Amiga TV Out

Jim Leonard trixter at
Wed Nov 28 00:41:36 CST 2007

Rod Smallwood wrote:
>     I'm sure that I heard that some Commodore systems could do TV out

Composite only, but yes.  You could get better results with a "genlock" 
device; a few of them supported Y/C ("s-video").

I produced a DVD last year with footage of running Amiga programs and I 
had to resort to scan-converting the RGB port itself to get acceptable 
quality.  My signal path was RGB port->vga adapter->R/G/B/H/V breakout 
cable->scan converter->Y/Cr/Cb output->Y/Cr/Cb video capture card.  That 
sounds heinous, but the scan converter and the video capture card were 
very high-end broadcast-quality units (scan converter was RGB Spectrum 
Videolink 1650x; capture card was Black Magic Designs Decklink SP) and 
there were really only two generational losses (RGB->scan converter and 
scan converter->capture card).  The quality from this process was an 
order of magnitude better than the A500 and A4000's composite video 
output port.

> and were in fact used to produce CGI stuff for 'Babylon Five"

That was a NewTek Video Toaster, not a stock Amiga :-)  The Video 
Toaster hardware had it's own set of video output ports, IIRC, although 
I could be wrong as I've never used one.

> Does anybody know which ones and could they do PAL or just NTSC?

All models except the A4000 (and maybe the A3000, but I'm not sure) were 
made in NTSC or PAL specific versions, with a different color generator 
and crystal to match.  The A4000 had a jumper on the motherboard that 
selected either NTSC or PAL timings.

You could get any model to "emulate" the other by using free utilities 
like Degrader, but these only affected the RGB video output timing.  I 
used Degrader extensively on my NTSC A1200 to get European PAL games to 
run, since they required a 50Hz display, but that didn't affect the 
composite video output port, which was still NTSC (although it output 
some quasi-NTSC-50-gibberish when running in "pal" mode).
Jim Leonard (trixter at  
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