Capturing from an N64 - Open Question and Discussion

So I recently discovered that I can capture my Nintendo 64 on my Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition. So I sent it up as it made sense to me. Audio Red to Red, White to White, then put the yellow composite in the blue component.

It does pass through the HDMI to the TV, and comes to my computer just fine. The only issue I’m running into is that it isn’t displaying quite right. At first I thought this might be because of the HDMI passthrough. Which would make sense. The N64 was never meant to come out HDMI. And I initially thought that would be fine as long as the recorded footage itself looked okay. This was not the case.

My recorded footage looks the same as it’s appearing on the TV. Now obviously I could emulate for my LP if I wanted. But there’s a save file I want to work with on my own N64 cartridge. I’ve tried rehooking things up. Checked all my settings and everything, but I’m not finding a solution to this one.

I’m going to continue my research. But if anyone has any solution they might already know from experience or just stumbling upon it, it’d help me out a ton.

When you say “Isn’t displaying quite right” can you elaborate on what you’re seeing a little? Can you post a screenshot?

Yeah of course.

I’m not sure if it’ll actually show well since I had to scale it down for upload. But everything is a lot more pixalated and the blacks are like super black. I went outside at night and it’s near impossible to see anything.

The pixelated part is normal, the N64 outputs 240i so it’s gonna look super pixelated on anything you have thats modern.

Are you splitting the signal at all between the N64 and the TV/Card? I remember having this problem with my PS3 because I was splitting composite to both my TV and my Capture Card. But the way you explained your setup, it doesn’t sound like this is what you’re doing so I wanna just make sure.

No, I’m not splitting it. I’m doing a direct connection. I don’t have any extra cables or spliters. If splitting it would fix the issue I can get some after the blizzard and try. But would splitting it fix the way my computer is capturing it? Unless I just don’t know how a capture card works.

No, splitting it would cause the issue, is what I’m saying. When I split composite from my PS3 to my old capture card & tv, the signal weakened, making everything way darker. Splitting it would probably make it worse, but thats the only thing I could think of that would drop the brightness so significantly. I’m not actually sure what’s wrong here. Is there maybe some setting in the Hauppage software that’s being overlooked?

Does the HD-PVR2 even capture below 480i? I think some devices just plain don’t handle small resolutions that well. If it doesn’t have composite inputs, you might want to consider getting a capture device that does if you plan to do much with composite capture.

Alternately they do sell Composite -> HDMI upscalers.

I’ve had this one on my wishlist for a while:

That is much more affordable than a new capture device. But if it does come down to settings then i can play around with them. Hauppauge put out an update for their capture software in february that gives me a lot more options. I played with it a bit but it wouldnt hurt any yo keep trying.

The pixelation is surprisingly minimal for recording directly from the N64. I had to upgrade to S-Video from composite to get acceptable quality from that console. You might want to do the same just to clean things up a little more (do your research, though, most s-video cables just route the composite signal into the s-video output and so offer no improvement; I use these)

As for the video coming out too dark, that tends to occur with signal degradation, so it’s very odd that it would show up in recording if you aren’t splitting the signal. Can’t explain why it’s happening, but you might be able to fix it with the capture settings or in editing (though that won’t help much when you’re actually playing the game).

I use this with an elgato HD60 and it is FANTASTIC (so long as you don’t forget to raise the brightness on a game like Fatal Frame 2 like I did)

So I got that converter box and it seems to do the trick. I think the problem was putting the video composite cable into the video component cable spot. But with the converter box the screen looks normal, aside from the pixilation from the upscale. Which it looks like the Hauppauge capture software lets me downscale back to close to 480p, albeit not in a 4:3 ratio since the converter box locks it into widescreen.

I mean you can always fix aspect ratio in post. The whole NTSC non-square-pixels thing makes legacy console recording a little tricky with that stuff anyway.

Just remember, 4:3 720p is 960x720

So ive been playing around with the converter box and quality is perfectly sound. The only problen im running into is that 98% of the time the recorded video is fast.
I want to say about 20% faster, but not quite as im still unable to get my practice videos to sync properly.
Its recording at 1920x1080p 60fps, being downscaled to reduce the pixilation and dropping to 30 fps as i dont need 60 fps from the n64. Ive upped the brightness by 6 points and have it locked to a constant framerate. Ive messed with the settings a lot and an unable to find what could be causing the recording to come out fast.

Ill note that this is only occuring when recording with the converter from the n64. Recording from the other systems does not cause this and ive kept those settings at default. Which is why id imagine its my settings somehow but im not sure where im going wrong.

What game are you recording? The N64 (and PSX) were infamous for running at all kinds of weird resolutions and framerates. Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, just to throw out an example, run at 20 FPS instead of 30, so “correcting it” to 30 would in fact be wrong and make it look like it was playing too fast (because it is)

Im recording Mario Party. Ive had it record fine at some points, but the manority of the time it comes out fast.

Okay. So it looks like I got it to work. My solution was to not tell it to scale the framerate down to 30 fps and the keep it constant. As stated by Artix, correcting it like that must have been forcing the recording to become fast. So for now, I have been able to record my N64 without problems and now don’t need to worry about weird emulator issues.

Thank you everyone who helped out. I’ll be sure to post again if something else comes up. For now, I’ll change the thread title so anyone with N64 capture problems can submit something.

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