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Old 08 July 2010, 13:04   #21
Photon
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You can tell the resolutions supported by the biggest possible audience back then by looking at the Workbench resolutions.

On a PAL TV (not monitor), the 320x256 appeared slightly squeezed vertically. On an NTSC TV (not monitor), the 320x200 appeared stretched to 4:3.

Many old US games artists drew their graphics to appear correctly on NTSC displays, which of course make them appear very squeezed on PAL TVs, since the vertical stretch the gfx artist counted on isn't there. One example is Zany Golf. I don't know any games made in Europe that compensate in this way for the comparatively close-to-square squeeze of PAL TVs.

UK games may have made 320x200 games to suit portability or support NTSC sales, but there's no reason to stretch them - since they were drawn on PAL pixel aspect screens. It's actually "320x200 used of 320x256 possible", so it's still a 320x256 resolution.

For NTSC/PAL monitors, you could resize the picture to perfection. You still can today, if you use a CRT!

Personally, I think that if you leave 1:1 pixel aspect you're in la-la land. Of course, if you have a good reason, such as only playing old "drawn for NTSC TVs" games and nothing else, or are setting up a display for a console such as NES where every single game was made with the "console resolution-on-TV" pixel aspect then it's vital.

And this leaves you with two choices, I guess. If you want to stick with 1:1 pixel aspect, you will have black on left and right border for PAL games, and black on top and bottom border if you play NTSC games. (Or borders all around, if you play "320x200-in-320x256-resolution" games.) There's no other way to display the whole picture and still have 1:1 pixel aspect.


Everything, not just Amiga, was made to be output on a 4:3-ish display until a few years ago. So the alternative solution is that if your display has a 4:3 mode, you can get pretty close to 1:1 pixel aspect for the vast majority of games, games that are made to support PAL.

It's easy to accomodate the 4:3 worldwide standard, if you have a proper display
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Old 08 July 2010, 14:27   #22
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Originally Posted by Photon View Post
And this leaves you with two choices, I guess. If you want to stick with 1:1 pixel aspect, you will have black on left and right border for PAL games, and black on top and bottom border if you play NTSC games. (Or borders all around, if you play "320x200-in-320x256-resolution" games.) There's no other way to display the whole picture and still have 1:1 pixel aspect.
Unless you have a 16:10 widescreen display: because then you can fit the displayed area of 320x200 pixels perfectly filling the entire display while keeping 1:1 pixel aspect ratio (since 320x200 is 16:10-format if the pixels are square).

Ideally would then be a 16:10-display which is a multiple of 320x200 (so you don't have to scale) like 640x400, 960x600 or 1280x800 (=> native resolution of many notebooks).
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Old 09 July 2010, 01:09   #23
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Ehh... you got something wrong there I think

320/200=1.333
16/10=1.6

So what you're seeing that fills your 16:10 display does not have 1:1 pixel ratio. I've often wondered about such things - do people not see the difference?? Or maybe there's something else at play here.

Actually, you'd think even multiples would work well, but they usually don't due to the scaling used in the chips. I'm talking about the most common chips; don't ask ME why they can't scale a x*y pic to 2x*2y pic with fidelity.

But anyway. Hope my previous post gave some insight about how the graphics were intended to be displayed.
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Old 09 July 2010, 01:15   #24
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Ehh... you got something wrong there I think

320/200=1.333
16/10=1.6
Let's see :

320/200 : 20 = 16/10 (or even 8/5 )
No, that's okay You're right about the 320/200 is a 'padded' 320/256 though (most of the time)
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Old 09 July 2010, 08:11   #25
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Thanks, TCD.

Just used the Windows calculator:

320/200 = 1.6
16/10 = 1.6

=> 320/200 = 16/10
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Old 10 July 2010, 10:00   #26
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Thanks, TCD.

Just used the Windows calculator:

320/200 = 1.6
16/10 = 1.6

=> 320/200 = 16/10
That only works if the Amiga or Atari ST has square pixels (and assuming *no* overscan and what the viewing monitor is supposed to be calibrated at). The dot clock for low res mode is 7.159090mhz for the video output on NTSC Amiga models, correct? Not sure what it is for the ST.
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Old 10 July 2010, 10:07   #27
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Well, that's only maths. No idea about the real world relevance
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Old 10 July 2010, 14:51   #28
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Originally Posted by pce_gamer View Post
That only works if the Amiga or Atari ST has square pixels (and assuming *no* overscan and what the viewing monitor is supposed to be calibrated at). The dot clock for low res mode is 7.159090mhz for the video output on NTSC Amiga models, correct? Not sure what it is for the ST.
Yes. We were talking about square pixels...

(Photon: "If you want to stick with 1:1 pixel aspect[...]",
yours truly: "[...]320x200 is 16:10-format if the pixels are square")

Last edited by john4p; 13 July 2010 at 09:23.
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Old 13 July 2010, 18:35   #29
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I dunno about anyone else, but I went for a full 320x256 when I was developing stuff on the Amiga, and my TV displayed all of it just nicely. Did PAL Amigas even use 320x240 in any games at all?

D.
I'm sure there are some that do. After all there are no fixed heights in the hardware, it's entirely up to the programmer.

What stuff did you make for the Amiga? Any games we might have played?
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