far the best capture results I’ve achieved have been with the RetroTINK 2x between my LZX system and the capture device (BMIS). I just compared a bunch of captures using various deinterlacing options in OBS, and then the RT2x, and it wins hands down. Software deinterlacing looks pretty good, but the RT2x image was ultimately sharper and better defined with less jaggies overall.
In the last months I’ve seen unbranded, very cheap, but apparently quite efficient HDMI-to-USB capture cards getting very good reviews - has anyone tried using a RetroTINK 2x together with one of those?
(I’m on a low budget. I’ve been using a 20-bucks 576p composite-to-USB capture card and now I’m considering a small investment to improve the quality, but I couldn’t afford both a RetroTINK 2x and a BMIS)
I’ve actually done a bit of a u-turn, sold my RT2x and just doing software scaling and deinterlacing. Few more options that way. I also noticed that the RT2x image is “jumpy” with analog signals and I just couldn’t get over that.
That being said, I’ve got one of those HDMI-USB capture devices and they work quite well. You’ll just want to verify it can support the 480p output of the retrotink.
What are people’s thoughts on the new Retrotink 5X?
Motion adaptive deinterlacing and 1080P upscaling sounds pretty sweet.
RetroTINK 5X - The First Next-Generation Classic Gaming Scaler :: RGB322 / MY LIFE IN GAMING - YouTube My Life in Gaming’s coverage With a timestamp to the 480i deinterlacing coverage.
Interesting, I’d like to compare that to BMIS+OBS. That being said, at $275 it’s a tough sell if it doesn’t out perform software, unless you just absolutely can not use a computer.
Here’s an example of upscaling S-Video to 2160p with OBS, using BMIS for capture.
I’m definitely more interested in Retrotink for real-time performance, monitoring and the ability to integrate with HD hardware switchers.
I have the RT2X for live but never actually tried to capture with it. I go straight to BMIS via composite or S-Video.