Amiga + VGA monitor on a budget


Hello people of the internet last year I bought a couple of converter boxes on ebay to be able to connect my commodore 64 to a modern LCD monitor They were all rather cheap and because of that I didn’t expect miracles. It is a well known fact that with these cheap units It’s pretty much hit or miss in regards of quality. Of course every single of my units were utter shit as you can see in my other video and one didn’t work at all… I have seen numerous videos where people have had good results with the same converters I bought, but as I said, quality varies greatly depending on what components and chips that are used in a particular item so I’m determined to get one that’s actually useful and now I have. A few weeks ago I was browsing the C64 group on Facebook where a dutch guy named Mark Hetebrij posted some photos of a cheap converter he bought from the Chinese site AliExpress He had connected his commodore 64 and quickly gained a lot of comments because of the – for the price – very decent quality Funny thing is his box was 100% identical to my non-working piece of China crap back then. I studied his photos in great detail and took a chance and ordered one as well It was $26 and included free shipping, so I thought “what the hell – if I get one again that doesn’t work, It’s no major loss”. Been there, done that, you know… 🙂 It came in the mail a few days ago, and I want to make a more in-depth review and some up-close samples that’s more thorough than some Facebook photos For starters, it wasn’t packaged very well it just came in this plastic envelope with no padding material or bubble wrap. Just the converter, a US power plug and a European adapter as a side dish I don’t trust those cheap Chinese adapter plugs, so I used one of my many spares from my other converters It outputs HDMI in either 720 or 1080p, so I used an adapter cable to connect it to an older VGA screen. I had no hopes whatever based on my previous experiences, so I didn’t connect any input devices until I was sure that a monitor at least reacted to the damn thing. And lo and behold – it turned on! I connected my amiga 1200 using an RGB video to SCART cabel, powered it on and waited anxiously for Workbench to load. There were some jail bars on the black screen and we’re still loading … and BOOM! A nice and surprisingly sharp image. Well, not pixel perfect sharp of course But definitely sharp enough to be acceptable. Sharp enough to work with programs with small text, and sharp enough for watching demos And I’ll try out some games a little later to check for latency My monitor doesn’t support 1080p So I’ll only be demonstrating it in 720p in this video, but I believe that if you scale up an SD PAL or NTSC signal, it’s always better to scale the least possible amount to minimize lag and blur I’m sure most of you already know how this thing looks so I’ll just go over it briefly. There are three buttons on the front of the unit: One is for switching input between HDMI and SCART, one is for switching between 720 and 1080, and the last one is for selecting PAL or NTSC input There is also a power LED and of course the HDMI output connector and two audio out connectors for Coax and jack plugs. On the back is an HDMI input connector and a SCART one along with a 5 volt power socket. On the inside is of course Circuit Town as you would expect I am by no means an electronics expert So I’ll just show some pictures for you to decide if it’s a particular chipset or whatever… There are three ICs But two of them doesn’t have anything printed on them. The third one is made by ITE, and says: IT66121FN / 15138XG / AC1DFC and as far as my research goes it’s a low-Power transmitter with HDMI 1.4. Maybe that one also handles upscaling and what-have-you. I have no idea so you be the judge Well, on with the actual quality… Like I said, I’m using an Amiga RGB to SCART cable So I have the best possible source to begin with. When booting up with a black screen You can clearly see vertical lines and a little bit of noise But when there is actually something on the screen They practically disappear. Since we are dealing with an analog signal the image of course isn’t crystal clear But I guess the box is smoothing out the edges as good as it can kind of like the “Scale 2x” video setting in the VICE C64 emulator There is a faint halo around the text and other high contrast elements, but that actually make the image seem a bit sharper The deinterlacing is overall very good as there are no visible hen’s teeth However, you can see there are some slight artifacts when moving the mouse slowly But it isn’t noticeable unless you sit very close to the screen As I am located in Europe, my Amiga is a 50Hz PAL model, but since my monitor decides to go for 60Hz Scrolling of course isn’t perfectly smooth as this cracktro shows As far as latency goes, there is only a few milliseconds delay, so playing games is no problem at all I am playing a few rounds of Bubble Bobble here, so you can see how noticeable it is Using composite instead of RGB video of course degrades the quality quite a bit I’m using a cheap composite to SCART adapter for this and as you can see there’s a lot more fringing, bleeding and ghosting But that was to be expected. At least this converter does a way better job with composite than any of the other ones I bought. I would show you how it handles my Commodore 64 as well, but I currently don’t have a SCART cable for that So I’ll just show you some photos from Mark’s Facebook post. Based on how the Amiga looks in all of its composite “glory”, – – the C64 should be similar, and we all know that’s not a pretty sight 🙂 I think that about wraps it up for this video If you want to have a go at it yourself, I’ll leave an AliExpress link for this exact converter in the description below Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one

16 thoughts on “Amiga + VGA monitor on a budget

  1. Yeh looks good. Funny that my Sony 4k tv scales quite well for RGB sources.Looking forward to using my Amiga 500 with this.

  2. I have one too. I am not satisfied as it keeps loosing the signal. Maybe is the monitor I'm using or the active scart I have.
    It is ok just for wb though.

  3. I got one too, I'm using this one for my Atari ST 1040 STFM with a scart cable, had to modify the cable a bit to make it work, but it works just like a charm!!! So if you have issues, it isn't the convertor but your cable, try another or check the available schemes on the forums of your computer device 😉

  4. I'd like to see how good it performs with a game with scrolling, and a game with colorful background cause these are two of the main issues in these scan converters.

  5. The Amiga 1200 is capable to output a VGA 800×600 non interlaced video signal natively. You only need a VGA adapter in order to connect a vga cable on the RGB output of the a1200.
    In workbench, put copy tje VGAonly monitor from the Storage disk to the monitors dranwer.
    It's ok for productivity usage, but does not work with lots of games, until you install them on the hard drive.
    If you boot from a floppy most games will force you back to PAL or NTSC modes

    You may also try to add the DoublePal and DoubleNTSC monitors too. I didn't tried with WHDLoad though.

  6. New link, same product:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SCART-HDMI-to-HDMI-Converter-Full-HD-1080P-Digital-High-Definition-Video-Konverter-EU-US-Power/32858555968.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.1.6eb33f466MJbvi&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_5_10065_10068_319_317_10696_10084_453_10083_454_10618_10304_10307_10820_10821_10301_537_536_10902_10843_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103,searchweb201603_70,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=58c084b2-4192-4127-b3d3-a6ed7edaa33a-0&algo_pvid=58c084b2-4192-4127-b3d3-a6ed7edaa33a

  7. The Ali Express site is a little akward, you cannot put the item in your basket until you select a color and a cable length, of which there is only one. Kinda weird, but for European customers this item is now only 19 euro's. So that's cheap.

  8. I now watched this video completely, and you buy a SCART to HDMI converter and then you it on a VGA monitor? You go from analog to digital and from digital back to analog? Oh shame on you. Was it so difficult to hook on a HDMI monitor? Just for this video? Anyway, I order the same device for my A1200 as well and will do a follow update on this video, but then the 'damn' thing hooked up to an HDMI full HD monitor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2019 Explore Mellieha. All rights reserved.