Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

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psycopathicteen
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Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by psycopathicteen » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:25 am

If you adjust your tv's color settings it changes the colors of everything it recieves from composite or RF. I've heard people claim that the NES "varies more" than the SNES depending on the color settings but I wonder why that is? Does this have more to do with the fact that NES emulators have different color palettes and that most NES palettes were made from eyeballing the colors off what the person sees on the tv screen, whereas RGB is RGB.

Can it be possible that the NES palette varies itself from system to system? I'm guessing the SNES being newer had a more consistent palette between models, but even if the SNES did vary between models everyone knows it's supposed to use RGB colors.

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tokumaru
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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by tokumaru » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:31 am

I think both will vary a lot from one TV to another, but there's less debate with the SNES because palettes are defined in RGB internally.

lidnariq
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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by lidnariq » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:36 am

Additionally, the NES produces a lot of out-of-gamut colors.

psycopathicteen
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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by psycopathicteen » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:05 pm

I just thought about something. Were CRTs capable of displaying color that would've been outside the intended RGB cube? Obviously if a color was too dark, it would have to be clipped, but if a color was too bright was there anything restricting a CRT from displaying it?

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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by lidnariq » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:36 pm

The gamma curve of the set is only guaranteed for the normal range. Brighter-than-white signals can be sent – after all, the NES white is 110 IRE, not 100 – but what the TV does with that signal isn't specified, and could well vary from device to device. (Obvious failure modes include "burning out the phosphors", but that's less likely in CRTs newer than, say, 1970)

The VIC-20 had a number of too-bright out-of-gamut colors, too (which they replaced with greys for the C64). I don't know how much variation there was there, but I remember the color described as "light purple" as a really intense hot pink.

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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by psycopathicteen » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:54 am

If CRTs are capable of displaying colors out of the RGB cube, then that explains why NES colors are so hard to emulate.

My phone has a wider color gamut than my computer screen does. I'll bring up drag's NES palette generator on both and see if I can get a better looking NES palette on my phone. Of course my phone would automatically make SNES games more colorful, which would make NES games look dull in comparison again. It's like the loudness war, but with colors.

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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by lidnariq » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:16 am

psycopathicteen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:54 am
If CRTs are capable of displaying colors out of the RGB cube, then that explains why NES colors are so hard to emulate.
No, that's not it. Both TVs and CRT computer monitors used the same phosphors and had the same CIE primary coordinates. Things might be too dark, but color rendition is otherwise the same.

It really has to do with the undefined behavior for "ordinary" out-of-gamut colors.

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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by NewRisingSun » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:30 am

I actually do not find the NES colors hard-to-emulate at all. Given a correct description of a television's YIQ/YUV decoding matrix, its phosphor CIE chromaticities, I can reproduce the look of all color of a given console revision quite accurately.

Remaining difficulties lie in varying expectations regarding how particular color (combinations) look by different game developers, based on them using different TVs with different adjustments, and non-linear distortion of the composite video signal. I have mentioned in the past how some console/TV combinations are particularly susceptible to that, and have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause.

psycopathicteen
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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by psycopathicteen » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:05 pm

lidnariq wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:16 am
psycopathicteen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:54 am
If CRTs are capable of displaying colors out of the RGB cube, then that explains why NES colors are so hard to emulate.
No, that's not it. Both TVs and CRT computer monitors used the same phosphors and had the same CIE primary coordinates. Things might be too dark, but color rendition is otherwise the same.

It really has to do with the undefined behavior for "ordinary" out-of-gamut colors.
If you have an NES and a computer hooked up to the same CRT, will the CRT show colors on the NES that you wouldn't be able to reproduce on a computer hooked up to the same monitor without making the colors darker?

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Re: Does the NES color palette actually vary more than the SNES on TV sets?

Post by tepples » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:31 pm

Is the PC connected to the CRT through RGB (such as SCART) or through composite?

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