RetroTINK 5x ‘Experimental’ Firmware v2.57

UPDATE:  More firmware’s released, info below.  Mike Chi has just released a new beta firmware on his Discord server that adds some tweaks, user requests…and a few more features previously thought to be impossible.  Mike did it again 🙂  BUT – before downloading, please know this firmware is still considered “experimental” and IS NOT SUPPORTED AT ALL.  Also, loading this firmware WILL DELETE YOUR PREVIOUS PROFILES, so use at your own risk!!!!  That said, if something goes wrong, you can always revert back to an earlier, official firmware…so if you’re a tinkerer, give it a try.  Wobbling Pixels has a video covering most of the updates and this post will clarify some of the changes after his video was released.  Read past the links for more info…

Discord Server (check experimental channel):
Update firmware:
Mac / Linux Firmware Update:
Zero-Lag Converters:

I think the feature that will affect the most people, might actually be the least-exciting:  Entering the menu and going to “OSD” will show you an option to select which profile you’d like to load on boot.  This is perfect for people who downscale, as it’ll guarantee the TINK boots in 240p mode, but also a convenience for people who want to change the default input!

The next feature most people will be excited about is beta 2560x1440p support.  This isn’t guaranteed to work and 1440p isn’t compatible with every TV anyway, BUT, this is exciting for a few reasons.  First, the previous 1920×1440 worked really well for scaling 4:3 sources, however many TV’s weren’t programmed to understand what that “4:3 1440p” resolution was;  Some would require you to manually tweak the aspect ratio and others wouldn’t work at all.  Second – and much more important – the ability to accept that resolution allows for 720p linedoubleing.  That means if you’re running and sharp 720p source (2D game collections on modern consoles, “classic” emulation consoles, etc), you can use the TINK to sharp-linedouble that image.  If you’re using a 1440p monitor, it’ll be much sharper…but it’s even a benefit for 4KTV users, as 1440p -> 4K will add less softness than 720p -> 4K.

It might still be an exciting addition for 720p, 3D graphics though!: The vertical filters still work in this mode, including the smoothing filter!  If you’re running a PS3 or Xbox 360 via component cables into the TINK, try setting it to 720p and seeing how the smoothing filter works!  It’ll all depend on your total solution (game graphics, TV, what your eyes prefer), but this might be a big upgrade in some scenarios.

There’s a few more things demo’d in the video that are worth quickly mentioning here:

If your game is a modern version of a classic, or retro-style (think Axiom Verge, or Street Fighter Collection), you can use a pre-scaler that downscales a 720p or 480p image to 240p, then upscales it back, up to 1440p.  For games that were originally low-resolution anyway, you won’t loose sharpness, however you’ll now have those awesome 240p-style scanline options!

You can now access some optimal sampling profiles on S-Video and composite sources.  I’d strongly recommend trying these out with S-Video, as the quality is very close to RGB or YPbPr.  It’s worth trying with composite as well, but I often find sharpening composite just brings out more noise, but it looked great in the video above!  As usual though, this is a free and easy feature to access, so give it a try and see for yourself!

Also, Mike’s trying out a 24fps, 4K version of the firmware, JUST FOR FUN.  By no means am I trying to insult Mike, or take away from this cool addition, I just want to remind people that running your 4K panel at less than 60Hz adds a ton of lag.  With consoles, even if the game is running at less than 60fps (or heck, even 7fps for Stunt Race FX ;p), the console is still sending a 60Hz signal to the TV.  Dropping it down to 24FPS is really neat to experiment with any video content shot in 24p, but isn’t something you’d want to use for gaming.  Unless it’s a turn-by-turn RPG, or something like that.  Check out another video from Wobbling Pixels below for a demo:

Here’s the rest of the new features, as listed on the discord:

  • Fixed screen-tearing when increasing vertical shift
  • Lock to 60 Hz function now works for 1200p sources
  • Light-gun option in OSD menu, border follows crop
  • Fixed a variety of cropping and edge garbage issues
  • Hi-resolution optimal sampling modes (512 and 858)
  • Option to enable optimal sampling for interfaced sources
  • Pre-emph filter now goes down to -5 for extra blur
  • Default profile can be loaded by pressing ‘Back’ on the remote rapidly 6 times
  • Firmware flashes erase profiles due to significant data structure changes. Don’t complain.
  • General improvements in FPGA timing closure.
  • 2560×1440 now supports 240p/480i, 288p/576i, 480p, 720p, all cropped and centered.
  • Optimal timings for 288p/576i now enabled for both 1440p modes.
  • Optimal timing for 480P to 2560×1440 has two modes:
    • DTV 858 (3:2) is a square pixel mode ideal for Dreamcast and other games where developers did not account for the 9/10 PAR.
    • DTV 858 (x4) uses a 4x horizontal and 3x vertical scaling. This is slightly wider than 16:9. You can increase the vertical scale by 10% to compensate.
  • 240P/480I, 480P can be scaled to 4K24
  • 288P/576I can be scaled to 4K25
  • Optimal sampling available for RGB/YPbPr sources
  • Leave in triple buffer
  • May be best to get stable signal from console before entering 4K
  • Frame lock now works for 4K
  • 288P/576I frame locks to 25 Hz
  • 240P/480I/480P frame locks to 30 Hz
  • 480P to 4K crop fixed
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