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What's the name of this output retro gaming monitor device? The following is a still from the Netflix production of 'Bandersnatch', a 2018 interactive movie, set in Britain, mostly in the year 1984.

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The CRT Monitor has buttons which read 1 to 8, RGB and Video. A microcomputer is connected (not shown) to which a joystick is connected.

  • What is that? Game, or monitor, or what? – peterh - Reinstate Monica May 14 at 14:18
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    How old are you? (That's not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely curious. What you have there is a bog-standard CRT television, probably from the first half of the 80s (it does have composite and RGB input, but only 8 channels and probably no remote.). – Michael Graf May 14 at 14:21
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    @user3528438 and in the time period we’re considering here, land-line phones didn’t even have power cords ;-) – Stephen Kitt May 14 at 18:19
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    I love the fact that the question has been answered by tagging it. – Mark Williams May 14 at 19:39
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    @MarkWilliams an unfortunate side-effect of your edit is that it means I need to adjust my answer to match (and a lot of the investigation involved in my answer gets absorbed into the question — granted, the information could probably have been there right from the start...). – Stephen Kitt May 15 at 13:14
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It’s a regular 80s-era TV set, specifically a Ferguson MC01 (from a 1986 Argos catalogue, see this article): the buttons are volume, brightness, contrast, colour, and channel selection buttons. This particular model was designed to be computer-friendly, with RGB support and automatic switching. Ferguson also produced an add-on for 48K ZX Spectrum computers, the MA20, which provided RGB output for use with such TVs (also mentioned in CRASH).

Argos catalogue showing the Ferguson MC-01

The joystick wouldn’t be connected to the TV itself, but to a computer connected to the TV.

Your photo is a screengrab from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, and the game shown is the titular Bandersnatch, one of the fictional Tuckersoft games. This also explains the UK spelling on the TV, which can be seen in more detail in this featurette. The computer would be a ZX Spectrum.

(Thanks to Tommy and Michael Graf for contributing to this spelunking adventure.)

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  • It not only supports RGB, but Ferguson sold a corresponding hardware add-on for the 48kb ZX Spectrum that added RGB output, the MA20. This TV was explicitly pushed as also being a monitor for home computers, with trade-specific advertising. Minor mention in Crash magainze: crashonline.org.uk/25/technews.htm (see the fourth news item); pictures of the RGB adaptor: k1.spdns.de/Vintage/Sinclair/82/Peripherals/… – Tommy May 14 at 15:31
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    @Stephen Kitt: The (fictional) Tuckersoft fansite you linked to confirms it's in fact Bandersnatch: tuckersoft.net/ealing20541/bandersnatch And finding that TV in the Argos catalog is some impressive detective work! – Michael Graf May 14 at 15:37
  • @Michael thanks ;-). The Bandersnatch link doesn’t work for me, it immediately redirects to the history page, so I’ll take your word for it. – Stephen Kitt May 14 at 16:01
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    @StephenKitt condensing the nonsense, here's the Bandersnatch screenshot, to evidence Michael's observation: tuckersoft.net/ealing20541/img/thumb-bandersnatch2.gif . So he and you are definitely right. – Tommy May 14 at 17:24
  • @Tommy Awesome. Another piece of Brit IT history I never knew I was missing. Now I need to get both, TV and Sinclair connector box :)) – Raffzahn May 14 at 17:58

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