Worklog Analyzing the Wii's Video Encoder

Aurelio

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Staff member
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,912
Likes
2,599
Portables
2
People say that the wii component video out is inferior to the gamecubes, haven't seen it myself as I don't have gc component cable. Here's a comparison pic + info. http://retrorgb.com/gamecubevswii.html

Since the component video is encoded in the AVE-RVL bypassing it and using a gcvideo could give better video quality.
Ok in this case probably you can, but on RetroRGB they say
The GameCube seems to put out a much better quality signal than the original Wii systems. I've seen a few newer Wii's that output a much higher quality signal than the originals, but they aren't compatible with GC games.
so, considering that RVK Wiis can still play Gamecube games through Nintendont probably it is the best and easiest way.
 

ShockSlayer

Ivan - the tyranny of evil men
.
.
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,493
Likes
3,755
Location
Ragnarok, re-entry
Portables
All
In particular, mega told me yesterday that the GCVideo outputs truer video than even the standard GC component cables. I am not sure about compared to the Wii, but I'd say in particular if you're looking to play GC games at the absolute best quality on component(and especially HDMI as the Wii HDMI is garbage), you simply cannot beat GCVideo.
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,108
Likes
2,128
Portables
4
Ok in this case probably you can, but on RetroRGB they say so, considering that RVK Wiis can still play Gamecube games through Nintendont probably it is the best and easiest way.
The chip is exactly the same, so I don't think it's true. Nobody has actually tested it. There is no evidence that the rvk has better video than the rvl.
 

Aurelio

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Staff member
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,912
Likes
2,599
Portables
2
The chip is exactly the same, so I don't think it's true. Nobody has actually tested it. There is no evidence that the rvk has better video than the rvl.
Well there is the RVL-AVE A revision, maybe that's improved
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,108
Likes
2,128
Portables
4
I have seen the rvl ave a, and odly it shows up spuraticly across boards. Unlike the other chips, where once a new one was made, they stopped using the old one, the AVE-A seems to show up randomly from revision to revision. I would love for someone to test and confirm the difference.

But regardless, GC Video puts out digital video, so the screen receives perfect pixels. The analog to digital conversion lag is also removed, which is ideal for melee players.
 

Aurelio

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Staff member
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,912
Likes
2,599
Portables
2
I have seen the rvl ave a, and odly it shows up spuraticly across boards. Unlike the other chips, where once a new one was made, they stopped using the old one, the AVE-A seems to show up randomly from revision to revision. I would love for someone to test and confirm the difference.

But regardless, GC Video puts out digital video, so the screen receives perfect pixels. The analog to digital conversion lag is also removed, which is ideal for melee players.
With gcvideo dvi yes, absolutely.
About the lag Unseen showed that on gcvideo lite it was smaller than the internal encoder, so I don't think that Melee players should care :D
 

ShockSlayer

Ivan - the tyranny of evil men
.
.
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,493
Likes
3,755
Location
Ragnarok, re-entry
Portables
All
It's functionally identical to the standard GC video encoder in terms of lag. Which means lag isn't a factor to consider here. It'll be much better than those Wii HDMI boards though for sure.
 

bentomo

sands mobos in a single swipe
.
.
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
91
Likes
48
A gc video lite could easily be adjusted to run on 1.8v logic rather than 3.3v.

But I think a good reason for changing out the AVE for a GC video would be board shrinkage. There's about an extra inch on the video end of the board that you could cut off if you could rewire a GC video.

Oooooor, one less chip for a motherboard replacement that would include an lcd controller and GC controller.
(¬‿¬)
 

ShockSlayer

Ivan - the tyranny of evil men
.
.
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,493
Likes
3,755
Location
Ragnarok, re-entry
Portables
All
A gc video lite could easily be adjusted to run on 1.8v logic rather than 3.3v.

But I think a good reason for changing out the AVE for a GC video would be board shrinkage. There's about an extra inch on the video end of the board that you could cut off if you could rewire a GC video.

Oooooor, one less chip for a motherboard replacement that would include an lcd controller and GC controller.
(¬‿¬)
I will time the memes out of you tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

bentomo

sands mobos in a single swipe
.
.
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
91
Likes
48
I will time the memes out of you tomorrow.
Well as long as I'm on a roll here we could probably emulate the real time clock function of the MX chip and cut out that chip entirely.

The beauty of FPGA's.
 

ShockSlayer

Ivan - the tyranny of evil men
.
.
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,493
Likes
3,755
Location
Ragnarok, re-entry
Portables
All
Well as long as I'm on a roll here we could probably emulate the real time clock function of the MX chip and cut out that chip entirely.

The beauty of FPGA's.
Well we'd need to store the font/other data on it as well.
 

Aurelio

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Staff member
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,912
Likes
2,599
Portables
2
Well as long as I'm on a roll here we could probably emulate the real time clock function of the MX chip and cut out that chip entirely.

The beauty of FPGA's.
Iirc it works through exi protocol, I can't see any advantages worth the amount of work to emulate it.
Also as SS said you'd need also the font data and the SRAM
 

ShockSlayer

Ivan - the tyranny of evil men
.
.
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
1,493
Likes
3,755
Location
Ragnarok, re-entry
Portables
All
Iirc it works through exi protocol, I can't see any advantages worth the amount of work to emulate it.
Also as SS said you'd need also the font data and the SRAM
SRAM?
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,108
Likes
2,128
Portables
4
Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 5.45.39 PM.png

A more detailed image was requested, so here it is.

Quick Summary:

Red lines are (theorized) data lines
Green is the 54mhz clock
Orange is no activity in the single test done
Yellow is the 50 kHz square wave
Blue is other consistent waves of various frequencies, mentioned in the first post
Purple is Digital audio.

Using no evidence whatsoever, I would guess that the following lines are paired:

15/16
12/14
11/13
6/8

Obviously, as stated before, these are just the results of a single circumstance
 
Last edited:

bentomo

sands mobos in a single swipe
.
.
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
91
Likes
48
Or while you're at it emulate the CPU and GPU too, get it down to my one wire Wii design
Hey real time clock by itself isn't too difficult to reverse engineer. But yes, font data and sram shoots that idea down.

Shank, those blue lines are possibly some protocol interface between the wii and the AVE. Do you have screen shots of the blue lines scoped out?
 

Shank

Moderator
Staff member
.
.
.
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1,108
Likes
2,128
Portables
4
Shank, those blue lines are possibly some protocol interface between the wii and the AVE. Do you have screen shots of the blue lines scoped out?
No, I don't, but I can. I can certainly take pictures of the screen of my oscilloscope, or learn to use the screenshot feature.

But I can tell you the wave is very consistent, with no abnormalities. Its the same single wave form over and over for all of those lines.

I also plan to test the Wii in other modes to see if I can get any activity on the inactive lines, or notice any different results.
 

Aurelio

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Staff member
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
1,912
Likes
2,599
Portables
2
Hey real time clock by itself isn't too difficult to reverse engineer. But yes, font data and sram shoots that idea down.

Shank, those blue lines are possibly some protocol interface between the wii and the AVE. Do you have screen shots of the blue lines scoped out?
The chip is configured through i2c from the Wii each time there is a video format change (which could make it harder to adapt GCVideo)
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
2
Likes
0
I'm working on a project that you guys might have some input on. I want to trim a wii, and run it like a gameboy player using the high speed port (HSP) on the bottom of the gamecube for power and video. I still have to see what voltage the HSP accepts for the data lines (it's probably 3.3v), but I think it has the same number of data lines as the wii, so with some luck it won't be too difficult. Then the wii video could be routed through the gamecube's encoder and the FPGA board afterwards. I guess it's all about where you want to change the video signal power, the FPGA board vs the wii's data pins, but should be cool to have a small wii that you can stick on the bottom of a gamecube.
 
Top