custom firmware for sega flashback 2018

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by WD_GASTER2, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. dcuk7

    dcuk7 Advanced Member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    United Kingdom
    We can't link to or really discuss downloading ROMs as it's essentially piracy. If you have Steam, you can buy SEGA Mega Drive Classics games and they are basically the ROMs shipped with an emulator.
     
  2. spinal_cord

    spinal_cord Knows his stuff

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    Jul 21, 2007
    somewhere
    A Hotel?
     
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  3. b0wman

    b0wman Newbie

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    Apr 14, 2019
    Germany
    Hello@all.
    I had the opportunity to test the console with the Pico Drive Emulator for a few days. In the beginning I was excited, because the Sega CD Emulation works really well. With 32X it looks a bit different, because sometimes there are flickers and scratches in the sound. This clouds the gaming fun a bit, but it's not so bad for me. I looked at 32X more as a bonus. However, I noticed the sound lag of the cartridges and the certridge emulation. Some games run, in my opinion, quite well, e.g. Streets of Rage 2, others, like Sonic 1, have noticeable delays in the sound output. Especially with Sensitive Soccer I noticed that. The sound of the shooting is almost half a second after the actual action and quite irritating. I have already tried various settings (such as the game mode) on my TV, but it's more the emulation.

    Is the other emulator better? You have described in previous posts that the Pico is actually the more stable emulator. Or is it still the firmware of AtGames? Thank you in advance for your help :)
     
  4. Alphons Potters

    Alphons Potters Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Netherlands
    That's weird... which version do you have because mine Streets of Rage 2 works good but I am using the Genesisplus Emulator.
     
  5. b0wman

    b0wman Newbie

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    Apr 14, 2019
    Germany
    Hey. Yes, like I wrote....Streets of Rage plays really fine. But Try Sonic 1 or Sensible Soccer instead...
     
  6. rrifonas

    rrifonas GBAtemp Regular

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    5
    Jan 28, 2009
    United States
    I don't see the audio with a huge delay in Sonic and most of the US/NTSC games, there is some delay, but it's acceptable when you disable the 'background music' on the menu, and set the 'overdrive' option (i think the overdrive option is more like a placebo, but i always enable it). EU/PAL games, in the other hand, have much more delay on the sound - I've seen Sensible Soccer is a PAL game, maybe that explains the delay. It's likely a problem with the emulator (retroplayer), and it happens with both cores.
     
  7. flame489

    flame489 Newbie

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    Apr 11, 2019
    Portugal
    The sound delay is present even on original firmware, the sound delay is higher in PAL games (between 1 to 1.5 seconds) and smaller in NTSC games (less than 1 second). I reported the issue to ATGames and their response was:

    " The development team has not been able to find a resolution for the audio issues but has instead put it onto their backlog to be resolved in a future firmware update. As the development team is focusing on our 2019 line of products, though, the issue is unable to take priority at this time.

    Regards,
    "

    Maybe I should not have been the only one reporting the problem to ATGames, but I think the more people who report it the faster they try to solve it.
     
  8. dcuk7

    dcuk7 Advanced Member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    United Kingdom
    As has been said, the sound delay has been there since the original firmware. I have 5 of these things now, each running various firmware revisions and the one constant between them is the sound delay. I test them with Sonic 3 & Knuckles as I know that game like the back of my hand so any delay/lag/glitching I can spot straight away.

    @Alphons Potters had a suggestion that pressing the Rewind button fixes the sound delay and he is correct, it actually does sync up the audio and video when you just give it a quick 1 second rewind. I noticed that this doesn't fix the issue completely though. The delay will gradually come back whilst playing a game, and in the case of the Sonic games, each time a new zone loads, the delay comes back straight away (particularly noticeable when transitioning to and from the blue sphere special stages).

    I fear this is the best we will get from this device unfortunately.
     
  9. b0wman

    b0wman Newbie

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    Apr 14, 2019
    Germany
    and unfortunately, this is exact the company we know from their other releases before :(

    okay, I will try to get my hands on "Championship Soccer 94", the US version of Sensible Soccer instead. Thanks
     
  10. flame489

    flame489 Newbie

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    Apr 11, 2019
    Portugal
    The development team has send me an older version of the firmware to test ( Firmware fb3680_1214 with 217 MB ) if the sound delay remains. I provide the link to anyone who wants to test but that he does it at his own risk.
    Then say whether it has improved or not, in my opinion I think there has not been any significant improvement.
     
    Last edited by flame489, Apr 28, 2019
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  11. dcuk7

    dcuk7 Advanced Member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    United Kingdom
    So I've been messing around with this today and I've come to the conclusion that it's not the sound that is delayed, rather it is the video that seems to be running quickly.

    I had Sonic 2 running side-by-side with my Mega Drive. Straight away I realised the Flashback was running quickly. Then I remembered that the Flashback runs at 60Hz and my modified Mega Drive, which is modded to run at 60Hz, actually runs slightly slower (it's about 59.3Hz). This is just a quirk of the original hardware. I was about to stop trying at this point. Then I remembered I had the perfect device to do the test with.

    So I did the same test using the recently released Mega SG. This is great because not only is it pretty much 100% accurate to original hardware, but it can actually run the games at 60Hz dead on. Again I synced the games so the attract mode demos ran almost exactly together and over the course of a few minutes, the video from the Flashback started to edge ahead, but the sound was still almost synced on both.

    I have a video which shows it. I will try to record something better but for now here is a capture from the beginning of the video (top) and another after 2 minutes of recording bottom. The Mega SG is on the left and the Flashback is on the right. The sound stayed as in sync as I had it at the start but the video on the Flashback ran ahead by a few frames.

    capture.

    I wonder if this is why AtGames are struggling to pin the issue down!
     
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  12. WD_GASTER2
    OP

    WD_GASTER2 I tinker and code.

    Member
    6
    Jun 17, 2018
    France
    to be fair the mega sg is a what? 200 dollar piece of cutting edge reverse engineering? :P.

    on my end my sega flashback 2018 kicked the dust but not without leaving me intrigued with the fact that a really slimmed down version of android may run on it. pointless probably but interesting none the less. I may buy myself another one next paycheck.
     
  13. dcuk7

    dcuk7 Advanced Member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Yeah, totally not having a dig at the Flashback. For what it is, it is pretty good (that's probably why I have 5 of the bloody things). I just feel like AtGames has this little issue to solve that would make it great. Seeing as they don't seem to be able to figure out the issue, hopefully we can solve it for them :ha:

    It's just interesting that the issue isn't actually sound-related, even though that's how it comes across. I tested again last night and the sound stayed totally in sync with the SG. I also noticed during my testing that after running ahead, the video will slowly come back into sync and then go out of sync again. It's very strange.
     
  14. flame489

    flame489 Newbie

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    Apr 11, 2019
    Portugal
    I did the same test as you for about 3 minutes, but I used Fusion364 emulator instead and Mega Drive Flashback side-by-side and after 3 minutes the 2 videos were 100% synced, except the audio on the mega drive is still delayed.
     
    Last edited by flame489, Apr 29, 2019
  15. dcuk7

    dcuk7 Advanced Member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Well, the plot thickens. After you saying that I've run 3 of the units side by side and they each tend to do their own thing! And it's not always the same unit that does a certain thing!

    I had one where the video was synced with the Mega SG and the audio would go out and the other two would lose sync on both the video and the audio separately! The main one I use tends to stay mostly in sync with the audio but the other two vary wildly!

    No wonder AtGames has given up! I know I have!
     
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  16. b0wman

    b0wman Newbie

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    Apr 14, 2019
    Germany
    The problem is, if they release a new variant every half year, but can't manage to develop a good firmware, then it will never be anything.
     
    Last edited by b0wman, Apr 30, 2019
  17. Alphons Potters

    Alphons Potters Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Netherlands
    I hope the that it will be fixed one day. I have informed atgames about this problem. I hope they fix it with a future firmware update!
    Or maybe the community can fix this?
     
  18. Excalibur007

    Excalibur007 Advanced Member

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    Oct 28, 2015
    United States
    I finally decided to add SegaCD games to my allgames.ini instead of just playing them from my "Games" folder, but I've not been able to get them to work. My SegaCD images are all CHD which play fine when loading from the SD card, but if I try to use them from the allgames.ini, they won't load. Not sure what I could be doing wrong unless CHD just doesn't work when loaded that way.
     
  19. DoctorEvil8

    DoctorEvil8 Member

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    Mar 14, 2019
    Canada
    Which Custom Firmware are you using? CHD works fine with Genesis Plus, but you will need the Sega CD BIOS file with the game to work. bios_CD_U.bin for US games, bios_CD_E.bin for Europe games and bios_CD_J.bin for Japan region games. Also if you are using sub-folders for the games, you need a copy of the bios in the sub folder as well.
     
    Last edited by DoctorEvil8, May 2, 2019
  20. Excalibur007

    Excalibur007 Advanced Member

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    Oct 28, 2015
    United States
    That was my silly oversight. I left those bios files in the previous Games folder and didn't think to move them to the new folder. Thanks for that help! :-)
     
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