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Wyluli Wolf

I bought a Commodore 64 1702 monitor! But..

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I scored a Commodore 64 1702 monitor today off of Craigslist. It was FILTHY!

Got it cleaned up and plugged the Commodore into the front ports and fired it up. Works!

So I hop on eBay to purchase one of those Chroma/Luma cables so I can hook it up to the back of the monitor.

WAIT! You mean I have an OLD commodore 64 that only has the 5 pin din and it won't work with the Chroma/Luma monitor ports! :?

 

So tell me, how much better is using those rear ports versus the front ones? Should I try and seek out another "newer" Commodore so I can take advantage of this S-video like quality?

 

And what's the deal with that? Did the C64 monitor come out after the original systems were released?

 

 

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The chroma + luma signal obviously is better, but despite I have both types of cables and monitors available, usually I don't mind plain composite video. I got the feeling that early C64's with 5-pin A/V were rather uncommon, but perhaps there are more of those in NTSC land than there ever were PAL models.

 

Here is an article from COMPUTE! where associate editor Jim Butterfield explains how you can use the composite video output together with luminance to get an improved picture, even if it might not be as good as true chroma/luma:

 

http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue42/054_1_HOW_TO_IMPROVE_THE_TV_QUALITY_OF_THE_COMMODORE_64.php

 

As for the monitor, I'm not entirely sure how soon Commodore sold those. For example early VIC-20 ads usually paired it with a random TV. As all those Commodore monitors seem to have been OEM affairs, it might have taken a little time to find the first supplier and package a colour monitor to sell, so Commodore might've switched to 8-pin A/V on the C64 before it happened?

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If you grew up in the 80's with regular TV or low budget composite monitor, the 5 pin will be fine because with S-Video it'd look very sharp and not the same as you're used to. If you didn't have C64 back then or still want one, an 8 pin C64 is much more common and may be worth hunting for because the image is much sharper. You could see individual pixel easily.

 

Some games do look worse in S-Video because they use tricks to simulate more color by using checkered pattern, which on composite or RF gets burred over and 2 colors ends up looking like a new color. I've only found a few games that seems better with RF.

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One thing I've found is that the video out can depend on the revision of the VIC II (6567) chip. If you have an early revision (like a ceramic version), the video out can look terrible (especially on newer flatscreen monitors/TV's, etc.).

 

Try it out and see if it looks acceptable to you - if not you may want to hunt down a newer revision VIC II, say R8 or R9 and see if that helps.

 

I wish I knew all of the factors that make for the perfect picture on a C64 - For example, I've got some early versions that look pretty good, and some that don't, and they both can have the same early revision IC.

 

With that said, composite out on a Commodore monitor usually looks pretty good...

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