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oracle_jedi

New Monitor for Atari 800?

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I am looking to buy a new LCD monitor for my PC and have noticed that quite a few have composite inputs these days.

 

I already have a Hitachi multi-standard TV/monitor, but if I could reduce the screen count on my desk it would be a bonus.

 

Here are the systems I would like to run to the new monitor in addition to the PC:

 

 

Atari 800 (PAL)

 

Atari 1200XL (NTSC with 50Hz ANTIC chip - NTSC @50hz)

 

Atari 1200XL (NTSC)

 

VIC-20 (PAL)

 

VIC-20 (NTSC)

 

TI-99/4A (NTSC)

 

 

I tried a Samsung 730MW a few months back - the PAL VIC-20 picture was unstable and the 1200XL with the UK ANTIC chip refused to display an image at all. I am now considering trying a newer Samsung 940MW or the Samsung 215TW. There are also LCD displays from HP and Dell that have composite inputs.

 

Has anyone tried on these units and can report how they run?

 

Thanks

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Older computers don't quite generate a standard display by PAL or NTSC standards.

 

They repeat the same frame of the interlaced display, rather than going odd/even.

 

That's enough to confuse some video capture cards and probably some modern TVs as well.

 

Probably best to take the Atari along and try it out first.

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One data point which might not be too helpful given the specific systems on your list - I have a Dell 2405FPW which displays excellent quality picture (using S-Video input) from all my NTSC Atari's (including the 800 and a bunch of XL's and XE's) plus also from my PAL 130XE and a NTSC C64c

 

I also have one of the cheap CTX TV-to-VGA converter boxes (TVBox xtra) hooked up to an older LCD monitor at my workbench which replaced a CRT Commodore monitor to save space, but the picture quality from that is attrocious - the color sampling seems to use too few bits resulting in ugly stripes and sharp color transitions in smooth gradients which is very distracting, and the picture is also very fuzzy.

 

However, I mostly use the S-video input on my VIVO ATI card (Sapphire Radeon X800) with DScaler, which if set to the proper resolution matching the input signal (720x480 for NTSC and 720x576 for PAL) produces the highest quality picture and can be scaled to any size in a window on my screen - I find this to be the ideal setup, better than having to switch the monitor itself between S-video and DVI inputs, plus it allows for very easy screen captures from the Ataris

 

I also find that using S-video (chroma/luma) output from the Ataris results in far superior picture to composite video in all the above scenarios. The only downside is that the NTSC color artifacting does not work with S-video, so for games which use it I have to switch to composite input instead.

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However, I mostly use the S-video input on my VIVO ATI card (Sapphire Radeon X800) with DScaler, which if set to the proper resolution matching the input signal (720x480 for NTSC and 720x576 for PAL) produces the highest quality picture and can be scaled to any size in a window on my screen - I find this to be the ideal setup, better than having to switch the monitor itself between S-video and DVI inputs, plus it allows for very easy screen captures from the Ataris

I CANNOT believe that I never tried this! :lol:

 

I've got an ATI X800XTPE, and just dug up that external cable I never used and hooked it to my video switch (which is usually connected to my C1084s) and downloaded Dscaler and it looks friggin amazing! :-o

 

Funny thing is I have a 2005FPW, and while it's video inputs are quite good compared to others - the results from Dscaler blow them away!

 

Big thanks for mentioning this :D

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DScaler has yet another virtue -- it it the only way that I have found to get 24 full lines X 80 columns of the XEP-80 correctly displayed on a modern PC monitor using Win TV (PCI). I tried *lots* of hardware trying to get the XEP's overscan under control, and this was the *only* thing that worked. -Larry

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I also find that using S-video (chroma/luma) output from the Ataris results in far superior picture to composite video in all the above scenarios. The only downside is that the NTSC color artifacting does not work with S-video, so for games which use it I have to switch to composite input instead.

 

Nothing to do with flat screens, but when an Atari is hooked up to a Commodore 1084 monitor in S-video(chroma&lumina) the monitor has a button on the back which combines the chroma/lumina so you can have either video or S-video signal at the touch of the button. Effectively also giving you artifacting at the touch of a button. But the bonus kicker is that the picture still remains sharper than if I just plugged a composite video signal into the 1084 directly.

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Well to give you an update, I decided to buy the Samsung 215TW 21 inch widescreen unit.

 

My local PC hardware store offers a 30 day full money back guarentee on this model so I figured I could try it out and just take it back if it didn't work, here's how it performs:

 

Atari 800 (PAL) - stable image with good colour.

 

Atari 1200XL (NTSC) - stable image with reasonable colour

 

Atari 1200XL (w/PAL ANTIC, i.e. NTSC @ 50Hz) - snowy image, excessive video noise, wrong colours but almost viewable. **

 

VIC-20 (PAL) - stable image with good colour

 

VIC-20 (NTSC) - flickery image with ok colours - flicker is very annoying and makes the display unusable for this unit.

 

TI-99/4A (NTSC) - very stable image and outstanding colours.

 

** this compares to the 730MW where the image was monochrome, rolled continously and had ghost images all over the screen.

 

 

For reference I am using a Sony Wega KV-AR25M61 multi-standard TV that produces an outstanding image from all of the above.

 

I think I am going to keep this unit, it performs much better than the Samsung 730MW I tried about nine months ago and has the added bonus of a much higher resolution when I am using it with my PC. Also the sound is ok - better than the Viewsonic flat panel I have - and certainly good enough for the occassional round of Jelly Monsters, Ballblazer or Parsec.

 

Thanks to all for the feedback, I appreciate your help.

 

Cheers

 

Graham

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Atari 1200XL (w/PAL ANTIC, i.e. NTSC @ 50Hz) - snowy image, excessive video noise, wrong colours but almost viewable. **

 

Is the GTIA also PAL? (Does the GTIA even come in PAL/NTSC varieties?)

 

How about the OS ROM? I know those are different between PAL and NTSC... an NTSC OS with a PAL ANTIC, I'd expect to misbehave. Sounds like the TV is autodetecting a PAL signal based on the framerate, but the colors are still NTSC format.

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