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Reply 20 of 77, by Grzyb

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-13, 17:41:

Seriously, though, with EGA IBM has done some design decisions that I don't understood.

As usually, you fail to understand that computer technology in the 80s was EXPENSIVE.

In 1984, it was possible to make something better than EGA, but it wasn't possible to mass-sell it.
EGA was supposed to be a mass-selling product, so compromises were necessary.

The original EGA by default only had 64 KB of RAM.
And that was enough to be better than MDA, CGA, and Hercules - and without the need to purchase the new monitor.

Yes, it was only a little step forward, but...
those who tried to make a Quantum Leap(TM) instead, failed miserably 🤣

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 21 of 77, by megatron-uk

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Grzyb wrote on 2024-04-13, 19:17:

Yes, it was only a little step forward, but...
those who tried to make a Quantum Leap(TM) instead, failed miserably 🤣

I see what you did there! 🤣

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Reply 22 of 77, by Jo22

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Grzyb wrote on 2024-04-13, 19:17:
Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-13, 17:41:

Seriously, though, with EGA IBM has done some design decisions that I don't understood.

As usually, you fail to understand that computer technology in the 80s was EXPENSIVE. [..]

I know, but I don't consider it an argument. Computing always had been expensive. 🙁
Whoever you're asking, everyone whines about computers being expensive at the time.
Original IBM hardware was expensive for its IBM branding alone.

IBM's EGA wasn't ingenious, either, just overly complicated. Just like Microchannel.

IBM could have gone another route and produce something similar to the Hercules InColor card (EGA's short-lived rival).
Not very backwards compatible (MDA support, but no CGA support), but less complicated to produce.

Anyhow, it were clones which made the IBM PC successfull, I think.

Because IBM did the only thing right and decided to give away proper hard and software documentation for the platform, describing every part.
Not that this was any unusual, I think. In the 70s, most appliances still had a schematic inside the owners manual. TVs and radios, most notably, I think.

It was just a positive and noble move that IBM continued with this tradition in the 80s.
On the other hand, IBM likely had to do that, considering its good reputation.

Because good documentation and the possibility for users to be able to fix
expensive equipment throughout the years was a key element in IBM's reputation.

Other companies didn't care so much about long lasting products.
That's something that made IBM stand out, probably it was that way because of IBM's typewriter background.

And because IBM never was an company specialized in working with end users/private customers, maybe.
IBM rather was a company which did business with other big companies/cooperations/govs.

In such an environment, no one was acting small-minded. IBM made equipment and mentioned a price.
If things met the requirements, an agreement was being made. Or something along these lines.

Commodore aka CBM tried to be same, I guess, but wasn't in practice.
Because of curiosity, I've just read a book, "the downfall of Commodore" and the things being mentioned in there were really bizarre at times.
I never thought that a company, especially in my place, could act so unprofessional at times.

In the book, several situations also showed how being small-minded, too greedy and money-oriented all time can ruin everything.
Especially the cost-saving measures almost broke the company multiple times (the saying "penny wise and pound stupid" applied here, imho).

Anyway, that's a different story likely and doesn't belong here.
I've intended this thread to be about the Amiga graphics and the creation process of games/graphics, rather than, um, PC vs Amiga. 😉

Speaking of the Amiga, the Amiga 1000 and later on, the A2000 also was expensive.
The A1000 had ICS graphics (NTSC model) and 256KB of RAM initially, for example.

These 256KB of RAM were barely enough for anything,
later Amiga Software of late 80s wouldn't run on a stock A1000, until it was being heavily upgraded.

The 256KB of RAM didn't allow sample based music, either, because samples need RAM.
The AdLib with its FM synthesis didn't have this issue.

So the platform wasn't really being an exception here. Like others, it had to fight those high prices, too.

But at least, there were two models that turned out to be successful.:
A500 for home users/kids and the A2000 for professionals.
The later was being used in offices, even, like a real computer.

The graphics were being used for telecommunications, even.
Like video conferences and such. Very interesting. 😀

A picture of an A2000 in an 80s news paper can be seen here.
It's an article about "tele medicine", about how doctors could communicate via fibre connection.
Edit:

megatron-uk wrote on 2024-04-13, 20:44:
Grzyb wrote on 2024-04-13, 19:17:

Yes, it was only a little step forward, but...
those who tried to make a Quantum Leap(TM) instead, failed miserably 🤣

I see what you did there! 🤣

Um, is that a reference to that old TV show of same name, by any chance? 😁
If so, it had aired under a different name here where I live (which translates to "back to the past").. I merely know the English title through sheer coincidence.
Another show, but from the 90s, was Time Trax. Also not bad.
In the place where I live, the title was changed to something that tranlates to "time trax - back to the future".
Edit: There also was the Sinclair QL (Quantum Leap).. Hm.

Edit:

In 1984, it was possible to make something better than EGA, but it wasn't possible to mass-sell it.
EGA was supposed to be a mass-selling product, so compromises were necessary.

But it failed, it never was. Probably because of the missing EGA monitors only a few had owned?

The original EGA by default only had 64 KB of RAM.
And that was enough to be better than MDA, CGA, and Hercules - and without the need to purchase the new monitor.

Sure, but then what was the purpose of EGA? EGA had worse text output than MDA/Hercules.

I mean, that's exatly the point here. If something is expensive, it should be functional, at least.
But stock EGA wasn't. It was simply expensive, without a purpose.

To do anyhting meaningful, EGA needs its own colour monitor with 350 lines.
That's why multisync monitors and EGA/Super EGA clones, -even VGA systems-, made EGA popular (postmortem).

Also, EGA had the ability to display in high-resolution mode with insufficient RAM.
It would reduce colours from 16 to 4 (?), I vagely remember.

Edit: Another point is that IBM was rich, very rich. It didn't have to be so profit-oriented when introducing a new standard.
If you produces something of quality, something that finds the liking of the industry, it will pay back manyfold.
At the time, IBM could have lived with less profits in the inital time and let PC users have time to adopt.
The original IBM PC had sold for years after its introduction.

Or to quote the founder of Bosch, “It’s better to lose money than trust”. (source)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 23 of 77, by megatron-uk

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The QL was Clive Sinclairs "Quantum Leap" after the Spectrum. It wasn't one 😀

I do have one, and it's a bit "odd", in the same way that the Spectrum was "odd" in how it was designed around the lowest cost possible.

Quantum Leap the TV show, on the other hand, was great.

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Reply 24 of 77, by revolstar

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megatron-uk wrote on 2024-04-14, 08:32:

Quantum Leap the TV show, on the other hand, was great.

Totally! I've been re-watching it lately, reached season 4 I think.

OK, back on track - heck, even DVDs look better on a CRT TV vs. any modern flat panel screen. The color banding on modern TVs is bloody awful!

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Reply 25 of 77, by Jo22

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revolstar wrote on 2024-04-14, 12:33:
megatron-uk wrote on 2024-04-14, 08:32:

Quantum Leap the TV show, on the other hand, was great.

Totally! I've been re-watching it lately, reached season 4 I think.

OK, back on track - heck, even DVDs look better on a CRT TV vs. any modern flat panel screen. The color banding on modern TVs is bloody awful!

+1

Personally, what I do like about DVDs (and BDs) is that they're able to make full use of a CRT TV's resolution.
So the result is better than analogue broadcast back then, quite similar to what Laserdiscs had to offer.
In principle, at least. It depends on the mastering process, I suppose. 🤷

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 26 of 77, by gerry

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-13, 09:58:
I remember this! :D I've watched quite a few shows done in traditional hand animation at the time and I remember how good they l […]
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gerry wrote on 2024-04-11, 15:45:

as a side note - remember how we all watched movies over braodcast tv onto relatively small CRT tvs back before larger TVs came along in the later 90's (and well before 'hd' and led). I think the brain makes up somewhat for a shortfalls in actual detail often

I remember this! 😁 I've watched quite a few shows done in traditional hand animation at the time and I remember how good they looked on my Commodore 1702!
That's when we had VHS cassettes and our old, analogue satellite receiver and the matching old parabolic mirror (w/ LNC) still. 😀

I'd even go so far to say that those older shows still look best on CRT, even if they're being stored on DVD or Blu Ray now.
Because, no matter the medium, the source material, the original drawings, had been done in such a way that they look fine on a composite video monitor (NTSC CRT).

ah yes, and VHS quality could vary so much too - partly on the CRT used for playback as well as various input parameters

i also remember old CRT 'professional' screens, used for earlier CCTV and so on, could offer crisp but high quality image although sometimes i just thought that was the small screen illusion - where something looks better on a small screen while on big screen we see the flaws

Reply 27 of 77, by Jo22

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Quick update. I had a discussion with my father about old PC monitors from the 80s.
And it wasn't easy, because he had difficulties taking CGA seriously. To him, it was sort of a toy.

Anyway, to what he can remember after all those years,
he says he pretty much started with an IBM AT + Hercules graphics + IBM monitor and then moved over to VGA.
(He had been at university before were they had mainframes and he was privately tinkering with Z80, also.
His uni had worked with CP/M based microcomputers, too, at the time.)

He also had a "Schneider PC" at some point, which shipped with a proprietary monitor.
That must have been the Amstrad PC1512/PC1640, which was very popular here in Europe during mid-80s.
I've also found an ancient copy of SIMCGA among his files from the 80s.

Now I wonder, could it be that generally speaking, that both CGA/EGA monitors weren't overly popular in Europe/Germany?
That there was no market for lo-fi IBM CGA monitors, as there was in the states?
The IBM PC was late in Europe, too, it seems. UK got it 1983, just a bit before EGA was invented in 1984.

I mean, could it be that at the time, CGA graphics were being shown on composite video monitors or on MDA/TTL displays (via SIMCGA)?
That early PC owners wanted traditional business graphics without bells and whistles, rather ?
Because, those of our PCs with on-board CGA did have clean monochrome video on the RCA connector.
Since we (had) have PAL and no NTSC, the lack of a color-burst circuit made sense and enhanced video quality via ordinary VBS.

I'm really wondering about this, because the PAL Amiga 500 was same. It had a plain monochrome output on the RCA connector.
Also, many C64 and Apple II users had used green or amber monitors or b/w monitors at the time.
And they worked just same on an IBM PC with a CGA graphics card.

Such specilaized monochrome monitors even had a chassis that looked like a computer monitor,
rather than a typical video monitor. I think I've heard the term "Data Display" one or two times, too.

In the states, those Amdek monitors seemed to have been popular monochrome video monitors, too.
They looked like professional computer monitors that wouldn't look too bad next to an IBM PC.

Another point is, that electronics tinkering books from the late 80s/early 90s had mentioned "CGA to SCART" schematics.
So apparently, there was a need or interest to subsitute a TV for a cheap computer monitor (colors!).
If real RGBI CGA monitors had been popular, it wouldn't have been the case, right? 🤷

PS: I do have one tiny CGA monitor here, so they must have really existed at some point.
However, I wonder if something like an IBM 5153 display had every any relevance here or internationally.
The IBM MDA monitor was a different beast. It was easy to produce and could be used with both EGA and Hercules cards.

And that's the point really: If CGA monitors had no big market share in Europe, then in our place there was no backwards compatibility being needed from the EGA.
And because EGA had no composite out like CGA did, we had to get a multisync monitor anyway in order to use a then-new IBM EGA card.
Cards like the ATI Wonder or ATI VIP series were about the only cards to offer EGA through a bog standard video monitor (or a Hercules monitor).

Edit: Pictured added.

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    Backplate of Siemens Nixdorf 8810 M35, ca. 1985 with CGA ports (mono via Cinch)
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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 28 of 77, by Grzyb

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-15, 17:43:
Now I wonder, could it be that generally speaking, that both CGA/EGA monitors weren't overly popular in Europe/Germany? That the […]
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Now I wonder, could it be that generally speaking, that both CGA/EGA monitors weren't overly popular in Europe/Germany?
That there was no market for lo-fi IBM CGA monitors, as there was in the states?
The IBM PC was late in Europe, too, it seems. UK got it 1983, just a bit before EGA was invented in 1984.

I mean, could it be that at the time, CGA graphics were being shown on composite video monitors or on MDA/TTL displays (via SIMCGA)?
That early PC owners wanted traditional business graphics without bells and whistles, rather ?

Yes, in my bubble, the PC was office workhorse a.k.a. glorified typewriter.
The final result was always a black-on-white printout.
So, no need for a color monitor.
CGA was bad due to the 8x8 characters.
EGA didn't really provide anything of value with a monochrome monitor.

So, the only choice was... Hercules.
Yes, with CGA graphics via SIMCGA (or similar), but only for games.
Pretty much all applications had native Hercules support.

Hercules domination lasted until around 1991, when cheap VGA clones (like PVGA1A on 8-bit ISA) took over the lead.
Still with a monchrome monitor by default.

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 29 of 77, by Matchstick

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The commodore 1080, 1084, and 1902 were all digtal RGB monitors, but also had analog composite. They were superior to almost any computer monitor at the time and able to display 640x480.
With an Amiga you would be connecting via the digital connection 9 Sub connection. This blew away everything else at the time. This is why amiga's were also used in TV/Film production at the time.

As far as the Amiga depending on the model with an AGA could do true-colour palette: 256x256x256 = 16777216 available colours. Which puts it on par with VGA.
And a whole range of video modes, and tricks that VGA could not do.

So as as the OP goes it had superior graphics and a superior monitor.

Reply 30 of 77, by Grzyb

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Matchstick wrote on 2024-04-15, 19:32:

So as as the OP goes it had superior graphics and a superior monitor.

Superior graphics?
Depends when, and how you define "superior".

The 15 kHz video of Amiga was good for games, and for TV stuff, eg. genlocking.
The 18/21/31 kHz video of PC was better for office applications.

It was mostly the 80s when Amiga had an advantage.
AGA has appeared in 1992, same as VLB SVGA cards - and such SVGAs were clearly superior.

Superior monitors?
But Commodore PCs and Amigas were often sold with the same monitors!

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 31 of 77, by Jo22

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Matchstick wrote on 2024-04-15, 19:32:
The commodore 1080, 1084, and 1902 were all digtal RGB monitors, but also had analog composite. They were superior to almost any […]
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The commodore 1080, 1084, and 1902 were all digtal RGB monitors, but also had analog composite. They were superior to almost any computer monitor at the time and able to display 640x480.
With an Amiga you would be connecting via the digital connection 9 Sub connection. This blew away everything else at the time. This is why amiga's were also used in TV/Film production at the time.

As far as the Amiga depending on the model with an AGA could do true-colour palette: 256x256x256 = 16777216 available colours. Which puts it on par with VGA.
And a whole range of video modes, and tricks that VGA could not do.

I know, these Commodore monitors are really an exception, though.
Commodore was big in my country (-and popular in other places, I suppose-) and as such, many monitors by that company were floating around.

For example, the 1701/1702 were often being used as cheap broadcast studio monitors (they were stackable).
Strictly speaking, it's an JVC monitor, though. My father's 1702 was previously being used by former "Südwestfunk", I think.

Another computer, the Commodore 128, had an RGB output, too, as had my old Sharp MZ 731 (analogue)..
So it's true that these Amiga monitors could be used as CGA monitors, though there's that yellow vs brown colour issue.

Some other model had a provision for a SCART connector, even. For analogue RGB. So it was half a SCART TV.
An external TV tuner was also available at the time. A small beige box, with AV jacks and an antenna plug (Belling Lee connector).

However, in reality, how many IBM PC users had an Commodore monitor on their desk?
I think it's possible, but I have neither seen nor heard about it before.

Another gadget was an RGB to Composite/UHF box for the Amiga 500, I think.
It plugged into the RGB video output port of the A500 (or any other Amiga) and provided video to users of normal monitors.

That being said, I don't mean to argue or something, whatsoever. I'm just honestly wondering. 😅

And my father is no big help here, he wasn't much into gaming.
Except for MS Flight Simulator , Larry 1 '87 and some Pac Man games..

What he had worked with were mainly businesses and his university, where Hercules on PC was a defacto standard at the time (at home, he had Z80MU running on his AT already).
Until it had been replaced by VGA, according to his memory. VGA was the first graphics standard which matched MDA's or Hercules' fine text output.
I theory, at least. Early blurry VGA monitors were no match to an TTL monitor (MDA/Hercules). I've did the comparison myself, already.

Home computer users had their own, analogue monitors mostly, at same time.
They've used a composite monitor - or a TV set, at worst. Judging by the internet, many were happy to have a PAL colour TV, even.
Because, there are quite a few pictures of C64 owners with their b/w TV sets. B/w portable TVs were being popular, too.

Matchstick wrote on 2024-04-15, 19:32:


So as as the OP goes it had superior graphics and a superior monitor.

Um, my original comparison here was between PCs with VGA monitors from the early 90s vs Amigas and their 15 KHz TV grade monitors.
Both had about same diameter and same dot pitch of about 0.4mm..

A bit later on, the discussion had moved more torwards EGA vs CGA vs Amiga for some reason.. 🤷
Which I'm more or less fine with, as long as it's an interersting discussion about monitor fidelity. 😀

Edit: What comes to mind, some Amiga 2000 users had used a scan-doubler/flicker-fixer device, I've seen ads in magazines about these devices.
This allowed them to use multisync monitors (universal monitors), as well as the then-new 31 KHz monitors used on PC (VGA monitors).
So that's another situation in which the lines between PC/Amiga were being blurred, I suppose.

Edit: To go back to the origin of this thread - Essentially, what makes me wonder is the following:

The Amiga platform more or less continued to use same monitors (1080, 1084, 1902 etc) throughout its whole lifetime,
which matched the capabilties of the graphics hardware and made games and applications look smooth, made them look as intended by the developers.

On PC side, however, things weren't always the same. There was one point in time, though, when both platforms met on eye level - when VGA appeared.
And thus for a couple of years (say, 1988 to ~1993), both platforms had used similar monitors. VGA was scan-doubled, okay, but it wasn't that noticeable on early monitors.
So porting back and forth between both platforms wasn't too uncommon. Background art and sprites could be kept, more or less. Except for a bit of fine tuning here, and there..

Now, a few years later, the Amiga platform wanished and newer PC models got sold with higher-end monitors (0.2mm dot pitch).
So the memories impressed in the minds by both user groups were going to be different from now on:

The Amiga users had kept the good memories of their experience on the small Commodore monitors, wereas PC users were having all sorts of memories, maybe:

a) Those who played games at launch time, on an early VGA monitor and do remember good graphics.
b) The users who had just started using PCs; years after the introduction of the same games, users who likely did have a modern Windows 95 era VGA monitor which revealed the fuzzy pixel art.

Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-04-16, 05:16. Edited 1 time in total.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 32 of 77, by Shagittarius

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I never knew anyone with a PC to use a Commodore or compatible monitor. The only way an Amiga could have used a PC monitor was if it had a flicker fixer installed, and I didn't know anyone who could afford that in my circle. I would agree that I'd never seen PCs and Amigas using the same monitors.

Reply 33 of 77, by Grzyb

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I've seen plenty of Commodore PCs with Commodore monitors.
Usually they were the 18 kHz MDA/Hercules monitors - after all, Commodore PCs were typically used for office stuff, just like PCs of any other brand.
But there were also 1084 variants supporting various inputs:
- TTL RGBI, for PC with CGA
- Analog RGB, for Amiga
- Composite, for C64
- LCA, for C128

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 34 of 77, by Jo22

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Grzyb wrote on 2024-04-16, 05:10:
I've seen plenty of Commodore PCs with Commodore monitors. Usually they were the 18 kHz MDA/Hercules monitors - after all, Commo […]
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I've seen plenty of Commodore PCs with Commodore monitors.
Usually they were the 18 kHz MDA/Hercules monitors - after all, Commodore PCs were typically used for office stuff, just like PCs of any other brand.
But there were also 1084 variants supporting various inputs:
- TTL RGBI, for PC with CGA
- Analog RGB, for Amiga
- Composite, for C64
- LCA, for C128

That's an interesting topic! 😁 Both Atari and Commodore had a PC department, too!
Wasn't there an AGA card, at one point? Wasn't it some sort of ATI Small Wonder?

Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 04:58:

I never knew anyone with a PC to use a Commodore or compatible monitor.
The only way an Amiga could have used a PC monitor was if it had a flicker fixer installed, and I didn't know anyone who could afford that in my circle.
I would agree that I'd never seen PCs and Amigas using the same monitors.

Neither me. I can't remember to have ever seen something like an IBM Model 5150 with an 1084 monitor..🤷‍♂️
But Grzyb is right about the Commodore PC line, I suppose. It made sense that those had gotten a compatible Commodore monitor.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 35 of 77, by Grzyb

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Jo22 wrote on 2024-04-16, 05:22:

Wasn't there an AGA card, at one point? Wasn't it some sort of ATI Small Wonder?

PC-10 III and PC-20 III had onboard Paradise PVC4, with DIP switches to select Hercules or CGA (+Plantronics???) mode.
I think earlier generations of PC-10 and PC-20 had that AGA card, with similar capabilities.

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 36 of 77, by wierd_w

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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 04:58:

I never knew anyone with a PC to use a Commodore or compatible monitor. The only way an Amiga could have used a PC monitor was if it had a flicker fixer installed, and I didn't know anyone who could afford that in my circle. I would agree that I'd never seen PCs and Amigas using the same monitors.

If they did, it would be with the composite output functionality of CGA.

EGA did not normally have composite output unless you had a high end card, but pairing it with a composite monitor was kinda dumb. 😜

Reply 37 of 77, by Jo22

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wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 09:15:
Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 04:58:

I never knew anyone with a PC to use a Commodore or compatible monitor. The only way an Amiga could have used a PC monitor was if it had a flicker fixer installed, and I didn't know anyone who could afford that in my circle. I would agree that I'd never seen PCs and Amigas using the same monitors.

If they did, it would be with the composite output functionality of CGA.

EGA did not normally have composite output unless you had a high end card, but pairing it with a composite monitor was kinda dumb. 😜

I'm speaking under correction, but I think the ATI EGA Wonder 800 had this capability.

It displayed various resolutions including EGA's 640x350 on an ordinary video monitor via RCA aka Cinch, by using normal interlacing.

The image was in plain monochrome (vbs), though (with shades of gray).

Probably because of bandwidth considerations and picture quality.
Monochrome video standard had a higher quality than NTSC, SECAM or PAL.

There's a video about it on YouTube, I think. It's from Adrian's Digital Basement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsY635VdOQk&t=2167s

Sadly, the picture doesn't seem exactly stable with that card.
So I'm not sure if the combination (av monitor/EGA wonder) found any application in practice back then.

I mean, it surely had been useful for video projectors, embedded monitors (industry, portable PCs etc).

That's exactly same reason why CGA's composite output found some use in my place.

The basic signal (plain VBS) was monochrome, not US-specific and had worked with bog standard green monitors, just like they used to be common in the Apple II days.

The 50hz/60hz issue was non-existent with video monitors, since they usually had v.hold/h.hold pots.

TVs were different, though. SCART TVs from the 80s were not so user-friendly, usually, and were stuck to 50Hz (except if they had auto detect).
By contrast, higher end b/w portable TVs from the 70s sometimes had pots on the backside, that could be turned with a screwdriver..

Edit: I've attached a picture of such a vintage TV. It has a coaxial cable attached to it, since it had been used as a monitor.
The tuner is still working, sadly, so an UHF/VHF modular is required on the other side.

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Reply 38 of 77, by wierd_w

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My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80s, with CGA.

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

If we want to talk about "Oddware" though, (which the EGA wonder kinda is...) the PCjr had something that was "A close cousin" of EGA, *AND* composite out (as an option, with a customized/proprietary plug for the "Basically EGA" paired monitor.)

(image lifted from oldcomputers.net, due to being http and not https. Otherwise I would hotlink)

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Reply 39 of 77, by wierd_w

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Here is the "Basically EGA 16 color mode" over composite from a PCJr, displayed on a TV. (with its really ugly shadowmask...)

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I do not know if the PCjr hardware can generate the high resolution modes or not, but it can totally do 16 simultaneously displayed (and user selected!) color modes in the lower res graphics modes over composite. That's a trick that normal CGA could not do.

It's important to note:

The difference between "Color" NTSC and "Black and White" NTSC, is the addition of a "Color burst" signal in the "Back porch" of the vblank before the scanline. This was done so that color broadcasts can still be displayed (correctly) on BW sets. The BW sets just ignore the colorburst, because it is in the vblank part of the scanline.

I would hazard that the EGA Wonder just does not encode a colorburst signal.