The OSSC – Open Source Scan Converter was acquired in AliExpress, shop BitFunx Store, for use with my Atari 2600, my Playstation One and my Sega Genesis. He is a multiplier of rows, that increases the resolution of the classic consoles, and has HDMI output.
This is, in the best of my knowledge, first review de to OSSC of AliExpress in Brazil and in the world.
Motivation and Purchase
Those who know the Skooter Blog you know that I like a lot of classic consoles. In 2013 got my First HDMI output with upscaler, to improve the resolution of my consoles in modern TVs. At the same time I purchased my first SCART RGB cables, essential to extract the best image of the classic consoles.
I really liked the results. In 2014 I decided to do an upgrade of upscaler, leaving for the Framemeister XRGB Mini, that was the State of the art upscaler for classic consoles at the time. The OSSC just come in 2015.
Since the OSSC came I started to follow your evolution. At first he was not so attractive, with resolution limited to 720 p and without a native HDMI output. But with the revision 1.6 the OSSC started to get interesting, with native HDMI output. Then came the version 0.76 do firmware, that brought the modes Line4x and Line5x, Finally taking the OSSC for Full HD resolutions. Currently the firmware is at version 0.82.
The OSSC love then to my wish list, but were there for a good time, for several reasons. The main one is that the triple modes, quadruple and quintuple the lines is not compatible with all TVs, and there are no tests that can be made in advance to see if they will work. I ran the risk of purchasing it and be restricted to resolution of 480 p, that wouldn't be very interesting.
The availability of OSSC He was also a complicated factor. It was sold exclusively by Video Game Perfection (VGP), Shop by then based in the United Kingdom. At first you had to get in line to acquire the device, that was done on demand. The reserves were opened for a while, and then the store made the application for the manufacture of OSSC.
Later the OSSC became available for prompt delivery, but often lacked something for those who wanted to buy the complete kit. Missing time source, time was missing the remote control, time the adhesive was missing the remote control…
Some Brazilians who bought the OSSC the VGP desegradável received news that would have to pay the 60% import tax on product + freight. Plus GST depending on the State. That's because the VGP declares the actual value of the product in the package.
At the time I write this article the VGP is even more by sending to the Brazil, because they changed the store for Ireland, on behalf of Brexit, and are still waiting for the necessary paperwork to make sales outside the European Union.
In the last month of February appeared on AliExpress the first units of the OSSC sold directly from China, as noticiei here in Skooter Blog. For me it was a very pleasant surprise. As or OSSC is an open source project, anyone can manufacture it without restrictions of patents or intellectual property.
The price of OSSC in China is a little lower. The kit is sold complete, with remote control with promotional stickers and source. The adhesive comes with text indicating the functions of OSSC, because the OSSC remote indeed and it is a universal remote control Chunghop, both in the version of AliExpress as on the VGP. Curiosity: I did review of another remote control Chunghop model here in Skooter Blog at 2008.
But the big advantage to buy the OSSC of AliExpress, the price and availability, the Chinese claim to a low value in the package, greatly reducing the chances that it will be taxed.
That's how I decided to finally purchase my OSSC. I bought at the store BitFunx Store, specifically in this announcement. This was the first vendor to announce the OSSC on AliExpress, and today is still what sells cheaper. Do not recommend buying any other.
Unboxing the OSSC
The OSSC came well packed, in cardboard box wrapped with paper and bubble wrap. The cardboard box has a stamp with the logo of the OSSC, text stating about the support on the website of VGP, model, date of manufacture, etc. The logo should not be part of the open source, so in this case the Chinese stepped on the ball. Furthermore, It's not nice to indicate the website of VGP to support for something that didn't they sold, Although in the community support forums is quite valid.
Opening the box there is more protection: bubble wrap and a soft frame, foam type, to accommodate the OSSC, the remote control, the instruction manual and power supply that has plugs compatible with most taken in the world, including those in Brazil. The instruction manual is also the VGP.
The OSSC itself seems well built. I don't have a OSSC of VGP to compare, but reports of who compared the two indicate that there are some different components, as the display and LEDs, but nothing to indicate that they are of lower quality. The seller claims to offer one year warranty, but I hope I don't need to use.
I'm not a big fan of this style of construction common in homebrew, with cases Open, as in the case of OSSC and the gscartsw. It's nice when the product is new, but with time he ends up filling of powder that will never leave. Air blowers to help, but it's a job and still won't be totally clean. I would prefer a case closed, but unfortunately the case open is what we have.
The OSSC has SCART RGB inputs, Component Video (3 RCA jacks), and VGA (D-Sub). Various types of signals are accepted in each entry. The SCART input accepts RGBS, Rgsb (sync on green) and YPbPr. Coponente Video input accepts YPbPr and RGsB.
The output is HDMI and two jacks P2. One is for audio input VGA input, and the other can serve both as audio input to the component input and analog audio output, selectable with a switch.
On OSSC There is a switch to turn it on and the other two buttons that serve to change the entrance and on/off switch scanlines, respectively. But for total control of the functions of the same remote control is required.
Check out the photos and video of the unboxing of the OSSC:
I bought the OSSC for use with my Sony XBR TV-55X905E and my Receiver Yamaha Aventage RX-A870. I tested the connection of various forms, and that just keeping was the connection of the OSSC directly to the Yamaha Aventage RX-A870, that takes care of the audio and sends the images to the Sony XBR TV-55X905E. But the operation is the same as calling the OSSC directly on Sony XBR TV-55X905E, and passing the audio to the Yamaha Aventage RX-A870 via ARC.
The OSSC No OSD (on-screen display), that is the ability to show menus superimposed the image on the screen itself. That's why he has a LCD display in it own, where options can be configured. The display is also useful for showing information about the input signal continuously. The LCD display has a backlight (backlight) that makes it visible.
Modes of Multiplication of rows
To my joy, a Sony XBR TV-55X905E worked perfectly with all modes of multiplication of rows of OSSC for 240p and resolutions 480i. Note that I have no consoles that use 384p, 480p and 960i, therefore not tested such modes.
The mode Line2x It's the most compatible, Double 240p signal to 480 p, in resolution 720×480, by default. This should work on almost all TVs and XBR-55X905E was not exception.
Then comes the way Line3x, that triples the 240p signal to 720 p, in 1280 resolution×720. This also worked perfectly in XBR-55X905E.
The mode Line4x ' the sign of 240p, making it in 960 p. The resolution is being 1280×960. It's not a common resolution for TVs, so many of them do not accept, more to XBR-55X905E had no problems with it.
Por fim, or so Line5x audience grows fivefold the 240p signal. This would result in 1200 lines (240 multiplied by 5), However by default the OSSC cut 120 lines (as 60 superiors and the 60 below) to produce a 1080 p image, that is more compatible with (Full HD, 1920×1080). In many games there's nothing important in these lines, in CRT TVs end up not appearing (overscan). But in some games ends up losing some information. This mode is also compatible with the XBR-55X905E.
But OSSC also offers an option to not cut the lines on the way Line5x, producing an image of 1200p, You can use the resolution 1600×1200 or 1920×1200. These resolutions are not standard for TV and many reject, because she has more rows than the Full HD. But as XBR-55X905E accepted them without any problem.
Initially the XBR-55X905E left the image of 1920×1200 no climb, getting just one frame in the Centre occupying little more than 1/4 screen. But it was just pushing the button for it to WIDE scale the image to fill the screen of 4 k all (3860 x 2160) keeping the scale 4:3 (with black borders only on the left and right corners). This setting only needs to be done once, because the TV remembers her and always applies when the resolution is that.
Of course the scale of 1200p to 2160 p full made by TV is not a whole multiplication, and therefore requires interpolation. But honestly it's nothing that I can understand. And anyway a 1080 p image in a 2160 p full TV also just suffering interpolation, because the TVs are not optimized for image of old games.
So, or so Line5x with output in 1200p has quickly become my favorite mode. It's how I've been playing and I must not change.
With 480i content, the modes available are PassThru, Line2x (Bob), Line3x (laced) and Line4x (Bob). The mode PassThru just scan the image without changing the resolution. The modes Bob desentrelaçam the image using the method Bob, which produces an output of 60 fps, updating a field in each frame. Not the best way to deinterlace, the static images or little movement are sparkling medium. But the strong OSSC are not even the interlaced images, the Framemeister is best in them. I have used Line4x (Bob), that produces an image of 960 p. A XBR-55X905E has no problems with her.
A major advantage of OSSC is that the change of 240p to 480i is almost instantaneous. The image flashes and the TV shows the InfoBar at the top indicating that there has been a change of resolution (from 1200p to 960 p), but that's all. On Framemeister the changes are time consuming and the lack of image for a few seconds can make some impractical games.
The Audio 96 KHz
About the DAC OSSC It uses a resolution of 96 KHz. But, by default, the audio is resampled to 48 KHz, that is more compatible with.
But, my Receiver Yamaha Aventage RX-A870 It is compatible with PCM audio 96 KHz, so I chose to change the default configuration OSSC so you can always hear the audio with the original sample of the DAC, in 96 KHz, without resampling.
Note that in my first tests was unable to use the mode Line5x along with audio 96 KHz, but I discovered that the problem was the HDMI Switch Vention VAA-S20 I was connecting the OSSC. Despite being sold with a switch 4K, it is not really compatible with this bandwidth. Apparently he does not have enough bandwidth to transmit an image of 1920×1200 and PCM audio 96 KHz, and then the sound goes away or the image is crashing all the time.
Time to test each one of my classic consoles with the OSSC. Check out:
My Sega Genesis worked with the OSSC without any problem at all games I tested using 240p. The 480i mode, used in two or three games, including the two player mode with duplicate screen Sonic The Hedgehog 2 works, but needs some tweaking on the settings.
Adjust the settings is an inconvenience, but it's better than the Framemeister XRGB Mini, where 480i mode of the Mega Drive fails miserably, without any way to get around.
And one detail that may annoy some: the image of OSSC It's so clear that the famous jailbars the Mega Drive become more visible.
I've had this, Since the Super Nintendo is a particularly problematic with the console OSSC. And works only with some specific TVs. The Super Nintendo originally generates a signal with a frequency so out of default, that is tolerated by the CRT TVs, but not for the LCD.
Here the Framemeister XRGB Mini take advantage, as for relying on the frame buffer (frame buffer), can generate a signal perfectly compatible with any TV.
My Playstation One had no problem with the OSSC, working without the need for adjustments in both 240p as in 480i, even with quick change between the resolutions. Many games use 480i on menus, sometimes in videos, but the game itself is usually in 240p. The boot screen with the logo of the Playstation is also presented in 480i.
The Atari 2600 It is a very particular case, in which the games themselves take care of tasks such as timing and synchronization. On account of this, some programmers tried to do different things, or simply erred in programming, and that generated some games with timing/sync problems, often tolerable for CRT TVs, but intolerable in modern LCD TVs.
The first game we wanted to test was the Tapper, one of my favorite. On Framemeister XRGB Mini it can be played, but the graphics are somewhat zoados, as if they had been improperly de-interlaced. Inclusive I've done an article here in Skooter Blog talking about it, and displaying the solution.
On OSSC the same thing happens. It detects the 480i signal and tries deinterlaces it. It's really a set schedule failure. And the solution is the same as Framemeister. It consists of using a modified version of the game to generate graphics in 240p. There is perfect.
Another problem gambling in Framemeister XRGB Mini is Video Pinball. The Framemeister XRGB Mini fails miserably to show the graphic. On OSSC the game is perfect, no problem. I still do not know what's on Video Pinball Making Framemeister get lost.
The Warlords also features timing issues, and the original version is missing the synchronization, not so much Framemeister XRGB Mini as in the OSSC. The solution in either case is the same: use a modified version where the fault is corrected.
Por fim, tested the Condor Attack. This is a well programmed wrong game that features synchronization failures even in CRT TVs. On Framemeister XRGB Mini he is losing the signal with frequency. And no OSSC the same thing happens. Including TV shows that are getting a signal 59 Hz (em vez of 60 Hz) this game. There is no solution to this case yet.
It is also worth noting that the game Front Line also displays a sign 59 Hz on TV during the game, switching to 60 Hz only at the introduction of the phases. The screen flickers on these occasions and indicates the change in frequency. But fortunately the change is fast enough to not harm the game.
Check out more photos and the video of the OSSC operation:
The video capture is one of the critical points with the OSSC. Most capture devices is not compatible with the video modes and refresh rates for your unusual output.
My Elgato Game Capture HD60, for example, is compatible only with 480 p mode (Line2x), and I'm not interested in playing this low resolution. The modes Line3x, Line4x, and Line5x are incompatible, and a resolution not supported message is sometimes shown. I knew that before buying the OSSC, but anyway I did my own tests to confirm.
In order to capture the output of OSSC you must use some other device to “normalize” the sign. Some people have had success using a XBox One for this purpose, since it has HDMI video input. But I'm not one to test.
My palliative is being use OSSC to play, and the Framemeister to capture. O meu switch SCART, the gscartsw_lite, It has two outputs, and it came in quite handy to. Use one of them in OSSC and the other on Framemeister, and so I get the best of both worlds.
Eis algumas transmissões ao vivo que fiz dessa forma, jogando Playstation One and the Atari 2600. Note como a transmissão é interrompida nas mudanças de resolução, e falha na captura do Video Pinball, por causa das limitações do Framemeister. Mas na tela eu estava vendo a imagem do OSSC enquanto jogava, sem essas limitações.
O vídeo do R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 ficou quase todo com o som saindo apenas de um lado, pois o cabo SCART do Framemeister estava mal encaixado. Este é um problema de jogar com um dispositivo e transmitir pelo outro, unfortunately. 🙁
O Diagrama de Conexões Atualizado
With the arrival of OSSC e do Analogue Mega Sg, which will do an article soon, precisei atualizar o meu diagram of connections. As or OSSC não se dá bem com o HDMI Switch Vention VAA-S20, eu passei o Blu-Ray player para o switch e coloquei o OSSC na porta que ele liberou no Receiver Yamaha Aventage RX-A870. Was so:
Framemeister versus OSSC
This is a recurring question. Many have responded, But how is an issue on which weighs the use case and the own opinion, I'll add my 2 cents.
The main strength of the OSSC is virtually zero latency, that is possible because he doesn't rely on a frame buffer (frame buffer). This means that as the OSSC will receiving the signal of the console, line by line, He's been also processing line by line and put in the output, so that the latency introduced in the system is less than two lines.
The Framemeister, on the other hand, need to store the picture before it is him and puts him on the way out. This adds a certain latency, in the 20ms. In 60 FPS each frame corresponds 16,6 ms.
But they're only 20ms, isso faz alguma diferença na prática? There are those who swear that you can see this playing difference. I confess that I can not perceive it consciously. Moreover, I often do not even notice that I forgot to by the TV in GAME mode, and I'm there playing with a much higher latency than 20ms.
And unconsciously, it makes a difference? So I already believe so. In many games, make a move or press a button before or after 20 ms can be the difference between losing a life or break a record, even if this latency is not consciously perceptible.
I will give an example, maybe it was a coincidence, maybe not. The My record in the Atari Enduro 2600, won in 2015, It was to have reached the 13th day. Was obtained playing with my Atari com mod S-Video and using the Framemeister. Since then I hadn't repeated the feat, I had even caught on video.
But while testing my OSSC, as soon as he came, I started a game of Enduro and ended up arriving on the 15th day. A new record, that is unfortunately not captured on video because I hadn't gotten my second SCART cable male-male to be able to call Framemeister and OSSC at the same time. But I took photos:
Could be a coincidence? Of course Yes. When I was a kid I played on CRT TV, with no latency and no more of the day 7. Skill and a little luck in that game count. But getting a new record the first time playing with the OSSC, in a game that requires fast reflexes, serves to wondering if the lowest latency did not any difference.
But the strength of the OSSC It is also your weakness. Just for not having a frame buffer he can't do for any arbitrary resolution, zoom, do with interpolation methods most effective temporal, etc. Things that the Framemeister can do without difficulty.
It is also on account of the frame buffer Framemeister can you offer an output compatible with any TV, regardless of the input. He can use only standard resolutions and refresh rates in your output, without getting stuck to the resolution and refresh rate of entry. He can simply delete or duplicate frames periodically to keep in sync, Although it does introduce a variable latency.
Resolution changes during the Game
Another strong point of OSSC is its ability to quickly realize a change of game resolution, typically from 240p to 480i or vice versa, resynchronize and play the new resolution in its output. The Framemeister It takes several seconds to resynchronize and ends up making some impassable games.
Colors and Video Quality
This is a point where you do not know the technical reason why the OSSC It is better than Framemeister. But the fact is that it is. The OSSC shows more vivid and vibrant colors, and a clearer picture overall, when used with progressive sources. The Framemeister displays an image with washed.
Some say image Framemeister It is not as good because internally it does not work with RGB, needing to do conversions, which leaves a few different colors.
Note that I am not saying that the image of Framemeister is bad. In fact it is much better to play with composite video or upscalers generic. but putting OSSC and Framemeister abreast, the OSSC take advantage.
To sum up, the OSSC It has the following advantages:
- Almost zero latency;
- quick-change resolution (240p to 480i and vice versa);
- Better color and video quality;
- It supports 480i mode Mega Drive (with additional adjustments).
On the other hand, the Framemeister brings the following advantages:
- Increased compatibility with TVs, consoles and capture devices;
- range of options with non-integer factors and zoom;
- Deinterlacing with better algorithms than the simple Bob for interlaced sources;
- No problems with the Super Nintendo (except in exchange for resolution during the game, which occurs in some games).
These are the package tracking information obtained in the AliExpress:
2019.04.04 14:03 (GMT-7): Delivery successful 2019.03.30 08:09 (GMT-7): Cleared customs 2019.03.21 13:11 (GMT-7): Started customs clearance process 2019.03.19 10:02 (GMT-7): Accepted by Last Mile Carrier 2019.03.12 13:59 (GMT-7): Departed country of origin 2019.03.09 13:25 (GMT-7): Shipment accepted by airline 2019.03.09 04:32 (GMT-7): Shipment left country of origin warehouse 2019.03.09 00:10 (GMT-7): Shipment at country of origin warehouse 2019.03.08 23:40 (GMT-7): Shipment dispatched
Through the code LP + 15 digits, that appears in the system AliExpress, You can get the code from ePacket posted in Sweden (LB + 9 digits + SE), by using the site system Cainiao, that displays the following information:
Delivered 2019-04-04 14:03:00 Import clearance success 2019-03-30 08:09:00 Import clearance start 2019-03-21 13:11:00 Arrive at destination country 2019-03-19 10:02:00 Depart from transit country or district 2019-03-13 11:09:00 Arrive at transit country or district 2019-03-13 10:09:00 Hand over to airline 2019-03-12 13:59:00 Received by line-haul 2019-03-09 13:25:00 Outbound in sorting center 2019-03-09 04:32:52 Inbound in sorting center 2019-03-09 00:10:15 Accepted by carrier 2019-03-08 23:40:15
And these are the information obtained on the site of the station:
|Delivered to the addressee object|
|Object out for delivery to the recipient|
INDAIATUBA / SP
Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP for distribution in Unit REMOVED / SP
CAJAMAR / SP
Treatment Unit in CAJAMAR / SP for Treatment Unit in INDAIATUBA / SP
CURITIBA / PR
Distribution Unit in CURITIBA / PR for treatment plant in CAJAMAR / SP
|Customs supervision terminated|
|Object received by the post Office of Brazil|
It, Finally, We got the table-summary of purchase:
|Product Name:||OSSC – Open Source Scan Converter|
|Name Original:||OSSC HDMI Converter Kit for Retro Game Console PlayStation 1 2 / Xbox one 360 / Atari Series / Dreamcast / Sega Series and so on|
|Store:||AliExpress | Store: BitFunx Store|
|Current value:||R$ 596,52 (US$ 144,50)|
|Payment Method:||Credit Card Visa International|
|Shipping Type:||Aliexpress Standard Shipping|
|Shipping Fee:||R$ 62,04|
|Package Home Country:||China|
|Time in Transit:||27 days|
|Declared content:||OSSC HDMI Con|
|Type Marked Content:||Others|
|Declared Value:||USD 14.00|
I am quite satisfied with the OSSC – Open Source Scan Converter, who arrived relatively fast, without taxation, and apparently has a good construction.
As for TV, I had read reports that Sony X900E series TVs work with modes Line4x and Line5x. The X900E series is the American version of the series X905E of Brazil, it belongs to my Sony XBR TV-55X905E. So I was already in the expectation that higher resolution modes would work.
Também já contava com limitações no Super Nintendo, pois os relatos são de que ele não funciona na série X900E. Mas não me preocupei porque estou jogando Super Nintendo apenas no Analogue Super Nt.
Mas nem tudo foi previsto, no final acabei tendo uma surpresa positiva. Eu pretendia jogar no modo Line4x, usando 960p com bordas pretas para completar as 1080 lines, pois não gostava da ideia de usar o modo Line5x e cortar bordas do jogo. O que foi surpresa para mim foi a Sony XBR TV-55X905E aceitar 1200p (1920×1200) e fazer a escala para 4K. Por essa eu não esperava, then OSSC para mim acabou saindo “melhor que a encomenda”.