Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Flat Screen Bliss

My New Year's resolution was to try to post something to one of the CoCo blogs daily. So far... not so much. So, I'm giving the big fat finger to New Year's resolutions and making a St. Pat's resolution not to make any more of the silly things. So there...

As far as CoCoing goes, I've been mostly spending my CoCo time on the actual CoCo. My "learning" is bouncing all over the place at the moment, so nothing productive per se. But you've gotta have that play time to learn, right? Right. :)

Since Brian is over on his blog showing off his shiny flat panel running Roy's VGA adapter, I figured I should do the same, specially since he managed to get the 6309 installed and I fumbled mine. Dammit. :P (Actually, if you haven't looked at Brian's blog, stop reading here and go over there to see something REALLY cool. You can come back and read this nonsense later. Seriously. Go!) I finally broke down and dropped the cash on a flat panel. I opted for a cheap, but nice, Magnavox 15MF400T/37 LCD television. On sale a Wally-World, it's a pretty good deal with all the inputs it accepts. Not the best screen ever, but perfectly acceptable for casual TV watching, retro system hook-ups and, of course, CoCoing!

The biggest selling point of this TV is that it has a 1024x768 resolution and a SVGA hook up. Makes a handy, quick and dirty PC screen (the thing is light and easy to move around) and works brilliantly with Roy's CoCo VGA adapter.

Here's the current CoCo setup:


As you can see, the picture is nice and sharp. No lines or artifacts on the green and black background screens, though I did pick out the vertical lines on reds and grays. Not particularly noticeable and, to be honest, the image is so damn sharp you won't care! Truly the way to CoCo these days. Games play beautifully. Sinistaar (yeah, still playing that freaking game) looks amazing. Sound is mediocre at best. If I'm going to do some serious TV watching, or play music with the CoCo, I'll need to upgrade the sound for certain.

Quick run through the picture: Ramona, the 512K CoCo 3. The Magnovox (obviously) sitting atop a giant DVD/VCR combo unit (also a Maganovox). Gradma has a VHS, so I have to make tapes of the little ones by hooking the camcorder up to this beast. The CoCo can go straight out to A/V, so I'm gonna use the CoCo to make title screens, credits and that sort of thing. Pretty cool, eh? :) Roy's adapter is the beige box sitting on top of the disk drives with the little green light on it.

I also hooked up Hawksoft's S-Video adapter. I know, I'm not done fully testing it yet, so a review is still forthcoming. It works great with this setup. The TV in S-Video mode has trouble locking on, so the screen is all wonky when it first fires up. Hitting reset on the CoCo causes the TV to reset as well and it usually can lock with a beautiful and centered picture right away, though a couple of times I needed to reset twice. On this particularly screen, the S-Video adapter is WAY better than RF, much better than A/V, and better than an RGB monitor. It's not quite as crisp as the VGA adapter. (Again, as tested on this particular TV... your mileage may vary.) I've found the S-Video adapter to be most handy on the big screen TV for game playing. It would make a great solution for regular use as well if you have a TV with S-Video but no VGA.

The downside to the VGA adapter is no sound. There's a plug on the back of the box to add a speaker. All I have handy at the moment are some craptacular PC speakers I picked up at a show for 5 bucks. I laughed, I cried, I kissed my five bucks goodbye. Serious suckage. If anyone has any suggestions for a small, self powered mono speaker with good (and loud) sound that works with Roy's VGA adaptor, let me know. And where to get it. :)

Ahem... okay, I've rambled on more than intended. Here's a shot of the current CoCo mess, er, desk. Look at all those damn wires. I tend to ignore them when I'm actually in there, but the camera doesn't lie. Now I see what my wife sees. I see CoCos. She see's wires and boxes all over the place. heh! That's my Sega Genesis 32X sitting there next to the CoCo. Kick ass game system. Highly recommended if you like retro games. Alas, it feeds into the TV with the RF coax and the set won't lock to center the image. The *overly descriptive expletive deleted* that didn't put tuning and vert/horz controls on TVs these days needs to be ass punched. Automatic centering my left buttocks. Geez. So, I'm awaiting new cables for the Sega. Haven't tried the Atari's yet, but they're next. They both hook up via the RF as well... so I'm not hopeful. More damn cables to buy. But the CoCo rocks. And that's all that really matters. Thank you Roy! :D



Angel's Luck,
Capt.

6 comments:

Mannequin said...

"Games play beautifully. Sinistaar (yeah, still playing that f#$%@ing game) looks amazing."

What's wrong with Sinistaar again? No need to cuss the game when it's good! :)

CaptCPU said...

There is when it's so good it's eating up all my CoCo time. :P

Can't stop playing it. Just gotta blast the big head one more time!

Um, that didn't come out the way I meant it so I'll just shut up now. :)

CaptCPU said...

And I just reread that post and realized I dropped to f-bombs in there. :/ Must have been in a mood. Apologies to anyone who took offense, and edited a bit for more friendly viewing :)

Brian said...

Hehe...

If your gonna play Gennie games, download the Kega Fusion emulator and get the rom files (i have them all :) )

I've emulators for the Gennie, 32, SegaCD, Dreamcast, PS1, Neo-Geo, NeoCD and a few others...

Gonna eventually make a standup rig housing an emulator only machine to treat my video gaming addiction...


Brian

CaptCPU said...

Have to admit to considering that a few times. Use to know a guy that did repair and restorations on arcades. Putting together a cabinet with a PC and wiring up buttons from the joystick connectors (probably nowadays use USB) was apparently pretty simple. I believe there is even control software for such creatures.

I love my Genesis, though. I mean, would it really be playing 32X if the thing didn't fritz out half the time and the internal cable connectors go popping out? Heh! That's part of the challenge!

Okay, maybe it's time to switch to an emulator...

Angel's Luck,
Capt.

Brian said...

Say the word and I'll work up a dvd (or three) with all the emulator stuff I've got..

I love my Gennie, 32x SegaCD, Saturn and Dreamcast, but, can't rationalize having 4 systems out of the box at once when I can play everything on the emulator. Tho the Saturn emu's are buggy, and my Saturn's CD drive gave up the ghost a year or so ago...

Forgot that I also have SNES and all roms for it as well...