Here’s one simple mod I’ve had on the to-do list for ages: swap the C64 audio/video connector to something that can take a regular s-video cable and use the RF modulator RCA jack for audio out. Standardish connectors just save from that much hassle.. Plus it’s also very hard to think of a use for the RF output these days :) Read More…
Frustrated by the results of my slightly unsuccesful Atari 2600 video mod, I ended up buying a RetroKidz composite / S-video mod from (the nowadays ceased) 8-bit Domain webshop shortly after. The specs available there stated that this mod had been tested to work on both PAL and NTSC systems, so it seemed like a hassle-free solution.. Not that it proved out one, really. If you have a PAL system and this mod installed, you should definitely read on!
Returning to video issues for the final time, hopefully.. This post has been under the works for quite a while because instead of simply installing the VGA converter (and being happy with the cabinet), I decided to perform more tests and see if I could possibly tweak the quality a bit further.. In the light of these tests, it seems that I prematurely passed judgement on the quality of the GeForce 6600 tv-out when actually the motherboard I have is more the culprit! Anyway, let’s first start with the a bit of video of the Geforce 6600 s-video tv-out..:
Here, the card is running 720*576 50Hz (PAL), the signal timing values have been modified by hand to match the PAL spec. Prior to this, the output was set to 800*600 60Hz (VESA), and this made the colorful ghost pattern visible especially around window edges above more messy (sort of), contributing to a blurrier overall image. Put short, the s-video output quality you see in the video clip above is about as good as I can make it by editing signal timing values. Composite output doesn’t have the colorful distortion but then again, it looks about the same as when you add some flicker (blur) filter over the s-video output.
With a working display finally installed, I started figuring out what to feed it with.
The graphics card I have installed in the system is a PCIE Club3D GeForce 6600 with 128Mb of memory. The Sony telly has SCART and the Geforce has a TV-out port that can do composite, s-video and YUV component. Out of these YUV component would be the best of course, but converting that to RGB component (used in SCART) would require a bit of active electronics in-between. There is a DIY-option for such a box available, but because of all work with this project as-is, I don’t feel like going that road for now.
So s-video or composite it is then! I chose the latter to start with as I didn’t have a s-video cable at hand. Ok-ish color picture on the telly, but once I got the Nvidia ForceWare drivers installed (version 266-something) the picture turned black&white. WTF?! Switching NTSC / PAL from the control panel didn’t seem to affect anything so I started looking the net for answers..