I have an Amiga 500 that I'd like to get up and running again, but the 1084 monitor with which I used to use it has flyback transformer issues.

What options are available to hook it up to a modern display? From what I understand, adapting the 23-pin Amiga analog video to VGA is difficult. I'd like a solution that will display all the same video modes that a 1080/1084 monitor would display back in the day.

  • Maybe something like this. – jpmc26 Mar 18 at 5:13

The cheapest option is to use the composite output, so it's compatible with any monitor that supports composite but it's only black and white.

Or if you have the A520 modulator (about $25 on eBay), you can get a color image through composite, RF (not recommended), or modify the A520 for S-Video.

If your TV has a standard definition tuner, you may also be able to connect your Amiga 500 through a third party RF Modulator (about $15) but again this is not recommended.

Next up is a simple HD15 adapter ($10), but it outputs a 15kHz horizontal scan rate (VGA standard requires 31 kHz) so it only works with a limited set of modern LCD monitors.

Next is Kipper2K's S-Video adapter, but these are difficult to come by. Or make your own.

An option for component video is the GGLabs A520HD ($80 or build your own with the supplied Gerbers). Like the other options above, it doesn't have a framebuffer so lag is minimized and the picture is sharp, but the Amiga outputs a nonstandard sync signal and so this may not work with all monitors that support component video. To test your monitor, hook up the composite output from your Amiga to the green ("Y") component jack on your monitor and see if you get an image.

On a budget, the ubiquitous Chinese SCART to HDMI adapter (it's sold under different brand names on Amazon and eBay but I think they're all the same) is probably your safest bet. It has good compatibility and gives a good picture but the framebuffer adds some lag so it may not be the best option for fast paced gaming. Just add an Amiga SCART cable.

If your monitor takes VGA or component (YPrPb), Tim Locke's answer is a less expensive alternative ($20-25) but requires a little DIY. It has a framebuffer so compatibility is good. Similarly, the Wei-ya ACV-011 ($65) takes some DIY and trial and error but produces a sharper picture with less lag.

And finally, the Indivision ECS, OSSC, and Micomsoft Framemeister XRGB-Mini provide the best picture quality and the lowest lag.

But please keep in mind that the better-than-composite options won't look right with games that take advantage of composite artifacts to produce more colors. Virtual Karting 2 is one example.

  • The A1200 and I think A600 aerial out would connect to a modern TV (in colour), but the picture quality would probably be limited. – nsandersen Mar 18 at 8:28
  • Ideally I want colour and full resolution. I'd like to be able to do everything that I could on a 1084, including playing games, so those last options seem the ones most up my alley. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 18 at 14:34
  • @nsanderson Thanks, I've added RF options. – traal Mar 18 at 15:56
  • Another option would be to buy a new cheap lcd that can sync to 15KHz signal, some of them do, go here 15khz.wikidot.com. The Benq BL912 (1280x1024) is one of them and has both vga and dvi-d input. Then you only need a simple RGB->vga adapter, typically found at your amiga retro store, and a standard vga cable. Games (typically PAL 320x256 @ 50Hz) looks great on this monitor after some tweaking with the settings (pixel clock and phase) but beware the laced modes will flicker e.g. Workbench in PAL: High res laced (640x512). Other monitors on the list might deinterlace better... – jbilander Aug 11 at 10:34

Use/buy a television instead of a computer monitor. They have a wider range of inputs and support 15kHz video on—in order of increasing picture quality—analogue UHF, composite, and RGB SCART. Many sets also support S-Video and YUV inputs but those would involve building extra interface circuitry and a SCART cable is much simpler.

IME, modern televisions do not support 15kHz video on the VGA input, typically complaining that the signal is out of range even though the same signal is acceptable over other inputs. This won't affect you on the Amiga models you list, but is a heads-up for any A1200/A4000 users who are reading this answer and were hoping to use a modern TV as a multisync monitor. The YUV input may be a solution since it often supports both SD and HD video, but I have yet to explore this possibility.

The television will probably cost more money than a monitor. For example, when my PC monitor failed in early 2018 and I went looking for a replacement into which I could also plug an A1000, the candidate monitors (1080p, 22-24") were around the €110–130 mark, whereas the television I settled on was €170.

  • 2
    One tip with TVs, often they do some image processing that makes the computer look worse. The names for it vary, but often it's something like "sharpness" or "sharpening". If you turn it down to zero the picture will look cleaner, if you turn it up you will find the edges of text are exaggerated with high contrast. – user Mar 19 at 14:28
  • Considering the prices of the adapters or converters described in the other answers will close the gap between a monitor and a TV. I use RGB SCART and it’s simple and works fine. – Holger Mar 22 at 7:19
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    Alas, SCART is not a thing in my part of the world. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 22 at 16:43
  • Like I said in another comment, I built a simple S-Video adapter using an AD725 chip and some passive resistors, etc. It can be a little difficult to solder if you don't have experience with SMD but it wasn't too bad. The chip is a little expensive at around $12 or so. But there are schematics online that will show you how to wire it up. My total cost was about an hour and ~$18 in parts. S-Video on older Amiga's (like the A500) look amazing. Sharp, colorful, and no latency. I don't know why S-Video doesn't get more love in the Amiga world. Finding CRT's with S-Video can be hard, however. – cbmeeks Dec 11 at 21:00

There exists a device called GBS-8220 that converts on-the-fly from 15kHz line frequency to 31kHz (and more) line frequency compatible with VGA.

It features an on-screen menu to configure it.

You will have to buy an Amiga-compatible connector and solder 5 wires.

Some references:

You can easily find sites to buy some (new and used) online.

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    @StéphaneGourichon In future, feel free to post such edits as separate answers. – wizzwizz4 Mar 19 at 20:10
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    @StéphaneGourichon: Thanks! – Tim Locke Mar 20 at 17:52
  • I tried the GBS-8220 and was really disappointed with it. First, the interface was terrible. Not to mention the unit ran REALLY hot. At least mine did. But what killed it for me was the tearing and noise. I didn't try the noise fix. Wouldn't matter anyway. The tearing (latency) was something I couldn't stop noticing. Anyway...just wasn't for me. I now use an S-Video adapter I built using an AD725. Looks amazing, sharp, etc. – cbmeeks Jul 20 at 14:56

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