User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:41 am

Hey guys,

I just stumbled over this YT-video.

I also found a short newsfeed about it, but sorry, it's German language.

It's estimated to be available in early 2022.

So... what do you guys think about that?

User avatar
JoeUser
Dallas, TX

Posted Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:32 am

Looks like just another RetroPi implementation, to me.

User avatar
iljitsch
Website

Posted Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:36 am

I think my German was sufficient to get that... So a mini Amiga 500 from the people who brought you the THEC64 mini and maxi, with 25 games included. None of them my favorites, but you can load your own. I assume the keyboard won't be functional the same as on the THEC64 mini, but you can attach a USB keyboard. And a recreation of a tank mouse. :o

Now this seems like a useful addition to my Amiga family to play those old games without having to use the boot menu to turn off each and every A1200 feature and then still have issues half of the time with some games...

On the other hand, I'm somewhat disappointed with the THEC64 mini and maxi. The 50 Hz handling is way too convervative, and saving your own data to a USB stick is much more of a hassle than it needs to be (but I guess they never envisioned anyone writing BASIC programs on these things).

But the real biggie is that I recently got a new joystick and the THEC64s just won't recognize it, even though it uses an adapter that is completely USB HID compatible.

User avatar
Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:43 am

The official website is here:

https://retrogames.biz/thea500-mini

There are Amazon UK pre-order links but as expected from this UK based company the USA version and pre-order will be who knows when...

User avatar
iljitsch
Website

Posted Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:52 am

Well, who are we kidding, I'm getting one of these.

But I'm somewhat worried they're limited in the same way as the THEC64 are limited. A huge issue with those is that switching between 50 and 60 Hz requires a factory reset and even then often the 50 Hz setting doesn't take. They also ignore most third party joysticks, even though they conform to the USB HID just fine. (I mean, even my Mac recognizes those joysticks, the platform that is least likely to use one.)

And saving your data can only happen to disk images on a USB stick. So that means additional tools to extract stuff from those disk images. I very much hope that THEA500 will be able to load files from and save files to a FAT32-formatted USB stick without disk images getting in the way.

Also, what's up with that 720p resolution? That doesn't work for 640x512 or 640x400. For 320x256 that means line doubling and then no less than 208 lines of border. For 320x200 it could be 3 x plus 120 lines of border, but of course that would result in an incorrect aspect ratio. For PAL 1080p with 2 x 512 lines or 4 x 256 lines would be a lot better. For NTSC with proper aspect ratio (and remember, not everything is proper here) could be 2 x 472 or 4 x 236 on 1080p.

User avatar
Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:01 am

I haven't had any problems switching between 50 and 60hz or PAL and NTSC on my mini or my TheC64 full size. I do know that it doesn't always work on some monitors/TVs smoothly so perhaps it doesn't like your display?

If and when they release the North American market version I will buy one just for the fun of it. But much like The C64 it won't be to replace my Amiga just as something fun to mess around with.

User avatar
iljitsch
Website

Posted Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:47 am

You mean switching 50/60 Hz by doing a factory reset?

What seems to happen is that the device doesn't see "hey I can do 50 Hz" from the display and then runs in "PAL" mode but actually converts between 50 and 60 Hz so the screen sees 60 Hz even though the image is really 50 Hz so scrolling is quite jerky.

I also have a couple of 4K monitors that accept a 50 Hz signal from my Amiga (through the Indivision AGA MK3) just fine but again the scrolling isn't smooth, so apparently they do some kind of framerate conversion internally.

Life was so much better before all kinds of hardware got fast enough to convert video in all these undesirable ways.





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