Is pixel scaling a bad thing? Not necessarily, since if it didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be able to see the content in full screen on modern monitors. Sometimes, however, this can be a bad thing, especially on modern screens that are showing old content. let’s talk about why.
What is pixel scaling?
Pixel scaling or pixel scaling refers to the process of scaling or adapting content designed for a certain resolution to a higher resolution. It exists in one form or another in almost all the content you use on a daily basis, especially if your monitor is 1440p or 4K, as most of today’s content is designed for 1080p resolution.
Pixel scaling itself doesn’t make content look bad; Conversely, what happens when retro content doesn’t look good on a modern monitor is that the pixel scaling has been performed unevenly. This is a common thing when viewing old content on new monitors because the low resolution does not match the modern high resolution screen, and more than the resolution itself, it is also because of the report. height / width (imagine something that was designed for 4: 3 screens and reproduced in 16: 9).
Beyond that, you also run into the problem that even with an appropriate pixel scale, a low resolution image will simply be less sharp than a high resolution image.
Why do CRT monitors look better with retro gaming?
The main reason pixel scaling is a problem is that all content these days needs to be scaled to native resolution before it gets rendered to the screen. This is because pixels are physical objects on modern screens, all of which must be illuminated for a full screen image to appear. If the image does not meet or exceed the native resolution, uneven pixel scaling occurs and that is when we notice that the image is bad or not. clear.
If we switch to a CRT monitor that’s no longer a problem, and in fact even non-native content looks a lot better, why if it’s much older technology? While CRTs lack the extreme fidelity of modern 4K displays, CRTs do have the ability to easily display non-native content; This is because projecting images onto a CRT screen works more like a projector, where individual pixels are no longer physical objects but are projected onto the screen.
In addition to better handling of low-res content, CRT monitors also tend to be much better at eliminating input latency than modern displays, especially when it comes to consoles and TVs rather than monitors. PC monitors. This is the reason why many professionals, especially fighting games, prefer CRT monitors to modern high-resolution screens, because in these types of games they require perfect inputs for certain combinations (although obviously a modern high-resolution monitor). well in this regard).
What can you do if you are suffering from uneven pixel scaling?
It will depend on the case and the type of problem you are suffering from, the solution may be easy or even impossible to fix. If you’re dealing with standard definition content like old DVDs, game consoles, or even VHS tapes, it’s pretty tough. Besides the obvious option of getting an old CRT monitor and using it to play this content, you can also look for something like a mCable which will add additional image processing and anti-aliasing to improve the image.
For older game consoles like Nintendo NES or SEGA Master System / Mega Drive, emulate higher resolution on something like Retroarch
Now, if you’re trying to play retro 2D games on a PC and notice that they look more blurry than they should because of Pixel Scaling, you probably need to enable a feature called Integer Scaling in your graphics settings. NVIDIA, AMD or Intel. Integer scaling ensures that all pixels are resized as close to perfect as possible, which means you might not get a full screen effect, but the visual experience will definitely be much better. clear.
As a last resort, you may want to look for a ‘scan only’ setting or similar setting on your screen, which will simply display the raw images at the resolution you want, which should make the image much sharper at the price point. image not occupy the entire surface of your monitor.
If none of the metrics listed help, it’s time to start looking for higher resolution versions of the content you’re trying to play that are poorly scaled. For example, you might want to look to Blu-Ray or remastered alternatives to your DVD or VHS content if you want a better viewing experience on your modern screen.