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OldSchoolRetroGamer

HELP! AMIGA experts! Better to get PAL OR NTSC model?

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First, let me be clear, I have owned both the Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200 machines in the past. Being in Canada of course what was available to me (I was not into importing in those days) of course I ended up with NTSC models as that is the Canadian standard as it is in the good ol' U.S.A. Though I never got as far as getting higher models or using a Video Toaster etc, I did have simple fun making Titles for my home movies using just Deluxe Paint and recording to video tape. I am also knowledgeable enough that I made bootable disks and I knew to hold down the two mouse buttons to access the Early Startup Screen on my 1200 for certain games which was fine on my 1084's Monitor.

 

Here is the thing, currently I own NO Amiga hardware. I DID just recently acquire one of those 4 GB Compact Flash Cards with IDE adapter from the UK containing a bootable WB 3.1 with TONS of games/demos/applications all set to go. To test I even booted it using UAE on my PC, worked very well actually. I noticed when I booted emulating an NTSC Amiga and tried the game Super Skid Marks )an overhead racing game) the game had graphical glitches. So of course I then tried it again this time emulating a PAL Amiga and when I tried it again the game loaded with perfect graphics but it seemed much slower gameplay wise. Ok so to drone on I will just ask, though I live here in NTSC land when I am ready to buy another AMIGA might I be better served getting an PAL unit? Are they more compatible with the majority of titles? I don't really plan recording the output to make titles like I did back in the day considering the PC editing software I use now lol! The majority of the use would be for playing games, a recordable signal would be nice but I am sure I could at least display it using an add on device or something. Would I be correct in assuming I could obtain a PAL Amiga but use an American/Canadian power supply? I would think the output to the PC would be the same it just needs to be the proper unit to plug into our outlet? OK that's it, that is the capacity of my knowledge. What I would humbly request is: :? Please give me your advice, suggestions, opinions, comments and tell me what you think would be my best option and why? I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback! THANK SO MUCH IN ADVANCE!!!! :D

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer

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I'd go PAL - it's quite probable that more games were developed in the old days in PAL countries, although the Amiga can switch between PAL/NTSC modes.

Should note though - the PAL/NTSC switch isn't 100% compatible, the machines still have different clock speeds and PAL Amigas can still show more scanlines.

 

Power supply - probably not worth the bother of getting one overseas, just use a local one - they just use 5 and 12 Volts DC, so the Amiga itself will work anywhere if you use the local PSU.

You could even use a PC power supply although an unexpanded Amiga 500 only draws about 12 Watts or so and mightn't be sufficient load to use alone on one.

Edited by Rybags

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If you're in N. America, get an NTSC.

 

With an A1200 you can switch at bootup and you can modify WHDLOAD games (games cracked to run off a hard drive) to autoboot in PAL or NTSC - your choice. Previous poster says the clock speed is different, which is true, but I've found switching into PAL will slow it down to the proper speed. Easy way to verify is to take a game like Zool, Cannon Fodder, etc, that has a good music track, boot into PAL, and you'll notice it slows down (as does the action).

 

With a 1084 monitor hooked up, you will also get the extra scanlines of PAL.

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It all depends on your monitor.

If you are going to use an Amiga monitor (1084 or ??) or an Indivision (when they are back in stock), then I'd say go NTSC.

It's easier to get ahold of one, and if you want to hook it up to a TV/video device (for intermittent TV gaming or video capture), you can easily for NTSC modes.

 

Although, you can flip the Amiga to NTSC if need be, but I don't know what that will do with the composite out.

 

The tricky part about NTSC is that there are 2 parts to it. There's the 50 vs 60 hertz issue and then there's the Colorspace issue....

 

As long as you are using an Amiga monitor, there's no problem. But if you are looking at composite / s-video, it gets complicated fast.

 

Just my $00.00002

 

desiv

Edited by desiv

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If you're going to grab a monitor, I'd say PAL is your best bet. It will just make a lot of things simpler in the long run. You can tweak programs and WHDLoad to run NTSC just fine but PAL just makes it easier, and you won't get the speedup effect.

 

(PAL Turrican on an NTSC machine is reeeeeeally weird)

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It depends on what kind of monitor you're planning to hook it up to. If you've got something that doesn't support PAL, then your question is answered right there. Try to find a 1084S and an appropriate RGB cable, then you can use either format (Feeding a PAL signal into the composite or luma/chroma jacks on an NTSC 1084S will not work well though).

 

Ultimately, I don't think it really matters what hardware you have, as long as you are using the correct software on it. Most games exist in both NTSC and PAL versions, and for those that don't, you can usually find fan-made hacks and fixes (including WHDLoad versions). Since the CF card you bought is from the UK, it's almost certainly meant to run on a PAL machine, so you might have some issues with NTSC.

 

--Zero

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Zero's right and simply put:

 

PAL or NTSC - doesn't matter if you're going to be using a compatible monitor. The program 'Degrader' off Aminet works a treat (as the British would say) for switching and getting an A1200 to be more compatible.

 

NTSC if you're worried about your monitor failing someday OR you'd like to use your system on a wider variety of screens.

Edited by save2600

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I'd say this all depends on which Amiga model, and also what monitor you're using. You can use a PAL or NTSC model on an analog RGB monitor with absolutely no problems. However, if you're planning to hook up to a TV or use composite video, then it absolutely matters. You should get NTSC in that case.

 

People think that PAL/NTSC are easily switched on the Amiga. Problem is, PAL and NTSC *color encoding* matter not one bit for Analog RGB. For an Amiga 500, it really doesn't matter too much if it's a PAL or NTSC model, since it doesn't have: color composite out or an RF modulator built in. The exception is what Agnus it's equipped with. I'd try to get one with a 1MB Agnus since that gives you the most software compatibility. The Amiga 1200 does have an RF modulator and color composite out though, so you should stick with a North American one if you're not doing Analog RGB out.

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On an A1200, hold down both mouse buttons on startup and you can select between NTSC and PAL.

 

 

Yes if you read my post you see I am aware of that method however it is NOT a total solution to PAL/NTSC compatibility problems thanks.

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PAL only. NTSC Amiga sucks.

Wrong, NTSC rocks and PAL SUCKS!!!! Amiga games run too slow in PAL, you are better off using NTSC as the refresh rate is 60Hz vs 50Hz. I get a headache when I use PAL screens.

Also, you can use a PAL tooltype in WHDLoad games and you will be fine. No need to get a PAL unit in the USA. Of course PAL units will work fine and can be forced to NTSC, and can also use a 110V American power supply just fine.

Edited by tjlazer
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Without question, PAL is the better mode for gaming. Not only do you get more resolution, you also get access to a wider set of games. If I was talking about productivity, I'd say NTSC is better. However, I'm talking games here.

 

If you want to have an Amiga in North America that's PAL by default, just get a Amiga 500 with a 1MB blitter (I believe the newer version of the 512K blitter will also suffice for what I'm about to mention). Anyway, you can tape one of the pins on the blitter to force it to default to PAL mode. Then just go ahead and use it as is and switch it to NTSC with software. And if you want rock-solid PAL/NTSC switching, run a wire to a switch outside the case and do it that way (works nicely on an Amiga 2000, since the switch can be easily attached to the case). Then you can avoid the need to switch between PAL and NTSC in software.

 

With a 1084 monitor, this process is simple.

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Amiga games run too slow in PAL, you are better off using NTSC as the refresh rate is 60Hz vs 50Hz.

Uhh wouldn't it be the opposite since most Amiga games come from Europe?

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Uhh wouldn't it be the opposite since most Amiga games come from Europe?

Wow.. Last two posts resurrected this 6 year old thread!!

 

Since I was searching will add my $.02 and question:

 

I too think no matter where the games came from, PAL is just too slow... It sounds weird... NTSC is definitely way better!

 

Since using an RGB monitor it doesn't really matter regarding rez and colorspace, etc., would it be possible to do just a 50/60 mod (or switch) to the Amiga and change just that?

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I too think no matter where the games came from, PAL is just too slow... It sounds weird... NTSC is definitely way better!

That makes zero sense, most Amiga games were programmed in 50 Hz and they actually play too fast on a 60 Hz system. Some games won't even run on a system set to 60 Hz.

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That makes zero sense, most Amiga games were programmed in 50 Hz and they actually play too fast on a 60 Hz system. Some games won't even run on a system set to 60 Hz.

Well that's your opinion... To me same games in PAL sound too slow, specifically the soundtracks.

 

In fact this is true not only for the Amiga, but other computers/consoles as well.... Sonic comes to mind. NTSC version is the fast paced action they intended! PAL? Makes you wanna shoot yourself...

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To me same games in PAL sound too slow, specifically the soundtracks.

Most Amiga games were programmed on a PAL/50 Hz system so that's actually what they're supposed to sound like. If we were talking about something like the NES or Genesis your points are correct, but the Amiga is a very different beast since most games were from Europe and hence are meant to run properly on a 50 Hz system. I really don't understand why you're not grasping this.
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Most Amiga games were programmed on a PAL/50 Hz system so that's actually what they're supposed to sound like. If we were talking about something like the NES or Genesis your points are correct, but the Amiga is a very different beast since most games were from Europe and hence are meant to run properly on a 50 Hz system. I really don't understand why you're not grasping this.

Don't see why you don't, it's real easy to understand, that's my personal preference. I don't care how they were originally made, to me it sounds better period. I really don't understand why you're not grasping this :lol:

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Don't see why you don't, it's real easy to understand, that's my personal preference. I don't care how they were originally made, to me it sounds better period. I really don't understand why you're not grasping this :lol:

In some cases, running a PAL game in NTSC totally screws up the timing in the MOD's playback, including overlapping percussion hits and other oddities. So in cases like that, I'm pretty sure you'd find it better to run it in it's native PAL mode (unless you enjoy noise-art for your game soundtracks).

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In some cases, running a PAL game in NTSC totally screws up the timing in the MOD's playback, including overlapping percussion hits and other oddities. So in cases like that, I'm pretty sure you'd find it better to run it in it's native PAL mode (unless you enjoy noise-art for your game soundtracks).

Lol.. You are aware that music follows timing as a whole, right..? You can't "speed up" the whole clock and thing that it's not going to get speed up uniformly... :D

 

Check out youtube there are a few videos showing pal/ntsc games where you can see the difference. Not all of them are too much different, but some it's pretty evident that pal version is un-inspiring and ntsc is more edgy and driving your excitement :D

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Lol.. You are aware that music follows timing as a whole, right..? You can't "speed up" the whole clock and thing that it's not going to get speed up uniformly... :D

 

Check out youtube there are a few videos showing pal/ntsc games where you can see the difference. Not all of them are too much different, but some it's pretty evident that pal version is un-inspiring and ntsc is more edgy and driving your excitement :D

Have you ever written a MOD? The issue I'm describing typically happens when you have instrument samples that complete their playback a fraction of a second prior to the next instrument's start point. For finely-timed MODs that were designed to play back at 50Hz and then upped to 60Hz, the two sounds will clash as the tail-end of one instrument overlaps the beginning of the next instrument or voice sounding. The song playback tempo increases while the sample duration remains constant.

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Have you ever written a MOD? The issue I'm describing typically happens when you have instrument samples that complete their playback a fraction of a second prior to the next instrument's start point. For finely-timed MODs that were designed to play back at 50Hz and then upped to 60Hz, the two sounds will clash as the tail-end of one instrument overlaps the beginning of the next instrument or voice sounding. The song playback tempo increases while the sample duration remains constant.

No, sorry. I'missing something... I understand the concept of programming something to run for "x" cycles which turns out to be "y" time based in processing speed/clock. However, why would this be any different for the second sound, which would also be altered and last/end sooner too?

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No, sorry. I'missing something... I understand the concept of programming something to run for "x" cycles which turns out to be "y" time based in processing speed/clock. However, why would this be any different for the second sound, which would also be altered and last/end sooner too?

 

There is a reason why MOD players have options for PAL or NTSC play-back. If a MOD is executing its lines at a speed based upon a 50Hz clock and the samples are looped or played end-to-end based upon that timing then a loop or the next sample is going to fire too soon on a 60Hz clock. On other systems which derive chip timing from the color clock, like the Commodore 64, the pitch of the sound will also be different.

 

In terms of games, if my scrolling routine is based on the VBI, that routine will trigger 60 times a second on NTSC versus 50 on PAL. This will have direct effect on scrolling, object motion, user control reaction, etc.

 

Over in the TI forum there has been back and forth on a monthly game competition about playing a game in PAL or NTSC as it absolutely changes game-play.

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