I am a happy user of the Japanese Micomsoft XRGB-3 up-scaler since 2015. If you wonder, an up-scaler is required to use our vintage computers with new TVs or monitors. Indeed, modern displays cannot latch onto the 15Khz signal older machines are generating. In addition to their main function, up-scalers are often offering extra features such as the addition of the infamous scanlines. The XRGB-3 is rock solid, reliable, and does a great job with my vintage computers and game systems.

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Unfortunately, besides being out of production, it is permanently connected to several machines and is in a fixed location. So, when I need to connect a computer to a display quickly, it is inconvenient to unplug the unit, move it, and when I am done, re-install it… And that’s when I usually remember that I forgot to try a command! Darn, I have to re-do it all over again. I needed a smaller and more mobile up-scaler. Luckily, technology has tremendously progressed in 5 years, and new projects have emerged. I, therefore, decided to give a spin to the OSSC or Open Source Scan Converter. It is small, has a SCART input – many euro vintage computers use this format –, and is actively developed and maintained. It also has a Component and D-SUB15 inputs (but no Composite or S-Video). The output is delivered through a now-classic HDMI Interface.

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Because I am more a retro-computer guy than a retro-hardcore-gamer, the input lag of the XRGB never annoyed me. For the others, note that the OSSC FPGA is performing the conversion one scanline at the time, instead of processing a full-frame (hence the lag). Again, I suspect that such detail will never be an issue with my BBC Micro or InData DAI. Up to now, I am delighted by the OSSC unit as it hits all the marks for my nomade use.

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