Reply 80 of 83, by VileR
The C64 palette is of course superior in many respects. Besides the choice of hues, there's also a much smoother brightness gradient across the different colors. The RGBI CGA colors' brightness gradient is more like 3 or 4 discrete "jumps".
However, I think the softer "pastel" appearance of the C64 palette (in the commonly-seen versions) is more a function of optimal conversion for emulation purposes. IIRC, on an actual TV set this is not apparent- most of them are perceived as more saturated. (There's also a significant difference between NTSC and PAL.)
@Cyberdyne: please do not equate the IBM RGBI palette with that of the ZX Spectrum. 😉 The Speccy palette is closer to those 16 colors that Microsoft chose for Windows, and that's one of the reasons I've always found the Windows palette even harsher and uglier. Although, I suspect that they chose those colors as a mathematically-convenient set for dithering higher-color graphics.
Having gotten a CGA RGB monitor finally, I've revived my suspicion that the real, original appearance of those 16 colors is *not* exactly the same as how they're rendered in analog VGA (and hence, in all emulators). But I'm reserving my conclusions until I can do some more testing.