Bring your CRT screens and TV sets back to life and play all your childhood games with RECALBOX RGB Dual!BuyManual
Bring your CRT screens and TV sets back to life and play all your childhood games with RECALBOX RGB Dual!
We are Recalbox, a free solution that turns your Raspberry Pi nano computer into a retrogaming console supporting over 120 consoles and computosaurs (a.k.a old computers), and thousands of arcade games. As retrogamers, you know how transcendent it is to feel the nostalgia that takes hold of us when we replay all the games that rocked our childhood.
Playing with a PS4 or 8Bitdo controller on the living room OLED TV already allows us to rediscover and share the pleasure of retro gaming, but some of us have an insatiable thirst that compels us to go further and further in search of the closest possible experience to the original.
In this endless search, the display of the game is probably the most important point.
And what could be closer to the original experience than playing on your old CRT TVs (you know, with the SCART socket)?
1 - The purpose
The Recalbox RGB Dual project aims to allow everyone to play their favourite games on CRT TVs... WITHOUT ANY CONFIGURATION!
Many of you still have a CRT TV in the attic, and if you don't, CRTs can be found very easily, at a very affordable price, or even for free (by rummaging through your relatives' garages...)
Our goal is to get as close as possible to the original image and game experience on your consoles and arcade games. Let's keep it short and simple, the result exceeds all our expectations...
2 - Recalbox RGB Dual, what is it?
Recalbox RGB Dual is a small card (called H.A.T.) that clips onto your Raspberry Pi 4, 400, 3 or Zero2 to add a Scart output and a VGA output. If you already have an enclosure, we offer optional extensions that allow you to use Recalbox RGB Dual without clipping it onto the Raspberry Pi.
These two new Scart and VGA outputs allow you to connect your Raspberry Pi to any CRT TV or screen. From this SCART and VGA socket comes an RGB signal, considered the cleanest analog signal, compatible with all scart and VGA** CRT screens.
Pixel perfect is now within reach... Having the necessary hardware to play on a CRT is crucial, but at Recalbox the most important value is simplicity. That's why Recalbox version 8.0 has been 100% optimised to support the Recalbox RGB Dual natively, without any configuration required! It's very simple: just clip the Recalbox RGB Dual on your Raspberry PI, connect your scart plug, and let's play!
Recalbox RGB Dual prototype footage
- Configuration chip
The configuration chip (eeprom) allows your Recalbox to detect if a Recalbox RGB Dual is connected and to automatically configure the system. This is 100% Plug and Play.
- The Pixel Factory
We have used the most efficient video signal processing technique to produce a razor-sharp image that is compatible with all television sets.
- The Boom Box
Both audio channels are filtered to smooth the sound signal, and ensure the best possible sound quality. Connoisseurs will recognise the filters of a class D amp.
- Power up
The 12V signal produced by the “Power up” automatically selects the correct channel on the TV when you switch on Recalbox.
- Automatic selection of the original display mode
The database embedded in Recalbox 8.0 contains all the information so that for each game launched, you can automatically enjoy its original display mode. For each console and each game:
- Configuration screen
We have added a configuration menu that allows you to choose options such as the menu display mode, or to adjust the geometry of your screen.
- 50Hz Mode
For some CRTs that are not NTSC compatible (60Hz), it is possible to force PAL mode (50Hz) for all games.
- 240p Theme
The Recalbox theme has been optimised for CRT displays (240p and 480i). It optimises the space and allows for a more pleasant reading of the texts, even in such small resolutions.
- Overriding for power users
Recalbox RGB Dual is fully Plug and Play, but experts may fully override the display modes for every single game or console.
- 240p Test Suite
And if you're the picky type... We have integrated the 240P TEST SUITE system into Recalbox 8.0. This allows you to calibrate your screen to the nearest pixel for each console!
3 - The case
We have designed a case that allows you to place your Rasbperry Pi 3 or 4 and the Recalbox RGB Dual. Available in limited quantities, it is available as an option when you purchase a Recalbox RGB Dual in the store.Buy a Recalbox RGB Dual
4 - Development
The first prototype, soldered by hand, allowed us to validate the double Scart + VGA output and the feasibility of the project. It looked like this:
Since then, we've come a long way. 4 prototype models, hundreds of hours of research and development, and here we are: a zero-configuration experience, signals that are as close as possible to the originals, and an image that has NOTHING to envy from the original consoles...
This is the “laboratory" where we check and adjust: frequencies for each console clarity of the signals quality of each prototype
5 - The RGB signal, 240p, 15KHz and all the rest
Recalbox RGB Dual takes its name from the type of signal generated and sent to your TV. This signal is called R.G.B. (for Red Green Blue). At the time, this signal was considered the best analogue signal, and it still is today! Remember, when you bought the Playstation, it came with the yellow, red, white composite coaxial cable. This cable was far from honouring the console's graphics... That's why there were RGB cables (Scart) that were sold at a high price and that you absolutely had to buy in order to enjoy a quality image.
This is the same RGB signal that is generated by Recalbox RGB Dual!
When it comes to CRT displays, two terms often stand out: