Questions tagged [video]

For questions regarding hardware and drivers used for video output.

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8
votes
3answers
531 views

Why does the Amiga 500 have half the HSYNC pulses seperately compared to those in CSYNC?

After many years I bought myself a new old Amiga 500 (rev 5) and wanted to hook it up to an LCD monitor (Samsung Syncmaster 152N) that has a VGA input. I tried hooking it up directly by making an ...
65
votes
3answers
13k views

What character is the MS-DOS cursor?

The cursor used on my 486 (and Pentium 3) in MS-DOS 6/7 has a thick underlined character. I cannot find that in code page 437. The underscore character is the closest to it, but is thinner. Where ...
6
votes
1answer
321 views

Was it ever possible to access the full EGA color space in 200-line modes?

It's long been an established fact that the EGA only had four memory planes, which limited the number of colors on the screen to (24) 16. The best compatible monitors at the time had six TTL color ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Is there a generic VBE driver available for Windows 3.x?

I’d like to run Windows 3.11 on a relatively modern laptop. One problem I have is that the only display driver that works with my hardware is the basic VGA driver, which only supports the rather ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

`DRAW` instruction timing

I asked a question here about CHIP-8 instruction timing, and this answer mentions that DRAW waits for vblank: For Chip-8 code that draws anything, the limiting factor will be the wait-for-vblank that ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Did scanlines appear on the ZX Spectrum screen?

I used played Spectrum games as a child. According http://scanlines.hazard-city.de/ and http://www.zxdesign.info/vidresearch.shtml, the Spectrum 48K emitted 50Hz half-resolution full frames, instead ...
6
votes
4answers
564 views

Are there standard DIN pinouts for cassette and video ports on early Japanese 8-bit computers?

I have several different Japanese 8-bit computers, and they use similar DIN connectors for video and cassette I/O: Composite video: 180° 5-pin DIN: Fujitsu FM-7, NEC PC-8001mkII Color TTL (digital) ...
8
votes
2answers
735 views

Could CGA synchronize with vertical blank?

According to http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?62049-The-myth-of-the-vertical-retrace-interrupt-on-EGA-VGA IBM first implemented a vertical retrace interrupt on the PCjr in 1984. That ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What specific technical advance(s) allowed PCs to play “Full-screen full-motion” video?

In the early 1990s, the new buzzword for PCs was "Multimedia", and the gold standard for multimedia performance usually talked about was "full-screen full-motion" video playback. Many will remember ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Commodore 64 with red and white RCA cable

After discovering my old Commodore 64 in the garage, I wanted to test if it still works. The power light comes on but the video connection to a modern TV is obviously an issue, as mentioned here. Well ...
29
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?

Using my 21" Trinitron OSD, I can see that the resolution at boot is 720x400. From memory, this weird resolution is extremely uncommon if ever to be seen as a choice on software that supports ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

How exactly does Leningrad contend the memory?

From what I understand of this answer, the Leningrad delays the Z80 during the M1 cycle so that the video generation circuitry can do its thing. I can see how M1 is "latched" (don't know if that's ...
1
vote
0answers
161 views

Thinking through the design of a TTL video card: what memory chips and how to manage memory? [closed]

Inspired by Ben Eater's "Let's build a video card" aka "World's worst video card" two part projects on YouTube, I was inspired to consider designing a display adapter for my passive backplane TTL mini-...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

What role does the 4-bit shift register play in the Leningrad video generation?

The Leningrad contains a shift register1, which I believe is loaded with data from the bitmap. This part loads 8 bits in parallel, and shifts each bit out in turn on the rising edge of a clock signal. ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

When did MS Windows get Dual Monitor support?

I remember one of the features I admired on the Macintosh in the late 80s was support for multiple displays. First time I saw this was on an SE/30, using the internal display along with a big external ...
5
votes
2answers
514 views

Timex 2048 RAM contention ULA/video output

I used to own a Timex TC-2048 ZX Spectrum 48K compatible clone. I programmed it in assembly extensively, both for fun and when learning, and also when testing things for writing my own ZX Spectrum ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How to connect a Tandy Color Computer to a Composite Monitor?

Ok, I'll admit I'm out of my element on this one. I'm an Atari/Commodore/Apple guy, but I have this Tandy color computer kicking around and a spare Amdek Composite monitor and I thought they would ...
26
votes
10answers
6k views

Graphics chips in 1980

Suppose you were trying to build a computer with a color graphics display in 1980, you have limited engineering resources and time to market is critical, so you want to get as many of the parts off ...
35
votes
2answers
3k views

What mid-1970s to mid-1980s home computers had their graphics characters added to Unicode 13?

The Unicode 13.0.0 release notes mention among the symbol additions: 214 graphic characters that provide compatibility with various home computers from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s and with early ...
5
votes
3answers
743 views

How does the Apple II read lines for video display from the text-mode frame buffer?

(This question applies also to the low-resolution graphics video buffer, since that uses the same frame buffer as text mode, just displaying it differently.) As described on page 1-12 et seq. of The ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible to swap the Apple //c's monochrome CRT tube for a color one?

I just love the Snow White industrial design language of the Apple //c, especially when paired with the Monitor //c. It is a classic design that doesn't show its age. I've even recently seen them ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Do all VGA cards implicitly support CGA and EGA?

Practically speaking, if I buy an ISA VGA card, will it implicitly support CGA and EGA games?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Video chip for hypothetical 1988 arcade game

I have a project where I aim to create a retro arcade game cabinet, the technology would be ~1988. For now I am planning to only simulate the system on my PC in order to develop the game. The ...
5
votes
2answers
897 views

Could early nineties PCs access raw CD bitstream?

In the early nineties, as discussed in What specific technical advance(s) allowed PCs to play "Full-screen full-motion" video? it became commonplace for PC games to use the storage capacity ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

How did the Sega CD decompress video?

In the early nineties, Sega released the Sega CD, a.k.a. Mega CD, an add-on that attached a CD-ROM drive to the Mega Drive a.k.a. Genesis. Its primary or at least most conspicuous use was for full-...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Z80 and video chip contending for random access

Back in the 8-bit days, I used 6502 computers, where the story about memory access was easy to understand. RAM chips of the late seventies and early eighties could do 2 MHz (or a bit more e.g. 2.6 in ...
37
votes
8answers
12k views

Why did computer video outputs go from digital to analog, then back to digital?

While early microcomputers used analog video outputs (often to use a television as a display), higher end machines such as the BBC Micro or Commodore 128 supported a digital RGB (or RGBI) video output....
12
votes
1answer
497 views

How did the Apple 1 video circuit work?

One of the major innovations of the Apple 1 when it was released in April 1976 was that instead of using a serial interface requiring an expensive external terminal it had a built-in 40×24 text video ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

What is the format of the Apple 1 character set ROM?

What is the format of the video character ROM used in the Apple 1?
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Cost of unrestricted sprites

All the game consoles of the second through fourth generations, and several early home computers, had sprites, which were valuable though costly, e.g. the VIC-II spent 2/3 to 3/4 of its area on ...
11
votes
1answer
822 views

Can the BBC be programmed to a half-size mode 1 screen mode with 16 colours instead of 4?

Screen Mode 2 on the BBC micro is 160 x 256 with "16"* colours. This uses up 20Kb of memory. Horizontal-rectangular pixels ( 2 x squares each). 4 bits per pixel (0-15 values for 16 colours) Screen ...
5
votes
2answers
249 views

Could monochrome systems produce better output for monitors than TV sets?

Many classic computers could optionally use a TV set as the display. At least in the early (pre-SCART) days, the TV would typically only have RF input, but if you were using a monitor, you could get a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did certain color combinations look terrible on the Commodore 64?

As I recall, on the Commodore 64's text mode, if you chose certain colour combinations, the letters would be badly obscured by some kind of interference which seemed to affect each character cell ...
6
votes
2answers
592 views

What was the title safe area on PAL TV sets?

Computers that used TV sets for display, needed to worry about the title safe area. By consensus, on NTSC sets, it was 200 scan lines, or 192 if you wanted to play it really safe. What was the ...
5
votes
1answer
314 views

(How) can I boost my ZX81 video output with an external device?

I bought a small LCD TV today in part to use with my retro computers. My Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k works perfectly with it - I can manually fine tune Channel 36 as shown in this video. With the ZX81 I ...
11
votes
2answers
526 views

Amiga Video Toaster support

What features of the Amiga chipset architecture and/or Amiga OS made it possible to design the Video Toaster for the Amiga? Why weren't there similar (cost-effective) video products for the PC or Mac?...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the screen refresh rate of the Lisa and original Macintosh?

According to https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Joining_Apple_Computer The Apple II displayed white text on a black background. I argued that to do graphics properly ...
5
votes
3answers
480 views

How does the PMD 85 display colour or greyscales?

I stumbled across this computer in an article on hackaday, Home computers behind the Iron Curtain and since it has this bizarre resolution, I looked closer into it. Some claims from Wikipedia: ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

What Video Chips/Video generation techniques are usable for the Z80?

I'm building a Z80 home computer and I need color graphics for it similar to other home computers such as the C64. I thought that, like Motorola or MOS, Zilog would have a peripheral chip dedicated ...
43
votes
2answers
9k views

Why were some early PC 3D cards unsuitable for 2D graphics?

Some of the early PC 3D graphics cards such as the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics cards had a passthrough port to enable them to switch to a secondary card to display 2D graphics. I am curious to know why these ...
12
votes
9answers
1k views

Did any machines alternate between two video memory banks?

If a home computer or console has two banks of memory, A and B, then the following design is possible: The video chip only connects to bank A. The CPU connects to both. During active scan line, CPU ...
6
votes
4answers
413 views

Is it possible to have a NTSC picture 240 pixels tall, without any line being hiding by overscan?

On the NES, the system I'm most familiar with, the NTSC models produce 240 lines of video image, but the top and bottom 8 pixels are usually considered to be "hidden" due to overscan. (The actual ...
10
votes
1answer
575 views

Possible cause for C128 A/V output containing faintly coloured columns and failing shortly after?

I recently acquired a Commodore 128. It worked fine for about an hour, in both C64 and C128 mode, at the exception of some coloured bars, before displaying garbage and not booting anymore into any ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

What was the purpose of the Apple /// interlace mode?

I know that a video interlace mode was available on the Apple /// prototype and eventually on the Apple ///+, but I haven't seen anything that says what it was for. Did it provide a higher resolution ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a device that will take composite video from a vintage computer and filter it so it is green or amber like the old monochrome monitors?

I know some monitors have a mono/green switch, but I'd like to do this with my 1702. If one doesn't exist, I'll probably try and make one (somehow).
6
votes
2answers
801 views

GPU chip implementation on CPU - will it be faster? [closed]

So, modern video cards include two devices - a video signal generator and a graphic accelerator. The first of them converts data from video memory into MDA / CGA / VGA / RCA / DVI / HDMI / etc format....
19
votes
7answers
4k views

What video connections were common in Europe?

What video connections were common on European TVs and monitors during the "retro" era? In the USA, first there were none on TVs (RF screw terminals only) and monitors had composite (yellow RCA, CVBS)...
11
votes
3answers
607 views

What are the Ultra-Highres registers in ECS and AGA for?

The Amiga custom chip set, in its ECS and AGA versions, seems to contain some registers for what is called an "Ultra-HighRes/DUAL" mode: DFF078 SPRHDAT W Ext. logic UHRES sprite pointer and ...
13
votes
2answers
623 views

Atari ST DRAM timing puzzle

From the Atari SM124 Monochrome Monitor Service Manual, I get that the video signal timing for one line is 20µs. With the horizontal resolution of 640 pixels, this gives a 31.25ns pixel clock. Using ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why have computers used so many different video connectors? [closed]

Over the years and with the large variety of hardware I've dealt with I've used quite a few of different video inputs and outputs. While I usually have no issue just plugging cables into devices, I ...