English Amiga Board Amiga Lore


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Support > New to Emulation or Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 13 August 2011, 22:21   #1
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Pal CD32, trying to use on an NTSC tv

I have a PAL CD32 and I'm trying to get it to work on an NTSC tv. I've read several opinions that buying a multisync monitor is the best solution, but I don't want to go that route - I want to play my CD32 on my normal, plane-jane NTSC tv. I've gone through 2 converters now and blown $150 trying to get this process to work, but each converter has some problem.

The first I bought was this no-name brand chinese adapter which never worked at all in the first place. That was $50 down the drain. Afterwhich, I bought the Orei X100 Multi-System Digital converter from Amazon, at $100. This one sort of works - when I boot the system, the CD32 splash screen comes on, in full color, at the right aspect ratio, on my NTSC screen.

However, as soon as any game boots, it goes dead. The screen freezes and the game continues to run in the background. If I turn off and on the video converter, I get glimpses of the game running underneath, but it seems like, for whatever reason, it just can't handle anything besides the splash screen. Even the Audio CD player, even the game saves manager - they all behave the same way as a normal game - blank, frozen screen from the converter. Literally only the splash screen works.

Best I can tell it's an unsupported resolution problem. I'm stumped. I'm willing to buy another converter, but I don't want to spend another $150 and wind up with more hunks of plastic junk. Anyone have experience with PAL->NTSC conversion? Please point me in the right direction so I don't waste anymore money.
Cooljerk is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 13 August 2011, 23:20   #2
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
OK, a bit of experimentation and I don't think the converter is the problem. I have a modded NTSC Wii, and I can force it to output in 50 hz mode from this boot menu I have installed. If I connect the wii to an NTSC tv and boot into 50 hz mode, I get a black and white picture. However, if I connect the converter, then force 50 hz mode, it works as advertised and I am greeted with a full color screen.

This is similar to what happens with the CD32 boot screen - I get full color and everything works. I'm guessing, then, that the converter simply converts the color information? I'm pretty unfamiliar with all this pal->NTSC conversion stuff.

Would booting the CD32 in NTSC mode solve the problem? I don't have an amiga mouse so I can't test, but I'm thinking if I can boot this baby up in NTSC mode, then the converter will work. Anyone want to weigh their opinions?

Please help, this is incredibly frustrating, especially after blowing $200 on the system and importing it.
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 01:48   #3
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
I was speaking to a friend on this issue, and he said it sounds like the video converter has a problem with non-interlaced images, and asked me to make sure the Amiga CD32 outputted an interlaced image. I'm pretty sure it does, but I'm just making sure - do certain games not output interlaced images? I"m trying to run Super Putty, Skeleton Krew, Brutal Football, and Stardust (via a floppy drive), none work. Do all those games output in non-interlaced mode?
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 12:08   #4
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
Most games don't output interlaced video. Like most earlier computers and consoles (up to e.g. the PlayStation and Sega Saturn), the usual Amiga output is non-interlaced. It could be your converter has a problem with that. While the CD32 boot animation is interlaced, once a game loads it will most likely switch to non-interlaced.

What happens if you connect your CD32 directly to your NTSC TV -- do you get any picture at all? Do you have another non-interlaced-video computer or console which you can connect to the TV to test (e.g. C64, Nintendo NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, PlayStation etc. etc.)?

Edit: The Wii output is likely to always be interlaced.

Last edited by mark_k; 14 August 2011 at 12:20.
mark_k is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 19:27   #5
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_k View Post
Most games don't output interlaced video. Like most earlier computers and consoles (up to e.g. the PlayStation and Sega Saturn), the usual Amiga output is non-interlaced. It could be your converter has a problem with that. While the CD32 boot animation is interlaced, once a game loads it will most likely switch to non-interlaced.

What happens if you connect your CD32 directly to your NTSC TV -- do you get any picture at all? Do you have another non-interlaced-video computer or console which you can connect to the TV to test (e.g. C64, Nintendo NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, PlayStation etc. etc.)?

Edit: The Wii output is likely to always be interlaced.
Unfortunately I don't have another non interlaced console to try. When I plug the Amiga in without the converter I get the usual black and white oo-tall image that you get when connecting a pal machine to an NTSC TV.

Can you recommend a pal to NTSC converter that'll play nice with non interlaced pictures?
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 19:48   #6
clauddio
Banned
clauddio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Saturn
Age: 45
Posts: 279
you can mod the cd32 to output NTSC
here is the basic mod for the A1200
http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=56589

cd32 and A1200 uses idem chip to output to tv, sony cxa1145..
the mod it is not very difficult
also check some conversions done on the megadrive,uses idem chip...it will give you an idea how to do that
clauddio is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 19:51   #7
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
I do have a couple of PAL<-> NTSC converters here. If I get time I'll try to check them. I don't recall either having problems with non-interlaced input. (I tested them with an NTSC NES console. The video signal output from the converter was interlaced.)

If you were getting a black-and-white picture of the correct size on your TV, I'd suggest getting an analogue video system converter. In addition to being cheaper, that would give much better results. It would basically output an "NTSC 50" signal. But it sounds like that's not an option here.

Some other things you could try:
- Route the CD32 video output through a VCR. If the VCR passes the picture through at all, its output may well be interlaced. You could then connect that to your standards converter.
- Get hold of a cheap USB video capture device (Easycap/EZcap). Connect that to a PC/laptop, and the PC/laptop video output to your TV. Show the CD32 signal on the PC screen. There may be a latency issue here though.
- Get a video-to-VGA converter and a VGA-to-video converter. Both are quite cheap and easily available on eBay and elsewhere. Connect them together and to the CD32, set the VGA-to-video converter to output NTSC and hey presto.


Edit: What type of NTSC TV do you have, CRT or LCD? Does it have an HDMI input?

Last edited by mark_k; 14 August 2011 at 20:05.
mark_k is offline  
Old 14 August 2011, 20:18   #8
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_k View Post
I do have a couple of PAL<-> NTSC converters here. If I get time I'll try to check them. I don't recall either having problems with non-interlaced input. (I tested them with an NTSC NES console. The video signal output from the converter was interlaced.)

If you were getting a black-and-white picture of the correct size on your TV, I'd suggest getting an analogue video system converter. In addition to being cheaper, that would give much better results. It would basically output an "NTSC 50" signal. But it sounds like that's not an option here.

Some other things you could try:
- Route the CD32 video output through a VCR. If the VCR passes the picture through at all, its output may well be interlaced. You could then connect that to your standards converter.
- Get hold of a cheap USB video capture device (Easycap/EZcap). Connect that to a PC/laptop, and the PC/laptop video output to your TV. Show the CD32 signal on the PC screen. There may be a latency issue here though.
- Get a video-to-VGA converter and a VGA-to-video converter. Both are quite cheap and easily available on eBay and elsewhere. Connect them together and to the CD32, set the VGA-to-video converter to output NTSC and hey presto.


Edit: What type of NTSC TV do you have, CRT or LCD? Does it have an HDMI input?
Heh, i've actually tried most of your suggestions. I tried routing the video through a VCR, and it simply passes it through without interlacing the signal, same problem.

I have a Happauge WinTV-PVR250 and a video card that can output to a TV, but the PVR250 has a hardware based mpeg2 encoder on it which cannot be bypassed. You can tweak the delay (in reality, just decreasing the buffer size) but the smallest delay possible is .5 seconds, which is still way too high for me.

I had considered a TV->VGA->VGA->TV solution but didn't know if it was viable. ANyone have any experience with this?

My TV is an RCA CRT tv in pristine condition. It's perfect for old-school gaming. I'm not sure the model, but it was bought around 2003 and I've kept it in great condition. I'd love to play amiga on it.

If you could, please check your pal->NTSC converters with an non-interlaced signal for me and, should they work, please tell me the model number.
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 15 August 2011, 15:52   #9
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooljerk View Post
I had considered a TV->VGA->VGA->TV solution but didn't know if it was viable. ANyone have any experience with this?
I don't have any specific experience with that, but it should work fine and should be worth trying. A new video-to-VGA or VGA-to-video converter should cost about US$20 each. Cheaper than the standards converter you already bought at least...

If your TV has a component video (YPrPb) input, you could get a VGA-to-video converter which has component video output for slightly better picture quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooljerk View Post
If you could, please check your pal->NTSC converters with an non-interlaced signal for me and, should they work, please tell me the model number.
I tested a Comworld KDV-500 (made by Worldtop Co. Ltd) with PAL and NTSC NES consoles today. It works fine and always outputs an interlaced signal. From memory, the other converters I tried a while ago were both made by Cypress. Models CDM-600 and CDM-660, they also worked fine to give interlaced output.

Last edited by mark_k; 15 August 2011 at 16:03.
mark_k is offline  
Old 15 August 2011, 18:38   #10
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Another option I hadn't considered is that I have an RGB->VGA converter that I use for my arcade supergun, I can buy an s-video->RGB and RGB->s-video converter from jammaboards.com, which would let me run the CD32 on both a monitor and a TV. I may look into that.

with regards to your converters, the problem isn't so much that the converter is outputting interlaced, it's that the console needs an interlaced output. For my converter at least. Does the NES output non-interlaced? Because if so, then those converters are what I need.
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 15 August 2011, 19:06   #11
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
You could use an S-video-to-RGB converter, then connect the output of that to your RGB-to-VGA converter. I'm not sure what use an RGB-to-S-video converter would be though? Unless you meant a VGA-to-S-video converter?

Yes the NES video signal is non-interlaced. The problem as I understood it was that the converter you have, doesn't seem to work correctly with non-interlaced input. All the converters I have tried do work with non-interlaced input, outputting a proper interlaced PAL/NTSC/whatever signal.

One other possibility, though very unlikely... maybe your TV set has a service mode which allows settings like the picture height to be adjusted? You could try googling the model number to see whether a service manual is available for it.

Edit: I just googled RCA TV service mode which gave some interesting results. Your TV may well have a hidden ability to adjust the vertical size, read the first few pages in the Google results.
mark_k is offline  
Old 15 August 2011, 22:08   #12
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_k View Post
You could use an S-video-to-RGB converter, then connect the output of that to your RGB-to-VGA converter. I'm not sure what use an RGB-to-S-video converter would be though? Unless you meant a VGA-to-S-video converter?

Yes the NES video signal is non-interlaced. The problem as I understood it was that the converter you have, doesn't seem to work correctly with non-interlaced input. All the converters I have tried do work with non-interlaced input, outputting a proper interlaced PAL/NTSC/whatever signal.

One other possibility, though very unlikely... maybe your TV set has a service mode which allows settings like the picture height to be adjusted? You could try googling the model number to see whether a service manual is available for it.

Edit: I just googled RCA TV service mode which gave some interesting results. Your TV may well have a hidden ability to adjust the vertical size, read the first few pages in the Google results.
The idea I had was to be able to go like this:

CD32 -> S-video -> RGB -> S-video -> TV

or, if I wanted, i could also go

CD32 -> S-Video -> RGB -> VGA -> Monitor

excellent news on that NES info, I'll probably just pick up one of those converters you listed. Thanks a ton for all the help!
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 15 August 2011, 22:15   #13
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooljerk View Post
CD32 -> S-video -> RGB -> S-video -> TV
That probably wouldn't work; the RGB signal would be 50Hz, so the new S-video signal would be NTSC 50Hz (assuming you set the RGB-to-S-video converter to output NTSC), which would show as a stretched image on your TV.

I'd recommend you look into changing your TV picture vertical size though. You could then use that converter chain and get a decent picture. Using a real standards converter does degrade the image noticeably, e.g. smooth scrolling becomes juddery when output from the converter.
mark_k is offline  
Old 16 August 2011, 15:23   #14
mark_k
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location:
Posts: 2,527
Just a quick update/correction. I re-tested the KDV-500 converter with an NTSC NES. It turns out there are problems. For games with a mostly black screen the output image is stable. But for other titles there are varying degrees of distortion. There must be something about the NES video signal which that converter doesn't like.

I also tested the converter with a (PAL) PlayStation 2 and PAL and NTSC C64s. There didn't seem to be any problems with those.

So that model of converter might not be a good choice if you do decide to buy another.
mark_k is offline  
Old 16 August 2011, 18:21   #15
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
Mmm, if that's the case, I'm gonna try the TV->VGA->TV process first thing.

Thank you again so much for the help. I've been asking around at tons of boards and this is by far the best help I've gotten on the subject. I really appreciate you helping me out with this, I was frustrated to the point of wanting to pull out my hair!
Cooljerk is offline  
Old 27 August 2011, 19:30   #16
Cooljerk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston, USA
Posts: 63
OK! I've tried many different converters now, and I've finally found one that works with the CD32 adequately. If anybody else out there is looking to buy a PAL CD32 to work with an NTSC tv, don't waste your time and money looking for other converters, just buy this one instead:

http://www.atlona.com/ATLONA-MULTI-S...CONVERTER.html

The Atlona CDM-660. It features standard a/v and s-video in, accepts a non-interlaced source (I have another converter which only accepts interlaced signals, so only the splash screen will show up) and it doesn't a pretty good job to boot. No lag noticeable.

When I first began looking for converters, someone told me not to waste my time and just to get a product from atlona but I ignored it. I wish I hadn't, because I blew an extra $250 trying out other converters before finally arriving at this one. Trust me, this one works.

So I've accomplished my goal - I wanted to get into Amiga gaming, but didn't want a clunky computer under my tv stand. I now have a PAL CD32 with a floppy drive expansion, which can play the fully amiga library, a standard ps/2->amiga 4000 keyboard converter, an amiga mouse, and a CD32 Competition Pro controller, all of which can now be played on my NTSC tv. I'm in amiga heaven!
Cooljerk is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CD32: How do you know if it is PAL or NTSC? c0dehunter support.Hardware 67 28 June 2013 03:10
NTSC games on PAL CD32... PowerPie5000 support.Games 5 25 July 2012 17:09
CD32 PAL or NTSC games cane support.Games 3 16 August 2007 09:06
PAL CD32 on an NTSC 1084S... Ze_ro support.Hardware 12 20 May 2006 10:03
NTSC CD32 and PAL games Fred the Fop support.Hardware 5 25 March 2005 04:29

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:15.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.24111 seconds with 11 queries