I thought the 50hz thing was just a meme. But Sonic on the Mega drive is almost unplayable.
Is the slowdown caused by the system, the cartridge, or the TV?
If I play an ntsc version on the mega drive, will it run at the correct speed?
>If I play an ntsc version on the mega drive, will it run at the correct speed?
No, since frequency is defined by the console and not the game. You'll need to switch (solder) a jumper inside to have it run at 60Hz. Then (nearly) all your games will run exactly like the "NTSC" versions, since there are no actual "versions" when it comes to code (see: nearly all ROMs are JUE).
This, and don't forget get an RGB cable. PAL TVs supported 60Hz signals for a long time so when switching to 60Hz you'll have no issue and get the best signal and color, unless you use a pre-80s CRT or something (60Hz could be messy).
Any other signal (composite, RF) will result in a black and white image on every set when played at 60Hz, because the console sends chroma and luma at non-standard intervals so any TV (even NTSC ones) would fail to get both.
Of course, if you're planning to use 60Hz RGB, European HDTVs are picky to what kind of signals you can feed them, but you really shouldn't play old consoles on them with the stock cables.
Oh, you should also save another jumper for the "language" bit, so you can also play Japanese games. Thing is, some later games had region locking which checked the refresh rate and the language bit. It goes like this:
60Hz + English = NTSC US
50Hz + English = PAL
60Hz + Japanese = NTSC JP
50Hz + Japanese = Unused
This means you can't play European region locked games like Sonic 3 (there are many others, >>2930284 has no idea) in 60Hz unless you lock it on to S&K, which is region free.
You COULD flip the switch while the console is on to play those games at 60Hz, and with some it might even work because they leave enough processing power free to execute the CRAM sync code (I won't go into detail) and didn't even attempt to optimize the music, like Megaman: The Wily Wars.
Some other games like Aladdin are region locked and they run fairly well, but since the music was optimized, it plays faster than normal. Then there are games like Sonic that really tax your system so switching from 50Hz to 60Hz makes the game glitch like crazy because it can't keep up. Choose your own library well.
An early HDTV I got worked fine with 60Hz signals from RGB SCART, the newer one I got despises them, and even when I can get it to work the framerate is unfathomably bad, like cutting in half the already cut in half 480i bad.
You shouldn't play pre-6th gen consoles on HDTV anyway, unless you have a scaler.
>Care to elaborate on that?
If you're used to 60Hz Sonic then yes 50Hz is a huge letdown, but it won't magically stop being fun. Of course 60Hz is preferable, but you can't use composite to see the dithering effects.
>Then there are games like Sonic that really tax your system so switching from 50Hz to 60Hz makes the game glitch like crazy
Aren't all Sonic games JUE anyway - save for a couple (3, Spinball)? I've never noticed any glitches doing that in say, Sonic 2.
Also, switching the language while the console is running can be fun, you can see Streets of Rage / Bare Knuckle's title change in-between demos (and the intro text can turned into a mixture of English and Japanese as well).
>Aren't all Sonic games JUE anyway
That doesn't have anything to with what I'm talking about. Every Sonic game is the same, code wise. If you start Sonic 2 in 50Hz, and THEN switch to 60Hz it'll schitz out because it's executing the CRAM delaying routine (which sort of acts like a vsync) to get rid of the dots on the border below. And it's doing it on TOP of the game, in 60Hz, which means 10 times more than it was meant to be executed. Being Sonic a resource heavy game per se, it can't end well.
Of course, if you start in 60Hz, switch to 50Hz and then 60Hz again it will behave normally, but you will also see the CRAM dots because that expensive routine is not executed.
I've played plenty of PAL60 games and NTSC consoles on PAL TVs for over ten years now, first on a CRT and then on a HDTV. For much of that time, I was using them through composite. I never had a black and white picture or any other issues. My HDTV even accepts NTSC signals via RF. No CRT that I've tried does that though.
Many TVs don't have a SCART socket wired for s-video though, so if you use an unmodified s-video to SCART adapter to hook up a console you will get a black and white picture.
If you mod an European Megadrive for 60Hz though, nothing will ever make it display color on composite/RF on that mode. Unless you specifically change the console's master clock and replace the crystal oscillator. But then you would not have color over 50Hz's composite/RF.
I had a CRT that took NTSC 240p but not 480i, and a consumer Trinitron that took both. Many CRTs who don't have a double SCART slot do feature a mode essentially for S-Video so that both RGB and S-Video can go through it.
>No CRT that I've tried does that though.
That's strange. What did it do?