Best display for Vic20?

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prowlr
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Best display for Vic20?

Postby prowlr » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:40 am

My last 1084 died a few months back and I have been using a spare LCD TV which has a composite input and the picture is pretty bad.

I have noticed a lot of picture where people have their Vic20 using a LCD monitor(TV?) showing a clear beautiful picture. I was wondering how people are connecting their Vic20s up to get such a great picture? Are people using the SVideo hack I have read about or something else?

eslapion
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby eslapion » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:16 am

prowlr wrote:My last 1084 died a few months back and I have been using a spare LCD TV which has a composite input and the picture is pretty bad.

I have noticed a lot of picture where people have their Vic20 using a LCD monitor(TV?) showing a clear beautiful picture. I was wondering how people are connecting their Vic20s up to get such a great picture? Are people using the SVideo hack I have read about or something else?

The S-Video mod does help (I have it) but Commodore monitors are much less sensitive to a problem with most 8-bit Commodore color computers' video output; their video signal's amplitude is often wrong.

Image

The correct video signal amplitude is 1V peak-to-peak.

Most modern flat LCD TVs are quite sensitive to an incorrect amplitude.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

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Radical Brad
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby Radical Brad » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:59 am

My trick is to only use the better quality 2 Prong VIC models, and to tweak the video amplifier for each display I use. For the Dell NTSC monitor I am currently using, I have the color amp almost full out. For an older CRT, I have to put it someplace in the center. It really makes a huge difference in the amount of color bleed and artifacting. A newer VIC (PSU type) cannot really be adjusted like this.

Brad

prowlr wrote:My last 1084 died a few months back and I have been using a spare LCD TV which has a composite input and the picture is pretty bad.

I have noticed a lot of picture where people have their Vic20 using a LCD monitor(TV?) showing a clear beautiful picture. I was wondering how people are connecting their Vic20s up to get such a great picture? Are people using the SVideo hack I have read about or something else?

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FriedOrange79
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby FriedOrange79 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:11 am

How big is the LCD? I usually use a 13" CRT TV or a small-medium LCD TV with the composite output and it looks fine. Certain colours tend to be a bit worse though, especially green, red and magenta in my experience - this is where the S-video mod will help by properly separating the luminance and chrominance signals (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_crawl). The only way I've gotten a truly bad picture is with very large modern LCDs and/or the RF modulator!

Remember that if the black level is out of kilter (white boot-up screen looks grey or text and border are washed out) this can be adjusted with the small trimpot near the VIC chip. Different displays may require a different adjustment of this control. You can quickly see if this adjustment would help by first temporarily changing the brightness setting on the display itself.

If your problem isn't limited to coloured text/graphics but black and white as well, then the display itself is probably to blame because b&w graphics aren't susceptible to 'dot crawl'. (As a side note, none of my VICs produce dot crawl with blue text either.)

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Floopy
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby Floopy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:40 am

I use CRT TV's for all my older computers. Though I can hear the audible high pitched sound that they make :evil:
Some people say that it's just plain dumb, but where I live I can buy CRT TV's for less than 1$ or even pick them out of the dumpsters for free.
For my VIC I use a small Zenith monitor it makes the 22 column display look small and it doesn't hurt my eyes after a while.

What I said probably has nothing to do with your question, but I thought I would share it.
-Floopy

norm8332
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby norm8332 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:17 pm

It's hit or miss with the LCD TVs and the VIC. I have a 20 inch LCD TV that looks great (even on the CR) http://sleepingelephant.com/ipw-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=8789#p98021, then I have a 26 inch and a 46 inch that look terrible.

Gyro Gearloose
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby Gyro Gearloose » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:03 pm

Image

eslapion
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby eslapion » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:36 pm

@Gyro Gearloose
I sadly lost my 1080 but I have to admit, with the S-Video mod, the image is both large and nicer on the 20" RCA TruFlat.
No one can do everything. Everyone can do something.

a4000bear
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby a4000bear » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:16 pm

I use an LCD monitor intended for security applications. It has a 4:3 screen, so the display isn't distorted and it has an S-video input. My VIC is modified for S-video and the video levels carefully adjusted with an oscilloscope.

I think the results are very good, considering how we struggled with truly awful displays back in the day with RF modulators and dodgy old TV sets.

Here is the VIC boot screen:
vic.jpg


And here is how a game looks, in this case, Dig Dug:
digdug7.jpg


This is the monitor.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/17-led-surveillance-monitor/p/QM3578
Unfortunately this monitor is no longer available. The replacement they suggest does still have S-video, but unfortunately it is 16:9. I have no idea how well it works with the VIC. Monitors intended for security applications seem to be a very good match for computers like the VIC or C-64. They are designed to work with TV cameras, some of which generate non interlaced video, similar to the VIC. I have found some LCD TVs will refuse to display non interlaced video, and in any case they tend to no longer have S-video inputs.

I will say that if you want to get as close as possible to RGB or VGA kind of quality, then S-video is a must.

prowlr
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Re: Best display for Vic20?

Postby prowlr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:38 am

Thanks for the replies. To answer some of the questions and comment on some of the statements made.
* It's a ~20" LCD TV (From Dick Smiths before they went bust).
* Thanks for the confirmation of the Jaycar CCTV monitor. I looked at that but was not to sure about it so good to get confirmation (yes I am in Australia).
* I am using PAL Vic.
* I have been using a CR Vic but recently bought a two prong PSU for a two pronged Pet keyboard Vic I have so will give that a go soon.
* Sounds like it will be worthwhile looking into the svideo mod. I also recently purchased new caps to replace in my old 1084s in the hopes that will resurrect it from the dead but who knows how many more years are left in it.


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