Amiga/Toaster RGB out to Tv?
I have been looking for a good quality but reasonable priced way to connect my Amiga 2000 to a tv since all my 1080s died recently. Toastscan and Prevue adapters for multi-sync monitors seem to exspensive and too few available.
I wonder if thisAVerMedia AVerKey iMicro VGA Interface PC/Mac to TV Converter will this work along with the vga adapter from AmgaKit? Does anybody know if it will still allow the Video Toaster to sync up it's signal to the RGB output.
LOL, stop reading my mind
So I just got an Amiga 4000 from someone.
Used it for less then 1 hour when the 1084S-D1 literally went up in smoke on me.
So now I too am off in the search of the 'flicker fixer' and 'scan doubler'.
I am probably willing to spend the money however.
(Then again I'm also capable of repairing the monitor I have, if I can get the parts, I can get the service manual.)
If you just want to use the WorkBench again you could go over to www.softwarehut.com and get the adapter to plug a HD15 monitor into the Amiga's output. Only problem is that the Toaster, Toaster Flyer and most games will drop from any remotely compatible mode into NTSC/PAL again.
Our commerical options as I see it are:
Toastscan (apparently will be back on sale in late April 2008)
SyncStrainer (does not appear to the flicker fixer and doesn't like the flyer from what I've heard...)
CM-345S (around $200, but at least it's RGB in not NTSC/PAL)
(Beware, the above product comes in 2 versions.)
A video scaler with a SCART RGB input (you thought above was expensive?)
LCD TV with progressive scan doubler (some seem to work, but again NTSC/PAL only unless this is one expensive TV with SCART or RGB.)
The problem I see with the AverMedia box is that if you feed it the NTSC/PAL signal with an adapter (assuming you need the adapter) instead of RGB you'll loose output quality and from what I hear you'll loose it fast. Perhaps that's not a concern to you so much as being able to use it at all.
[WARNING GEEK SPEAK]
I'm wondering why so few people didn't get the DB23 and divide up the SCART output of the Amiga into it's parts. By doing this, you could at least rig a switch to get the VGA signal into a multisync monitor (and disconnect it if the video slips out of range) or the NTSC/PAL signal into a separate component input on a TV (and again disconnect it when the signals out of range.) Then again, I wonder why someone couldn't rig a controller to count the frequency of the sync and do the switch itself as some older/garbage monitors might not like the half sync and it could damage them. (Actually you could just use the syncs to clock up a counter and gate it with a timer and do the same thing I bet.)
I guess people just wanted a solution that's all in one. Seems like a waste though. With today's cheap TV 'monitors' having comb filters and everything else in them, I would think they would be superior for the NTSC/PAL output (though useless with 'hi-res' output.) So I would think (though I could be wrong) while having 2 monitors would be a space waster you'd get performance enhancements for the video of everything and not just rig the NTSC/PAL into something that's still not quite the right frequency by doubling it just so the monitor can display it with no optimization.
Oh well, if I can be of service let me know.
In the meantime back to packing this Amiga back up.
Whats in that cable (WARNING, it's not just wires.)
Sorry, I just realized it will probably be hard to find the HDB15 adapter at SoftwareHut's site.
You may need this to get S-Video or NTSC out of your Amiga.
These don't seem to be available yet, but the older 1680ex didn't do scaling on the VGA input unless you were doing PIP.
I wonder if this one can scale the VGA input and line double it....
This specifically can take the 15kHz output and make it compatible with an monitor.
Now if you put this on the Amiga (you'll need an adapter (see earlier) to get the DB23 to RGB, but you can make that pretty easy) you should be able to use it with any monitor.
The adapter should buffer the RGBHV from the Amiga, dummy the enable line to get the RGB and not composite SCART (that DB23-HDB15 does that), and then terminate in a connector compatible with the box listed above.
If I can't get my hands on a ToastScan, then I'll do this for sure.
Also here's one cheap (proper search term is apparently RGB CGA) that goes to S-Video/composite (NTSC/PAL).
With a different end for the same cable you ought to be able to use it to from the Amiga's RGB to S-Video/Composite/VGA using these 2 boxes.
The only thing I can think of better then that would be the internal scan doublers if you can find one. I've never actually seen on in operation, so I'll take other people's word for how much better that could be (also, be aware that I'll bet that such an internal trick would not work with a Video Toaster/Flyer as it depends on NTSC timing and if you mess with the timing on the mainboard I'll bet the boards won't like it.)
Just be warned with that RGB CGA convertor you need to seperate the RGB sync first.
Guys like JROK sell a module using the LM1881 to get the composite sync into RGBHV.
Also, have you considered the Commodore A520?
You might be able to scratch the last post (can't seem to find a way to delete it.)
I looked at it again and it does support RGBH+V which is 'combined sync' so I guess it may support composite sync.
Wow! Thanks for all the great information and links. I actually have a 17" NEC multi-sync which I never bought an Amiga adapter for. I will though since they make one specificilly for it and with the cheap prices, at the link you gave. Even if I can't use it with the Toaster, I could switch back and forth until they start producing more Toastscans.
Are you sure about the April 2008 date? I didn't see it on the SoftHut site. Did they tell you that?
The Amiga to Magnovox (S-video) cable looks like a good option. I assume it will work with any TV that has aa S-video connector and not just Magnovox tv's. But even with that, are you saying that I would still need another piece of equipment to allow the Toaster to sync with the Amiga/S-Video cable?
I would think would since it is still 15hz. Now I am more confused than ever
(LOL, read this slowly, it's clear like mud.)
If I recall you are referring to the cable that converts "Amiga to S-Video".
I suspect that's not exactly what you think it is, however, you'll have to inquire with those selling it to find out.
Let's look at how that cable 'could' work:
If you convert the Amiga's output to S-Video, assuming you do so by converting the RGBH+V out at the DB23 (which is basically RGB with a composite sync) (See side note #1 below for trivia), you'll probably still end up with flicker on a tube TV (perhaps not with an LCD TV) when you are working with the Toaster as it simply needs the flicker fixer to stop that. In WorkBench you'll probably end up with distortion or over frequency if you don't lower the drivers from the HiRes as some of the HiRes modes can put out 30kHz+ (that's how the DB23 to DB15 can work in Workbench, but not with the Toaster; the Toaster goes back to 15kHz which is too low for an SVGA monitor, the HiRes modes can be 30kHz+ which is inversely too high for the TV.) So you have a trade off, if you use the TV with the S-Video you are going to loose some of the HiRes options for WorkBench. Though you could do worse and use the TV with a composite output or even worse with a RF modulated output. (This goes back to why I sometimes wonder why not just make a switch that puts the 15kHz signals to a TV and the 30kHz+ signals to a monitor. This way you use the displays for their strengths instead of trying to make them do both and possibly causing numerous avenues for distortion.)
If you get the S-Video by messing with the main board then it's hard to say how compatible it will be with the Toaster or what quality of output you'll get. This said, it's unlikely that cable can do this.
If you get the S-Video by hacking an A520 (Commodore's RF modulator and color composite output), it'll generally work fine, but as I recall it still flickers on tube displays in the Video Toaster. (The A520 is basically converting the RGBH+V of the DB23 into composite and then putting a copy of the output into the modulator. I don't think it has any kind of frame memory to loose the flicker which can still give you trouble on a tube display.) Hacking the A520 is a little better then converting the composite or RF to S-video after you already loose quality, but it's still not the greatest solution.
If you get the S-Video by converting the composite out of the Amiga 2000 I think the composite out on those models (which there is none on the Amiga 4000) was monochrome. Notice this cable does NOT say it's for the DB23, so there's a good chance it's a hack that only ends up with monochrome S-Video.
I have pictures of the inside of a ToastScan and basically what's in there is a A/D - Mach210 programmable gate array - D/A and memory. It's taking the RGBH+V from the DB23 and basically making a frame memory (like an infinite window TBC) and then deinterlacing the data on the way out to produce a deinterlaced, frequency corrected output. This would eliminate flicker and would get the display to be the proper horizontal frequency. However, it is still short of a scaler in that I doubt it has the computational power to adjust the signal for displays of different aspect ratios. In that regard, the CM-345S I linked earlier can likely do that using it's additional scaling function (which by the way also adds distortion, but hey, you can't have everything.) In addition I would suspect (and may have to verify) that the RGB CGA converter I linked can do the same (for half the price apparently, but with less input options.)
I've got about 150+ links in my bookmarks for this research and it's late here. I believe I found (and I could be wrong) the actual builder for the ToastScan and it said coming in April 2008. Of course, if this is anything like most deadlines that could be April 20,080.
Side Note #1:
There's a jumper to do RGB with 'sync on green' on the Amiga 4000 mainboard which I am also not sure the Video Toaster can do (but the likelyhood is high that it works), or whether it will reduce the quality as I suspect it will because of even less isolation of the syncs from other sources of interference. I've noted this because it's just another twist.
You may have an excellent solution in that NEC monitor as some of the NEC 3D monitors can actually handle the 15kHz horizontal. In that regard the cable may be all you need so long as the NEC monitor doesn't break like the 1084.
Originally Posted by mysticpixels
Notice that it's only certain models of the NEC monitors that can do this. This does not mean it works with all the NEC monitors.
Regarding the NEC monitor, there is one problem you may still have.
Even if the older NEC monitor can handle 15kHz and 30kHz+ it might still flicker in the Video Toaster screen because it's still only using a tube. LCDs don't have retrace issues like tubes, which is good in this case, bad in others.
So in that regard, you may still have flicker issues, but you had them with the 1084 anyway.
The only way I can think to fix the flicker in that case is again something like the ToastScan.
One thing I should also really point out, that little RGB CGA box on E-Bay doesn't mention whether it can handle 30kHz+ in either.
So in that regard I guess any WorkBench more that goes for 30+kHz won't work.
It's possible it may not be an issue, but I suspect to really know I'd have to try.
(I think I'll E-mail the seller.)
Turns out that box on E-bay is a CM397. As in the CYP's design. As in the CYP that makes the CM345S.
It's exactly what I figured, the RGB portion only. So it's cheaper.
The one down side is that the cables for the DB23 are not the SCART to RGB cables like those on E-Bay so you have to hack your own.
The other down side is that the CM345S has a VGA pass though button. If you did go into the 30kHz+ mode you could rig an adaptor to that to press the button and 'bypass' the 15kHz input.
On that note, one could integrate either of these boxes into a circuit that could automatically accommodate the 30kHz+ modes if someone really wanted them by doing like I said earlier and 'counting' the separate horizontal sync and detecting the higher frequency then either flipping a relay, an analog mux or closing the CM345S's switch contact to 'bypass' the doubler input (the reverse is also of course possible.)
If you don't use the 30kHz+ modes I bet either of these boxes will do. You can save about $100 if you just use this one apparently.
Also this unit does have 24 bit color, which some scan doublers do not.
The only thing I'm still not sure about is how it will react to the Toaster, I did find mention that it works fine with the HiRes interlaced modes.