MiSTer 1536p Support Added – “3K” “Retina” Video Mode Recipe

Sorge, the head of the MiSTer FPGA project, swapped out the old screen in his MiSTer-modded PiCade for a 2048×1536 screen, and promptly added native support for the somewhat strange resolution used by Apple’s Retina Display iPads. I previously reported on MiSTer video scaler improvements that added support for other >1080p resolutions like 1440p and 1200p.

Some people refer to 2048×1536 as “3K” for some reason, but I have settled on referring to it as 1536p. Whatever you call it, the benefit over 1440p is minimal at best. Where 1440p is a perfect 6x upscale of 240p content, 1536p is an odd 6.4x. However, when using vscale_mode=3 (0.25x integer steps), it does allow for a nice 6.25x scale with borders.

This video scaler tweak had the side effect of making MiSTer’s video timing more efficient, and even the Neo Geo core now supports 1536p, where it previously maxed out at 1200p for me.

This new video mode is only going to be of interest to people who use a 1536p Retina display, and those who capture video in a 4K canvas, where the extra resolution yields slightly more depth. There is next to zero chance that any HDTV supports 1536p, and even if it did (which it wont…), you would almost certainly get the best 4K upscale by using 1080p (likely the best), 720p, or 1440p.

1536p is the maximum resolution that MiSTer can support at 60FPS, and, almost unbelievably, I am able to capture it via DVI on a Datapath Vision E1S.

MiSTer Settings
You must change several settings in your MiSTer.INI file. Use Notepad++ to edit it in Windows. Do not use Windows Notepad or Wordpad. See here for the other settings and components required to capture >1080p resolutions on a Datapath Vision E1/E1S.

To enable 1536p, replace the video_mode line in MiSTer.INI with:

And the following NTSC and PAL modes further down in the .INI:

Arduboy and GBA require the following lines to be added to the end of your .INI, because they do not support 1536p yet:

My most recent MiSTer stream featured all of its gameplay footage in 1536p and it looks beautiful. However, you will only be able to see it properly by watching in 4K on a 4K device or monitor, because that is the canvas I work in. YouTube will downscale it incorrectly at 1080p or any other resolution.