• Mike Chi

RetroTINK-5X Pro Firmware Updates

Updated: Jan 13

December 21st, 2021

Version 2.39 - Special Holiday Edition!

Download Here

First of all, thank you so much everyone for making the RetroTINK-5X a reality. I could not have imagined the interest and growth that this project has experienced over the past year. This was all possible only due to the tremendous support from the community.

To show our appreciation, we wanted to make this holiday season update extra special. The entire system has been re-written with a full menu system to support new options and features plus free-scaling, CRT effects and an improved polyphase scaling engine!

There's a lot to digest and the manual needs to be completely re-written, which will take some time. For now, check out this stream with RetroRGB where we go over everything, which will serve as a handy video tutorial and reference.

We hope that this will give you many more hours of enjoyment. It's been a true honor and pleasure creating this for you.

Quick notes:

  • The menu system relies on the remote. The Top Left button calls up the OSD. Use the arrow keys to navigate/toggle through settings. Use the OK button to select an option. The Back button exits the OSD.

  • The remote overlays should largely be compatible. When the OSD is off, each button serves as a direct short cut to the corresponding page in the menu.

  • The system always powers on to the default profile as a safety measure.

  • Right now, re-flashing the firmware will erase your profiles, so please be careful.

  • The input source can be directly cycled using the physical 'Input' button on the device as a fail safe in case the remote is inoperative.

How to Update

Warning: Only update your device using the tools provided below. Attempts at any other method will result in non-warranty device failure.

Instructions - Windows

1. Download the FTDI D2XX Drivers and install.

2. Download the RetroTINK Firmware update tool and install by unzipping and running RT_FWUP.

3. Download the appropriate HEX file from above.

4. Plug your device into your computer's USB port while holding down the 'Menu' button. The LED should be RED indicating update mode.

5. Run the RetroTINK Firmware Update tool. The installer will have left a shortcut on your desktop.

6. Hit 'Search'. You should see 'FT232R USB UART' appear in the box.

7. Hit 'Load HEX' and point to the .hex file you downloaded.

8. Hit 'Flash'. The update process should start. If the window freezes, that is okay - the update should complete after a minute or two. Just be patient.

9. Your device should reboot and be ready to use.

10. If you accidentally interrupt the process, just start over from step 4.

Big thanks to RetroRGB who was kind enough to put this video together. He was generous enough to make this video. Please do not contact him for technical support.

Write up:

Instructions - Multiplatform

A talented developer (Ryan Mullen) ported the firmware update tool to Python:

This should work on Windows, Mac (including M1) and Linux.

Previous Version Archive November 5th, 2021

Version 1.999 Download Here

  • Fixed glitch in some scanline modes.

October 11th, 2021

Version 1.99 Download Here

  • Fixed (minor) blue channel interpolation error.

  • Fixed clamping error.

October 10th, 2021

Version 1.98 Download Here

  • Fixed "Green Push" bug in 240p/480i modes introduced in the last version.

  • Fixed aspect ratio bug that in 720p -> 240p downscaling in 4:3 mode.

  • Fixed bug that caused a slight vertical shift when engaging scanline mode.

  • Separated auto-phase thresholds for 240p/480p/360p for more reliable operation.

  • HDMI aspect ratio flag is set to "4:3" for 1440p output to improve compatibility with TVs that do not provide manual controls.

  • PAL "stretch" modes now implemented for composite and S-video inputs, bringing them in line with the RGB and YPbPr modes.

  • The "16:9" mode for 1200p with a 480p input is replaced with a "3:2" mode for use with Dreamcast.

  • 480p sources now have three sampling modes: DTV-A, DTV-B, Generic 4:3 and Generic 16:9.

  • Enhanced Auto-Phase control and regeneration algorithm for "4:4:4" output quality with DTV-A and DTV-B modes with component video inputs.

  • The new, enhanced DTV "4:4:4" re-sampler may take a few seconds to analyze and converge to the optimal settings.

  • Most setups will look best with DTV-A. If something looks off, use DTV-B as a fallback.

  • PS2 looks best with the EDTV LPF off.

  • Xbox, due to video noise, appears to work best with EDTV LPF on.

  • You can use any combination of settings for GCN and Wii, due to their native 4:2:2 output.

  • New CRT effects with improved mask generation engine:

  • Slot Mask - resembles a high resolution slot mask CRT, replacing the old version which was too coarse.

  • Aperture Grille: Same as before

  • Aperture Grille 2: Equivalent to the old "PVM" mode

  • PVM 600 TVL: A finer grille with highlights to mimic a mid-range PVM

  • FV310: A coarser grille with highlights to mimic a consumer Trinitron

  • Consumer 1: Coarse slot mask with no visible scanlines mimicking a low-resolution consumer tube

  • Consumer 2: Coarse slot mask of a different pattern with a slight scanline effect

  • Note: The "80's CRT mode" would be equivalent to Consumer 1, Pre-Emph -3, Notch Filter with a composite source.

A friendly reminder due to concerns about too many adjustments and settings as improvements/features are implemented: You can always use the RT5X with default settings (1080pFill/Generic) and get an experience that is arguably at least 90% as good if you never want to deal with any of this.

September 21st, 2021

Version 1.84 Download Here

  • Reworked 50 Hz 1080p modes for RGB/YPbPr inputs:

  • 1080p (Fill) is a 4x (288p) or 2x (576i) integer scale to 1152p with a tiny amount of vertical overscan cropping.

  • 1080p (Over) adds an vertical stretch of ~20% to undo "lazy" PAL ports that place 240p/480i artwork in a 288p/576i frame.

  • 1080p (Under) scales the 288p/576i content to exactly 1080p

  • Use the "Up" and "Down" buttons to center the image vertically as needed.

  • Optimal timings now available for 50 Hz RGB/YPbPr inputs:

  • Only enabled for 1080p (Fill) and 1080p (Over) output modes.

  • Highly experimental.

  • Fixed some minor GBI mode bugs.

  • Enhanced auto-phase algorithm to avoid false locks on black screens.

September 9th, 2021

Version 1.77 Download Here

  • Reverted AG scanline option to previous mask width

  • Enhanced gamma and saturation compensation for all scanline modes

  • EDTV LPF is a separate setting from SDTV modes

  • I generally recommend leaving the EDTV LFP to 'off' for the sharpest image in DTV 858 optimal sampling/auto-phase. Only turn it on if you see noise/jailbars.

  • Fixed screen tear bug in 480p -> 1080p (Under)

  • Fixed vertical hold (rolling screen) glitch for odd NTSC and PAL systems that uses non-standard sync lengths (mostly old home computers and PAL Atari Jaguar).

Reminder: Both CRT effects and Smoothing filters look best in 'Generic' mode. Optionally set the pre-emphasis filter to -1 for a softer effect.

September 4th, 2021

Version 1.74 Download Here

  • Added 'Smoothing Filter'

  • Enable by cycling into the 'Interpolation' menu (Vol+ button on remote).

  • Current algorithm works best on 480p 3D content (i.e. Xbox, GCN games). Lower resolution content might be too rough.

  • Smoothing filter is also used to enhance the performance of the Motion Adaptive Deinterlacer, although the effect is subtle.

  • Reverted some settings that might have caused instability with SNES and other consoles. For difficult systems, like the SMS and NEOGEO AES use the 'Strong' LPF setting. For all other systems use 'Off', 'Light' or 'Medium'.

  • LPF for 480p sources automatically engaged for all LPF settings except the 'Off' position.

  • 'Aperture Grille' setting now uses a coarser mask than 'PVM'. Previous setting was too similar.

  • Added mild Gamma boost to the scanline settings to overcome brightness loss.

  • Fixed a variety of cropping issues in various NTSC and PAL video modes.

August 6th, 2021

Version 1.67 Download Here

  • Added new scanline and CRT effects.

  • Intensity modulation (25%, 50%, 75%): Variant of polyphase scanlines where the width of the "beam" is proportional to brightness, mimicking a CRT. At 50%, this mode has a similar visual characteristic to a 800-900 TVL BVM.

  • Slot Mask, Aperture Grille, PVM: Adds vertical lines to mimic a CRT's mask. Slot mask attempts to recreate an arcade CRT. Aperture Grille attempts to recreate a consumer Trinitron. PVM attempts to recreate a 600 TVL professional monitor.

  • Due to the high amount of fine detail in the slot mask mode, I recommend using the 1440p output mode.

  • Simulated scanlines work by artificially darkening the picture. Normally, I am strongly against modifying your TV's picture controls beyond strict "neutral", but in this case, try adjusting your TV's various brightness/backlight controls as well as activating advanced processing like "dynamic contrast". I've found that they can be helpful at compensating for the lost intensity.

  • Added "Pre-emphasis Filter" to soften or sharpen the image. The default value of "0" adds no processing. Negative values blur the image, and can be a good match with the CRT effects to create a soft look. Positive values sharpen the image and can be helpful with systems like the 2/3-Chip SNES.

  • PS1 320 optimal sampling is now a separate setting from Genesis since the timings differ enough to cause artifacts.

  • Added 540p output for use with HD-CRTs.

July 20th, 2021

Version 1.55 Download Here

  • Some optimal modes are capable of outputting "444" chroma sampling (thanks to Extrems for the idea):

  • Note: Generic modes are unaffected either way since they do not contain sharp color transitions.

  • Added LCD overlay effect to the "Scanline" menu. For this to work:

  • The H. Sampling must be in an optimal mode.

  • The output mode must be using an integer vertical scaling factor.

  • Tuned auto-phase algorithm - initial detection of correct phase will take longer but it should eliminate random hunting.

June 17th, 2021

Version 1.29 Download Here

  • Fixed some alignment problems in GBI 360p mode.

  • Added "240p" style scanlines to GBI content.

  • Fixed YPbPr detection glitch in version 1.28.

  • Cleaned up 480p cropping.

June 15th, 2021

Version 1.28 Download Here

  • Added 360p support for the GBI. Possible output resolutions:

  • 1080p (FILL): 6x integer scale with optimal sampling/autophase

  • 1080p (OVER): 6.75 interpolated scaling to use the full vertical height of the display

  • 1200p: 7x integer scale with optimal timing/autophase

  • 1440p: 8x integer scale with optimal sampling/autophase

Grumpy disclaimer time! It's up to you to get GBI and 360p output from your Gamecube setup! We cannot provide support for the use of 3rd party equipment and there are simply too many variations for us to be able to keep up with.

We can confirm that a PAL GCN with a RGB SCART cable (use one designed for PAL consoles NOT NTSC) works as well as the official OEM component cables and the Insurrection Industries Carby with an external HDMI -> YPbPr converter box. The RGB approach seems to have some image quality issues, though, so we'd recommend a solution that uses the GC's digital AV port.

Unfortunately the Carby Component Cable does not work. The HD Retrovision on a PAL GCN also does not work. We do not know if a modded GCN works, but are told that it should.

June 5th, 2021

Version 1.24 Download Here

  • SDTV LPF has now four settings: Off/Light/Medium/Strong.

  • DTV 858 Optimal Sampling for 480p sources is now enabled for 1440p output modes. Please set your display to "16:9" for the correct final aspect ratio.

  • Scanline generator now has 25%, 50%, 80% and 100% (integer) modes.

  • 480p style scanlines can be applied to de-interlaced 480i content.