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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:24 pm 
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@TmEE: I still don't believe it.

All online sources I have found state that video cables always have 75 ohm impedance; I found no mention of any low-impedance NTSC cables. I am using the same (European) cable for all my NTSC and PAL consoles and home computers, and it works without any picture degradation with all of them. Source for the claim that video cables in NTSC countries differ in impedance, other than your own experience?

@DRW: Does your TV have a service mode? That one may provide an option to disable the NTSC matrix. That option will typically be named something about "MATRIX" or "AXIS". Colorimetry has no impact on brightness or contrast, so there should be no need to adjust these between the NES and SNES.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:35 pm 
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DRW wrote:
Why does the SNES-to-composite cable exist in two layouts? One in gray and one in black. Is there any difference between them?

No they are not different. It's not just for SNES, that connector works with multiple Nintendo systems. They have been making those cable for a very long time, and in several colours.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:39 pm 
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NewRisingSun wrote:
Does your TV have a service mode? That one may provide an option to disable the NTSC matrix. That option will typically be named something about "MATRIX" or "AXIS".

Yes, my TV has a service menu.

Those are the options:
TEST STEREO
TEST MONO
SEPARATION 2
SEPARATION 1
LEVEL
FM LEVEL
SHARPNESS
TINT
COLOR MIN
COLOR MAX
COLOR CENT
CONTRAST MIN
CONTRAST MAX
CONTRAST CENT
BRIGHT MIN
BRIGHT MAX
BRIGHT CENT
B. BIAS
G. BIAS
R. BIAS
B. DRIVE
R. DRIVE
V. SHIFT
V. SIZE
H. PHASE
H. VCO
CUT OFF
OSD H

I'm also attaching the service menu manual:
Attachment:
Manual.pdf [1.02 MiB]
Downloaded 14 times


rainwarrior wrote:
They have been making those cable for a very long time, and in several colours.

Which one is the oldest, i.e. the most retro, color here?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:46 pm 
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To the best of my memory, my launch SNES came with a grey one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:48 pm 
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DRW wrote:
Yes, my TV has a service menu.
Nope, nothing matrix-related there. The Block Diagram lists an "RGB matrix", but that does not seem to be accessible from the service menu.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:52 pm 
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NewRisingSun wrote:
@TmEE: I still don't believe it.

All online sources I have found state that video cables always have 75 ohm impedance; I found no mention of any low-impedance NTSC cables. I am using the same (European) cable for all my NTSC and PAL consoles and home computers, and it works without any picture degradation with all of them. Source for the claim that video cables in NTSC countries differ in impedance, other than your own experience?


PAL SNES output circuit requires the 75ohm loading/termination in the TV AND the cable to get correct operating point of the output driver in the machine, without it the voltage levels are roughly twice the standard. Output circuit in NTSC SNES only requires the 75ohm load/termination in the TV to get correct output and having an additional 75ohm resistor in the cable will produce image that is roughly half the level of standard which may or may not work in all TVs. One of mine had hard time maintaining sync while other was just kind of dark with off colors (some sort of AGC in action) for example.
Transmission line impedance is another thing entirely here and unrelated to operation of the output circuits of the machines.

EDIT: Eviltim / Viletim is half the source of the info, other half is my own measurements.

EDIT2: I was experimenting a little with that resistor. On a PAL unit without the resistor the image is a bit brighter and less saturated looking. With the resistor the brightness matched RGB output and colors looked a bit more saturated. On PAL N64 the image is massively overbright without the resistor, skin Mario's face in SMK64 title is near white and super washed out, while with resistor it is as you expect.
My NTSC SNES (JP unit, but they share output circuit with USA ones) stopped working... I cannot test on it right now. I have no NTSC N64 to muck around with.
I tried to take photos but the camera has no manual exposure time setting and it managed to equalize the photos making them look almost the same as far as brightness goes so that's not very useful.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I'd still like to know whether there is actually a PAL/NTSC difference with regular composite cables, i.e. not SNES, but the simple standard cable:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_video

And if yes, what's the difference in practice?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:11 pm 
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No.

Both ends are "supposed" to be impedance matched, with a 75Ω resistance to ground (on the receiver) or effective output impedance (on the driver).

With the SNES A/V out, they apparently moved the impedance matching on the driver side from inside the console to inside the cable. But for the RCA standard, the impedance matching always is supposed to be inside the sender/receiver.


On the other hand, I've encountered plenty of lower cost devices that don't include this impedance matching.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:14 pm 
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A regular cable is nothing but some shielded cable with specific connectors on each end, nothing to do with PAL, NTSC, SECAM or anything else whatsoever. As long as device on transmitting end sends what receiving end expects all will work as far as transmitting a video signal goes.
And in some cases with specific SNES variations the transmitting end requires some help from the transport(cable) to get a signal that receiving end expects.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:10 pm 
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O.k., to make absolutely sure that I get this right:

Your statements about the differences between PAL composite cables and NTSC composite cables (like the statements about 75 ohm load resistors etc.) only refer to the SNES (and N64 and GC) cable, not to generic cables, right?

I'm asking because NewRisingSun seemed to be confused about it as well:
NewRisingSun wrote:
Are you specifically talking about cables that connect to Nintendo consoles, or any TV cable? Because I have never heard this about TV cables in general.
NewRisingSun wrote:
I am using the same (European) cable for all my NTSC and PAL consoles and home computers, and it works without any picture degradation with all of them.

So, to summarize it:

Do you claim that the SNES composite cable is different in PAL and NTSC regions while the standard generic composite cable that you use for connecting the NES or any random DVD player to a TV is the same worldwide?

Or do you claim that not only is the SNES composite cable different between PAL and NTSC, but also that a general purpose composite cable from Europe is built differently from a generic American composite cable?

Do you say that, for example, using a European composite cable to connect an American DVD player or an American NES to an American TV will present a distorted picture while the American composite cable will produce the right picture in this case?
Or were your statements about internal hardware differences and picture distortion when using the wrong cable only referring to those specific SNES cables?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:30 pm 
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The resistor issue applies only to cables with Nintendo's "multi out" connector. A 75 ohm terminating resistor is inside the Control Deck in cables designed for one region or inside the cable in cables designed for the other region. For picture sources with straight RCA outputs, as on the original NES or a DVD player, it's always inside the Control Deck or other picture source.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:10 pm 
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What I have been saying ONLY applies to Nintendo AV cables for SNES, N64 and GameCube, with the proprietary Nintendo AV connector on one end and RCA or SCART connectors on other end. NIntendo made different cables for each region and made sure that there are inconveniences when trying to use a cable for one region with a console from another region.

It doesn't apply to any generic cables such as stuff you can buy from various stores to connect things like DVD players, VHS decks and other AV equipment to one another. Only Nintendo consoles with Nintendo cables to generic TVs.
EDIT: NES for example uses generic cables, it doesn't use anything proprietary (except french RGB NES, which introduced the proprietary multi AV connector that SNES, N64 and GameCube use).

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:55 am 
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O.k., thanks for the confirmation.


Alright, I'll buy an American SNES cable then. I bought mine directly from Germany, even though the console is an NTSC one.


Can anybody besides lidnariq tell/confirm which of the cables (light gray or black plastic) is the older one? (For nostalgic purposes.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:13 pm 
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The black ones are pretty much guaranteed to be low quality aftermarket stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:50 pm 
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TmEE wrote:
The black ones are pretty much guaranteed to be low quality aftermarket stuff.

Not really. I bought a black one by mail order directly from Nintendo several years ago.

I don't know or care which colour is older though, or if that's even a meaningful distinction.


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