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  • Writer's pictureMike Chi

Introducing the RetroTINK-4K

Updated: Feb 1

Last updated: November 11th, 2023

Where, When and How Much?




What Inputs are Supported?

The RT4K supports virtually all retro video sources to serve everyone's unique requirements. On the back, we have component, HD-15 (VGA), and Digital Video plus a TOSLINK receiver for optical audio.


The SCART port lives on the side, and the front has a S-video and composite jack hidden behind a sliding door.




The RT4K inputs are super flexible. Both the HD-15 and SCART inputs can accept any analog format (with the exception of RGBHV for SCART), opening up options for streamlining your

switching setup.



We've also tried hard to make the RT4K accept signals from non-mainstream console sources such as PCs and arcade boards. There are currently settings for standard consumer video (240p/288, 480i/576i, 480p/576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p) as well as retro PCs (EGA/DOS 70 Hz, VGA, SVGA, XGA, UXGA). Custom profiles with the correct sampling and cropping can be quickly set up for sources that do not yet have built-in definitions using the menu.


The digital video inputs can accept virtually any custom resolution and frame rate within the maximum bandwidth of the receiver. This means that the RT4K will fully support off-spec sources, such as MiSTer DirectVideo.



What Does it Output?

The primary output of the RT4K is, of course, 4K60 (3840 x 2160, 60 Hz). Other standard built-in modes include 1080p, 1440p and 480p. If you need a custom resolution, drop a modeline text file on to the SD card and they'll automatically appear in the menu!


The RT4K 4K60 transmitter also supports high frame rate outputs (with some input side limitations) for advanced users.



Like the TINK-5X, the 4K is a minimal lag device with the same Frame Lock and Gen Lock modes. Triple buffering is also here to eliminate drop outs during resolution changes.



How Does it Scale?

In short? Whatever you want. The RT4K scaling engine lets you scale/crop your source precisely to your individual specifications. Aspect ratio correction and filtering mode (sharp pixel, bilinear, bicubic, Lanczos, etc.) are adjustable. Or use a free-scaling mode to just define the exact pixel numbers you need. At 4K resolution, you can perform perfect integer scaling for many common resolutions with perfectly sharp pixels, if you prefer that versus a CRT look. Even non-integer scales look great with bilinear sharp filtering that maintains a crisp look. And yes, you can get optimal sampling at perfect 4:3 aspect ratios at the same time! The RT4K can automatically perform the necessary PAR transforms for you as well.


Don't worry if this sounds like too much work, by default, most sources will automatically be centered and cropped correctly. The RT4K also has modes to automatically expand/shrink the image while keeping the correct proportions to make adjustments quick and easy.




CRT (and LCD) Effects!

The TINK-4K will have advanced CRT simulation options including customizable scanlines, phosphor masks, and even beam mis-convergence.



For those of you with HDR OLEDs, the RT4K has the necessary resources to output true, Rec. 709 to Rec. 2020 color-corrected HDR output that really bridges the gap between digital displays and CRTs.



The RT4K also has controls for advance color gamut correction to simulate various display technologies, such as CRTs at a D93 point.




Automatic Sampling and Phase

The RT4K has an experimental optimal sampling and phase detection engine. It's still early, but already works well for SNES, PS1, PS2 and Genesis. For example, with a PS1 profile, the RT4K can automatically sense when SoTN switches from 256 game play to 384 in the menu. The optimal phase is detected at the same time.



Each detected resolution can have seperate crop and scaling settings, which means you can make precisely tailored profile (more below) to crop each part of the game for maximum screen real estate.


Profiles!

Save, download and share profiles on to the SD card. A profile can be set to automatically load on power up or be assigned to a remote control button for quick-access.


We're also lucky to have legends like FireBrandX and Wobbling Pixels help with making console optimized settings.




We Love (really!) SCART


One of the biggest complaints against SCART has been "loose" connections. Unfortunately, today's SCART gear just isn't as a good as the original European parts from yesteryear. That's just a fact, and we can't change that.


However, we can try to add our own improvements. The RT4K has PCB-mounted threaded screw holes flanking the SCART connector. Hopefully this will allow the community to build after-market SCART heads and attachments that are just as secure as HD-15 connectors.



As much as we joke at hating SCART, we recognize and appreciate its role in history and in your setup.


The Remote

The RT4K will include a premium, fully custom remote with buttons that allow you to quickly access key settings. If you lose it, a universal remote should be able to cover you and still give you access to key functions.



Other Common Questions

  • Does it work with MiSTer/Analogue - Yes! The MiSTer direct video mode works great with the RT4K. Analogue consoles may require a little more adjustment, but we expect pre-made profiles to appear in no time.

  • Smoothing -- theoretically possible, but not planned for release.

  • Movies -- the goal of the TINK products has always been games and games first, but we are already adding movie oriented features such as BFI film projection simulation, inverse telecine and 24 Hz restoration.

  • Control/Integration -- the RT4K has facilities for control via the HD-15 as well as USB ports. We are planning on some sort of command interface, to be developed post launch.

  • Does it take TTL sync -- yes on the HD15. SCART port is protected against TTL damage, but would recommend caution as always.

  • Power -- USB-C 5V 2A.

  • Is it 4:4:4 -- The RT4K is exclusively RGB444 with an internal deep color processing pipeline and can output deep color to compatible displays. Sources that are not natively RGB444 (such as composite video) are converted to RGB444 at the front-end.

  • Is the TINK-5X dead -- we still plan on supporting the TINK-5X and will continue to share development across the two platforms as much as possible. Keep in mind though, that we are still very much a 1-person team :)


Other Cool Stuff

The TINK-4K case is customizable (but don't tell our industrial designer). We're looking forward to the community making replacement parts for the top logo insert (E) and the front cap (C) and sliding door (D). Make 3D printed parts with your own logo and colors!


Download RT4K CAD Model (STEP File)

RT4K Assm
.zip
Download ZIP • 10.73MB


Videos!

Preview by RetroRGB


Preview by GameSack


Preview by Digital Foundry


Review by Archades Games



Did We Miss Something?

Drop by the TINK discord or Twitter!

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116 Comments


hhyfckmwtjdtcpuxei
Sep 14, 2023

Sounds like itll be way too expensive.

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jordanrom
jordanrom
Sep 13, 2023

I really hope you make enough of these, so I don't wake up on a random Tuesday because it launched at 4am PST and sold out in 3 seconds. :)

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tzponline
Sep 11, 2023

This sounds awesome! Too bad it costs so much lol, I definitely can’t afford it sadly. I guess I’ll just stick to my CRT. Btw, that scanline filter actually looks pretty convincing

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iscariot TF
iscariot TF
Sep 10, 2023

I really wish the composite and s-video could be on the back for a sleeker look. Is it possible to run composite through the SCART?

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Slynk Adink
Slynk Adink
Sep 09, 2023

Pretty awful to intentionally remove 4k from the 5x to force people to buy new hardware: https://twitter.com/retrotink2/status/1594234571414851584?lang=en

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Tim van der Meij
Tim van der Meij
Sep 10, 2023
Replying to

You can load up the RT5X with older firmware to return to 4K support. The last one to support it is 2.77, which you can download here:


https://36c4ce24-ea9e-4fcf-85dd-62475fa3b38c.usrfiles.com/archives/36c4ce_b428ac2763e84a538e55a3d0f5b0e09c.zip

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