Super Mario Bros. Forum  /  Video Evidence

Hello there everybody. I enjoy watching SMB1 speedruns. Now the other day, I was watching a 4:55 submitted by Kosmic. This is when I realized just how high quality the NES footage was. Could someone please explain to me how I can get a good video with my old consoles? I would also like to know if the strategy that Kosmic used works on an N64 as well (I've been thinking about doing some goldeneye 007 runs)

thank you very much in advance, Zbomb

ANAIMANAIM likes this. 
(edited: )

Kosmic's NES is modified to have better video outputs. Exactly what kind of outputs he uses I'm not sure, but I think it's something like RGB component or composite. I don't think he uses HDMI because he has to use a TV that gives no input lag (like CRT). LCD's, which usually use HDMI, have terrible input lag.

Modifying a console like this requires someone with excellent knowledge of the inner workings of the console. Chances are you can find someone in the Speedrun community that can do it for a price.

ANAIMANAIM and ZBomb07ZBomb07 like this. 

I'll give some details on my setup as his setup is likely similar to mine.

First of all, the NES is modded with the NESRGB board (I also bought the optional component out board) which is where the higher quality signal comes from. Installing it requires soldering and drilling skills, so if you aren't experienced in doing that, I would recommend finding someone who will do that for you. You have some options of video output: Component (Red, Green, Blue cables), SCART and S-Video. Component and SCART are pretty even on video quality, while S-Video is a bit of a downgrade from those. Be aware if you do this mod, the built-in video ports, RF and Composite (Yellow cable) will no longer work unless you undo the whole mod. I'm using Component and I'm very pleased with it.

Next, you should get an upscaler such as an OSSC or a RetroTink to handle the video feed which produces higher quality video at higher resolutions such as 720p and 1080p. Those devices output HDMI which you would then run to your HD capture card.

So the flow that setup works basically like this:
NES component output and audio output > OSSC/RetroTink component input and audio input
OSSC/RetroTink HDMI output > HD capture card HDMI input

I'm using a CRT to play my games so that adds a piece of hardware (a component splitter or distribution amplifier) because I need to run the component signal to my TV because there's no HDMI.

So here's the flow with my specific setup just to make this more complicated:
NES component output and audio output > Component splitter input
Component splitter output 1 > CRT TV component and audio inputs
Component splitter output 2 > OSSC/RetroTink component input and audio input
OSSC/RetroTink HDMI output > HD capture card HDMI input

I don't know if this is an overwhelming amount of information, but these mods definitely make the setup somewhat more complicated.

PxlzPxlz, iBall1iBall1 and 6 others like this. 

that was far more information than I expected to receive. thank you roopert83. but, I think I am going to have to stick with an emulator or VC. Sorry, but I'm too dumb to understand all of that. But thank you again.

PxlzPxlz likes this. 

Although slick RGB capture looks great when you’re watching a run on YouTube or on Twitch, it doesn’t make that much of a difference when you’re playing on a crt. The built in composite on the NES looks fine when you’re playing on a crt, but it won’t look that great on most capture cards. You don’t need great quality to submit runs, anyway (just look at my runs lol).

NolmyNolmy and caleb2112caleb2112 like this. 

I strongly disagree with what iBall said haha, the difference on CRT is huge. At different times I've used composite, s-video, component, and a PVM and seen a significant difference each time. Each step does have diminishing returns vs. the previous one, but the jump from RF/composite to s-video/component is huge.

ZBomb07ZBomb07, PxlzPxlz and 3 others like this. 

Yo, Kosmic is here lmfao whats up. (Totally off topic.)


It does depend on what CRT you use. Different crts can have more of a difference than others. I was just going off my (limited) experience lol. Good to know I guess


yo the king is here! whats up kosmic!

dlloyd10dlloyd10 likes this.