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52 votes

Were the classic game consoles *technically* able to play both NTSC and PAL games, if ignoring artificial region lock-in?

They were different. You probably already know that NTSC is 60 Hz and PAL is 50 Hz. The video generation hardware was much more 'bare metal' than today (the NES color palette implementation was so ...
David's user avatar
  • 2,356
28 votes
Accepted

Is the only reason that my PAL NES is able to run NTSC/American games that it's doing it on an EverDrive?

The NES's region lock is implemented in hardware, not software, with the CIC chip. The NES contains a CIC, and each authentic cartridge contains an identical CIC. When the console is powered on, the ...
NobodyNada's user avatar
  • 5,474
17 votes
Accepted

Was PAL or NTSC encoder IC a critical component in early video games?

The PAL video encoder was not a bottleneck of any kind. It is left out because the unit is not a PAL model, but a SECAM model, which needs a different kind of encoder. So the chip is not needed and it ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
17 votes

Were the classic game consoles *technically* able to play both NTSC and PAL games, if ignoring artificial region lock-in?

Basically the difference between PAL and NTSC consoles is the frame rate, 50 vs 60 Hz. The consequence of that is that PAL and NTSC mostly differ in number of cycles available for the CPU per frame, ...
lvd's user avatar
  • 10.5k
14 votes

Ideal resolution for color computer on PAL/SECAM

In the early 80s, cost of RAM for the framebuffer was the dominant factor, closely followed by RAM bandwidth. The difference in resolution between NTSC and PAL systems is minimal in comparison to ...
occipita's user avatar
  • 2,367
14 votes
Accepted

What is the size of the border of the ZX Spectrum in scanlines/pixels/bytes?

See the detailed info here: https://worldofspectrum.org/faq/reference/48kreference.htm The timing is expressed as a T-states of the CPU and, when recalculated to pixels, the top of the border is 64 ...
Vlad's user avatar
  • 1,541
14 votes

Why was the VIC-II restricted to a hard-coded palette?

We can of course only guess why, but with a fixed palette, it only needs to implement the circuits you need to get the 16 predesigned colors based on the color index. Cheaper, faster, and they were ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
13 votes
Accepted

Spectrum clones 512x192 mode usable text resolution

I had two micros when I was growing up: the SAM Coupé and the Acorn Electron. The SAM Coupé has a 512x192 mode much like you discuss. The SAM's display is physically wider than a Spectrum's though, ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.3k
13 votes

What is the size of the border of the ZX Spectrum in scanlines/pixels/bytes?

The device uses 14 MHz crystal as the master clock, and it gets divided by 2 to get 7 MHz pixel clock. The active raster is 256 pixels, and if we assume that standard 15.625 kHz horizontal scan rate ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
12 votes

Why was the VIC-II restricted to a hard-coded palette?

While I would doubt that a 16x8 ROM would be cheaper than an 8-bit register or even four of them (which is probably why the Atari 2600 allows a wide range of colors, but leaves me puzzled at the SID ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Did the PAL version of the Apple II use a different clock frequency?

Yes, but only a very slightly different speed: the master crystal was around 14.238Mhz rather than 14.31818Mhz. which is only around 0.5% different, so I would expect safely within tolerance for a ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.3k
10 votes

PAL NES in USA, 50Hz vs 60Hz

Rather than convert the NES, just get a PAL monitor. The common auto backup video systems use an NTSC/PAL switchable monitor, available for not much money.Backup monitor 7" It is also possible, ...
Whit3rd's user avatar
  • 2,180
10 votes

Did the PAL version of Super Mario Bros. on the NES really have faster music, and if so, why?

Porting a game to PAL while making all actions take the same number of frames would cause the game to perform 20% slower than with NTSC. Some games did this, but other games adjusted the amount of ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.6k
10 votes

Were the classic game consoles *technically* able to play both NTSC and PAL games, if ignoring artificial region lock-in?

Technically, no, because usually hardware was fixed to generate the TV signal in a fixed way, instead of being programmable. Many systems had separate video chips for different TV systems, and due to ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
10 votes

How could/can there exist NTSC->PAL converters for SNES and other classic game consoles?

These adapters do nothing else than defeat the lockout chip so that e.g. a PAL region console can be forcibly made to execute code from a cartridge whose content is originally intended to run on an ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
9 votes

Ideal resolution for color computer on PAL/SECAM

What would be the ideal resolution? There is no "ideal" resolution. TV screens use "overscan", which means that the full TV image is occluded by a bezel. That doesn't matter for ...
dirkt's user avatar
  • 27.9k
9 votes
Accepted

PAL NES in USA, 50Hz vs 60Hz

You'll have to get a PAL to NTSC converter. A modification to make a PAL NES to output NTSC video would be extremely difficult because both the console and the games are designed for the video signal....
NobodyNada's user avatar
  • 5,474
8 votes

Why would a PAL Amiga sometimes start up in NTSC display mode?

At startup, the Amiga used a timing routine to check the frequency of the AC power supply, and start in PAL (50 Hz AC) or NTSC (60 Hz AC) appropriately. Unfortunately, the detection was buggy, and ...
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Oric-1 has a digital PAL encoder. Was there any other options for SECAM?

According to CPCwiki Oric-1 had something that made it unnecessary to have a SECAM UHF signal. It was (one of few) computers in that price range that had RGB out connector. This made it possible to ...
UncleBod's user avatar
  • 1,775
8 votes

Did the PAL version of Super Mario Bros. on the NES really have faster music, and if so, why?

Just came across this while researching NES PAL music. What nobody has mentioned is there were two European releases. The original 1987 launch version (distributed by Mattel in the UK) was a direct ...
Fryguy64's user avatar
7 votes

Ideal resolution for color computer on PAL/SECAM

If this is about connecting the color computer to television antenna input via an RF modulator, then the local TV system variant matters, as both the RF modulator for the computer and the RF ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
7 votes

Why was the VIC-II restricted to a hard-coded palette?

Analog output on TV was a messy process. Back in the early days of Homecomputing, electronics were not as exact as today. Nowhere you could difference on a cheap tv 16 mio. colors (256 brightness ...
Peter Parker's user avatar
  • 1,025
6 votes

Did using a PAL display mode for Amiga Workbench slow down an NTSC machine?

Because PAL output needs to shove more data (roughly 25% more) out to the screen, it accesses chip memory longer than in NTSC mode - does this, however, more rarely (50 times/s instead of 60 times). ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 35k
5 votes
Accepted

4MHz Z80 timing and PAL video generation

Z80 and 6502 are complete different CPUs in terms of clock and cycle structure. There is no sense in comparing them at this level. To solve your problem you need to focus only on your Z80 system, its ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
5 votes
Accepted

How do the resistors chosen for the DAC match the RF modulator requirement in Oric-1?

The resistor network output voltages do not match the optimal modulator input voltages, and they do not have to match, as long as the modulator input voltages are within the range. The antenna RF ...
Justme's user avatar
  • 32.9k
5 votes

Were the classic game consoles *technically* able to play both NTSC and PAL games, if ignoring artificial region lock-in?

These answers are contradictory basically because none of them are getting down to the real meat of the issue. That is, it depends if the programmers accounted for it or not. The ease of doing this ...
Muzer's user avatar
  • 1,782
5 votes

Sony PVM (PVM-14M1J, NTSC-J) Displaying the Wrong Colors

Swapping the R-Y and B-Y connections in a component video connection will yield a picture where red and blue are swapped, which sounds like what you're seeing. Component video connections that use ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.6k
4 votes

Ideal resolution for color computer on PAL/SECAM

I'll take PAL to mean the specific composite-video signal format for color TV, deliberately excluding higher-resolution versions like S-video with multiple signal lines (see Wikipedia). The vertical ...
Ralf Kleberhoff's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Will US Amiga 500 work in UK with UK power supply?

An unmodified Amiga 500 provides two outputs: analogue and digital RGB through its DB23M connector monochrome composite through its RCA connector Colour encoding is identical in both PAL and NTSC ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
4 votes

ZX Spectrum PAL Composite Video to North American Monitor

I can think of several options: The hardest one (because it is still WIP) is to remove the PAL ULA and get a NTSC ULA. NTSC ULA's existed for some clones intended for the American market. Today they ...
mcleod_ideafix's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible