If you own a collection of retro games from yesteryear, chances are you remember how they looked on an old 4:3 TV screen. Monitors back then featured a much lower resolution than today's high-definition TVs, but had a distinctive look that most fondly remember - scanlines.
Arcade gaming has come a long way since many dropped quarters into stand-up and sit-down cabinets, admiring the graphics on a glowing CRT screen. Today, many can enjoy their games of yesteryear via MAME or other arcade emulation, but the experience on modern LCD screens isn't the same. For those who remember CRT displays, scanlines were distinct and quite visible, and in many cases characterized how the graphics were to appear. A scanline is one line, or row, in a raster scanning pattern, such as a line of video on a cathode ray tube (CRT) display of a television set or computer monitor. 1
SCAN.DL - or "Scan Delineation Line" - is an adjustable, VGA input/output adapter that generates scanlines, replicating the appearance of older CRT monitors on modern, hi-resolution LCD/LED displays.
Robust Features, Economical Price
At just $19.95, SCAN.DL comes with 3 individual trimpots for red, blue and green colors. Rotating the trimpots clockwise or counter-clockwise using a small flathead screwdriver, you can change the intensity of the scanlines to your preferences, from dark to faintly visible.
If you notice that the screen turns increasingly red, green or blue, this is normal. All that is needed is a turn of each pot to match each of the color intensities that you set for a single color. For example, if you increase the red, make sure to increase the green and blue by the same amount. This will return the screen color to normal, and in turn adjust to your desired scanline intensity.
Also present are 4 prominent dipswitches to turn on the device and configure the scanlines. These are labeled on the device:
- [P] Power on/off
- [W] Scanline width (for thicker or thinner scanlines, adjusted thicker for higher resolutions)
- [OE] Even or odd scanlines
- [S] Vertical sync. Vertical sync inverts the VSYNC signal; VGA resolutions other than 640x480 @ 60Hz or 1024x768 @ 60Hz will need this activated to properly display scanlines.
To activate each, move the switch towards the number or label on the device. To turn off, simply move the switch away from the number or label.
Other features include two female VGA connectors on each side, representing signal input and output.
The compact (2.1in x 1.5in x .5in) hardware is enclosed in a protective, anti-static bag.
High-Resolution and Dreamcast VGA Compatible
SCAN.DL is a 31KHz VGA product, and will support resolutions to 1080p (1920x1080) and above. It has been tested on various VGA sources and monitors for compliance. The quality largely depends on the graphics card (if using PC), quality of cable, resolution your monitor can produce. Best practice is to test a VGA source and the cables you intend to connect the SCAN.DL to.
The SCAN.DL has been tested on VGA output from the Sega Dreamcast and will output to a TV with VGA (often labeled as PC) input. You can also connect it to a VGA to HDMI upscaler if your TV does not have a VGA input.