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Old 09 May 2017, 02:06   #1
LocoSombrero
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J.S. Technologies "Simple Video Scalar" for A500? Or something else?

Hi there!

I've been looking for a good solution for getting the A500 RGB video output signal to my flatscreen monitor and already spent a few dumb'n'dumber-money units while at this quest - truly gone are the days of MultiSync monitors! I've tried out a few cheap Chinese upscaler/converter boxes which have given me variable results, I also got myself the inexpensive Amiga RGB->VGA connector adapter which indeed was my first weapon of choice.

The funny thing is (although my wallet isn't laughing) that this simple converter dongle is the best there is IF you have the correct output device for A500's video - in fact, my near-ancient 4:3 native aspect ratio-video projector gives me practically perfect Amiga 500 image output with that simple adapter. Sadly, I can't use the projector all the time and none of my other displays can sync to the A500's video signal with the ~5 EUR adapter dongle.

As I'm using the A500 for some video mixing w/ my Genlock units, I was wondering what kind of solution I should try to get so that I could use the traditional Amiga RGB output port - that is, with or without the Genlock unit(s) - just to get the best possible signal out to one of my non-MultiSync flat screen monitors with just a regular VGA connection?

The Indivision ECS/OCS Flickerfixer seems to be one of the best solutions, but my Amiga 500 is motherboard Rev.6a, manufactured in 1988 and judging from what I've read, the Agnus chip in my A500 isn't suitable for the OCS/ECS FlickerFixer. Also, I don't know if the regular RGB video output port would've worked at all after installing the Indivision chip, so in the case of using a genlock, it would have been out of the picture (no pun intended) anyways.

The much-talked OSSC is of course what I'd like to obtain, but I've been in the waiting list queue twice and both times the batches have been gone within ~24hrs. Now, this all brings me back to the simple things in life - the J.S. Technology "Simple Video Scalar" (yes, it's "Scalar", not "Scaler", according to their website).

The product info is here:
http://www.js-technology.com/store/p...?id_product=12

From their "A/V Guides"-section, there's a separate PDF on Amiga video conversion to a regular VGA monitor, showing also a few examples on the A1200:
http://www.js-technology.com/store/i...pc-monitor.pdf

It's a bit hard to see whether or not the output image is actually sharp or not since both of the screenshot photos provided inside the pdf file are quite low-grade. And the video source in question is A1200, not A500.

I've previously bought a different type of J.S. Technology converter box for other video conversion use and it has been excellent in build quality, image quality and reliability, but I would really like to hear your opinion, so if anyone is using the J.S. Technologies Simple Video Scalar out there with an A500 and a typical modern-day flatscreen monitor , I'd like to know what you think of it? All help appreciated once again. Thanks in advance
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Old 09 May 2017, 02:55   #2
pandy71
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Amiga interlace usually doesn't need to be deinterlaced - deinterlacing may introduce problems - usually Amiga video is progressive and only transmitted in two phases as two fields (usually only sprites are interlaced on Amiga).
Go for decent monitor capable to work with 15.625kHz and 50Hz - deinterlacing may work only if algorithm is sufficiently smart and capable to recognize real interlaced video (usually better TV's are equipped with this kind of video processing).
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Old 09 May 2017, 08:49   #3
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Amiga progressive should never be deinterlaced - it is already progressive! It's a matter of taste if you want the Amiga's interlaced modes to flicker or not. I don't really care, some of my machines have flickerfixers, some have scandoublers and all is fine. :-)

But I must admit, if I have a flickerfixer, I find myself using the laced modes a lot more in regular use.
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Old 09 May 2017, 09:20   #4
idrougge
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I don't see why the Indivision ECS wouldn't work in a rev 6 motherboard, and that way, it doesn't interfere with the genlock.
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Old 10 May 2017, 01:39   #5
pandy71
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Cheap and popular GBS82xx with RPi can be configured to correctly work as Amiga flickerfixer.
http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=52172
Normally GBS assume interlaced video (broadcast standard) at the input and it trying to deinterlace it - by reprogramming GBS all Amiga modes can be converted to PC world.
IMHO for such money nothing can be better.
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Old 10 May 2017, 21:29   #6
LocoSombrero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
I don't see why the Indivision ECS wouldn't work in a rev 6 motherboard, and that way, it doesn't interfere with the genlock.
OK, I'm just wondering if I got something wrong, since I read from the Indivision specs that:

Quote:
All screenmodes are converted to frequencies of 60Hz or more (output can be reduced to 50 Hz to avoid tearing effects), and the S-Hires mode of the ECS chipset is displayed in full resolution. Indivision ECS can display the ECS screenmodes even on systems that only have an OCS Denise chip, the only requirement is an ECS Agnus chip (which is usually present in all Amiga models made in 1990 or later).
(from: http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/Indivision_ECS )

My Amiga 500 is w/ a Rev.6a mobo, manufactured in 1988. This left me a bit unsure whether or not my unit has the right Agnus chip type or not? From what I found while digging up the h/w revisions, considering the Rev.6:

Quote:
Fat Agnus 8372A (part of the ECS chip set) supports 1 MB Chip RAM
Agnus is rotated 90° counter clockwise
512 kB Chip RAM on motherboard as 4 chips
empty places for other 4 chips giving 1 MB RAM on the motherboard
Kickstart 1.3 ROM
(from: http://amiga.resource.cx/mod/a500.html )

Also, there is very little information available on using the Indivision Flickerfixer with a Genlock unit, I didn't really understand this part, for example:

Quote:
When using two Indivision ECS, your Amiga is able to run a dual-screen setup, so it can have two separate screens showing their own independent picture (i.e. different output on both screens, not one screen cloned on the other)! We're working on a driver that will support this feature in the future.
So, if I install just one Indivision Flickerfixer unit, does the original Amiga 500 RGB video output port work simultaneously with the Indivision VGA port connection enabled? And if so, does the Indivision-flickerfixer-enabled Amiga RGB out port still work with Genlock units (one of my main concerns)? Probably not the most common question, but this was sure a bit obscure thing to find the answer to ...

Many thanks to all of you who have helped me out this far!

Last edited by LocoSombrero; 10 May 2017 at 21:32. Reason: clarification
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Old 10 May 2017, 21:41   #7
LocoSombrero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
Amiga progressive should never be deinterlaced - it is already progressive! It's a matter of taste if you want the Amiga's interlaced modes to flicker or not. I don't really care, some of my machines have flickerfixers, some have scandoublers and all is fine. :-)

But I must admit, if I have a flickerfixer, I find myself using the laced modes a lot more in regular use.
Ah! Yep, sorry, my bad, didn't notice the simple fact behind the Simple Video Scalar that it added mandatory deinterlacing in the signal chain; I really thought I checked from their pdf (that I linked in my post) that there would a possibility to adjust the firmware to "expect" RGB SCART signal and thus keep the signal intact, but ... For sure, de-interlacing in this case would be an unnecessary extra step that will only cause gfx tearing and possible added signal latency.
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Old 10 May 2017, 22:01   #8
LocoSombrero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandy71 View Post
Cheap and popular GBS82xx with RPi can be configured to correctly work as Amiga flickerfixer.
http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=52172
Normally GBS assume interlaced video (broadcast standard) at the input and it trying to deinterlace it - by reprogramming GBS all Amiga modes can be converted to PC world.
IMHO for such money nothing can be better.
I've been thinking about this video option for a looooong time, the only thing is that there's a gadzillion sellers on eBay offering this unit and I've heard some people complain that you might easily get a knock-off board that isn't very good in build quality. And even if they are "original" boards, I've read some forum comments that the quality control in these isn't always rock steady ... I'm wondering if there's any well-established seller that someone could recommend?

For instance, one of my upconverter/scalers that I got from eBay for retro video purposes ("generic" SCART RGB to HDMI black converter box - nothing to do with the GBS-boards), died within 6-8 months. When it was opened up for repair, the chipset identifications were laser-etched out!

The GBS is also a bit of a project to fix up'n'running altogether, as seen on the first photo in the linked topic ( http://www.imagebam.com/image/0cd173363630037 )

Considering external scandoublers, does anybody have any info on the "generic, unbranded" Converter/Scaler that can be found from a couple of different sellers on eBay under the name "15Khz RGB CGA Component Video to VGA Converter Scaler"? I've heard it mentioned often when people have discussed external retro video scalers/scandoublers, but I doubt if I've seen any video or image quality examples. Some did recommend that one as well. At least it'd save the hassle of building a barebone videoconverter since it's all in a small white box (what could possibly go wrong, right?), and is specifically advertised to work with an Amiga and to scan convert from 15Khz to VGA.


( http://site.allaboutadapters.com/web...V1-Product.gif )
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Old 10 May 2017, 23:31   #9
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Quote:

So, if I install just one Indivision Flickerfixer unit, does the original Amiga 500 RGB video output port work simultaneously with the Indivision VGA port connection enabled?
Yes

Quote:
And if so, does the Indivision-flickerfixer-enabled Amiga RGB out port still work with Genlock units (one of my main concerns)?

It should. The genlock- signal is only visible on the original output, though. So you get a different picture from the Indy and the RGB/Genlocked one.
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