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Atari 2600 with an HDMI port anyone?

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Has anyone modded a 2600 to have a functioning HDMI output? Is this even possible? I've ordered to composite video mod, and noticed the composite-to-HDMI converters are very small. If it can (somehow) share the Atari power supply, or another one added, should this work?

It would simplify my life AND make me the coolest guy on the planet, to have this!

 

Thanks

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If you can shoehorn an HDMI converter into the 2600, then you could certainly add an HDMI port on the back. I would probably go with an s-video mod, though, as you'll get better output than composite. Although composite output is still far better than the stock RF output! Not sure about the power supply, depends on the requirements of the HDMI converter and how much power it draws. You'd probably need to feed another power cable to the 2600.

 

I'd love to have a 2600 with native HDMI output. :)

 

..Al

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Such an upgrade should be possible, just that nobody's done it yet. The encoders you plug into wouldn't do a great deal of good vs S-Video or composite.

 

What we do need is an integral one that takes the digital luma signal + sync, and recognises colour via the phase delay coming from the TIA pin, and performs encoding direct from the source rather than using the nasty analog signal coming from later in the video stage.

 

The beauty of such an upgrade too is that it could probably be made much the same for 2600, 7800 and the 8-bit computers, which gives a large target audience.

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Does anyone have luck connecting the 2600 to an s-video to hdmi converter? This alone would be interesting since the 2600's video signales aren't standard video signals.

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That's the converter I was looking at. Looks small enough to conceal inside, uses USB power 5vdc I think), I believe the Ataril power supply is 12vdc so, use a cheap cell phone car/cigarette lighter charge, connect to same power supply, plug appropriate USB cable into that, to converter, VOILA! Integrated hdmi!?

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That's the converter I was looking at. Looks small enough to conceal inside, uses USB power 5vdc I think), I believe the Ataril power supply is 12vdc so, use a cheap cell phone car/cigarette lighter charge, connect to same power supply, plug appropriate USB cable into that, to converter, VOILA! Integrated hdmi!?

The main board itself works from the output of a 5V regulator.

If the converter uses a miniscule amount of power, you might be able to rob the power for the converter right off of the main board.

(The power supply is rated at 9V.)

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Yeah, I'd just steal 5v from the board. USB is what, 100mA max? There should be enough spare power available for that, although I'm not sure how much gets lost from the voltage converter. I bet Ben Heck knows. I seem to recall there's a fair bit of capacity off the main board itself. Or could a person use a higher rated 9v adapter? I've got some that are rated for 850mA, that should give plenty of overhead given that stock is only 500.

 

This is all sacrilege though. A 2600 on anything without scanlines is just ugly. (He says as he currently has a light sixer connected via RF to a brand-new LCD screen, for demo purposes on a pending sale). :D

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Does anyone have luck connecting the 2600 to an s-video to hdmi converter? This alone would be interesting since the 2600's video signales aren't standard video signals.

 

I'd planned to test that if I ever get around to updating my video mods page. But at this point, it's not going to happen anytime soon.

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When it comes to the Atari 2600 beyond perhaps an increased aspect ratio would their even be a noticeable improvement in video quality between the conventional s-video/composite mod and an HDMI converter?

 

I always liked the s-video/composite mods because they get rid of the static interference common with RF, HDMI seems excessive.

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When it comes to the Atari 2600 beyond perhaps an increased aspect ratio would their even be a noticeable improvement in video quality between the conventional s-video/composite mod and an HDMI converter?

 

I always liked the s-video/composite mods because they get rid of the static interference common with RF, HDMI seems excessive.

 

Well you're not going to get any *increased* video quality, as all you'd be doing is putting S-video/composite output into a digitizer. The 2600 doesn't generate, let alone output a digital signal.

 

It's kinda like ripping a VHS tape to DVD. Yeah, it'll play in a modern player, but you're not going to somehow get a better picture doing this.

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That's my thinking, while it might be cool to have HDMI out, I don't really see the point since it's standard 4:3 NTSC. I think adding a composite out would be pretty easy wouldn't it? Also, you have to consider sound was folded into the RF output, so you'd have to add another RCA jack for audio out too wouldn't you? HDMI would only make sense if you were displaying a modern 16:9 HD signal.

 

Here's an article on doing a composite mod on a 2600.

 

http://www.retrothing.com/2006/02/atari_2600_vide.html

 

and another

 

http://amazingdiy.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/atari-2600-video-mod/

 

Ben Heck DOES know...

http://benheck.com/book/support/Atari2600VidMod.htm

Edited by John_L

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While HDMI DOES seem like overkill for an ATARI 2600, until a couple of months ago I worked phone support for DirecTV. By the time I quit, it was not all that uncommon to see televisions without composite inputs, and only component and HDMI. I also started seeing a television now and again (didn't get the brand) with ONLY hdmi inputs, and standard coax for antenna. So while it is overkill from a picture quality standpoint, it's also quickly moving to the viabale connection method in general, and the only real alternative to RF on many upcomming televisions.

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Well you're not going to get any *increased* video quality, as all you'd be doing is putting S-video/composite output into a digitizer. The 2600 doesn't generate, let alone output a digital signal.

For video, TIA generates digital signals. You just need to get the signal off the pins before it gets to luminance ladders and chrominance circuitry. The luminance info is 3 digital outputs, and the chrominance information it generates is just a phase delayed clock.

 

Reading chroma and converting the whole thing to HDMI isn't trivial, but in theory you could keep the signal all-digital.

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For video, TIA generates digital signals. You just need to get the signal off the pins before it gets to luminance ladders and chrominance circuitry. The luminance info is 3 digital outputs, and the chrominance information it generates is just a phase delayed clock.

 

Reading chroma and converting the whole thing to HDMI isn't trivial, but in theory you could keep the signal all-digital.

 

True, I never thought of pulling directly off the chip. I just have no idea how you would actually convert that into an HDMI signal. This gets way beyond my skillset but I bet it would be a hell of a fun project for shits and giggles.

 

As someone mentions, with some newer TVs going HDMI only I wonder if we're going to see more signal converters cropping up. I still say the look of a 2600 on an LCD is horrid, but I guess given enough time CRTs will be museum pieces only. Oddly my newest TV has only HDMI, and RF. Such a weird combination - RF seemed to have disappeared a while back with the assumption that everyone was getting set-top boxes and the like.

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While HDMI DOES seem like overkill for an ATARI 2600, until a couple of months ago I worked phone support for DirecTV. By the time I quit, it was not all that uncommon to see televisions without composite inputs, and only component and HDMI. I also started seeing a television now and again (didn't get the brand) with ONLY hdmi inputs, and standard coax for antenna. So while it is overkill from a picture quality standpoint, it's also quickly moving to the viabale connection method in general, and the only real alternative to RF on many upcomming televisions.

That's because the composite input is shared with the component. You plug the yellow cable into the green component jack, and the white (or red) audio cable into the white jack. Obviously people are not reading the user manuals that comes with the HDTV or they would know that.

 

The bigger issue is that the timings are incorrect on most of the old Atari consoles. Some newer TVs will refuse to display an analog signal if it doesn't have the exact number of scanlines (for instance, 480i vs 240p), the wrong number of color clock cycles per scanline (Atari 7800), malformed V-sync, improperly formatted colorburst, or any number of other issues. Even my Hauppauge USB capture device throws an "unsupported signal" error with my Best AV modded Atari 7800. If the device doesn't cross it's Ts and dot it's Is, it won't display correctly on many of these newer sets with integrated component/composite inputs. The older HDTV sets from circa 2006 seem to be far more fault tolerant to off-spec analog signals than the newer HDTVs are. What's worse, is that the HDMI standard is extremely precise about timings, and a converter receiving an off-spec signal may not pass the HDMI signal correctly. Either that or (more likely) the device will create a frame buffer which will add a minimum one additional frame of lag on top of what the TV produces.

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Yeah, I'd just steal 5v from the board. USB is what, 100mA max? There should be enough spare power available for that, although I'm not sure how much gets lost from the voltage converter. I bet Ben Heck knows. I seem to recall there's a fair bit of capacity off the main board itself. Or could a person use a higher rated 9v adapter? I've got some that are rated for 850mA, that should give plenty of overhead given that stock is only 500.

 

This is all sacrilege though. A 2600 on anything without scanlines is just ugly. (He says as he currently has a light sixer connected via RF to a brand-new LCD screen, for demo purposes on a pending sale). :D

 

500ma on USB (1&2, think 3 will support more) but who is counting, you can provide as much current as you want to the system, the 5 volts comes from somewhere, that somewhere is a 7805

 

A 7805 at just above dropout with a fat arse heat sink is good for almost an amp, course atari doesnt do that, you get 2 -7 volts above dropout which means it has to burn it off as heat, then you get a sliver of a thin stamped heat sink.

 

9 volts and minimal heat sinking you might be able to squeeze 6-700ma out of it before it starts getting excessively hot, and my Jr sucks 380ish playing a game, no clue what a heavy sixer draws.

 

not saying it would be a bad idea, but dont guess

Edited by Osgeld

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That's because the composite input is shared with the component. You plug the yellow cable into the green component jack, and the white (or red) audio cable into the white jack. Obviously people are not reading the user manuals that comes with the HDTV or they would know that.

 

 

 

I saw lots of those, several a day. As of a few months ago, it became not too uncommon to see them without ANY composite capability on new TV's.

Edited by Kapikui

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For video, TIA generates digital signals. You just need to get the signal off the pins before it gets to luminance ladders and chrominance circuitry. The luminance info is 3 digital outputs, and the chrominance information it generates is just a phase delayed clock.

 

Reading chroma and converting the whole thing to HDMI isn't trivial, but in theory you could keep the signal all-digital.

 

It would already be interesting to make a high quality component video output this way.

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