Team restores "leftover" DS Lite TV-out feature with CFW and circuit board

m9rQle7.png

Teased earlier this week by the hacking group Lost Nintendo History was a homebrew release that would add TV-out to the Nintendo DS Lite, through the use of CFW and an open hardware circuit board. Today, the team managed to deliver on their promises by uploading their release on GitHub, as well as writing up an explanation of their process on their website. According to them, they'd found out that there was a TV-out feature leftover in the DS Lite's SoC, and that with some effort, they would be able to restore the function, allowing anyone to output their DS on their TV without having to resort to extra "bulky or cumbersome hardware" to do so.

Available only and specifically on the DS Lite, the method involves the custom firmware flashME, which reenables the TV-Out feature normally disabled on boot. Twilight Menu and a DS flashcart are also used, in order to boot the NDS_TV_OUT_ENABLE.nds file. Finally, you'll need a circuit board, of which the schematics, gerber file, and finer details are provided in the GitHub release. All of these things combined allow for you to play your DS Lite on your TV, with audio. You can output one screen at a time, and switch between the top or bottom with a single press of a switch on the circuit board. An installation guide and writeup are available on the project's GitHub, linked below.

On December 2020, we discovered that the Nintendo DS Lite's SoC (System on Chip) had a hidden feature: a leftover TV(Television) composite video output signal. This project contains our hardware designs and software code to restore this hidden feature and make it usable again. More details here

Contents
  • Schematics & design & BOM
    • Can be found in this respository under /pcb
  • Production Files
  • Documentation
    • Some base explaination of how the system works, how the PCB and software act altogether, etc. can be found here after the Installation section
  • Tutorials
    • For a quick installation/usage tutorial, click here
    • Video Tutorial coming later this month
Acknowledgements
This project wouldn't be possible without the contributions of Gericom, Nitehack and pedro-javierf.

:arrow: Source
:download: Download Link
 

ClancyDaEnlightened

GBAtemp Official Psychonaut
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
1,875
Trophies
1
Location
somewhere within 4 dimensional space-time
XP
2,633
Country
United States
Hmm. I was toying with the idea of bringing back CRTs for the gaming set at one point. If I can get an even easier in and just include a decoder board with several sets of old school inputs (maybe even some nice cables in the box) and abilities to handle resolutions as seen in 8 and 16 bit consoles of various regions then spares the hassle of sorting CRT shipping too.

I will have to +1 the TVs seem to be shrinking inputs thing. Had to do a CCTV setup for someone with an old setup the other month and his very nice shiny TV had a little super thin wire dangly extension with about 4 HDMI ports on that went under the TV. Fortunately he had a nice old amp.
best crt tv hands down will give any pvm a run for their spec, these types of crts were not produced within the usa, this was bought from ramstein in germany in the late 80/Early90s, have not found another, you dunno how long I've been looking
post-30967-0-10320200-1524689417_thumb.jpg
post-30967-0-83438700-1524689591_thumb.jpg
 
Last edited by ClancyDaEnlightened,
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted User

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,811
Trophies
3
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
26,103
Country
United Kingdom
best crt tv hands down will give any pvm a run for their spec, these types of crts were not produced within the usa, this was bought from ramstein in germany in the 1980s, have not found another, you dunno how long I've been looking
View attachment 248452 View attachment 248454
Believe me I am still kicking myself for not buying up the mountain of 40+ inch widescreen CRTs with multiple component+composite+scart+RF inputs from charity shops when everybody decided the first gen of LCD* flatscreens were in and they were flooded with them and letting them go for "we want the floor space back" prices.

*plasma was always niche, at least until it to got silly cheap and several shops wanted to liquidate their stock.
 

orangy57

bruh
Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
828
Trophies
0
Age
20
Location
New Jersey
XP
2,499
Country
United States
Btw, Nitehack has confirmed that composite is a SOC limitation, so there wont be other signals for the board.

That's a shame, I was really hoping for component/RGB support. I still don't get why the digital signal can't be converted into anything else besides composite, unless the digital signal already contains a merged chroma/luma. Once the project is finalized we'll hopefully be able to see a write-up of how it all works
 

ClancyDaEnlightened

GBAtemp Official Psychonaut
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
1,875
Trophies
1
Location
somewhere within 4 dimensional space-time
XP
2,633
Country
United States
That's a shame, I was really hoping for component/RGB support. I still don't get why the digital signal can't be converted into anything else besides composite, unless the digital signal already contains a merged chroma/luma. Once the project is finalized we'll hopefully be able to see a write-up of how it all works

I would assume the hardware is a dac (digital to analog converter) the soc probably has some extra hardware which would allow composite to be generated in software, probably some bit banging, the dac simply takes the digital (composite) and converts it to an analog signal that a tv decoder can understand, you can use bunch of resistors, however using a dac chip provides the best quality output wise, since it's buffered and cleaned a bit before heading out



If you can generate composite, you should also be able to do svideo
 
Last edited by ClancyDaEnlightened,

The Real Jdbye

*is birb*
Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
22,212
Trophies
4
Location
Space
XP
11,723
Country
Norway
View attachment 248431 View attachment 248433
View attachment 248434
Well every lcd tv Ive had, had composite, rf, dvi sometimes, usually youll get vga

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Forgot about this, got it for free, needs a $70 bulb, turns out it's still a 3-400$ tv

Thought Mitsubishi made cars.....

View attachment 248435 View attachment 248436
Looks like an older model.
I was reading a while ago that some people actually preferred the composite output of the Wii over the component-out because the blurriness helped to disguise how low-res the graphics are. I guess no one here feels that way.
The WIi still looks just as low res with composite. There's just noise added on top of all that like an overlay.
I would have to agree. when I was at best buy, I asked for a tv with component and vga, and the salesperson said that almost all new tvs have hdmi only, so they didn't have a tv like that. I had to go to video revolution, and they only had one tv with both of those inputs (this was about three or four years ago). I still have it in my bedroom. I no longer need either though with a framemeister and my receiver can upconvert composite to component, then the framemeister can convert component to hdmi. my receiver is ancient, so it has no hdmi on it.
That seems to be the way to go anyway, especially now that you have affordable upscalers like RetroTink. Better quality and lower latency :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: godreborn

Deleted member 323844

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
802
Trophies
1
XP
2,335
Country
Spain


Nitehack has shown a video of the capture card through a 3€ composite2hdmi upscaler and 10€ USB 2.0 capture card.

He has confirmed as well that the screen/modes are a SOC's hardcoded feature. So the modes shown in the previous tweet are the only available, and TV output was definitely a thing back in the day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ClancyDaEnlightened

MetoMeto

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,446
Trophies
0
Location
SR-388
XP
2,046
Country
Zimbabwe
?

Snes and megadrive had rgb in 1990. 2006 doesn't fly as an excuse for composite.
Sega used VGA on dreamcast in 1999

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I can go to my Walmart right now and get an lcd hdtv that has rf and composite, under $150


And there's always buying them online instead


Plus both 4k (smart) tvs are less than 5 years old, one is 42inch the other 60 iirc
do you guys have anything thats not wallmart, ebay, mc donalds? i mean do you have something that local people like you and me own, like small stores to buy tech and burgers?

I mean im curious, cause i always her wallmart, mc donalds, ebay and other BIG chains but never "local electronic store" or something...
 
  • Like
Reactions: ClancyDaEnlightened

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
35,811
Trophies
3
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
26,103
Country
United Kingdom
do you guys have anything thats not wallmart, ebay, mc donalds? i mean do you have something that local people like you and me own, like small stores to buy tech and burgers?

I mean im curious, cause i always her wallmart, mc donalds, ebay and other BIG chains but never "local electronic store" or something...
For the most part no, not really. I have been going there (various states though mostly western) on and off since the 80s and usually staying for months at a time. The rise of malls more or less killed off the main street thing that other places in the world kept along with until somewhat recently, and catalogue shopping prior to that was none too kind to them either (though it is a model that makes sense there with everything being spread out and prior to phones and internet then hard to reach as well), now internet came for both of them and the big shops (walmart = asda, literally actually as they own asda these days, but with more non food items). Similarly the rise of suburbia where nothing so gauche as a shop ought to be seen in such a place (pick a place with a reasonable population on maps and see how far shops might actually be) means you are travelling and at that point the malls/retail parks have you.
Non chain/franchise restaurants do exist but where chains are usually the exception in Europe then not so much in the US, though it is changing slowly (much to the chagrin of the chains -- see "millennials are killing chain restaurants").

You get thrift shops (think charity shops but they were doing ebay prices decades back) even if a lot of those are chains. Local shops do exist though they are usually service based (insurance, real estate, legal, finance, dentistry, vets... you know the game), speciality (import food and the like), vanity (rich guy funds his wife's fancy clothes/books/bakery/antiques type deal so that it at least does not lose too much money) and maybe local repair shop that has a few things that customers did not pick up or they took as part exchange.

It is quite odd to go shopping in such places, though it does mean you get skip the chains after you do them once or twice and seek other things.
 

Deleted member 323844

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
802
Trophies
1
XP
2,335
Country
Spain
Last edited by Deleted member 323844,

Deleted member 323844

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
802
Trophies
1
XP
2,335
Country
Spain
There will be an stream Saturday 13 22:00 GTM.



And they will finally produce the board.
 
Last edited by Deleted member 323844,

Deleted member 323844

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
802
Trophies
1
XP
2,335
Country
Spain
I finally got a Rhotronix v2.1 board and tested some games.



Surprisingly clean quality, but I have used a RetroTINK-5X Pro, the best upscaler in the market, so idk how well it would perform with a lower quality upscaler or directly with some composite capture cards.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zfreeman

You may also like...

General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Psionic Roshambo @ Psionic Roshambo: https://i.imgur.com/IXlPrt6.jpeg