Re: V-Box

From: Mark (
Date: 2000-08-24 14:52:22

On 24-Aug-00, Steve Judd wrote:
> The box is fairly small, smaller than a 5.25" disk -- about the size of a
> walkman.  It has inputs for S-Video, RCA composite, and stereo RCA audio
> plugs; it has two outputs, on for a VGA monitor, and the other for a PC
> VGA card.  There is also a small pushbutton switch for PC/Video/S-Video --
> the exact purpose of this switch isn't clear to me, as there is no PC
> input and there is no Video/S-Video output.

This would be to select which signal is output on the VGA connector; the
composite video input, the S-video input, or the PC input (presumably some
models feature that).

> My main reason for buying this device was to see my PAL C64 in color.
> Unfortunately, using the composite cable, I didn't get color -- just
> grayscale (a kind of dithered grayscale, actually -- more below).  So it's
> possible that a) S-Video is needed, b) my machine doesn't actually display
> color properly, or c) the V-Box doesn't convert PAL color correctly.

It sounds like your V-Box does not support PAL. The "dithered greyscale" is
what you get when connecting any PAL composite video signal to an NTSC-only
monitor. A similar thing happens when you connect an NTSC signal to a
PAL-only monitor.

It may or may not be possible to modify your unit to properly decode PAL
signals (and not NTSC).

> And some colors, notably the PAL grayscale "colors", actually look 
> dithered, with every other pixel being a different color (for example,
> the blinking cursor).  Using the separated luminance signal gives a
> uniform shade of gray with the PAL machine.

That would be expected.

> Overall I think it's kind-of neat, and while I really wish I had color
> PAL, the picture really is nice and it's nice to be able to use a 64
> with a VGA monitor -- I expect VGA monitors to be cheap and available long
> after 1084s wear out.  I also expect that the picture will be quite nice
> on a great big VGA monitor, too.

Regarding the not-supported PAL thing. In reading specs for several things
like this (and PC TV tuner cards), they often state that a wide range of
video standards are supported. However, this usually refers to the range of
models which are available. Any given unit may only support one standard.

So if you need a certain capability, like PAL compatibility and you live in a
country which uses NTSC, be careful. It would be best to test the unit before
buying if possible.

-- Mark

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