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Atari 8 bit video output to VGA...


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#1 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 10:17 PM

All,

Slowly organizing my "collection" after moving and I realize I have quite a few (4 at this point) good 19 inch VGA Flat panel monitors not being used.

 

So I was thinking....

 

Are there any devices out there  that can convert the 8 bit standard video output (RF?) to the standard VGA 15 pin  Monitor? (Do not want to alter the 8 bit computer and also not wanting to break the bank either :)

 

I am thinking that some of the 8 bits had S video and there are quite a few S-Video to VGA options available...but so far unpacking...I have not ran across a single  S-Video one.

 

Thanks,

Chris



#2 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 6:24 AM

The term S-Video didn't exist when the 8-bit Ataris were released but Atari 800 had the capability from the onset.

S-Video is just chroma + luma signals on seperate wire pairs (with Gnd), so most Ataris with a monitor port will produce it.

 

But, for whatever reason the XL didn't include the chroma signal but it can be supplied with a modification.

 

As for converters, there's plenty around that seem to range from $30 upwards.  Just remember a few things...

- the 15-pin VGA connector is regarded as a legacy standard so eventually won't be supported by new monitors.

- S-Video is generally the 3rd worst video output type after RF and Composite and converting it to another standard doesn't improve the quality.



#3 JustinMSalvato OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 6:28 AM

The term S-Video didn't exist when the 8-bit Ataris were released but Atari 800 had the capability from the onset.

S-Video is just chroma + luma signals on seperate wire pairs (with Gnd), so most Ataris with a monitor port will produce it.

 

But, for whatever reason the XL didn't include the chroma signal but it can be supplied with a modification.

 

As for converters, there's plenty around that seem to range from $30 upwards.  Just remember a few things...

- the 15-pin VGA connector is regarded as a legacy standard so eventually won't be supported by new monitors.

- S-Video is generally the 3rd worst video output type after RF and Composite and converting it to another standard doesn't improve the quality.

 

I also have a couple of 4x3 19 inch flat panel VGA monitors and would like to hook up my 400 & 800 to them.  Really don't want anymore CRTs.  I will search for converters.  Thanks!



#4 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 7:18 AM

The other issue can be with Pal computers.  Often monitors won't work well with the 50 Hz framerate though I've got an RGB to VGA adaptor board and it converts VBXE PAL video fairly well to 60 Hz, such devices will have an onboard frame buffer.



#5 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 10:11 AM

I use an Ambery video to VGA converter box myself. It accepts composite or S-video, and while Rybags is correct in it not improving the video in most cases, the Ambery converter is one of the exceptions to the rule, check the link to see the description. But, if you do a video upgrade to the Atari like Clearpic or SuperVideo 2.1 or the new video board recently released, you will have an even better picture through VGA as long as you also have a quality VGA converter. The Ambery is less than $50 and is of the highest quality. I have two of them, one RGB-to-VGA. The converter is 50/60Hz PAL/NTSC compatible and my 1200XL is PAL converted, 50Hz S-video out and the Ambery upscales and converts to 60Hz VGA flawlessly.

 

http://www.ambery.co...toxgacoscs.html

 

here is a screen shot of my PAL 1200XL with SuperVideo 2.1 upgrade, S-video-to-VGA Ambery. That's a Rasta conversion picture I did. The picture blows up a lot larger than I thought when you click on it...but at least you can see it close-up. But, it is much more colorful and sharp in real life, this is a bad picture with my phone.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20170402_110809.jpg

Edited by Gunstar, Sun Apr 2, 2017 11:10 AM.


#6 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 11:13 AM

All,

Thanks for the responses....OK so the video port out to VGA may be an option.

 

My hope was to setup my Atari  8 bit machines on VGA cheaper than what I can buy individual small <24 inch TVs (refurbs or new for - $40-70)....from the sounds of things it will be very close $-wise so maybe the TVs will be a better option in the long run.

 

I was wondering if the VGA Adapters similar to; (TV RCA SVIDEO TO VGA Adapter)

 

http://www.ebay.com/...NpwNQy-NeEe3MkQ

 

..would work..If so then the 10 or so bucks would be worth the effort.

 

Thanks,

Chris



#7 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 11:16 AM

I reduced the size of the picture so the whole thing can be seen when clicked on.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20170402_110809.jpg


#8 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 11:21 AM

All,

Thanks for the responses....OK so the video port out to VGA may be an option.

 

My hope was to setup my Atari  8 bit machines on VGA cheaper than what I can buy individual small <24 inch TVs (refurbs or new for - $40-70)....from the sounds of things it will be very close $-wise so maybe the TVs will be a better option in the long run.

 

I was wondering if the VGA Adapters similar to; (TV RCA SVIDEO TO VGA Adapter)

 

http://www.ebay.com/...NpwNQy-NeEe3MkQ

 

..would work..If so then the 10 or so bucks would be worth the effort.

 

Thanks,

Chris

For the price it might be worth a shot, but I bought a cheap $15 dollar one before my Ambery, and while the initial quality was fine, it didn't last long before it bricked itself. maybe 6 months, and nothing near the quality of the Ambery picture-wise. But it wasn't that one, and it of course was older with probably obsolete components by today's standards.

 

But if you want optimum video quality, the Ambery's upscaling, de-interlacing and motion adaptive tech, 3D comb filtering, etc.  tech is far superior than you will get out of a refurbished LCD TV using composite or S-video with the on-board video chip. This I know from current experience with the 21" 50/60Hz LCD TV I took the above picture on, that I bought for $40 used at a pawnshop, it has a FANTASTIC picture, but the Atari still looks better through it's VGA with the Ambery than S-video straight in, even with my video upgrade.


Edited by Gunstar, Sun Apr 2, 2017 11:57 AM.


#9 JustinMSalvato OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 3:41 PM

Ordered 2!  Thanks!



#10 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 7:33 PM

I reduced the size of the picture so the whole thing can be seen when clicked on.

Can you please post a screenshot of FlickerTerm displaying a line of underscore characters?  I've never found a convertor that can correctly display the output as ___________ - they all do _-_-_-_-_-_-_



#11 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 7:37 AM

Can you please post a screenshot of FlickerTerm displaying a line of underscore characters?  I've never found a convertor that can correctly display the output as ___________ - they all do _-_-_-_-_-_-_

Sorry man, I'm not sure what Flickerterm even is. I've never used it. Direct me to it and I'll try.


Edited by Gunstar, Mon Apr 3, 2017 7:38 AM.


#12 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 9:21 AM

Sorry man, I'm not sure what Flickerterm even is. I've never used it. Direct me to it and I'll try.

Thanks - I have attached the ATR.  Flickerterm is an ANSI terminal emulator, similar to Ice-T.  It offers 80 columns, but does it via flickering the screen.  The problem I have noted with every scan convertor I have tried, is that it must assume an interlaced signal, because every 4th pixel is shifted down by a scanline.

 

You will need an R: handler for this to work - I always use APE, so the standard 850 handler will suffice.  You can enter the terminal and just type a long string of underscore characters to really make the issue stand out.

 

You can see an example of this http://atariage.com/...-modern-lcd-tv/



#13 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 9:39 AM

Thanks - I have attached the ATR.  Flickerterm is an ANSI terminal emulator, similar to Ice-T.  It offers 80 columns, but does it via flickering the screen.  The problem I have noted with every scan convertor I have tried, is that it must assume an interlaced signal, because every 4th pixel is shifted down by a scanline.

 

You will need an R: handler for this to work - I always use APE, so the standard 850 handler will suffice.  You can enter the terminal and just type a long string of underscore characters to really make the issue stand out.

 

You can see an example of this http://atariage.com/...-modern-lcd-tv/

Did you forget the ATR attachment? ;)

 

This will be an interesting test, since I start with a 50Hz PAL S-video signal that comes out 60Hz VGA. I know that The Last Word processor looks fantastic with it's 80 columns, but it doesn't use interlace/flicker to achieve it.

 

I know that I get a lot of flicker with it when I play Space Harrier, and it can look and do some weird things sometimes, but if I reset the Ambery converter after I load the game up, it clears up and though there is still flicker, it looks a lot better than the flicker with straight video. But then, it is starting out as a PAL signal with the worse 50Hz flickering, so if you are using the Ambery with 60Hz signal and less original flicker with Space Harrier, it might not have flicker once converted at all, like if emulated. But ATM, I don't have an NTSC computer to test it out.

 

This test I do here will only show if Flickerterm does what you want on a 50Hz PAL Atari display converted to 60Hz VGA and NOT what it would look like with 60Hz NTSC display converted to 60HzVGA.


Edited by Gunstar, Mon Apr 3, 2017 9:57 AM.


#14 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 10:31 AM

Did you forget the ATR attachment? ;)

 

This will be an interesting test, since I start with a 50Hz PAL S-video signal that comes out 60Hz VGA. I know that The Last Word processor looks fantastic with it's 80 columns, but it doesn't use interlace/flicker to achieve it.

 

I know that I get a lot of flicker with it when I play Space Harrier, and it can look and do some weird things sometimes, but if I reset the Ambery converter after I load the game up, it clears up and though there is still flicker, it looks a lot better than the flicker with straight video. But then, it is starting out as a PAL signal with the worse 50Hz flickering, so if you are using the Ambery with 60Hz signal and less original flicker with Space Harrier, it might not have flicker once converted at all, like if emulated. But ATM, I don't have an NTSC computer to test it out.

 

This test I do here will only show if Flickerterm does what you want on a 50Hz PAL Atari display converted to 60Hz VGA and NOT what it would look like with 60Hz NTSC display converted to 60HzVGA.

Thanks - here's the attachment.  Hate it when I do that.  At least it wasn't at work this time.

Attached File  FlickerTerm80 0.51.atr   90.02KB   15 downloads



#15 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 12:22 PM

All.

I might approach might differ from my last post based on another question and supplies I have sitting;

 

The question is;

 

Are the 5 Pin Din Monitor/Display Connectors found on the backs of the TI-994A, Commodore machines, and Atari 8 bits all the same basic configurations?

 

Meaning if I bought a 5 pin Din to RCA Composite(similar to the Amazon link below); (tried to figure things out based on the user comments - two guys said they had luck with the cable for a Vic and TI994A)

 

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B008N29OSG

 

Will the cable work for all the mentioned above machines? Or another way to phrase the question will  the above cable work on my Atari 800 XL if used in a standard composite TV connection?

 

Reason I am changing things around is I have the below parts already sitting and have had decent luck with both of the below for other applications in my home/collection. Also I can always swap out/Remove the HDMI to VGA cable in the future and plug in a more modern monitor or TV.

 

3 RCA to HDMI  ($11.63 - I bought my last one for like 8 dollars)

http://www.ebay.com/...nS0daiiweV7tgcQ

 

HDMI to VGA  ($2.50)

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

VGA Flat Panel Monitor

 

If the answer is no due to the wire being wrongly setup...I have found many you tube videos where you can create your own composite cable using a 5 pin din and RCA wire set which I am considering as I have a boat load of the RCA wire sets.... and the 5 pin din connectors are like 5 for $2.50.

 

https://youtu.be/CwomI7iGD3w

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks 

Chris


Edited by Solomon_Man, Mon Apr 3, 2017 12:22 PM.


#16 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 12:28 PM

Can you please post a screenshot of FlickerTerm displaying a line of underscore characters?  I've never found a convertor that can correctly display the output as ___________ - they all do _-_-_-_-_-_-_

Here you go Stephen, though keep in mind, this is PAL 50Hz to VGA 60Hz. It would probably be slightly better with NTSC 60Hz source for flickering stuff. But I think it does a great job anyway, the picture in real life looks good, even with the expected flicker, the underline is straight, they flicker darker to lighter on each one, the camera is catching every other one dark or light, that may be less or disappear with 60Hz signal input-or maybe that's what it looks like through video on CRT and LED anyway? Keep in mind also that the image/text is overall far sharper than my out-of-focus screen shot. I'd like to see a screen shot now of this on CRT with S-video.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_20170403_132056.jpg

Edited by Gunstar, Mon Apr 3, 2017 12:46 PM.


#17 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 12:59 PM

Here you go Stephen, though keep in mind, this is PAL 50Hz to VGA 60Hz. It would probably be slightly better with NTSC 60Hz source for flickering stuff. But I think it does a great job anyway, the picture in real life looks good, even with the expected flicker, the underline is straight, they flicker darker to lighter on each one, the camera is catching every other one dark or light, that may be less or disappear with 60Hz signal input-or maybe that's what it looks like through video on CRT and LED anyway? Keep in mind also that the image/text is overall far sharper than my out-of-focus screen shot. I'd like to see a screen shot now of this on CRT with S-video.

Wow - thanks!!  That is exactly as it should look!  Now you've got me tempted to get one of those.



#18 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 1:00 PM

All.

I might approach might differ from my last post based on another question and supplies I have sitting;

 

The question is;

 

Are the 5 Pin Din Monitor/Display Connectors found on the backs of the TI-994A, Commodore machines, and Atari 8 bits all the same basic configurations?

 

Meaning if I bought a 5 pin Din to RCA Composite(similar to the Amazon link below); (tried to figure things out based on the user comments - two guys said they had luck with the cable for a Vic and TI994A)

 

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B008N29OSG

 

Will the cable work for all the mentioned above machines? Or another way to phrase the question will  the above cable work on my Atari 800 XL if used in a standard composite TV connection?

 

Reason I am changing things around is I have the below parts already sitting and have had decent luck with both of the below for other applications in my home/collection. Also I can always swap out/Remove the HDMI to VGA cable in the future and plug in a more modern monitor or TV.

 

3 RCA to HDMI  ($11.63 - I bought my last one for like 8 dollars)

http://www.ebay.com/...nS0daiiweV7tgcQ

 

HDMI to VGA  ($2.50)

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

VGA Flat Panel Monitor

 

If the answer is no due to the wire being wrongly setup...I have found many you tube videos where you can create your own composite cable using a 5 pin din and RCA wire set which I am considering as I have a boat load of the RCA wire sets.... and the 5 pin din connectors are like 5 for $2.50.

 

https://youtu.be/CwomI7iGD3w

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks 

Chris

I can't answer the question about the TI machines.  I believe the Commodore DIN is also wired somewhat differently.  That being said, it is quite easy to wire up your own cables using a standard 5-pin DIN, and multiple RCA jacks.  I usually make mine with Composite, s-vid jack for separate luma/chroma (since I installed an s-vid jack on the back of my 1084S), and a single RCA for audio, which I can then split for TVs with stereo.



#19 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 1:05 PM

Wow - thanks!!  That is exactly as it should look!  Now you've got me tempted to get one of those.

Glad to help. I've been promoting the Ambery RGB and Video to VGA converters for years when people bring this stuff up, but most poo-poo or ignore it because they tried inferior brands and refuse to believe they are not all the same. My RGB one is 10 years old and works like new. This video one is 5 years old and works like new. 



#20 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 11:23 AM

I can't answer the question about the TI machines.  I believe the Commodore DIN is also wired somewhat differently.  That being said, it is quite easy to wire up your own cables using a standard 5-pin DIN, and multiple RCA jacks.  I usually make mine with Composite, s-vid jack for separate luma/chroma (since I installed an s-vid jack on the back of my 1084S), and a single RCA for audio, which I can then split for TVs with stereo.

 

Stephen,

Yeah on the Commodore machines...should have said Vic 20s...After looking things over It appears that the Commodore 64 had more pins.

 

I am going to pick up one of the above premade cords and then a bunch of 5 pin Dins to make a few others...I have quite a few 8 bit machines and honest <21inch flat screen monitors are very cheap at swap meets/used stores < $10. 

 

If the results are good I may go this route...If not I am only out a few bucks for a cord. The other electronics will be put back to use somewhere else.

 

Thanks

Chris



#21 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 11:25 AM

For the price it might be worth a shot, but I bought a cheap $15 dollar one before my Ambery, and while the initial quality was fine, it didn't last long before it bricked itself. maybe 6 months, and nothing near the quality of the Ambery picture-wise. But it wasn't that one, and it of course was older with probably obsolete components by today's standards.

 

But if you want optimum video quality, the Ambery's upscaling, de-interlacing and motion adaptive tech, 3D comb filtering, etc.  tech is far superior than you will get out of a refurbished LCD TV using composite or S-video with the on-board video chip. This I know from current experience with the 21" 50/60Hz LCD TV I took the above picture on, that I bought for $40 used at a pawnshop, it has a FANTASTIC picture, but the Atari still looks better through it's VGA with the Ambery than S-video straight in, even with my video upgrade.

Gunstar,

I am unfamiliar with the Ambery...Is there a specific model I should look for?

 

I may give this a go for my main machine....

 

Thanks

Chris



#22 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 11:48 AM

Gunstar,

I am unfamiliar with the Ambery...Is there a specific model I should look for?

 

I may give this a go for my main machine....

 

Thanks

Chris

I gave a direct link to the exact model I have in a post above. Post #5.


Edited by Gunstar, Tue Apr 4, 2017 11:49 AM.


#23 FifthPlayer ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 1:51 PM

Does the Ambery work with the 130XE video output?  I've tried several of these SVideo to VGA converters and they all choke on the 130XE's svideo.  My budget doesn't allow for buying any more of these things for experimentation.



#24 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 2:11 PM

I have no way of confirming anything on the 130XE, but it has worked brilliantly with everything I've thrown at it so far, including 30 year old CED player, 25 year old Laserdisc, My PAL XL and also before I modded it when it was NTSC, Colecovision flashback, Pansonic 3DO, JAKKS Ms. Pac-man plug&play joystick system, oh, and my Super Video VCR. Stephen couldn't find a converter that worked right with Flickerterm and I confirmed it worked right with it. That's all I can tell you besides that it is a top-of-the-line quality product for a lower-midrange price and has done exactly what it claims in every respect. It's the second reason I now have 5 Ambery products from converters to adapters to switch-boxes (the first being the RGB-to-VGA I first bought a decade ago, and it still works like new, which is brilliant). Read the product description, I can confirm it does everything they say it does, as well as they say it does it. In other words, the complete opposite of the Chinese made crap you've possibly used  in the past.


Edited by Gunstar, Tue Apr 4, 2017 2:17 PM.


#25 Solomon_Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 5:11 PM

I gave a direct link to the exact model I have in a post above. Post #5.

Gunstar,

Thanks for the heads up on that one...

 

I picked up the pre-made cable and the 5 Pin Dins.

 

I am going to get those made and tested for the machines in question over the next couple weeks (shipping,making them and such).

 

Probably once done with that I will get one of the Chinese versions and One Ambery and do a comparison before purchasing the other 3.

 

Thanks

Chris






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