Retrotink, or other upscalers

All information relating to connecting your ST to a modern TV/monitor.
Post Reply
User avatar
stween
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:10 pm
Location: Amsterdam, NL

Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by stween » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:51 am

I keep seeing a lot of good written about the Retrotink devices. I'm thinking of cutting down the number of screens I have lying around here, and picking up one of the scart builds; it feels like it'd be a a solid choice for capturing RGB from my STEs and putting it out over HDMI.

Anybody here used them/have opinions on them?

I do have an old LCD screen that handles ST low & medium via an ubeswitch, but it's imperfect: there are some glitches on the display that I don't much like. I've seen the great work on an HDMI mod for STFMs -- and I'll totally consider buying one if/when the project gets there -- but most of my machines are STEs. Between that and my Jaguar, I'd love to get a reliably good HDMI output for these.

User avatar
Steve
Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:49 am

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by Steve » Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:13 am

Here is a recent topic on atari forum where they are talking about it:

https://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=39445
Repairs & Servicing for Atari & Amiga machines (and any other retro computers) Located in the West Midlands UK. PM me if you require assistance.
www.solidstatesociety.co.uk

bfollowell
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:53 am

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by bfollowell » Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:30 pm

I don't have a RetroTink device, but I can vouch for using SCART. I had one of the Best Electronics VGA cables and the output was only ever acceptable at best. Low resolution was pretty good, but medium was just only acceptable. I used it with my NEC multisync monitor and it was OK. Things were maybe just a tiny bit better when I ran the cable through my OSSC that I bought later and used it with the HDMI output. I finally purchased a Cool Novelties STE SCART cable and ran that through my OSSC's SCART input. The difference was night and day. Both low and medium resolution are crystal clear and utterly beautiful. I honestly don't think it's possible to get a better picture from my old STE. For that matter, using one of the VGA switches rather than the Best cable may have yielded better results. The cable may have been the issue all along, though it seems really well made.

I'm assuming you using a SCART cable with a RetroTink would provide similar results. I know most people are really pleased with them. The only issue is that it will only work with the two color modes, obviously, but you could still use your switch and just about any VGA compatible display to get high resolution whenever you needed it.

It really just depends on what you do with your ST. If you're only using it for games, or more specifically, low and medium resolution applications, you should be fine.

User avatar
stween
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:10 pm
Location: Amsterdam, NL

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by stween » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am

Steve wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:13 am
Here is a recent topic on atari forum where they are talking about it:

https://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=39445
Interesting; thanks! This makes the OSSC look more flexible and maybe more reliable. That's a useful datapoint.
bfollowell wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:30 pm

I don't have a RetroTink device, but I can vouch for using SCART. I had one of the Best Electronics VGA cables and the output was only ever acceptable at best. Low resolution was pretty good, but medium was just only acceptable. I used it with my NEC multisync monitor and it was OK. Things were maybe just a tiny bit better when I ran the cable through my OSSC that I bought later and used it with the HDMI output. I finally purchased a Cool Novelties STE SCART cable and ran that through my OSSC's SCART input. The difference was night and day. Both low and medium resolution are crystal clear and utterly beautiful. I honestly don't think it's possible to get a better picture from my old STE. For that matter, using one of the VGA switches rather than the Best cable may have yielded better results. The cable may have been the issue all along, though it seems really well made.
Interesting. Since the signals are coming from the same output, I'd figure the cables are the likely cause here? If I was going to go to SCART, I'd figured I'm either doing it direct from the monitor output (i.e. a custom Atari ST monitor port to SCART cable), or Atari ST to VGA (via ubeswitch) then VGA to SCART if it turns out to be simpler.

But now I realise the OSSC has VGA-in and SCART-in, which might bring me the most flexibility for various devices.
I'm assuming you using a SCART cable with a RetroTink would provide similar results. I know most people are really pleased with them. The only issue is that it will only work with the two color modes, obviously, but you could still use your switch and just about any VGA compatible display to get high resolution whenever you needed it.

It really just depends on what you do with your ST. If you're only using it for games, or more specifically, low and medium resolution applications, you should be fine.
It does depend, but it's probably 80% low-res games. It'd be nice to put some older screens with VGA-in into storage.

What prevents the retrotink handling ST-High?

stephen_usher
Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 653
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:19 pm
Location: Oxford, UK.
Contact:

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by stephen_usher » Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:04 pm

The only issue I've found with the OSSC is that it doesn't have composite video input on the SCART connector (or elsewhere), so for that I have to use something else for capture, and just use the TV's upscaler otherwise.
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

User avatar
alexh
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by alexh » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:16 pm

I'd like the RetroTINK 2x to be a good option, it's half the price of an OSSC. And the form factor of the Rad2x makes it suitable for an internal mod for say a MegaSTe. However someone wrote on EAB that it wasn't particularly good with their Amiga

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=100692&page=2
Principal ASIC Engineer - SystemVerilog, VHDL
Thalion Webshrine - http://thalion.atari.org
STfm,STe,MegaSTe,Falcon030
A500+,A600,A4000/060,CD32,CDTV

bfollowell
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:53 am

Re: Retrotink, or other upscalers

Post by bfollowell » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:41 pm

stween wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am
Interesting; thanks! This makes the OSSC look more flexible and maybe more reliable. That's a useful datapoint.
The OSSC is extremely more powerful and flexible than the RetroTink, but it also quite a bit more expensive. It does have a lot more settings and adjustability as well.
stween wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am
Interesting. Since the signals are coming from the same output, I'd figure the cables are the likely cause here? If I was going to go to SCART, I'd figured I'm either doing it direct from the monitor output (i.e. a custom Atari ST monitor port to SCART cable), or Atari ST to VGA (via ubeswitch) then VGA to SCART if it turns out to be simpler.
You definitely want to go straight from ST to SCART, not ST to VGA to SCART. Also, there's really no need for it.
stween wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am
But now I realise the OSSC has VGA-in and SCART-in, which might bring me the most flexibility for various devices.
Again, by all I've read, the various RetroTinks are excellent devices, but they can't touch the OSSC in terms of flexibility.
stween wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:48 am
What prevents the retrotink handling ST-High?
I can't answer that in general terms, but you specifically mentioned the SCART version, and SCART only works with the two color, lower resolutions.
stephen_usher wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:04 pm
The only issue I've found with the OSSC is that it doesn't have composite video input on the SCART connector (or elsewhere), so for that I have to use something else for capture, and just use the TV's upscaler otherwise.
Stephen has a good point here. For all it's power and flexibility, it really seems strange that the OSSC is missing a composite input.

Post Reply

Return to “DISPLAYS & CONVERTERS”