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Playing on the TV via HDMI
#1
Hello 

Can I please ask what's the best way to play with RetroStone 2 on your HD TV via its HDMI Out connector? 

Is the idea that you boot with the HDMI connector attached and the device negotiates the resolution of the HD TV itself and takes you to the Emulation Station splash screens directly (where you can choose to play ROMs)? 

Or do you currently have to boot without the HDMI connector attached > then go to RetrOrange Pi > launch Armbian Desktop > then plug the HDMI connector in? 

Sorry for having to ask this but I can't see any obvious instructions to explain the process. 

One other thing -- am I correct in thinking at present there is no audio on the HDMI Out connector? E.g. you have to listen to audio through the inbuilt speaker on the RetroStone 2? If so, I'm guessing this will be fixed in future OS images? 

Thanks for your time and help in advance! :-)
#2
Hi there,

this should be more straightforward soon , as the software matures.

For now, two steps are needed:

first edit system resolution in the Armbian kernel configuration:

Code:
sudo nano /boot/armbianEnv.txt

locate the extraargs line and change to

Code:
extraargs=video=HDMI-A-1:1280x720-32@60 video=Unknown-1:d cma=256M

the ":d" means disable so we're disabling the LCD (named Unknown) and enabling HDMI in 720p

Second part is editing retroarch configuration

Code:
nano /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg

Press Ctrl W to search entries and change the following :

Code:
video_fullscreen_x = "1280"
video_fullscreen_y = "720"
custom_viewport_height = "0"
custom_viewport_width = "0"
aspect_ratio_index = "22"


As the screen will be a lot bigger, you will maybe find games too blocky, if thats the case
change the following setting too:


Code:
video_smooth = "true"


Turn off the Stone
Turn on, it should enable HDMI 



notes:
1. you can use other text editor, like pluma, leafpad, vim, etc
2. you can change to your desired resolution (make sure it's supported by your TV set)
Is the idea that you boot with the HDMI connector attached and the device negotiates the resolution of the HD TV itself and takes you to the Emulation Station splash screens directly (where you can choose to play ROMs)?
At this moment, Kernel mode setting (KMS) detects LCD and HDMI automatically and make LCD as primary. So in order to play on HDMI only, we need to disable the LCD. If no HDMI resolution is entered, it should negotiate the optimal supported resolution by your TV set, usually 1080p, which seems to affect performance, that's why we forced to 720p above.

Or do you currently have to boot without the HDMI connector attached > then go to RetrOrange Pi > launch Armbian Desktop > then plug the HDMI connector in?
All emulation content run directly on KMS/DRM mode with SDL2 or GBM as windowing system and they're not compatible with X11 (X-Window system, on which Armbian Desktop is based)

One other thing -- am I correct in thinking at present there is no audio on the HDMI Out connector? E.g. you have to listen to audio through the inbuilt speaker on the RetroStone 2? If so, I'm guessing this will be fixed in future OS images?
Yes, HDMI audio support is currently being developed by another dev team and should be in future releases.

btw, you can use an analog audio cable to output somewhere

[Image: IMG_20200125_104611.jpg]
#3
Hi Alexkidd

thank you for the detailed notes!

I completely understand about the process being dependent on software maturation. The idea as presented by Pierre of RetroStone 2 that you can switch between the LCD and HDMI on-the-fly was the killer function for me in backing the project on KickStarter. It seems there are a lot of handhelds available for playing NES/GB/SNES/MegaDrive/MAME games (many of these more powerful in terms of CPU/GPU grunt than the RetroStone 2 Allwinner CPU) but the fact that you can - or will - be able to play them on the TV using the same unit is what makes RetroStone 2 potentially stand above these competitors.

I also appreciate that it's going to take a bit of engineering to get the system to automatically do the LCD-to-HDMI switching, particularly if there are Kernel tweaks and window systems to integrate. And the fact that we have our physical RetroStone 2s relatively early in the whole process.

I'm going to follow your Code instructions when I get a moment. I'm presuming you just reverse the changes through ssh when you want to disable the HDMI and re-enable the LCD?

One question - the photo you have attached of SMB3 fullscreen on your Samsung monitor seems to be in 16x9 when the original game is in 4x3 aspect ratio. Is there a way to fix this (preferably automatically)?

I also need to ask - can we plug in external USB controllers (let's say old Xbox controllers, or 8bitdo controllers) and use them in conjunction with this HDMI mode? Do we need to configure the new joypad in Emulation Station (button mapping etc)?

The ideal scenario:
You are out playing SMB3 (on your way home from work, or whatever), when you get home you plug the HDMI cable into the side of RetroStone 2, you turn on and connect your bluetooth 8bitdo controller, you plug power into the RetroStone 2, and you immediately continue playing SMB3 on the fullscreen.

I guess that's to come... :-)
Thanks for your help.
#4
I completely understand about the process being dependent on software maturation. The idea as presented by Pierre of RetroStone 2 that you can switch between the LCD and HDMI on-the-fly was the killer function for me in backing the project on KickStarter.

OK, on-the-fly switch is still being developed by another freelance developer AFAIK


I'm going to follow your Code instructions when I get a moment. I'm presuming you just reverse the changes through ssh when you want to disable the HDMI and re-enable the LCD?

You might just add a # before the existing extraargs line and create another entry, so it's easier for you to switch back afterwards

One question - the photo you have attached of SMB3 fullscreen on your Samsung monitor seems to be in 16x9 when the original game is in 4x3 aspect ratio. Is there a way to fix this (preferably automatically)?


I took the photo with the 16:9 aspect indeed, but the above tutorial already sets original game aspect (index 22 means Core Provided). Also change integer_scale to true if false.

I also need to ask - can we plug in external USB controllers (let's say old Xbox controllers, or 8bitdo controllers) and use them in conjunction with this HDMI mode? Do we need to configure the new joypad in Emulation Station (button mapping etc)?

Mostly any controller is supported. You just need to map it in EmulationStation indeed . Emulator configs will be set as well. You'll probably need to  switch player 1 input to usb instead of retrostone button (retroarch menu - input - player 1)

The ideal scenario:
You are out playing SMB3 (on your way home from work, or whatever), when you get home you plug the HDMI cable into the side of RetroStone 2, you turn on and connect your bluetooth 8bitdo controller, you plug power into the RetroStone 2, and you immediately continue playing SMB3 on the fullscreen.

Let's hope all goes well with development, then dreams will come true.
#5
(01-25-2020, 06:27 PM)alexkidd Wrote: I completely understand about the process being dependent on software maturation. The idea as presented by Pierre of RetroStone 2 that you can switch between the LCD and HDMI on-the-fly was the killer function for me in backing the project on KickStarter.

OK, on-the-fly switch is still being developed by another freelance developer AFAIK


I'm going to follow your Code instructions when I get a moment. I'm presuming you just reverse the changes through ssh when you want to disable the HDMI and re-enable the LCD?

You might just add a # before the existing extraargs line and create another entry, so it's easier for you to switch back afterwards

One question - the photo you have attached of SMB3 fullscreen on your Samsung monitor seems to be in 16x9 when the original game is in 4x3 aspect ratio. Is there a way to fix this (preferably automatically)?


I took the photo with the 16:9 aspect indeed, but the above tutorial already sets original game aspect (index 22 means Core Provided). Also change integer_scale to true if false.

I also need to ask - can we plug in external USB controllers (let's say old Xbox controllers, or 8bitdo controllers) and use them in conjunction with this HDMI mode? Do we need to configure the new joypad in Emulation Station (button mapping etc)?

Mostly any controller is supported. You just need to map it in EmulationStation indeed . Emulator configs will be set as well. You'll probably need to  switch player 1 input to usb instead of retrostone button (retroarch menu - input - player 1)

The ideal scenario:
You are out playing SMB3 (on your way home from work, or whatever), when you get home you plug the HDMI cable into the side of RetroStone 2, you turn on and connect your bluetooth 8bitdo controller, you plug power into the RetroStone 2, and you immediately continue playing SMB3 on the fullscreen.

Let's hope all goes well with development, then dreams will come true.

Can someone make a video on how to do this? I'm more of a passive player and have no experience in coding. Thanks!
#6
next update will bring an easier menu option
#7
I tried this, but it was very cumbersome.
You need to update the configuration file each time you switch.
And it doesn't support sound and no sound comes out of the TV.
It is better to wait as alexkidd says.
#8
Anyway, as pointed in the retrostone campaign, there will be no audio, as it's not supported on the kernel yet. Development work is almost finished, so it will be soon if all goes well.
#9
HDMI switch feature is now available. Please test: http://orangepi.club/showthread.php?tid=3407


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