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Posted Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:30 am

Not sure if this is in the right sub-forum, but this seemed like the closest match. Feel free to move it if its in the wrong place. In my time browsing Amiga topics on the internet, I notice that most users have their Amigas hooked up to a monitor and I rarely hear anyone use a TV with the Amiga. Has anyone here ever used their Amiga with a TV?

Until recently, I only ever used a TV with my A500. In my opinion, I found the picture quality to be just fine. Then again, I'm also the guy who still hooks up his Sega Genesis via composite as opposed to upgrading to RGB Scart, which seems to be the trend now in the retro console gaming world. Back on topic, what made me hook up my A500 to a monitor was that I bought a game that refused to run in NTSC and none of my TVs supported PAL. While I would have loved to have used a Commodore or another period-correct CRT monitor with my Amiga, the prices for them in 2017 are too high in my opinion, so I bought an Amiga to VGA adapter along with a NEC 1970NX monitor. Together, they were less than $100. The monitor works great with my Amiga and now I can run it in PAL mode for those games that refuse to work in NTSC mode. For audio, I hooked the Amiga up to a little old stereo amplifier from Radioshack with speakers. I use my Amiga for creative writing a lot and I will admit that text does look sharper when outputting RGB as opposed to composite.

In the end, I still think TV is good enough for the Amiga. The only time when I think you absolutely need a monitor is when you are dealing with PAL/NTSC issues or if you want to use higher resolutions in graphics programs maybe. I haven't played around with too many graphics programs on the Amiga, except for Deluxe Paint. Deluxe Paint works fine in low resolution mode on my TV, but high resolution made everything look small and I found it unusable. I haven't tried it on my monitor.

What are your opinions on using a monitor with your Amiga vs a TV? When do you think a monitor becomes a "necessity" for the Amiga?

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:40 am

In the end, I still think TV is good enough for the Amiga.
I don't think there is a perfect right way or wrong way - just your way. A lot of Amigas (particularly the all-in-one "consoles") were hooked to TVs BITD - most people couldn't justify or afford a separate monitor at the consumer level. To that end, even some of the higher-end big boxes were outputting to TVs - for testing out their broadcast design color bleeds and safe text areas.

I have a TV adapter/switcher that came with one of my Amigas. Not sure which one. But it allowed for attaching it to a regular TV just like an Atari 2600!

I do have a fairly strong opinion, however, that the smaller the TV typically they better it's going to look. Some folks like to hook their stuff up to giant TVs, and I've always felt (personal preference) that the smaller TVs provided a nicer, tighter image. At the end of the day, if you are using a TV, I think the most important factor is the color, i.e. is it full and rich or flat and "off".

In terms of monitors, especially modern monitors, there are really only 2 key issues that I would avoid.

First, it drives me bonkers when people output to LCDs or LEDs and don't fix the aspect ratio. These old games were never meant to be in 16:9 widescreen mode. But that is usually a very easy fix. Secondly, you lose the CRT pixel blending. But to be honest, this is far less of an issue in my opinion. Eventually the old CRTs will fail (and you're right about the prices going bonkers - supply and demand!) and TV repairmen don't seem to exist anymore. If you do find an old guy that can fix a TV, good luck getting him a replacement part!

That all being said there are a ton of pros with going with a more modern video output. LCDs are thinner, which can save a lot of space. This is a huge issue for many people. You also get a perfectly flat screen, so if you're like me and take a lot of pictures of your screen, you would lose a lot of the distortion (small price to pay but it is worth considering). Also, I think CRTs in general use a lot more power, so there is a slightly higher cost involved.

If you found an old TV that worked, it's really the same thing as an old CRT C=monitor, especially if you find a relatively small one that has rich colors. And if you aren't trying to get into hi-res (99% of Amiga users these days don't) then yeah, TV works fine.

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Posted Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:23 pm

Thesedays I have a Scart to HDMI cable and will either use an HD TV (VIA HDMI) or a monitor with a built in soundcard (VIA HDMI). I simply don't own an analog TV anymore. For that i'd have to use one of my analog converters.

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Zippy Zapp

Posted Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:53 pm

My first Amiga (A500) came with a TV adapter as a promo at the store I bought it. I used that for a little while but for me I liked BBSs and 80 column was very hard on the eyes with Composite. So RGB it was and that made all the difference in readability.

For many low-res mode games a TV was fine. But for anything productive I had to use RGB. I remember getting the 1084 and thinking how clear it was and how the colors on games seemed to be noticeably brighter too. With a 1200 it is a must so that you can freely switch between PAL and NTSC modes. Still have the 1084 although recently I had to replace the power switch because it stopped staying clicked in the on position.

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Maryland, USA

Posted Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:14 pm

I've never tried a TV on an Amiga until very recently, when I tried hooking my A1000 up to one of our "Smart" TVs. Interesting seeing it spring to life on 44". But, I didn't care for it a lot, and went back to the little 1080.
My A2000 has a SD/FF, and I usually run that through an old NEC 3D multisync monitor.
While a TV may be OK for most games, they just don't the resolution for serious work, no matter if its graphics, photos or text work (try using a word processor with a TV).
I may be spoiled, because I didn't even use my C-64 with a TV. I had a 1702 in very short order.

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