NotTaR of Television Sets : Displaying computer video on a TV       
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Displaying computer video on a TV

Assuming this means NTSC:

  1. You need to convert RGB to NTSC - there are single chips for this. Try Sony, Philips, Motorola, and others. These will combine the R, G, B, H sync, and V sync into a single composite video signal using a minimum of additional components.

  2. You need to match the scan rate to NTSC - 15.734 kHz horizontal. Even basic VGA is twice this - 31.4 kHz. If your video card can be programmed to put out interlaced NTSC rate video then this is easy. If not, it is more difficult. If you want to use anything higher res than VGA, it is a very non-trivial problem requiring the construction of a scan convertor which includes a video A/D, full frame store, interpolator/readout timing, video D/A. Unless you are an experienced digital/analog designer, you really do not want to tackle any of this.

For the special case of VGA->NTSC, you may be able to get away with just storing a single scan line since the horizontal frequency is (almost) exactly twice the NTSC horizontal of 15.734 kHz. A double buffer where one buffer is storing while the other is reading out at approximately half the VGA pixel rate should work. With appropriate timing, even lines become the even field for NTSC and odd lines become the odd field (I may have this backwards). It is still not a trivial undertaking. Also, keep in mind that the quality you will get on NTSC will be poorer than the VGA due to fundamental NTSC bandwidth limitations. Also, flicker for line graphics will be significant due to the interlacing at 30 Hz. Even this is a non-trivial undertaking.

The requirements for PAL are very similar. For 625 lines systems, the 800x600 is the format that most closely matches the TV resolution.

You can also buy little boxes to do this. Quality is general not great as you are seriously limited by NTSC/PAL and the VCR. Except for presentations on existing TV rate equipment, it is probably not worth the effort. This is totally useless for any serious computer applications.

For professional presentations, modern video projectors are available that use high resolution LCD panels and real-time scan conversion. However, they are still relatively expensive).

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