7 to 9" TFT screen on Spectrum

ZupZup
edited September 2007 in Hardware
I'm willing to buy one of those and connect the Spectrum via the Composite Video input. Has anyone tried that? What kind of image quality may be expected?
Post edited by Zup on
I was there, too
An' you know what they said?
Well, some of it was true!

Comments

  • edited August 2007
    Zup wrote: »
    I'm willing to buy one of those and connect the Spectrum via the Composite Video input. Has anyone tried that? What kind of image quality may be expected?

    Yes I got one. Image quality was crap. Wouldn't recommend it, mine now sits gathering dust till I can be bothered to put it on Ebay.

    Edit: here is the one I got
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=MLT-8V-R&AID=10439518&CJPID=1412508&cm_ven=CJ&cm_pla=1412508&cm_cat=1357845
  • edited August 2007
    Zup wrote: »
    I'm willing to buy one of those and connect the Spectrum via the Composite Video input. Has anyone tried that? What kind of image quality may be expected?
    Yes I got one. Image quality is great IMO, far better than an old CRT of the same size anyway. Would certainly recommend it :p

    Edit: here is the one I got :-)
    it works well with the spectrum/beeb the only small problem is that the pixels don't always line up to the computer pixels, and because it's small it's noticable that some lines are a pixel taller than others. apart from that it's a good sharp picture
    My rubbish website including the redrawn Amstrad schematics and the new home of the Sinclair FAQ wiki.
  • edited September 2007
    guesser wrote: »
    Yes I got one. Image quality is great IMO, far better than an old CRT of the same size anyway. Would certainly recommend it :p

    Edit: here is the one I got

    Well, I got one of those, and I don't know if I ended up with a slightly different model or something (it looks like there are two different ones in the photos - mine was the one in photos 1 and 4), but it was absolutely pants.

    Turns out the vertical resolution was only something like 210 pixels, which would be barely enough for a Spectrum screen plus border at the best of times, but in fact it wasn't able to display a complete Speccy screen at all - in the standard / widescreen modes it skipped every 8th pixel row, and in 'zoom' mode it chopped off the top of the screen (and also has mis-shapen pixels, although I was expecting that). And besides being generally unfit for the purpose I bought it for, it just generally felt cheap and nasty - I almost broke the remote control when I stuck the battery in upside down - and not even the classic Engrish manual could endear me to it.

    So I'm sending it back, and in the meantime I got myself a JEJA 8.0" LCD Mini TV/AV/PC 3 in1 Monitor from Tecknet Online, through Amazon. It arrived within 2 working days, and from their Amazon feedback it looks like that's fairly typical for them (so the "usually dispatched within 4 to 5 days" is an understatement) - and not only was it cheaper than the Maplin one, it doubles as a 640x480 PC monitor. No problem with the Spectrum resolution, obviously, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't suffer from the mis-shapen pixel effect. (Admittedly that did mean a bit of colour bleeding in return where the screen pixels didn't line up, but that's much more tolerable than distorted pixels, and arguably adds to the authentic Spectrum-on-a-TV experience.)

    Subjectively, it feels well-designed and using it is indefinably satisfying in the way that Apple products are. (My only real quibble is that screwing the stand together required advanced microsurgery skills, or possibly a magnetic screwdriver.) And the black one looks oh-so-stylish and in place next to a 128K+ Spectrum. (Don't get confused by the order numbers - I think they got them mixed up - but I ordered the one which was described and pictured as black, and that's what I got...) Consider it recommended.
  • edited September 2007
    I had similar problems to gasman when I used my 4" LCD TV - as vertical resolution was lower than the standard 625 lines, it missed out the odd line of pixels rather than shrinking the BORDER, which is rather significant when dealing with the Spectrum's output!
  • edited September 2007
    gasman wrote: »
    Well, I got one of those, and I don't know if I ended up with a slightly different model or something (it looks like there are two different ones in the photos - mine was the one in photos 1 and 4), but it was absolutely pants.

    Turns out the vertical resolution was only something like 210 pixels, which would be barely enough for a Spectrum screen plus border at the best of times, but in fact it wasn't able to display a complete Speccy screen at all - in the standard / widescreen modes it skipped every 8th pixel row, and in 'zoom' mode it chopped off the top of the screen (and also has mis-shapen pixels, although I was expecting that). And besides being generally unfit for the purpose I bought it for, it just generally felt cheap and nasty - I almost broke the remote control when I stuck the battery in upside down - and not even the classic Engrish manual could endear me to it.

    So I'm sending it back, and in the meantime I got myself a JEJA 8.0" LCD Mini TV/AV/PC 3 in1 Monitor from Tecknet Online, through Amazon. It arrived within 2 working days, and from their Amazon feedback it looks like that's fairly typical for them (so the "usually dispatched within 4 to 5 days" is an understatement) - and not only was it cheaper than the Maplin one, it doubles as a 640x480 PC monitor. No problem with the Spectrum resolution, obviously, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't suffer from the mis-shapen pixel effect. (Admittedly that did mean a bit of colour bleeding in return where the screen pixels didn't line up, but that's much more tolerable than distorted pixels, and arguably adds to the authentic Spectrum-on-a-TV experience.)

    Subjectively, it feels well-designed and using it is indefinably satisfying in the way that Apple products are. (My only real quibble is that screwing the stand together required advanced microsurgery skills, or possibly a magnetic screwdriver.) And the black one looks oh-so-stylish and in place next to a 128K+ Spectrum. (Don't get confused by the order numbers - I think they got them mixed up - but I ordered the one which was described and pictured as black, and that's what I got...) Consider it recommended.

    yep that's the one I've got, funny all those crappy things wrong with in never bugged me. I guess it's cause I got it so cheap on a special offer, and because I'd previously been using a 20 year old 6" portable tv with analogue tuning and a knackered tube :roll:

    when you were losing every 8th row, were you in 'normal' mode, or 'just' mode?
    'just' seems to display all pixels on mine...
    My rubbish website including the redrawn Amstrad schematics and the new home of the Sinclair FAQ wiki.
  • edited September 2007
    gasman wrote: »
    I got myself a JEJA 8.0" LCD Mini TV/AV/PC 3 in1 Monitor from Tecknet Online, through Amazon
    ....
    Consider it recommended.

    I will.
    Can you grab the manual for it and answer:
    1) Does it have RGB?
    2) Does it support NTSC as well as PAL?

    The specs on Amazon just says "PC, VGA and many kinds of display models"

    I've been looking out for a decent RGB (an possible NTSC) little LCD for MONTHS.

    Ta.
    Chris
  • edited September 2007
    csmith wrote: »
    1) Does it have RGB?
    2) Does it support NTSC as well as PAL?

    Looks like it's a no on both counts, I'm afraid :-(
  • edited September 2007
    gasman wrote: »
    Looks like it's a no on both counts, I'm afraid :-(

    Hmm.
    I just found this in the on-line specs: "Mode identification: automatic PAL or NTSC system" and later on "Solutions: 640 X RGB X 480"

    Does this imply NTSC and RGB? If so, perhaps I could buy one and send it back if the specs on-line are wrong ? ;-)

    Gasman: What sockets are on the back of the unit?

    Ta.
    Chris
  • edited September 2007
    I didn't see any mention of NTSC in the manual at all, although I don't think there was a specific checklist of features as such - I just found a bit to do with tuning frequencies, which said something like "If you set this to such-and-such, it will default to PAL-I; if you set this to such-and-such, it will default to PAL-BG; and if you set it to such-and-such, it will default to SECAM". I'll take a closer look tonight then.

    The sockets are a VGA connector, a coax socket for RF input, a 3.5mm jack for headphone output, and two 3.5mm jacks (one on either side) for video in - the sort with 4 contacts, for left audio / right audio / composite video. I'm guessing that 'Solutions: 640 X RGB X 480' is meant to refer to the screen resolution - it seems that some LCD TV manufacturers (including the Maplin one) have the chutzpah to describe the resolution as '1440 x 210', where 1440 actually means '480 red pixels, 480 green pixels and 480 blue pixels', so '640 X RGB' is their way of being honest... fair play to them :-)
  • edited September 2007
    As someone already said, they often miss out rows of pixels to squeeze the image onto it's vertical resolution.

    Some of the LCDs will miss out different sets of rows on alternative frames to so it's not consistantly the same rows that aren't displayed. A few years ago I bought a 6.4" LCD off ebay to try out with the Sam Coupe using the composite video output and the one I got which did this so the image was a bit flickery with the row chopping m'larky, but it was fairly reasonable still.

    The other problem though was the response time of the small LCD screens - the one I have is fairly slow - so fast moving graphics and that had a bit of a blur.

    Here's a photo, although it was a bit hard to take a decent photo to avoid a lot of glare and my own reflection: http://www.quazar.clara.net/samlcd.jpg

    Colin.
    Quazar - Celebrating 23 years of Developing for the SAM Coupé
    Hardware, Software, Magazines and more for the SAM Coupé
    Website: www.samcoupe.com
    Twitter: QuazarSamCoupe
  • edited September 2007
    I also bought the 7" one, but since it was shipped to Portugal I haven't been able to test it yet. I've been looking for the ideal lcd tv for a 48K for a long time. I have to find one and ship it to Lloyd, because it's part of the laptop project. The lcd and the aluminum hinged case turned out to be the most difficult items to get.

    I know it's a lot easier to do the composite mod and connect the Spectrum to the lcd or tft tv, but it would be great if someone had a simple interface to convert the Spectrum image to the lcd screen, something like what was done with the zx81 laptop a few years ago.

    I will check the one Gasman mentioned. Thanks Gasman!
  • edited September 2007
    gasman wrote: »
    I got myself a JEJA 8.0" LCD Mini TV/AV/PC 3 in1 Monitor from Tecknet Online, through Amazon. It arrived within 2 working days, and from their Amazon feedback it looks like that's fairly typical for them.

    Ok, I've ordered one ;-)
    We'll see what it can do!

    Chris
  • edited September 2007
    What I'm after is a bare QVGA LCD module... I think it would be reasonably straightforward to generate the digital signal for the "glass drivers" fairly easily off TTL RGB from something like a toastrack 128K machine. Well, that's if I've managed to interpret the data sheet correctly, which is written in really quite poor Engrish!
  • edited September 2007
    Winston wrote: »
    What I'm after is a bare QVGA LCD module... I think it would be reasonably straightforward to generate the digital signal for the "glass drivers" fairly easily off TTL RGB from something like a toastrack 128K machine. Well, that's if I've managed to interpret the data sheet correctly, which is written in really quite poor Engrish!

    Hmm. One of those would be nice.
    Get the harlequin CPLD design finished, a few ram chips, ROM, z80, SD card, LCD... and we've got a PSP-ectrum. :lol:

    Chris

    [Edit]My Jeja 8inch TV has tuned up.... ooooh nice. Will try it out tomorrow.[/Edit]
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