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donjn

Atari 800 XL S-Video and Composite question

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I found this awesome TV. It is a Maganvox 15" LCD TV 4:3 ratio with HDMI, Composite and S-video. Picture below.

 

Now, I just ordered an Atari 800XL so I know that I may or may not have any luck regarding getting it to work with an s-video cable.

 

My question is this. For arguments sake, lets say that my Atari does not work with s-video. It is revision B but the seller replaced the chip with revision C. I assume this has no effect on that.

 

Would all I need to purchase be a DIN to RCA Color Composite Video A/V Monitor Cable for Atari 800/XL/XE? I messaged the Ebay user and he suggested I also get an Male Mini DIN S-Video Monitor Adapter to Male & Female RCA for Atari 800/XL/XE because my s-video pictured below has 4 pins.

 

Is the only reason he is saying that because he assumes my Atari 800XL can handle s-video?

 

Or would running a composite cable to an s-video cable into my TV improve the signal somehow?

 

 

cKrjoTU.jpg

Edited by donjn
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The Atari 800XL does not produce video output compatible with S-video by default, but it's simply a matter of soldering one wire to add it. S-video is basically just a separate Chroma (color) and Luma (brightness) signal. Composite video combines both of these on one wire and requires the display device to produce a video signal from the combined signal. It works, and it's better than RF, but it's not as good as true Chroma/Luma (s-video).

 

So for your 800XL to produce S-video, you'll need to solder one wire to the DIN jack. Search the forum for details, but it's about as easy as mods get. Better still is to remove the 4050 hex buffer chip in the video circuit and replace it with a UAV video board, which will give you super-clean and sharp S-video. :)

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The first cable outputs to 4 RCA plugs, composite, chroma, luma, and audio. The second cable has 2 rca jacks for chroma and luma converting them to the s-video plug that connects to you monitor. It's fairly easy to add the chroma signal to the 800xl if yours doesn't have it.

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What are my options if I do not want to do any soldering, modding, hardware or otherwise? Just get the first cable and be happy with composite? Like I mentioned would adding the second cable (which allows me to plug into the s-video on the tv) make the quality any better?

Edited by donjn

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Theoretically no better, but modern monitors are hit and miss with these old video signals. So it wouldn't surprise me if one input looked better than the other.

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Lotharek sells a combined S-video/composite to DIN cable. It has both connectors, so you can use composite now and should you ever solder that wire you simply unplug it and plug in the mini-DIN for S-video.

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Theoretically no better, but modern monitors are hit and miss with these old video signals.

Atari 130XE, no issues here with LG Electronics 42.5" Screen LED-lit Monitor (43UD79-B) and UHD 4K Composite S-Video RCA AV to HDMI Converter Upscaler 1080P HDTV AV Adapter Converts and upscale Analog Composite Video & S-Video (from DVD / VCR / STB / Game Console / Camera etc.) to digital Full HD 1080p & UHD 4K Video (Suitable for use on today's HDTV, HD Monitor & HD Projector).

Edited by Chri O.

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You can use LUMA for itself and COMPOSITE for CHROMA on the s-video jack. Not the best, but pretty good.

 

The issue is that COMPOSITE chops off the higher LUMA frequencies so it can tuck CHROMA in above LUMA. S-video passes CHROMA on a separate line, leaving LUMA at full bandwidth,

 

Some 800XLs have the wrong resistor in the video amplifier - nothing you can do about that, (except replace the resistor).

 

Bob

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Atari 130XE, no issues here with LG Electronics 42.5" Screen LED-lit Monitor (43UD79-B) and UHD 4K Composite S-Video RCA AV to HDMI Converter Upscaler 1080P HDTV AV Adapter Converts and upscale Analog Composite Video & S-Video (from DVD / VCR / STB / Game Console / Camera etc.) to digital Full HD 1080p & UHD 4K Video (Suitable for use on today's HDTV, HD Monitor & HD Projector).

The problem with a lot of those cheap Chinese HDMI converters is that they can add some lag to the signal, which is sometimes noticeable when playing games, and they also can't process all of the video modes that the A8 can produce. So for instance software that enhances resolution like flickerterm will be a complete fail, showing up as alternating shifted lines running down the screen. However with that said, if your main interest is for running applications where these limitations are not an issue, then that converter you linked to will do a reasonable job at giving you an HDMI video output. Of course the quality of such is also determined by how good your S-Video is, so making that the best it can be will benefit the conversion.

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