Last Updated: 5th March 2021
Tim Worthington developed a board that can be installed inside an NES or Famicom to improve the video quality. This is not a replacement PPU (Picture Processing Unit, the NES graphics chip) nor does require any parts from Nintendo arcade hardware. The original idea came from HardWareMan and thefox on the NesDev forum.
The NESRGB board effectively bypasses parts of the PPU – Palette RAM (Color Generator), Decoder, and DAC. These functions are duplicated in the NESRGB board with a focus on video quality. The timing of the video is unchanged so there is no lag (no framebuffer, no VGA, no HDMI, etc, etc), just non-interlaced 15kHz video output.
- User selectable palette.
Three palettes available, I call them Natural, Improved, and Garish. The Natural palette has the same colours as the normal composite video output. It comes from the Nestopia NES emulator. Improved is from the FCEUX emulator. There is more variety of colours. Some games look significantly better with this one. Garish is also from the Nintendulator but it is a palette from the Nintendo Playchoice PPU. It’s very colourful indeed. More of a curiosity than anything else. There is a fourth choice – if no palette is selected the NESRGB board will ‘turn off’ and just pass data through. This way the NES will output composite video as if the board was not installed at all.
- Built-in audio and video amplifier.
Useful for the Famicom which does not have A/V outputs already.
- Outputs RGB, S-video (encoded from RGB), composite video (encoded from RGB), and composite video (original from PPU).
- Compatible with PAL and NTSC consoles (jumper selectable).
- Supplied with audio/video connectors, three position switch, and other assorted bits that may be required for installation.
- Size in mm 98.2 * 52.5 * 3.7